Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ezekiel Elliot withdraws his appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

On November 15, 2017, Dallas Cowboy running-back Ezekiel Elliot withdrew his appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for a potential preliminary injunction and will now start serving his 6-game suspension for domestic violence. This is the end of a long fought legal battle between the National Football League Player Association and the NFL. Ohio prosecutors didn't pursue charges due to conflicting statements and lack of evidence. However, the NFL's personal conduct policy is held to a higher standard than criminal proceedings and had a year investigation into the matters. Is it okay for private corporations to hold their employees to harsher standards than the judicial system?

Jacob Walls

Germany coalition: Talks collapse as FDP pulls out

In this article courtesy of the BBC, coalition talks have run into a standstill as the free market liberal FDP party has refused to form a government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc and the Greens. Recalling the elections in September, the far-right nationalist AfD (Alternative for Germany) for the first time gained seats in the Parliament, gaining 94 seats as they "vowed to fight 'an invasion of foreigners' into the country". Furthermore, the liberal SPD or Social Democrats (second largest party with 153 seats) have also ruled out joining the coalition. As it stands, these events are a major blow to the cohesiveness and unity of the German Government moving forwards, and possibly mark a weakening of Mrs. Merkel's power or that of the CDU-CSU. Currently one major issue impeding discussions is deciding the future of Germany's immigration policy. With many refugees pouring into the country, there has been a clear backlash to policy as it stands now, seen in the AfD's recent gains. Overall, the future is uncertain, without a clear path to secure a coalition government, Merkel is left with the option to speak with President Steinmeier who has the power to call snap elections should continued negotiations fail.

Aric Laatz

North Korean Defector in Critical Condition (Genesis Thomas)

Last week a North Korean soldier was shot by his comrades while trying to cross the demilitarized zone into South Korea. The soldier had driven a vehicle up to the demarcation line, got out, and fled across the border. Those stationed on the North Korean side unleashed a storm of bullets upon the defector who was shot five times, the soldiers on the south side of the border did not open fire. Once he had safely crossed the border he was rushed to the hospital and was in surgery for 33 hours. The condition of the man suggests abysmal conditions in North Korean. He had intestinal parasitic worm between ten to eleven inches in length. The man is currently on life support and is in military custody. This defection was the most surprising because of the action that was taken to prevent the soldier from crossing the border, however, it shows how high tensions are running in North Korea. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement saying that the military has raised its alert level in case North Korea plans to take any aggressive actions. Click here to read article
- Genesis Thomas

Germany coalition: Talks collapse as FDP pulls out


Talks of a three party coalition in German parliament have collapsed as the FDP pulled out.  Merkel may as a result have to either form a minority coalition or hold snap elections.  The second largest party, the Social Democrats, in the parliament have ruled out the possibility of them rejoining a coalition government with Merkel.

Poseted by: Jack Moore

Chileans head to the polls

Earlier today, Chileans headed to the polls to vote for their next president and to elect 155 members into the lower house and only half of their senate. Sebastián Piñera and Alejandro Guillier are the top two contenders for the presidency. Piñera is a right-wing candidate who favors his business community, as he has made his billions in that industry. Guillier is a leftist candidate who wants to coninue liberal reforms that were left by Bachelet. The polls put Piñera in the lead but let's not forget that polls can be wrong sometimes....

Joseline Jimenez

In U.N. Showdown, Russian Veto Kills Syria Chemical Arms Panel

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council held a vote on a resolution that would extend the life of a panel that was investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The purpose was to find out who was responsible for the attacks, but as of Friday, the panel is no more. Russia's veto vote killed the resolution, which has angered many who voted for it, including the United States. Russia has used its veto vote 10 times to cover up for Syria in the past, and the latest use calls into question the Russian government might have had in the attacks The Russians thought the panel was biased against them and the Syrian government, and thought the panel was influenced too much by the western world. This act calls into question what kind of role the Russians played in the recent chemical attacks.

eric walliser

Robert Mugabe, Leader of Zimbabwe, Refuses to Say if He Will Resign.

The New York Times is reporting that Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, in a speech to Zimbabwe refused to say if he would actually resign or not, which shocked the nation who believe they would soon have a new leader.  Mugabe was put under house arrest by the Zimbabwe military last week but it appears that Mugabe, who was also kicked out of his own political party, intends to cling to power.  However, most of the public seemed happy to see Mugabe leave so it seems unlikely he will be able to maintain his power especially when his own party and military turned against him.  Negotiations are still underway in an attempt to force his resignation.
Summary by Alec Beutel

Argentina: Missing Navy Sub tried contacting bases Kevin Conne

Argentina: Missing navy sub tried contacting bases

An Argentinian submarine went down off the coast of South America with 44  crew members on board. The sub has currently stayed down for longer than it is supposed to and has also made multiple communications unsuccessfully with Argentina. Argentina has reached out to   the United States for help in finding the sub, fearing the worst for the crew. The Pope, being a native Argentinian himself, has called for the banding together of the international community to help find these 44 submariners.

I always find missing submarines very interesting because submarines oftentimes are told if their communications become compromised, to not communicate over the radio at all. They use the term “all quiet”. This would be the prearranged response if certain incidents took place, so often times when something happens on a submarine, by the time the mother country waits for the “all quiet” time to expire, the fate of the submarine is sealed at the bottom of the ocean.  It's too early to know, according to the article, if this will be the case for the Argentinian sub. However, it's something to consider about some mariners and the dangerous duties they perform.


The history of the word Genocide and its significance in the 21st century

      In 1915-1920, the first modern genocide was conducted by the Ottoman Empire's successor, Turkey, against the Armenian people. about 1.5 million Armenians were killed/deported according to Quartz Media. In the article, two individuals from the now Ukrainian city Lviv coined the term and meanings of Genocide and the ideas of criminal actions against humanity as a whole. Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin were two Jews who had survived the Holocaust of World War II and were able to bring the idea of human rights and criminal justice to the international community. While high ranking officers of the Nazi party and of the Empire of Japan were convicted of crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes, none were charged with genocide. the idea of Human rights is respected by most developed countries and crimes against state, community or other bodies can be enforced and punished within a state, yet convicting individuals or states remains difficult to do to this day, in part because of sovereignty of states and a lack of ability to enforce international laws. This becomes apparent with the Rwanda Genocide in 1994 and in Myanmar today. 

Richard Burgis

Link to article:

Trump Delays New Policy on Importing Elephant Trophies

President Trump will be reviewing "all conservation facts"and has delayed the decision on allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has sided with allowing hunters to go through with the killing the species that have been threatened, because they think it will help raise money for conservation programs. Many political individuals have provided their input, either expressing that it's a beneficial decision for the time being, or that it is simply wrongful and that Trump should not follow through with such action plan. The decision has been put on hold as of now but will be established with the adjustment of specific rules and regulations.

Giselle Gutierrez

Yemen: Finding near-famine - and lots of food

This article covers the famine in Yemen and talks about what is causing it. Contrary to how normal famines are caused--through natural resource depletion--this famine is the result of political failure. After Yemen rebels fired a missile into Saudi Arabia, Saudi closed borders to Yemen, causing economic turmoil within the country. Prices of food, oil, and medicine has skyrocketed, and Yemeni people are unable to afford basic life-sustaining resources.
Mahreen Yahya

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Palestine Threatens to Cut US Ties over Office Closure

The Palestinian Liberation Organization has threatened to shut down its ties to the US if it shuts down the PLO's office in Washington.  US officials say the PLO could be violating one of the conditions of the law that allows for their operation in the US.  They say the PLO is not allowed to pressure the World Court to investigate Israelis under that law.  The PLO has run their office in Washington DC since 1994, and this is the first time the State Department has refused to reissue its operating license.  The State Department spokesperson cited statements made by the PLO to the International Criminal Court about Israeli settlements as the grounds for this refusal.

The State Department has given President Trump three months to decide on allowing the Palestinian office to stay based on if he felt they had entered into "direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel."  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was "deeply surprised" by the move, and said it could endanger the Middle East peace process.  Mr. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Secretary-General, said he believed the move was prompted by Israeli pressure.  Israel said the matter was one of US Law.

As usual, the link to the article:

Steven Grant Weber

Zimbabwe crowds rejoice as they demand end to Mugabe rule

Mr Mugabe has led Zimbabwe for the last 37 years, but was overthrown and is confined to his house now. The army is holding him and has announced that Mugabe's wife, who was possible going to be his successor, was dangerous.
Army officials and civilians protesters are calling for President Mugabe to step down.
While the military claims this is not a coup, spokespeople from around the world are calling for a return to civilian rule and order.

Paige Dean

Friday, November 17, 2017

Keystone pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota

The keystone pipeline has leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. The leak occurred 3 miles southeast of the town of Amherst. There have been no finding thus far as to whether or not the spill has effected groundwater, any major bodies of water, or wildlife. In April of 2016, there was a spill that let out about 400 barrels of oil. This time, the spill was much larger, have a quantity of about 5,000 barrels. We will have to continue to watch this story to uncover the effects that the oil will have on the environment.

Alex Pedersen

What Limiting Foreign Trade Means for the USA

Trump wants to put "America first" and bring jobs home by ending multilateral trade agreements, but globalization has pushed our country forward, major companies would suffer greatly and America's standard of living would decrease if these trade agreements were to be abolished. Trump desires one-on-one trade agreements but many countries are not interested, so instead of "America first," the slogan would change to "America Alone." This article was interesting as the idea of bringing jobs to America on the surface sounds great, but the actual affects of that action might not be in our nation's best interest. PBS Newshour used Boeing as a great example to explain the situation in this newscast: -Emily Migala

Homeland Security's head of community outreach resigns over past controversial comments

Nick Kramer

Rev. Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday as the head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he made about the black community and Islam.
In past radio appearances, Johnson had said the black community was responsible for turning major US cities into "slums" and argued that Islam's only contribution to society was "oil and dead bodies."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

House and Senate Panel Pass Tax Bill in Major Step Toward Overhaul

House and Senate Panel Pass Tax Bill in Major Step Toward Overhaul
Earlier today, the house passed a tax bill, cutting taxes by $1.5 trillion dollars and bringing them one step closer to tax reform. The Trump tax bill is meant to help the middle class by cutting the number of brackets from seven to four, similar to the rest of the world. Simplifying the tax code is a top priority for the current administration, although in comes at the cost of reducing the amount of deductions an individual can make. The tax bill will help the middle class for a number of years, then the tax rate will eventually increase. Corporate tax rates will also be cut considerably, in an effort to keep industry in the United States. It is now up to the Senate to finish the job. There is concern that discrepancies on what should be targeted in tax reform will cause the bill to hit a roadblock in the senate.

Mike Ziccarelli

Death toll in Iran-Iraq earthquake tops 400, state media says

Devastation on the Iraq - Iran border.  Iran seats on top of a major fault line where earthquakes happen frequently destroying older builds.  The 7.3 quake killed over 400 people in the region and injuring 7,156 people.  This is a short story in the Washington Post.  Hopefully others will send aid or some form of relief to these countries.  It is a humanitarian cause to help those unable to help themselves.

Posted by David Bertolotti

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Trump Haults Speech to Take Sip of Water, Sparks Marco Rubio Flashback

President Trump gave his first speech to the press on Wednesday since coming back from his trip to Asia. During the speech Trump stopped to get a drink of water that you would think to be harmful but caused quite the hilarious uproar. Trump in 2013 made fun of Senator Marco Rubio for taking a drink of water during his rebuttal to President Obamas State of the Union Address. Rubio after seeing this by Trump decided to poke some fun and tweet, "Similar but needs work on his form, Has to be done in one single motion and eyes must always be looing at the camera, not bad for the first time though". I thought this was pretty funny and a good way to get back at Trump for his joke he made.

Ryan Barbarek

Trump Wants to Replace Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo

Rex Tillerson as of right now is still the Secretary of State, Donald Trump wants to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. This is because President Trump and Tillerson do not necessarily agree on everything. Tillerson believes in having diplomacy with North Korea but when ever he mentions something about it he gets bashed at by Trump. Pompeo believes he would receive an offer for the job by in the coming months but Tillerson plans to stay in office till the end of the year.
Ryan Barbarek

"Australia Votes for Gay Marriage, Clearing Path to Legalization" By Adam Baidawi and Damien Cave

The people of Australia have voted for Gay Marriage, in many reports stated that the amount of young voters was extremely high. About 61% of the people had voted yes! The question is what is next and will the law pass? Australia has now recognized the human rights violations whole discussing same sex marriage. Many individuals within Australia was upset with the fact that they had to vote on a right that should be given to us at birth. However this is a great step forward for Australia as a country.

-Ella Omi

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sexual Harassment on Capital Hill

CNN reports that more than 50 lawmakers on Capital Hill have experienced sexual harassment from their male colleagues. This includes lawmakers from the Senate and House. It's reported that in this male dominated environment, young female workers are often unable to avoid sexual misconduct from their male counterparts. In response they are forced to keep quiet if they want to keep their job. These occurrences are so common that there are known "creep" lists of legislatures known to engage in these harassing activities. The fact that these types of illegal actions are performed on capital hill, where our country is run is despicable. Hopefully future investigations will cause reform and punishment to known offenders.
By: Spencer White

People for Sale: Where Lives are Auctioned

People for Sale: Where Lives are auctioned for $400

This article talks about how two migrant men were auctioned off for $1200 Libyan dinars, in US currency the equivalent to $800. These men are being sold as slaves to be labor workers in Libya. Further down, the article talks about how tens of thousands of people flood Libya's borders as refugees fleeing a conflicted area, or migrants seeking out better opportunities in Europe. However, because the Libyan coastguard is becoming stricter, fewer of these boats that are "transporting" people out are able to get through the borders. And because of this, the smuggles are left with a lot of people on their hands, and those people are turned into slaves and their captors "masters."

-Marissa Laurie

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trump Administration Suddenly Cancels Refugee Program That Saved Lives of Central American Children

On Wednesday it was announced that the State Department was ending the Central American Minors program with barely any notice. It allowed children from Central American to be granted asylum in the United States if they had family members in the US and passed an application process. It was instituted in 2014 by the Obama administration in response to the thousands of Central American children arriving at the southern border seeking refuge from gangs or other forces looking to hurt them. The Trump administration had been scaling back the program all year and they were expected to end it at some point, but the short notice gave families who were already deep into the application process one day to file their paperwork. As of August, 1627 minors had been able to come to the United States as refugees through this program, and 1465 were able to come on temporary parole. In August, the administration cancelled the parole program and 2700 children who had already been applied and been accepted but had not left yet were informed that they were no longer able to go.

Patrick Schaefer

Biden leaves 2020 question open as book tour commences

Joe Biden did not deny whether or not he will will run for the 2020 presidential election. When Oprah asked him the question about running for president, Joe answered no. It will be interesting moving forward if their are any new leads or updates regarding this. It is definitely not uncommon for vice president's the run for election in later years.

Jacob Walls

Apec summit: Trump and Xi offer competing visions for trade

In this article courtesy of the BBC, President Trump has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 10th to discuss world trade at the Apec summit at Vietnam. Apec, or the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting hosts 21 different economies and 12 nations representing 60% of the worlds GDP, making it an obvious platform for economically influential states to express their visions, aspirations, and concerns. Of which, Trump and Xi both expressed two differing opinions on the state of world trade. Looking at Trump’s stance, we see him emphasizing his America first policy, stating “the US would no longer tolerate ‘chronic trade abuses,’” pointing out the US trade deficit with China as a primary example. Rather, Trump spoke about a fairer global trade environment, stating that the WTO “cannot function properly” if all members do not respect the rules. I found this humorous, especially since the USA has a history of defying the WTO. Xi on the other hand championed globalism as an “irreversible historical trend” which needed to be principled in a way to become “more open, more balanced, more equitable and more beneficial to all,” as he finds multilateral trading and regionalism more beneficial, especially for developing countries. Overall, through these statements we can see the different philosophies these leaders bring to the table, one sponsoring world trade under America’s terms, and the other proposing a connected and comprehensive globalized system which recognized value in regional trade. As the Chinese economy continues to grow it will certainly be interesting to witness what larger role China will fill on the world stage.
Aric Laatz

Trans-Pacific Trade Partners Are Moving On, Without the U.S.

Over the weekend, 11 countries decided that the Trans-Pacific Partnership should come into existence, even without the participation of the United States. This means that all the countries that were originally involved with the TPP still want it, the only one not involved is the United States. This is a big development because this could spell trouble for the United States' position in the region, with China becoming a bigger economic leader. This was one of the concerns of the United States backing out that China would swoop in and position itself as a leader of global trade. While the TPP does not involve China, the lack of United States involvement in of this new version of TPP which has a good chance of becoming ratified, the United States could be giving up their role of global trade leader to China in the near future. 

Eric Walliser

North Korea's Internet is as Weird as You Think it is. (Kevin Conne)

North Korea's Internet is as Weird as You Think It is.

North Korea has Internet that is highly controlled by the state. Very few people actually have phones or computers to access the Internet. Of course, it does not actually connect to the world Internet, but rather is a program run by the government. It has online accounts for banks, restaurant websites, and online shopping. However on the entire North Korean Internet, there is only about 170 websites total, all of them entirely controlled by the state.

The thoughts I have about this article is the leader of North Korea is trying to give the Korean people a little bit, in order to appease them and gain even stronger support. In the process, by giving this to the people of North Korea, he is cementing their opinion that he is a benevolent leader. This accomplishment by the North Korean regime is not in my opinion particularly important because it does not give the North Koreans access to the world internet.  However, it does open up the possibility that North Korea will use the new internet to further spread propaganda.

Catalan crisis: Spain's Rajoy vows to end 'separatist havoc'

The Spanish Prime Minister has made public announcements, stating that the upcoming election will help to end the tensions in Catalonia. There were several arrests of Catalan leaders made over the last week, which caused more of pushback from citizens. Around 750,000 people gathered in Barcelona to protest the arrests. The Prime Minister said that they "must reclaim Catalonia from the havoc of separatism." He encouraged firms to keep their headquarters there and for citizens to buy Catalan products, in order to keep the economy running well.

Paige Dean

Iraq-Iran earthquake: Deadly tremor hits border region

A deadly earthquake struck near the Iraq-Iran boarder.  The quake has killed 61 people and injured 300 more, these numbers are both expected to rise.  Landslides caused by the quake are hampering the efforts of rescue forces in Iran.  Tremors were felt in Israel, Kuwait, and Turkey.


Posted by: Jack Moore

Deported veterans protest in Mexico

Mexican veterans from the Vietnam and Iraq Wars gathered to protest on Veteran's Day in Ciudad Juarez. These men feel cheated on, and they believe that they were deported unjustly. They risked their lives across the sea and now they have to live separated from their families that live here. Many had received an expedited residency, but once they commit a crime, the government can decide to take it away and deport them to their country. They want Mr. Trump to bring them back, but I doubt he'll do anything. He's only made the situation between Mexico and the U.S. worse with his comments about Mexicans.

Joseline Jimenez

Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.

 Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.

President Trump is using his power to its fullest extent, appointing conservative judges at the federal appeals and supreme court levels. Thus far, President Trump has 18 appellate nominees. The process of confirming nominees is much easier today, as result of the filibuster abolishment under the Obama administration. Republicans are embracing this victory after many of years of democratic rulings. President Trump is set to appoint a record number of judges during his time in office, more so because his nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority. Consequently, democrats are accusing President Trump of outsourcing his nominees via the Federalist Society, a society which is prominent in cultivating conservative/libertarian leadership. Many people view this as President Trump fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint conservative leadership, others as a chance to dismantle the years of “failed” leadership.

Mike Ziccarelli