Facebook and Australia talked it out and are totally friends now.

Happening in the World: After blocking all news, including health and emergency services, on Facebook’s platform in Australia last week in protest of proposed government regulations, the company has reversed this decision as these regulations will no longer be as strict on them. The proposed legislation would have required the company to fairly pay the news publishers whose content they display, but it has since been negotiated that should Facebook prove it has signed enough deals with media outlets, this code will not be applied to the company. (The Guardian)

Happening in the US: As the COVID-19 death toll in the United States has reached over half a million, President Biden asked Americans to hold a moment of silence Monday night and ordered flags on all federal buildings lowered to half-staff. The disease was the leading cause of death in the US in January, and it has been forecasted that another 100,000 lives could be lost by June. (NPR)

Happening in NYC: The Central Park ice rinks will stay open after a turbulent week of ice rink politics between the contractors at the Trump Organization who provide the ice rinks and New York City Hall. Ties were cut with the organization in light of the January 6 Capital riot, leading to confusion as to when the ice rinks, a much-loved source of outdoor entertainment and exercise that can be safely enjoyed during the COVID-19 pandemic, would be closed for the season. The mayor’s office announced the rinks will stay open until the end of the season on Sunday evening after backlash about the closure, meaning New Yorkers were back on the ice Monday. (NYT)

Happening in the Columbia Community: Bill Gates is (virtually) coming to Columbia today to tell us all how we can avoid a climate disaster from 2:30 to 3:30 pm in an event hosted by Columbia SIPA and moderated by Jason Bordoff, the Founding Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy. To register for the event with your Columbia UNI, click here.

Poem: “Give Me This” by Ada Limón has been an open tab on my laptop for several months now, so it’s only fair I share this brilliant poem about groundhogs and survival with you!

Image of a different, more famous ice rink via Bwog Archives