Summit Briefing: Week of 2/1/21

People holding signs march in Honduras.

People, mostly women, marched on Jan 25th in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to protest the country’s Congress strengthening abortion restrictions. Via CNN.

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

 By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal

1. General News: Legalization of abortion now almost impossible in Honduras, New Black Panther TV Series

Lawmakers in Honduras have officially made it very difficult to legalize abortion as of now. Congress has approved a change to the Constitution that bans any “interruption of life”. Abortion has already been banned in Honduras, and this new change to the constitution has made any future changes to the ban very hard to enact. Women’s rights activists have furiously protested against this new modification, with Merly Eguigure, part of the organization Movimiento de Mujeres por La Paz saying, “The shield law will continue to condemn poor women to practice abortion in unsafe conditions, which could lead to death on the one hand or to prison on the other.” With estimates of 50,000 to 80,000 abortions a year and a high rate of sexual assault, one has to question why abortions are banned in Honduras. Especially when having one illegally can lead to women being in a fatal state, and when a pregnancy due to an assault can be a reminder of the pain you went through. One known factor is the strong religious presence in Honduras, pressuring politicians to appeal to them. 

 

Ryan Coogler, the director of “Black Panther” has been announced to be working on a new Wakanda-based TV series by the Walt Disney Co. He and his company Proximity Media have signed a five-year contract with Walt Disney, promising the Marvel fan base at least five more years of content set in Wakanda. Executive Chairman of Walt Disney Bob Iger has said that Ryan Coogler is a “standout filmmaker” and is “looking forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.” As of now, Black Panther 2 is still happening, and this new project is not stopping it from happening. And like with Black Panther 2, the role of Black Panther will not be recast in the new TV series to honor the memory of Chadwick Boseman.

2. Covid-19: Re-infection very possible from new variants

If the new variants (Brazil, UK, South Africa) of COVID-19 become stronger than the current variants, then the chance of re-infection for many is very possible. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Disease (NIAID) has said that in South Africa, the variant is so strong that even if you did have COVID-19 before, it will not protect you from the variant. Experts have said, however, while being already infected and any current vaccines may not protect you from the new variants completely, it may very well save you from hospitalization, death or stopping the new variants from becoming even stronger.

 

Experts do still remain concerned about the new variants in the U.S, with the UK variant already spreading to multiple U.S. states. Cases of the new variants have already been identified in states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Iowa. A spokesperson for Iowa’s Department of Health has said that health officials are conducting more investigations to find more about the illness, travel history, and any possible exposures. 

 

Issuing of the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. has been slow so far, but officials do want to speed up the pace of distribution. The U.S. has had 32 million vaccines given to people across the country, with 6 million having gotten their full two doses and 26 million having gotten only one dose. Michigan and North Carolina have administered over a million doses, accompanied by Minnesota hoping to implement a new vaccine distribution plan to make them more accessible. 

 

While those who have been infected by the original COVID-19 variant are not protected against new variants, they are more protected against the variant they were already infected with. Most pre-infected people will only need one vaccine dose instead of two, experts say. The U.S. National Library of Medicine has said that they will continue to study this new finding to see whether or not this is the case for a longer period of time. This new revelation may lead to more vaccines being administered to people who are in dire need of it, as some people may only need to take half the amount they originally needed.

 

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.

3. Politics: Republican COVID-19 counter proposal, coup in Myanmar

Ten Senators, all Republican, met with President Joe Biden on COVID-19 relief last night. In the meeting, the Senators proposed a $618 billion relief package, a counter to Biden’s current $1.9 trillion plan. Their uncertainty may be due to then-president Donald Trump’s signage of a $900 relief plan into law before the end of his presidency. If the 10 senators and President Biden agree on a plan, their numbers in addition to the 50 Democrats in the Senate could create the supermajority to counter a potential filibuster. The plan would send $1,000 direct payments to people making less than $40,000 a year, plus $500 bonus checks for adults and children that depend on them, in comparison to the current plan’s $1,400 checks and increased joblessness benefits. 

 

A bargain seems increasingly unlikely. Senator Susan Collins (Republican, Maine) stated after the meeting “I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight.” She did note that the senators and Biden have agreed to further talks. 

 

On Monday, February 1st, Myanmar’s military staged a coup, overthrowing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s president. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi,  who led in partnership with the military since 2016, is currently detained with other leaders of the leading N.D.L party. The military has cited the country’s constitution, which allows them to declare a national emergency, as justification for their seizure of power. It has also stated that the state of emergency would apply for a year. The move comes after Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s landslide victory in last November’s elections, which may have caused the military to feel their power was waning.

 

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was the first democratically elected leader in decades, gaining state councilorship in 2016 and earning a Nobel Peace Prize for her work. However, she has since inspired backlash after cooperating with and defending the military’s genocidal campaign against the Rohingya, a small Muslim ethnic group. 

4. Sports: Messi Contract Leaked

Soccer (or football/fútbol) superstar Lionel Messi has been indirectly involved in some recent drama. His current contract with the club FC Barcelona has been leaked to the public by a newspaper known as El Mundo. We have learned that his current contract consists of a four-year deal for about $674 million throughout the four years, a hefty sum even for a player with a record such as Messi’s. FC Barcelona has said that they were not the ones that leaked the contract to El Mundo, and will proceed to sue the newspaper for any damage that it has caused by publicizing the private contract, along with Messi’s attorneys. Now we are left with the question of who leaked the contract and why?

 

Furthermore, Barcelona is over one billion dollars in debt, making people question how they can even pay Messi’s large contract. With that in mind, Barcelona will not be able to sign any more contracts anywhere near as big as Messi’s. However, fear not, as Barcelona is very unlikely to go bankrupt. They still pulled in more revenue than any other European soccer club, so while Barcelona’s future may not look too bright with the contract leak and a large amount of debt, they will most likely beat the obstacles ahead of them. 

5. Summit: G-chats disabled, and how to re-enable them

Last Thursday, the G-chat function within school emails was disabled due to “a security threat” earlier in the day, according to Cady Ching, Executive Director of Summit Prep. The threat remains unclear, but Cynthia Jerez Martinez of Summit K2 confirmed that the issue was one of safety. Per her email “…we will try to enable privileges as soon as is  [sic] safe to do so.” 

 

Which brings us to another question: when will the chats be enabled again, if at all? The answer to this question remains unclear as well. Chats were disabled on January 28th, and it is now February 2nd. As it is probable (and understandable) that the Summit IT team does not work on weekends, the issue may still be under investigation. Prep, K2 and Shasta have all indicated that they hope G-chat will eventually be reinstated, though Denali expressed the possibility that it could be permanent. The Summit News team, including the writers of this briefing, have moved to Slack and text. However, these programs are not accessible on school-issued Chromebooks, making communication difficult. 

 

As of today, G-chat was re-enabled for some Summit schools, including Summit Tahoma, following instructions on how to do so manually from its Executive Director.

 

That said, you may be able to turn it back on manually. To do so, click this link or complete the following steps:

  1. Go to your Gmail settings by clicking the gear on the top right of the tab (next to the “search mail” bar). Click “see all settings.” 
  2. Under the “General” tab (which you should be taken to be default), click “chat and meet.”
  3. Switch Google Chat on in the “Chat” section by clicking the circle next to “Google Chat” (it should be on “off” currently). 
  4. Click “save changes”
  5. Smile! You have G-chat again! Hopefully we’ll be able to keep it.

6. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle): Highs this week will rise until Sunday, then drop. Today’s high will be 45℉, then rise to 47℉ Weds-Thurs. Fri-Sat will be up to 50℉, then drop to 47-48℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will follow a similar pattern: today-Weds could be up to 38-39℉, Thurs 43℉, then back down to 40℉ Fri, 38-39℉ Sat-Sun, and finally 37℉ Mon. The week will be fairly cloudy: today will be rainy and Weds-Mon will be partially cloudy with the exception of Thurs, which could bring partial showers. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will continuously rise, then drop off towards the end of the week. Today-Thurs could be up to 44-45℉, Fri-Sun 48-49℉ and down to 46℉ Monday. Lows will follow a similar pattern, with today’s-Weds’ being 36-37℉, Thurs 42℉, Fri down to 40℉, Sat-Sun 36℉ and finally 34℉ Mon. This week will not be a sunny one: today will be rainy, while Weds-Mon will be partially cloudy with the exception of Thurs, which will bring partial showers. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week.

 

Sierra (Seattle): Highs this week will gradually rise then fall: today’s will be 44℉, Weds-Thurs 46℉, Fri-Sat 49℉ and down to 46-47℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will stay more clustered, with today-Weds’ being 37-38℉, Thurs’ up to 43℉, down to 39℉ Fri and finally 36-37℉ Sat-Mon. This week won’t be sunny: today will be rainy, Weds partially cloudy, Thurs partial showers, Fri cloudy and Sat-Mon partially cloudy. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week.  

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): This week’s highs will jump around but rise overall, with today’s being 59℉, Weds 54℉, Thurs 58℉, Fri 64℉, Sat 66℉, Sun 68℉ and Mon 65℉ (no abbreviations for me this week). Lows will jump around a bit more, with today’s being 41℉, Weds-Thurs 39℉, Fri 41℉, Sat-Sun 43-44℉ and Mon up to 45℉. This week will be sunny, though today will bring showers and scattered showers Weds. Soak up that sun Thurs-Mon, wear a mask, and have a good week.

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will generally rise, with today’s being 56℉, Weds’ 51℉, Thurs 55℉, Fri 60℉, Sat-Sun 62-63℉ and Mon back to 60℉. Lows will stick closer to the 40’s, with today-Weds’ being 39-40℉, Thurs 38℉, Fri-Sat 41-42℉ and Sun-Mon 43-44℉. This week will be mostly sunny, with the exception of showers today and scattered showers Weds. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

 

K2 (El Cerrito): Highs this week will rise overall, with today’s being 58℉, Weds’ 55℉, Thurs 60℉ and 63-64℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of an up to 65℉ Sun. Lows will dip midweek then come back up, with today’s being 44℉, Weds-Fri 40-41℉ and 44-45℉ Sat-Mon. This week will be sunny with the exception of Tues and Weds, which will bring scattered showers. Let’s soak up that sun Thurs-Mon, wear a mask, and have a good week.

 

Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will rise overall, with today’s being up to 57℉, Weds 54℉, Thurs 59℉ and 62-63℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of 64℉ Sun. Lows will stay in the low to mid 40’s with today’s being 44℉, Weds-Fri down to 41-42℉ and Sat-Mon back up to 44-45℉. This week will be sunny, with the exception of scattered showers today-Weds. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

 

Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range throughout the 50’s-60’s, with today’s being 56℉, Weds’ 53℉, Thurs back to 56℉, Fri 59℉, 62℉ Sat-Sun and finally back down to 60℉ Mon. Lows will stick closer to the mid-high 40’s, with today’s being 46℉, Weds-Fri 44-45℉, 46-47℉ Sat-Sun and 48℉ Mon. This week will be sunny overall, though today will bring partial showers and Weds showers. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will mostly stick in the 60’s with the exception of some 50’s early in the week: today will be up to 60℉, Tues down to 55℉, Weds back up to 59℉, 65℉ Thurs, 67-68℉ Fri-Sun and 66℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the 40’s (with the exception of Thurs) with today’s being 42℉, Weds’ 40℉, Thurs 38℉, Fri 41 and finally 43-44℉ Sat-Mon. This week will be mostly sunny with the exception of showers today and scattered showers Weds. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

7. Actions: COVID-19 relief, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene

Editor’s note: each week, I will be posting petitions to sign/actions to take to support the BLM movement, ICE detainees, and other important matters. Remember, your voice counts, so use it.

 

  • Sign this petition to urge Congress to pass more COVID-19 relief measures
  • Sign this petition to urge your Senator specifically to support President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill
  • Sign the MoveOn and Women’s March petition to remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnnon conspiracy theorist who has called school shootings a “false flag” from Congress. As MoveOn notes, “Back in 2019, Republicans removed Rep. Steve King of Iowa from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees in response to his support for white nationalists.” His removal has set a precedent that supports this action. 

 

  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.

 

  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category

 

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