Monday Briefing | February 1

Monday Briefing | February 1

Photo: Will there be six more weeks of winter, or will we have an early spring? Only Staten Island Chuck will tell. Credit: https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/staten-island-chuck-makes-groundhog-day-prediction-2019

Stories to follow:

Myanmar government under siege. Late Sunday night (EST), the Myanmar military announced that it was taking over the country for one year. The announcement came after members of the military arrested leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials and installed the armed force’s commander-in-chief instead. Political tensions had been rising for several weeks, including fears of a military coup. Though Suu Kyi is a Nobel laureate and was widely considered a hero of Myanmar’s transition into a democracy, she’s come under fire recently after allegations of genocide against the country’s Muslim Rohingya population. The situation is still ongoing

Part of California’s Highway 1 Crumbles into Ocean. After a winter storm hit the California coastline this past week, a chunk of California’s Highway 1, which runs along the state’s coast, got washed away near Big Sur. Department of Transportation officials arrived on the scene Friday morning to find both lanes washed out, and they say there’s no known timeline for repairs. For now, the area will remain closed. 

Gov. Cuomo Announced Indoor Dining Can Return. Just in time for romantic tables for two, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend that indoor dining can return on February 14. Restaurants’ capacity will be capped at 25 percent, but Cuomo hopes that this decision will help boost business. However, only 6 percent of New York’s population has been vaccinated and over 8,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.

Happening this week:

CSD Series — Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador. Each Tuesday, the Conflict, Security and Development series will examine new research, discuss creative policy approaches and highlight recent innovations in responding to the challenges of security and development in conflict and post-conflict situations. This week’s discussion will include speaker Thea Riofrancos, who teaches at Providence College and she will discuss her new book, “Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador.” Register here.

Staten Island Chuck is preparing for his big day on the Zoom screen. Staten Island’s resident groundhog Chuck will rise early on Tuesday morning to check out his shadow. If he sees it, we’re in from another six weeks of brisk, cold weather, according to Groundhog Day lore. But if the shadow stays away, spring is on its way. Chuck’s home at Staten Island Zoo usually invites a crowd to view the event, but this year the crowd can tune in on Facebook at 8 a.m. to see Chuck’s big day. Chuck requested that Mayor de Blasio not be on the invite list.

In your free time: 

Saturday Night Live returned this past weekend, and though the episode was perhaps not its best effort, the cold open is worth a watch. Thanks to Kate McKinnon consistently carrying the show, we got a good sketch that asked if the stock market, the government and the vaccine rollout still work, and the answer is a resounding “no.” I also came away thinking SNL no longer works, but at least we have Kate McKinnon. Plus, you’ll get to see Pete Davidson and John Krasinski smooch!

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Emmy Freedman.

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