Weekly news wrap-up

Online Co-News Editor Audrey Parish discusses the most influential stories that happened this year


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Hi everyone and welcome back to the WSS weekly news wrap-up! Every week, we try to bring you the most important things that happened here at West, in Iowa, the US, the world, and a bit of weird, fun news to top it all of. This week, in honor of the New Year, we’re doing a year in review, with what we think we’re the most important things that happened in this country since the start of 2021. 



The most important thing that happened this year at West was the return to normal. In spring, many students came back to the building for the first time in over a year. Despite changing COVID-19 guidelines, on-and-off mask mandates, and new variants, students were again able to hang out before school in the library, have choir, band, and orchestra concerts, go to clubs, and experience all the activities (and hardships) that we had almost forgotten.



A lot of this year was taken up by shifts in our state laws. Our governor Kim Reynolds signed many bills into law including laws that make it harder to vote, harder to protest, and harder to implement public health measures. Along with shifts in our laws were changes in Iowa’s population, which increased by 200,000 people since 2020, from 3.19 million people last year to 3.21 million people this year. Additionally, this year was Iowa’s 175th year as a state. Iowa was admitted to the union on December 28, 1846, so happy birthday to us! 



President Joe Biden was sworn in in January 2021, despite protests at the Capitol on January 6, from which 727 people have been charged. Biden’s vice president, Kamala Harris was also sworn in and became the first female vice president of color. Since his inauguration, Biden has signed 75 executive orders and made 185 proclamations.

For the US 2021 has also set a record number for the amount of school shootings in the country. There were at least 42, making it the highest total in more than two decades. 



The entire world has been engaged in the fight against COVID-19 for the entirety of 2021. The world is also facing unprecedented effects of climate change. World leaders gathered at the 2021 Climate Summit in Scotland to work on solutions. And, after 20 long years, the US ended the war in Afghanistan on May 1, ending the longest war America has fought in. 2021 was a year of military coups in Africa. There were four successful military takeovers across the continent in Chad, Mali, Guinea, and Sudan. 



The Pentagon released its long-awaited UFO report to the public this year, but it was kind of a letdown. They said there was no evidence of extraterrestrials. But in a few years when we’re all living on Mars, we’ll see what the truth really is. 


Thanks for listening to our yearly WSS news wrap-up and have a great last few days of Winter Break! I’ll see you all next week! Bye!