REPORTS: Yesterday, a declassified intelligence report on the 2020 US presidential election was released. Spoiler alert: Prez Putin authorized extensive efforts to hurt Joe Biden’s chances at the presidency during last year’s election. And that’s not all. Russia apparently launched covert operations to influence people close to Donald Trump, with the report saying, “Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin’s interests worked to affect U.S. public perceptions.” You read that right. The report also says Iran and other countries got involved with the election, but China ultimately decided to bow out of its election-meddling plans. Meanwhile, Moderna just started testing its coronavirus vaccine on young kids. Stay tuned for the results.
LGBTQ+ RIGHTS: A Japanese court just made a major ruling on same-sex marriage. Quick refresher: Japan still doesn’t recognize same-sex unions, which means that same-sex couples don’t have access to the kinds of services and benefits given to married couples. Some people have also argued that the gov’s failure to recognize same-sex unions goes against its constitutional promise of equality under the law and the prohibition against discrimination regardless of sex. Now, it looks like a court agrees. Big deal, since this could set up the legalization of same-sex marriage in Japan. Speaking of which, Elliot Page - the actor known for ‘Juno’ and ‘Umbrella Academy’ - just became the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
WORLD: It looks like North Korea could be prepping its first weapons test since Biden took office. Yes, really. This comes a day after the country warned the US against “causing a stink at its first step” - and just a day before Sec of State Tony Blinken is set to get together with Chinese diplomats in Alaska for the very first time. And no, that’s not believed to be a coincidence. On that note: the US just imposed financial sanctions on a slew of Chinese officials, reportedly due to the fact that China is pretty much eroding democracy in Hong Kong. Blinken cited China among ruling govs that are currently threatening democracy and stability. Think: North Korea, Myanmar...you get the idea. Tension, high.