Leo Brian Schafer
Catholic Values Columnist
New York requires COVID testing before entering border
In an Oct. 31 press conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all visitors to the state must test negative for COVID-19 before attempting entry into the state. The new guidelines represent a uniform policy for the entire country, rather than regulations targeting solely COVID-19 hotspots. Previous guidelines regulated arrivals from hotspot areas, defined as states with a case rate of higher than 10 for every 10,000 people, and required arrivals from those areas to self-quarantine for two weeks upon entry into the state. With the upcoming Thanksgiving season, the governor said he is wary of outbreaks stemming from family gatherings with out-of-state residents.
US officially leaves Paris Climate Agreement
Wednesday, Nov. 4, marks the day when the United States leaves the Paris Climate Agreement. This action was a key pillar of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign platform. Trump says that continued participation in the accords will disproportionally affect the American economy, costing over 2.5 million jobs, while leaving other major producers such as China relatively unscathed. The upcoming withdrawal has been promised since Trump’s inauguration in 2017, but due to the specifics of the agreement, that has been prevented until now. The withdrawal happens the day after the U.S. general election, where Trump seeks to win a second four-year term.
New York Mets sold
The Wilpon family has sold the New York Mets to 64-year-old investment billionaire Steve Cohen, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The sale pins the value of the franchise at roughly $2.5 billion and was approved by the MLB and its owners on Oct. 30. The Wilpon family had received criticism in recent months for reported mismanagement of the team and an overall failure to produce on-field success. Cohen, who has a reported net worth of over $15 billion, has been a part of the ownership group since 2009, when former financial adviser Bernard Madoff was convicted of running a pyramid scheme. The Wilpons were victims of Madoff and were forced to liquidate some of their equity in the Mets in order to stay afloat.
Poland effectively outlaws abortion
On Oct. 22, the Polish Supreme Court — the highest judicial authority in the country — ruled that children could not be aborted for the sole reason of some congenital defect, such as Down’s Syndrome. This furthers the nation’s already stringent laws regarding abortion. Currently, abortions are only allowed when a pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or is the result of some crime, such as rape or incest. Massive public protests have followed daily since the ruling, despite a stark rise in the country’s cases of COVID-19. Poland stands as one of the world’s most Catholic countries, and the ruling has widespread domestic support. However, it has been criticized by women’s rights organizations and the European Union, of which Poland is a member.
3 killed during Mass in Nice, France
Three parishioners at a basilica in Nice, France, were killed during Mass on Oct. 29, amid a greater spate of radical Islamic violence in the country. Vincent Loques, 55, a volunteer usher; Simone Barreto Silva, 44, a wife and mother; and an unnamed 60-year-old woman had been attending Mass when Tunisian Brahim Aouissaoui overcame the police at the door of the church and killed the victims using a 7-inch knife. Aouissaoui later was encountered by police and, after a squabble, was shot and wounded. He was reportedly shouting Islamic slogans during the fight.
‘James Bond’ passes away at age 90
Acclaimed British actor Sean Connery, the first actor to portray James Bond on screen, died on Oct. 31, aged 90. Connery, who also appeared in “The Hunt for Red October,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “A Bridge Too Far,” won an Academy Award for his role in “The Untouchables.” He received an honorary knighthood from the queen of England in 2000. Connery passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in the Bahamas. The cause of death is unknown.