December 3, 2023

Russia accused of war crimes

Human Rights Watch recently condemned Russia for war crimes committed in Ukraine. Russian soldiers are reportedly carrying out violations of the Geneva Convention against civilians, including unauthorized violence and threats, rape, two cases of summary execution and looting. This has occurred in the regions of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv — areas occupied by Russian militia forces. Most notably, the actions in the city of Bucha have been scrutinized due to the spread of images of dead civilians. Up to 300 around the town are dead from fighting. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the UN security council on April 5 that Russian troops were intentionally killing civilians, going as far as calling it genocide. More than 4,500 war crimes are currently being investigated by Ukrainian prosecutors.

Don’t Say Gay Bill signed

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill on March 28, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.” This bill bans public school teachers from starting discussions on gender identity or sexual orientation in the classroom from kindergarten to third grade or in any grade that is not “age-appropriate” by state standards. It is meant to hand the power of these discussions to parents rather than in a school setting. This bill sparked controversy from many LGBTQ+ activist groups and caused protests upon signing. The law goes into effect July 1. The success of the passing of the bill has inspired similar legislation in other states, including Ohio.

Sacramento Shooting

Six died and 12 others were injured in a shooting in downtown Sacramento on April 3. Four of the wounded have life-threatening injuries. The shooting began after a large fight escalated into violence, leaving more than 100 shell casings in its wake. At least five people were shooting in the conflict. 26-year-old Dandrae Martin was arrested as a suspect hours after the shooting, and his 27-year-old brother Smiley Martin was arrested a day later also with a possession of firearms charge.

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