If you think you’ve seen holiday lights, think again!

Happening in the World: $280 million in international donations will be sent to United Nations organizations based in Afghanistan. $180 million will go to the World Food Program, and the rest will go to UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund) in order to provide health services. The funds are not enough to help all 23 million people in need of food assistance, nor are they enough to help all three million malnourished children; however, with $10 billion in Afghan supplies frozen by the U.S. and other countries, this $280 million is a small step in the right direction (BBC).

Happening in the US: The U.S. Supreme Court has, in their ruling of Whole Woman’s Health v. Texas, let the SB8 law stand. This means that abortion is still banned for women (even for cases of incest, sexual abuse, and rape) after six weeks of pregnancy, or, the time by which the fetal heartbeat develops. Abortion provider lawsuits will continue, just in the District court. There are mixed reviews about the ruling. Whole Woman’s Health classified it as a slim victory. Texas Right to Life, a pro-life group, said that the judges practiced “judicial restraint” (BBC).

Happening in NYC: Every year, Dyker Heights puts on a huge display of festiveness, complete with reindeer, Santa inflatables, and full nativity scenes. The lights last year were slightly less rambunctious due to the pandemic. This year, though, people are more hopeful about the lights and holidays, with some viewers traveling from New Jersey just to see the display. Gothamist described the lights last year as ready to “inject the holiday spirit straight into your eyeballs.” If photos tell us anything, the same can definitely be said for this year (Gothamist)!

Happening in Our Community: The Barnard-Columbia Chorus and Chamber Singers are performing tonight, from 8 to 9:45 pm at the Church of the Ascension. The performance will be conducted by Gail Archer and will feature works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Balakirev, and others. To hear some beautiful music and show your support for the Harriman Institute’s 75 Anniversary Celebration, learn how to purchase tickets here. They’re only five dollars for students!

lights in Dyker Heights via Wikimedia Commons