Compiled by Laura Lenz
Laura Lenz reported that a high school in Atlanta named for a Ku Klux Klan leader will be renamed after baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. The Atlanta Board of Education voted unanimously on April 12 to change the name from Forrest Hill Academy to Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy.
The school was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest who was a Confederate general and KKK leader. Aaron, a former Atlanta Braves player, endured racist threats throughout his 23-year career and broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974.
Joseph Aldridge reported that the House Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill to address slavery reparations. The bill, called H.R. 40, would establish a commission to study the impacts of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present day. The commission would then make a judgement on how to educate the American public about the results. H.R. 40 would also address the issue of compensation for the victims and their descendants.
Thomas Elhers reported that a Georgia Representative is introducing legislation to hold Major League Baseball responsible for lost revenue. US Representative Buddy Carter, a Republican from Georgia’s first district, wrote legislation that would make it illegal for the MLB to move or cancel non-regular season major season games without extraordinary circumstances.
The bill would allow for businesses and other operations the chance to file lawsuits for damages for sales lost. The MLB announced the move from Atlanta earlier this month. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp spoke out against the league’s decision, claiming that the state would lose up to $100 million from the move. Carter is not the only legislator bringing bills against the MLB. South Carolina Representative Jeff Duncan and Utah Senator Mike Lee are writing legislation to take away the MLB’s antitrust immunity after the league’s move from Atlanta.
Lenz gave an update that nearly 100 demonstrators honored the life of Daunte Wright outside Athens City Hall on April 14. Wright was killed in a police shooting on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
The protest was organized by Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker. The demonstration included a moment of silence for the victims of police brutality as well as a march from city hall to the arch. Parker and other demonstrators demand radical changes such as abolition and more community resources.
Ehlers reported that the United States announced new sanctions against Russia on Thursday. President Joe Biden signed an executive order that created a national emergency over Russian threats.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Today, we announced actions to hold the Russian Government to account for the SolarWinds intrusion, reports of bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, and attempts to interfere in the 2020 US elections.”
The Department of State is sending away 10 officials from Russia’s bilateral mission. The United States also pointed to the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexi Navalny, an open critic of the Russian government. The statement comes as Vladimir Putin increased military presence and operations at the Ukrainian border and across the world.
Aldridge reported that coronavirus patients in New Delhi, India lay two to a bed as infection rates surge.
Daily infection rates reached over 200,000 on April 15, creating a massive strain on the country’s medical infrastructure. Unrelated patients now must share beds in a government hospital in New Delhi.
Aldridge explained that after a strict three month long lockdown last year, government officials relaxed almost all COVID-19 restrictions early in 2021. Many regions are choosing to reintroduce some of those restrictions following this latest surge.
Yara Manasrah reported that former Bachelor Colton Underwood has come out as gay. In an emotional interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Underwood describes how he “ran from [him]self for a long time…and I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”
Underwood goes on to describe how he believes a combination of the “casual homophobia of football culture” and his Catholic upbringing impacted his ability to embrace his sexual identity. The interview comes after ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood in September. The order describes how Underwood allegedly became obsessive and stalked Randolph, as well as allegedly putting a tracking device under her car. Despite these accusations, Underwood has begun filming a reality show on Netflix.