Portland Public School Teachers Reach Tentative Deal After More Than Three Weeks Of Striking 

Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers have reached a tentative deal to end the teachers strike that’s been occurring for over three weeks, keeping schools in the area closed since November 1st. This week, more than 40,000 students were able to return to the classroom. 

According to the Portland Public Schools letter sent out to families last weekend, union members will have to ratify the terms of the agreement, and the school board will also need to approve the full contract, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Embed from Getty Images

“We are relieved to have our students returning to school and know that being out of school for the last three weeks — missing classmates, teachers, and learning — has been hard for everyone,” Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and the PPS school board said.

“We thank our students, families, and community for your patience and perseverance through these protracted negotiations. We also want to express our deep appreciation for our educators, who are the backbone of our district, and who enrich the lives of our students.”

The Portland Association of Teachers said “educators are ending the strike, securing a historic tentative agreement with key wins for student mental health support, class size, protected planning time, building health and safety protections, and cost-of-living increases.”

Embed from Getty Images

The district’s statement said the “agreement includes processes for resolving class size concerns that involve impacted educators, school leaders, and parents.” The teachers union suggested parents would be more than simply involved, describing the new structure as “shared decision-making committees involving educators and parents.”

Portland Association of Teachers president Angela Bonilla stated that parents would not gain access to private student information, and further discussions will be about identifying necessary support for class sizes that are growing too large. 

“That might look like saying, ‘Hey, this class is in the small classroom on the second floor now that they have an extra student, we gotta move them to the big classroom. But we know that the best solutions to problems that we have in our schools come from the folks who actually attend them, who work at them and who send their students to those places,” Bonilla said. 

As outlined in statements from PAT and PPS, “the contract also increases dedicated planning time, access to mental health support teams for students throughout the district, and funding to address building conditions, among other things.”

“This contract is a watershed moment for Portland students, families and educators. Educators walked picket lines alongside families, students and allies — and because of that, our schools are getting the added investment they need,” Bonilla said.


US Airlines Gearing Up For Record-Breaking Air Travel For Thanksgiving 

US airlines are expecting record breaking travel demand this year for Thanksgiving, with multiple executives across many airline companies gearing up to prepare for the influx in travel.


Los Angeles’ I-10 Will Likely Reopen In 3 To 5 Weeks After Major Fire

Los Angeles’ Interstate 10 was recently partially closed due to a major fire that was likely caused by arson. California Governor’s Gavin Newsom stated this week that the closed portion will be repaired and reopened within the next three to five weeks.


HV.1, The New Covid-19 Variant Spreading Throughout The US 

A new Covid-19 variant is dominating the cases in the US, with another version of the coronavirus already spreading overseas. 

Kelly Oakeson, the chief scientist for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics for the Utah Department of Health and Human services, stated that “virus evolution is what we’re seeing in real time,” according to Deseret News

HV.1 is the variant currently the most prevalent in the US. “The variant is just getting better at getting into our cells. It’s better at making us sick. It’s better at doing what viruses do,” Oakeson said. 

Embed from Getty Images

“The variant hasn’t yet reached dominant status in Utah but should soon, since the state tends to lag about two weeks behind the national variant proportions estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he said. 

When it comes to what citizens in Utah, where the variant is quite prominent, should know about HV.1, Oakeson stated that “it’s more infectious.” 

“It can definitely infect more people. That’s why we’re seeing it increase in prevalence in the population. The symptoms seem to be the same. The severity seems to be the same as EG.5. I wouldn’t call it severe but I wouldn’t call it mild.”

Embed from Getty Images

“Mild seems to instill in people’s minds, ‘Oh, it’s nothing at all. I don’t have to worry about it. it’s not going to cause any serious effects.’ People are still dying from this, I wouldn’t call that mild. People are still getting long COVID from EG.5 or HV.1. I wouldn’t call that mild,” he explained. 

“People are still ending up in the hospital with this. I wouldn’t call that mild. COVID-19 could kill them … (or) they could get it, have a runny nose, and be fine. There’s a huge dynamic range there of symptoms and severity.”

“If it was happening in the summertime, it might have less of an impact on everything. But now that it’s happening in the fall/winter … people are indoors, it’s getting colder outside. There’s more holidays. 

You’re probably going to see an increase in cases for sure. Is that driven by HV.1? Is that driven solely by the seasonality, what time of year it is? No, it’s probably a combination of all of those things. … We’ve seen this now, year after year,” he explained.


Georgia Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Law Challenging, Upholding Six-Week Ban

In a ruling from Georgia’s State Supreme Court this week, the state upheld their banning of abortions past the six-week mark. 

The ruling also reverses a lower court’s decision to get rid of certain sections of the LIFE Act; which bans abortion when early cardiac activity is detected. The lower court wanted to void certain aspects of the LIFE Act because it was enacted prior to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. 

According to CNN, the ruling made on Tuesday stated that “the trial court erred in relying on overruled decisions of the United States Supreme Court to conclude that portions of the LIFE Act violated the United States Constitution when enacted in 2019. 

Embed from Getty Images

The same United States Constitution governs today as when the LIFE Act was enacted, and Georgia courts are required to look to the United States Supreme Court’s now-controlling interpretation of the United States Constitution when determining whether a statutory law violates that Constitution. 

We are pleased with the court’s decision and will continue to defend the constitutionality of Georgia’s LIFE Act,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement.

Monica Simpson, the executive director of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and also a plaintiff in case, responded to the decision made by the courts this week: 

“Today’s devastating decision means that our people will continue to face the horrible reality that they are in today where Georgians are suffering because they cannot access abortion care.”

Embed from Getty Images

“This abortion ban has forced Georgians to travel across state lines at great expense or continue the life-altering consequences of pregnancy and childbirth against their wills,” she stated. 

Lauren Eden, advocate for the Abortion Survivors network, told CNN, “I am thrilled. It’s going to protect so many innocent lives like mine. This will not only protect the lives of unborn babies, but also the lives of the mothers who we know suffer so much pain after an abortion procedure.”

Georgia House Democrats, spoke out against the decision in a statement, “This harmful decision leaves in place a deadly restriction on reproductive rights and criminalizes doctors who are seeking to provide life saving healthcare to patients across the state.”

The Georgia State Supreme Court plaintiffs said the ban “violates the due-process, equal-protection, and/or inherent-rights provisions of the Georgia Constitution.”


US Cancer Centers Are Experiencing Ongoing Widespread Shortages Of Chemotherapy Drugs, According To Survey 

According to a survey released last week by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, among 29 cancer centers across America, 72% have reported a shortage of carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication. Additionally, 59% have been experiencing a shortage of the drug cisplatin. 

Of all the centers involved in the survey, 86% reported a shortage of at least one kind of anti-cancer or chemotherapy drug. 

This specific survey from the network is an updated version of their survey May in which they found that 93% of the respondents reported a shortage of carboplatin with 70% reporting a shortage of cisplatin. The updated survey was conducted between September 6th to the 20th and took data from 29 of the 33 institutions within the cancer network. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Cisplatin and other similar platinum-based drugs are prescribed for an estimated 10% to 20% of all cancer patients,” according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, several cancer medications have been experiencing shortages within the past few years, with record breaking shortages occurring this year. 

In September, The White House released a report that stated the US has a shortage of 15 cancer drugs. Cisplatin, carboplatin and methotrexate are three of the more generic medications for cancer treatments that have been used for decades. In the report, the White House stated these shortages are mainly due to manufacturing and supply chain issues. 

“Everyone with cancer should have access to the best possible treatment according to the latest evidence and expert consensus guidelines,” Dr. Robert Carlson, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, said.

“Drug shortages aren’t new, but the widespread impact makes this one particularly alarming. It is extremely concerning that this situation continues despite significant attention and effort over the past few months. We need enduring solutions in order to safeguard people with cancer and address any disparities in care.”

Embed from Getty Images

Dr. William Dahut, the chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, stated that carboplatin and cisplatin are known as “core drugs for treating cancer.” 

“The manufacturing side is really the aspect that’s most important to get this right,” he said, as reported by CNN.

“Should there be some drugs in reserve? Should there be the ability to look at supply chains or economic issues? But who actually would enforce those? Who would pay for those? How would that work? I think that needs to be worked out. But I do think a short-term, medium-term and long-term philosophy is needed, as opposed to moving from crisis to crisis,” Dahut stated. 

The centers also stated that several other cancer medications are in short supply; 66% reported a shortage of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, 55% experienced a shortage of 5-fluorouracil, 45% for chemotherapy fludarabine, and 41% for hydrocortisone. 

“These drug shortages are the result of decades of systemic challenges,” Alyssa Schatz, the network’s senior director of policy and advocacy, said according to CNN..

“We recognize that comprehensive solutions take time and we appreciate everyone who has put forth proposals to improve investment in generics and our data infrastructure. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that the cancer drug shortage has been ongoing for months, which is unacceptable for anyone impacted by cancer today. These new survey results remind us that we are still in an ongoing crisis and must respond with appropriate urgency,” Schatz said.


Republicans Pressured To Select House Speaker Amidst Middle East Conflict

Republican lawmakers are currently under immense pressure to settle on a new candidate to replace Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives, especially due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.


NYC Is One Of The Best Cities In The World, According To New Report

Every year, the Resonance Consultancy ranks the best cities in the world by analyzing over 270 cities and publishing a comprehensive list for the public to learn about some of the most famous cities in the world. 

Embed from Getty Images

The full report utilizes user-generated reviews, social media, online activity/popularity, and other statistics to create their rankings. 

According to Time Out Magazine and the report itself,  other “analyzed metrics include a wide range of factors that have historically shown positive correlations with attracting employment, investment and/or visitors to cities.”

The ninth annual report listed London as the best city in the world, followed by Paris and then New York. Tokyo and Singapore marked the fourth and fifth spots on the list. The US is also the only country with two cities in the top 10, with San Francisco being listed as number 7.

Written as “the greatest city in America” in an accompanying essay to the report, the study mentions “New York’s dizzying roster of new shows, hotels and parks” as part and parcel of its perennial appeal, despite the record real estate prices that have defined life in the city in recent years.”

According to Time Out Magazine, “In a nod to 2023 and 2024 in specific, the survey also mentions two key events that render New York the ideal destination at this precise moment in time: the celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop music, which was founded in the Bronx on August 11, 1973, and the 100-year anniversary of the Museum of the City of New York.”

Embed from Getty Images

The top 10 best cities in the world for 2024 are as follows: 

  1. London, UK
  2. Paris, France
  3. New York City, US
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Sinagpore
  6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  7. San Francisco, US
  8. Barcelona, Spain
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  10. Seoul, South Korea

Simone Biles Makes Epic Return To World Championship 

Simone Biles has had an epic run so far during the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and the gymnast isn’t done yet. 

The US is looking to win its seventh consecutive world title as Biles is set to participate in the women’s team final. Biles made history on the opening day of the championship in Antwerp, Belgium after finishing first in the women’s all-around qualification. 

Embed from Getty Images

Biles also became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault at an international competition. The double pike vault is known as a highly difficult skill that has historically only been done by men. 

This championship also marks Biles first competition back on a world stage since the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, when she left the competition after suffering from the “twisties,” which is a mental block condition gymnasts experience when they lose track of their positioning in midair. 

Since then, however, Biles has shown the world why she’s one of the most prolific and expert gymnasts of our time. She won a record eighth national all-around title, and by competing in Antwerp she became the first woman to represent the US at six artistic world championships.

Embed from Getty Images

Skye Blakey, Shilese Jones, Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong are the US teammates joining Biles at the team final on Wednesday. The world championship began on September 30th and will be running until October 8th.

The US’s five-woman team will be competing in the final of the team event on Wednesday, while Biles will also be competing in the women’s individual all-around final on Friday. She will also be competing in the women’s vault and uneven bars finals on October 7th, and the balance beam, and floor exercise finals on the 8th. 

To watch the competition in the US, viewers can tune into NBC while UK viewers can watch the finals on the BBC. 

Some countries can also watch the competition on All Gymnastics TV, the International Gymnastics Federation’s streaming hub, according to reports


How A US Government Shutdown Will Impact The Travel Industry

If lawmakers don’t pass a federal budget or stopgap measure within the week, a government shutdown will take effect on October 1st, which could drastically impact the travel industry throughout the country.