Summit Briefing: Week of 3/22/21

A person at a protest.

A person at a protest after the deadly March 16th Atlanta spa shootings (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters. Via ABC News)

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal

 

 Note: Though the Weekly Briefings are no longer tagged in the Opinions section of Summit News and we try to remain as unbiased as possible, our opinions may show through in this article, especially in the “Actions” section.  

 

 

1. Summit: The negative impacts of virtual school

With all Summit schools currently online, the vast majority of us have experienced the effects of virtual school in some way or another. In the article “Virtual School is Shown to Have Negative Impact on Students”, staff writer Nikhil Shah examines these effects through a survey of Denali students as well as CDC studies. The majority of students felt that their social skills have been harmed due to the pandemic, with a Gunn High School student stating “You lose so much information when communicating online.” 

 

For those of you struggling, I’d highly recommend virtual game nights with friends through Jackbox or Scribblio, or perhaps movie nights through screen share on Zoom. It’s not a replacement for getting together in person, but at least it’s something. 

 

2. General News: Shootings in Boulder, shootings in Atlanta, The Royal Family and racial divides

Yesterday, ten people were shot in a rampage at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Suspected gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa is currently in custody. A motive has yet to be determined. 

 

Eight people, six of them Asian women, were killed in a connected series of shootings last Tuesday the 16th at three Atlanta, Georgia spas. Suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, was captured fairly soon after. Though Mr. Long holds that the attacks were motivated by a sex addiction as opposed to race, claiming that the women at the spa were “sources of temptation,” many note that Asian women are often hypersexualized. Elaine Kim told ABC News: “I think it’s likely that the killer not only had a sex addiction but also an addiction to fantasies about Asian women as sex objects.” The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University has found that anti-Asian hate crimes have increased 149% from 2019-2020. Meanwhile, the group Stop AAPI Hate found that women report such incidents 2.3 times more than men

 

Related: Mario González, husband of shooting victim Delaina Young, was handcuffed and detained for four hours, or until Robert Aaron Long was identified as the likely perpetrator. 

 

Since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s March 7th interview with Oprah Winfrey, a reckoning has occurred in Britain, in particular on race divisions in the country. Ms. Markle revealed that an unnamed member of the royal family “asked how dark their unborn child’s skin would be” while Prince Harry, when asked whether racism was a factor in the couple’s decision to move to America, stated “it was a large part of it.” In a Guardian article, three British women explore how Ms. Markle’s treatment by both the Royal Family and the press relates to the treatment of Black British residents. Natasha Mulenga explained that “I think a big part of why Meghan is not liked is that she’s not a weak-willed woman. I think she almost embodies the black woman that they fear. The black woman who uses her own voice and the black woman who takes control of her own narrative.”

 

3. Covid-19: AstraZeneca Vaccine, New Surge in Cases May Happen

The Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine has shown to have a 79% efficacy in combating common symptoms of the virus and a 100% efficacy with severe ones. It also has an 80% efficacy rate in people that are 65 years or older. In a recent test run, the company said that the vaccine was “well-tolerated” and posed “no safety concerns.” The President of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals business, Ruud Dobber, said that they plan on applying for emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration at the beginning of April.

 

Earlier this month, many European countries stopped the distribution of this vaccine because of the reports of blood clotting post-vaccination. However, an investigation led by the European Medicines Agency proved this to be false, and that the vaccine was “safe and effective”. If the vaccine is approved emergency use authorization, it will be the fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in the U.S.

 

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky has stated that there may be another national surge in COVID-19 cases, similar to the one in Europe. As guidelines and measures are continuing to be relaxed, a surge is even more likely, says Dr. Walensky. Furthermore, two new variants, B.1427 and B.1429, are expected to make up 50% of cases in Calif., 41% in Nev. and 25% in Ariz. So far, the Biden Administration has been pushing for officials to reinstate or maintain current restrictions, which is a good sign. However, with spring break coming up or already happening for many students across the U.S., more get-togethers and parties are bound to occur, along with a likely increase in the already high rates of travel

 

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

 

4. Politics: Situation at the border, sanctions against China

Border czar Roberta Jacobsen, accompanied special assistant Juan Gonzalez, is traveling to Mexico this week to discuss the influx of immigrants at the border. Though the White House balks at calling the influx a “crisis”, both Democrats and Republicans have used the term. Many facilities, especially those meant to house unaccompanied children, are at or over capacity, sparking concerns over overcrowding during the pandemic. Yesterday morning’s New York Times Briefing examines aspects of the situation, noting that Congress is unlikely to increase legal immigration limits despite the influx.

 

The United States, in conjunction with the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom, among other countries, has announced sanctions against two Chinese officials, citing human rights concerns over the detention of Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority in the country. In a joint statement, the countries stated:

“The evidence, including from the Chinese Government’s own documents, satellite imagery, and eyewitness testimony is overwhelming. China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labor, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilizations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage.”

The move appears to be an attempt to pressure Beijing into stopping the victimizations, hoping that the allyship between multiple countries would be a powerful incentive to do so. China has denied the detentions are occurring, and in return placed their own sanctions on 10 EU officials. 

 

5. Sports: NBA Legend Elgin Baylor Passes Away, Quarterback DeShaun Watson Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Fame NBA player Elgin Baylor passed away on March 22 due to natural causes at the age of 86. The Lakers put out a tweet releasing the news of his death on Twitter. Mr. Baylor was a small forward that averaged 27 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists throughout his 14-year career. He was also an 11-time All-Star, and was considered to be one of the best scoring talents the NBA has ever seen. The Lakers recognized this and unveiled a statue of him outside the Staples Center in 2018. Additionally, Baylor was great on and off the court, being a civil rights activist during the 1950s and 1960s.  Taking all this into account, Baylor will be forever cemented in NBA history as one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. 

 

NFL Quarterback Deshaun Watson, age 25, had 13 different lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct filed against him by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee. All the allegations state that he acted improperly in a private massage session with the women accusing him. In the first accusation, a woman accused him of threatening her reputation and career if she didn’t comply with what he asked her to do, with another one stating something similar. Furthermore, one woman was allegedly assaulted twice by Mr. Watson in the span of two months. 

 

Mr. Buzbee has been in contact with 10 other women about possible lawsuits against Mr. Watson, which would bring the total amount of lawsuits to 22. 

 

Watson has denied the first accusation with a statement on Twitter and has said that he is prepared to clear his name. His team, the Houston Texans, also made a statement on Twitter, stating that they take these types of accusations seriously and will wait for more information to further touch upon the matter. The Texans and NFL are working together to lead an investigation and Mr. Buzbee has said that he wants to get the police involved and have Mr. Watson criminally charged.

 

6. Entertainment: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is Released 

Fans of the DC Universe have been wanting Zack Snyder’s version of “Justice League” (2017), dubbed the “Snyder Cut”, ever since the movie came out, as many disliked the theatrical cut. Finally, on May 20 of 2020, the Snyder Cut was announced to come to HBO Max in 2021, and was later confirmed to release on March 18, 2021. Now that it has finally been released, many fans have concluded that the four hour movie has lived up to its hype. 

 

We get a more well-versed introduction for Cyborg and The Flash, and get better acquainted with Aquaman’s origins. We also had the inclusion of Darkseid as the main big bad of the film instead of it being Steppenwolf. Speaking of Steppenwolf, his look is revamped in the Snyder Cut, with it being more detailed and fearsome, and his death scene is completely different. On the topic of death scenes, we see Cyborg’s dad, Silas Stone sacrifice himself to help the heroes defeat Steppenwolf, which doesn’t happen in the original cut.  Other cool aspects of this cut include the Flash having a time travel scene and the incorporation of Martian Manhunter, disguised as Martha Kent, and also having a scene near the end of the movie talking to Batman about Darkseid. Finally, we didn’t suffer through the failed attempt to cover up Henry Cavill’s moustache during the original “Justice League” with CGI. 

 

From the Snyder Cut’s darker mood, to it’s better told storylines, and to its entirely new music score, there are a lot of changes from this version of the movie and the original. However, most of these changes have made the movie better overall, and have made it more enjoyable to watch. If you are a DC fan, this movie is definitely worth your while. 

 

7. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle): Highs this week will stay mostly in the 50’s, with today’s being 53℉, Weds’ the 50-degree-exception at 49℉, Thurs 51℉, Fri 56℉, Sat-Sun 58℉, and Mon 52℉. Lows will stick in the low 40’s to high 30’s range, with today-Weds’ 40℉, Thurs-Fri 37-38℉, Sat-Sun 38-39℉, and Mon 37℉. The majority of the week will be partly cloudy, with the exception of showers Weds and partial showers Mon. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs throughout the 50’s, lows in the high 30’s-low 40’s, partial clouds with some showers and partial showers. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will rise then fall again, with today’s at 54℉, Weds’ 48℉, Thurs 52℉, Fri 58℉, Sat-Sun 60-61℉, and back down to 54℉ Mon. Lows will remain in the low 40’s to high 30’s, with today-Weds 40℉, Thurs-Sun 37-38℉ and 36℉ Mon. The week will also be fairly gloomy, with partial clouds today, showers Weds, partial showers Thurs, partial clouds again Fri-Sat, partial showers again Sun and back to partial clouds Mon. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 50’s-low 60’s, lows in the mid 30’s-low 40’s, partial clouds, showers and partial showers. 

 

Sierra (Seattle): Highs this week will range throughout the 50’s, today’s being 53℉, Weds 48℉, Thurs 50℉, Fri up to 56℉, Sat-Sun 58℉ and Mon back down to 51℉. Lows will stay in the smaller range of the high 30’s, with the exception of 40℉ today, 39℉ Weds, 37-38℉ Thurs-Sun and 36℉ Mon. This week won’t be particularly sunny either at partially cloudy today, showers Weds, partial showers Thurs, partial clouds again Fri-Sat and partial showers again Sun-Mon. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs throughout the 50’s, lows in the high 30’s, partial clouds, showers, partial showers. 

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week will rise overall, with today’s being 67℉, Weds 69℉, Thurs 62℉, Fri up to 70℉, Sat-Sun up again to 75℉ and Mon back down to 70℉. Lows will range throughout the 40’s at 45-46℉ Tues-Weds, 43℉ Thurs and 46-47℉ Fri-Mon with the exception of 48℉ Sat. Though the end of the week will be sunny, today will be cloudy and Weds-Thurs partially cloudy. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the high 60’s and ending in 70’s, lows in the mid-high 40’s, clouds and partial clouds at the beginning of the week and full sun at the end. 

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will rise overall, with today’s starting at 60℉, Tues-Weds 66-67℉, Thurs down to 60℉, Fri back up to 68℉, Sat-Sun 71-72℉ and down to 66℉ Mon. Lows will range throughout the 40’s, today’s being 45℉ Mon, Tues-Weds 46-47℉, Thurs 43℉, Fri back to 46℉, Sat-Sun 47-48℉ and Mon 46℉. The majority of the week will be sunny, with the exception of partial clouds Weds-Thurs and Mon. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the 60’s-low 70’s, lows in the mid-high 40’s, full sun with some partial clouds.

 

K2 (El Cerrito): Highs this week will rise overall, with today-Weds’ being 68-69℉, Thurs down to 67℉, then Fri up to 71℉, Sat-Sun 75℉ and Mon back down to 70℉. Lows will stick to the high 40’s, today-Weds’ at 48-49℉, Thurs 46℉ and Fri-Mon 47-48℉. The majority of the week will be sunny, though Tues will be cloudy and Weds-Thurs partially cloudy. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the high 60’s and ending in mid 70’s, lows in the high 40’s, clouds and partial clouds at the beginning of the week and sun at the end. 

 

Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will rise overall, today-Weds’ being 67-68℉, Thurs 65℉, Fri 70℉, Sat-Sun 73℉ and Mon down to 68℉. Lows will range from the mid-high 40’s, with today-Weds’ at 48-49℉, Thurs 45℉ and Fri-Mon 46-47℉. The beginning of the week will be cloudy, with full clouds today and partial clouds Weds-Thurs, then full sun for the remaining days. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the high 60’s-low 70’s, lows in the mid-high 40’s, clouds and partial clouds at the beginning of the week and full sun the rest. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will mostly remain in the 60’s, today’s being 65℉, Weds 61℉, Thurs 57℉, Fri back up to 63℉, Sat 67℉, Sun 65℉ and Mon back to 61℉. Lows will range from the mid-high 40’s, today-Weds’ being 48-49℉, Thurs 46℉ and Fri-Mon 47-48℉. The majority of the week will also be sunny, with the exception of partial clouds Weds-Thurs and Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the mid-high 60’s, lows in the high 40’s, full sun and some partial clouds. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will start in the 60’s and end in the 70’s, with today’s at 67℉, Weds 69℉, Thurs down to 63℉, Fri up to 71℉, Sat-Sun 76-77℉ and Moin down to 72℉. Lows will remain in the 40’s with today-Weds’ at 45-46℉, Thurs 63℉, Fri up to 46℉, Sat 49℉ and Sun-Mon 46-47℉. The week will begin with clouds today and partial clouds Tues-Weds, then be fully sunny for the remaining days. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the 60’s-70’s, lows mostly in the mid-high 40’s, clouds at the beginning of the week and sun at the end. 

 

8. Cooking: Chocolate Mochi Brownies

Mochiko is a Japanese sweet rice flour. You can find it on Amazon or a local Japanese grocery store. 

Recipe by Kaori Becker, adapted from Mochi Magic by The San Francisco Chronicle

Butter or neutral cooking oil for greasing pan

 

Ingredients:

3 cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)

 

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

1 tablespoon baking powder

 

½ teaspoon salt

 

2 large eggs

 

2 cups packed light brown sugar

 

2½ cups whole milk

 

½ cup vegetable oil

 

½ cup melted butter

 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  2. Sift together the mochiko, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs in another large bowl. Stir in the sugar, milk, oil, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Scrape this mixture into the bowl with the mochiko mixture and whisk until uniform in texture (make sure there are no lumps). Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then scatter the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips on top.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

 

9. Actions: Support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community

Editor’s note: The “Actions” section includes petitions to sign, prompts and scripts to write officials with as well as other opportunities to engage in your local, national and global communities.

 

  • This list includes actions to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and includes resources, allyship trainings, places to donate, petitions and more. 

 

And, as always:

  • 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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