Abuses of Power in Belarus
Journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich, native to Belarus, received six months in prison after presenting an article showing how a protester was unjustly murdered by authorities. The government suggested the protester, Raman Bandarenka, sustained injuries from being intoxicated, but it was a cover-up. Belarus has quite the repressive government if it jails journalists for revealing the truth.
To avoid oppression against Belarus’ leader, Alexander Lukashenko, the police forces in Belarus will go to the extremes of murdering those in the way. Belarus doesn’t have the same standards that America has, where people can criticize the government and be promised safety. A doctor, Artyom Sorokin, worked alongside Barysevich, to conclude and publicize that the protester wasn’t drunk when he died, and must have died at the hands of the police. The President’s administration doesn’t want their deeds to be publicized, even if it isn’t right that a protester was beaten to death. Therefore, the doctor is out of a job for two years, all for exposing his corrupt government.
Belarus currently has 246 people that are facing incarceration for political reasons. The protester in question has unfortunately been dead since November, and Belarus’ government was quick to jail Barysevich the same month. Clearly, the amount of oppression here is no coincidence, and with the same leadership and censorship, things will stay the same in Belarus. They have had the same President since 1994, which has been a major culprit of their lack of morals and their tight grip on their citizens.
By: James Fitzpatrick
March 10th, 2021
Protesters Cause Chaos At The United States Capitol
By: Hannah Colannino
January 9th, 2021
Joe Biden will come into office as our 46th United States President on January 20th, 2021. Many supporters of 45th U.S. President Donald Trump, are very unhappy with these results. On January 6th, protesters took things into their own hands and came from all around the country to storm the U.S. Capitol only a few weeks after Biden was elected President.
The Article, “How A Presidential Rally Turned Into A Capitol Rampage” from The New York Times mentions, “For weeks, Mr. Trump had urged his supporters to go to Washington to stop the certification of the election results, and several simultaneous rallies were planned for Wednesday.” These rallies started off innocent until some people started getting agitated. Around 12:49 pm a pipe bomb was reported only a block away from the Capitol. People were now in danger and things were beginning to get violent. Police officers were being harrassed and the crowds eventually broke through multiple barriers. Around 2:11 pm, the rioters eventually ended up breaking into the Capitol building. The mob became enraged and even began beating up police officers and vandalizing the building. Multiple people ended up hurt, in jail, and even dead. One of those rioters was identified as Jacob Chansley of Arizona ,who was charged with theft of government property as well as trespassing.
Police Chief, Robert Contee III, said in a press conference, “Benjamin Phillips, 50, from Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, from Kennesaw, Georgia, all died from medical emergencies on the grounds of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.” Other reported deaths were pronounced dead off Capitol grounds. It is very unnerving that these people lost their lives due to this horrific event.
The article from The Washington Post called “Secret Service Launches Massive Security Operation to Protect Biden’s Inauguration”, mentions the precautions that will be taken to ensure the safety of Joe Biden and his colleagues at the inauguration. “.....the Secret Service will take command of security preparations at the U.S. Capitol and other federal buildings, backed by as many as 15,000 National Guard troops, thousands of police and tactical officers, and layers of eight-foot steel fencing.”
No matter who you vote for, something all people can agree on, is wanting America to be a safe place for all.
By: James Fitzpatrick
January 10th, 2021
Queen Elizabeth II held a landmark virtual meeting with ambassadors all over the world on December 4th, 2020. The meeting consisted of three fellow world leaders: Georgia was represented by Ambassador, Ms. Sophie Katsarava; the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste by Mr. Gil de Costa; and Hungary by Dr. Ferenc and Viktória Kumin. Normally, royal meetings are held in Buckingham Palace, but due to many circumstances like the Pandemic and the palace’s ongoing renovation, the Queen is operating in Windsor Palace for the time being.
This all-important meeting was done through a video call, which had the guests initially show their Letters of Credence, verifying their identities and giving them permission to meet with the Queen. Former meetings like this were originally put on hiatus, once the Pandemic started, before video chatting became the standard for communicating. However, the Queen is always acting ahead of her time; for example, she virtually thanked volunteer workers helping with the Pandemic earlier in the year. It brings hope to see a world leader as significant as Queen Elizabeth II adapting well to the struggles of the modern world.
The Queen Reigns Over the Virtual World
By: Andrew Warren
January 20th, 2021
The Palm Cockatoo, the Australian-exclusive bird, and the only-known species of bird to use objects as an instrument to attract a mate, by drumming wood, is in danger! The Australian- exclusive bird is facing a dramatic decline: they are not yet considered endangered, however, due to natural disasters and loss of habitat, they soon could be.
The unique Palm Cockatoo has a very different trait. It uses its wood-drumming as a mating call, which is not very common for birds to do. They also use this to mark their territory. They can be up to 60 centimeters long and are known to weigh about 1 kilogram.
As of 2018, there was believed to be a population of 3,000. Due to habitat loss and seasonal fires, this number has very likely gone down. There is not yet an official count, but the population is facing a grim future ahead.
Scientists have released this information so more people are aware of the decreasing population of these birds. Hopefully this will prevent these birds from being hunted or entrapped. This information is public in hopes that they go back to a stable population.
Watertown’s Town Halls will soon have an Official Social Media Page
By : Brandon Leo
January 8, 2021
Our town will soon have a new Facebook page where they will talk about new plans happening in town: Covid 19 related issues, local events, business events, school events, road closures, and any types of town emergencies. “I think communication is vital for the citizens of our community. This Facebook page is intended to add another more instantaneous avenue for the town to get important information out,” said Mr. Raimo, the leading Town Manager.
There is still no official name for the page yet, but the town is taking it into consideration due to the mass number of people (8,500+) who are on the “Watertown CT Talks” Facebook page. The new page will make for a better social presence for Watertown and it will make it easier for the community to all share their opinions and have conversations on what is going on in their town.
There have been discussions of having “fun and positive” topics on the page as well, such as a “Merchandise Monday”, where they will promote all the clothing and accessories that have Watertown print on it. There are also plans of creating “Throwback Thursday”, which will bring nostalgia back to the Baby Boomers and Millennials. Also, “Talk Out Tuesdays”, where businesses/restaurants can come on and talk about special deals they're having so they can lure in more customers which would be fantastic for small businesses in our area. “I want positive information going out through this venue; positivity is contagious,” Mr. Raimo stated. For now, Watertown will be making a Facebook page. Down the road, there has been more talk about creating a Twitter or Instagram for Watertown as well.
2020 Presidential Election
By: Andrew Warren
December 1st, 2020
On November 3rd, the United States Presidential Election took place, and like many things, was brutally affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. President Donald Trump re-ran as a Republican candidate against Democratic Candidate Former Vice President, Joe Biden. Many people, especially celebrities, voiced their opinions online and over social media encouraging others to vote.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people voted by mail-in ballots. This caused a delay in the election results. Normally, results would come on the day of or after Election Day, November 3rd. This year, it was many days after the election, keeping many Americans in the dark about our next president.
After a brutally close presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was projected to be the winner on November 7th. Joe Biden won the race to 270 Electoral College votes leaving Donald Trump many points behind.
Many people are happy with the results of this election, and many people are upset. But what is important is that we respect the president and work together as a country to make this world a better place.
Alex Trebek is Gone, His Legacy Lives On
By: James Fitzpatrick
December 1st, 2020
36-year host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek lost his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer on November 8th, at 80 years old. Trebek´s health issues didn't stop him from hosting while keeping public updated on his status. His presence on the shows he hosted, especially Jeopardy!, was undeniable, always being quite an enigmatic figure in the game show scene.
Throughout the years, Trebek’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed, shown by his six Emmy awards and the constant recognition he received long before his passing. His presence was gratifying, but it was also consistent, considering his 36-year tenure as the Jeopardy! host, reaching up to the last year of his life. People look at Jeopardy! as the, “Sunday crossword puzzle of game shows”, as commented in, “Appreciation: The Irreplaceable Alex Trebek Made ‘Jeopardy!’ a Sane Place in a Mad World” by the Los Angeles Times. While he was able to adapt to the world for such a long time, he and his peaceful game show were able to stay grounded over the years and not be changed for the worst.
He viewed himself as any other humble individual would: an ordinary man, despite being one of the most famous game show hosts of the past few decades. According to “Quotes That Define Alex Trebek’s Legacy” by redbookmag.com, Trebek himself noted he was the type of person that “does all the repairs he can around the house; enjoys watching television; and thinks a simple dinner of fried chicken, broccoli and rice is just fine”. Trebek would rather ignore the lavish lifestyles he could afford to live a simple life. All of this exemplifies how he didn’t care for the fame and wanted to make people happy through staying with the same show.
The Canadian-born Trebek had other endeavors such as hosting Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth, High Rollers, and the Wizard of Odds. Jeopardy! will never be the same, with Trebek’s legacy imprinted on the show’s history and reputation. Rest in peace, Alex Trebek, in the name of anyone who turns on the television every night to escape from this ever-changing world.
Madrid Museum Offers "Escape From Reality" In Midst of Global Pandemic
By: Hannah Colannino
December 4th, 2020
In a collaboration between the La Caixa Foundation and Germany’s Vitra Design Museum , the Surrealism exhibit located in Madrid, Spain, offers an escape from the reality of the pandemic the world is facing right now. The exhibit has been running since 1926, but a few changes are being made to accommodate and ensure the safety of those who visit. There are over 279 works of art to distract the visitors from the fact we are in a global pandemic.
Isabel Salgado, who is the exhibition’s Director at the La Caixa Foundation, mentioned, “Surrealism helped to break the dogma of functionalism - the dogma that insisted that form had to be linked to function. Surrealism used the unconscious as a valid creative tool and one that opened the door to memory , imagination, desire and fate.” The art of Surrealism is a 20th-century Avant-Garde movement which portrays the kind of things you will see in dreams. Surrealism is not meant to be realistic.
An example of the artwork at this museum is Pedro Friedberg’s “Hand Chair” (pictured right). The hand chair was designed to be sat on but due to the pandemic it isn’t able to be sat on to prevent the spread of germs. While walking around the museum you will hear and see the music videos of Björk. Would you ever visit this museum given the chance?
The Wall Of Love
By: Brandon Leo
December 10th, 2020
In Paris, France a wall was made specifically for positivity with the words, “I love you” written on it more than 200 times in different languages. This is just another example of positivity in this accursed world. It is a lovely area at Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, 75018 In Paris, France. It is a black board people come to write on in chalk. People across the world come to write the words, “ I Love You” in many languages.
By: Anjeza Skudrinja
December 5th, 2020
This year the United States´ Vice President was awarded to Kamala Harris. She is the first, female, woman of color, Indian-American woman and daughter of immigrants to be Vice President. It took 49 Vice Presidents and centuries for America to finally have a female Vice President.
Ms. Harris was first a former San Francisco district attorney. Then she was elected to be the first Black woman to be California's attorney general. She did a great job and made a mark for herself with her, "withering prosecutorial style in state hearings,” states Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember in a New York Times article titled “Kamala Harris Makes History as First Woman of Color as Vice President”.
As Vice President, Kamala Harris wants people to come together, as stated in her first speech as Vice President, ¨We the people have the power to build a better, future” states Lisa Lerer and Sydney Ember. She also thanks poll workers, election officials, campaign staff and volunteers, and the American people for turning out to make sure their voices are heard. She is thinking of, ¨Black, Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women who throughout the nation's history have paved the way for her winning and who have fought for equality, liberty, and justice for all.” She also acknowledges her family. Kamala gives credit to all the women in her life's fights; not just her own which shows her selflessness.
Kamala supports Joe Biden and says she hopes to be as good a Vice President to him as he was to Obama. She states, ¨What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his Vice President.¨ This shows that he has no problem with Kamala and is fine working with her which is a good example to set for the people in this country.
At the end of the speech Kamala says, ¨to the American people, no matter who you voted for I will strive to be…...loyal honest and prepared waking up everyday thinking of you and your families….the real work begins...to save lives and beat this epidemic, to rebuild our economy so it works for working people, to root our systemic racism in our justice system and society, to combat the climate crisis, to unite our country and heal the soul of our nation, and the road ahead will not be easy but America is ready and so are Joe and I.¨ This shows all the hard work Kamala is ready and preparing to put in to make the changes America needs.