Here and There: The World Right Now

Natural Disasters: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, causing chaos and deaths across both countries. The earthquake struck on February 6, according to “The New York Times.” It left Turkey and Syria with a death toll of 35,000 as of February 13, along with many more injured, according to Syria’s Health Ministry and The White Helmets, Syria’s civil defense group. Additionally, thousands of buildings were destroyed, or considered unstable, causing many to lose their homes. The United Nations also reported that this catastrophe affected 10.9 million people and 5.3 million of these people potentially lost their homes. 

War/Conflict: Military shoots down three unidentified flying objects after a Chinese spy balloon was brought down earlier this month

A Chinese spy balloon was spotted multiple times from January 28 to February 4, and was shot down on February 4 by a United States of America missile at around 65,000 feet. Shortly after, on February 10, a U.S. fighter jet took down an unidentified object over the waters surrounding Alaska. According to “The New York Times,” the object was not a balloon, but was about the size of a small car. The day after, another UFO was detected flying over Alaska, which was brought down by an American F-22 fighter. This object was described as small and cylindrical by a Canadian official. Finally, on February 12, another octagonal object was shot flying at 20,000 feet over Lake Huron off of Michigan. Officials are still trying to identify these objects.

War/Conflict: The war between Ukraine and Russia continues

Ukraine was assaulted by Russia, with drones, rackets, and cruise missiles, firing down on the city of Kyiv, and further destroying their infrastructure. The attack included 71 cruise missiles and seven Iran-made drones. According to “The New York Times,” these attacks have occurred in multiple areas in Ukraine, and are targeted towards civilians and civilian infrastructure. Multiple regions were put on emergency shut-down.

Education: College Board Cuts Out AP Curriculum for African American Studies

After receiving backlash from some Republican leaders, the College Board altered the curriculum for a new AP course in African American Studies. This meant cutting out many of the Black scholars associated with critical race theories, and topics such as Black feminism, queer experience, and Black Lives Matter. Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) incited the amendments to the course when he announced that he would be banning the curriculum and that, according to the “Los Angeles Times,” it had “no educational value.” Two dozen states have taken a stand against the critical race theory.

Economic Policy: Elon Musk asked to aid with Biden climate goal

Earlier this year, Elon Musk was privately asked to allow Tesla’s charging network to be used by other electrical car companies. The goal of this request was to push forward with the clean energy revolution. Tesla officials were said to remain open to the idea, but have yet to accept the offer. According to “The Washington Post,” this idea has multiple complications due to the fact that Tesla uses a different charging system than other electric cars. Although Tesla does sell adapters, the administration would still be required to deal with difficulties regarding software complications.