By JULIA ZEBAK
Here are the top five stories making headlines this week:
Winners of the 73rd George Polk Awards Announced
Long Island University has announced the winners of the 73rd annual George Polk Awards on Wednesday, which recognized journalists in 18 different categories, including a new Oral History category, and honored them for their work done in 2020. The Washington Post was the big winner, taking home four awards. Nearly half of the winning stories reported on the Covid-19 pandemic, and four stories reported on the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. A mix of other topics accounted for the rest of the winners. Katie Hinkle will have an in-depth look at the winners in an upcoming article.
NYC Indoor Dining Capacity Grows to 35%
Covid-19 restrictions are continuing to slowly ease across New York, with Indoor Dining capacity up to 35% on Friday. Indoor Dining resumed with 25% capacity just two weeks prior, on February 12. The seven-day positivity rate across New York City is now down to 4.5%, and steadily declining for the last month, allowing for Governor Andrew Cuomo to implement the increased capacity. 35% is the same allowed across the Hudson River in New Jersey, but that number is 50% in neighboring upstate New York and Connecticut.
Climate Agreement Restructuring at the Forefront of the United Nations
A new report crafted by the United Nations features the plans from a number of member countries for their climate targets in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The United States still has yet to submit an updated number to the United Nations after rejoining the Paris Agreement under the Biden administration. China also has yet to submit their target. 36 countries have chosen to raise their climate targets, but Mexico notably has chosen to lower its target.
Lady Gaga's Dogs Shot, Stolen in Bizarre Attack
Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot in the chest and left bleeding on the sidewalk as two of her purebred French bulldogs were stolen around 9:40 PM Wednesday. A third dog escaped and ran to Fischer. Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the safe return of her dogs, promising that there will be “no questions asked”. Police are unsure if the attacker was aware the dogs belonged to the world-famous actress and singer, or if the motive was the pedigree and value of the animals.
Former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Coach Found Dead
Former Team USA gymnastics coach John Geddert was found dead after being found guilty and charged for human trafficking and 23 other charges. These charges date back to 2008 and last until 2016. He committed suicide on Thursday prior to his scheduled arraignment Thursday afternoon During his time as a gymnastics coach he worked alongside Larry Nassar, the former team physician for the USA gymnastics team who confessed to sexually assaulting and abusing young female athletes. During his conviction in 2018 Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison; a similar sentence to the one Geddert was expected to receive.