May 2020 — CANVAS

Weekly Report May 29 2020

Coronavirus After U.S. President Donald Trump reported that he has been using hydroxychloroquine, an antimalaria drug, to keep him from contracting COVID-19, “prescriptions surged 2,000% in March.” However, scientists have stated that coronavirus patients who take the drug actually have a higher risk of death than those who do not take it. Users have a higher chance of developing heart issues, and the Food and Drug Administration has warned that hydroxychloroquine should not be used because of its “serious side effects, including muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia.”     United States Black Lives Matter: After a video of a police officer killing an unarmed African American man surfaced online, Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets demanding justice for the deceased party. The protests were initially peaceful until police used tear gas to disperse the crowds; there have also been reports of police firing rubber bullets at protesters. The protests have evolved into riots; buildings are being set on fire, including police precincts, and stores are being looted. The riots have ensued for four days and show no signs of slowing down.  President Donald Trump tweeted about the looting and stated that the military stands with the city; the National Guard has also gotten involved. Trump also tweeted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter has since flagged the tweet because it violates “policies regarding the glorification of violence.”  The officer responsible for Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin, as well as the three other officers at the scene, has been fired. Lawmakers, politicians, and protesters are demanding that Chauvin be arrested and tried for murder.  The murder of...

Weekly Report May 22 2020

Coronavirus Global attention has shifted towards finding a COVID-19 vaccine, the key step in allowing many countries to return to normal. One vaccine that China is developing passed the crucial test of being able to neutralize antibodies in test patients. However, other health officials remain skeptical that the very nature of the virus is not suited to vaccines. U.S. President Donald Trump said that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to combat the disease and encouraged others to do so as well. However, a recent study shows that when administered to patients, it causes more deaths.   China A proposed Chinese law went before Parliament today in an attempt to limit Hong Kong’s opposition activity. The law has been set into motion. Under the title Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanism of Hong Kong, the bill could “ban sedition, secession, and subversion.” Already, the international backlash has been strong, as China is sidestepping Hong Kong’s own lawmaking body to limit their freedom of protest.   Hong Kong Lawmakers in Hong Kong are mourning the passing of the new Chinese security law, as this most likely marks the “end of [the] homeland.” The law allows China to “sidestep the territory’s own legislative body to crack down on activity Beijing considers subversive.” Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, has expressed her approval of the law because of the increase in violence over the past year. She believes that the law ensures the safety of citizens.    Iran After years of heightened tensions, Iran’s relationship with the United States is seemingly on the mend. Iran has chosen to support Iraq’s new pro-American prime...

Weekly Report May 15 2020

Coronavirus Rick Bright, the American coronavirus whistle-blower, addressed Congress and openly criticized the government’s slow response to COVID-19. Bright stated that the United States is lacking a vaccine plan and warned that the “US could face [the] ‘darkest winter in modern history’ if leaders don’t act quickly.” He received emails in January concerning the lack of N95 masks – one of them said that “We’re in deep s***. The world is. And we need to act.” Bright believes that he was removed from a coveted scientific post because he shared all of this information with Trump’s administration and was issuing warnings about the pandemic.   Hong Kong  A violent confrontation between more than 200 pro-democracy protesters and Hong Kong authorities this past Sunday. The protest originated in a shopping mall but quickly overflowed on to the streets. Several hundred riot police arrived on the scene and violently dispersed the crowd. Bystanders took videos that “showed protesters being subdued on the ground, scuffles and people bleeding.”    China Outbreak: Five new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Wuhan, creating the first small cluster “to emerge since the end of the strict lockdown.” A few of the newest cases were classified as asymptomatic, which China does not include in its reports of confirmed cases.  Military: As the world continues to battle the novel coronavirus, “China has intensified a campaign of military and diplomatic pressure against Taiwan.” Chinese forces have reportedly been occupying the “median line of the Taiwan Strait” and flying over the border with fighter aircraft.    Syria  Both the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO)...

Weekly Report May 8 2020

Coronavirus In a recent discovery, researchers have found that the coronavirus “can persist in men’s semen even after they have begun to recover.” Professionals have yet to confirm whether or not the virus can be transmitted sexually, but studies will be taking place in the near future. There are also plans to further research fetal development and whether or not the virus can cause birth defects.    Venezuela  Coup: Two American veterans were arrested on Monday after a failed “raid purportedly aimed at capturing the socialist leader” President Nicolás Maduro. Venezuelan politicians are blaming the United States and Colombia for the raid, saying that both governments were somehow involved in the “defeated raid.” Over 300 people were involved, and several people were killed by security forces. One of the American detainees has already claimed responsibility for the failed coup.  Riot: At least 40 people died after a prison riot erupted in central Venezuela on May 1st. The riot originally began as a peaceful protest led by inmates at Llanos Penitentiary Center who were asking that their visiting family members be allowed to bring them food. Human rights groups have been concerned with violence and overcrowding at Venezuelan prisons.     Iraq ISIS: On Sunday night, ISIS targeted several different Iraqi areas hitting tribal Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and a local administrator, resulting in the death of three men. The PMF “organized a unit alongside the Iraqi army and police to raid the site resulting in four deaths and five injuries” following the attack. As a result of ISIS’s ambush, Iraq’s government declared that a military operation would be going after...

Weekly Report May 1 2020

Coronavirus More information about remdesivir, a possible COVID-19 treatment that we have covered in the past, has surfaced this past week. The drug will most likely “become the ‘standard of care’ for all infected patients,” but it will not prevent death nor will it be “widely accessible to the public.” Despite these downfalls, the research has provided health care professionals with hope “that a drug can indeed have an impact on COVID-19.”    Hong Kong  Researchers believe that they have “developed an antiviral coating which could provide 90 days of ‘significant’ protection against bacteria and viruses such as the one causing COVID-19.” The coating has been tested and developed over the past ten years and will be available in stores across Honk Kong next month.    Sudan Land Dispute: The head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council acknowledged for the first time that Ethiopian forces are in control of Sudanese territory on the border between the two countries. The agricultural lands that separate Sudan from Ethiopia have been disputed for many years, and Sudanese troops were deployed to defend it earlier this year.  Human Rights: The Sudanese government has decided to criminalize female genital mutilation, a medical practice that has affected 65% of all Sudanese women in 2018. In the past, Sudan has been considered “one of the worst countries for women’s rights.” The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked that all community groups and civil society organizations add to the effort to put an end to female genital mutilation after a “special article” is “added to the country’s criminal law.”    North Korea As rumors of leader Kim Jong-Un’s...