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5 Important Stories You Might Have Missed While We Were All Popping Champagne Over Trump’s Indictment & Arraignment

The world keeps turning

Donald Trump arrives for his arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court

We’ve all been checking our news alerts and favorite publications’ headlines obsessively for what seems like forever now, waiting for updates on if, then when, and then COME ON NOW WHEN will old number 45, former President Donald Trump, be indicted in New York on charges related to the Stormy Daniels 2016 hush money scandal.

Blessedly, that has now happened, but given how much of our attention this story has taken up in recent days, we can spare a few moments to look back and educate ourselves on what important and unmissable news stories we totally missed while turning our eyes to the latest Trump circus event. Here are 5 of the essential ones.

Starbucks fired a worker who attempted to lead a union in New York

As reported by The Buffalo News, a Cheektowaga, NY, Starbucks store fired a longtime worker, Lexi Rizzo, who led her fellow Starbucks partners in an attempt to unionize their store. The firing came just after ex-CEO CEO Howard Schultz faced rigorous questioning from the United States Senate over what has been called blatantly illegal anti-union or union-busting behavior from the Starbucks Corporation. Richard Bensinger, an adviser for Starbucks Workers United, the umbrella union working to cover all Starbucks stores and employees, said the firing appears to be “payback” and that “Firing her two days after Schultz was grilled at the hearing about his illegal activity is pretty unbelievable.”

BetterHelp Inc. is facing another giant lawsuit 

BetterHelp, you know the mental health company advertises on every podcast you listen to, as well as every social media platform you use, and that provides access to therapists via text, chat, or video, is now facing its third class action lawsuit. This latest one claims the company mismanaged “sensitive consumer data,” including private medical information, revealing it to third parties for targeted ads on social media. WTF!

This disturbing and betraying news comes right after BetterHelp already paid out $7.8 million to consumers for the exact same charges of revealing sensitive information about users’ mental health after promising their users their sensitive info would be kept private. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered BetterHelp to pay the damages and stop revealing sensitive info. 

The Vatican ditched the Discovery Doctrine

And thank god for that. The so-called “Discovery Doctrine,” with roots in papal decrees around 500 years ago explains why Europeans deemed it was “okay” to steal land and property from indigenous people worldwide through colonization. They simply decreed that Europeans actually “discovered” the land. And in the U.S. legal system in the 1800s that same papal reasoning became the basis for an 1823 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that native North Americans only had rights of “occupancy,” not ownership, over their own land. Now, after years of protesting and outcry, a statement issued from the Vatican’s development and education offices is at least trying to recognize the Catholic center’s role in the unmeasurable violence the doctrine has caused. 

The statement said the doctrine “did not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples,” which is the understatement of the year. It also said, “The Catholic Church therefore repudiates those concepts that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of indigenous peoples, including what has become known as the legal and political ‘doctrine of discovery.’ ” It also said the church wants to stand with indigenous peoples “in a way that respects their identity, language and culture.” Well, we shall see, won’t we?

The protestor killed by police in the “Cop City” raid did not shoot at the cops

The 26-year-old protestor, Manuel Terán, a Florida native who went by the name Tortuguita, died after being shot more than a dozen times by police in January while protesting the construction of a gigantic police and fire department training facility known as “cop city” in a forest at the edge of Atlanta. Initially, police told the public they shot only after Tortuguita shot and injured an officer. 

Now, recently revealed evidence from the body cam footage, incident reports, police interviews, and morgue records show that not only did Tortuguita die with their hands raised in surrender, but police also admit to shooting up their tent with pepperball guns first, when Tortuguita was remaining passive. Then, hearing their own pepperball fire, believed Tortuguita was firing a gun, and began shooting live bullets into their tent. Further bodycam sound recordings also suggest the officer who was hurt was actually injured by another officer

Narcan, the anti-overdose drug, will soon be available over the counter

Narcan saves lives. No really. With the opioid crisis raging through the United States the way it is, Narcan should be available for free at every gas station, coffee shop, and public bathroom. But up until now, it’s only been available through prescription or through special drug clinics or rehab facilities. Finally, however, you will soon be able to get this life-saving opioid overdose-reversing nasal spray over the counter in stores across the U.S. Narcan, the name brand for Naloxone, has finally been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for OTC sales, and will soon be available for us all to carry some around in our bags in case we run into someone who needs it. 

Almost everyone agrees, with around 80,000 opioid overdose deaths in the country per year, as reported by NPR, Naloxone should be easy to get wherever or whoever you are. “There is today no excuse, no excuse absolutely for not having it everywhere available when we know that’s one medication that can save tens of thousands of lives right now,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy speaking at a press conference last month. 

So what’s the problem? Right now, it’s looking like the OTC cost will be extremely prohibitive. “I am very concerned about the price,” Nabarun Dasgupta, a drug researcher at the University of North Carolina who also does nonprofit, free drug distribution to active drug users, told NPR. When insurance companies subsidize the price, the medicine is available at a certain cost, but no one is yet certain what the final cost to consumers will be when it is OTC. 

What important stories do you think got overlooked in the shadow of Trump’s latest circus?

(featured image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.