Leo Brian Schafer
Catholic Values Columnist
Joe Biden projected to win 2020 presidential election
Major news outlets have called the 2020 presidential election in favor of 78-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden claimed victory against incumbent President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede, citing widespread allegations of voter fraud. Lawsuits regarding the issue are currently underway in several states and manual recounts are being undergone in Wisconsin and Georgia. Writs of election have not yet been issued to the electors tasked with voting for the next president, nor have any official results been declared. The states’ electors will meet in their state capitols on Dec. 14 to officially elect the next president. In other news, rapper Kanye West received 60,000 votes nationwide and has signaled that he will run again in 2024.
American COVID-19 vaccines show promise in final stage before acceptance
Pharmaceutical giants Moderna and Pfizer have released the results of their COVID-19 vaccine human trials. The vaccines show incredible promise, with 95% and 90% success rates, respectively. Both vaccines still await federal approval before being distributed to the general population, but millions of doses have been ordered, produced and shipped awaiting that final step. Current plans are for the elderly and immunocompromised to receive the vaccine first, and the general population later, according to production schedules.
Details emerge on joint US-Israeli mission in Iran
U.S. and Israeli officials are claiming joint responsibility for the Aug. 7 assassination of Abu Mohammed al-Masri, the No. 2 officer of terror group al-Qaeda in Tehran, the capital of Iran. The Mossad, Israel’s counterpart to the CIA, acted on U.S. information in the operation and dealt a stinging blow to the organization, which orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on U.S. commerce and government. The action strains Israel-Iran relations in an age where Israel is seeking greater recognition from surrounding countries.
Vatican releases report on sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal McCarrick
The Vatican has released its long-awaited formal report on the decades of allegations against defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Detailed in the report are McCarrick’s actions from the time he was a seminarian up until his resignation as archbishop of Washington in 2006 and his laicization in 2019. The report has created a stir in the Catholic world as it details the widespread coverups of the American Church and misinformation delivered to the highest levels of the Church.
North Korea seeks to tackle smoking epidemic
The Kingdom of North Korea is seeking to curb its widespread problem with smoking, the World Health Organization said. According to preliminary data, half of the country’s male population smokes. Domestic authorities have attempted in recent years to drop this number with no success. However, a new law recently introduced rules that all domestic authorities must act to protect the lives and health of the citizens and tightens restrictions on the production and sale of tobacco products. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is a frequent consumer of cigarettes and is often seen with a lit cigarette in hand in public appearances.
Lewis Hamilton captures 7th Formula One world title
With his victory at the Turkish Grand Prix, British Lewis Hamilton has won his record tying seventh Formula One world title. The victory was his 94th career win, also a record. Hamilton is regarded by many as the greatest racing driver of all time and has won essentially every laud and honor available to him. His Mercedes team has won every championship since 2015 in the most dominant stretch by any team in the history of the sport.