What you missed: Week of Oct. 18 round-up

A lot has happened in the world over the past week. Let’s catch up on the major news headlines:


Access to Reproductive Healthcare Resources Expanded in New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Tuesday that establishes a new website that will offer New Jersey residents nonstop access to “​​critical information on reproductive rights, access, and health care coverage,” according to a press release. The Reproductive Health Information Hub includes information about individuals’ rights under New Jersey law, whether it concerns accessing reproductive healthcare services without insurance or learning more about contraception. The bill also mentioned other initiatives to improve reproductive healthcare in the state, including providing loans to organizations to support upgrades to reproductive healthcare facilities.


New Jersey Joins Lawsuit Against Meta

New Jersey joined New York, Delaware and 30 other U.S. states in a lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc. on Tuesday, claiming that Meta’s websites were purposefully designed to addict children and, as a result, harm their mental health. In a statement, New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said the state began investigating Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, in 2020 as part of a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from eight states. According to CBS News, Meta responded in a statement, emphasizing their commitment to supporting teenagers online and their disappointment that the attorney generals sued instead of working with Meta for a resolution.


Dense Fog Causes Deadly Car Crashes in Louisiana

On Monday, at least seven people were killed in crashes along Interstate 55 in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, with more than 25 people taken to hospitals for injuries. According to CNN, over 158 vehicles were involved in the crashes, some of which caught fire. The crashes are being attributed to a “super fog” — a combination of fog and smoke that depletes visibility to less than 10 feet — that passed through the area around that time, according to meteorologists.


South African Miners in Rival Union Hold Hundreds Underground

Since Sunday night, miners from the unregistered Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have been holding their colleagues underground in a South African goldmine. According to the Associated Press, details remain murky. Still, the AMCU has expressed that they represent the majority of the miners at the Modder East mine in Springs, South Africa and want formal recognition. 

Jon Hericourt, CEO of New Kleinfontein Gold Mine company, which manages the mine, said that 562 miners are underground and that they have not managed to make much contact. He estimated that between 110 and 120 of those underground are AMCU supporters. At least some others are a part of the National Union of Mineworkers, the only union recognized at the mine.


Panamanians Protest Contract for Copper Mine

Protesters took to the streets of Panama on Monday to object to the government’s continuing contract with Canadian mining company First Quantum, which operates a large copper mine in the country’s central region. According to the Associated Press, teaching and construction unions are working with environmentalists to lead the protests because the mine threatens forested land and groundwater. 

The Panama legislature settled an agreement with the company in March, but President Laurentino Cortizo’s contract signing on Friday sparked the protests. The Panama government’s response to the protest has been to spotlight the mine’s economic contributions to the country.




Featured photo courtesy of @GovMurphy, X