From a Mexican government murder conspiracy to Andrew Tate getting the boot – Here’s your August 22 new briefing

From a Mexican government murder conspiracy to Andrew Tate getting the boot – Here’s your August 22 new briefing
Former attorney general Jesus Murillo, who served under prior president Enrique Pena Nieto, sits in a car as he is being held following his arrest over charges of forced disappearance, torture and obstruction of justice in the 2014 disappearance of 43 students, in Mexico City, Mexico August 20, 2022. REUTERS/Luis Cortes

To start off, we’re looking into:

The Mexican government is behind students’ disappearance

In 2014, 43 college students from a radical teacher training college went missing from buses in Iguala, Mexico. Initially, they were intercepted by local police and weren’t heard from or seen again afterward.

This past Friday, a Mexican court ordered arrest warrants for 83 people supposedly involved in these disappearances. Jesús Murillo Karam, who led the state’s initial investigation of the abductions, is one of those arrested. The accused are suspected of “organized crime, forced disappearance, torture, homicide and crimes against the administration of justice.” These arrests come after the truth commission’s final report, which confirmed the violent conspiracy to be state-sponsored. The commission confirmed that local cops worked with cartel gunmen to “forcibly disappear” the students. The remains of only three students have been found so far, but all of them are presumed dead.

Egg freezing is on the rise

egg freezing
Source: Conrady Fertility Center

All over the world, the average childbearing age is getting slightly older. As of this past June, the average age women give birth now stands at 30 or above in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, a global economic and trade policy group with 38 member countries. And as women reach their 30s, fertility rates begin to drop, and the chances of getting pregnant become less likely. But, those who want to have children but aren’t able to have them anytime soon can choose to freeze their eggs for later in vitro fertilization.

Both expensive and invasive, egg freezing became a little more accessible during the pandemic. Now, fertility clinics are reporting a rise in egg freezing. Women who would’ve otherwise been traveling for work or whose careers and social lives didn’t allow for the intensive shot regimen or regular doctor appointments that come with this procedure were suddenly sitting alone at home all day. The pandemic also made dating harder for single people while the so-called “biological clock” continued ticking away.

Singapore repeals gay sex ban

Singapore gay
FILE PHOTO: A couple attends Pink Dot, an annual event organised in support of the LGBT community at the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim/File Photo

On Sunday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the country would repeal the ban on gay sex in a speech where he also discussed Singapore’s need to attract more talent. He didn’t explicitly connect the two issues, but he said that the move to repeal 377A would bring the nation’s laws up to date with its social norms and that it was “the right thing to do and something that most Singaporeans will now accept.”

LGBTQ+ rights groups said they were excited about the law’s repeal but worried about other promises Lee made, including one to codify the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, which would effectively ban same-sex marriage despite the repeal of 377A.

To end, we’ll look into:

Goodbye Andrew Tate

If you haven’t heard of Andrew Tate, honestly, congratulations. He’s an American-British former kickboxer who got kicked off of the reality TV show “Big Brother" back in 2016 after some homophobic and racist tweets and footage surfaced of him beating a woman with a belt. Tate said the video showed consensual sex, but it certainly didn’t help his image. He’s a self-described sexist and misogynist and has in the past said that women are “intrinsically lazy" and that there’s “no such thing as an independent female," comparing women to dogs. Not the most charming fellow.

Well, it turns out that social media companies don’t really think so, either. He recently got kicked off of TikTok, Facebook and Instagram for, well, all the stuff we just talked about. The reason it matters, though, is that he had a huge following. On Instagram, he had 4.7 million followers when his account was deleted (having gone up dramatically from the roughly one million followers he had in June of this year). On TikTok, videos tagged #AndrewTate had been viewed around 13 billion times.

“Misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated on TikTok," said a spokesperson from the company. “Our investigation into this content is ongoing, as we continue to remove violative accounts and videos, and pursue measures to strengthen our enforcement, including our detection models, against this type of content." Meta said it took him off the platform because he had violated its rules about dangerous individuals and organizations, but they wouldn’t specify exactly how.

Aside from the ridiculous nature of those kinds of comments, there has been some real concern about what people – particularly teen boys – could be taking away from his content. Younger users have reportedly been served up more of his content during breaks from school. Analysts are raising flags about what this means for anti-women content on social media and how well it is (or isn’t) regulated.

In other news …

💣Bomb kills Russian nationalist’s daughter: Darya Dugina, the daughter of nationalist Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, died from a car-bombing on Saturday. Her father is known as the “spiritual guide” for the invasion of Ukraine. On Sunday, Russia opened a murder investigation into the bombing.

👮‍♂️Somali hotel under siege, 21 deaths: On Friday, more than 100 people were trapped in a Somali hotel for more than 30 hours under siege by the militant group al-Shabab. Since then, 106 people have been saved, but at least 21 have perished.

Russia cuts gas to Europe: Already low on energy, Europe will see a three-day gas cut later this month. Unexpectedly, Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom is shutting down its pipeline to Germany for maintenance. This is coming ahead of the EU embargo on Russian oil.

😴Flight gone wrong: A flight from Khartoum, Sudan, to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa didn’t end up landing on time. Why? The plane flew past the airport as both pilots were asleep at the wheel, only to be woken later by the autopilot disconnect wailer. The sleepy pilots were able to land the plane safely on a second pass over the airport.

🥳Finland PM is cooler than you: Videos of Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin partying with friends have leaked. Defending herself, Marin claims to have not done anything illegal and even took a drug test. Now, there’s a Finnish trend of women tagging her in videos they post online of themselves partying.

🤣Zuckerberg gets memed on: Last week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a graphic of himself as an avatar in the metaverse. As it so often does, the internet immediately labeled it as cringe and made it into a meme. One Twitter user responded by saying that the graphics were about the same standard as the Teletubbies game for the PlayStation One. Zuckerberg has seen the memes and responded by posting a more detailed graphic of meta’s new metaverse capabilities.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Vanessa Wolosz, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai