In this week's 5X Press Roundup, we give you a quick breakdown of 5 trending stories that you may have missed this week, to highlight stories that may have slipped under your radar. Don't worry, we got you covered! Join the conversation on socials, and head to 5XFest.com/5XPress to read the rest of this week's stories -- trust us, you don't want to miss it!
This past Tuesday marked International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness to those who lost their lives due to drug overdose, caused by drug policy, stigma and shame surrounding drug use, and inadequate action by governments. As many took this day to raise awareness and educate the public regarding the ongoing overdose crisis in B.C., it was also an important reminder to acknowledge that those who have died are more than just numbers and statistics, and that overdose can impact anyone. In 2016, overdoses were officially declared a public health emergency, and since then, the numbers have only continued to rise. During Tuesday's news conference, BC’s Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe stated that drug toxicity is now the leading cause of death in B.C. for people between the ages of 19-39, with a majority of them being men. In the country as a whole, according to Macleans, “all told, confirmed or suspected drug poisonings killed nearly 7,000 Canadians in 2020, or 19 people every day.” The dramatic rise in numbers has to do with the increasingly toxic drug supply, and lack of supports and cultural stigma around this conversation, could also be additional barriers. Calls for safer supplies, education, awareness and urgency to act on the part of elected officials is needed to prevent the overdose crisis from claiming more lives.
This past week Health Canada issued a warning against Ivermectin, a veterinary drug which some Canadians have been using to prevent and treat COVID-19. The drug is being used by individuals both in Canada and abroad who do not want to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and has been promoted by conservative anti-vax pundits and politicians including infamous podcast host Joe Rogan. Both the animal and human versions of the drug have been said to cause serious health conditions or even death. According to CTV, “the human version of ivermectin is authorized for sale in Canada only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in people,” and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also warned people against the use of the drug, which is generally used in horses. Anti-vaxxers also held multiple “My Body, My Choice” rallies in front of hospitals in B.C. on Wednesday, including at Vancouver General Hospital, to protest the vaccine passports set to take effect on September 13.
After three long live events, one of the most anticipated album releases of 2021 from Kanye West, Donda has arrived. Named after West’s mom, the album takes fans on a dive into a more cinematic storytelling. Kanye also releasde an Instagram post before his official album release, stating that Universal Music Group actually uploaded the album without his consent. While listeners take a journey through the soundtrack, many are questioning his choice of artists he decided to have featured on the album. For starters, Marilyn Manson and DaBaby are both featured on the track ‘Jail, Pt. 2” and both artists have stirred up a lot of controversy in the last few months, with Manson being accused of sexually assaulting women and being a child predator, while DaBaby has made homophobic comments at a Roling Loud Festival. The album however, shattered Spotify records, by becoming the most streamed album within the first 24 hours of its release. Regardless of whether or not fans thought it was a hit or miss, the release has reignited a feud with Drake, who is releasing his latest album Certified Lover Boy on Friday, September 3. Fans are expecting the feud to be ignited further by the album, after West leaked Drake’s address on Twitter. The two have also placed competing billboards in downtown Toronto to promote their respective albums. It’s still early but -- who you got? Drake, or Ye?
On Wednesday in Texas, it was announced that abortions are now illegal six weeks into pregnancy, making it the “most extreme abortion law in the US.” Access to safe abortions will also become more dangerous, because the bill also allows any citizen in Texas to sue any organizations and companies providing safe abortions to those who need it. The bill will primarily impact racialized and poor individuals, and shows that those legislating this bill are in a position of immense privilege. During the first six weeks of a pregnancy, in many cases, most women don’t even know if they are pregnant or not. This ban strips them completely of their bodily autonomy, and any control to do what they please with their body. There are no exceptions to the rule, which doesn’t take into account financial struggles, rape and incest, child molestation, cultural barriers, and the fact that not everyone wants to have a child. While many other states have tried to pass a bill similar to this, the Supreme Court of the US has blocked it from passing, and many are making a call for action to have this one blocked as well.
With the upcoming election just around the corner, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh sure knows how to rock a campaign trail. In the past 24 hours, Singh’s ‘swag shop’ launched online, where many were pleased to find items such as tote bags (which are now sold out), shirts, stickers, posters & more. The shop, called ‘Jagmeet Swag’ had 16,000 people login within the first 24 hours of the release, showcasing how much of a strong support system he has for the upcoming election. All of the products were made in Vancouver by the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative, showing that if there’s one thing Jagmeet’s got for sure, it’s swag. Fashion choices aside, you can use this tool to figure out how your views align with those of the parties, and view all party platforms here.
That's it for this week's roundup! Don't forget to join the conversation on socials and tell us what you think!