Breaking the Bubble (04/07/2023)

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Kyle Putt / The Bucknellian

Madison Kurtz, Senior Writer

Domestic

NASA has picked the next astronauts to visit the moon in Nov. 2024. The astronauts are NASA’s Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch, and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency. The mission, Artemis II, will build on the data collected by Artemis I, an uncrewed test mission completed last December. The chosen crew members will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the mission will take approximately 10 days to complete. The Artemis program aims to pave the way for establishing a permanent lunar outpost that would allow astronauts to live and work in space long term. Achieving this would affect the plan that NASA and its partners are making to send the first humans to Mars. This mission will mark the first time humans have touched the moon’s surface since the end of the Apollo program in 1972.

Last Monday, the University of Connecticut  won the NCAA men’s basketball national title over San Diego State University with a score of 76-59. The final game at NRG Stadium in Houston had the Aztecs winning early on, but in an 11-minute, eight-second stretch the team scored only five free throws and missed 12 consecutive shots from the field. By halftime, the Huskies went from down 10-6 to up 36-24 at halftime. This win is UConn’s fifth NCAA men’s basketball national title. The team won each of its six tournament games by at least 10 points, with its closest game being a 13-point win over the University of Miami in the national semifinals.

Last Tuesday, Donald Trump was arrested in Manhattan for his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors alleged Trump was involved in an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election. They argue he was part of an unlawful plan to suppress negative information and point to the $130,000 payment to Daniels as evidence. The former president has denied any wrongdoing. This is the first time in the history of the United States that a current or former president has faced criminal charges. Despite his indictment, Trump is still able to run for president in the upcoming elections. 

International

Last Tuesday, Finland officially joined NATO, breaking the country’s stance of neutrality that has been maintained since World War II. Finland has more than doubled NATO’s border with Russia and is considered a valuable asset for NATO as it closes a security gap in northern Europe. The country also holds one of the best-prepared militaries in Europe and brings with it a deep knowledge of Russian affairs, gained through decades of balancing military ties with NATO and relations with Russia. This has caused much tension between Russia and the West. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a military conference in Moscow that the West was escalating its confrontation with Russia. “Relations are destroyed…The United States is responsible for this” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California last Wednesday, marking the first time a Taiwanese president has met with a U.S. House speaker on American soil. The meeting represents U.S. democratic solidarity and bipartisan support for Taiwan as well as pushback against China’s attempts to internationally isolate the island. China’s Communist Party has vowed to take Taiwan by force if necessary, claiming that the island as its own despite never having controlled it. The meeting sparks U.S. and Taiwan concerns about aggressive and destabilizing responses that China may take amid already heightened tensions between the United States and China.  

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