As President Joe Biden nears the halfway mark of his term, we begin to look toward the next presidential election. One of the biggest stories so far has followed one of the Republican Party’s most promising new candidates, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. After a decisive gubernatorial reelection victory, DeSantis could capitalize on his momentum and avoid missing his opportunity like others have in the past. However, a familiar face stands in the way of DeSantis’ path to the nomination: former President Donald Trump announced his campaign for the 2024 presidency on Nov. 15, following his failed 2020 reelection bid. While DeSantis’ win in Florida will give him a solid boost to launch a possible campaign, Trump’s loyal base and stubborn attitude ensure that the race for the 2024 Republican nomination will be closely fought.
Last week, president Joe Biden announced a pardon for all those with federal charges for simple possession of marijuana, calling on governors to do the same at the state level and announcing that current classification of marijuana would be reviewed. The move is restorative, just, and a first step toward reform. Biden acted completely within his domain and made a reasonable adjustment to the national policy on marijuana that focuses on helping people, specifically people of color, rather than just focusing on legalization.
In early 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Though Russia was certain of a swift victory over their neighbor, Ukraine has proved resilient over the last seven months. Reports on the war have been somewhat inconsistent, hampered by Russian authorities’ efforts to restrict the flow of information, at times explicitly targeting journalists.
This week, a group of Philadelphia business owners and residents filed a lawsuit against the city for reinstating a mask mandate. The plaintiffs fear the repercussions of a mask mandate for businesses and feel that the mandate is invalid considering the current advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the city’s lack of authority on the decision. The plaintiffs’ complaints are valid; mask mandates can hurt local business and the city is going against the decision of the state. The city’s response, however, is valid as well. When the suit was filed, Philadelphia’s case count had increased by more than 50% in the previous 10 days. Earlier this year when the omicron variant became the dominant strain in the U.S., an increase in death rates followed a few weeks later, with tolls surpassing those of the more deadly delta variant. Though we do not know how deadly the new omicron subvariant will be, the increased transmissibility of omicron variants means it still poses a significant threat to public health. In order to look after those that are immunocompromised and also respect the livelihoods of the people of Philadelphia, a compromise must be made between these two arguments.
Two weeks ago, Tufts released information about the admitted students of Class of 2026. The selectivity and demographic diversity of the admitted students pool offers vital insight to Tufts’ future.
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest has been profound and consistent over the last several decades, but in the last few years it has drastically accelerated and is nearing a critical point. As we have seen little progress from conservation efforts, our only hope has been that the rainforest can rebound on its own, but research is showing that this will not always be the case. The damage to the Amazon is making it more susceptible to and less equipped to recover from environmentally damaging events and activities like droughts, logging and fires. The changes to the rainforest are becoming irreversible.
From celebrities appearing in cryptocurrency commercials to the repetitive, self-proclaimed investing gurus on TikTok, cryptocurrency has grounded itself in social media and pop culture. However, its swift growth on the internet has exposed many of the dangers of the business. While investing money is smart, and a new realm like cryptocurrency is encouraging for people looking to make money, the lack of understanding that most people have of cryptocurrency is frightening. Cardify, a market research platform, conducted various studies on the state of cryptocurrency in recent years and found thatover 83% of investors reported having only a moderate to low understanding of what they were investing in. As people are bombarded with information about cryptocurrency online, many feel pressure to get involved without any knowledge of the business, for fear of missing out. This trend of rash decision making, especially with something as volatile as cryptocurrency, has the potential to lead to significant loss.
From Oct. 31 to Nov. 13, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, took place in Glasgow, Scotland. After years of climate summits filled with unkept promises and a worsening global climate crisis, many were skeptical that this climate conference would be any different. Amidst the summit, popular environmental activist Greta Thunberg called COP26 a failure.However, it is important to try to think about the effort in its entirety and to find a more positive attitude about these meetings. While I agree with Thunberg’s sentiment and exhaustion following speech after speech filled with claims and commitments that we can’t help but question, I believe COP26 offered promising outcomes.
On Oct. 2, an oil spill off the coast of southern California was reported. According to Coast Guard officials, the spill came from a leak in a pipeline owned by Amplify Energy Corp, a Texas oil and natural gas company. The spill is said to have released around 25,000 gallons of oil, more than five times lower than what was previously estimated. Although this is the first major oil spill of 2021, as oil spills have decreased over the last few decades, we are still sitting at an average of about two per year in the U.S. While many people are concerned about the cost of making a national switch to renewable energy, it is time that we consider what oil drilling is costing us right now.