The Sunday Subject – February 12, 2023

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, killing at least 28,000 people.

It is the world’s deadliest earthquake since 2010, when 220,000 people died in Haiti, and the strongest earthquake in the region since a 1999 earthquake near Istanbul that killed over 17,000 people. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared a three month state of emergency in ten provinces affected by the earthquake in the south of the country and Turkish-occupied northern Syria.

Joe Biden made his case to Americans in his first State of the Union address since Republicans took control of the House.

The President appealed for Republican support for policies that he argued would reduce America’s debt, aid American families, and counter the threat from China, among others. He was heckled by some Republican representatives throughout, though he engaged with the detractors, for example by accusing them of trying to cut Social Security and Medicare. Biden is expected to soon announce he will run again for president in 2024. 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, has reportedly pardoned tens of thousands of the prisoners involved in the recent anti-government protests.

The head of the judiciary claimed many of the arrested had been influenced by foreign propaganda. It remains to be seen whether the prisoners will actually be released.