While you were busy retweeting that photograph of famous people having fun with other famous people at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, here are four things you probably should have been paying attention to instead.
World at War
The Crimea region of Ukraine has been invaded by Russia. Apparently, Ukrainians are not too happy about it and neither is President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry, who have spent the last couple of days publicly condemning Russia’s military intervention. Kerry has called it an “incredible act of aggression.”
Unrest in Venezuela has killed at least 17 people since a Feb. 12 protest turned violent.
Syria is still in shambles. A recent Reuters article reports that the civil war in Syria has claimed well over 140,000 lives.
Egypt is still in pretty rough shape. So is Libya. And the United States is still technically at war in Afghanistan, in case that sad fact slipped your mind.
The G8 Summit
Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the US and the UK, denouncing Russia’s takeover of Crimea, have released a statement suspending their participation in this year’s G8 summit, scheduled to take place in Sochi this June.
Russia joined the G7 to form the G8 in 1997, and Russian President Putin is the G8’s current president. Now Secretary of State Kerry is saying that Russia could be kicked out of the G8 if they don’t pull out of Ukraine.
China knife attack
In a particularly gruesome fashion, 29 people were killed and 143 wounded by masked assailants at a train station in southern China last Saturday.
Police fatally shot four of the attackers, leaving the death total at 33. Chinese authorities have blamed the Uighurs, a separatist group from the country’s far west, for the rampage.
Arizona Anti-Gay Bill
Uncharacteristically siding with gay rights, last week Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse services to LGBTQ customers. The proposed bill was opposed by everyone from American Express to the NFL.
Brewer, noting the intense economic backlash that would have followed passage of the bill, commented that the proposed bill “has the potential to create more problems than it would solve.”
Despite the blitz of negativity that has slammed Arizona as a result of the proposed bill, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Oklahoma are in the midst of considering bills much like Arizona’s failed one.