A lot is happening in our world right now! Make sure you stay informed by reading about four of the top news stories from the past week.
51 confirmed dead in what is now the deadliest Taiwanese train crash in 70 years. On Friday morning, a train carrying almost 490 people, the majority of them tourists, crashed after it struck a vehicle on the train tracks. According to Reuters, the truck was unmanned. Because the operator had failed to engage the emergency brake properly, it ended up sliding downhill onto the train tracks below. Unfortunately, the train was just about to enter a tunnel, and the impact of the lead train car with the truck derailed the train enough to slam into the walls of the tunnel. On Saturday, the person to whom the truck belonged was released on a bond of roughly $17, 500 by a Taiwanese court, but prosecutors are appealing the decision. For more information on the crash, click here.
Investigations into the cause of the Suez grounding begin. This story starts last week, when a massive cargo ship, Ever Given, ran aground while inside the Suez Canal. The Canal is a vital shipping lane for intercontinental shipping and immensely reduces the time it takes to ship goods to and from Asia, for example. As a result, the Suez blockage was costing roughly $9.6 billion in trade every day shipping traffic was not moving through the Canal. Because of the massive amount of money being lost the longer the Ever Given obstructed the waterway, an enormous recovery effort was put underway by the Egyptian government. Eventually, a small flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the Ever Given away from the sandy banks of the Canal, allowing traffic to flow freely once again. With the ship finally clear of the Canal, authorities have begun their preliminary investigations of the matter. To read more, click here.
Unrest in Hong Kong continues to prevail. In response, the Chinese government jails 7 of Hong Kong’s top democratic leaders on Thursday. Hong Kong’s situation still remains uncertain, as a large percentage of the citizens belonging to Hong Kong do not wish for the Chinese to take over governance of the city. Protests began to spring up all over the city, and the Chinese government resorted to a tried and true tactic of the CCP, which entailed significant crackdowns on dissent across the weary city. The most visible evidence of the latest suppression campaign is the jailing of seven prominent pro-democracy advocates based out of Hong Kong, where they face up to five years of prison time if convicted. With the pandemic already reducing the level of unrest on the streets, China hopes this will put to rest the opposition within the city.
Biden released more details about his “Build Back Better” infrastructure package. According to an AP News report released on Tuesday, Biden’s new infrastructure package will focus on five main sectors, “transportation; public water, health and broadband systems; community care for seniors; and innovation research and development.” Due to the extent of the package’s reach, the plan comes with a proportionately lofty price tag. If put into place, the project would cost anywhere from $3 to $4 trillion, which would completely eclipse the nearly 2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that Congress recently approved in early March. According to the Associated Press article linked earlier, this would make the infrastructure package equivalent in scope to Roosevelt’s New Deal. Biden plans to pay for the gargantuan price by raising tax rates, especially among corporate America. The plan will raise corporate tax rates across the country from 21% to 28% percent, along with other tax hikes that have yet to be disclosed. More details about the package can be found here.