Compiled by Caleb Kerr
Michael Doti started off the show with an update on a third wave of COVID-19 spreading through Europe. New restrictions were imposed in Italy today after this wave threatens to interfere with inoculation of Italian citizens.
Doti reported that the third wave has already begun in Germany according to Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases. France is also considering a third national lockdown after hospitalizations reached their highest since November.
France and Germany joined a growing list of countries that suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as they believe it is linked to blood clotting. Scientists worry that this pause could ultimately hurt Europe’s chances of beating out the spread of COVID variants among unvaccinated people.
Ansleigh Edwards continued the show with a segment on the opening of Clarke County schools. According to The Athens-Banner Herald, the school system adopted a phased approach to in-person learning following the pandemic. Third through fifth grade students as well as high school students will return to instruction this week.
Edwards reported that elementary students attending in-person will go to school every day except for Wednesday, which is reserved as a remote learning day. High school students will only be in the classroom once a week, with Wednesdays set as a remote learning day as well.
Amidst the return to school, Clarke-County teachers received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on March 10 and are set to receive the second dose on March 31. The decision to reopen has faced criticism from concerned parents.
Michael came back to give us a story on a murder trial that reached the Georgia Supreme Court. The Court ruled today that Ryan Duke, the man on trial, is allowed to use state funds to help him in his murder trial. Duke was indicted in April 2017, and was later connected to the murdering of former Georgia teacher and pageant queen Tara Grinstead in 2005.
During a pre-trial hearing in Irwin County, a judge ruled that Duke could not receive state funds to pay for expert witnesses and an investigator. Duke’s attorney successfully argued before the Georgia Supreme Court and he received the right to state funds under the Georgia Indigent Defense Act.
Caleb Kerr brought us an update on the protests in Myanmar. As of today, March 15, CNN reports that 126 protestors have been killed as a result of the demonstrations against the military coup. The protests grew more violent as many Chinese-sponsored factories in Myanmar were vandalized and set on fire by demonstrators.
Kerr reported that while in prison, the pro-democracy leaders are beginning to form a parallel civilian government. Civilians leaders are advocating for international recognition of their newly formed federal democracy with all different ethnicities.
One democratic leader who was ousted from Parliament sent an encouraging message, expressing this is “the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close.”
Staying close to East Asia, Ansleigh brought us a report on the violent sandstorms in Beijing. The Chinese capital is experiencing what the weather bureau has called the worst sandstorm in a decade. Today, the city of Beijing is covered in a thick, orange dust haze that resembles “apocalyptic skies.”
According to BBC News, the sand was brought in by strong winds from inner Mongolia and has reached at least 12 Chinese provinces. Air pollution measurements have seen an unprecedented spike with some districts reaching 160 times the recommended limit. This weather is expected to continue throughout the day before improving at night, China’s Global Times reported.
Edwards reported that the World Health Organization has advised those with respiratory diseases to stay inside until conditions improve.
Hunter Townsend continued the show with an update on the growing crisis on the US-Mexican border. He reported from NPR that there is currently a spike in the amount of unaccompanied children appearing at the border.
In addition, there are a record number of children being held in “warehouse-like detention facilities.” In response to the crisis, the DHS has announced that they will be working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help solve this growing crisis.
During all this attention being placed on the southern border, there has been growing efforts by the Democratic Party to carve out a pathway to citizenship for millions of current undocumented immigrants in the United States.
NPR reports that Congress will vote on “the American Dream and Promise Act, would establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children — otherwise known as “DREAMers” this week.
Caleb came back to deliver a story on Georgia House resignation. It was Georgia House Representative Barry Fleming who resigned his position as Hancock County Attorney over the weekend. County commissioners met and voted to ask Fleming to step down after several protests occurred at Hancock City Hall because of Fleming’s introduction of House Bill 531.
The Associated Press reports that Hancock County is composed of 71% African Americans, many of whom are angry for Fleming’s “strategic voter suppression,” said protestor Johnny Thornton.
Kerr reported from the AP that Fleming stepped down peacefully, saying that “he had no objection to his forced departure… although he said protesters “misunderstand” many of its controversial components.” Fleming continues to lead the House committee responsible for drafting the bill which now awaits action from the Georgia Senate.
Michael Doti wrapped up the show with the Sports Power Minute. After a hard fought battle, the Bulldogs Men’s Basketball Team came up on the wrong end of a 73-70 final score against Missouri. The Alabama Crimson Tide later won their first SEC championship in 30 years over LSU yesterday.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the clear favorites to win the March Madness title at 2-1. Baylor is next at 5-1, and Illinois and Michigan are tied for third at 6-1. Alabama has the best odds to win out of any SEC team. The first four games kick off the big dance on Thursday.
The Hawks won their fifth game in a row yesterday, 100-82 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. John Collins led the team with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Atlanta is now 5-0 under interim head coach Nate McMillan, and they will hope to continue their winning ways tomorrow in Houston against the ice cold Rockets, who have lost 16 games in a row.
The Georgia Baseball team picked up another weekend sweep. After beating Lipscomb by a combined score of 17-0 on Friday and Saturday, yesterday’s match was much closer. Georgia had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the ninth inning, but Lipscomb rallied to tie the game. Three innings later Connor Tate broke the tie with a walk off RBI single, to give Georgia their sixth win in a row.