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  • Lorraine Kim, Erica Na

Week of June 30

International:


Israel-Hamas

  • Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia group based in Lebanon, continue to grow as Iran recently threatened to carry out a war if Israel launches an attack. 

  • Amid mounting international pressure, top Israeli generals now recommend a ceasefire in Gaza as the best way to cope with low munition supply and free the remaining hostages. 

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported that Israel is nearing the end of its military operations to eliminate Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The military issued for residents in Khan Younis and Rafah to evacuate as a possible ground invasion may commence.


Iran

  • Initially, Iran’s election failed as none of the six candidates secured enough votes for a win. In a runoff election, Masoud Pezeshkian was named president.  


France

  • In France’s parliamentary elections, the far-right National Rally party takes the lead in the initial round of voting. As President Emmanuel Macron’s party lags behind in third place, he might now have to appoint a prime minister from the opposition.  


Britain

  • Keir Starmer was elected as the new British Prime Minister in a landslide victory for the Labour Party.


Domestic:


Politics

  • After Joe Biden’s disappointing debate performance, wealthy Democratic donors began pressuring him to step aside. Such calls are echoed by House Democrats such as Lloyd Doggett of Texas. Biden’s campaign team is scrambling to damage control the situation, reassuring donors that he is capable of winning. However, President Biden is determined to stay in the race. 

  • The Supreme Court ruled that Donald Trump has partial immunity from prosecution for his actions while in office. President Joe Biden issued a warning, saying that this set a “dangerous precedent.” 

  • Rudy Giuliani was stripped of his right to practice law in the state of New York due to his efforts to support Donald Trump’s overturning of the 2020 election. 


Climate

  • Hurricane Beryl, a Category 5 storm, has caused extreme damage in the Caribbean region, including Grenada and St. Vincent. Nearly every building was destroyed and many are stranded without water or power.  

  • In Northern California, thousands are being forced to evacuate as wildfires quickly spread.


Health

  • On Tuesday, the FDA approved a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that this drug can slow the progression at early stages.


Current Events in STEM

AI and Gene Editing: A Transformative Pair in Biotechnology

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and gene editing technologies are poised to revolutionize biotechnology, offering the potential to address major environmental and medical challenges. AI systems like AlphaFold have significantly enhanced our understanding of protein structures by accurately predicting their shapes and binding sites. This advancement has accelerated drug discovery and the development of new treatments by allowing scientists to design drugs that precisely target disease-related proteins. Similarly, CRISPR technology has revolutionized gene editing by making the process faster, more cost-effective, and more accurate by modifying specific gene sequences and creating bespoke proteins and enzymes. However, while these technologies offer immense benefits, they pose risks that could lead to unintended consequences. We should keep an eye on these advancements in biotechnology as these technologies continue to evolve and potentially reshape our world.


Unveiling Ancient Secrets: Trilobite Fossils Reveal Soft Tissue Treasures

Recent discoveries have unveiled remarkably preserved trilobite fossils, showcasing soft tissues like legs and antennae in unprecedented detail. These fossils, dating back around 500 million years, were found in Utah's Wheeler Formation and provide valuable insights into the ancient marine ecosystem. Scientists are studying these specimens to understand trilobite biology and evolution better, highlighting the significance of such finds in paleontological research and our understanding of early life forms on Earth.



Discovery of a New Star from Stellar Explosion

A recent astronomical discovery of a new star formed from a stellar explosion, or nova, has captivated scientists. This phenomenon, which was observed during the summer, sheds light on the dynamic processes within our universe. Nova explosions occur when a white dwarf star pulls material from a companion star, triggering a sudden burst of energy visible as a bright new star. Documented by researchers, this event highlights the ongoing exploration of celestial dynamics and contributes to our understanding of stellar evolution.


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