While school may stop, the news never does. Over the University of Arizona’s winter break, there seemed to be a surplus of newsworthy events from all over the world, both good and bad. If you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a quick recap of some of the most notable things you may have missed during the break.
1. The Australia fires
The wildfires in Australia have been devastating the landscape, the people and the animals. While the fires have been burning since September, they garnered worldwide attention when videos of the fires and news of the number of animals and people being killed gained traction on social media. Over 20 people lost their lives to the fires while an estimated half a billion animals have been affected. The area of New South Wales has been impacted the most by the fire, with over 2,000 homes in the area destroyed or damaged. More than 2,000 firefighters are working the front lines, but the fires are still raging. Many across the globe have started fundraisers or donated money to support Australia in this time.
2. The royal step-back
It was recently announced that Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were stepping back from the royal spotlight and public life. On Jan. 8, they announced their plan to no longer receive taxpayer funding while splitting time between North America and the U.K. The news was jarring to many, as the rest of the royal family was not previously notified and the move to step back from royal duties is a rare choice, putting them in a category alongside just a handful of others. On Jan.13, Queen Elizabeth II made a statement about the change, saying, “We respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
3. The Iran conflict
Complications between President Trump and the Iran government have been growing, with the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 by an airstrike ordered by Trump, pushing both countries to the brink of war. The conflict between the U.S. and Iran dates back to the 1940s, but current frustrations have reached a pitch not seen in over a decade. There will likely be much more to come from both sides in the upcoming year. To stay informed, be sure to read more in-depth articles about the situation.
4. Award season
Movie award season is upon us! On Jan. 13, The Academy announced the Oscar nominations, which featured films such as “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Parasite” and “Marriage Story” in the category for Best Picture. “Joker” received 11 nominations across categories including Best Director, Leading Actor, Makeup and Hairstyling and Cinematography. While the nominees for Best Director included Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite,” Sam Mendes for “1917” and Martin Scorsese for “The Irishman,” it failed to nominate women directors (Greta Gerwig and Lulu Wang). The 92nd Academy Awards will take place Sunday, Feb. 9.
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