CORONAVIRUS: Everyone’s talking about the coronavirus. Cases around the world have now surpassed 115,000, with the death toll currently standing at 4,200. In the US, the National Guard is heading to New York to enforce a one-mile “containment zone” around the suburb of New Rochelle in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Over at Google, the biz is asking all of its employees in North America to pretty please work from home. Google’s not the only one. Everything from schools to sporting contests to concerts have been cancelled across the US. And recently, Harvard switched to online schooling and asked students to return home. Over in Italy, the whole country is still on lockdown. Stay tuned.
POLITICS: Russian Prez Vladimir Putin is having a good day. Recently, Russia’s lower house of parliament nodded their heads to a constitutional amendment that’d let Putin extend his rule until 2036, well past his term limit - which ends in 2024. Now, it’s off to the Constitutional Court to see whether it becomes official. Speaking of which, an appeals court just ruled that the House of Reps can have access to secret grand jury material gathered in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Yes, really. Expect the Trump team to contest the ruling. And in other news, American intelligence officials say the Russian gov is trying to inflame US racial tensions ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Reassuring.
WORLD: Recently, a new report from the World Meteorological Organization revealed that world hunger is on the rise - with climate change being the main cause. Over 820 million people faced hunger in 2018 due in part to crop failures, locust swarms, and extreme weather. Not good. In other bad news: the same study found that displacement and death from natural disasters related to climate change will disrupt the lives of millions of people over the coming years. Meanwhile, some scientists are warning that the Amazon rainforest could be nearing a point of no return unless damage to the forest is reversed. If this point was reached, it’d apparently turn the rainforest into a grassy savannah within 50 years.