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Cramm for 3/5/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The United Nations is taking a closer look at Ethiopia’s Tigray region. 

 

THE BACKGROUND.

Meet Abiy Ahmed. You may know him as the prime minister of Ethiopia. You may know him as the guy who won a Nobel Peace Prize for getting along with Eritrea. And you may know him as the guy who, in November 2020, began making moves to take further control of the Ethiopian region of Tigray in a violent and harsh military operation. The why: Abiy said Tigray’s leadership had been defying him for months. Fast forward to now, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced and countless people have been killed as part of the fighting.  

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Recently, United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet announced that her office has found evidence of possible “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Tigray. The perpetrators? Ethiopian and Eritrean troops, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and Amhara regional forces and allied militia. Yes, really. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Already, the UN has knowledge of indiscriminate shelling in certain towns in Tigray, as well as mass killings by Eritrean troops. This backs up an Amnesty International report, which says Eritrean troops killed hundreds of civilians “to terrorize the population into submission.” Now, Bachelet says there’s an urgent need for an independent investigation into the conflict to get the full scale of the crimes. 

 

THE TAKE. 

Expect to hear more about this in the coming weeks and months. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Yesterday, daily US coronavirus cases dipped below 40,000 for the first time in five months. Not a typo. What’s also down: the birth rate, not just in the US, but in Japan, the UK, Italy, and France. And it looks like the “baby bust” is directly tied to the pandemic. What’s up: the jobs gain in the US, which was 379,000 in February - even better than expected. But there are still 9.5 million fewer jobs today than a year ago. In other news, it looks like Italy is blocking the export of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia. Because, delays in supply shipments to the European Union. Over in Brazil, the country’s prez is telling Brazilians to “stop whining” about the virus, even as deaths are skyrocketing. 

 

USA: All eyes are on Harvard. ICYDK, about 170 years ago, a Harvard professor commissioned photographs of slaves as part of a racist study arguing that Black people are an inferior race. Then, last year, a woman named Tamara Lanier sued the university, saying she’s a direct descendent of some of the subjects of the photos and that the photos should belong to her. Yesterday, a judge weighed in...and sided against Lanier. Meanwhile, the only remaining childhood home of Malcolm X - in the Roxbury section of Boston - was just added to the National Register of Historic Places. Malcolm X lived at the home in the 1940s, while he was a teenager. 

 

IMMIGRATION: It’s no secret that ex-Prez Trump was not exactly a fan of “sanctuary  cities.” Aka cities that don’t try to help the US gov deport undocumented immigrants. Over the course of his presidency, his team brought multiple cases against sanctuary cities to the Supreme Court. Now, the Biden team is asking the Supreme Court to pretty please dismiss any pending sanctuary city cases. Speaking of which, the Biden team is intro’ing a new plan that’d shorten the detention of migrant families. Under this plan, migrant parents and their kids would be released after no more than 72 hours. The goal? Prevent families from being detained for weeks or months at a time, and prevent kids from developing symptoms of trauma from spending long periods in custody. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Magnitude 8.1 earthquake:” what just hit the South Pacific. 2021, please don’t be like 2020. 


SAY WHAT?

“Dutch inventor's new COVID test lets people scream their pandemic rage out” - an actual headline. Sign us up. 

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