From The New York Times pulling journalists out of Russia to Florida passing the Anti-LGBTQ+ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill, this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
NEW YORK TIMES FORCED TO PULL OUT OF RUSSIA
Major media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC News, Bloomberg, and CNN, pulled out of Russia after Moscow issued a new law banning independent coverage on the invasion of Ukraine. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, anyone accused of spreading “false information” about the invasion could be punished by up to 15 years in Russian state prison.
Most independent Russian media outlets have already been shut down, with Western outlets momentarily removing their embedded journalists from the country. Some outlets, such as The Washington Post, said they would continue to report on the war from inside Russia, but that bylines would be removed to protect reporters.
RUSSIAN FORCES NEARED KYIV IN VIOLENT INVASION
Russian forces led a deadly invasion of Irpin this week, a city just north of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. In the Russian shelling, many reports of civilian deaths broke through, as families attempted to flee from danger.
In one report, Anastasia Stoluk, a 10-year-old Ukrainian girl, was killed by bored, drunk Russian soldiers. The troops then refused to let her mother bury her in the cemetery. In another harrowing account, a Silicon Valley mother and her two young children were killed as they tried to flee Irpin. The family stayed in the city just a little too long as forces approached, visiting to take care of an ailing relative.
SOUTH KOREA ELECTED ITS NEXT PRESIDENT
South Korea elected conservative leader Yoon Suk Yeol to be its president, after Democratic hopeful Lee Jae-myung narrowly conceded defeat. According to CNN, the opposition leader won 48.56% of the ballot share, ahead of Lee’s 47.83%.
Incumbent Moon Jae-in was not able to run for a second term, since presidents in South Korea serve single, five-year terms. Yoon Suk Yeol, a former prosecutor, ran on a campaign that promised a tougher stance on North Korean missile launches and more support for anti-feminists in the South Korean gender war.
AUSTRALIAN FLOOD PROMPTED NATIONAL EMERGENCY
Dangerous flooding in Australia’s Eastern region forced Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare a national emergency this week. At least 20 people have died due to record rainfall and flooding, with more than 60,000 people evacuated from their homes.
According to The New York Times, it was the first time that a national emergency call of this kind was issued in the country. Tens of millions of dollars in additional federal support was sent to people in need around the region, as flood waters continue to rise in parts of Sydney and New South Wales.
FLORIDA PASSED ‘DON’T SAY GAY’ BILL
The Florida Senate voted to pass the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill this week, bolstered by strong support from Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation seeks to limit educators from having conversations about gender identity and sexual orientation with their elementary school students.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill has received widespread condemnation from Democrats and the LGBTQ+ community, fearing for the safety of children who would no longer be able to explore their gender identity at school. Disney, one of the world’s largest animation and entertainment companies, also came under fire for not denouncing the bill after it was revealed that the company gave donations to some of the bill’s sponsors. But Disney has since reversed course and apologized to employees and fans for not speaking up sooner.
WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER WAS TRAPPED IN RUSSIA
Brittney Griner, a WNBA star who spends her off-season earning money in Russia’s basketball league, has been stuck in Russia as the Ukrainian invasion escalates. Griner was detained in Russia on suspicion of drug charges back in mid-February, and the U.S. State Department is concerned for her wellbeing during these turbulent times.
Critics commented that the fight to get her home safely should be “the biggest sports story in the country,” and that if she were Tom Brady she would have been back in the United States already. Others pointed out that the WNBA likely does not want to draw attention to the fact that many of its stars travel to play for other countries like Russia in the off-season, since the WNBA cannot afford to pay its athletes high enough salaries.
TRUMP’S SOCIAL MEDIA APP STRUGGLED TO LAUNCH
Truth Social, Donald Trump’s new social media platform, launched its first app on the Apple Store nearly two weeks ago and has struggled to build a base of users.
According to The Hill, hundreds of thousands of potential users are stuck on a waitlist while the app attempts to fix how it is currently inaccessible to many who downloaded it. Even those who signed up for the Beta launch have been unable to access the app, and the waitlist has reportedly not moved an inch in over 10 days.
OBI-WAN KENOBI TRAILER PREMIERED
Star Wars fans got a glimpse of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series coming to Disney+ this year, bringing back stars such as Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen 17 years since their last appearances.
The series will pick up 10 years after where Revenge of the Sith left off, stranding the titular Obi-Wan Kenobi on a desert planet as a young Darth Vader begins to plan his revenge. The first episode of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney+ on May 25.
GRIMES AND ELON MUSK REVEALED SECOND CHILD
Grimes announced that her and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a second child together via surrogacy on Thursday, and that their baby daughter was born back in December 2021.
Though the couple has since parted ways, Exa Dark Sideræl entered their lives not too long ago, joining their 1-year-old son X Æ A-12. Grimes and Elon Musk, mocked on Twitter for their eccentric baby names, were the subject of many more jests following the reveal. Elon Musk also shares five sons with his ex-wife Justine Wilson: Damian, Saxon, Griffin, Xavier and Kai. Wishing them both a big congrats!