In the News 4/14


Maroon Staff

Here’s a look into the events that have happened in the past week.

Neha Nayakkar

Wikimedia Commons

Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed by the Senate

This past week, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. In late February, President Biden nominated Jackson to be the first black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Her nomination came in response to the announcement that Justice Stephen G. Breyer would be retiring. Since Jackson’s nomination, she has been criticized by Republicans. Senator Josh Hawley has been outspoken in his criticism of Jackson, calling into question Jackson’s reportedly light sentences towards child sexual abuse offenders, but Hawley’s claims have thus been debunked. The Senate voted 53-to-47 in favor of confirming Jackson (with a majority of the votes Democratic). The vote signaled a bipartisan rejection of the Republican Party’s attempts to paint Jackson in a negative light. Her confirmation makes history as she is the first black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.


Finland and Sweden Under Pressure to Join NATO Because of War in Ukraine

Earlier in the year, the war in Ukraine prompted debates over whether NATO’s Article 5 should be initiated in regards to the probability of conflict occurring in the NATO member nations. Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin has previously insisted that she would not have Finland join NATO. But on April 2nd, she discussed the possibility of joining NATO with the Finnish public. Marin said that “Russia is not the neighbor we thought it was.” The Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, also talked about the possibility of joining NATO – contingent on the results of Finland. Finnish officials tried to explain that joining NATO is solely based on Finland being forced to “rethink the fundamentals” and the nation’s relationship with Russia. With the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining NATO seeming more likely, Kremlin officials stated on Thursday that Russian strategy would have to change.


Will Smith Banned from Oscars for 10 years

The repercussions of Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock at the Oscars have been announced. The Academy’s president, David Rubin, and chief executive, Dawn Hudson, described Smith’s behavior as being “unacceptable.” Academy spokespeople said that Will Smith will be able to win Oscars, but he is not able to attend them. The Academy went on to commend Chris Rock’s “​​composure under extraordinary circumstances.”


Infections of COVID BA.2 Omicron Variant Rise in New York

In early 2022, scientists discovered a new subvariant of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Since its discovery, infections have increased. Spencer Fox, associate director of the University of Texas’s COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, recounts how the situation is “reminiscent of the alpha wave…[as] many people were worried [it] would cause a major spring wave…but only registered as a blip on our decline…” However, considering the lack of COVID precautions currently, some believe that the more transmissible subvariant could spread quickly. Now that there is no mask mandate in New York public schools, should we fear a spike?