Your Summit Weekly Briefing
By Jovani Contreras, Ethan Ignatovsky, Sean Quigley and Ashwath Vimal
Disclaimer: 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.
Content Warning: Mentions of explicit themes occur in the third section of “General News” and in “Actions”.
- First off, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day. Please take just a little bit of time out of your schedule to honor those who have risked their lives to keep our country safe. If you know a veteran, call them and let them know you are appreciative of their service.
- UC applications are due in less than three weeks! Make sure to finish up your essays and have them looked at by peers and teachers for revisions. If possible, try not to procrastinate and submit on the day of the deadline, as the website ahs been known to crash. Also make sure to fine tune your activities section in a way that you are describing each extracurricular activity and/or award to the best of your ability under the 300 character word limit. Before you submit, however, do a final review of your application to confirm all imputed information is correct.
Here are some YouTube videos you can watch for tips on the UC application:
- UC Personal Insight Questions / Essays: Tips and Tricks for the University of California Essays
- FINISHING YOUR UC APPLICATION – Everything You Need To Know (activities, essays, etc!)
- 2022 UC Admissions Officer Interview: Advice for applying to UC System
- In a leaked video message sent to laid off employees, Facebook Founder and CEO took responsibility for the firing of more than 11,000 employees: “I know there must be just a range of different emotions. I want to say up front that I take full responsibility for this decision.” Once a thriving company estimated to be worth over $1 trillion in 2020, Meta has experienced significant financial losses since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company expanded quickly after online usage boomed amidst the 2020 lockdowns. That increased usage and following revenue, however, faded when the pandemic ended. While the layoffs affected many Facebook offices, employees working on the Metaverse, mainly engineers, were untouched during the mass firing. Meta’s gamble on virtual reality through the money pit that is the Metaverse will continue to be the companies main focus.
- The wall street opening bell on Thursday morning saw the Dow stock surge by more than 800 points while prices across the country rose only slightly. The bell ringing might hint at the end, or at least stabilization, of the seemingly never ending inflation crisis. “Today’s CPI report shows inflation is moving in the right direction,” said Eric Merlis, managing director and co-head of global markets at Citizens. “The report provides ammunition for the Fed to begin pricing in sub-75-basis-point tightenings. This will be a welcome development for the Fed.” Signs are showing that the period of high inflation might have reached an inflection point.
- After going down since August, Covid-19 infections in the US have been on the rise the past two weeks, with numbers increasing by about 10% according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rise in cases was expected as part of a fall and winter wave, but some experts are concerned that the health care system may not be able to fully support the uptick in Covid with the flu and other sicknesses also on the rise this time of year. Data shows that BQ. 1 and BQ. 1.1 Omicron sub variants have made up 44% of new cases in the past week, these subvariants are extra concerning to experts since they are not only highly contagious, but also appear to be able to evade previous immunity. This makes it all the more important to get the new booster shot which president Joe Biden has called upon the American people to do so that “we can all have a safe and healthy holiday season”.
- In the wake of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade earlier this year, abortion rights became a major issue in the 2022 midterm elections. California, Vermont, and Michigan enshrined rights to access an abortion into their state constitutions. Vermont and Michigan’s amendments allow their citizens rights to reproductive freedom, California’s constitution now guarantees this right too, previously abortion was protected in California by the states Supreme Court decision that the right to privacy included the right to have an abortion. Montana voters rejected LR-131, which would’ve imposed criminal penalties on health care providers who don’t act to preserve the life of an infant born during an abortion. In Kentucky, pro-choice groups have a long way to go to accomplish their goals, but took a step toward victory after a potential amendment to the state constitution which would’ve made it impossible for anything in the Kentucky constitution to protect the right to an abortion or protect funding to abortions. In the following months and years, laws regarding abortion will be a big topic of discussion in the United States, and this is seemingly just the start.
- Elon Musk created anarchy on Twitter before the 2022 midterm elections by firing employees that worked on elections and content moderation. These mass layoffs occurred on Friday, four days before the midterm elections. Tweets created by former employees using the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWork and #OneTeam flooded the platform after the layoffs, informing others that they had been let go from the company. Half of the company’s public policy team was cut, including members who handle the verifications on the accounts of politicians. Since buying twitter on October 27, Musk has insisted that the company’s content moderation and disinformation policies remain in force, seeking to retain skittish advertisers turned off by Musk’s promises to allow less controlled content on the platform. Friday’s layoffs come just as the company’s moderation ability will be put to the test during the 2022 midterms. In response to this development, civil rights and activist groups, including #StopToxicTwitter have called for a global pause on advertising after the mass layoffs last Friday. Some large companies such as General Mills, Pfizer, and GM have stated that they are pausing advertisements on the platform. One of the employees laid off was Michele Austin, the company’s now former director of public policy and elections in the US and Canada. Austin tweeted on Friday that she was responsible for the 2022 U.S. midterms policy on Twitter. Many laid off employees were barred from signing into their company Twitter accounts rather than being told outright that they were fired. Former staff in the US have filed a class-action lawsuit against Musk and Twitter, claiming they were not given sufficient notice before being fired. States like California and New York, and other countries like Belgium, the UK, and France also have labor laws that will make it costly for Musk to jettison employees in those regions. Twitter remains a mainstay with which political leaders communicate with their audience, with the firings representing a new stage in Musk’s take-over.
- Denying the 2020 presidential election was not a winning strategy for new candidates in the midterms. Although the majority of candidates who denied the legitimacy of the previous election were expected to win their races, the most vocal candidates who made election results the core of their campaign and newcomers who echoed this sentiment failed to succeed in their elections. Many political factors influenced these races, but the overall trend suggests that relying heavily on voters who did not trust the presidential election was not a winning strategy. During the midterms, 199 republicans ran for seats in the House and Senate and for the positions of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general in their respective states. 134 of these candidates were predicted to win their elections. Of these 134 candidates, 112 are incumbent in the house, and many voted not to certify the results of the election. However, many of these candidates did not make the election results central to their campaigns, instead choosing to focus on crime and the economy. Of the 80 non-incumbent election deniers within the republican party, only 22 are predicted to win, 49 are predicted to lose, and nine are in races that are yet to be called. J.R. Majewski, the republican candidate from Ohio’s 9th district, made comments claiming the 2020 election was unfairly skewed toward the democrats. Although Majewski started his race with decent odds in a relatively blue district, his predicted odds at winning decreased to only 22-in-100. Incumbent Lauren Boebert of Colorado’s 3rd district, who had a 97-in-100 chance of winning her race and stated her pride in not recognizing the 2020 elections legitimacy is now in an almost even race with democratic challenger Adam Frisch. Most meaningfully, voters almost always rejected election deniers running for secretary of state, an office that belongs to a state’s head election administrator who oversees election laws and results. Election denial was not absent from winning midterm candidates however. Nineteen candidates who have been predicted to win have questioned the elections legitimacy or have refused to take a stance, and there are still undecided races with election denying candidates participating. However, it has become clear that making election denial central to political campaigns has not been enough to carry many republicans to victory.
- On Friday, November 5th, during the 9th inning of game 6 of the World Series, Nick Castellanos walked up to the plate with two outs. The Phillies where down by 3, but had a runner on first, with the potential tying run on deck, sadly for the Phillies, the at-bat didn’t go their way. Castellanos popped a ball up in the air, in foul territory past the right field line, Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker ranged over and made the catch, with that the Astros had defeated the Phillies in 6 games to clinch their second World Series championship in franchise history. Five years after the Astros won their first championship in 2017, a championship that has been tampered by the reveal that the Astros used illegal sign stealing tactics to their advantage, the team has won an undeniable World Series trophy, and they deserve applause for it. The Series MVP was given to the Astros rookie shortstop Jeremey Pena, who became just the third rookie to win the honor, and the first position player rookie to do so. Dusty Baker, who took over from A.J Hinch after Hinch’s suspension, won his first World Series ring as a manager at 73-years-old after managing for 25 years. As for the Phillies, the team vastly over performed in the playoffs, making it to the World Series as a 6th seed, and although they lost the big one, they’re still the 2022 National League champions, and they have a bright future ahead.
- When Kyle Tucker caught the last out of the 2022 World Series, it didn’t just end the season, it started the offseason. Free agency began Thursday afternoon, but before then teams where able to exclusively offer their upcoming free agents contracts. From this period we got a few deals done, none bigger then Edwin Diaz resigning with the Mets for $102 million over five years. This contract is the bigger ever given to a relief pitcher (surpassing Aroldis Chapman’s five year $86 million contract), but Diaz, who will be 29 next season, is arguably the best closer in baseball, and the Mets have money to spend, still this type of deal is unprecedented due to the volatile nature of relief pitching performances. Diaz himself isn’t immune from bad stretches as he posted a 5.59 ERA in 2019, but in the three seasons since he has a 2.27 ERA. Diaz’s deal came with a $12 million signing bonus, an opt-out clause after year three of the deal, with a full no-trade clause through that season, and also includes an option for a sixth season.
- The Brooklyn Nets have officially named Jacque Vaughn as their next head coach in the wake of Steve Nash’s firing. Vaughn, 47, spent 12 years in the league as a player, and had been serving as an assistant coach for Steve Nash, and interim coach after his firing, where Vaughn had a 2-2 record. Vaughn’s coaching contract has him finishing the 2022-23 season with the team, and takes him through to the end of the 2023-24 season. Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement, “Jacque’s basketball acumen, competitiveness, and initiate knowledge of our team and organization make him the clear-cut best person to lead our group moving forward. He has a proven ability to get the best out of our players, hold them accountable, and play a cohesive, team-first style of basketball”. The Net’s where originally looking at former Boston Celtics head coach and Nets assistant, Ime Udoka to replace Nash, but decided against it due to the team condemning and suspending Kyrie for his antisemitism controversy, and Udoka being removed from his coaching duties in Boston due to an alleged inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate, feeling that the hiring would’ve been hypocritical. In Vaughn’s first official game as the teams head coach the Nets destroyed the New York Knicks 112-85.
- It doesn’t seem like Kyrie Irving and his former sponsor, Nike will have a reunion after the companies co-founder Phil Knight said Irving “stepped over the line”, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday. Knight explained his decision, saying “[Irving] made some statements that we just can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship. And yeah, I was fine with that”. The Kyrie 8, Irving’s new signature shoe, will not be released by Nike. It’s also worth noting even if Nike didn’t end their relationship with Irving over his recent controversy they were reportedly not likely to offer him a new one after his current deal ended, which was set to expire after the conclusion of the 2022-23 NBA season.
- Washington, D.C Attorney General Karl Racine has filed a civil lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, their owner Dan Snyder who has been the subject of recent controversy and investigations that we have reported on in previous weekly briefings, as well as the NFL, and the leagues commissioner Roger Goodell. As reported by ESPN, the lawsuit is for “allegedly colluding to deceive fans and district residents about the league’s investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault in an effort to maintain a strong fan base and to increase profits”. Racine said the lawsuit was filed because: “you can’t lie to D.C. residents in order to protect your image and profits and get away with it. No matter who you are”, and although he didn’t specify what his office is seeking Racine noted that each lie could be worth a fine up to $5,000. Racine is leaving office in January, but believes his successor, Brian Schwalb, will continue the investigation, and noted that if Snyder sold the team (which he has been looking to do) before the investigation is complete, the investigation would still continue since the allegations occurred under Snyder’s ownership.
- On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts fired their head coach of five years, Frank Reich, after disappointing and going 3-5-1 so far on the season, and have brought in Jeff Saturday as the teams interim head coach. Saturday, was a six-time pro-bowl center for the Colts, and a consultant to the team before getting the interim head coach role, and takes on a tough challenge of a team that is trying to figure out its offensive identity as the search a consistent quarterback option continues. Saturday’s hiring has been a controversial one in the NFL world, Joe Thomas a potential Hall of Famer, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the move, and has blasted Colts owner Jim Irsay for hiring his “drinking buddy” and someone who doesn’t have experience in the role, especially at this point in the season. Saturday defended his qualifications in a fiery press conference, stating that he is a 14-year NFL veteran who has won super bowls and played with Hall of Famers. His first test will be this upcoming Sunday as the Colts take on the 2-6 Las Vegas Raiders on the road.
- Paramount has announced the release dates for Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob Squarepants movies. The untitled SpongeBob film has a May 23, 2025, release date and will be produced by Nickelodeon Animation and Paramount animation. The untitled Avatar: The Last Airbender film will be released on October 10, 2025, and is produced by Nickelodeon animation, Paramount animation, and Avatar Studios. Both will be widely released. Avatar Studios was created by series creators Michael DiMartino and Brian Konietzko to expand the world of the main series and its sequel The Legend of Korra. In June, it was revealed that three Avatar films are in the works at Paramount and Nickelodeon. The 2025 film has been the first to get a release date, with no other details being given. Lauren Montgomery, who worked on the original series, was confirmed to be the director, while Michael DiMartino and Brian Konietzko are slated to produce the film. The original Avatar series ran from 2005 to 2008 on Nickelodeon, with its sequel series The Legend of Korra running from 2012 to 2014. Netflix is making a live-action adaptation of the original series, with production wrapping up in June 2022. SpongeBob Squarepants has already had three films, including last year’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, 2015’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, and 2005’s The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie. The series began in 1999 and has continued for 13 seasons and 270 episodes.
Cooking: Three Ingredient Sugar Cookies
Total time: 40 minutes Yield: 34 cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ cup + 3 tbsp of sugar, divided
- 2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional but recommended)
- Rainbow sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat together butter and 2/3 cup sugar until combined.
- Add in flour and blend well (then blend in the vanilla, if using.)
- Using a cookie scoop, roll the dough into approximately 1-inch balls.
- Gently roll the balls in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until lightly coated; transfer to the baking sheets 2 inches apart.
- With the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press down on the balls to flatten them. Sprinkle with some nonpareils (if using) and lightly press down again just so they stick.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until just slightly golden around the edges and on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheets for at least 10-15 minutes. Then eat or transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy!
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.
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