Breaking down breaking news


AFP via Getty Images

An armoured vehicle drives next to the Sule Pagoda, following days of mass protests against the military coup, in Yangon on February 14, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

By Karlee Van De Venter, Arts and Features Editor

Lately, it feels like there is so much going on: in the world, in the news, in our lives. Keeping up with current events was hard enough already, and now we’ve got a lot of information getting thrown at us at all times. Use this breakdown of some current topics to get the basic understanding and what you need to know. 

  • Trump impeachment trial
    • Trump was being impeached on several grounds, mostly relating to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. 
    • While both legal teams had specific strategies, it really came down to whether or not Trump’s words beforehand could be considered the motivation behind the violence. 
    • Trump didn’t specifically tell his supporters “Go attack the Capitol building” at his rally. But he did tell them “You’ll never take back our country with weakness.” 
    • 57 senators voted guilty. 43 voted not guilty. But impeachment trials require a supermajority of votes (two-thirds), to show that the minority party also agrees. 
    • This means that Trump was 10 votes short of a conviction; his legal team won. 
    • Although Biden was on record hoping for a conviction, the quick end to this trial means Congress has more time to get back to his agenda. 

  • Coup in Myanmar
    • On Feb. 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew their government. The military was in power from 1962-2011, when they added some democratic elements.
    • Since Feb. 1, the country has been fully under military rule again.
    • This was in response to a recent civilian election, where the military’s party did poorly, and the rising civilian party won a lot. This has been speculated to be the effects of a prominent civilian leader.
    • The military tried to overturn results through their systems, but failed. 
    • They staged a coup, arresting civilian leaders and other notable figures. The military has maintained that it was a legal and justifiable move. 
    • Their 2008 constitution gives the military the power to declare a national emergency, which has been reported to last one year. 
    • The military then took control of or shut down the following: television broadcast, Internet access, all flights, phone access, stock market, commercial banks, and road blocks in some cities. 
    • Many other countries have disagreed with this coup since it happened.
Graphic of the various levels of cases of COVID-19 as of March 10, 2020. (Dark=more cases) (WIkipedia)
  • Washington in Phase 2
    • As of Feb. 14, all eight regions of Washington state have officially moved into Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s phased COVID-19 response plan. 
    • Every two weeks, the Department of Health evaluates each region. Moving into Phase 2 required three of these four things:
      • For every thousand people, a decreasing trend of 10% or more COVID-19 cases 
      • Decreasing trend of 10% or more COVID-19 hospitalizations 
      • Less than 90% ICU occupied 
      • Less than 10% of COVID-19 tests positivity
    • Some regions have been in Phase 2 for a while. 
    • Guideline changes for Phase 2 include:
      • Indoor gatherings allowed with a max of five people outside your household, with a limit of two households 
      • Outdoor gatherings allowed with a max of 15 people outside your household, with a limit of two households 
      • Restaurants allowed indoor dining at 25% capacity, closing at 11 p.m. 
      • Weddings and funerals allowed indoors if following venue guidelines, food guidelines (if there’s food) and no dancing. 
      • Indoor fitness and training places allowed at 25% capacity. Low-to-moderate risk sports allowed to compete indoors, excluding tournaments. 
      • Outdoor sports competitions allowed, excluding tournaments, with a max of 200 people overall. 
      • Indoor entertainment venues allowed at 25% capacity, with food guidelines. 
      • Outdoor entertainment venues allowed with groups of 15, limit two households per group and max of 200 people overall.