Friday, March 31, 2017

This article explains the differences between Trump and his cabinet members about Russia. Trump has talked during his campaign about getting along with Russia. He has discussed lifting sanctions on Russia even with the current climate and current investigations going on about Russia and them hacking our elections. His Secretary of State has maintained that the sanctions will not be lifted until they reverse the actions they took in Ukraine. As tensions rise with Russia it is going to be interesting to see how Trump and his administration come together and decide how they are going to deal with Russia throughout Trump's presidency.

Thomas Semanic

Venezuela's high court dissolves National Assembly

This article by CNN is talking about a Supreme Court ruling in Venezuela that changed the distribution of judicial power. Venezuela is violating the constitution as the Venezuelan Supreme Court has ruled that the judicial branch will now execute all legislative power by dissolving the opposing National Assembly. The decision to have all power under the legislative body to be under Supreme Court ruling completely removes the system of checks and balances in the Venezuelan government. This ruling means that all three branches of the government will now be dominated by the United Socialist Party and influenced by current President Maduro. Venezuelan President Maduro has been given special executive power, including the ability to enact laws and to prosecute Venezuelan citizens. This ruling has been met with criticism and outcry not only in Venezuelan citizens but also in foreign governments as this ruling makes Venezuela even more of a dictatorship than it was before.

Helen Majer

Mike Pence Breaks Senate Tie To Allow States To Defund Planned Parenthood

This article discusses allowing states to chose if they would like to defund Title X family planning money for Planned Parenthood. With their leader Mike Pence, who seems to be on a ruthless mission to take away reproductive rights from women. Planned Parenthood serves about a third of Title X patients. It provides health care and family planning services, including birth control and sexually transmitted disease screenings. Ironically the majority who made this decision were men. This is unfair to women because majority of the services are used by women and helps those who cannot afford healthcare. So far eleven states have voted to defund it because their services do include abortion, although nationwide there is a strong public support to keep planned parenthood. The GOP is moving forward with their efforts to defund them and Donald Trump is expected to sign the Title X Resolution into law.

--Jessie Birchall

London attack: Direct hand by ISIS unlikely, counterterrorism expert says

This article discusses the recent attack in London.  According to a counterterrorism expert, the perpetrator was most likely not instructed by ISIS or communicating with ISIS, but rather his actions were inspired by ISIS.  There is no current evidence to suggest he is affiliated with the terrorist organization.  Regardless, ISIS likely claimed credit for the attack after being informed about it, which further proves the power-hungry characteristic of this organization.  An organization that wishes to take credit for an attack resulting in 4 deaths is an organization that seeks to spark fear in the rest of the world.  I also find it scary that ISIS is not only affecting the lives of victims and others fearing the group, but it is affecting the minds of individuals who find inspiration from them and acting upon that.  

--Ally Bockay

Michael Flynn asking for Immunity during his Russia Testimony

In this recent BBC news article, the ex-national security officer under Donald Trump has just asked for immunity for his testimony and wishes for a fair prosecution. According to Michael Flynn's Lawyer, Robert Kelner, Micheal Flynn has "a story to tell" about the allegation about Russia aiding President Trump in the US presidential elections. Donald Trump came to the aid of Michael Flynn, stating that the Democrats and media, were only setting up a "witch hunt" against him.

-Asfa Anwer

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spends his first weeks isolated from an anxious bureaucracy

This article discusses Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State for the Trump administration, and how he is elusive in both domestic and international settings. Tillerson spends much of his time alone in hid office, and has not met many diplomats (American and other). Other states are not sure what to think of him since he has not been particularly present in the international setting as of yet, and he and his office are difficult to contact.
-Connor Smith