Because you can never be too prepared for a biological attack!

Happening in the World: On Monday, North Korea displayed its large arsenal of missiles in a defense exhibition. The display of military strength occurred a day after the North marked the 76th anniversary of its ruling Workers Party. This exhibition, one of the country’s largest displays of weaponry in recent years, came as Washington repeatedly urged the country to return to nuclear disarmament negotiations. Kim Jong-un declared in his Tuesday speech that he has no intention of giving up North Korea’s weapons development program as its purpose is self-defense, not war (NYT).

Happening in the US: Yesterday evening, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas declared an executive order that bars any entity, including private business, from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers. While the executive order states that “vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one,” it asserts that vaccines “must always be voluntary for Texans.” The executive order comes as the Biden administration is set to issue rules requiring employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or test weekly for the coronavirus (AP).

Happening in NYC: In the coming weeks, New York City’s biological attack readiness will be challenged during a study of the city’s subway system. The MTA announces that the Department of Homeland Security will coordinate with researchers and city agencies to deploy a non-toxic gas this month at approximately 120 locations operated by transit agencies. The tests, expected to imitate the release of a biological agent into an urban environment, will be conducted on five separate days between October 18 and 29. Commuters can expect to see teams working on this research throughout New York City, above and below ground (NBC New York).

Happening in Our Community: Today from 7 to 8:30 pm, Columbia University will hold a panel on “The Role of Courts in Defending Indigenous Peoples’ Rights” in honor of Columbia’s second Indigenous Peoples’ Day commemoration. Organized by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, this event features panelists whose work lies in the intersection of law and indigenous peoples’ rights. Learn more about this event here.

Subway interior via Bwarchives