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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The World Bank isn’t sure about Tanzania. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

ICYDK, Tanzania has a few policies targetting pregnant girls and women. Controversial policies. Hint: the policies ban pregnant girls and young mothers from going to state school - plus require random pregnancy tests for students currently in school. Not good, since about a quarter of teen girls in Tanzania are either mothers or pregnant. Meaning thousands of girls are kicked out of school each year. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, the World Bank (an international financial organization that gives loans and grants to poorer govs) said ‘hold up’ and postponed its decision on whether to hand Tanzania a $500 million loan. The delay reportedly came after Tanzanian civil society groups sent a letter to the World Bank’s executive board, who got together with activists and human rights organizations a few days later in a last-minute meeting. 

 

THE REACTION. 

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In 2018, the World Bank withdrew a $300 million educational loan after concerns were raised about Tanzania’s practice of expelling pregnant girls from school. But years later, the country still hasn’t made any official changes to its policies surrounding pregnant girls and women. 

 

SO…?

It’s unclear when the World Bank’s decision will take place. TBD on whether they pull a 2018 and shake their heads. 


THE ACTION

HEALTH: The death toll for the Wuhan coronavirus is now at 170, with nearly 8,000 cases worldwide. Around 100 of those cases come from outside of China. This means that there are now more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus than there were cases of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2002 and 2003. Now, all eyes are on the World Health Organization to see if they’ll declare an international public health emergency later today. Meanwhile, for the first time in four years, the life expectancy in the US upped - a sign that the opioid epidemic could be getting better. And speaking of which, a new report from the American Lung Association says the US gov is failing when it comes to fighting the teen vaping epidemic. 

 

POLITICS: The Q&A portion of the Senate impeachment trial kicked off yesterday. Headlines were made. As in Trump’s lawyer - Alan Dershowitz - said that a “quid prop quo” isn’t impeachable….as long as it was used to help the Prez get reelected, which is acting in the interest of the nation. Legal scholars disagreed. Oh, and the White House sent a formal threat to ex-national security advisor John Bolton over the publishing of his new book, which has already shaken up the impeachment trial. Drama drama drama. In other news, the House of Reps is prepping to repeal the 2002 Iraq war authorization. Meaning Prez Trump’s power to wage war in the area could be seriously limited. 

 

WORLD: Everyone’s watching this Florida-size glacier in Antarctica. Reminder: it’s no secret that as the earth warms, glaciers are melting, causing ocean levels to rise. Enter: Thwaites Glacier. Recently, scientists discovered unusually warm waters beneath the glacier - meaning it’s melting from the bottom. Big big deal, because this glacier (along with another one nearby) is holding back ice that would raise the world’s oceans by about four feet if melted - putting many coastal cities underwater. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, a new United Nations report warns that ISIS is making a comeback in Syria and Iraq. The why: inadequately secured borders, less US troops, and lots of money. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Popeyes:” who’s coming under fire for launching a clothing line that looks exactly like Beyonce’s. (Not) Irreplaceable. 


SAY WHAT?

“People lie to seem more honest, study finds” - an actual headline. No we don’t. 

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