Here and There: The World Right Now

Sports: FIFA World Cup Round of 16 Comes to a Close 

The end of the group stage of the FIFA World Cup left eight competing teams, according to the Associated Press. Numerous unsets occurred during the competition’s first stage, along with six scoreless draws. The countries moving up to the quarter finals are: France, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Netherlands, England, Morocco and Portugal. Even countries that did not advance had notable matches, such as Japan’s victory over Germany, despite the pair’s difference in rank. 

World Issues: Ongoing Covid-19 Lockdowns Spark Protests in China

Protests are arising in China following weeks of harsh Covid-19 regulations, with some even condemning the government on a larger scale, according to The New York Times. However, the Chinese government has employed police forces to remove protestors from the streets. The recent protests continue to have significant effects in China as well as the entire world. Some other major goals of the demonstrations have been towards efforts to nationally recognize the independence of Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

War/Conflict: Russian-Ukrainian War Continues 

According to CNN, Russia is still pushing further into Ukraine, taking control of territory and causing many fatalities. Ukraine, suffering the effects of an over-nine-month war, remains partially annexed by Russia and searching for an end to conflict and the multitudinous war crimes that have come with it, while also looking to reclaim the territory under Russian occupation. According to The New York Times, in an effort to lower Russian oil profit, Europe has instated on it a price cap of sixty dollars per barrel, though Russia has claimed they will ignore it and keep on selling their oil at the same price they would have otherwise. Most recently, Ukraine has climbed onto the offensive to an extent, sending drones to retaliate against Russian control.

Natural Disaster: Hawaiian Volcano Erupts for First Time in Thirty-Eight Years

Mauna Loa, situated on Hawaii’s largest island, globally speaking the most sizable active volcano, is still in the process of erupting according to The New York Times and Fox News. This eruption began one week ago, and it is the volcano’s first eruption after thirty-eight years. Many scientists consider such eruptions great opportunities for a deeper dive into understanding volcanoes and controlling the havoc they sometimes wreak on human populations. Mauna Loa’s volcanic history has been active, yet recently not so, at least not comparatively speaking; from the year 1950 onward, it has erupted a mere three times, while from 1843 to 1950, it erupted a grand total of thirty times.

International Conflict: Iran Abolishes Morality Police

After much protest, Iranian officials have declared that they will do away with the country’s morality police, who are meant to keep in place laws and rules regarding clothing. According to The New York Times, roughly four hundred and fifty people have died as a cause of these regulations. Protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after violating the country’s strict dress code, and have been happening since September. The protests appear to have reached a milestone in ridding the country of the morality police, who uphold these dress codes, although the world remains uncertain about whether the statement will lead to real legal change. 

Politics: Former President Donald Trump Criticizes the Constitution 

Donald Trump has criticized the Constitution ahead of his 2024 campaign for president. After a Twitter employee published images showing the company’s internal decision to censor information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election, Trump took to the platform to express his reaction. He called for a “termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution” in the face of what he deemed a “Massive Fraud.” Due to historical precedent and legal direction for the role that Presidents undertake, many people are finding this to be a controversial statement. According to the New York Times, Trump’s statements have been rejected by some members of his party, although many Republican politicians have remained silent on the issue.