As we head towards another month is 2022, it seems as though this year will be quite eventful. Below are the top news stories for the final winter month!
Ukraine Huminitarian Crisis
The war in Ukraine is no longer just a story about a conflict between nations. It’s having an immediate impact on millions of people, creating multitudes of refugees, which in turn is creating a worldwide humanitarian crisis. It’s having an impact on global food insecurity since Ukraine produces a significant share of wheat supplies for other countries. While across the border, Russia also produces a large number of food experts, which are not inhibited by sanctions against the invading country.
Oil and gas experts from Russia are hanging in the balance as the West considers a ban on those imports. Financial institutions have sanctioned Russia, and the financial system in Ukraine has been impacted, causing a major economic disruption in that region of the world. The supply chain for goods from these countries and through them is being disrupted as a result of the violence. How can the West address and overcome all of these disruptions while taking a hard line against Russia’s aggression?
Ukraine Further Pushes No-Fly Zone
Ukraine’s defense ministry released a video of an edited hypothetical attack on Paris that would occur as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ministry warned that this attack would be possible if a no-fly zone weren’t issued to prevent aerial attacks. The footage showed bombs going off near the Eiffel Tower.
Ukraine has called for a no-fly zone and other preventative measures in order to prevent Russia from overtaking more areas of the world. Many Ukrainian and global officials see the attacks against Ukraine as an unjust overtaking of territory. They consider Russia’s defense of the war as an attempt to prevent Ukrainian aggression as doctored. Others have suggested that the war is partially stemmed in history with Russia considering Ukraine and Russia to be the one and the same, as well as making note of Ukraine’s conveniently located Black Sea ports.
NATO has thus far been against a no-fly zone as that might invite Russian aggression towards NATO territories.
Jussie Smollett Sentencing
Actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail (around 5 months) and 30 months of parole after his 2017 scandal in which he lied to police officers about an attack that occurred against him. He was found to have paid for the attack to occur against him.
Smollett’s final comments before being taken away have been the result of much controversy. Smollett stated, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.” Many have found this statement humorous, including actor 50 Cent, who joked that he would say the same thing if he were to appear in front of a judge again.
Ryan Coogler Detained
Film director Ryan Coogler, known for 2018’s Black Panther, was briefly detained in January at a Bank of America in Atlanta, Georgia. Coogler’s medical assistant asked to be paid in cash, thus the director wrote a note suggesting the money should be counted discreetly given it was an amount over $10,000.
However, despite Coogler not being visibly armed, officers arrived and pulled guns out on the director, who appeared visibly confused yet nonetheless complied with their orders. He was handcuffed and escorted to a police vehicle, but released moments later once his identity had been confirmed.
Senate Confirmation Hearings
As Justice Steve Breyer left his position as Supreme Court Judge, President Biden appointed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is now being confirmed by the Senate. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked the judge about critical race theory, because Brown serves on the board of a school district with curriculum including critical race theory.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) made a false statement suggesting Brown referred to President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “war criminals.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) later corrected him.