Around the world

Kanas City Teen shot after knocking on the wrong door


After accidentally ringing the wrong doorbell when trying to pick up his siblings, teen Ralph Yarl was shot by an 84 year old homeowner Andrew Lester in Kansas City. Lester claims that he believed Yarl was trying to break into his home, and was “scared to death” due Yarl’s size. Yarl was left in the street with gunshot wounds in his head and arm when the police responded to the scene around 10 pm. This event fueled many people to protest in Kansas City with chants of “Justice for Ralph”. Lester faces two felony charges, one as assault in the first degree, and the second being armed criminal action. On April 18, Lester turned himself in but was released later that day on bail. Yarl has been released from the hospital but faces a long road to recovery, states Yarl’s family. 


Supreme Court decision suspended


As of April 19, the U.S. The Supreme Court suspended their own deadline on deciding whether the pill mifepristone will stay accessible for women or not. Mifepristone was first approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration in 2000, and throughout the years, has been made more accessible for those seeking an abortion. The pill could be received through the mail, and be taken up until 10 weeks of pregnancy. This pill has been used for over two decades, and was a way that over five million women could end their pregnancy. Over half of the women who decided to end their pregnancies relied on the Mifepristone pill. U.S. district Judge Matthew Kacsmarky of Texas looks to end the approval of mifepristone, claiming that the 2000 decision was too rushed and that the pill is unsafe. However, his attempt was blocked by the Fifth Court of Appeals, but restrictions were put back in place for the first time since 2016. On behalf of the FDA, the Justice Department asked the Court to keep the pill on the market, causing Justice Samuel Alito to put a hold on the rulings. A lawsuit was filed by GenBioPro against the FDA in hopes of keeping the pill on the market. The Supreme Court suspended the decision until Friday at midnight eastern time before the fate of the drug is decided. The decision could be considered one of the biggest for reproductive rights since the overturning of Roe V. Wade in June. 


Multiple die in Yemen conflict


After a  gunshot and an electrical explosion, more than 78 people were killed and over a dozen people were injured during a stampede in Yemen’s capital. Many people gathered in the capital in order to receive financial aid and a gunshot was fired by an armed member of the Houthis in an attempt to control the crowd. Panic began, and many women and children were seen stampeding away from the shot. A video surfaced on social media showing dozens of motionless bodies lying on the ground, along with some screaming for help. This event took place in the Old City, which is the center of Sanaa. Here, hundreds of poor people gathered in hopes of receiving funds, stated the Houthi run ministry. However, the ministry’s spokesman Brig. Abdel-Khaleq al-Aghri claims that this “random distribution” of funds without correlation from local authorities is the cause for this tragedy. The rebels who were a part of this event quickly closed the school where this was taking place, and prevented people, including journalists from entering. Ever since 2014, Yemen has been under control of an Iranian backed Houthis, and in 2015, this created a Saudi led coalition in attempts of restoring the government. Since then, violences like this one has been frequent, and a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has raged on, causing over 150,000 deaths. The United Nations has deemed that two thirds of the Yemen population needs help and protection, but only 1.2 of their intended 3.4 billion funds have been raised. 


Journalist detained in Russian Court 


Last month, Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal was arrested with allegations for espionage while on a reporting trip. Gershkovich was reporting in rural cities of Yekaterinburg 900 miles away from Moscow before being detained.  Both the U.S. government and the Journal have denied the allegations strongly. Gershkovich has been denied bail and is now ordered to be held in Lefortovo prison in Russia’s capital while waiting for a pending trial. Most espionage cases are behind closed doors due to the fact that espionage laws are tied with political purposes, and most defendants rarely receive appeals in Russia. The U.S. government has called for his immediate release as they deem him as wrongfully detained. Before the start of the case, reporters and photographers were allowed to photograph Gershkovich, which was the first time the public had seen him since March 30. Gershkovic was given permission by Russia’s Foreign Ministry until he was charged with espionage April 7. While the Russian authorities have yet to publicly present evidence against Gershkovic, it is historically seen that one convicted of espionage received up to 20 years of imprisonment and a guilty verdict in Russia. Gershkovic will be held in pretrial detention until May 29.  


Chinese birth rate on decline


Recent data released by the United Nations shows India surpassing China as the world’s most populous nation. Based on the data, India is expected to reach a population of 1.4286 billion by mid year, while China currently has a 1.4257 billion population. With these two populations combined, both China and India account for more than a third of the world’s population. However despite the public’s eye, China has been experiencing a population decrease for the first time in six decades. China also experienced its lowest birth rate since communist China in 1949, having an average of 6.77 births per 1000 people, down from its 7.52 from last year. With India overtaking China, this creates significant economic implications for Asian countries. China is also currently going through its worst economic growth numbers as retirement numbers increase and labor forces decrease. For neighboring Asian countries, the decrease in birth rates is prominent. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida states that the country is “ on the verge of social dysfunction.” For countries with fewer children being born means an older workforce, and less taxes will be collected, impacting their economies in a negative manner. 

Finland joins NATO


As of April 18, Finland became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which was formed back in 1949 after World War II. Being formed by 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and many Western European countries, the intended goal was to create security against the Soviet Union. U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken states that with Finland joining, NATO is “stronger and safer”.  


Ancient Viking coins discovered


Using just a metal detector around a Danish Viking fortress, a little girl accidentally stumbled across 300 silver coins that are believed to be over 1,000 years old. Director of the North Jutland museum, Lars Christian Norbach states that the coins possibly date back to the 980s C.E. because of the cross inscription found among the coins. Norbach says that the coins are from around the same period of King Harald Bluetooth, who built the fort where the coins were found. These findings offer more insight to the history of Vikings, and archaeologists hope to start digging more on the site this upcoming autumn. The coins found will go on display in the Aalborg Historical museum in July.