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”.
- Summit Public Schools is officially in winter break! We hope everyone has a relaxing vacation away from school. However, if you do have any work that is due right after break, make sure to get that done without procrastinating to the last minute.
- College application season is still in session! If you are applying to any out-of-state colleges or private ones, make sure your Common Application is filled out completely! This included the general information section all colleges use along with the information each college requests (major selection, scholarships, etc.). Remember to look at if the college you are applying to requires any letters of recommendation. If they do and you have not requested one from the necessary teacher or counselor yet, it’s never too late to reach out and ask, even if the response may be no. Some in-state deadlines that are coming up are Jan. 5 for Stanford, Jan.10 for Occidental College and Jan.15 for USC and Pepperdine.
- On Saturday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk reinstated the accounts of a number of prominent journalists that he had previously suspended from the social media platform. Musk reactivated the journalist’s accounts after conducting a Twitter poll to see if he should allow them back on the site immediately, or wait seven days. The poll overwhelmingly showed that respondents wanted the journalists reinstated right away. “The people have spoken,” Musk tweeted following the poll. Accounts … will have their suspension lifted now.” While a full list of the reinstated accounts was not released by Musk, journalists at a number of high-profile outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN were seen to have been reactivated, Reuters reported.
- Brittney Griner made her first public statement since returning home to the U.S. last week after a prisoner swap with Russia. The basketball star expressed gratitude for all who helped secure her release and vowed to return to the basketball court for the upcoming WNBA season. In a lengthy Instagram post, Griner reflected on her return to the U.S. and talked about her plans for the near future. The Olympic gold medalist thanked her many supporters, including her family and legal team, the WNBA, and the Biden-Harris administration.
- A health based non-profit called the Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of a survey that showed that 28% of adults that partook did not support vaccination requirements for kids entering Kindergarten and 35% of adults did not support vaccination requirements for school. This comes after the recent measles outbreak in Ohio where at least 77 children have caught the illness. Most are either unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella. While this outbreak may be seen as a surprise, it may not be entirely unexpected as the pandemic has caused more and more children to fall behind in vaccinations for different diseases. Only 42% of kids (under 18) have received their flu shot this year, and 90% of kids aged four years and younger have not received the most updated COVID-19 shot. Some states, such as Alabama, have even had declines in vaccination rates as high as half of the amount of pre-pandemic levels. Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky believes that for diseases like measles, many people just do not think they are a “real threat” anymore. And, the other reason, of course, is misinformation, which Walensky believes can be helped by trusted leaders communicating the proper information.
- Viral social media platform “TikTok” is currently experiencing a misinformation crisis surrounding the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) as a form of birth control. The overall reception to IUDs on TIkTok has been negative, with researchers at Duke University finding that 38% of TikToks relating to IUDs were negative and only 19% were positive. As a result, 24% also “moderately or highly inaccurate scientific claims” in videos discussing IUD insertion or removal. The pain experienced during either of these processes is a common theme amongst the many negative TikToks.
- The German prince accused of organizing a plot to overthrow the German government met with Russian diplomats. Investigators are currently examining how aggressively the prince tried to involve Russia in the plot. Investigators have claimed to have confiscated around 40 firearms from 150 locations across the country during raids. They also found thousands of rounds of ammunition for weapons that have not been located, leading the police to search for hidden caches of weapons. The raids also found over 100 nondisclosure agreements, each swearing secrecy over the groups plans, which involved storming the German parliament and arresting its member and executing the German chancellor. 23 individuals involved with the plot have been arrested while another 31 are being investigated. Many of these contracts stated that breaking silence would be punishable by death. Prince Heinrich XIII of Reuss, the designated leader of the government that the plotters had created, visited a Russian consulate in Leipzig where he supposedly met with Russian diplomats. One of the visits occurred on Russia’s national Day In June, a lawmaker said. The Russian consulate in Leipzig did not respond to requests for comment but Russian officials have denied their involvement with the plotters. Investigators have so far found no evidence showing Russia responded to the group’s outreach. The plotters were followers of a far-right conspiracy theory group known as the Reichsbürger. The group believes that Germany’s post war democracy is not a sovereign nation but rather a corporation set up by allied forces after WW2. Some of the people following Heinrich were active members of the military or the police and others had training in weapons. The plotters had planned to attack twice but did not, leaving authorities generally unclear as to how capable they actually were in carrying out their plan. Investigators found photographs on one of the alleged plotters’ phones documenting the layout of an office that houses members of the German parliament. The involvement of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, a far right political party in Germany’s parliament, has sparked fierce debate. A former AfD lawmaker and current Berlin judge, Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, was arrested over her involvement in the plot. Two other AfD members were also found to be associated with the plotters.
- For the last month, Moroccan fans made their presence felt at the World Cup. As the final minutes of stoppage time ticked away in Morocco’s 2-0 semifinal loss to France, fans cheered loudly and gave their team a standing ovation. On Saturday Morocco lost 2-1 against Croatia for World Cup third place, putting an official end to their historic run.
- The final match between France and Argentina will be played on Sunday at 7:00AM. As Messi looks to seal his immortality, Mbappe aims to pave his legacy as repeat champion.
- After going down with a scary shoulder injury in Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Steph Curry was relieved to learn that the injury will not require surgery. With two minutes left in what was turning out to be Warriors comeback game, Curry’s arm bent backward when guarding Pacers forward Jalen Smith. MRI scans revealed he suffered a left shoulder subluxation during the 125-119 loss against the Pacers. While Golden State fans are certainly happy that the 8 time all star won’t be out for the rest of the season, the Warriors haven’t had much of a season going for them. Although Curry has remained at an All Star level averaging 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, the defending champions have sunk to the 11th seed with a 14-16 record. This is due to many reasons but the most glaring has been the lack of depth and personnel. After last year’s championship run, the Warriors were forced to give up key pieces like Gary Payton III and Otto Porter Jr. which explains why they have fallen to the 20th ranked defense with a rating of 112.7. The offense hasn’t been much better, holding a rating of 112.9.
- Kyrie Irving is back from his suspension for supporting anti-semetic content and the Brooklyn Nets are on a tear winning 10 of their last 13 games. In a tie game against the Toronto Raptors, Irving dropped a buzzer beater from the three point line to seal the game. After Irving got into an isolation situation with Fred Vanvleet of the Raptors (who led all players with 39 points) With the 3.7 second possession winding down to the buzzer, Irving scored his first career buzzer beater. The Nets won the game 119-116
- According to Jerry Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. is on “stand by” as he promised that the former super bowl winning wide receiver is coming to Dallas. After what seemed like the most pointless free agent battle for an aging OBJ, it would be no surprise if Beckham inks a one year deal with Cowboys soon.
- The Minnesota Vikings have clinched the NFC North after completing the greatest regular season comeback in NFL history. At halftime, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings found themselves down 33-0 against interim head coach Jeff Saturday and the Indianapolis Colts. The blowout can be accredited to the Colts defense and special team which returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to extend the lead. But coming out of the half, the Vikings went on a tear to bring it back. An Adam Thielen touchdown reception and a 60 plus yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook brought the Vikings back in the game. After some Matt Ryan interceptions and some quick Colts three and outs, plus some more Kirk Cousins magic it was a 36-36 game. Greg Joseph kicked a 40 yard game winning field goal. Vikings win 39-36. Matt Ryan can also be accredited to the comeback as the Colts offense had a complete breakdown. Ryan has now been on the short end of the stick in two of the biggest comeback wins in NFL history, shout out Tom Brady.
- According to sources, the best remaining free agent shortstop in baseball is now a Cub. Dansby Swanson and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a seven-year $177 million deal, reports Russell Dorsey of Bally Sports. Swanson was selected number one overall in 2015 by the Arizona Diamondbacks and was traded to the Atlanta Braves six years later. With the addition of Swanson, incumbent shortstop Nico Hoerner likely moves to second base according to CBS sports writer Matt Snyder.
- James Gunn will be writing a new Superman movie for DC Studios. The film will focus on the younger years of the character and will not feature Henry Cavill. Currently, Gunn is only writing the script, though he could direct the film depending on where his services are required. Gunn did not exclude Henry Cavill from DC Studios projects and stated that he and Cavill, “talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.” Gunns iteration of Superman will put more focus on his alter-ego Clark Kent and his job as a reporter at the Daily Planet. Cavill was expected to return as Superman after his post-credit scene in Black Adam, with Cavill posting on his Instagram account that he was going to return as the character, a message that was reportedly sanctioned before Gunn and his co-CEO Peter Safran were hired. Cavill has spent nearly a decade playing Superman in films, starting with 2013s Man of Steel and reprising his role in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Gunn and Safran have contacted several key players in the DC universe, such as meeting with former Batman actor Ben Affleck to discuss him directing a film for the studio. The two also talked with filmmaker Patty Jenkins, who will no longer be creating a third Wonder Woman film. Warner has been developing a black Superman film, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams which will be unaffected by Gunn’s new project. Warner has long pushed for James Gunn to create a Superman movie, starting when he was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn instead decided to write and direct The Suicide Squad which paved the way for its spinoff Peacemaker the following year.
- Avatar: The Way of Water has already made $17 million in Thursday previews. The film, directed by James Cameron is on its way to a $175 million opening budget. While the number is not remarkable compared to other cinematic releases this year the percentage of tickets sold for 3D and premium format screening is abnormally high. 61% of Thursday’s showings were for 3D showings. Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever produced $36 million, $29 million, and $28 million respectively on their Thursday previews. Premium formats are predicted to be a large factor in Avatar opening weekend and overall box office run. Cameron told GQ that the film would need to become the third or fourth-highest grossing film in history to break even. Meaning that it will need to generate at least $2 billion at the global box office during its initial run. 3D tickets are predicted to cost more than 2D tickets at $16.50 compared to the cheaper $12.50. So far, the film has received generally positive reviews. The original Avatar film, also directed by Cameron, was released originally in 2009 and only made $77 million during its opening weekend. The film was rereleased multiple times, and had vast staying power, being screened for 234 days, contributing to the film generating $760 million from US and Canada and over $2 billion from international markets.
Cooking: Easy Bake Cinnamon Rolls
Total time: 30 minutes Yield: 18 small rolls
- 350g Pillsbury ready made croissant dough
- 30g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 23cm cake tin with a square of baking parchment so the corners stick up (this will help you to lift the rolls out).
- Unroll the croissant dough from the can and lay it out on your work surface. Cut it into three sections along the dotted lines, but don’t cut the diagonal line. Spread over a quarter of the butter onto each piece.
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Using one square of dough at a time, sprinkle over 2-3 tsp of the sugar and roll up the dough. When you have three rolls, cut each one in half and then each half into three. Arrange the rolls in the tin in two circles – you need to spread them well apart as they will rise and spread. Stick the end bits in among fatter pieces from the centre of the rolls so they cook evenly. Bake for 15 mins or until the rolls are risen and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining sugar mix with the remaining butter until you have a thick caramel (don’t worry if some of the butter separates out, it will soak into the dough). When the rolls are cooked, pour over the caramel. Leave to cool a little, then eat warm.
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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