On Monday, health officials announced the Zika virus is becoming a larger threat to the United States as it spreads quickly in the Caribbean and Latin America. The virus is currently affecting people in 30 states and may make its way into Puerto Rico. The White House is pressuring Congress to pass a $1.9 billion bill to provide emergency funding for Zika. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, a deputy director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “And so while we absolutely hope we don’t see widespread local transmission in the continental U.S., we need the states to be ready for that.” Funds that were initially allocated for Ebola would be redirected and used to fight the Zika virus. If the plan isn’t passed and Zika becomes more of a widespread issue, money used for research surrounding malaria, tuberculosis, and the flu would also have to be used. Read more.
400 ‘Democracy Spring’ Protesters Arrested at Capitol Hill Sit-In
Scores of protesters gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Monday to speak out against the negative impact of money in politics and how Congress has done nothing to change it. Over 400 of those who participated in the demonstration were arrested. “More than 400 individuals have been arrested for unlawful demonstration activity, and are being processed using mass arrest procedures,” said the U.S. Capitol Police in a statement. Those who were apprehended will reportedly be charged with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding.” The protest was part of the “Democracy Spring” campaign, during which several rallies and protests across the country are being held to “draw attention to our corrupt campaign finance system and rigged voting laws.” So far, 3,500 people throughout the U.S. have vowed to join protests this week. Read more.
Celebs Pay Tribute to Legendary Radio Host Doug Banks
After news spread about the death of legendary radio host Doug Banks on Monday, many celebrities took to social media to share heartfelt condolences. “Doug Banks . RIP. 2016 the year the music died,” tweeted comedian Chris Rock. “So sad to hear of the passing of #DougBanks He was such a sweet, considerate man & always very supportive. Truly will be missed. RIP,” posted Gabrielle Union. Talk show host Wendy Williams, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Rev. Jesse Jackson also shared their sympathies. According to reports, Banks died from complications related to diabetes. Read more.
N.W.A. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Legendary rap collective N.W.A. was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday. After being nominated three times, they made history as the fifth hip-hop group to be inducted. “We have come a long way from being so hated in the industry to making it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Ice Cube during the induction ceremony. “Are we rock and roll? You’re goddam right we’re rock and roll. Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life.” MC Ren, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella were all there for the induction ceremony. Other inductees included Steve Miller, Cheap Trick, and metal rock band Deep Purple. The event will be aired on television on April 30. Read more.
North Carolina Plans More Hearings for African-American Monument
North Carolina will hold four more hearings surrounding a proposed monument that would honor the accomplishments of African-Americans. The State Department of Cultural and Natural Resources is looking for thematic and design concepts for the project. The monument would be on State Capitol grounds. It comes five years after a study suggested that African-Americans, American Indians, and women should be commemorated with statues at Union Square. The next hearing is slated to take place on Tuesday at St. Phillips Moravian Church and Heritage Center in Winston-Salem. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty