In Today's Issue: Worldwide Controversy over New COVID Lockdowns As Cases Soar

The following story appeared in the [post_published] issue of The Daily Juice. The text is from the 9th-10th grade version. To access the other grade levels, interactive vocabulary (words in bold), quiz questions, and more, sign up for The Juice.

Soldiers are patrolling the streets of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, and police helicopters have ordered sunbathers to leave the city’s beaches and go home. The moves are an attempt to stop a resurgence of COVID-19. Brisbane, the country’s third-largest city, also extended a tight lockdown for another week. 

Australia has been praised for its handling of the pandemic. It has enforced some of the most severe lockdowns in the world. Rule-breakers face $500 fines. Still, protests against the tough measures turned violent last week in Sydney. 

Anti-lockdown protesters also clashed with police officers in Berlin, Germany’s capital, venting their anger against new COVID restrictions. At least 600 people were arrested.

Countries around the world are seeing COVID cases soar because of the easily transmissible delta variant of the virus. Cases in Africa have increased by 80% over the last month. 

It’s even worse in the US, where the seven-day average of new daily cases hit almost 80,000, more than five times the number of cases at the end of June. 

However, in the US, it’s a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that 99.99% of fully vaccinated Americans have not had a case of COVID that’s led to death or hospitalization. 

The federal government, and many states, cities, and businesses are beginning to require that some workers be vaccinated. The CDC now recommends that even vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public places and that everyone at schools use masks indoors.

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US Politics (Grades 11-12)

Biden Executive Orders Will Reverse Trump Policies

President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders soon after his inauguration tomorrow. He plans to address what he’s calling the four crises facing the country. They are COVID-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice, and climate change.

An executive order is a written directive from the president carrying powers similar to a federal law. Presidents have historically used these orders to push policies forward quickly because they do not require approval from Congress. The downside of executive orders is that they are easily overturned by any new president. That is not true for federal laws.

Among other moves overturning Trump administration policies, Biden’s orders will return the US to the Paris Climate Accord and to the Iran nuclear deal.

Related to the pandemic, Biden will require face masks on federal properties and during interstate travel. Other orders will be aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses.

On immigration, Biden will order agencies to determine how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border. Another order will end travel restrictions targeting majority-Muslim countries.

Other orders will address “equity and support communities of color,” criminal justice reform, and access to healthcare.

Photo from Reuters.

Bold words are interactive vocab words in The Juice.

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