Here and There: The World Right Now

Leaked Supreme Court Draft Indicates Favor of Overturning Roe vs Wade
On May 2, journalism company Politico released a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion written earlier in February, disclosing five conservative-leading Supreme Court Justices’ votes to strike down Roe vs. Wade. The opinion moves to refute the 1973 court ruling, which assured federal constitualional protection of abortion rights, and was later reinforced with Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. If overturned, abortion laws will be placed under state jurisdiction; 13 U.S. states have already implemented trigger laws, which will immediately make abortion illegal if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

12.3 Million Syrian children in Need of Aid
A record-breaking 12.3 million Syrian children have fled to neighboring countries and are in need of resources, assistance, and aid, reported Al Jazeera. The war in Syria, which is said to have begun in 2011, has killed an estimate of at least half a million people and displaced millions more in search of refuge. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a recent statement commenting on how the organization has received less than half of its funding requirements for this year, leaving millions of children without basic necessities. The organization spoke on the matter, saying that “the children have suffered for far too long and should not suffer any longer,” according to the United Nations (UN).

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Protests Over Economic Crisis
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, resigned this past Monday, May 2, as a result of weeks of civil unrest and protest against his government. Since declaring independence from Britain in 1948, The Cable News Network (CNN) reported that the country has been facing the worst economic crisis due to the government’s mishandling of funds. The current government created a bankrupt nation. In response to the rising uproar, Rajapaksa tendered his resignation from his role in the government in an effort to form a united, interim, all-party government.

Climate change: ‘Fifty-fifty Chance’ of Breaching 1.5C Warming Limit
According to a recent analysis, the United Kingdom met office researchers have predicted that over the next five years, there is a 50 percent chance—the highest likelihood recorded yet—we could witness a temperature increase of over 1.5 degrees celsius, with a warmest record year before 2026. Currently, carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses are at an all time high. This analysis follows after political leaders signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which committed the world to keeping the rise in global temperatures well below 2C while pursuing efforts to keep them under 1.5C.

Taiwan Moving Away from ‘Zero COVID’
The “New York Times” reports that Taiwan, as of Tuesday, May 3, is moving to a new Covid-19 reaction model. Chen Shih-ching, Taiwan’s health minister, stated at a news briefing that he expected Covid-19 to become more ‘flu-like’ in nature. Though cases have somewhat surged with the new Omicron variant, the Taiwanese government has reduced the amount of days of quarantine and is now starting to allow asymptomatic cases to isolate at home. The new model looks to redirect resources to focus more on protecting the most vulnerable populations, like older adults and those with underlying conditions, while simultaneously putting more emphasis on vaccinations.

Putin Stands by Invasion of Ukraine in Victory Day Address
The Victory Day address, held annually on May 9, marks the celebration of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII. This year, President Putin utilized his Victory Day Address to stand by his actions regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to “The New York Times,” Putin defended the decision by falsely depicting his actions as an extension to fight Nazism in Europe. Putin stated that the Russian population could continue living their lives and made no proclamation of when he wanted the war to escalate or when he would possibly withdraw. In response to the speech, President Zelensky of Ukraine stated that it was the Russian figurehead that was in fact “repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler’s regime today.”