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Shark Scoop - January 30, 2022

Shark Scoop is a weekly roundup of five stories that examine developments in global, national, and local news, as well as a top headline in entertainment and sports.


Mayor Announces Public Safety Plan for Rising Gun Violence

Mayor Eric Adams, facing severe pressure to address a growing gun violence crisis in NYC, announced a public safety plan that includes restoring an anti-gun police unit, which was disbanded in 2020 amid social justice protests. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

On Monday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced a public safety plan in response to the growing crisis of gun violence in New York City. “We will not surrender our city to the violent few,” Adams said in a speech following the killings of two police officers in Manhattan. During the pandemic in 2020, gun violence rose sharply, a trend that has continued through 2021 and the beginning of this year. While Adams called on state lawmakers to make changes to New York’s bail law, he also pushed for harsher prosecution of young people charged with gun possession who were not willing to say where they had gotten their firearms. Adams’ plan also includes the revamping of an anti-crime police unit that was disbanded in 2020, something that has been criticized by progressive lawmakers, criminal justice reform advocates and civil rights lawyers.

Justice Breyer to Retire, Biden to Name First Black Woman to Supreme Court

Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement after serving for nearly 28 years as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. (Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On Thursday, following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, President Biden said he would name a successor for Justice Breyer by the end of February. He pledged to name the first Black woman in history to the U.S. Supreme Court — a step which he said was long overdue. President Biden also praised Justice Breyer, calling him a “model public servant in a time of great division.” As Justice Breyer’s departure presents President Biden with an opportunity to influence the court’s direction, liberal groups have quickly moved to demand a progressive justice while many Republicans have made clear they are likely to oppose President Biden’s choice.

As Tensions Continue Between Russia and Ukraine, the World Awaits Putin's Response

While there has been antagonism between Russia and Ukraine since 2014, President Putin has recently made riskier demands regarding Russia’s security, escalating tensions. (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Within the past months, the threat of confrontation has been growing between Russia and Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin has increasingly taken risks, prioritizing Russian security demands. As of this past Friday, more than 100,000 Russian troops had been deployed at the Ukraine borders, the Pentagon announced—enough to carry out an invasion of the country in its entirety. President Putin has demanded that NATO retreat from Eastern Europe and that Ukraine be barred from entering the alliance. These demands come with the warning that Russia would take “retaliatory measures” if the U.S. and its allies reject them. On Wednesday, however, the U.S. formally rejected Russia’s demands, offering President Putin the choice of entering in negotiations with the U.S. and its allies, including Ukraine, or to proceed with invading Ukraine and facing economic sanctions. Despite tensions and Russian troop buildup at his country’s border, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has played down the risk that war is imminent. American intelligence officials say that President Putin has not yet made a decision regarding his country’s response, and may not for several weeks.

Spotify Removes Neil Young's Music Following His Complaints of COVID-19 Misinformation

Canadian-American singer-songwriter Neil Young had his music removed from Spotify after complaints that the company has been contributing to the spread of COVID-19 misinformation by giving a platform to popular podcaster Joe Rogan. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Spotify announced on Wednesday that it had begun to remove Neil Young’s music from the platform. The decision came after the singer-songwriter had briefly posted a public letter, calling out the company for giving a platform to podcaster Joe Rogan, who has been accused of spreading misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and the vaccine. “I want to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young wrote in his letter. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Spotify released a statement on Wednesday acknowledging that the company has, “great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators.” “We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic.”

Barty Wins Australian Open Singles Title

On Saturday, Ashleigh Barty ended a 44-year wait to become the first Australian player to win the Australian Open singles title since 1978. (Photo: Alana Holmberg/The New York Times)

On Saturday, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian player to win the Australian Open singles title since 1978, defeating Danielle Collins of the U.S. Barty, who had been ranked first in the Women’s Tennis Association singles ranking for more than 100 weeks, defeated Collins in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (2). The 25-year-old has become a hugely popular figure in Australia, with her matches attracting large audiences. In her victory speech, Barty emphasized that the most important part of the tournament was being able to share it with so many people who came to support her in the audience. “You relaxed me and you forced me to play my best tennis and against a champion like Danielle I know I had to absolutely bring that today,” Barty added.

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