Denver Broncos Win Super Bowl 50—
On Sunday, the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. This game is rumored to be the last of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s career, though he said he has not yet made a final decision. Broncos linebacker Von Miller came away with the Most Valuable Player award. Lady Gaga started the event off with the national anthem, demonstrating powerful vocal ability. Beyoncé, Coldplay and Bruno Mars performed at the halftime show on a colorful stage amid huge prop flowers and fireworks. The famous Super Bowl commercials featured the usual quota of cute animals—including the Clydesdale horses—and celebrities, including Amy Schumer and Drake.
The Zika Virus Draws International and Local Attention—
Last Monday, Feb. 1, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. The virus has been present in parts of Africa and Asia for decades, but it was detected for the first time in the Western Hemisphere in May 2015. Though most prominent in Brazil, it has appeared throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The virus is known to spread through mosquitoes, though scientists have determined that in rare instances it can also be sexually transmitted. While the symptoms are relatively mild and last roughly a week, experts have recently speculated that the virus may cause microcephaly—unusually small heads and potential brain damage—in infants whose mothers carried the virus during pregnancy. Scientists at the University of Washington, and around the globe, are currently working to discover how the virus works and to develop a cure. For now, experts are discouraging unprotected sex and advising pregnant women to avoid areas where the virus is prominent.
On Saturday, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan’s oldest city, Tainan, along the southwestern coast. Though relatively few died in the city of 1.9 million, the most damage was concentrated in one building that housed many students attending a local university. The 17-story apartment building collapsed, killing 36 and injuring 93 people. Approximately 117 people are still buried, and the military has been mobilized to search the rubble. The solitary collapsed building is causing speculation about the structure’s quality, leading to investigations by local authorities. The earthquake also damaged water pipes and power lines, as well as the tracks of the high-speed rail service. This caused serious traffic problems in the area, especially as people began traveling for Lunar New Year.
Marshawn Lynch Peaces Out—
During the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch tweeted a picture of cleats hanging on a wire and a “peace out” emoji, indicating that after six years with the Seahawks, he is retiring from the NFL. In a series of retweets, Seahawks team owner Paul Allen, quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman made it clear that the news is true: Beast Mode will never save the Seahawks again. During his final season, Lynch was only able to play seven regular season games due to injuries, though he returned for the playoff game against Minnesota. He retires with 65 total touchdowns, the third-highest for the Seahawks. He will also be remembered for his love for Skittles and his reluctance to speak to the media, which resulted in huge fines and humorous commercials.
Monday Marks the Year of the Monkey—
The Lunar New Year is the longest and most important celebration of the year for many Asian cultures, and this year it fell on Feb. 8. Celebrations in Seattle began over the weekend and will continue well into next week. Lion dancers and firecrackers started the festivities in the International District on Sunday, and the main celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13. The local Vietnamese community will bring in the New Year in a two-day festival this weekend at the Seattle Center. This year’s zodiac sign combines with the fire element to create the Year of the Fire Monkey. Those born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be creative, clever and mischievous, and the fire element is said to add vitality and excitement.
Sanders and Trump Win New Hampshire Primary—
Last night, Donald J. Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders were declared the winners of the Republican and democratic primary elections in New Hampshire. Trump won big with 34.5 percent of the vote, followed by Gov. John Kasich with 15.5 percent. Sanders won over Hillary Clinton with 59.7 percent after a near-tie with the former Secretary of State in the Iowa caucus earlier this month. Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucus on the Republican side, came in third place in New Hampshire with just 11.5 percent of the vote. The next elections will be held in Nevada (D) and South Carolina (R) on Saturday, Feb. 20.