Weekend Recap: Volume 21
It’s the start of a new week.
This weekend was full of celebration, happiness, love & laughter for most.
Like many, I gathered with my family this weekend for the holidays. While I was enjoying quality time with my family, it dawned on me how fortunate I am and how different my current circumstances could be.
For some, this holiday season has been difficult.
Globally, 80 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 1.76 million dying from the virus.
Thousands celebrated the holidays for the first time without loved ones who have died from COVID. Not to mention the millions of people who couldn’t celebrate the way they normally would or at all because of the financial hardships the pandemic has caused.
Thinking about all this led me to write:
Dealing with the holiday season
Despite being a holiday weekend, the news didn’t stop.
Let’s do a recap.
Nashville Christmas Bombing
Law enforcement has named who they think is responsible for the Nashville Christmas morning bombing. Authorities have concluded that 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner blew himself up in his RV early Christmas morning in downtown Nashville, after playing a pre-recorded audio that warned a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes.
Three people have died and three are injured following the incident, with the bulk of the damage affecting an AT&T building. Several systems over the state of Tennesse and Kentucky were interrupted following the attack including cell sites and police emergency systems. It is unclear how many were affected by the outages.
AT&T reported on Sunday evening that 75% of cell sites have been restored.
Warner’s name was released to the media, after it was reported that law enforcement was seen at home in Antioch, Tennesse 10 miles from the bomb site, on Saturday evening.
Some neighbors called Warner a “recluse” who mostly kept to himself.
The motive behind the attack is still unclear, law enforcement has not ruled out the possibility that the AT&T building was the target.
Stimulus Check OTW
After previously refusing, President Trump has finally signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package on Sunday evening, preventing a massive government shutdown.
Before Trump signed, Sunday at midnight millions of Americans lost their unemployment benefits when the deadline expired without President Trump’s signature on the bill.
Initially, this COVID-19 relief and spending bill was passed easily in Congress, with both houses expecting President Trump’s approval. At the last minute, President Trump refused to sign the bill, demanding it is changed. Specifically to increase COVID-19 relief checks from $600 to $2000.
President Trump eventually signed the bill Sunday evening at his private club in Florida, after both Democrats and Republicans criticized his refusal to sign.
Had President Trump not signed the bill, a government shutdown would’ve happened on Tuesday at midnight.
A new form of COVID-19
Just as COVID-19 vaccinations are getting underway, medical professionals have begun to warn the public about a new form of the coronavirus, that potentially more easily transmitted than the strain that initially caused the global pandemic.
Several countries have begun to take safety measures to prevent the spread of the new strain, which is thought to have originated in the UK.
Japan has issued a travel ban, preventing foreign nationals from entering the country starting Monday until January 30th.
The U.S also announced they will require all travelers from the UK to show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding any flight to the U.S.
No black women in the Senate
With soon to be Vice President Kamala Harris heading to D.C in just a few weeks, there will be no black women in the senate in 2021.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory in the 2020 presidential election, left California Governor Gavin Newsom with the duty of filling Harris’ Senate seat.
Harris was only the second black woman to serve as a U.S Senator, the first being former Senator Carol Moseley Braun from 1993-1999.
Before Governor Newson announced that Alex Padilla, his secretary of state, would fill the seat, many were pushing for a diverse pick, specifically a woman of color.
Freedom of Speech
Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for her reports on the pandemic early on.
Zhan was detained in May after the articles, YouTube videos, and other information she shared with the public painted a completely different picture of the coronavirus than the Chinese government was portraying.
The Chinese government is accusing Zhan of
picking quarrels and provoking trouble
Zhang is the first journalist to be charged & sentenced, but she is not the only one who has spoken out with a similar message.
Several journalists have gone missing in the months after reporting on the current state of COVID-19 in the country.
Others including whistleblowers, doctors, nurses have been warned about speaking about.