Top 5 News Stories of November

Anna Odell, Staff Writer

These five stories of the month are important for us students to be aware of.

1. The Rittenhouse Trial

Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old man, shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020 when there was a great deal of turmoil amongst the public. He was found innocent on Nov. 19, and all charges against him were acquitted. 

Much to the surprise of the jury and general public, Rittenhouse testified and stated that his actions were all an act of self-defense, yet his prosecutors wholeheartedly disagreed.

“Some talked quietly with those on the other side, while others shouted insults. One woman could be heard repeatedly calling Rittenhouse supporters ‘white supremacists.’” Michael Tarm stated on AP News, referring to the protestors standing outside the courthouse. 

It is clear that there are very different opinions from the public regarding his actions. The question of his innocence remained unanswered despite the apparent objections on both sides of the argument.


2. The End of Britney Spears’ Conservatorship 

American singer Britney Spears was deemed “unable to care for herself” by James Spears, her father, 14 years ago. Britney’s finances, personal life, and medical decisions were all controlled by him. However, November marks the end of this conservatorship, allowing Spears to finally regain control of her life.

Judge Brenda Penny of Los Angeles County Superior Court was to thank for this tremendous feat. 

“The court finds the conservatorship of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,” she stated.

The hearing was quick, lasting only 31 minutes. 

Spears herself didn’t make an appearance. However, “her attorney Mathew Rosengart cited her statements from her previous June hearing, in which she requested to terminate the conservatorship.” 

Spears stated that the day it all ended was “the best day ever.” 

She also said, “Good God I love my fans so much it’s crazy! I think I’m going to cry the rest of the day.” 

Spears is unbelievably grateful for all of the support and feels incredible as she is now able to be in charge of her own life.


3. Biden Signs the Infrastructure Bill

President Joe Biden finally signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Nov. 15, one of the many things he promised to do during his campaign for president. This bill will be implemented to update outdated roads, bridges, and public transportation systems.

Not only will this bill help transportation and infrastructure throughout the country, but it could also positively impact the environment.

“The funding could make a serious dent in air and water pollution for certain communities by preventing runoff from abandoned mines and cleaning up old, toxic manufacturing sites. People who live near busy roadways, airports, and ports may benefit from the boost to electric vehicle charging stations, school buses, and cranes that will replace gas- and diesel-burning cars and equipment.” Rebeca Leber said on Vox

Overall, this bill will improve transit systems, promote electric vehicles, and encourage people to choose alternative methods of transportation. 


4. The Ahmaud Arbery Trial

Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed African American man, was fatally shot on Feb. 23, 2020, by gunman Travis McMichael, who claimed he was trying to make a citizen’s arrest. McMichael stated that he thought Arbery was responsible for a nearby break-in and wanted to detain him for the police. The three men involved in the situation were found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, and other charges. 

McMichael recently admitted that “Arbery did not threaten him or brandish a weapon.” 

There were inconsistencies in his argument as he told the police different information compared to what he told the court. 

“A large group of Black pastors rallied to support Arbery’s family” outside of the courthouse, stated USA Today.

The story has gathered a lot of support on Arbery’s side from people all over the country as well. 

McMichael’s confession to being unprovoked by Arbery was majorly important in determining the verdict of the trial.


5. The California Water Crisis

A drought emergency was declared on Nov. 9, and the water agencies that support major Southern California cities were urged to add conservation efforts and reduce their water usage. 

Governor Gavin Newsom prompted citizens to cut their water usage by 15%, and the declaration of the water emergency only further supports this act. 

“California’s last two water years, which ended Sept. 30, were the driest two-year period in more than a century of records based on precipitation. And the dryness has been intensified by extreme heat unleashed by global warming,” stated the LA Times.

Government officials as well as water agencies agree that conserving water is crucial. 

The 19 million people that live in the affected areas need to be very careful about their usage as “its initial water supply next month will be zero. If drought conditions continue, the state may provide only enough water as deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of Californians — a drastic step that has never been done.”

It’s imperative that every citizen does their part to conserve water as the current situation is dire.


Graphic by Lorin Teng