What Happened in January


Photo Credit: Keith Allison on Wikimedia Commons

Lakers at Wizards 12/2/15

Saish Satyal, Editor

January 1st, 2020 was a relatively peaceful day that made those of us in America think that maybe this year wouldn’t be so hectic. Many of us soon lost this sentiment after hearing about the devastating wildfires that are sweeping through Australia, killing millions of animals and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Australia was forced to send its largest military deployment since WWII to combat these fires. Philanthropists from across the world and in Australia donated to help the cause, some doing more than others. Soon after the news about Australia started spreading, President Trump ordered the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the second most popular figure in Iran. Democrats and Republicans agreed that he was an enemy combatant that had to be taken out since he had killed hundreds of US soldiers (indirectly); however, the timing of the murder was hardly ideal. Iran mourned for three days before promising revenge on the United States. They sent rockets into a US Air Base and though there were no casualties, approximately 50 US troops have been diagnosed with brain injuries (many of them being concussions). In response to their attack, the US fired some rockets back at an Iranian airbase. After all of Iran’s blustering, there hasn’t really much more activity in the region.

Back at home in the USA, Nancy Pelosi handed the articles of impeachment to the Senate and the trial of Donald J. Trump finally commenced. The entire debacle was riddled with controversy, though it is surprising what things are controversial. One of the main points of argument has been whether or not the Senate should be allowed to call witnesses at the trial. It seems to me, and it should seem painfully apparent to any other reader, that a criminal trial cannot function without witness testimony. One notable instance in the trial was Rand Paul walking out because the Chief Justice refused to read out his question that supposedly revealed the identity of the whistleblower. He exited the chambers and stated his question directly to reporters, though I’m not sure how legal that was. He was forfeiting his Constitutional duty of being a juror during this trial and therefore, violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.

The Wuhan Coronavirus has been devastating to China with reports of rising death tolls pouring in every day. Recent news came out that the virus can be killed with alcohol and heat, though the heat required would also kill a human (146 degrees Fahrenheit). 56 million people have still been quarantined and countries have instituted travel bans.

After being faced with this panic for about a week, the world was shocked to hear about the death of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. They both died in a helicopter crash due to poor flying conditions in Calabasas, California. Although he no longer played basketball, his devotion to and love for the sport touched many of those who watched him.

Staying out of major headlines, the country Myanmar was also found guilty by the UN of committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslims, who were forced to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. Yet, because of all of these major events, this news has flown under the radar. This persecution of Muslims has been perpetuated since 2017 and it continues until today.

And of course, to top it all off, Boris Johnson squeezed Brexit in at 5:00 PM on January 31st, at the last minute. So far, nothing catastrophic has happened to Britain’s economy, so it seems things could go well, although that might be asking too much out of this year.