Breaking Down Breaking News


Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on April 9 at age 99. 

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.

  • Biden’s latest attention shift
    • President Biden announced a series of policies regarding gun control on April 8. Some executive orders were outlined, and some references to other legislation that would go to Congress. 
    • Biden targeted “ghost guns,” which are homemade guns made from ordered parts. He also introduced the ability to “red flag” people upon certain circumstances, meaning family and/or law enforcement would be able to petition for temporary restrictions against an individual’s firearms eligibility. 
    • Most gun-related policies would need serious bipartisan support to be passed, meaning much of Biden’s proposed legislation will need more work before it’s passed. 

Trigger warning: This section refers to hate crimes and homicide. This could be triggering to some readers. Please continue at your own discretion. 

  • Derek Chauvin’s trial 
    • Continuing from last week, Derek Chauvin’s trial regarding the death of George Floyd is still underway. The key points are still determining Floyd’s cause of death and evaluating Chauvin’s use of force.
    • Several members of the police force took the stand to explain the training and protocols they use. Chauvin attended training in 2018, which promoted use of force only when necessary, and not for low-level offenses. 
    • The Minneapolis chief of police testified that Chauvin violated policy with Floyd.
    • The defense also considered the role of the growing crowd around the scene as it occurred. They mentioned how that could alarm officers and hinder their ability to work.
    • There was also focus on Floyd’s drug use. The court went over what was in his car that day and what was in his system after he died. 
    • However, it was determined that the cause of Floyd’s death was the lack of oxygen; he would’ve died regardless of what was in his system. 
    • The medical examiner testified that had it not been for Chauvin’s force, Floyd would be alive. There were other contributing factors, but that was the cause of death. 
  • Prince Philip died 
    • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on April 9 at age 99. 
    • The funeral ceremony is planned for April 17 as a private traditional event at Windsor Castle. 
    • The Royal family is gathering to pay respects, including Prince Harry. He plans to return to the U.K. for service and return to his pregnant wife in the U.S. 
  • Be careful around songbirds 
    • Songbirds in the PNW, mainly pine siskins, were hit with a salmonellosis outbreak early this year. There was an increase in sick and dying songbirds reported, especially on the west side of WA. 
    • The salmonellosis spread to other birds as well, often around bird feeders. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife requested residents take down their bird feeders through April 1. 
    • This outbreak spread to six cases of salmonella in humans in Washington, and officials predict there may be more unreported or still manifesting. 
    • Now that bird feeders can go back up, it is cautioned they are still handled carefully. Anyone with a bird feeder should be closely monitoring the health and activity around their feeder. 
    • If a dead bird is spotted around a feeder, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife requests that the feeder be taken down for at least two weeks. 
    • The risk is starting to go down, but Washington residents should still wash their hands after coming in contact with birds, bird feeders and/or birdbaths.
  • What happens without Yahoo Answers?
    • The popular Q&A discussion board Yahoo Answers is shutting down after approximately 16 years. The site will stop allowing new questions on April 20 and will be completely taken down on May 4. 
    • Users of the platform can request their data until June 30. 
    • The company explained to users that the site’s popularity had been decreasing, and it’s resources would now be better spent elsewhere.