News in Briefs

Sophia Blaha, News Editor

Local News
Blue Cat Cafe Closed
Feb. 6
The Blue Cat Cafe closed its doors in a move owner Rebecca Gray described as “awaiting peace”. The Cafe was built on the site of the former Jumpolin pinata store, which was demolished in 2015, and it’s opening was cited as a symbol of Austin’s problem with gentrification. As protests and acts of vandalism against the Cafe because of its controversial opening worsened, Gray decided to close the cafe, with a reopening to be determined.

State News
State of the State speech
Feb. 5
In Governor Greg Abbott’s third State of the State speech, he highlighted the need for ‘targeted funding’ for state schools. This proposed funding would be allocated towards rewarding high performing teachers, securing schools against school shootings, improving mental health services, and unpacking the debate between voters and local taxing agencies, like school districts, over increasing property taxes.

National News
Feb. 6
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface in college, making him the second of the state’s leaders who have admitted to wearing blackface before taking office. Hours after Herring’s announcement, Vanessa Tyson accused Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. All three officials have faced calls for their resignation, throwing the future of Virginia’s leadership into chaos.

Global News
France v Italy
Jan. 21
The French Yellow Vest protesters, who have grown from a small group protesting a hike in fuel taxes to a citizen’s movement considering entering the political sphere, met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio. The meeting came after mounting political tensions between France and Italy, with arguments over migration between the neighboring countries and France’s colonial history, and ultimately the French foreign ministry summoned its Italian ambassador.