A lot is happening in our world right now! Make sure you stay informed by reading about four of the top news stories from this week.
On February 7, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to win Super Bowl LV. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Game’s attendance dropped to a record low. Only 25,000 people attended, approximately 7,500 of whom were COVID-19 vaccinated healthcare workers. The Buccaneer quarterback Tom Brady clinched his seventh Super Bowl win in defeating reigning champion Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who led the Chiefs to win last year’s Super Bowl LIV.
On February 9, the Senate launched the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump. The House of Representatives impeached Mr. Trump on January 13 for incitement of insurrection, and the Senate is expected to vote on conviction within the next several days. Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has argued against the conviction on First Amendment grounds, that Mr. Trump remained within his First Amendment rights to free speech on January 6 when addressing his supporters in the nation’s capital. The team has also challenged the constitutionality of the trial since Mr. Trump no longer holds office, though most scholars support the constitutionality of the trial. If the Senate does vote to convict Mr. Trump, he will be disqualified from holding future office.
Multiple investigations have been launched into the GameStop trading frenzy that occurred in January. Since the burgeoning of GameStop’s (NYSE:GME) stock over the last several weeks, the price has drastically receded to near its former levels, hovering around $50 per share. At one point in intraday trading back in January the stock hit $483 per share. Due to the nature of the surge, the Justice Department has begun searching for evidence of market manipulation. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have also launched investigations, although their investigations would focus on regulatory violations, not criminal violations as the Justice Department’s investigation will. Additionally, the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on February 18 into the same affairs.
Calls for boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics have grown in response to China’s documented human rights violations. Axios reports that 180 human rights organizations have denounced China’s role in the International Olympic Committee, urging liberal democracies around the world to boycott the 2022 Games. Activists are concerned that allowing China to host the event will aid China’s authoritarian grip by providing the country with global influence and validation. The calls for boycott stem from mainland China’s recent suppression of democratic rights in Hong Kong and the Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang province. It is unlikely that enough support will be garnered to relocate the Beijing games, and on February 3 President Joe Biden affirmed United States support for Beijing’s hosting of the games.