Weekend Review: Great Britain Prince Philip Dies at 99
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, died on Friday at 99. Buckingham Palace’s statement confirmed the prince “passed away peacefully (on Friday) morning at Windsor Castle.” The Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning as the prince’s coffin lays at rest, reportedly in a private chamber inside the castle.
Prince Philip was only two months away from his 100th birthday and had been in poor health for some time. His last public appearance was in July 2020.
The funeral for Prince Philip will be held on April 17th. Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson, is expected to travel to the U.K. from California to attend despite recently aired grievances. His wife, Meghan Markle, will remain in the US due to travel restrictions related to her second pregnancy.
The Queen’s photo snapped ‘giggling’ at Prince Philip emerges on Twitter, and many remember the love the couple share for 75years.
Experts Testify in Derek Chauvin Trial
The Derek Chauvin trial of George Floyd’s death continued this week, as prosecutors provided further evidence to solidify their case. Floyd died in May 2020 while he was under police restraint.
The defense has argued that Floyd’s drug use and enlarged heart were the primary causes of his death. The medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy testified otherwise, though, asserting that while there were other contributing factors, the primary cause of death was the “subdual or neck restraint.”
A forensic pathologist told the jury that “the primary mechanism of death is asphyxia or low oxygen,” and a pulmonary specialist agreed. The experts explained that Floyd would have suffered significant brain damage following the first five minutes of Chauvin’s restraint, which reportedly lasted more than nine minutes.
Chauvin’s attorney theorized that Floyd took drugs when officers approached him on the scene. However, the experts noted that his breathing would have decreased if the overdose was the primary cause of Mr. Floyd’s death, and they could document through bystander video that was not the case. One expert marveled at the amount of evidence that was made available due to witnesses on the scene.
Chauvin is charged with second and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Killing Continues in Myanmar
The Myanmar military continued eliminating dissenters on Friday, reportedly killing at least 82 more people amid continued protest against the government takeover by military forces. Witnesses claim victims and bodies were removed from the scene, so a true death toll has not been established.
The Myanmar Now news outlet reported mass murders in the town of Bago at an anti-regime protest camp. Following that attack, electricity to the city was cut before homes were raided and armed forces took more citizens. One witness alleged that the soldiers were “worse than robbers,” taking money and property before destroying citizens’ homes.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 700 people have been murdered by the Myanmar regime since the military seized control of the country on Feb. 1.
Military officials have claimed that their actions were spurred by extensive election fraud, but the election commission has dismissed those claims.
Matt Gaetz Rejects Calls to Resign Amid Mounting Scandal
Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida has hired a PR firm and announced he is “not going anywhere” as some Republican colleagues have joined the calls for his resignation.
Gaetz was revealed to have allegedly paid accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg $900 through a pay app. The same amount was subsequently forwarded to minors. If the payment was made by Gaetz for the teenagers to cross state lines for sex with him, he could be guilty of sex trafficking of minors.
The Justice Department is investigating the allegations against Gaetz but he has not yet been charged. Greenberg is rumored to be in talks to enter into a plea deal, which could mean he would cooperate in the department’s investigation of Gaetz. His lawyer insinuated that to be the case, sharing with the press his belief that Gaetz likely “isn’t feeling very comfortable.”
Gaetz’s legislative director resigned on Saturday, making the second senior aide to leave the representative’s office in the midst of the scandal.
Carbon Dioxide at Highest Levels in 3.6 Million Years
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has released a preliminary report that suggests carbon dioxide and methane continued an “unrelenting rise in 2020.” Experts expected the levels to decrease due to Covid-19 shutdowns, which reduced global carbon emissions by an estimated 7%.
According to NOAA, “The atmospheric burden of carbon dioxide is now comparable to where it was during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period around 3.6 million years ago.” Experts noted that heat-trapping gas is accumulating in the atmosphere at an accelerated rate.
“If we want to mitigate the worst impacts, it’s going to take a deliberate focus on reducing fossil fuels emissions to near zero – and even then we’ll need to look for ways to further remove greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere,” Colm Sweeney, who is assistant deputy director of the Global Monitoring Lab, said. “Human activity is driving climate change.”