Retailers Cut Ties with NRA, Delta Loses Tax Cuts
In the wake of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are among the numerous companies that have decided to drop deals with the National Rifle Association (NRA). The two top gun sellers of the country decided they will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21 years old. Walmart had already stopped the sale of assault-style rifles in 2015. However, Delta’s move to cancel fare discounts for the NRA (while claiming that they weren’t taking sides) did not go well with the state of Georgia, whose state leaders decided to eliminate a jet fuel tax break that would have saved Delta almost $50 million.
Supreme Court decides to stay out of DACA
The U.S. Supreme Court chose to not hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling. The ruling requires the government to continue DACA programs. This decision has given Congress more time to find a permanent solution, and it has provided the ~700,000 DACA recipients with some breathing time, as the March 5th deadline for DACA will likely be pushed back until the Fall.
Jared Kushner Loses Security Clearance
Jared Kushner’s security clearance was downgraded this week by John Kelly. The President’s son-in-law, who is also Trump’s senior advisor, was stripped of his top-security clearance. His foreign affairs work and trips are also going to be reduced. This move came right after Rob Porter’s resignation.
Xi Jinping To Become Dictator?
The leader of China proposed the removal of a law from their constitution, which states that the “president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.’” This has been viewed as a move towards tyranny and dictatorship ‘for life’ by the president, starting with comparisons to Mao.
His first five-year term ends this year, and the term has seen the Chinese people becoming wealthier and healthier than ever before, and it has had China growing to become powerful across the globe. This has sparked the government’s anti-corruption campaign, which has imprisoned political competitors and critics.
North Korea Ready for Talks
On Monday, President Trump said that the administration was willing to enter talks with North Korea “under the right conditions,” hinting at denuclearization. On Saturday, North Korea replied in favor of discussing issues of mutual concern, but without any conditions, saying that the talks need to be based on “equal footing between states.”
However, on Wednesday, experts from the U.N. said that North Korea has been funding Syria with their chemical warfare, which could put an end to these talks. The U.N. report mentioned that items such as “acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers” were shipped from North Korea to the Syrian government. These reports are coming at the same time as the Syrian government accusations, which state that the Syrian government is attacking citizens in Eastern Ghouta with chlorine gas.
Russia’s Secret Nuclear Weapons
In his annual state-of-the-nation speech, President Putin revealed a catalog of nuclear weapons, declaring that they were built to counter the potential threat of the U.S. missile defense system. He also jokingly invited Russians to enter a competition to name the weapons. This announcement confirms what the White House supposedly already knew, as the White House previously said that Russia has been developing “destabilizing weapon systems for over a decade in direct violations of its treaty obligations.”
In Other News
First Openly Transgender Person Joins U.S. Army
As a result of the federal court ruling last year, which stated that the military must accept openly transgender people, the first transgender recruit has agreed to join the military. “[The Pentagon] confirms that as of February 23, 2018 there is one transgender individual under contract for service in the US Military,” said Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.
No Bond Hearings for Immigrants
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ruling that promised bond hearings every six months for foreigners while they were being detained for deportation. This ruling will affect legal residents, as well as people seeking asylum in the country, not to mention immigrants here without legal papers.
Spotify goes public on New York Stock Exchange
On Wednesday, Spotify announced that they would be selling NYSE shares under the ticker “SPOT.” However, instead of an initial public offering, Spotify will have a direct listing of its shares. In this unusual process, no new shares are issued and no money is raised, but existing investors can trade shares on the open market. Spotify is competing with Apple to become the most popular in the music streaming industry, and this route is a quick way to list its shares.
My name is Pankhuri Kumar. I'm a 23-year old graduate student, majoring in Journalism and Computer Science. I'm a nerd about technology and hope to make the world a more informed place with data. I'm obsessed with Indian food, The Office, and Harry Potter.