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Cramm for 1/7/22
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The situation in Kazakhstan is turning increasingly violent. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Decades ago, Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union. The country became fully independent in 1991 and was pretty much ruled by the same authoritarian leader up until 2019, when a guy named Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took over as prez. Political opposition isn’t exactly tolerated, so protests are extremely rare. 

 

THE DEETS.

Scratch that, because earlier this week, people took to the streets in droves over a fuel price hike. The protests quickly evolved into a greater cry for democratic reforms. And the situation has now turned violent. Dozens of protesters and 18 security forces have been killed, with 3,000 people under arrest. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

It’s about to get worse. Prez Tokayev has ordered security forces to “open fire to kill without warning” in an attempt to crush the uprising. You read that right. Tokayev claims the initial unrest over fuel prices had been masterminded by “terrorist bandits” from inside and outside Kazakhstan. Protesters have rejected those allegations, saying they’re angry about gov corruption, living standards, poverty, and unemployment - issues that have been made worse by the pandemic. 

 

THE TAKE. 

These demonstrations mark the biggest threat to the gov’s control since Kazakhstan became independent. TBD on how they resolve. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Global known infections have now surpassed 300 million - barely 5 months after the world recorded 200 million cases. But experts say our focus should be on the number of hospitalizations as “infections become less severe.” Meanwhile, North Korea - which has already been banned from the Olympics - says it will skip the 2022 Beijing Winter Games due to the pandemic. Over in the US, the Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to Prez Biden’s vaccine mandate today. The question? Whether Biden exceeded his authority by requiring vaccines or testing at large employers and mandating vaccines for lots of health workers. And in other news, a new study suggests that the coronavirus vaccine may temporarily cause women’s periods to be late - confirming what many women have experienced. 

 

USA: More than 60 million people are currently under winter weather alerts, with multiple storm systems hitting the country at once. See: the West Coast is dealing with flooding and avalanches from record-breaking rain and snowmelt. The South is experiencing icy road conditions that have led to massive backups and accidents. And the East Coast is facing a fast-moving winter storm that’s expected to dump several inches of snow on New York, Massachusetts, and parts of the mid-Atlantic. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, multiple states have run out of federal pandemic rental assistance…and stopped accepting applications. Think: New Jersey,  New York, Texas, and Washington, DC. And last but not least, the US added 199,000 jobs in December - the weakest report of the year. 

 

WORLD: Recently, workers at a dyeing and printing mill in India were exposed to toxic gas caused by an illegal dump of waste chemicals. At least 6 people were killed and more than 20 people were hospitalized. Authorities say chemicals were “illegally discharged into a tanker from a rivulet close to the mill,” which potentially reacted with another chemical in the water and created toxic gas. Police are investigating but have yet to make any arrests. In other news, two Haitian journalists were just shot and killed on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The journalists were reporting on an area where rival gangs are fighting for control when they were killed. One of the gangs is suspected to be behind the deaths. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Dogs:” what can apparently recognize different languages and nonsense words. We promise it’s not a tall tail. 


SAY WHAT?

“BMW’s new iX Flow concept car can change colors” - an actual headline. Hi, future. 




ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today!
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The Cramm · The Cramm · Santa Barbara, CA 93101 · USA