News rundown: What you missed week of Feb. 14

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


Mayors impeached

The United States House of Representatives voted to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas last week. The razor-thin 214-213 vote marked the first time in nearly 150 years that a cabinet secretary was impeached.

The impeachment, led by House Republicans, relates to discontent with the border security and immigration policies of Mayorkas and the Biden Administration. The impeachment’s two articles accuse Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust.”

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson stated Mayorkas “refused to comply with federal immigration laws,” “undermined public trust,” and “violated his oath of office.”

Prominent Democrats have condemned the impeachment across the board. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer labeled the impeachment effort “another embarrassment for House Republicans.” A statement from President Biden described Republicans as playing “petty political games.”

The impeachment will now move to the Democratic majority Senate, where the motion is expected to fail.


Kansas City shooting

A shooting at the Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade in Kansas City, Missouri last Wednesday left one dead and over 20 others injured, including many children.

According to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves, initial investigations have found no connection to terrorism or “homegrown violent extremism.” Graves stated that the shooting emerged from a dispute among a group of people which resulted in shots being fired. 

The woman who lost her life in the shooting was identified as Lisa Lopez-Galvan. A mother of two, Lopez-Galvan hosted a popular local radio show “A Taste of Tejano,” where she DJ’d and celebrated Tejano, or Tex-Mex, music.

Many NFL players as well as President Biden have offered thoughts and prayers to the victims.


Bergen County joins congestion pricing lawsuit

The U.S. District Court of New Jersey formally approved Bergen County’s participation in a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last week.

The Central Business District Tolling Program introduced a congestion pricing plan for 2024 which would charge vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street. The plan aims to reduce traffic and pollution, as well as create safer streets.

Critics of the plan argue that it will only benefit New York City and lead to more traffic on Bergen County roads. Gov. Phil Murphy labeled the plan “unconstitutional” last month. Bergen County’s entry in the lawsuit signals the county’s support for the state’s efforts to oppose the plan.


Tom Suozzi wins special election in NY-3

Democrat Tom Suozzi won a special election in New York’s 3rd congressional district last Tuesday, beating Republican Mazi Pilip. 

The special election was held after former Rep. George Santos was expelled from congress last December. With Suozzi replacing the Republican Santos, the GOP’s narrow majority in the House of Representatives will now sit at 219-213.

Suozzi previously represented New York’s 3rd congressional district from 2017-2023, defeating Santos in 2020. The Democrat ran unsuccessfully for governor of New York in 2022, losing to Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic Primary. Suozzi will also seek re-election in the November 2024 election.


Greece legalizes same-sex marriage

The Parliament of Greece legalized same-sex marriage last Thursday, making the country the first Orthodox Christian nation to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples.

The vote passed with a bipartisan majority of 176 out of 300 votes. 76 lawmakers opposed the legislation while 46 were not present. 

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the reform “a milestone for human rights” in a post on X — formerly known as Twitter — and described Greece as “a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values.”

The legislation comes after polls have indicated that the majority of Greeks support same-sex marriage. With the passage of the reform, the country became the 16th European Union nation to legislate marriage equality.


Featured photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Wikimedia