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Polaris Week of 4/26/2021

I’m Ellen, your newsletter writer, here to provide you with a weekly line to The North Star and the news. Here, we’ll break down big events worldwide and keep you updated on what’s going on right here in Naperville.

First up, coronavirus updates.

As more people around the world get vaccinated against COVID-19, different countries are planning to open up international travel.

  • The E.U. will allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit over the summer. All three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) will be accepted.
  • However, the CDC still discourages people from non-essential travel, even if they are fully vaccinated. Travelling can risk the spread of new variants and there is not enough data to definitively reach a consensus on how vaccines affect transmission.

The number of fully vaccinated people in the U.S. has also surpassed those with only one shot.

  • Experts say that this may show a slowing demand, as fewer people are willing to get vaccinated now.
  • In order to return to normal life, experts estimate that between 70-85% of people must be immune to the virus (from previous infection or vaccination). However, before the U.S. reaches that mark, there will be a point where cases start to go down dramatically.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now back in use after a temporary pause.

  • Adult women younger than 50 are at an increased risk of blood clots with low platelet levels but experts have ruled that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
  • However, many Americans are still hesitant to take this vaccine compared to those made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Next, the U.S. recognizes the Armenian Genocide.

Genocide: an attempt to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life meant to bring about physical destruction, preventing births in the group, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

  • On Saturday, President Biden recognized the Armenian Genocide as a genocide, a step his predecessors have been unwilling to do, fearing tensions with Turkey.
  • In 1915, the Ottoman Empire, a predecessor of Turkey that was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I, started killing the Armenian people -- a Christian minority of 2.5 million people at the time -- who they accused of allying with Russia. The Ottomans started by killing Armenian members of the army, killing armenian villagers near the Russian border and forcing deportation. The Armenians were deported to concentration camps in the Syrian desert and many died during the marches or were killed by Ottoman troops or other groups. Between one million and 1.5 million Armenians died.
  • Biden’s declaration risked angering Turkish President Erdogan, and Turkey at large, which fervently denies the genocide. Fraying relations with Turkey, which is in NATO and was a U.S. ally in the middle east, could explain the timing of this declaration.
  • The U.S. House and Senate had already passed resolutions declaring the Armenian genocide in 2019. The U.S. joins 29 other countries in recognizing the genocide.
  • Previous administrations, including the Obama administration, had condemned the atrocities, yet had not used the word “genocide” when referring to it, despite other global entities, such as Pope Francis and the European Parliament, calling the killing of Armenians a genocide.
  • Biden declared the genocide on April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which is when the Ottoman government arrested 250 Armenian leaders and is considered the start of the genocide.
  • Erdogan continued to deny the genocide after Biden’s statement and said that America should “look in the mirror.”

Finally, all your updates on the Oscars.

The 93rd Oscars were held on Sunday in a modified format, per COVID-19 precautions. Here's what you missed:

  • The event took place almost two months later than normal at two separate locations. Five years after the #OscarsSoWhite movement, this year's nominees were more diverse than past years. The leading and supporting actor categories were made up of nine people of color out of 20 total nominations.
  • For the first time in 50 years, two Black women, Andra Day and Viola Davis, were nominated for best actress. For the first time ever, two men of Asian descent, Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed, were up for best actor. In another first, two women were nominated for best director, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell, with Zhao being the first woman of color to be nominated for the category.
  • ”Nomadland” had a historic night, picking up major wins for Best Picture, Best Director (Chloé Zhao ) and Best Actress (Frances McDormand). Other notable winners include Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Yuh-Jung Youn for “Minari,” in the best supporting actor and actress categories respectively.
  • In a shocking upset, Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for “The Father”, becoming the oldest man to ever win the award. Many expected the late Chadwick Boseman to win the award for his performance in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ The Academy also switched the traditional order of awards so that the Best Actor category would close out the night, which led some to believe this would be to honor Boseman's life and win.

Take a look at the North Star's latest edition of The NOW, the first one in over a year.

This week, Polaris Recipes presents three options for avocado toast.

Good things always come in threes, and these three avocado toast recipes are no exception. Avocado toast is the perfect easy breakfast for before school, and these recipes take a popular classic to the next level. Simply toast your bread, mash together the listed ingredients, and add your toppings.

Sweet Honey:

  • 1 avocado mashed
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • top with a sprinkle of chia seeds
  • drizzle with honey
  • top with slice of avocado
  • recommended bread: sourdough bread

Pomegranate Citrus:

  • 1 avocado mashed
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • sprinkle of salt
  • top with pomegranate seeds
  • finish with a drizzle of lemon juice
  • recommended bread: whole-grain bread

Classic with a hint of spice:

  • 1 avocado mashed
  • sprinkle of salt
  • sprinkle of chile powder
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • top with fried egg
  • finish with red pepper flakes
  • recommended bread: crusty artisan white

This week in Naperville North news....

Due to science testing for Juniors, Freshmen, Sophomores, and Seniors will have an asynchronous day on Monday, May 3- check up on where your grade will be here.

This week's news was written by Zayna, Jeanine, Nora, and Ellen

And after all that news...

There's no crossword this week, but it'll be back next newsletter!

Want to know more?

Check out the North Star website for more in-depth stories, and Heads Up Huskies.

Thank you for joining us here at Polaris, and I look forward to bringing you more news after spring break!

- Ellen