Headlines You May Have Missed This Week

In China, Protests Over Zero Covid and Political Freedoms

Over the weekend, protests began in China over the country’s Zero Covid Policy. The Zero Covid Policy is the strategy adopted by the Communist Party of China in its efforts to contain COVID-19. The strategy includes large scale lockdowns, mass testing, surveillance, among other factors.

With COVID on the uptrend in China, the government enforced another wave of new lockdowns. In Urumqi, a city in China’s Xinjiang Province, a fire broke out in an apartment building, killing 10 and injuring a further nine more. It is believed that the corresponding lockdown hampered the response time of the city’s fire department, causing residents to take to the streets to protest the policy. When protestors reached the municipal government, the city said it would lift the lockdown in stages. Not appeased, the protests continued to persist.

Protests have since spread to the Chinese capital of Beijing, alongside China’s financial center Shanghai. The Chinese health authority has come out defending the policy, which is officially endorsed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, but has pledged to “reduce the inconveniences,” according to CNN.

Senate Poised to Pass the Respect for Marriage Act

The Senate is expected to pass the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday. The bill would codify marriage equality into law.

It is projected that enough Senators support the bill. In a procedural vote, the Senate voted 61-35 to advance the bill, garnering enough votes to overcome a filibuster. The bill includes a bipartisan amendment concerning religious liberties.

The bill will not force every state to issue marriage licenses to couples. Rather, it will ensure that same-sex couples who were issued marriage licenses in one state will have their marriages recognized in all states.

The bill is seen as a major hallmark of the Biden Administration, further enshrining the ability of same-sex, interracial, and transgender couples to marry and have their marriages recognized across the country.

In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the Supreme Court would review other cases, including those pertaining to marriage equality.

Republican Leadership Contested

In the wake of the midterm elections, where Republicans underperformed, an attempt to shakeup leadership appears to be underway.

In the Senate, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was challenged by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), a noted Trump ally. Donald Trump himself has called for McConnell’s removal as the Republican leader in the Senate.

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Leader in the House of Representatives, comfortably saw off a challenge by Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). However, there remains questions as to whether McCarthy has enough support amongst the House GOP to secure his Speakership.

Outside of Congress, Donald Trump recently announced his candidacy for President. Trump also downplayed Ron DeSantis, his seeming rival in the Republican Party. DeSantis, a prominent rising figure in the party, has not announced a run for the Presidency, but there is anticipation that he might throw his hat into the race for 2024.

US Beats Iran in World Cup Match Amidst Tensions

On Nov. 29, the US and Iranian international soccer teams faced off in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The US walked away with a 1-0 victory, after Christian Pulisic scored a goal in the 38th minute.

The game comes amidst significant tensions between the United States and Iran. As protests in Iran persist, with some outlets now labeling them as a “revolution,” Tehran has continued to accuse the U.S. and larger West of backing the protests.

According to the International Business Times, an Israeli intelligence official released intelligence claiming that Iran is planning to target the World Cup with “disruptions.” However, a political science and religious studies professor speaking to Newsweek said that Israel may be taking advantage of the situation to spread rumors about the government in Tehran.