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Cramm for 7/14/22
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

It’s chaos in Sri Lanka right now. 

 

THE BACKGROUND.

Lately, Sri Lanka has been dealing with its worst economic crisis in memory. The country is experiencing shortages of fuel. Food. Cooking gas. Medicines. Oil reserves have run dry. Schools have been shut down, unable to run without gov money or fuel. And while leaders have been attempting to work out a bailout with the International Monetary Fund, negotiations have reportedly been tricky because SriLanka is a “bankrupt state.” 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

All of the above has sparked massive protests - protests that have escalated into calls for gov officials to resign. And, one by one, they have. The prime minister quit in May, and Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa - plus the new prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe - announced they would quit earlier this week after tens of thousands of protesters stormed his offices and residences. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2.. 

The chaos hasn’t stopped there. Yesterday, it came out that Prez Rajapaksa has fled the country and gone into hiding - but hasn’t actually resigned. Instead, he appointed Wickremesinghe - yes, the same guy who was also supposedly stepping down - as acting prez. So protesters responded by overrunning Wickremesinghe’s offices. Now, it looks like Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency and told the military to do whatever it takes to restore order. 

 

THE TAKE. 

It’s no longer clear who’s in charge - or for how long. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

PEOPLE: Yesterday, an Ohio man was arrested and charged with the rape of a 10 year old girl who then became pregnant. The story made headlines when the young victim was forced to travel across state lines to get an abortion, since Ohio bans abortions after six weeks…with no exception for rape or incest. Meanwhile, a new video sheds light on the police response to the Uvalde school shooting, which killed 19 students and 2 teachers. The footage shows how armed officers stood around waiting before confronting the gunman - leading to outrage and raising questions over why the response was so delayed. In other news, police just arrested the owner and two employees of a South African tavern where 21 teenagers were found dead last month. It’s still unclear how the teens died. 

 

POLITICS: Everyone’s talking about inflation. See: US prices surged more than 9 percent in June - marking the biggest yearly increase since 1981. Nearly half of the increase is due to higher energy costs. Experts say inflation will likely moderate in July as gas prices have fallen. Meanwhile, Italy’s gov is nearing collapse after a populist party said it would boycott a key confidence vote in Parliament. Meaning Italy could be headed for early elections. Speaking of which, it looks like Rishi Sunak (as in the ex-chancellor) and Penny Mordaunt (as in the trade minister) are the frontrunners in the race to succeed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Conservative Party is set to hold another vote today, with at least one of the six remaining contenders expected to be knocked out. 

 

HEALTH: Yesterday, the FDA gave the thumbs-up to a covid vaccine developed by Novavax. You know Novavax as a biotech biz in Maryland that got a lot of federal funding to produce the shot. The two-dose vaccine marks the fourth covid shot to get FDA approval in the US. Also making headlines: the Biden team just warned the country’s 60,000 retail pharmacies that they risk violating federal civil rights law if they refuse to fill prescriptions for pills that can cause abortion. The gov pointed out that there are many conditions (think: miscarriage, stomach ulcers, and ectopic pregnancy) that are commonly treated with these kinds of pills - so withholding these drugs “may be discriminating” on the basis of sex or disability. 


WHAT TO KNOW

X-ray:” what helped experts discover a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh hidden on the back of another painting. National Treasure, is that you? 


SAY WHAT?

“The day we had a kiss scene, he didn’t eat meat that morning because I’m vegan” - Natalie Portman, talking about Chris Hemsworth in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder.’ 




ICYMI, Cramm This Book is OUT NOW! 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. Get your copy today!
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