Cramm for 5/6/21
Colombia is experiencing deadly protests.
A couple weeks ago, people in Colombia started protesting a planned tax reform that would essentially lower the threshold at which salaries are taxed, raise taxes on bizes, and ax some current tax exemptions. In other words: a lot more people were going to have to pay a lot more taxes. This comes in a country where nearly half of the population lives in poverty - a crisis that’s been worsened by the pandemic.
Those protests have turned into clashes. Buildings - including police stations - have been attacked. Roads have been blocked. And police are responding with violence. At least 23 civilians have been killed as “hooded police and military officers” have opened fire on protesters with semiautomatic weapons and rifles. More than 800 people have been injured. 80 have gone missing. The unrest has reportedly been made worse by the fact that the city of Cali, where many of the clashes are taking place, has faced conflict waged between paramilitary groups and drug traffickers for decades.
The gov is blaming the violence on left-wing extremists and maintaining that police officers have been acting in self-defense. Meanwhile, the United Nations’ human rights office says it’s “deeply alarmed” by the violence against protesters.
These protests have been ongoing for the past two weeks. TBD on if and when peace will be reached.
CORONAVIRUS: Lately, cases in Nepal have been skyrocketing - leading to concerns the country’s outbreak could start to mimic India’s devastating outbreak. Over in the US, the Biden team threw its support behind waiving intellectual property rights for the coronavirus vaccines. That’d help get more shots to developing countries, many of which have struggled to get the vaccine. In other news, a federal judge just overturned the Trump-era federal eviction moratorium, which pretty much prevents landlords from kicking out tenants who meet a certain set of criteria. The Justice Dept plans to appeal. On that note: the US Paycheck Protection Program is out of money for most bizes, just a couple weeks ahead of its official closure.
PEOPLE: Last year, a 27 year old Black man - Rayshard Brooks - was fatally shot by a police officer - Garrett Rolfe - after falling asleep in his car at a Wendy’s in Atlanta. Rolfe was fired almost instantly. Scratch that, because yesterday, the Atlanta Civil Service ruled that Rolfe was wrongly terminated. Now, it looks like he’s been reinstated as a police officer - but still faces a felony murder charge. Meanwhile, recently, two Asian women were attacked by a man with a military-style knife in broad daylight in San Francisco. A suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, while the two women are said to in non-life-threatening conditions. This comes as anti-Asian hate crimes surged in 16 of the largest US cities and counties by 164 percent since this time last year.
WORLD: G7 leaders aren’t too happy with China. Quick refresher: the Group of Seven (aka G7) is made up of seven different countries: the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan. While China isn’t a part of this particular alliance, it is part of the World Health Organization - and it’s blocking Taiwan from joining. Hint: China thinks Taiwan is part of their country. Taiwan vehemently disagrees. Cue a series of recent Chinese military maneuvers around the island. Now, it looks like reps from G7 are warning China against escalating things further and letting it know they want Taiwan to become a member of the WHO. Meanwhile, two US students were just found guilty of killing an Italian policeman in 2019. They’ve been sentenced to life in prison.
WHAT TO KNOW
“Kim Kardashian:” who’s been linked to a looted ancient Roman statue. Well, her house does look like a creepy museum.
“This block of concrete is actually a fully functional trumpet” - an actual headline. …Okay?