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”.
- CSU decisions have started coming out, so be on the lookout for them in your emails and application portals! Starting in March, UCs will be sending out their decisions as well. For other colleges and universities, make sure to do your own research on when admissions decisions roll out if you applied to them. Finally, make sure you have submitted all financial aid forms, applications, etc. along with anything else that has been requested.
- An unidentified object was shot down over northern Canada on Saturday, marking the third time in a week that US fighter jets have taken down objects in North American airspace. On Friday, an unidentified object was shot down in Alaska airspace by a US F-22, and last weekend, a Chinese surveillance balloon was taken down by F-22s off the coast of South Carolina. There’s no indication at this point that the unidentified objects have any connection to China’s surveillance balloon but it seems that national security officials across the continent remain on edge.
- Rescuers in Turkey pulled more people from the rubble but hopes were fading in Turkey and Syria that many more earthquake survivors would be found. UN relief chief Martin Griffiths said he expected the death toll to at least double after he arrived in southern Turkey on Saturday to assess the quake’s damage. With a death toll of 24,517 in Turkey, it is already in the top ten deadliest earthquakes ever. More than 3,500 have died in Syria, where death tolls have not been updated since Friday.
- There has recently been a spike in Norovirus in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norovirus, more commonly referred to as the stomach flu despite no actual relation to influenza, is at it’s highest infection point since March 2022. Norovirus typically has seasonal peaks, and although there has been an increase in cases, it is nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year according to the CDC. Still, for those who want to avoid the virus (as it causes symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes mild fevers and aches), the best way to avoid the virus would be to take the same measures that were taken against Covid-19, although you could still get Norovirus from contaminated food or water. The virus unfortunately doesn’t have a treatment, but the body will typically get rid of the virus in a few days. The CDC recommends drinking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Although the Covid-19 emergency is considered over, it isn’t a bad idea to take caution. If you are high risk you should still be masking in public according to Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University. And for everyone else, you should still consider wearing masks in crowded places without good ventilation.
- Lawmakers in South Korea voted to impeach the country’s interior and safety minister. The lawmakers hold Lee Sang-min responsible for prior government failures in disaster planning and the response to the fatal crowd crush that killed nearly 160 people in October. The impeachment means that Leen has been suspended from his duties while South Korea’s Constitutional Court debates on whether to permanently remove him from office or give him his position back. Vice Minister Han Chang-seob will replace Lee as minister until the court reaches a decision within 180 days. Lee is seen as an ally to conservative president Yoon Suk-yeol whose administration opposed Lee’s suspension accusing lawmakers of making “shameful history.” Lee expressed a statement expressing regret while stating that he would defend his case in the Constitutional Court. Lee was removed after lawmakers voted 179-109 in favor of impeachment, making him the first cabinet minister to be impeached by the National Assembly. The last time the National Assembly impeached a government official was in December of 2016 when former president Park Guen-hye was removed from office and arrested three months later over a corruption scandal. Lee’s impeachment further highlights the growing divide between Yoon’s government and the congress controlled by his liberal opponents. Weeks before Lee’s impeachment, police made the announcement that they would seek manslaughter and negligence charges against 23 officials, most of which were police officers, for a lack of safety measures resulting in a crowd crush in Itaewon. Following a 74 period of investigation, a special report accused these officials of ignoring warnings of growing crowds and failing to employ crowd control measures despite the anticipation of large gatherings of people for Halloween. These officials also botched their response to the disaster, failing to ensure rescue workers could treat the injured in a timely manner. The police investigators stated that it was difficult to establish the responsibility of those higher up in Yoon’s government. Lawmakers for the opposition Democratic party insisted that investigators had been too soft on Yoon’s government, some even stating that their impeachment of Lee was “the order of the people.”
- Last Friday, Kyrie Irving shocked his team, the Brooklyn Nets, as well as the rest of the NBA world, by requesting a trade. A few days later on Monday, Irving officially became a member of a different NBA team. The team that ended up trading for Irving was the Dallas Mavericks, who are currently fifth in the western conference. In order to land the eight-time All-Star, the Mavericks gave up Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie who played with the Nets from the 2016-17 season to the 2020-21 season, as well as a 2027 second round pick, a 2029 first round pick, and a 2029 second round pick. Markieff Morris will also be heading to Dallas alongside Irving. Irving has averaged 27.1 PPG on 48.6% shooting and 37.4% from three, 5.3 AST, and 5.1 TRB this season, and will join a young star in Luka Doncic in Dallas. Doncic is in the MVP conversation this year and now gets to play with another star to form one of the best duos in the NBA. Irving is leaving an already established duo in him and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets big three saga of Irving, Durant, and formerly James Harden, has to go down as one of the most disappointing super teams in NBA history, but now Irving has a chance to win his second NBA Finals as a member of the Mavericks.
- And only a few days after Irving was traded, Durant had been sent to a new home in the Desert. The Phoenix suns sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder (who was then traded to the Milwaukee Bucks) and four unprotected first round picks to Brooklyn for the 13-time All-Star and T.J. Warren who had previously played for the Suns from when he was drafted by them in the first round in 2014 to the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. This season Durant has averaged 29.7 PPG on 55.9% shooting and 37.6% three point shooting, with 6.7 TRB and 5.3 AST. Durant is leaving a crumbling super team but he is forming another one with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton. Depth could be a problem for this Suns team, but with that starting group, they have as good of a chance as anyone in the West.
- On Thursday, February 7, 2023, history was made. LeBron James scored his 38,388 career point on a fadeaway jumper over Oklahoma City Thunder Kenrich Williams. That 38,388 career point made LeBron the all-time NBA scoring champion, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was in attendance at Crypto.com arena to watch his record get surpassed. James, already considered by many to be the greatest of all-time only further cements his great legacy by becoming the all-time scoring king.
- Other notable NBA trades: Jakob Poeltel to the Raptors for Khem Birch, a first, and two seconds. Mason Plumlee for Reggie Jackson. Josh Hart to the Knicks. Eric Gordon for John Wall with Luke Kennard heading to the Grizzlies. Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets with the Lakers receiving Mo Bamba from the Magic, Clippers receiving Bones Hyland from the Nuggets, and the Magic receiving Patrick Beverly. As well as The Lakers receiving D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasly, and Jarred Vanderbilt, with Mike Conley heading to the Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook heading to the Utah Jazz.
- The Super Bowl will be this Sunday, at 3:30 PM PST, 4:30 PM MST. The game will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Philadelphia Eagles, at State Farm Arena, in Glendale, Arizona, home of the Arizona Cardinals during the regular season. The game will be broadcasted on FOX.
- The NFL awards for the 2022-23 season have been handed out. Patrick Mahomes has won his second career NFL MVP receiving 48 out of 50 first place votes. Not only did Mahomes lead his Cheifs team to the Super Bowl, but he led the NFL in passing yards, touchdown passes, and QBR. Brian Daboll won Coach of the Year after the Giants made the playoffs this year following a 4-13 season. Seahawks QB Geno Smith won the Comeback Player of the Year award after turning his career around and leading the Seahawks to the playoffs. Vikings Wide Receiver, Justin Jefferson, won offensive player of the year, and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa won defensive player of the year. Two New York Jets players took home the Rookie of the year honors, with cornerback Sauce Gardner winning DROY, and wide receiver Garrett Wilson winning the offensive version.
- Multiple MLB players have reached contract extensions this past week, the first being Blue Jays shortstop, Bo Bichette. Bichette’s contract buys out the remaining 3 years of arbitration for him. He’ll be making $6.1 Million in 2023 from a $2.85M salary and a $3.25M signing bonus. In 2024 and 2025 he’ll be making $11M and $16.5M. The contract would escalate for winning the American League MVP and for different finishing positions. Bichette is an exciting young player in the game, and has led the American League in hits in each of the past two seasons, with 380 hits combined. The past two seasons Bichette also has 53 home runs, 195 RBI’s and a .294/.338/.477 slash line with and OPS+ of 124, 24% above league average. Bichette gets knocked for his defense, but he is still an important part of a young Blue Jays squad hungry for a championship.
- The San Diego Padres and Yu Darvish have agreed to a six year, $108M contract that will take Darvish through his age 42 season. Darvish, was already under contract through 2023, gets guaranteed a new $90M. The contract has a full no-trade clause and features a salary boost of $1M for any following season he wins the Cy Young. Signing a player of Darvish’s age to a multi-year contract like this is risky, but Darvish has been a reliable pitcher throughout his career, and is coming off one of his best seasons in recent memory where he had a 3.11 ERA, a 0.950 WHIP, 3.31 FIP, and an ERA+ of 121, 21% above league average.
- Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros also agreed to a contract extension. The contract is for 5 years, and is worth $64M, and could be worth more depending on Cy Young finishing position. The contract buys out Javier’s arbitration years and extends the earliest he could be a free agent to two years after that. Javier, who will turn 26 next month, broke out this past season and he is seen by some as a potential Cy Young winner this upcoming season. In 25 starts this past season Javier had a 2.68 ERA, and struck out 173 batters in 134.1 innings, and had a 152 ERA+ across 30 total appearances. Javier also pitched masterfully in two starts this postseason, including starting the Astros combined no-hitter in game four of the World Series.
- Beyonce remains the most decorated musical artist in history while Harry Styles won the album of the year award at this years Grammy awards. Beyonce won her 32nd award at this year’s Grammy’s award show, launching her record over that of late composer Georg Solti. The singer thanked her late uncle, her parents, her husband Jay-Z and her children for supporting her. Her four new awards mark her first since she was awarded in 2010 for her song Single Ladies. Styles won three awards and performed during the Grammy award show, ultimately winning the album of the year award. Beyonce won the best R&B song for her song Cuff It, best dance electronic musical recording for Break My Soul, best traditional R&B performance for Plastic Off the Sofa, and best dance-electronic album for renaissance, which was also nominated for album of the year. Jazz singer Samara Joy won best new artist while veteran artist Bonnie Rait claimed the song of the year award. Sam Smith and Kim Petras won best pop duo-group performance for their song Unholy with Petras being the first transgender woman to win this award.
Cooking: Valentines Day Cookies
Prep time: 2 hours Cook time: 12 minutes Total time: 3 hours (including icing)
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed for rolling and work surface
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla or chocalate royal icing
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be relatively soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use more flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
- Lightly dust one of the rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2–3 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. If it’s sticking to the bottom, run your hand under it to help remove it. Using a heart cookie cutter (pictured cookies use the 3.5-inch size), cut the dough into hearts. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. (Note: It may not seem like a lot of dough, but you get a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
- Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 11–12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheets halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Ice 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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