Breaking Down Breaking News

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.

  • Former President Mary Cullinan passes away
    • First and foremost, the campus community was rocked this week with the news that former President of the university Dr. Mary Cullinan passed away. She was 72.
    • Cullinan was the first female president at EWU, a position she held for six years. 
    • The Easterner would like to acknowledge and thank her for the contributions she made over her time at EWU. May she rest in peace. 
    • Her family has requested their privacy be respected regarding the matter. 
  • Looking at COVID-19 in India
    • Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, India rushed into quarantine, giving only a few hours notice. 
    • The rushed quarantine with a lack of resources hurt the economy and the people of India. They inevitably released quarantine, with low cases, but also low preparation. 
    • India was in the re-opening process through the summer of 2020, which some experts are saying was too early. 
    • As COVID-19 cases began to rise again in India, the country did not return to lockdown. The country does not necessarily have the ability to provide vaccinations to citizens or assistance through another quarantine, considering the economic state and large population. 
    • The crisis escalated to the country reporting hundreds of thousands of new COVID-19 cases every day. The total reported number has reached over 20 million, though experts believe the true number is much higher. 
    • A new variant was subsequently discovered in India that has begun spreading to other countries. While Indian officials have been taking measures to control the spread, many of them have been vocal about only using a lockdown as a last resort. 
    • Biden has offered assistance to India by sending aid shipments, including vaccine doses and oxygen. Several other countries have been sending assistance as well. 
    • Biden also issued an Indian travel ban. 
Keri Kelly
  • Trump’s Facebook ban extended
    • Facebook’s Oversight Board met early this month to decide if the social media was correct to ban former President Trump, and if the ban would be upheld. 
    • While Trump received several disciplinary actions and warnings from Facebook and other social media platforms throughout his presidency, he wasn’t banned until earlier this year. His posts regarding the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building got him removed from the platform. 
    • The board withheld that Trump’s posts that day condoning the actions of the rioters definitely broke Facebook’s guidelines. They noted the clear and present threat/danger of violence in his posts. 
    • However, the board also called upon Facebook to decide if Trump’s ban would be temporary or permanent, and explain that clearly within six months. 
  • Protests in Colombia 
    • Colombia has spent over a week in protest against the government regarding the worsening state of poverty and inequality in the country. 
    • The government is using militarized police force against protestors. Since the demonstrations began, at least two dozen people have died and around 90 people have gone missing. 
    • While many citizens were unhappy with the state of the government prior to COVID-19, satisfaction in Colombia has only fallen throughout the pandemic. When a new tax reform plan was announced, the tension between citizens and government broke and demonstrations began. The tax reform was the last straw for those who have spent all of their time suffering. 
A panel held at EWU in 2019. (The Easterner)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates both single now 
    • After 27 years of marriage, part-time Washington residents Bill and Melinda Gates filed for divorce. 
    • The Bill and Melinda Gates Organization will not be affected by the divorce, according to the Gates’ and executives within the organization. Positions and responsibilities have not changed in response, and there is no intention for that to happen. 
    • There has not been much released regarding the formal and legal separation process, or the division of property. 
  • Look out for a falling rocket
    • Chinese rocket “Long March 5B” spent some time orbiting Earth as scientists tracked it. The rocket, now considered space debris, was going to fall back to Earth, in an unknown location. 
    • Over the weekend, it fell into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives. 
    • The rocket originally launched to carry pieces of the space station China is building, Tiangong. 
    • It is common practice for space debris to fall into the ocean, controlled or uncontrolled. However, due to the sheer weight of the Long March 5B, one of the biggest rockets in use, concerns were raised about the situation. 
    • No concerning aftermath has come up, but many countries are looking at China for how it will move forward.