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.

  • COVID-19 updates 
    • The CDC announced that individuals who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your last required shot) may go without masks or social distancing in public spaces, unless they are somewhere with requirements still in place. Businesses and governments are now trying to decide how to approach the change and update their protocols accordingly.
    • The Pfizer vaccine was approved for ages 12-17. 
    • Gov. Inslee announced that Washington is on track to return to completely normal by June 30. If 70% or more of Washingtonians have begun getting vaccinated, the state reopen could occur earlier. 
    • All counties in Washington are currently in Phase 3, which allows for 50% occupancy indoors. 
  • The conflict between Israel and Palestine
    • While the three Abrahamic religions (Arab Christians, Arab Muslims and Arab Jews) have lived in peace, the conflict  in Israel and Palestine has escalated far beyond that. 
    • Palestine took in a lot of Jewish refugees in Europe after the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism grew in the continent, sparking the rise of the Zionist movement, who want a Jew-only state. 
    • Over time, Palestinian land was divided, with some was given to European Jews. While there has been temporary peace, the two groups continued to push for more. 
    • The state of c was founded in Palestine in 1948. Through international systems, Israel grew more powerful and gained more resources. 
    • Palestinian refugees have since been unable to leave, stripped of their rights, patrolled/monitored consistently and only receive controlled basic resources. 
    • This April, the first night of Ramadan was being celebrated in the Asqa Mosque. At the same time, Israeli officials were celebrating their Memorial Day at a nearby sacred site. 
    • The Asqa Mosque had speakers, broadcasting prayer for those participating in Ramadan. The Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, was giving a speech, and officials requested that the Mosque stop broadcasting prayer during the speech. 
    • When the Asqa Mosque continued to broadcast prayer during the speech, Israeli officers raided the building and cut off access. Shortly after, a popular plaza for Palestinian celebrations was shut down by police. 
    • Palestinians began to protest in response. This led to counter-protests from far-right Jewish organizations. The plaza was then reopened, but not without consequences. 
    • Palestinians continued to fight against the treatment of their people, including the area’s long-term issue of displacement. As more Palestinians are displaced but unable to leave the country, the tension grows. 
    • On May 7, the police raided the Asqa Mosque with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to use against protesters. Both sides are claiming that the other started it. 
    • The following days saw more of the same, until the conflict had become a war. Israel has been bombing opposing leaders and their families. 
    • There have been around 200 reported Palestinian deaths and over 1,200 injuries. Israel is justifying the bombings of leaders, citing terrorism and weapon storage. 
    • The U.S. gives $3.8 in military aid to Israel each year. When speaking with Israeli officials, Biden agreed that Israel had the right to respond to the terrorist threat, but also advocated for solutions without further bombings. He also had concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian people. 
  • Pipeline hack 
    • The Colonial Pipeline based in Georgia reaches from Texas to New Jersey. Around half of the motor and aviation fuel in the Northeast and the South travels through the Colonial. 
    • The pipeline suffered a ransomware attack from DarkSide, an organized crime group. They were paid $4.4 million in ransom. 
    • The demand for gas spiked in several states after the hack, which the hackers supposedly did not intend for. 
    • President Biden issued an executive order for stronger cybersecurity in the U.S.