News Briefs

Stanley Colaço
Staff Writer


Democrats pass infrastructure bill after months long debate

Democrats passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Friday, Nov. 5, that contains over 10 different infrastructure goals. Some of these goals include airports, increasing internet availability and strength and the railroad system. After months of debate, the main reason for the bill’s passage was the delayal of the social spending section of the bill. For this reason six progressive Democrats, all who wanted the inclusion of social spending, refused to support the measure while 13 Republicans crossed party lines to support Democrats in the passage of the bill. After a scary election for the Democrats, featuring the breaking of a two-year Democrat trifecta in Virginia and a narrow margin of victory for Democrat Gov. Philip Murphy in New Jersey, a state that voted overwhelmingly for Biden, Democrats pushed hard to pass this bill to garner public support for their party.

Trump insinuates presidential announcement based on 2022 midterms

Donald Trump announced Monday that his insinuated run for the 2024 presidential election will depend on the 2022 elections. After the announcement, various Republican legislators and politicians teased their own campaigns’ support or lack of support for Trump if he decides to run again. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley both plan on running if Trump doesn’t run for the Republican seat. In the party, some politicians voiced support and garnered excitement for a return of Trump to the White House. Others, like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, warned of loss for the party, stating that if Trump doesn’t move beyond the 2020 election, running in 2024 would be harmful.

US lifts travel ban on international visitors

This Monday, the U.S. released a list of countries that will now have open travel with the U.S. After a ban on travel lasting a year and a half, this is the first major announcement of easing travel restrictions for leisure. The main countries that will have access are Mexico, Canada and most of Europe. The expectations of this change in policy mostly rest on the airline and travel industry, which have suffered major losses throughout the pandemic. There will be a vaccine mandate for travelers, with a $35,000 fee for noncompliance.


French archbishop claims seal of confession does not apply to violence against minors

After the French government released a report detailing clergy abuse, French Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort announced that the “veil of secrecy” over the Catholic sacrament of confession should be lifted in order to combat the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Church. The comment was a reverse of the same archbishop stating earlier that the veil would not be broken. “The scope of the violence and sexual assaults against minors revealed by the report demands that the Church revise its practices in light of this reality,” Moulins-Beaufort said.

Palestinian activists hacked by Israeli spyware

Non-profit Frontline Defenders alongside Amnesty International and the University of Toronto’s citizen lab announced Monday findings that the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group had been tracking via spyware the phones and communication of six Palestinian human rights activists. The activists, who haven’t been convicted of terroristic threats or crimes against the Israeli state, say they feel dehumanized and attacked. While some of the hacked people have chosen to not reveal their names, Amnesty International has vetted all of them, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen.

Chinese cold causes worry over food supply, energy

Years of plummeting temperatures in northeastern China continue to worsen alongside an increase in precipitation. In one of the most densely populated regions of the world, this could be fatal. One hundred ninety sections of highways were closed down and schools were shut down, showing that the Chinese government is taking the problem harshly. This comes shortly after Chinese president Xi Jinping attempted to garner trust in China’s infrastructure while the Chinese Communist Party meets in Beijing.