International Conflict dominates the news, along with a number of other issues this January.
Conflict and disasters from Russia to Tonga have rocked the world the first month of 2022.
With Russia priming for an invasion into Ukraine, a volcanic eruption in Tonga, the Omicron variant, Boris Johnson’s latest scandal and the recent voting rights pushed by Senate Democrats, the world is a busy place and full of non stop events. These events mark January 2022.
The Russia-Ukraine Conflict
In recent months, the nation of Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops on its boarder with Ukraine. Russia claims this troop build up is as a deterrent to NATO’s eastern expansion and the interest of the Ukrainian to have a more western friendly policies, such as membership in both NATO and the European Union. Ukraine counters that with Russia aggression such as invading Crimea in 2014 and funding Pro-Russia insurgents in the eastern regions of the nation.
This is a high tension situation, that could boil over at any time, recent Intelligence reports indicate Russia is planning a false flag operation as a pretext to invade Ukraine. Recently President Biden has put 8,500 US troops on high alert, to be potentially deployed to Ukraine, to counter Russian Forces.
The newest variant of Covid-19, Omicron is currently raging across the world and is the most easily contractible and spreadable variant so far. It has caused Covid-19 infections to sky rocket breaking infection records across the globe. The CDC recommends the use of N-95 masks, regardless of vaccination status, in order to prevent the spread of the Omicron Variant and for citizens to protect themselves as well.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Omicron Variant “will ultimately find just about everyone.” With some positive news, the Variant seems to be in retreat in the places like Washington D.C., New York State, and New Jersey, all which recorded high levels of transmission of Omicron several weeks back. Cases are now plummeting on the east coast. Regardless, the Surgeon General of the US, Dr. Vivek Murthy has said the next few weeks will be tough. In Utah, Omicron cases are still breaking daily positive case records. State officials believe it will taper off soon and enter the endemic stage. That remains to be seen.
Senate Democrats Voting Rights Push
In recent news Senate Democrats made an attempt to change the Senate Rules in order to pass Voting rights legislation. Currently, most Legislation that is under consideration in the Senate takes 60 votes to end debate, when a group of Senators, at least 41, do not vote to end debate a bill “dies”, it is called a filibuster. However a simple majority can change the rules of the Senate can allow for a different number of senators to end debate, instead of 60. The two senate democratic holdouts on the filibuster are Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
On the topic of the filibuster both are firm holdouts to any attempts to change the Senate Rules on debate, Joe Manchin went on to say, “I’ve never changed my mind on the filibuster”. Their stances on not changing the Senate Rules has drawn speculation that in 2024, they may face tough primary challenges. With Kyrsten Sinema there has been much talk about current Representative Ruben Gallego running for the nomination in 2024, against Sinema, because of her current stance. It has got so bad for Sinema that she has been censured by the Arizona Democratic Party. Regardless, as of now it looks highly unlikely any Federal voting rights legislation will pass.
Boris Johnson “Party Gate”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom has been in hot water recently over the recent “party gate” scandal. During the Covid Lockdowns across the nation, which were extremely strict, the party violated those rules. The event was at 10 Downing Street, which is the residence of the UK Prime Minster.
Mr Johnson went as far as saying ” I did not know alcohol was going to be there,” despite it being a bring your own alcohol event. Multiple MPs have called upon Johnson to resign; there has even been a defection of a Conservative MP, Christian Wakeford, to the Labour Party over this issue. So far, Mr. Johnson has been able to survive this scandal.
Volcano in Tonga
On January 14th, 2022, the Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai volcanic island erupted causing earthquakes and Tsunamis in the area. As of now, three people were killed because of the effects of the Volcano eruption. It is the largest Volcanic Eruption of the 21st century, the eruption was more powerful than an Atomic Bomb.