In the News 9/19

In+the+News+9%2F19

Noa Davies and Hadley Schwall

Hurricane Fiona Devastates Puerto Rico

Hurricane Fiona has made its way across the Dominican Republic and into Puerto Rico, and has strengthened to a Category 2 Storm. Officials in the eastern provinces of the Dominican Republic said that heavy rain and 90-mile-per-hour winds created mudslides that damaged resorts and highways. In Puerto Rico, 30 inches of rain fell in some places, leaving more than 1.3 people without power and more than 2,000 housed in shelters. Fiona is expected to pass near the islands of Turks and Caicos in the coming days. President Biden approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico; the move authorized federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

 

Queen Elizabeth Buried Beside Husband

Britain’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was buried beside Prince Philip, her late husband, on Monday.  Her coffin, topped with flowers and the queen’s crown, orb, and scepter, was carried by the Royal Navy from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey. At Westminster Abbey, 2,000 people waited for the State Funeral Service; the funeral was larger than Winston Churchill’s. After a procession and a number of stops, Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was lowered into the royal vault at Windsor Castle.

 

Judge Vacates Murder Conviction of Adnan Syed 

In 1999, 17-year-old Adnan Syed was convicted of strangling his classmate (once girlfriend) Mae Min Lee, whose body was found buried in a park in Baltimore. The now 41-year-old Mr. Syed has maintained his innocence for 24 years. On September 19th, 2022, Mr. Syed walked out of prison a free man as the judge vacated his murder conviction. Key pieces of evidence have been found that had both failed to be turned over during Mr. Syed’s trial were recently found. This evidence includes an indication that someone else had threatened Ms. Lee as well as a different person relaying information that could have been seen as a motive to harm Ms. Lee. The failure of the prosecutor to turn over this information during the trial calls into question the Supreme Court ruling in 1963, Brady v. Maryland, which obligates prosecutors to prove their adversaries with any evidence that could be constructed as favorable to the accused. In the next 30 days, prosecutors will decide where they will proceed with a new trial or drop the charges against Mr. Syed.

 

Donald Trump Holds Ohio Rally, Plays Song Similar to QAnon Theme

On Saturday, September 17, former US President Donald Trump held a political rally in Ohio in which he played a song that has been reported to have sounded similar to a QAnon theme song. A large portion of the crowd responded to the song by holding up one finger. Some report that the playing of the song is a sign that Trump is embracing QAnon more than ever before. QAnon is a movement of far-right conspiracy theorists who generally believe that a group of child-trafficking, Satanic Democrats conspired against Trump while he held the presidency. Trump’s aides denied claims that the song played was a QAnon theme song.