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Cramm for 2/28/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The world is reaching an economic pandemic. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

A few months ago, a mysterious new virus - dubbed the coronavirus - popped up in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus brought about pneumonia-like symptoms and gave the world flashbacks to SARS, which killed 774 people and sickened thousands across Asia in 2002 and 2003. But in recent weeks, coronavirus cases have spiked, with around 83,000 people now infected and more than 2,800 dead around the world. And the WHO says the virus has “pandemic potential.” 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

As fears grow over what the coronavirus means for the world, the stock market is falling. In a single week, stocks dropped by 10%, putting the stock market in official “correction” territory. Which basically means things are very, very bad. Case in point: the Dow fell about 1,200 points yesterday alone - its biggest single-day drop in history. Not a typo. All of this is shaping up to be the worst week for Wall St. since the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

It gets worse. As in the first case in sub-Saharan Africa was just confirmed in Nigeria - the continent’s most populous country. And over in Lithuania, Belarus, and New Zealand, the first few cases have been reported as well. This comes as Japan is shutting down every single school for an entire month. 

 

SO…?

The whole world’s starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus in some way or another. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

MIDDLE EAST: The US and the Taliban are inching closer and closer to reaching a peace deal. The conditional deal would have the US withdrawing most of the 12,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, while the Taliban would shake its head to harboring terror groups - plus intro negotiations with the Afghan gov for lasting peace. Problem, since nearly two dozen Republican lawmakers have sent a letter to Sec of State Mike Pompeo and Sec of Defense Mark Esper expressing “serious concerns.” Because, security. Meanwhile, recently, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike on the Syrian province of Idlib. The Syrian gov - which is backed by Russia - is reportedly responsible. 

 

WORLD: Scotland’s got its eyes on the future. Hint: the country is set to become the first to provide free pads and tampons to women of all ages - effectively ending “period poverty.” Hi, 2020. In other news, a new study found that an apparently state-of-the-art tool used to detect polar bear dens in the snow is not all that effective. Reminder: oil development is pretty common in Alaska - but for years, there have been public concerns over potentially harming wildlife. Think: polar bears. Enter: this tool that’s supposed to identify polar bear dens so developers can avoid injuring or disturbing the animals. Only a slight problem...in the past decade, the tool located less than half of the known dens. Not good. 

 

USA: Yesterday, a federal judge in Washington blocked the Trump team from diverting millions of dollars in funding from a military base to help build the wall along the US-Mexico border. Quick refresher: when Prez Trump declared a national emergency back in 2019, it let him snag Pentagon funds for the construction of his wall. Cue lots and lots of lawsuits - one of which it looks like the Trump team just lost. Stay tuned. Speaking of which, recently, the Trump team intro’d a new proposal that’d triple some fees for immigration court filings. And meanwhile in the US, the FBI arrested 5 alleged neo-Nazis for intimidating journalists


WHAT TO KNOW

8 hours 15 minutes:” how long this 62 year old planked, setting a new record. Easy.


SAY WHAT?

“Rod Blagojevich is charging $100 for personalized shout-outs” - an actual headline. Sold. 

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