From the Oxford Shooting victims to the spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant, this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
OXFORD SHOOTING SHAKES MICHIGAN COMMUNITY
Four teenagers were killed at Oxford High School in Michigan, a heartbreaking tragedy that kicked off the week with another school shooting. Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old student at the school, was arrested as the main suspect in the shooting, later revealed to have had a disciplinary meeting with the school just a day before the attack occurred. A motive is still unknown.
Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17, were the four Oxford shooting victims, along with seven other injured students and a 47-year-old teacher, who is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital. A terrifying video was shared on social media that showed students escaping out of a window.
The students reported that active shooter drills had helped them prepare for the situation, a tragedy that occurs far too often in the United States. After a lull when schools were closed during the pandemic, there have been 28 school shootings resulting in either death or injuries in 2021.
ALEC BALDWIN SAYS HE NEVER PULLED TRIGGER
In an hour-long interview that premiered on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, Alec Baldwin claimed that he “didn’t pull the trigger” in the accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust. The claim was backed up by assistant director Dave Halls and his lawyer, Lisa Torraco.
Throwing a potential wrench in the investigation, Sante Fe authorities remain skeptical that the gun misfired without the trigger being pulled. Baldwin also denied holding the prop gun up to the camera. Earlier this week, investigators released a search warrant for Seth Kenney, the mentor to rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Authorities believe that the prop house owner who supplied the film set with guns was responsible for providing live ammo on the film set.
COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT SPREADS
The South African variant of the Covid-19 virus has spread globally, concerning doctors and health officials after the first U.S. case appeared in Colorado. Two more cases have appeared since, in Minnesota and New York City, but luckily the new variant isn’t proving to be any more dangerous than the Delta strain so far.
Health officials remain vigilant since the variant is still new, but breakthrough cases have only shown minor signs of symptoms so far for those who are vaccinated. The Covid-19 vaccine and the recently available booster shot are still the best defense against the virus as doctors continue to learn more.
SUPREME COURT DISCUSSES ABORTION RIGHTS
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case heard by the Supreme Court about a Mississippi law curbing back the abortion timetable, has the power to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the greatest piece of reproductive rights legislation since 1973.
Oral arguments ended on Wednesday and the Supreme Court will now deliberate in a process that could take months, bleeding into the midterm elections. Members of the court, primarily conservative since the Trump administration, are reportedly considering overturning Roe v. Wade, or at least rendering it void by letting the Mississippi law stand.
CNN SUSPENDS CHRIS CUOMO
Chris Cuomo was suspended from his anchoring job at CNN this week after transcripts revealed that he had a much larger role counseling his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through his sexual harassment scandal.
Chris Cuomo responded saying that he understood why some people “feel the way that they do,” with some critics arguing that his involvement crossed a line of journalistic integrity. CNN previously stood by Cuomo’s side even for months amid criticism, marking new territory for the news network by suspending him indefinitely.
MLB LOCKOUT STARTS AFTER AGREEMENT TALKS FAIL
Major League Baseball (MLB) locked out its players for the first time since 1990 after failing to come to an agreement with the players union over a new labor contract.
Coaches and players want a chance to the draft experience, suggesting a change to a lottery-style draft like those in the NFL or the NBA, so that players could be paid more adequately, and teams would not be accused of tanking for better draft picks. Over 60 players gathered for negotiations, which came to a halt after a matter of hours. The League has until Spring Training starts in February to come to a decision, or the 2022-2023 season will be delayed.
STAFF AT BUZZFEED WALKS OUT AS COMPANY GOES PUBLIC
Some staff members at Buzzfeed staged a walkout as the company announced its plan to go public and trade at the stock market. Shareholders also announced a merger for the news organization where they would acquire Complex News for over $300 million.
Buzzfeed employees in the walkout claimed that they have been bargaining for a union contract with the company for two years, and that they were not budging on wages despite preparing to increase executive incomes with a merger and stock trading.
STEPHEN SONDHEIM PASSES AWAY AT AGE 91
Stephen Sondheim, one of musical theaters greatest lyricists and composers, passed away at the age of 91. His death was reportedly sudden despite his old age, as the Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd composer was remembered by some of Broadway’s biggest names.
Bernadette Peters called him the Shakespeare of musicals, as celebrities mourned the West Side Story and Company musician with eight Tony Awards, an Oscar, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him by former President Barack Obama.
CRITICS ARE LOVING THE NEW ‘WEST SIDE STORY’
Rave reviews for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story reboot have been pouring in from critics who are surprised by the performances and the musicals successful revival.
Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, who play Tony and Maria, were also praised for their singing, which was originally performed be separate vocalists in the 1961 classic. Rita Moreno, the original Anita, also makes a cameo as “Valentina.” The film premieres in theaters next Friday, Dec. 10.
BEATLES DOCUMENTARY GIVES FANS AN INSIDE LOOK
A new three-part Beatles documentary titled The Beatles: Get Back has brought fans closer to the classic British rock group than ever before. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson helmed the special, pet project, compiling over 60 hours of behind-the-scenes footage down to the best 468 minutes.
Premiering on Disney+, the series does not hold back the tension shared by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr while making Let It Be, their final album together. But it also displays some of the lighter, creative moments. Check it out this weekend!