Among today’s somber headlines, NYC public school vaccination efforts are giving us hope.

Editor’s note: mentions of gun violence and death

Happening in the World: Ethiopian authorities are arresting high-profile Tigrayans, an ethnic minority in northern Ethiopia, in a crackdown on suspected supporters of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front). These arrests come a week after Tigrayan forces pushed south towards the capital, causing Ethiopia to declare a state of emergency that allows for indefinite detention and requires citizens to carry ID cards that may indicate ethnic origin. Ethiopian police deny targeting the ethnic group, asserting that those arrested were believed to have links to the TPLF which has been locked in a war with the Prime Minister for the past year, causing widespread death, displacement and famine throughout the country (Reuters).

Happening in the US: Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his own defense yesterday, pleading not guilty to all charges in a murder trial. Rittenhouse, 18, is facing counts of reckless, intentional and attempted homicide after killing two men and wounding a third man with a semi-automatic rifle during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year. In his trial, he claimed that he fired in self-defense after being “attacked” and “threatened” by members of the crowd. Rittenhouse broke down in tears on the stand, forcing a recess and bringing the prosecutor’s line of questioning under scrutiny by the judge. As a result, the defense team is now calling for a mistrial with prejudice which will be taken “under advisement” by the judge (BBC).

Happening in NYC: On Monday and Tuesday, over 10,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were received by children ages 5 to 11 at New York City public schools. The city’s school vaccination efforts launched this past Monday with some schools experiencing difficulty meeting high demand for vaccines. City officials plan to address these shortages by increasing supply and providing mobile vaccination vans when necessary. The school-based clinics will continue at least through next Monday with opportunity to add more days for areas with high demand (Gothamist).

Happening in Our Community: Today at 7:30 pm, Columbia Science Review and Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal are hosting “COVID College Blues: The Impact of COVID on Mental Health”, a discussion of how COVID-19 and the return to in-person schooling has affected students. Come to Havemeyer 209 for a timely discussion on the pandemic’s psychological toll on students. Find details here.

Courtroom via Wikimedia Commons