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Cramm for 1/21/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

A deadly new virus in China is spreading. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Meet Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (aka SARS). SARS is a virus that spreads through coughing, sneezing, or speaking and has no known cure or treatment. It’s known to cause fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, and difficult breathing - and it spreads very, very quickly. Back in 2002 and 2003, the virus killed 774 people and sickened 8,000 across Asia. There’s been no known cases of SARS since then, but ever since last month, people across China have been contracting a very similar virus called the Wuhan coronavirus. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

The Wuhan coronavirus first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan and is thought to have originated in a seafood market. And already, six people have died and hundreds of people have become ill, with increasing numbers joining them. Initially, scientists didn’t think the virus could be passed between humans, but now, they’ve confirmed it can be. Not good. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Massive. Nations around the world are intro’ing stricter fever checks in an attempt to detect the virus - while China’s planning on attending a special World Health Organization meeting to decide whether to declare a global public health emergency. Very rare, btw. The country’s also cancelling Lunar New Year celebrations and banning tour agencies from taking groups out of Wuhan. 

 

SO…?

Officials are doing everything they can to prevent another SARS. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

POLITICS: Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said ‘how’s this?’ and proposed a timeline for the impeachment trial. The timeline would give both sides 24 hours over two days for their opening argument - half the time given to former Prez Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. Cue Dem backlash. Speaking of which, a pro-gun rally in Virginia yesterday brought out tens of thousands of people, with protesters dressed in body armor and carrying AR-15s. There were no arrests. And in other news, The New York Times just endorsed both Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Dem presidential race. Cough, the only women left, cough. 

 

WORLD: Everyone’s talking about Davos. We’ll remind you: every year, thousands of political and biz leaders meet up in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. A big talking point this year: climate change. And already, both Prez Trump and climate activist Greta Thunberg - who called out leaders for doing “basically nothing” to cut back on carbon emissions - have taken to the stage. Hi, drama. Speaking of which, all eyes are on Puerto Rico. It’s no secret the territory’s been struggling to recover in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria. What (up until now) waaaaas a secret: a warehouse filled with supplies and aid, apparently from 2017. Now, Puerto Ricans are protesting for gov officials to step down. 

 

WORLD: Recently, the United Nations said ‘precedent, set’ and ruled that refugees fleeing the effects of climate change cannot be sent home. Big big deal, because the ruling gives lots of power to climate refugees all over the world - plus labels climate change as a humanitarian crisis. In other news, Malaysia is sending back tons of plastic waste to the countries where it originated - including the US, the UK, Canada, and France. Malaysia says it won’t keep being the “garbage dump” of the world. And meanwhile, China is banning a whole lot of plastic. Think: the import of plastic waste, the use of nonbiodegradable plastic bags, and other disposable plastic items. No word yet on this from China’s citizens. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers:” who’s facing off against each other for this year’s Super Bowl. Super. 


SAY WHAT?

“Delta gave its employees 2 months of extra pay” - an actual headline. That’s it, we’re quitting to go work for Delta. 

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