News rundown: What you missed week of March 27

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


Earthquake shakes Taiwan 

The morning of April 3 saw a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, killing nine people and injuring more than 900. The island is used to earthquakes, being that it is within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a tectonic belt of volcanoes that cause frequent earthquakes, and is situated over many faults. 

The aftershocks remain frequent and intense, which can cause more damage. There have been over 100 subsequent shocks, many being over a magnitude of 5. One had a magnitude of 6.5. 

In the city of Hualien, buildings have been skewed and threaten to topple over, and there were many who were trapped by the destruction of the earthquake. The government is advising citizens to halt their Ching Ming celebrations that are meant to honor ancestors by visiting their tombs to avoid further endangerment as aftershocks continue to roll through. 


Abortion question to appear on ballots in Florida

This past Monday, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing a state constitutional amendment that limits intervention in abortion procedures to appear on ballots in November because it meets all the necessary requirements. They also upheld a 15-week abortion ban. 

This action was taken by Floridians Protecting Freedoms, a campaign that believes that all Floridians should be free to make their own medical decisions. This will appear on the ballots as Amendment 4 and, if signed, would allow abortions but requires that the parents of a minor who receives an abortion are notified.

This initiative comes just before Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Heartbeat Protection Act,” which was signed about a year ago, becomes active. The Heartbeat Protection Act is to take action in 30 days and will ban abortions after six weeks. The act has two exceptions: for abortions that risk the mother’s life or abortions of up to 15 weeks for pregnancies caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. 


‘Strippers’ Bill of Rights’ passed in Washington State

Washington State has recently passed a law that protects adult dancers. These protections have been long fought for and cover a wide range of support. 

Adult dancers face many threats like violence, sexual harassment and discrimination. This law mandates that club employees be trained to prevent and identify sexual harassment and human trafficking. It also establishes that security, keypad codes on dressing rooms and panic buttons in private rooms be added to these places of work. 


Update on Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

Last week, Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by a container ship called the Dali headed for Sri Lanka. In the past week, efforts to clean up the wreckage of steel beams and search for missing persons have continued. 

The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to have divers brave the murky water and dodge the jagged beams to attach pieces of the collapsed bridge to cranes in an effort to lift the beams from the water. The divers, however, are having trouble seeing more than two feet in front of them while submerged.

They have yet to remove the Dali from the scene as the bridge has collapsed on top of it. The ship still holds 21 passengers stranded on the vessel. There is no plan to disembark the crew anytime soon, as the priority is to free the channel of debris to re-open the port. Additionally, the passengers may not have the paperwork needed to come to shore.


Featured photo courtesy of Shuful_iu, Wikipedia