Sunday, September 24, 2017

‘Unacceptable’ — Donald Trump Responds to Renewed National Anthem Protests

President Trump is known for “telling it like it is”, one of the main factors in maintaining his base. Trump’s most recent rally in Alabama has spread a controversial tone among those associated with the NFL. His comments being “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!” President Trump’s comments, seeming a bit nationalistic, has merit. The right to peaceful protest is engrained in the first amendment. Although, taking a knee during the National Anthem can been interpreted as turning against the country that granted them that right. The NFL players taking a knee, are protesting in the name of police brutality, while the President views it as disrespectful to the country. The flag is supposed to be a symbol that unites the country not divides it. This Sunday, we experienced the reactions to president Trump’s comments. Some teams, such as the Chicago Bears stood united during the National Anthem, while others stayed in the locker room, or took the Kaepernick knee. If the players that are protesting knew what it meant to protect the country, their actions would undoubtedly be different.

Mike Ziccarelli


White House Weighs Response to North Korea's Threats

    As we all know that President Trump wants to be ahead of everyone, now he is putting the nation itself in danger. In the article, it mentions that North Korea's Leader, Mr. Kim Jong-un, has begun to threaten the U.S, but if President Trump did not start with the name calling, everything would not be as harsh as it sounds. It is about the showing of who is the bigger person worldwide, but North Korea wants to set themselves apart, by not following the norms and the 'rules' there are put in place. North Korea is ahead of the nuclear weapons, but would U.S catch up?

   In the article fully explains methods that U.S themselves are planning, also answering to questions we all have: White House- North Korea Threat article


-Kissel Salmeron

Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico officials describe "apocalyptic" conditions

most of this islands' citizens are still without power and a way to communicate with people. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and has left this U.S territory in shambles. People are isolated from one another from debris and this is making relief efforts very difficult. More than 95% of the wireless cell sites are currently out of service, the island's Federal Communications Commission said Saturday. However, several flights and sea vessels with meals, water and generators have been arriving or are headed to Puerto Rico. So, with the help of donations in any form things can start to get better day by day in Puerto Rico.

Jacob Walls

Link:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/24/americas/hurricane-maria-puerto-rico-aftermath/index.html 

Immigration Officials Take New Steps To Discourage Smuggling of Children

     Aside from what is going on with President Trump, this article is based on how children get smuggled into the U.S due to the parents wanting them to be near them or the children themselves trying to escape poverty and violence itself. Many of the families use human smugglers, which at times, the smugglers tend to forget and let those that are helping cross the border be on their own. Children, they do not know much, this travel experience is new to them. In fact, in the article, it mentions that children turn themselves in because they do not know what is going on. Children that turn themselves are often given back to their families.
    Smugglers that get caught, often face serious of problems, meaning time in jail. Smugglers tend to work with drug cartel's, which most of the times families that contract human smugglers do not know, which drug cartels at times can hold family members hostage to get more money out of families pockets if they do not cooperate they either torture them or kill them.
    ICE and Immigration services are trying their best to return children and other family members safe to their home countries or family members that live in the U.S.

To read more about this article and read more in detail: Immigration officials- Children smuggling article


- Kissel Salmeron

What Milo Yiannopoulos’s ‘Free Speech’ Stunt Cost

The controversy over free speech and its limits continues to be a problem today, especially with right wing advocates like Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, and Ben Shapiro. In Yiannopoulos’s most recent stunt, Berkeley University had to spend an unsurmountable amount of money in security costs. This is no new news considering that Ann Coulter canceled her visit due to riots, and the previous Yiannopoulos trip to Berkeley led to chaos. Since February 2017, Berkeley has spent 1.5 million in security costs. There is a trend that is happening on college campuses around the United States; it seems free speech is only considered “free speech” when there is agreement among all parties. Fortunately, over this last weekend Yiannopoulos successfully had the opportunity to speak a Berkeley. Nonetheless, the limits of where free speech begins and ceases is still a gray area.

Mike Ziccarelli

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/opinion/milo-yiannopoulos-free-speech-week-berkeley.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

Iran Tests New Ballistic Missile

As part of a show of military strength and in conjunction with a military parade, Iran unveiled and tested a missile capable of carrying multiple warheads, with a range of 1,250 miles. In regards to this muscle-flexing, and possibly in response to Trump's U.N. address, Iranian President Rouhani said "We seek no-one's permission to defend our land." The article goes on to describe Trump's negative reaction as well as give details about procedures of action the U.S. may take, including reimposing sanctions. French President Macron is also quoted from an interview with CNN saying that the Iran deal needs to be adhered to and there needs to be monitoring of Iran's missile development. The article then moves to an expert analysis on what capabilities Iran may or may not have, what their intentions may be and assess possibilities moving forward.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/middleeast/iran-ballistic-missile-test/index.html
A far-right American site known as the Gatestone Institute, heavily funded by philanthropist Nina Rosenwald, has been putting out anti-Muslim propaganda designed to influence the German election, which occurred today but had not taken place at the time of this article. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been gaining more support in Germany off of anti-immigrant and anti-muslim sentiment, as well as outright nationalism. Many people have drawn comparisons to the Nazis, and many supporters of the party have even adopted direct quotes from Nazi propaganda. This website has been pushing racist lies that have been cited by members of the AfD to create hate for Muslims and other immigrant groups and detract from Prime Minister Merkel's popularity. The Gatestone Institute is also affiliated to varying degrees with figures like John Bolton, Breitbart News editor Raheem Kassam, and even Alan Dershowitz. Ultimately, the party took 13% of the vote, the highest percentage since the Nazis in the 40s.

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/22/german-election-afd-gatestone-institute/

Recalling a Tortured Past, Iraqi Kurds to Vote on Independence

This article from the New York Times describes the current referendum taking place in Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. In particular, this referendum discusses the possibility whether or not the Kurds native to the region will seek their independence from Iraq. Naturally, the question is what will Iraq do if the referendum passes. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spoke about taking "necessary measures" to preserve the country's unity, which begs the question whether or not there is the possibility of further conflict in the region. What would be the implications on the conflict already going on in Syria, especially since Kurdish forces are an important part of the current opposing coalition against ISIS. Overall, I can understand the desire for independence. Iraq was formed by the British in the wake of WWI with little regards for ethnic groups, and Kurdistan is already a semi-autonomous region of Iraq which has in the past been victim of genocide in the form of the chemical attacks issued by Hussein. The implications for a bid for independence will be a drastic change in the balance of power in the region. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/world/middleeast/kurds-iraq-independence.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront


Lone Steeler comes out of locker room without team during anthem protest

As you probably have seen, there was been a lot of controversy over President Trump's latest string of tweets about football players kneeling/sitting during the national anthem. Trump has said that owner's should fire all the players who don't participate during the anthem and a lot of people weren't taking too kindly to this. The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to not even come out to the field during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner" except for one player. Offensive tackle Alejandro Villanuev didn't stay in the locker room and came out to support the anthem. Some people didn't think highly of Villanuev for not being with his teammates, however they didn't know that he served in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Villanuev stands for the anthem for that reason and I believe he shouldn't be criticized for it. I also believe that players who kneel/sit shouldn't be criticized either. These are both examples of perfectly peaceful and legal protests.

Jacob Walls

Link: http://nypost.com/2017/09/24/lone-steeler-comes-out-of-locker-room-without-team-during-anthem-protest/


Referendum for Kurdish Independence

In Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq, the citizens are preparing to vote on whether to assert their independence from Iraq. This is a highly controversial decision, and it is almost assured that it will result in violence. The Kurds have felt oppression from the Iraqi government for years and feel they should gain full independence. The Iraqi and Turkish governments have said they will not recognize the results of the vote. The Turkish government, despite being friendly with the Kurds, believes Kurdish independence would create even more instability in the region. The United States is also against the referendum out of fear that it weaken their opposition to the Islamic State. The Kurdish people seem to want and deserve their independence, but it is a question of whether it is worth fracturing Iraq and destabilizing the region further.


https://theintercept.com/2017/09/23/in-iraqi-kurdistan-voting-on-independence-and-bracing-for-violence/

US air strikes kill 17 ISIL fighters in Libya

Trump strikes for the first time since his presidency against ISIL. Trump sent six air strikes to Libya killing 17 ISIL soldiers. This is important because it took President Trump nine moths to take any action against ISIL. The last known air strike in Libya was on January 19th a day before his inauguration. This shocked many because Trump was very vocal about his plan to fight against terrorists during his presidential campaign.

Link:http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/air-strikes-kill-17-isil-fighters-libya-170925001105704.html 

Expansion of US Travel Ban

The initial travel ban has already been strict, however the new one is not only more strict but are targeted to specific people. The reason for the new restrictions was because Trump stated that he must protect the security of the USA. In the new travel ban three countries have been added: Venezuela, Chad and North Korea. The ban will take effect until October 18, and will not affect those who already have a visa. Although the Trump administration may argue that these travel bans were not based upon "religion, race or creed", it is hard to believe that is the case. The first ban banned the entrance of citizens from seven major Muslim countries- leading me to believe that the administration believes this negative stigma. I understand that the POTUS may be doing things that he believe might be in the citizens best interest- however there are citizens in those countries that need our help. Though I do not think we should let everyone in, the ban doesn't allow innocent people to get away from the violence in their country. Which to me seems inhumane-how can we have a national monument with the words "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", yet those who are aching to breathe free and live without fear can't even get in.

Link to article: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-changes-travel-ban-countries/2017/09/24/1fef7cfe-a140-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.1d3f35a58d10

Azucena Ramirez

Tunisia Gender Equality

Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi finally gave women the opportunity "to choose one's spouse". Tunisia being a predominantly muslim country did not allow women to marry men who were not muslim. However, allowed men to marry women who were not muslim. This is a huge step for a majority muslim country because it's the first country to give women the freedom marry whomever they please.  Tunisia is now the most progressive Arab country in regards to women's rights.

Link:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41278610

Puerto Rico Evacuation

In this article it explains the potential danger the citizens of northwest Puerto Rico. Over thousands of citizens were told to evacuate due to possible dam failure. The dam was damaged because of the hurricane. An executive director of PR's emergency management stated that the dam has mechanical damage which makes it hard for there to be normal water currents. They continued to say that with the amount of water in the dam they aren't able to fix it. If the dam spills over then there can be over 700,000 people that could potentially die. This article really upset me because of the lack of attention it is receiving. They are also citizens of the United States and it seems as if the government hasn't done anything to help them. Rather, the POTUS is more focused on calling out football players for expressing their constitutional rights. The people need to shed more light on this issue, Puerto Rico needs us.

Link to article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/09/22/at-least-6-dead-in-puerto-rico-due-to-hurricane-maria-officials-say/

Azucena Ramirez

NFL players taking a knee during national anthems

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/24/us/nfl-trump-take-knee-protests/index.html

Over the last couple of days there has been a lot of controversy over NFL players kneeling or sitting down on the bench while the national anthem is being played before the start of the game. This first started with former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season when he took a knee during the national anthem. At a speech yester Trump said that the owners of the NFL team should fire the players that choose not to take part in the national anthem and this was met with major hostility not just from NFL players but players from all 4 major sports. Today saw protests from a large number of NFL players. A number of teams including the Seahawks and Steelers chose to not even go out on the field during the national anthem. As well as this the Golden state warriors chose not to visit the white house to celebrate there NBA championship and neither will the North Carolina Tar Heels who won the NCAA basketball championship.

Germany Election, Merkel Wins Fourth Term, Nationalists Rise.

This article from BBC news discusses how German Chancellor Angela Merkel won her fourth consecutive term in office today, however her party, while still the majority, did not get as much of the vote as anticipated.  German nationalist group AfD, a group who's policies include anti-islam and anti-immigration views, is now the third largest party in Germany with 13.1 percent of the vote.  This is the worst election results for Merkel's party in seventy years and shows the pushback against refugees and immigration that is currently going on in Germany.  Many protested outside the AfD headquarters however as their is a great deal of opposition to the AfD.
Summary by Alec Beutel
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41376577

Trump administration announces new travel restrictions

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/24/politics/trump-travel-restrictions/index.html

This evening the Trump administration announced that there will be new travel restrictions on personnel from certain countries including: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Prior to this, the last three months has seen the administration place bans on six Muslim majority countries such as: Syria and Iran. This ban means personnel from this countries are suspended to fly to the United States.

N. Korea Says Rockets to the U.S. "Inevitable"

This NBC News article discusses how a North Korean diplomat claimed that an attack on the United States was inevitable and called President Trump "Mr. Evil President".  These remarks also occurred just a short time after B-1 Lancer Bombers flew near North Korean airspace in a show of force.  Trump then responded to this diplomat by tweeting that if North Korea continued this behavior then "they won't be around much longer".  These rising tensions and the show of force only serve to escalate the already rising tensions in the region.
Summary by Alec Beutel
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pentagon-says-u-s-fighter-jets-stage-show-response-north-n804161

Australia Offers to Pay Rohingya Refugees to Return to Myanmar.

Australia offers to pay Rohingya Refugees to Return to Myanmar.


This article is about how Australia is offering to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. Rohingya refugees are a Muslim minority group in Myanmar, and according to the article, Myanmar has been accused of “ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority.” The article continues to talk about how the Australian government is offering to pay the Rohingya refugees up to $25,000 if they agree to go home, even though going home could put their lives in danger. I think that finding alternatives to help the refugees would be far better than bribery. Hearing that Australia is trying to bribe the Rohingya refugees to return to their homes, where they could be killed is honestly just sickening.

-Marissa Laurie

Tunisia Just Took A Big Step Forward on Muslim Women's Rights.

Tunisia Just Took A Big Step Forward on Muslim Women’s Rights.

This article talks about how Muslim women in Tunisia are starting to be allowed to marry men that are non Muslim. Before changing the laws, if a Muslim woman wanted  to marry a non Muslim man, he would first have to convert to Islam and show proof of his conversion.  Men, however, are allowed to marry a non Muslim woman. I found this article to be interesting because for decades this was not allowed. This change shows that times are changing, and I think that this is a huge step in the right direction. Even though Tunisia is a small country (11 million) in comparison to Iran (80 million) or Pakistan (193 million), they are making changes to women's equality rights, and hopefully it will encourage countries to create similar laws.

-Marissa Laurie

Kenya court blames electoral body for nullified vote

Suspicions of foul play in an election are becoming very common around the world, as our new technology makes the computer system more vulnerable to attacks.  In Kenya, opposition leaders suspect foul play in this year's election.  The current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, supposedly won this election by 1.4 million votes. According to the court, the results didn’t include all of the tally forms. Some of these forms lacked authenticity, due to missing components like watermarks or signatures. Also, these tally forms weren’t made available immediately to the courts, causing some speculation, and the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) denied the court access to its computer system. Furthermore, the Supreme Court dismissed all the claims against Kenyatta, saying that he did nothing wrong. To be clear, Kenya has used two parallel systems after the 2007 elections- the electronic tally and a paper system. The electronic system is more likely to hold errors, so it is obvious that there could be speculations against a system that has its flaws. Unfortunately, the opposition didn’t like the courts ruling, and protests may escalate as the time goes on.


Joseline Jimenez


Link: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/170920173121231.html

Northern Syria Holds Elections

For these past years, Syria's been going through crises with their current administration and ISIS. The Kurds have helped in the fight against ISIS and now have control of Northern Syria. This election was important to them, as some Kurds have never voted in their 50 years or more of life. The Syrian Kurds were denied their basic civil rights- from citizenship to the right to vote. The voting process has been split into three parts: voting that took place last Friday, voting in local council polls in November, and it concludes with the election of an assembly that will function as a Parliament for Northern Syria. These elections will maintain stability in this region, something this country is in need of.


Joseline Jimenez

Link: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/syrians-vote-kurdish-held-northern-region-170922142621848.html

1 Dead, Multiple People Injured In Shooting At Tennessee Church

A Tennessee church has undergone a devastating situation this late Sunday morning as one member was killed and seven were injured. A masked gunman opened fire right after service had ended and individuals were on their way out. The first victim was fatally shot as she walked to a car, the other six were described as "innocent" victims who were also shot and hospitalized, and the last victim who was a church usher that tried to fight back and was unfortunately pistol whipped. Not much detail has been released yet, in regards to the gunman's reasoning or relation to the church, but all members of the church have been affected by this tragic incident, including those who live near by.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/shooting-at-nashville-church_us_59c7e614e4b0cdc77331ed29?section=us_us-news

Giselle Gutierrez

New Earthquake Spreads Alarm, Sends Mexicans Into Streets

The devastation in Mexico only rises with a more recent earthquake that had Southern Mexico trembling early morning on Saturday, September 23. This earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.2, gave those searching for survivors of earlier earthquakes in Mexico no choice but to stop the search in fear of more buildings collapsing. Citizens ran out into the streets in pajamas that early morning with the fear of their homes toppling down. No new damage has been reported by this recent earthquake, but searches have been suspended to keep rescuers safe.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mexico-earthquake_us_59c66debe4b06ddf45f8410f?section=us_world-news

- Giselle Gutierrez

Puerto Rico facing crisis

Hurricane Maria has done extreme damage to the entire island of Puerto Rico. The most recent update, posted today, lays out the damage and how to possibly move forward. The whole island is without power and there is not a current idea of when power can be restored for the 3.4 million residents. Unfortunately, it could be months before the power is able to be repaired for some citizens and residents. The main port in San Juan is taking shipments of food and water to aid the victims of the hurricane. There is still one large dam that is at risk of collapsing, so there is a threat of more flooding to the island. Federal aid has been made available and many non profit organizations are taking donations to get monetary help and physical donations to the area.


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41377185

Paige Dean

Melania Trump begins to embrace the first lady’s platform — finally

Melania Trump has been fairly active in the last week, traveling and working on projects at the White House. Melania traveled to Canada to lead the US delegation for the Invictus Games. The Invictus Games are multisport game events put together by Prince Harry for wounded veterans. Melania gave a simple speech, thanking the attendees for their service.  Aside from this event, she also held a gardening event at the White Hosue, where she  planted kale with students.

Link to article:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/melania-trump-begins-to-embrace-the-first-ladys-platform--finally/2017/09/24/dafda26c-a0bb-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_melania-1235pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.2dc9867749be

Paige Dean

World's Largest Refugee Camp Becoming a City

In Uganda, the refugee camp Bidi Bidi is slowly changing from that of a place of temporary rest to that of residence for around 285,000 refugees fleeing the four year civil war in Sudan. War, looting and fear have forced these refugees into a welcoming Uganda where there is little advancement for social amenities, no money coming in and refugees live off of UN rations, there is improvement and creative ideas yet. While funds for the camp are tight, and some local Ugandans are becoming malcontent with the refugees, opinions are for the most part, sympathetic for their plight; the camp is there to stay and potentially become a new city in Uganda.

Richard Burgis

Link is Here:
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-09-22/turning-worlds-largest-refugee-camp-big-city

Anti-Semitic Feelings Still Exist in Europe

An individual titled Erasmus has created an article for The Economist on lingering anti-Semetic feelings to this day, even in the United Kingdom. The article opens with an attack on a Jewish Parisian's home and his family, with attackers asking for his money because he was a Jew. A study was done in the United Kingdom that found that 2.4% of the population held staunch anti-Semitic views and a whole 30% have some level of ideas that stereotype Jews, but are not strictly hostile to Jews. Multiple countries in Europe had drafted a definition of what constitutes Antisemitism. while some argue that it is unwieldy, some say it is a step in the right direction.

Richard Burgis

Link to the article here:

https://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2017/09/anti-semitism-britain

UN: Rohingya Arrivals in Bangladesh Dropping

The UN and Bangladesh have reported a massive drop in the number of Rohingya refugee arrivals over the past few days.  Overall, more than 400,000 Rohingya have crossed the border as the Myanmar Army has launched a massive campaign to oust the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, with which it fought a skirmish recently.  They claim the offensive is only aimed at defeating the militants, and no civilians have been targeted, but journalists and refugees have stated otherwise.  The Rohingya have long been persecuted by the government of Myanmar, which calls them "illegal immigrants."  Aung San Suu Kyi, the nominal leader of Myanmar, has condemned human rights violations and said she will accept returning refugees, but has not commented on the army's excesses or allegations of ethnic cleansing.

Bangladeshi borderguards are saying the main wave of Rohingya refugees is over, but a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that it's too soon to tell if the influx is completely over.  It will be very interesting to see how this situation plays out.

Steven Grant Weber

PS: Here's the link to the article – www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41380435

Macron Responds.

In the first response by a European leader to British PM Theresa May's 'Florence Speech'. French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes the initiative of his British opposite but continues to demand more clarity over several key issues relating to Britains leaving the European Union, especially relating to EU nationals in the UK and the question of Britains only land border with the Republic Ireland. The responses of some of those within Theresa May's ruling Conservative government are also touched on for some interesting analysis.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-41369600

An Independence Referendum in Catalonia, again.


Catalonian authorities are once more holding an 'unofficial' vote as to whether the region, currently part of Spain, should gain its independence as a sovereign nation. This article looks at the response of the Spanish government to this new referendum as it looks to halt the growing sense of separatism and nationalism taking hold in one of Spains most prosperous regions.






UN: Rohingya in Bangladesh need 'massive' assistance

As the violence in Burma continues with the killing of Rohingya Muslims, Bangladesh is in need of aid in order to support that refugees pouring in from the border. The Bangladesh minister states that they have no plans of accepting Rohingya as official refugees at the moment, however, they are providing basic aid to the people arriving in the country. The UN is trying to send aid, as well as UNICEF, but it is difficult to distribute aid evenly because the refugees are undocumented.http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/rohingya-bangladesh-massive-assistance-170924110654841.html

Trump NFL Row: Defiance After US President Urges Boycott

This article is about Trump's comments regarding NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem in protest. His comments have since caused substantial backlash in the athletic community, and many more professional players have begun protesting the anthem since Friday. The article states that Trump's comments can either be an attempt to appeal to his supporters, or an attempt to draw attention away from other events this week.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41379374

Canada's Sanctions against Venezuela's Government (Genesis Thomas)

On Friday, Canada announced that they will put sanctions in place against the senior members of Venezuela's government. The sanctions are to counteract the anti-democratic regime that Nicolas Maduro has set up with the constituent assembly as a way to cling to power. Canada said, "it will not stand silently" with the growing unrest in Venezuela that has deteriorated the nation's democracy. There have been scores of anti-government protests however, none have been effective since the constituent assembly is filled with pro-government supporters. This government is not recognized by the US, EU, or other Latin American countries. Also, in August the US placed economic sanctions targeting the Venezuelan government. Canada foreign affairs prime minister, Chrystia Freelandhas said that "the announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world."
-Genesis Thomas

Trump Strikes again, but Players Retaliate (Genesis Thomas)

Friday night, Trump spoke at a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange. At this rally, he addressed a very sensitive topic that enraged the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA big man Lebron James. Trump commented that any players who kneeled or refused to stand for the national anthem should be fired and that those players are disrespectful. The crowd in support of Trump's idea chanted "USA" clearly showing their great sense of nationalism. Colin Kaepernick started this protest last year as a way to retaliate against the oppression of African Americans and other minorities. Claiming that he refused to show respect for a country that cannot protect their citizens. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, spoke out saying that players have the right to express themselves on the field and that the NFL will not infringe upon this right by firing players. Also, that Trump's statements were divisive on an issue that is so sensitive. Since then, Trump has retracted Stephen Curry's and the rest of the Golden State Warriors invitation to the White house sparking responses from not only Lebron James who called him a "bum" but from retired NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant. It is planned that the Golden State Warriors will meet in the nation's capital instead to "to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization."http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/politics/nfl-goodell-trump-response/index.html

-Genesis Thomas

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Iran tests new ballistic missile hours after showing it off at military parade --Laatz

As the title of this article mentions, Iran has recently tested out a new ballistic missile, which of course, has stirred up tensions, especially with the United States (already dealing with North Korea) even further. The missile itself is called the Khorramshahr missile and supposedly has a range of 1,250 miles as well as the capability to launch multiple warheads. In particular, the timing of this launch come at a very interesting time, especially considering the speech Trump recently gave at the UN; speaking once more on the "worst deal ever" in regards Iran's nuclear agreement as well as condemning North Korea's recent launches. Part of me wonders if this was a deliberate response to that speech? It would seem Iran's responses have been somewhat related, as  Rouhani spoke about not needing to seek permission to defend their land, as well as "promoting our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary", which hearkens back to Trumps remarks on sovereignty. Of course, Trump has already responded, claiming Iran is working with North Korea.

   http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/middleeast/iran-ballistic-missile-test/index.html

Russia Held a Big Military Exercise this Week

Russia held military exercises throughout the past week, namely preparing for a scenario in which the Russian allied state of Belarus's government is overthrown by the West and other exercises in all areas of potential Russian conflicts.  These exercises are held due to Moscow's perception of a threat from NATO.  The exercises have shown some of the capabilities of the Russian military and have shown considerable growth in strength, but with some evidence of weakness in actual combat-readiness and maintenance.  US military presence was temporarily doubled during the duration of the exercises.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-held-a-big-military-exercise-this-week-heres-why-the-us-is-paying-attention/2017/09/23/3a0d37ea-9a36-11e7-af6a-6555caaeb8dc_story.html?utm_term=.8a65ab60bf43

Published by: Jack Moore

Iraqi Kurdistan Is Set to Hold a Referendum on Its Independence

The Kurds (the largest ethnic group in the middle east without their own country) are holding a referendum on Monday to begin a dialog with Baghdad as to becoming a fully autonomous state.  In Iraq the Kurdish people have a semi-autonomous state and have been a significant part of the battle against ISIS.  These referendum comes with the Kurdish hope of their own country since the end of World War I with the divisions of the Ottoman Empire.  Several nations wished for the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum to be postponed until ISIS has been dealt with as to minimize disorder in the US-led coalition.  Iran and Turkey have warned against an independent Kurdistan, but Turkey is not doing all in its power to prevent the referendum (causing some to wonder if Turkey is secretly for an independent Kurdistan)  A 'yes' result of this referendum is expected to bring up some question of the fate of the region in the coming years.

 https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iraqi-kurdistan-set-hold-referendum-its-independence-n803741

Published by: Jack Moore

Kim Jong-un Speaks Directly to the U.S.

As tensions with North Korea continue to rise, Donald Trump speaks more frankly towards and about North Korea. Kim Jong-un responds directly and states that he will continue his nuclear missile tests. He has also been quoted calling Trump a "dotard" which translates along the lines of a senile old man. By speaking directly to the U.S. North Korea receives the attention that they want as they continue to establish their threats to the safety of the United States.
Published by: Spencer White

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/world/asia/north-korea-us-china-south.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fpolitics&action=click&contentCollection=politics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

Pentagon Tests Lasers and Nets to Combat ISIS

With current technology it's important to ensure that you're able to one up your enemies weapons to keep an advantage. Currently ISIS is one of the major threats to the United States and our safety. With drones becoming more and more prevalent in our world, one of our governments military focuses is making sure that we have some kind of anti-drone technology. Earlier this year nearly a dozen military-technology experts met to test out anti-drone weapons to fight ISIS. Currently the Pentagon spent over $700 million in military research to thwart future terrorist attempts.
Posted by: Spencer White

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/world/middleeast/isis-drones-pentagon-experiments.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fpolitics&action=click&contentCollection=politics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront