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Cramm for 6/21/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Iran just elected a new prez. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

The other day, Iran headed to the polls in its presidential election. The election was controversial before it even began. See: the country’s election body blocked some moderate and conservative candidates from throwing their hats in the ring. Cue calls to boycott the vote altogether - calls lots of people listened to. As in more than 50 percent of all eligible voters did not cast their ballot. That’s a historically low voter turnout, BTW. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Meanwhile, when it came to the election results, there were no surprises. Meet Ebrahim Raisi. He’s a hardline judge who’s currently under US sanctions for human rights abuses (like playing a role in the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and in the violent crackdown on protests in 2009). He’s also the winner of Iran’s presidential election. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Iran’s outgoing prez - Hassan Rouhani - congratulated Raisi on the win. So did Iran’s allies, Syrian Prez Bashar al-Assad and militant group Hamas. All this comes as Rouhani’s country is in talks with the US (plus five other nations) to revive the Iran nuclear deal. Unclear what kind of impact this could have on those negotiations. 

 

THE TAKE. 

This election is extremely consequential not just for Iran, but for the whole world. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Recently, Prez Biden celebrated the US’s administration of 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses. Not a typo. He also encouraged more Americans to get the shot in an effort to get 70 percent of the population vaccinated by July 4. In other news, the European Union just lifted restrictions on non-essential travel from 14 countries, including the US. The pandemic isn’t improving everywhere, though. Case in point: Brazil just surpassed 500,000 coronavirus deaths - a death toll second only to the US. And in more bad news, a member of Uganda’s Olympic team just tested positive for the virus after arriving in Tokyo. It’s the first confirmed case at the Games. 

 

ELECTIONS: Iran’s not the only country dealing with elections. Today, Ethiopia heads to the polls in what the gov is calling the country’s first free election. The African nation experienced decades of repressive rule...until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office and ushered in a wave of sweeping political and economic reforms. But now, he’s under fire for human rights abuses in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Stay tuned. In other news, yesterday, France held its first round of regional elections. The results were not very good news for centrist Prez Emmanuel Macron and far-right political opponent Marine Le Pen, with center-right party Les Républicain taking lots of wins. And meanwhile, the US state of Georgia just cut 100,000 names from its voter registration rolls. Intro concerns about a threat to voting rights. 

 

USA: Lately, Alabama’s been facing a tropical depression that’s caused flash floods and tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes. At least 13 people have died, including 9 kids and 1 adult who were killed after multiple vehicles crashed on a wet interstate. A survivor is said to be hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Meanwhile, the Dept of Veterans Affairs is apparently planning to offer gender-affirming surgeries to transgender veterans. The agency’s secretary said the “process will require changing VA’s regulations and establishing policy that will ensure the equitable treatment and safety” of these veterans. The announcement marks a major shift for the VA. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Thunder Bolt:” the name of one of Usain Bolt’s newborn twins.  Starting to think celebrities can just not give their kids normal names. 


SAY WHAT?

“Joe Jonas crashed a Jonas Brothers-themed spin class” - an actual headline. Cool. 


ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today through Penguin Random HouseAmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundWalmart
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