The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Thursday May 19th

International


The Court is hearing the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenges a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks. If the Court upholds the ban, thus overturning Roe and Casey, states will have the right to ban abortions completely(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Supreme Court draft opinion indicates Roe v. Wade may be overturned

The Supreme Court has voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, according to a leaked draft opinion published by Politico. The draft majority opinion, which was confirmed by Chief Justice John Roberts, could mark the end of the constitutional right to abortion, although the Court’s final decision may change.  In 1973, the Supreme Court heard the case of Jane Roe, a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, against Henry Wade, a district attorney in Dallas, Texas. At the time, McCorvey was looking to have an abortion in Texas, which had a law banning abortion unless a woman’s life was endangered. McCorvey sued Wade, and while she won the case, Texas appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of McCorvey, stating that the law violated her right to personal privacy and was subsequently unconstitutional, thus ruling that the U.S. Constitution protected a woman’s right to have an abortion during the first three months of her pregnancy without interference from the state.

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Senate Bill 4C seeks to dissolve a number of special tax districts in Florida, most important among them being the Reedy Creek Improvement District(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Florida Governor Revokes Disney’s Special Tax District Over “Don’t Say Gay” Feud

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took his feud with the Walt Disney Corporation into a new phase on April 22 following the Governor’s signing of an act to dissolve a special tax district owned and operated by Disney. The move is seen as a retaliation for Disney’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, which seeks to restrict discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida schools.  Senate Bill 4C seeks to dissolve a number of special tax districts in Florida, most important among them being the Reedy Creek Improvement District(RCID). Granted to Disney by Florida through a 1967 agreement, the district has allowed the media giant to operate its 25,000 acres of property spanning Orange and Osceola counties essentially as a municipal government. Disney has used this power to, as the district’s owner and largest property owner, effectively to levy taxes on itself which then are used to fund its own fire-and-medical response services, water and roadwork and even generate some of its own electricity.

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The social network agreed to Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share, according to the New York Times. The deal comes after Musk had announced on April 4 that he had purchased a 9.2% stake in the company, becoming its largest shareholder(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Elon Musk Reaches Deal to Buy Twitter for More Than $40 Billion

 Twitter agreed to be sold to Elon Musk for $44 billion, following weeks of back-and-forth between the company and the billionaire. The social network agreed to Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share, according to the New York Times. The deal comes after Musk had announced on April 4 that he had purchased a 9.2% stake in the company, becoming its largest shareholder. Twitter had originally offered Musk a seat on the board, but he turned it down, saying that the position would not allow him to bring the changes he thought were necessary.

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Democrats attempt to remove Jan. 6 supporters from being able to run for office(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

January 6th storming of the U.S. Capitol leads to potential removal of politicians in support of Capitol rioters

The Republican National Committee (RNC) voted on Feb. 4 to censure Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for participating in the inquiry into the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.  Cheney and Kinzinger had been the most outspoken GOP lawmakers by that point, condemning the attack on the Capitol and criticizing Former President Donald J. Trump for his role in the day’s events. The GOP referred to the two lawmakers, stating they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

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Of the refugees and 7 million residents displaced from their homes, 90% of them are women and children under the age of 16(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Russian-Ukraine war creates massive humanitarian crisis

According to the UN, 4 million Ukrainian refugees over the last month are on the quest for a new life after fleeing from Russia — a life which will be scarred and affected by Russia President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and displace many innocent families from their homes. Of the refugees and 7 million residents displaced from their homes, 90% of them are women and children under the age of 16. 

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Efforts to combat the destruction of the environment have come to have a sense of urgency in recent years, with Reuters reporting that in 2021, deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest hit a 15-year high(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Climate change emerges as the critical issue in Brazil’s 2022 election

Discussions about combating climate change and environmental degradation in Brazil is becoming an integral part of the nation’s presidential race. The two candidates leading the polls in the upcoming election, according to data amalgamated by the Council of the Americas, are incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president who served from 2003 to 2011.

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Bloomberg claims that among the economic effects such as rising unemployment rates and the closure of many small to mid-sized businesses that the war has created, inflation rates may exceed 20% in Ukraine.(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Russia's war to shrink Ukraine economy 45%

In a report released on April 10, The World Bank claimed that Ukraine’s economy will shrink by 45.1% this year due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, which has resulted in the closure of half of the country’s businesses, in addition to damage to a significant amount of vital infrastructure including roads, bridges, ports, and train tracks. As many citizens flee the country, unemployment rates rise while consumption levels decline. 

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According to Reuters, the plan consists of a four-tier alert system that moves from green to red. It begins with public announcements about conserving water, moving on to lessening water pressure and ending with rotating water cuts that could last up to 24 hours(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Santiago, Chile announces plan to ration water due to 13 year drought

Santiago, Chile has announced a new water rationing system as the country enters its 13th year of a harsh drought. The capital city is home to six million people. “A city can't live without water,” said Claudio Orrego, the governor of the Santiago metropolitan region. “And we're in an unprecedented situation in Santiago's 491-year history where we have to prepare for there to not be enough water for everyone who lives here.”

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According to The New York Times, at the scene, police discovered a hatchet, two more gas canisters and a jammed Glock handgun, which police believe could have saved lives(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

23 injured in mass shooting at a Brooklyn subway

Ten people were shot and another 13 were wounded after a mass shooting on a subway train in Brooklyn, NY. The suspect, Frank James, was arrested on April 13 and charged with a federal terrorism offense.  On April 12, James, dressed in a construction vest and helmet, put on a gas mask and tossed two smoke grenades on the floor of the N train and shot 33 bullets as it neared 36th St. station. He then fled the scene after shooting 10 people, five of whom were critically injured. Thirteen others were injured from smoke inhalation, panic attacks or falling down, according to the BBC. All victims are expected to survive, but the shooting traumatized many New Yorkers who were at the scene. 

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There is mounting evidence that Russia is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, war crimes can include the intentional attack on civilian populations, civilian objects or non-military buildings(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Evidence for war crimes in Ukraine increase as investigations continue

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has labeled Russia’s attacks against the Ukrainian people as war crimes. Given the murder and torture of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, many countries, including the United States and Britain, have since echoed his sentiment. In light of this, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on April 6 in favor of a bill that proposes an investigation of war crimes committed by the Russian military. Specifically, the bill requests that President Joe Biden send a report to Congress regarding the U.S. Government’s efforts to collect evidence related to Russian war crimes since the start of the war.  

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The investigation is still far from over, but the committee has already produced a number of revelations about former President Donald Trump’s actions in the lead-up and aftermath of the insurrection, as well as the level of involvement of members of his inner circle in promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

January 6th Committee probes Ginni Thomas, investigates White House call sheet

After several months of subpoenas, testimony and evidence-gathering, the House Committee on the Jan. 6th Capitol Insurrection has cast an ever-expanding net over the governmental and non-governmental figures who played a part in planning, encouraging, or participating in the attack. The investigation is still far from over, but the committee has already produced a number of revelations about former President Donald Trump’s actions in the lead-up and aftermath of the insurrection, as well as the level of involvement of members of his inner circle in promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Of these figures, the most potentially consequential has been Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, longtime conservative activist and wife of the senior-most member of the US Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas.

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According to The New York Times, Australian scientists used aerial photographs to examine the Great Barrier Reef and found extreme bleaching in 60% of the corals(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Great Barrier Reef undergoes sixth mass bleaching event

A significant portion of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia suffered through its sixth mass bleaching effect, creating concern that the reef may not recover. Coral bleaching occurs when temperatures rise and the algae living inside reefs leave, causing corals to lose their food source and subsequently turn white. However, if temperatures cool for a long enough time, corals are able to recover. 

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While prices have decreased slightly over the past few weeks, the N.J Division of Consumer Affairs has received 92 complaints of price gouging at gas stations in the last month, according to NJ.com(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Reports of gas price gouging increase, but higher cost has many factors

Gas prices have skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the average price in New Jersey being $4.15 a gallon as of April 3. While prices have decreased slightly over the past few weeks, the N.J Division of Consumer Affairs has received 92 complaints of price gouging at gas stations in the last month, according to NJ.com. The agency said that amount of complaints is more than it has received in the past two years combined, with 39 in 2021 and 15 in 2020. 

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Jackson’s presence on the Court would likely provide a balance for the long term between liberals and conservatives. With her, the Supreme Court would remain 6-3, with conservatives outnumbering liberals(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Ketanji Brown Jackson likely to become first Black woman on Supreme Court

After days of confirmation hearings, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will likely be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, she would become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the third Black justice after Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall.  Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) broke a 50-50 Senate tie between Democrats and Republicans on March 30, all but confirming Jackson’s position on the Court. According to the New York Times, she has since been joined by Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in supporting Jackson.. Even if the vote remained a tie, Vice President Kamala Harris would have been the deciding vote, pushing Jackson onto the highest bench in the land.

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The museum began as a nonprofit organization and almost entirely depended on museum admission fees to keep it afloat. Now with the steady decrease of visitors due to the pandemic, the museum is on track to its doors permanently(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

9/11 Tribute Museum to close down after decrease in visitors

 The 9/11 Tribute Museum was one of many places that had to shut its doors due to the onset of the pandemic. Over the course of the six months that it was closed, millions of dollars of debt accumulated — with no visitors to help steady the rapidly increasing costs of keeping the museum running. Opening in 2006, the 9/11 Tribute Museum located in lower Manhattan on Greenwich Street in NYC has made a huge impact on citizens’ lives. Both the general public as well as survivors of the attacks in 2001 have made many visits to the museum, considering it is right down the street from the Ground Zero memorial.

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According to the International Space Station Transition Report submitted to Congress, NASA has established a contract with Axiom Space, a U.S. based company, to attach commercial modules to a space station docking port, which will eventually become a low-Earth orbit (LEO) free-flying destination(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

International Space Station set to retire in 2031

NASA recently announced plans to retire the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2030, marking the transition to commercial services after 20 years in space.  The news comes as the Biden administration committed to extending the ISS’s operations until 2030 to continue the current research being conducted and to facilitate the transition to private, commercial space travel. The extension will also consist of the advancements in space research and technology in order to send the first woman and person of color to the moon and the first people to Mars.

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The bill is named after Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Black teenager from Mississippi who was murdered in 1955. According to the New York Times, it makes lynching, defined as the harming or killing of an individual by a group for intimidation purposes, punishable by up to 30 years in prison(Image created by Lauren Schweighardt/Graphic Designer).

Federal hate crime bill passed and signed by President Biden

Congress has approved a bill making lynching a federal hate crime, following more than 200 previous attempts over more than 100 years, sending the legislation to be signed into law by President Biden. The bill passed the senate on March 7 with unanimous consent, meaning there was no formal vote on the legislation but no senators objected to its passage, according to the Wall Street Journal. It had previously passed the House with a vote of 422-3, with Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) opposing the measure.

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