Representative Ilhan Omar’s Removal

On Feb. 2, the United States’ Republican-led House of Representatives, in a 218 to 211 vote, passed a resolution to remove Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The House Foreign Affairs Committee considers legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, which includes the United Nations and Peace Corps. The resolution cited Rep. Omar’s anti-semitic 2019 tweets where she suggested the U.S. relationship with Israel as “all about the Benjamins” as a reason for her removal. Congresswoman Omar has since apologized for her past tweets. Democrats believe the decision to remove Rep. Omar is another act of political revenge because Republicans vowed to remove Omar from her committee if they won the House majority. In response to the resolution, Congresswoman Omar said, “My leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee for one term. My voice will get louder and stronger.”


Netflix Anti-Password Sharing Policy 

On Jan. 31, Netflix’s Help Center page outlined its new anti-password sharing policy. The Help Center detailed how Netflix passwords should be shared. In early January, Netflix confirmed that it would be cracking down on password sharing by March. Their new policy stated that account users who are not watching from the account’s primary location will receive a code that will allow them to use the account for up to seven days. Netflix has tested out similar policies in Latin America. In response to the backlash Netflix received about the new policy, a Netflix spokesperson said the anti-password sharing policy only applies to certain Latin American countries. As of February 1st, Netflix removed the new rules from their website, but it is still unclear when the new policies will be implemented. 


Tyre Nichols Police Release Footage 

On Jan. 27, body cam footage of Tyre Nichols’ brutal arrest was released by the Memphis Police Department. Tyre Nichols was a 29-year-old Black man who died in January after being excessively beaten by Memphis police officers. The footage was released in four parts and included both body camera and streep lamp-mounted camera video showing the attack. The footage shows five Memphis police officers pulling Tyre over at a traffic stop and yelling at him to “Get on the fucking ground.” Nicholas responded by saying he was on the ground and just trying to go home. The five police officers beat, threatened, kicked, tased, pepper sprayed and struck Nicholas with a baton while he cried out for his mother. It took 26 minutes before the ambulance arrived. There are still over 20 hours of additional footage in the Tyre Nicholas case that will be released in the coming weeks. 


Half Moon Bay Farm Shooting

On Jan. 23, a string of deadly shootings at Half Moon Bay mushroom farms in California killed seven people. This incident is the second deadliest mass shooting in the state in less than 48 hours. On Jan 21,11 people  at a dance hall in Southern California’s Monterey Park. The shooter, Chunli Zhao, was a former Half Moon Bay employee. Zhao, 66,  shot and killed four coworkers and wounded a fifth at California Terra Garden. He then drove to a nearby farm where he used to work and killed three more people. Zhao said he carried out the shooting after his supervisor demanded he pays $100 to repair a damaged forklift. Zhao insisted that he did not break the forklift and should not have to pay. In an interview, Zhao said the farm ignored his complaints about him being bullied. Zhao is now in custody and officials have opened an investigation into workplace practices at the shooting sites. 


Brazil and Argentina Common Currency 

On Jan. 22, the presidents of Brazil and Argentina, Alberto Fernández and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, announced their plans to make a common currency between their two countries. This new currency would be the world’s second-largest currency. The initial focus for this new currency is to boost each country’s regional trade and reduce its dependence on the United States. There are also plans to include other Latin American countries in the discussions about this new combined Investors are doubtful if the common currency will gain traction due to Brazil’s high-interest rates and Argentina’s crippling inflation. 


Mysterious White Balloon 

On Feb. 1, people saw a white balloon with what appeared to be a solar array hanging from it drifting above Monata. The balloon is the size of three school buses and was seen 60,000 feet in the air. Around the same time the balloon appeared in the air, the Pentagon said it was tracking a Chinese spy balloon over the state. Pentagon Spokesman Brig, Gen. Patrick Ryder said the US has been tracking the balloon and it is “ traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on ground.” The United States senior defense official has confirmed that the balloon belongs to China. China claims the balloon accidentally entered American airspace, but the senior defense official says the U.S. is willing to do whatever to protect its people.