Summer 2022 news recap

Groundbreaking, historical events occurred during the Summer of 2022. What did you miss?

Kate Verity, Contributing Writer

  • Roe v Wade overturned 

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court officially reversed its ruling in the landmark Roe v. Wade case. In the 5-4 vote, the court ruled that the decision made in 1973 would no longer be upheld. Roe v. Wade had long protected a woman’s right to have an abortion and the choice of continuing the pregnancy rather than leaving that decision up to the government. This overturn of Roe v. Wade does not fully outlaw abortions in the United States, but it no longer protects them from state laws. This means that abortion laws will now vary between states, with some continuing to allow abortions to the extent that they have been for decades, while other states are already seeing rollbacks in their abortion rights. Many states have already begun implementing policies that will not allow abortions without specific circumstances surrounding the pregnancy or on how far along the pregnancy is. 


  • Inflation Reduction Act 

The Inflation Reduction Act is a bill that focuses largely on climate and healthcare legislation. It was passed by the House of Representatives on August 12, 2022 and signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022. This bill is to reduce and slow the effects of climate change while encouraging corporations to develop healthier energy sources. Additionally, it aims to lower the prices of some medications in the U.S. which is likely to take effect more slowly. It also aims to help the IRS pursue wealthier individuals and companies who have managed to avoid paying their taxes.


  • January 6th hearings/ FBI search on Donald Trump’s home 

In relation to the ongoing January 6th hearings that are taking place to determine if former President Donald Trump incited the riots at the Capitol, the FBI was able to procure a warrant allowing them to search Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL. This search coincides with the investigation that Trump took classified documents and information with him from the White House when he left office in 2021. The National Archives believes that Trump is still in possession of materials that he is no longer allowed to possess. The search warrant itself allowed the FBI to seize “All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C.”


  • Ukraine vs Russia war 

In February 2022, Russia formally invaded Ukraine in an aggressive attempt to annex the state into Russia. As of now, Russian President Vladimir Putin controls about twenty percent of Ukraine, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remaining defiant in the face of its aggressor. With Russia being a nuclear-armed state and having significantly more available resources than the smaller country of Ukraine, it is unclear how long Ukraine will be able to withstand the invasion. In western Ukraine, school is back in session and businesses remain open, while fighting continues to rage on in the east. In the six months of war, it is estimated that about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, in addition to 5,500 civilians who have died and another 7,800 who have been wounded. There has yet to be any sign that Russia and Ukraine would engage in peace talks. 


  • Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan was shot. 

Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, was assassinated on July 8, 2022 while giving a speech in Nara, Japan. Abe held the office of prime minister longer than any other Japanese politician to date. Although he stepped down in 2020, Abe remained a prominent political figure with high social power. The assassin was able to walk right past Abe’s security guards and get a clear shot at him. Because of the difficulty surrounding gun purchasing in Japan, politicians frequently mingle with civilians, but this is likely to change after Abe’s assassination. The gun used in the attack was homemade by the suspected gunman, Tetsuya Yamagami. 


  • Elon Musk terminated the Twitter deal 

In the spring of 2022, billionaire Elon Musk bargained to buy Twitter for $44 billion. However, in July, Musk decided that he no longer wished to go through with the deal. Musk claimed that Twitter withheld information about the app and that he was misled about how many of the app’s accounts were spam accounts. Because Musk signed a contract agreeing to buy the platform, he has since entered a legal battle with Twitter to try and reverse the agreement. The trial is set to take place in October and Musk’s lawyers have already issued over 100 subpoenas. 


  • Webb telescope first images: images into the ancient universe 

On July 11, 2022, NASA debuted the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. These images are more detailed and focused than the previous snapshots that NASA would receive from the Hubble Space Telescope. With this new technology, we will be able to see further into the universe than ever before and can look at how the universe looked 13 billion years in the past. With these images of never-before-seen nebulas, planets and galaxies, scientists will also be able to monitor other atmospheres and learn so much more about the universe.


  • WHO declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern” 

In late July 2022, the World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the spread of the monkeypox virus across the world. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern.” The virus itself spreads through physical contact, whether by directly touching an infected person or touching something after them, such as sharing clothing. It can also be transmitted by coughing or sneezing. The only other diseases that currently have this designation are COVID-19 and polio. Vaccinations, tests and treatments are already available in the United States to counter this outbreak. 


  • US drone strike on terrorist leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, involved in 9/11 attacks and took over Osama bin Laden’s position 

Last month, President Biden announced that the United States had killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan. Al- Zawahiri took over al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death. According to a White House official, the Taliban was aware of Zawahiri’s presence in their state. This is in violation of the Doha agreement, which includes the stipulation that the Taliban shall not harbor known terrorists in Afghanistan. In response, the U.S. chose to proceed with the drone strike without alerting the Taliban first. In a speech, Biden said that Zawahiri contributed to the planned 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and that “justice has been delivered,”


  • China conducted military drills to intimidate the U.S. after House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

China and Taiwan have maintained rocky relations for decades. Taiwan considers itself to be an independent nation, while China sees the island as a “renegade state” that should remain a part of China. The US has not formally backed Taiwan’s claim of sovereignty but after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited the nation, China viewed this as the U.S.’s intention to support Taiwan. However, the U.S. claims its policy on Taiwan remains unchanged. Beijing had spent the weeks leading up to Pelosi’s visit warning the Speaker not to come because of the increasing tensions in the region. After Pelosi commenced with the trip, China increased its military exercises and drills in the sea and air and issued a statement strongly encouraging the United States to stop meddling in the affairs of Taiwan. This has led to an overall increase in the already tense relations between the U.S., China, and Taiwan.