The Ripcurrent: Big Pharma Promises Safe Vaccine, U.S. Protests Turn Deadly, Unrest in Belarus, Jacob Blake, Dead Soldiers Dishonored,

Developers of Coronavirus Vaccine Pledge Safety

People around the globe have been anticipating the unveiling of COVID-19 vaccines, yet also remain hesitant to receive them due to safety concerns over the extreme rush to develop them.

Major companies taking part in the development of vaccines include Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna. All have given their word on following through with necessary precautions, stating that they would not seek approval from the government until they are were their vaccine would be safe and effective. Many versions of vaccines are in clinical trials, and their results will be released by the companies soon.

Source -Amy Whitman

Jacob Blake Is Shot By Police

On August 23, Kenosha police shot a black man named Jacob Blake in the back 7 times. In the viral recording of the event, Blake walked to his car and opened the driver's side door. Officers are heard saying, “drop the knife!” Police officer Rusten Sheskey then grabbed Blake by his tank top and shot him seven times in the back at close range, in front of his three children. Blake did not die from the wounds but was severely injured and put in the ICU.

Jacob Blake’s attorney said that Blake was trying to help break up a fight between a woman and her boyfriend. Upon initial police arrival, a stun gun was used on him, mistaking him for an offender. He then walked away to check on his children, resulting in his shooting. Blake admitted that he did have a knife with him. This near-fatal incident resulted in an uproar among Kenoshans and many protests have taken place since, demanding the arrest of the officers involved.

Source -Abbie Blake

Violence Erupts

Two notable violent outbreaks occurred in past weeks due to clashes between BLM and right-wing protesters. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17 year old Blue Lives Matter supporter and avid gun advocate, shot and killed two people during BLM protests in Kenosha, WI. He claimed he was “protecting businesses”. Rittenhouse was arrested after fleeing to Illinois.

More recently, Antifa supporter and anti-police activist Michael Reinoehl shot and killed a right-wing conservative activist, Aaron Danielson. Mr. Danielson was part of a conservative Christian group called Patriot Prayer, and was in Portland, OR to fire pepper spray and paintballs at BLM protesters. Mr. Reinoehl escaped to Washington state where he was killed in a firefight with police.

Source -Viviane Kim


“Suckers” and “Losers”

The Atlantic released a report this week in which four eyewitnesses testified that Pres. Trump called soldiers who had lost their lives “suckers” and “losers”. The incident occurred after the president refused to attend a 2018 visit to the French Aisne-Marne American Cemetery where soldiers who died in WWI are buried. He told his senior staff that the cemetery was not worth visiting because “it’s filled with losers”, and said that because they were killed, they were “suckers”. The president and his administration are furiously denying the allegations, but the story brings up previous remarks made by Trump: in 2015, he questioned the war hero status of Senator John McCain, who had been held captive and tortured during the Vietnam war, saying “I like people who weren’t captured". When planning an event for veterans in 2018, Trump requested that no amputees or wounded veterans attend, saying “nobody wants to see that”.

Source -Viviane Kim

Protests in Belarus

Tens of thousands of people are taking to the streets in Belarus to make their voices heard, protesting against the current president Alexander Lukashenko who has been in office since 1994. Over 6,700 protesters have been arrested, and factory workers, police officers, and TV presenters have gone on strike to join the protests.

The protests come as a direct result of the August election. Lukashenko ran against political newcomer Svetlana Tikhonovskaya, winning 80% of the votes, whereas Tikhonovskaya won only 10%. Tikhonovskaya refused to accept the outcome, claiming that votes weren’t properly counted and that some votes for Lukashenko were faked. Now, protesters are calling for a new free and fair election. They don’t seem to be backing down, and neither does Lukashenko.

Source -Liam Cooper

Abbie Blake

Abbie, a junior, writes for The Ripcurrent and News columns. An aspiring journalist, she loves coming up with different ideas and then writing about them. She also enjoys painting and stage crew.

Viviane E. Kim

Viviane, a sophomore, is Editor-in-Chief of The Current. She's an aspiring pianist, flutist, artist, and activist. She has won several writing competitions and performed with the SBU Orchestra.

Amy Whitman

Amy is The Current’s Multimedia lead. A junior, she contributes to our podcast and News column. She loves writing, reading, sports, and film, and plans to major in journalism and political science.

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