Outside Iona

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

Throughout our hectic student lives, we should always remain aware of what is happening around us. In this column, I find the most significant things going on around the world and provide you with a small blurb of all the nitty-gritty details! Here are some of the major events that have been happening: 


General COVID-19 update. 


Globally, cases have almost surpassed 112 million with a little over 22 million active cases. The U.S. still leads with the most cases almost reaching 29 million with a death toll surpassing 500,000. There are more COVID-19-related American deaths than there were on the battlefields of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. The U.S. accounts for nearly 20% of global COVID deaths, but makes up only 4.25% of the global population. President Biden and Vice President Harris mourned those lost with a moment of silence on MondayDespite the statistics, vaccines are expected to be delayed by recent extreme weather. The White House was expected to deliver 6 million doses of the vaccines across the country. Movie theaters in New York City will be permitted to open for the first time since the start of the pandemic on March 5, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced at a news conference on Monday. Movie theaters will only be able to operate at 25of their maximum capacity, with no more than 50 people per screening. Masks will be mandatory and social distancing must be enforced. 


Information from NY Times, CNN and Worldometer. 


Biden administration is open to nuclear talks with Iran. 


Iran has threatened to bar U.N. nuclear inspectors if the U.S. does not lift economic sanctionsThe Biden administration has been working towards revamping an accord that limits Iran’s nuclear program. The administration stated that it would be holding discussions with world powers and Iran to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program, which has the possibility of resulting in a diplomatic deal where Washington could re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement that was left behind during the Trump administration. President Joe Biden has stated that the U.S. will rejoin the original Iran nuclear deal if Tehran resumes complying with the terms of the agreement. There is also a goal of developing a stronger follow-up non-proliferation pact. 


Information from NBC News, NY Times and Politico. 


Virginia abolishes death penalty.  


Virginia state lawmakers have approved legislation that would abolish the death penalty in the state. Virginia, historically known as one of the nation’s most prolific death penalty states, would be the first southern state to outlaw the practice. The billHB 2263, is now waiting for Gov. Ralph Northam’s final approval. The Democratic governor has stated that he intends to sign the bill and called the death penalty “inequitable, ineffective and inhumane. The state Senate approved a house bill by a vote of 22 to 16 that bans executions and establishes a maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A judge would have discretion to suspend part of that sentence 


Information from CNN, The Washington Post and AP News.  




General COVID-19 update. 








Biden administration is open to nuclear talks with Iran. 








Virginia abolishes death penalty.