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Cramm for 1/31/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The WHO declared a global public health emergency. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Last month, a mysterious new virus popped up in the city of Wuhan, China. The virus - dubbed the Wuhan coronavirus - has pneumonia-like symptoms and is giving the world flashbacks to SARS (aka Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 774 people and sickened thousands across Asia in 2002 and 2003. Already, the Wuhan coronavirus has killed at least 213 people and infected over 10,000. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared a global public health emergency. We’ll remind you: just last week, the group decided to hold off on that kind of a declaration. But now, the WHO says they’re increasingly concerned about how the virus is spreading outside of China. More specifically, its potential to infect millions if it took hold in countries with weak healthcare systems. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

The WHO isn’t the only one making big declarations. Recently, The US State Dept issued a Level 4 travel advisory over China. ICYDK, that’s the most severe warning, since it only applies to places with a “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.” And soon after, the first human-to-human transmission in the US was reported. Very very bad. This all comes as countless countries are barring travel to China and declaring states of emergency. 

 

SO…?

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak keeps escalating. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: Yesterday, rights groups reported that armed men attacked an Indigenous community in Nicaragua, killing at least six people and kidnapping ten. The motive is not yet clear, but the attack came in a protected nature reserve that’s been the focus of land disputes between Indigineous groups and new settlers. In other news, the Australian state of Canberra is declaring a state of emergency over massive bushfires that’ve been labelled the worst fire threat to the area since 2003. This comes as all of Australia’s been facing devastating fires for the past few months. And meanwhile, more and more US service members are being diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iran’s rocket attacks on a base in Iraq. Stay tuned.

 

POLITICS: Today is a big day for the UK. Hint: the country is officially ditching the European Union. Quick refresher: back in 2016, the UK shocked everyone and voted to divorce the EU in what’s become known as Brexit. But after three years - and three prime ministers - the gov still hadn’t agreed on a Brexit deal. Enter: Boris Johnson. Aka Brexit’s number one fan. After being selected as prime minister - and after calling a snap election that left his allies in the majority - he was finally able to pass a deal. Now, it looks like Brexit is official. Not yet clear what the immediate ramifications will be. Speaking of which, today, the Senate will vote on whether to call witnesses in the impeachment trial. Expect them to...shake their heads. 

 

USA: A lot of new laws are being passed in the US. We’ll get you up to speed. In Virginia - which snagged a Dem majority in the 2018 Midterm elections - lawmakers nodded their heads to seven new pieces of gun control legislation. The laws would do things like require universal background checks and monthly limits on handgun purchases - plus intro a “red flag” law, which lets law enforcement take a weapon from an individual if they pose a threat. In other news, recently, the Trump team announced that it’ll let states cap Medicaid spending for many poor adults. Big deal, since this could significantly impact the number of people getting health benefits. And meanwhile, the Trump team is relaxing rules around killing birds. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe:” Elon Musk’s new song. Is there anything he can’t do?


SAY WHAT?

“The speculation sure is fun” - a reaction to Tom Brady’s mysterious new tweet just ahead of the Super Bowl. Correction: the speculation is torture. 

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