Johnson & Johnson vaccine sparks race/class access debate
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine gained regulatory clearance in the U.S. on Saturday. The vaccine also does not need to be stored in cold conditions, unlike its other two counterparts. But its lower rate of success sparked debate on its efficiency, especially with race and class in mind. Experts assure it is powerful but are also faced with the question of whether the two-tiered Moderna and Pfizer shots will be reserved for the wealthier (and white) groups, while the Johnson & Johnson shots will be pushed on to the poorer Black and brown communities.
Minority nominees make Golden Globe history
Sunday’s award night proved to be big for minority nominees.
Chadwick Boseman became the first Black nominee to posthumously win a Golden Globe award in the acting category. Boseman, who passed away last summer, won the title of Best Actor in a Drama for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Minari won the best foreign-language film award even though director Lee Isaac Chung is American and filming took place in the U.S. The film did not meet the 50% English language requirement to be considered a domestic entry. Read Culturas‘s breakdown of the controversy here.
History was made yet again when Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globe for best director. Zhao won the trophy for her film Nomadland.
Myanmar’s bloodiest day
Myanmar witnessed its bloodiest hours on Saturday at the hands of its military who led a coup a month ago. A military junta fired into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators, killing 18 people and injuring over 30. The United Nations reported that the military also detained 85 medical personnel and students, and seven journalists on Sunday. The BBC reported that deposed Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has not been seen since her detainment.
Minimum wage hike rejected
President Joseph Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan was approved, but not all its terms made the cut. A Senate parliamentarian reported that the $15 minimum wage hike could not be approved under the rules Democrats used to pass the bill through the Senate. The backup plan formulated by Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to add tax penalties on large corporations who refused to meet this proposed minimum, was also abandoned. Democrats are still hoping to pass this bill later in Biden’s presidency.
Hong Kong’s largest mass charge threatens democracy
Hong Kong police made the largest mass charge on Sunday by arresting 47 pro-democracy activists under the city’s national security law. The cited reason: participating in the unofficial primary elections for Hong Kong’s legislature last year. This action allegedly is in violation of the law. The arrest is a part of the city’s crackdown against the democracy movement, which is already under human rights scrutiny because of detainee torture. The group was arrested earlier in January but are detained again. They will appear in court on March 1.
Cuomo blamed again for sexual harassment
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo found himself deeper in hot water this weekend. On Saturday, a second former aide detailed sexual harassment at his hands. The 25-year-old mentioned the incident took place last spring while NY was the epicenter of the pandemic. Among others, the claims include Cuomo asking invasive questions about her personal life and saying he was open to being romantically-involved with women in their 20s.