News rundown: What you missed week of Feb. 21

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


Clinics pause IVF services after Alabama court ruling

Three fertility clinics in Alabama announced last Wednesday that they would be halting in vitro fertilization services in light of a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling, according to CBS News. The court decided that frozen embryos are legally children and people can be held liable for their destruction, which has left clinics fearful of legal repercussions and families rushing to move frozen embryos to out-of-state storage facilities. As of now, many questions about the ruling’s implications have been left unanswered, but Democrats in the Alabama state House introduced a bill last Thursday that would protect fertilized embryos outside of the uterus from being considered an unborn child under state law. 


Cell service outage affects thousand of U.S. users

AT&T users faced mass cell service outages last Thursday, which caused many to fear cyberattacks as the cause. At its peak, the outage affected approximately 73,000 AT&T users. Another 9,000 outages were reported from Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T. While the outage caught the attention of multiple federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, an AT&T spokesperson said that the company linked the outage to a technical coding error.


Rep. Andy Kim sues to block potential preferential treatment on Senate race ballots

New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim filed a federal lawsuit on Monday with the goal of redesigning the ballot before June’s primary Senate election. He argues that “the current layout unfairly benefits candidates supported by party leaders,” according to The New York Times. This comes in response to Kim’s main opponent, Tammy Murphy, who will most likely benefit from the current layout, which allows party leaders to bracket preferred candidates and leave unendorsed candidates off to the side. The lawsuit is predicted to strengthen the already-existing debate about the current layout, which 19 of 21 counties currently use.


Wendy’s reverses decision on surge pricing

Wendy’s caused a stir on social media this week after it came out that CEO Kirk Tanner said the company planned to instate surge pricing in early 2025 along with other additions. What he called “dynamic pricing” would fluctuate prices, increasing and decreasing based on when customers visit most.

“We will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and daypart offerings, along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling,” he said during a conference call earlier this month, according to USA Today.

Wendy’s quickly reversed its decision, stating to Reuters that the statements were “misconstrued” and that they do not plan to enact this pricing method.


Gov. Murphy proposes new $56 billion New Jersey budget

Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled the proposed $55.9 billion state budget for the upcoming 2025 fiscal year during a speech on Tuesday. According to, Murphy’s seventh budget plan — and one of his last as governor — raises spending to the highest during his administration but is in line with inflation. It comes as the state is facing struggles with tax revenues, high inflation and interest rates.

The budget includes plans for a new tax on New Jersey corporations to fund NJ Transit, a new fee on gun permits, continued funding for property tax relief programs, payment for public-worker pensions and an increase for the state’s school aid. However, the plan removes a sales tax waiver on electric vehicles, a sales tax holiday on school items and free entry to state parks. 

​​Murphy and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature will negotiate the final budget by the June 30 deadline.


Featured photo courtesy of Office of Rep., Wikipedia