- Current Events
Garrett McKenzie ‘24 contributes yet another excellent article on world news, highlighting events that took place in April 2021.
In the month of April, there were many notable events that took place in the world. Here, we take a look at just a couple of these:
- The Derek Chauvin Trial: On April 20, former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Charges were brought against him after he knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes last May, which resulted in Floyd's death and a nationwide outcry against police brutality and racism against the Black and Brown communities. This trial has been marked as a possible turning point in the fight against police brutality, primarily due to the fact that the officer involved was actually convicted, and that other police officers testified against him. After the verdicts were read, George Floyd's brother, Philonise, was interviewed by a reporter, saying, "I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice." (NPR)
- NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter: Earlier this year, NASA landed their Perseverance Rover on Mars, with the goal of looking for signs of ancient life (for more on NASA's Perseverance Rover, click HERE). The rover came equipped with a small helicopter named Ingenuity, which would test flight conditions on Mars. On April 19, it completed its first successful flight, rising roughly 10 feet off the ground, hovering for just over half a minute, and then returning to the Martian surface. This marks the first time an aircraft has made a controlled, powered flight on another planet. Since then, it has made several more successful flights (NASA).
- Myanmar Violence: On February 1, the military in Myanmar staged a coup against the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. They successfully gained control of the government, and currently, have her imprisoned in an unknown location. In response, protests have erupted, but have been met by violent crackdowns on the part of the military. An estimated 748 people have been killed, and 3,389 have been detained. Now, there is reporting of civilians training with rebel military groups to combat the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar armed forces. Myanmar has long been a place of volatility due to its' history of violence, but many countries fear recent events could lead to an all-out civil war. In response, global leaders have imposed sanctions on the military, enacted embargoes against Myanmar, and international organizations like the UN have met to discuss possible solutions to the violence. This story is still unfolding, so be on the lookout for new information as it appears (NPR, BBC).
- Controversial Voting Bill in Georgia: Georgia Republicans signed a controversial new bill over voting rights into law this past month. According to the GOP leadership, the bill is supposed to make elections in Georgia more secure, but many Democrats are arguing that the bill makes it harder to vote. Among many provisions in the new law, handing out food and water to voters standing in line is a misdemeanor, the number of election drop boxes has been decreased, and the state election board will be able to replace county election boards. According to Democrats, these provisions and other like it will make it easier for the GOP-controlled Georgia government to impact the outcome of elections, and many voting rights groups have agreed, calling out the legislators who passed the bill. However, this has not stopped similar bills from being signed in other states like Florida and Texas. For more information on this bill, take a look at these links: New York Times Article, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Article.
Hopefully, this provided an informative reflection on this past month of April. Many of these stories have further developed recently and will continue to do so, so look out for updates and more information.