The Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the Japanese city of Yokohama on Wednesday, Feb. 5, after coronavirus was found on the ship. The ship was quarantined for two weeks. A total of 285 passengers tested positive for the virus, with 40 of those being Americans. American passengers were evacuated off the ship and will be flown to the United States via a chartered flight before undergoing another 14-day quarantine. Any passengers showing symptoms will not be allowed to board the flight.
More than 69,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 29 countries since Dec. 31, 2019, with 15 confirmed cases in the mainland U.S. A total of 1,669 individuals have died as a result of the virus.
Jury to begin deliberating Weinstein case
After four weeks, jurors will begin deliberating the verdict regarding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s New York City rape charges. This deliberation will begin Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Both the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 13-14, closing out four weeks of the trial.
Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and raping another woman, TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi, in 2006.
This follows an outcry against Weinstein in October 2017, in which many women came forward against him with claims of rape and sexual assault. These revelations led to the beginning of the #MeToo movement, and Weinstein was charged in May 2018.
Weinstein also faces four felony counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles County, as announced on Jan. 6, 2020.
OU professor to step down following his use of racial slur
A University of Oklahoma professor has stepped down from teaching a journalism capstone course after using a racial slur during the class.
The OU Daily first reported professor Peter Gade was teaching the class when the popular phrase, “OK, boomer,” came up in discussion. In response, Gade said, “calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n—–.”
Gaylord College Dean Ed Kelley announced on Friday, Feb. 14, Gade would step down from teaching the class, and it would be taught by another professor.
“[Gade] will engage in OU’s program in culturally competent communication over the next month,” Kelley said in a statement. “Further, he has agreed to meet one-on-one with OU’s team in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in sessions over the coming semester.”
Abortion abolitionists rally at capitol
Thousands of individuals in support of banning abortion gathered at the steps of the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Supporters sought a hearing on Senate Bill 13, by Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, which seeks to end abortion in Oklahoma. The bill would make abortion a felony crime punishable by life in prison, with no exceptions for victims of rape, incest or to save a pregnant person’s life.
According to Russell Hunter, a lobbyist for Free the States and organizer for the event, individuals at Tuesday’s event, who label themselves abolitionists, differentiate themselves from pro-lifers, who seek to regulate abortion rather than end it entirely.
“All of the other bills are substitute bills,” Hunter said. “They are regulatory bills. We oppose them. They are pro-life bills. We are not pro-lifers.”The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday, Feb. 6, which would effectively ban almost all abortions by revoking the licenses of doctors performing abortions, except in situations threatening the life of a woman. A similar measure passed in 2016, but was vetoed by then Gov. Mary Fallin over constitutional concerns.