Breaking the Bubble (03/03/2023)


Kyle Putt, Graphics Manager / The Bucknellian

Madison Kurtz, Staff Writer


Pennsylvania state Rep. Joanna McClinton was elected to serve as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday. She is the first woman ever to win the position and is also the second ever African American to do so after late Speaker Leroy Irvis in the 1970s. McClinton grew up in southwest Philadelphia and lives there to this day. She worked both as a public defender and state Senate attorney, and went on to be the first woman to hold the position of the Democratic floor leader in 2020.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last Monday that revokes Disney World’s status as a special tax district. This bill comes after Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s statement last month that he would support the repeal of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, an act that restricts classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation. DeSantis stated that the corporation had “crossed the line” by opposing it. The bill abolishes Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and a five-person state board now oversees the municipal services of the 25,000 acres that Disney World operates on.

The Chips Act, a bill signed in 2022 meant to provide $53 billion for the growth of the semiconductor industry in the United States, now has a set of conditions for eligible domestic semiconductor facilities. The Commerce Department unveiled the conditions last Tuesday which aim to ensure that the taxpayer funding is protected and the administration’s national security goals are met. Conditions include limits on stock buybacks, the use of union workers for the construction of the facilities, and ensuring childcare for both construction and factory workers. One of the Chips Act goals is to increase the number of appliance chips being produced in the United States through the boost of the semiconductor industry, and stems from U.S. reliance on China for their appliance chips and the shortage of chips that persisted during the pandemic.


Last Monday, the United Kingdom and European Union agreed on a deal that would free up trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, eliminating a problem that has persisted since the United Kingdom’s official withdrawal from the EU in 2020. To alleviate the problem of harsh border controls and assure Northern Ireland’s U.K. status, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to the “Windsor Framework.” The deal calls for the creation of green lanes and red lanes for goods arriving into Northern Ireland. Goods entering through green lanes include anything that will stay in the region, and will therefore not be subject to EU’s customs clearance. Goods that will be sold on to the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, will have to go through red lanes to enter Northern Ireland which require full EU customs clearance. The formation of lanes allows the EU to regulate the quality of goods entering their Single Market while also freeing trade barriers that Northern Ireland has been subjected to. 

Last Wednesday, Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg was briefly detained by police in Oslo, Norway during a protest against wind farms built on indigenous land. The protest concerns a 2021 Supreme Court decision that ruled that the farms situated in central Norway violated indigenous Sami reindeer herders’ rights under international conventions, but they remain in operation 16 months after the decision. The 151 turbines disrupt Sami tradition by frightening the reindeer. Since Feb. 27, Thunberg and a dozen other demonstrators have been blocking entrances to the energy and finance ministries in Oslo to oppose the lack of change and were forcibly removed and detained before their release. Thunberg said, “Indigenous rights, human rights, must go hand-in-hand with climate protection and climate action. That can’t happen at the expense of some people. Then it is not climate justice.”

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