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Headlines of April

By Freya Constable

 

Since the beginning, the world has been a busy place, but our new reality with this pandemic has made it seem much more so. We’re holding onto the hope that the warmer and sunnier weather is approaching and with it some more of the good news. Of course, reporting on both the good and the bad news is equally important so that we can educate ourselves properly. Here is a rundown of the current events from April. 

 

Coronavirus Updates

At the beginning of the month, Italy released a decree stating that all workers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors must get the vaccine. They will be reassigned to an area with no direct patient contact if it is refused. Hungary reported its worst pandemic day, despite the coming vaccines. The President of Argentina tested positive for the virus. Although it has been a while since the vaccination rollouts, it is predicted that countries in Latin America will still face tough times ahead. Canada made a statement saying that the majority of their cases are variants of the original strain. The new strain targets younger people, and because of this data, there is now a stay-at-home order affecting more than 14 million residents in Ontario. A statement has been released from the EU drug regulator saying that the side effects of blood clots in the AstraZeneca vaccine are ‘rare’ and ‘unusual’ and that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Protests broke out after a curfew was set in Montreal. Pakistan has announced that because the government vaccine rollout is delayed because of slow shipment, the private market for vaccines will be opening. Both the EU and South Africa have paused the rollout of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after blood clot reports. Hundreds of people in India’s Haridwar tested positive for the virus. Denmark has stopped the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines after reports of blood clots. Canada is not doing well hospital-wise and the variant in the UK is spreading fast despite vaccines. There have been 3 million deaths globally and over 140 million cases, which have doubled in the last 2 months. India will have the vaccine offered to those aged 18 and over by the end of May. The US will be voting on the blood clotting issue with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine later. Hospitals collapsed under pressure in India over the new variant gaining momentum. It has reported 1 million cases in the past 3 days and the death toll has risen over 2,600 in just one day. Israel has had its first day with no reported cases and is doing extremely well in the vaccine rollout. 

 

Tokyo Olympic Games Updates

The Olympic Games, held every four years and set to be held between the dates of July 23rs to August 8th of this summer. It was set to be held at around the same time last year, but it was postponed because of the pandemic. North Korea has stated they will not be attending due to pandemic-related reasons. 

 

European Super League

Most of Europe’s biggest teams went through with the initiative to break away and form their own league. However, it failed to be continued, with a large number of the participating teams withdrawing in the first 48 hours after the announcement. The League initially consisted of 20 teams, of which there were 15 permanent and 12 founding clubs. Manchester City was the first to back out, after hearing that Chelsea was making plans to do so. The four remaining premier league teams who had joined – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have followed that example. Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid have also withdrawn. 

 

Derek Chauvin is found guilty

A jury of the United States has found the police officer who murdered Geroge Floyd, named Derek Chauvin, guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. He is currently in custody and his sentencing is likely to occur in the coming months. He is expected to appeal against the verdict. The other three officers that were involved will be facing trials in aiding-and-abetting his charges. The trial lasted three weeks, with the jury, comprised of 12 jurors, taking less than a day to come to their verdict. Hundreds gathered outside the courthouse in celebration of the verdict. 

 

Violence erupts in Northern Ireland

Unionists have been celebrating 100 years of the union between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. However, tensions have arisen between Unionists – those in favour of the union – and Loyalists – those against the union and in favour of that between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – over those past years. Recently, riots and protests have erupted. It is hard to define the meaning behind the eruptions, as there could be many contributing factors. When Great Britain left the European Union in 2016, the division between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland became greater, with a harsher border named the “Irish Sea Border”. There have been protests since the 29th of March. It is not clear if the protests were instigated by a particular group of people, but many assume it could have been by loyalist groups, as it occurred in a densely populated loyalist area. 

 

Egypt seizes stuck ship

The ship named ‘Ever Given’ had been stuck in the Suez canal for about a week last month and was seized by Egypt on the 14th of April. The ship has been arrested for a bill of $900, to which the owner of the ship has appealed to. The bill was compensation for the amount of traffic and the cargo affected, ruled the Egyptian court.