Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Trump praises Kim Jong Un as 'very honorable'

In an article written by Quint Forgey with Politic.com, Trump’s commentating on Kim Jong Un and the upcoming meeting is noted. Expressed in the article, President Trump speaks about the upcoming meeting in a very positive and optimistic way. Near the end of the interview, Trump even went as far as to say that he believes Kim Jong Un has acted very honorably during the preparation and discussion for this meeting. These words of Trump contradict greatly things he was saying less than a few months ago. According to this article, Trump has referred to Kim Jong Un as “little rocket man” and a “maniac”. In my opinion, it is not concerning to see Trump speaking this way about Jong Un. Although Jong Un doesn’t seem to deserve much respect, Trump is simply acting a certain way to provoke a certain response. It is what all country leaders do.

- Elijah Dwyer


Saudi-led airstrike at Yemen wedding killed at least 20

Late Sunday evening, an Saudi-led coalition executed an airstrike against the Iran-allied Shiite rebels, called the Houthis. This airstrike did not target military forces however, but a wedding party in Yemen. Among the dead were children and the bride herself. Later at a nearby hospital, it was found that no less than thirty children had been injured, some of whom were in critical condition.

The coalition has been accused by many of war crimes, especially as the airstrikes have been known to hit schools, hospitals, weddings, and crowded marketplaces in the past.

The U.N. has condemned the attacks and calls for a prompt investigation.

By: Lauren Richardson

Link: https://www.apnews.com/958102426bd34d90a50b3c7658a096b4/Saudi-led-airstrike-at-Yemen-wedding-killed-at-least-20

Monday, April 23, 2018

US-Japan summit underway with Trump and Abe showcases 'special relationship'

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began two days of meeting with President Trump at the president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Tuesday. At the start of their meeting, President Trump announced, with having Abe in his side, that North and South Korean leaders, who are having their own summit in April 27th, will seek to finally reach an agreement to formally end the Korean war. He also said "We've also started talking to North Korea directly. We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels, with North Korea. And I really believe this allows good will, that good things are happening." They also talked about trade agreement and the denuclearization of North Korea.


Rena Kawakmai

Mirgrants of the Caravan are reaching the U.S. border

According to CNN, the Caravan's are making their way over to the Unites States border. They fleeing form Central America in search of protection and economic security. However, President Trump has been actively tweeting and expressing that he will not allow that these people will not be allowed in. The Department of Homeland Security has sent more officers and migration judges to the scene to control illegal entry. Although the hundred of Caravans that have been traveling to the border of the states are hoping to plea asylum. In other words, they need to go through a long and difficult process in order to become a legal citizen because they have proof of facing persecution. The chances of them winning this case are rare, therefore if their evidence isn't compelling they will be deported. The process of asylum is a ongoing conflict due to the long procedure and numerous fake claims. Provided this, the increase of authority sent to the scene will be necessary to control the incoming migration of the Caravans.


Kelsey Persenico

Trump and North Korea Ryan Lorig

In the past weeks there has been plenty of chatter in the political science realm concerning the potential meeting between Kim Jon Un and Donald Trump. Jon Wolfsthal explains that the Trump administration is headed in the right direction when preparing for the summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. He says that Mike Pompeo’s meeting with Kim is a good sign, though baffling to some, because it shows that the Trump administration is willing to take a diplomatic approach to this meeting. This appears uncharacteristic for Trump especially, since he is known for his sharp negotiating skills that often cause him to “shoot from the hip” in negotiations. Wolfsthal argues that a diplomatic approach to this meeting is the best possible outcome as it is unclear why North Korea has suddenly opened talks for denuclearization. Many believe the U.S. has a right to be skeptical, which is what the Trump administration appears to be doing given the level of preparation for this meeting. The goal here is to pursue a more stable and less nuclear Korean peninsula and with North Korea supposedly open to a deal, we can only hope the President Trump and his administration can prepare well enough to work out something that is favorable and safe.


Hollis Esposito “The typical Amazon employee makes less than you think”

On April 18, 2018, Amazon said that the median pay for its employees was around $28,446. However, at least half of the Amazon’s workers earned less than that amount. The Securities and Exchange Commission made a new rule that is requiring companies to disclose the pay ratio between the CEOs and all of the employees. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon’s CEO received a total compensation of around $1.68 million last year. There are two sides to Amazon, the people who work in the technical roles and those who work in the warehouses and the grocery stores. Amazon has more than half a million employees worldwide and is continuing to grow. Amazon has created more than 130,000 jobs last year alone and these jobs cover a wide range from intelligent scientists to packaging specialists.     

Sunday, April 22, 2018

South African president leaves Commonwealth summit due to violent protests in Mahikeng

By Raymond Dragunaitis
President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa returned from the Commonwealth summit in London on Friday to address violent protests in the North West province, which began Wednesday. Demonstrators demanded the province's Premier Supra Mahumapelo, a member of Ramaphosa's governing African National Congress, to resign due to accusations of corruption and misusing state funds. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters, who looted shops, set vehicles on fire, and blocked roads with burning tires. The president has called for calm and ordered police restraint, and held talks with provincial ANC leaders to restore order. Mahumapelo's office denied the accusations and denounced the protests as "an anti-Supra Mahumapelo political campaign which seeks to intimidate residents of Mahikeng."


UK rows backs on plans to promote gay rights at Commonwealth Summit

The commonwealth Summit is composed of 53 heads of state that seek to promote equality for the commonwealth of the world. One topic that had been proposed are LGBT rights. 37 out of the 53 commonwealth countries outlaw homosexuality, some countries it is punishable by death. This year it is hoped that the initiative to promote sexual orientation equality will be successful in that some of the countries will terminate or at the very least make the penalties less harsh. It's unknown if any actions will be taken due to the leaders of the summit not wanting to offend the other countries in attendance.


Islamic State Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens

Sunday morning, a suicide bomber entered a voter registration center in an Afghan capital and killed at least 65 and injured over a hundred others, women and children included. The explosion was loud and destructive. This attack was a result of terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State as a rebellion against the election and those being able to vote. Those that were at the center were there to obtain IDs in order to vote in the upcoming October election. The article discussed how this was the fourth attack this week at a voter registration center.


Trump says North Korea nuclear crisis 'long way from conclusion'

In response to North Korea’s announcement in regards to end to nuclear tests, the U.S. president Trump tweeted today, “[w]e are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t – only time will tell ... But the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago!” This cautious note was made immediately after the North Korean move, and the president seems to be aware of the intentions of North K behind its pledge. First, the country has always been gained economic supports from the leaders like the United States as funds for its denuclearization, and yet kept violating those agreements made in light of peace negotiation. According to the article, the latest was in 2012 when it launched a missile after the moratorium agreement on it. Second, the North’s  statement could be interpreted as that the nation no longer needs further experiments because it has reached to the level of military power, strong enough to threaten everyone else, while many doubt that this decision could be simply attributed to the current resource crisis imposed by the world leaders. Finally, it should be noted that this Kim’s announcement does not promise any commitment to scrap existing nuclear arsenals that have been built upon past decades. Nonetheless, many hope that regardless of Kim’s intentions, this would be the good sign of both parties looking for a possibly meaningful agreement that will last longer with more trust.

Published by Reiji Hirose

Link below: 
Trump on North Korean pledge to stop nuclear tests

"Thank Trump, or You’ll Be Sorry" Andrew Honig blog

The New York times article I read for this week exemplified Donald Trumps way of receiving praise around the world. In recent events the President had tweeted something about getting rid of ISIS and how the world should thank the United States for ridding them. Trump loves when people say thank you to him and that was the emphasis of the article and how Trump is angry with the people that don't. Donald Trump has always thought of himself as a benefactor to the people ever since he started his business with his father. In his mind the world must cater to what he tweets and physically says and in reality that is not how the world works. This goes all the way back to the Roman empire with Caesar and how he was looked upon as the giver in Rome and that even when the slaves were given a single piece of bread it was seen as a "gift". Rome was built on benefactors and this is the world that Donald Trump believes he is in. IN the article is mentioned that after Trump and his cabinet helped with the disaster he was not praised enough for the help that he gave them. In other terms the President does not seem to help people out of good faith and would like something in return and the one thing he wants is people to say thank you to him. The people of Puerto Rico were very appreciative and Trump needs to understand that other people contributed helping them as well. With the idea that Russia interfered in the elections it deteriorates his self image and what he wants other people to think of him.

China, Feeling Left Out, Has Plenty to Worry About in North Korea-U.S. Talks

This article discusses how China's leaders may be viewing the new shifting landscape between North Korea and the U.S. It discusses how China may be concerned that if North Korea and the US do establish a semblance of a relationship China may loose much of it's standing as the main player, in Northeast Asia, in international relations. It discusses, how as it is now, North Korea is dependent on China for trade purposes, stating that nearly 90 of North Korea's trade is routed through China; a deal or treaty between the U.S. and North Korea would open the door for North Korea no longer being dependent on China. I think this speaks to a realist view but in an economic sense, in that for China they are concerned with growing and establishing themselves as a dominate global economy, and if the lose their tie to North Korea a new player will be on the board, and they will be forced to split more of the pie that is the global economy.

The article also discusses how essentially for China there could be some good. It discuses how that a peace treaty between the U.S. and North Korea, could potentially mean that one of it's neighbors would be denuclearized and that the U.S. would no longer have a legitimate reason to have troops stationed on the Korean peninsula. I think this would be an interesting thing to watch, to see if that would be part of the conditions for an agreement. I think the U.S. may want to be hesitant to remove it's military presence in the area, as we have discussed how China is already trying to take control of more and more waterways/trade routes, and having a military presence in the area is one way to counter act their movements.

It will be interesting to see what comes in the near future and how it plays out for all that are involved, no just North Korea and the U.S.


-Kevin Druger

China trash ban is a global recycling wake up call

Beijing has banned the imports of 24 varieties of solid waste and on Friday this week it extended the ban to dozens more types of recyclable materials. This has created some terrible consequences for some places and said to be a massive wake up call for countries like United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan others relied on China to buy and handle trash from these countries.

With the response to this ban, some countries have planned to imposing taxes on some plastic items or further is to investing into recycling technologies. In the future, other countries may follow China to bring similar quality standards through slowing the recycle process down so that better-quality materials will be produced.

It is expected to force the entire supply chain to change, from the initial design of the product, to local waste collection authorities, to the companies that sort and recycle trash.

Climate change: Michael Bloomberg offers $4.5m for Paris deal

The Paris climate agreement was a deal that intended to unite all the world's nations in a single agreement to attack climate change. The deal was the first of its kind, and 200 countries came to a consensus that they needed to cut greenhouse emissions. The plan was to give countries a limit on how many greenhouse emissions their countries could produce in a year. If they went over their limit they had to pay hefty fine. However, if a country was near its limit it could purchase more "limits" from another country to avoid the fines. The deal was considered by many to be historic.

Shortly after Trump became President, he decided to withdraw the US from the agreement. He claimed that the deal treated the US unfairly. He was upset because less developed countries were granted higher limit than the US. He probably forgot that the US is second in producing greenhouse gasses.

Former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, stated that he will pay $4.5m to cover the lapsed US financial commitment to the Paris climate accord. Bloomberg said he had a responsibility to improve the environment because of President Trump's decision to pull out of the agreement.

Bloomberg's decision to pay this hefty amount is quite inspirational. It demonstrates that executives are willing to do things the President won't. He understands that if the US doesn't get involved, the problem is only going to get worse. It's a very good power move.

By: Jesus Ponce


Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens At Voting Center In Afghanistan

At least 57 people were killed and over 100 have been injured after a suicide bombing targeting a voting center in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to AP reports, the explosion could be felt all the way across the city and shattered windows miles away. Most of the victims of the attack were waiting in line for ID cards in order to vote in the October elections. Voter turnout has already been low in Afghanistan because of previous threats of attacks on election centers and this most recent attack may delay the upcoming election.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/22/604738140/suicide-bomber-kills-48-at-voting-center-in-afghanistan

By: Michael Dieckman

Canada, Japan sign military pact ahead of G7 foreign ministers’ talks in Toronto

The article covers how Canada and Japan had signed a military co-operation agreement prior to Sunday’s G7 foreign ministers meeting where the North Korean nuclear crisis will be front and center, this meeting is part of regularly scheduled meetings based on prior events. The meeting is happening in light of the meeting between North and South Korea's presidents, while president Trump works to arrange his own meeting with North Korea. 

Noel Corral 


U.S.-China Trade War Is Bad News for Google’s Expansion

            This article is about some of the backlash that companies face when leaders of countries engage in trade wars between nations. This article is specifically about the company Google and how the trade war between the U.S and China is effecting their company’s future expansion. The article states that the U.S has barred the company ZTE Corp of China, that Google uses to manufacture its Android software, meaning that the software that powers the phone is off-limits. This is very worrying for a large company like Google, because the mobile industry is very competitive and Google must keep up with its competitors including Apple. It is interesting to see a company like Google being affected by an international trade war that is going on, and it is going to be interesting to see how they are going to solve the problem for the time being.

By: Noah Parrill

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/googles-android-expansion-mired-in-u-s-china-trade-war-1524398404

Can France Be America's New Bridge to Europe?

President Trump has stated that he is going to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal because he believes it is not in the United States best interest to continue abiding by the rules of the agreement. In this article it talks about how the U.S. Allies in Europe are starting to worry because they think that because of this move, the U.S. would adopt a very "America first" mentality when dealing with foreign policy. So, now Emmanuel Macron, president of France, plans to make his first official state visit to the U.S. April 23-25 in order to try and put France in a better spot when countries are dealing with foreign policy.

Luke Tevyaw


North Korea says it is suspending nuclear tests ahead of much-anticipated talks

In preparation for the much anticipated meeting between fiery leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un has said that his country will suspend their nuclear testing program in advance to show that they are willing to accept what Western Countries want them to. Since many people have been afraid of North Korea's ballistic missile capabilities, it is a very important and encouraging step towards peace with North Korea.


"More than 25 dead in Nicaragua after unrest over social security reform"

Timea Mozsi

Last week I wrote my blog about the protests that occurred in Budapest, Hungary. While there was another protest in Budapest this weekend (because of the public’s disagreement with the government), this week, I have decided to blog about another part of the world. In Managua, Nicaragua, there was a semi-similar protest. The public’s dissatisfaction is with the government in Managua and the protest was against President Daniel Ortega. The difference between the two protests is that there have not been any reported deaths or even injuries in the Hungarian protests, while sadly, for the situation in Nicaragua we cannot say the same. The article I found said that there were at least 25 people reported dead, 26 including Angel Gahona, a reporter. Naturally, there are fingers being pointed of who is to blame, but as we often find in messy situations like these, different groups disagree as to whose fault it is. But does it even matter whose fault it is? People should not be killed no matter what their opinion. Perhaps my view is too liberal and too western world… but I still can’t help but hope for peace.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dozens-killed-nicaragua-after-unrest-over-social-security-reform-n868216

Matthew Wagner- Syria 'chemical' attack: Experts finally visit Douma site


    This article details how OPCW  (organization for prohibition of chemical weapons) agents were able to enter the sites of the alleged chemical weapons attacks. The agents were able to take samples to determine the chemicals used in the attack which could help link Syrian and Russian forces to the attack. The samples and other evidence were sent to labs for testing to determine the chemical makeup. While the site had plenty of time to be tampered with by Assad's forces, the group remains hopeful for the results since the chemical traces will linger for several weeks after the attack.

       -Matthew Wagner