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  • Erica Na

Week of February 18

International

Middle East:

  • The UN Security Council voted on an Algerian draft proposal calling for an immediate ceasefire ahead of an Israeli invasion of Rafah, a southern city in Gaza, where millions of Palestinians are taking refuge. The US was the lone vote against this proposal. 

Russia-Ukraine:

  • Despite having passed a $60 billion aid bill in the Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to bring it to the House floor. Congress’s inability to successfully approve aid is particularly alarming given Ukraine’s recent land cessions, including key city Avdiivka. Meanwhile, the US Army has funded all operations and equipment costs. Experts believe that this plan is not sustainable. Without adequate funding, Ukraine will likely have to retreat further. Sweden, however, has pledged an unprecedented $683 million in aid.

  • This comes as the death of notable anti-kremlin leader Aleksei Navalny stirred the Russian public. Public demonstrations and mournings have led to 366 arrests.


 

Domestic


  • Joe Biden announced a $1.2 billion student debt cancellation plan for over 150,000 borrowers who are part of a repayment plan called SAVE. In total, his administration canceled $138 billion in debt. 

  • On Saturday, Donald Trump won the South Carolina primary, despite it being Nikki Haley’s home state. Haley has promised to continue her campaign into the next GOP primary, which is set for Tuesday in Michigan. 

  • The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children under state law, and anyone who destroys them can be sued for wrongful death. This could have serious impacts on the future of infertility treatments. Since the ruling, at least 2 health providers stopped IVF treatments. This ruling has received criticism from Conservatives and Democrats alike.


 

Other

  • A Houston-based company successfully landed the lunar spacecraft Odysseus. This marks the United States's first successful lunar landing since the Apollo program, over 50 years ago. The goal of this mission is to assess conditions in preparation for a NASA crewed mission in 2026. 

  • Following the Kansas City Super Bowl rally shooting, two men have been charged with 2nd-degree murder.

  • The 77th BAFTA Awards took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England on February 18. Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy, and Poor Things, starring Emma Stone, were the clear stand-out winners.

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