Global Headlines of the Week: March 17

GlobalEventsColumn

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily news cycle here at home, but oftentimes we miss important events that occur nationally, as well as beyond our borders. These events, no matter how small, play a role in our own lives and in the lives of those in our nation and across the world.

This past week has been no exception. Let’s break down four events over the past week you might have missed.

United Kingdom to increase amount of nuclear warheads

The United Kingdom has increased their cap on nuclear warheads from 195 to 260, amid concerns about an “evolving security environment”, as stated in a foreign and defence  policy review from the British Cabinet Office.

According to an article done by BBC News, there were former plans from 2010 in which the UK was supposed to reduce their nuclear capacity to 180 in the middle of the 2020’s, however these plans have since been abandoned.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, stated that the purpose of this review is to make the UK stronger, safer, and more prosperous, while standing for it’s values.

“The review describes how we will boast alliances, how we will strengthen capabilities, find new ways of reaching solutions, and relearn the art of competing against states with opposing values.” Johnson said. 

The article from BBC points out that the review also states that the UK will maintain the “minimum destructive power needed to guarantee that the UK’s nuclear deterrent remains credible”.

This recent nuclear policy change keeps the United Kingdom at the estimated 5th strongest nuclear power, behind France, China, the U.S, and Russia, according to an infographic done by the UK Government.

AstraZeneca vaccine suspended in European countries following fears of blood-clotting

The AstraZeneca vaccine hasn’t been approved for use in the United States yet, but has seen some drama in Europe over the past week.

The vaccine was suspended indefinitely in multiple European countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Denmark, with a handful of others.

These suspensions followed after a small number of AstraZeneca vaccine recipients experienced dangerous blood-clotting, which has sparked investigation into the vaccine by various health professionals.

According to an article done by AP, the company of AstraZeneca as well as other international regulators say there is no evidence that the shot is the cause of these dangerous blood-clotting cases.

AstraZeneca put forth statistics proving that there have been only 37 reports of blood clots out of 17 million people who have been vaccinated, in 28 different countries.

Despite this, many countries are still suspending the vaccine for further investigation so that they can take full precaution before continuing to administer the shot safely.

Prince Phillip, 99, returns from month long trip to hospital

Prince Phillip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has been at an elongated hospital stay since February 16.

According to an article done by BBC, Phillip underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at a separate hospital during his month-long stay away from Windsor Castle.

The procedure was successful, and following a lengthy recovery he was able to return to his home safely.

Phillip thanked the medical staff who looked after him, as well as those who sent good wishes, in a statement from Buckingham palace on Tuesday.

Shane Stryker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @shanestryker.