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What we’re reading: President Biden holds first press conference, Suez Canal blockage continues

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden speaks at first press conference

President Biden announced his plans for re-election in 2024 and an ambitious vaccination goal of 200 million shots in 100 days during his first press conference yesterday, according to the Washington Post.

He also stated that he is planning on maintaining Kamala Harris as his running mate. Experts believe his reasoning for announcing his re-election is directly related to exerting his strength as president as being viewed as a one-term president may make people question his authority.

President Biden’s inclination to run for re-election came up before his nomination because he is currently the oldest person to become president. This will likely be an area of discussion for the rest of his presidency.

Suez Canal still blocked

This satellite image from Cnes2021, Distribution Airbus DS, shows the cargo ship MV Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal near Suez, Egypt, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal further imperiled global shipping Thursday as at least 150 other vessels needing to pass through the crucial waterway idled waiting for the obstruction to clear, authorities said. (Cnes2021, Distribution Airbus DS via AP)

The Suez Canal in Egypt has been blocked by a container vessel, according to the New York Times.

Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of Royal Boskalis Westminister, believes that freeing the ship could take “days, even weeks.”

Already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global shipping and supply industry hits another obstacle, since this vessel blocks a major canal for trade.

Current attempts to extract the ship so far have not been successful. The company that owns the ship stated that they will continue to try to free the ship as quickly as possible.

EU rejects climate change lawsuit

A man holds a placard that reads in French: “For a real climate law” as he listens speeches with others during a small climate protest outside EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European Union’s top court has rejected an effort by a Scandinavian youth group and eight families around the world to force the EU to set more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

According to the Associated Press, the top court of the European Union (EU) rejected an effort to make the EU “set more ambitious targets” in relation to climate change, specifically around greenhouse gas emissions.

This case launched in 2018, with the first ruling in the European General Court, but it was rejected in the European General Court in 2019 due to procedural reasons.

The European Commission proposed the “European Green Deal” in response to the legal action, which came to an agreement of cutting “the bloc’s net greenhouse gas emission at least 55% by 2030.” The decision now stated that “the plaintiffs ‘are not individually concerned’ by the EU’s climate legislation,” so the case is permanently rejected.

A protest led by environmental activists occurred in Brussels following the ruling.

Violence in Ethiopia continues

Members of the Tigrayan-Ethiopian community protest against the conflict in the Ethiopia’s Tigray region, outside the European Union offices in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, March 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

According to a report from CBS News, there are reports of executions and mass-rape coming from the war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

This news emerges from a media blackout that has lasted the past few months, which has forced many journalists to flee the country. The eyewitness account from Doctors Without Borders brought forth evidence of brutality in the region.

The United Nations has stepped in to address the instances of sexual violence in the region, which the UN recognizes as a form of weapon of war. In this conflict, the sexual violence against Tigrayan women is likely used as a tool of ethnic cleansing and a tool to “humiliate, shame, destroy dignity, and shatter [their] souls.”

The conflict began in November, in reaction to growing tension between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and Prime Minister Ahmed’s central government. This tension started due to the atrocities that occurred in the region during the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which was a part of Ethiopia until the 1990s. The Ethiopian government blames Eritrea for the “worst of the human rights atrocities committed in Tigray.”

Supreme Court reaches decision on Ford lawsuit

FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2020, file photo the sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court seemed concerned Tuesday, Dec. 1, about the impact of siding with food giants Nestle and Cargill and ending a lawsuit that claims they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor. The court was hearing arguments in the case by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The Supreme Court reached a decision on two cases today, according to NBC News.

The first case was against Ford Motor Company. The unanimous decision now allows all consumers the right to sue motor companies for defective vehicles involved in accidents. Originally, this was only allowed in states where the vehicles were designed, manufactured, or sold, but it was expanded nationwide due to the fact that “its business is everywhere.”

The second case ruled 5-3 that “police can be sued for using excessive force,” even if it doesn’t stop someone from escaping the scene. The lawsuit does not protect from “uses of other forms of police force, such as pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, or lasers.” This legislation will make it easier to sue the police for excessive force, though, since it expanded the rules around what is and what is not seizure.

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