What you Missed Last Week

May 1, 2018

Keeping up with the never-ending news cycle can be overwhelming. That's why we're making it easier for you by recapping everything you missed last week! 

 

National

Mike Pompeo as new Secretary of State

On Monday, Mike Pompeo was approved to be the next Secretary of State by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. For the first time in 30 years, it appeared that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee might rebuke the candidate, but Senator Rand Paul dropped his opposition late Monday, allowing the appointment.

 

Almost immediately, Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East, gathering support for sanctions against Iran, for its missile program which “prolong war and suffering in the Middle East.”

 

Federal Judge rules new DACA applications to be processed by Trump Administration

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ruled that the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Program “virtually unexplained” and hence “unlawful.” He has given the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to explain the reasons behind ending the program.

 

Judge Bates is the third judge to rule against the decision to rescind the DACA program, but his ruling is more expansive - if the government cannot explain their decision within 90 days, he will rescind the the memo that terminates the DACA program and the Department of Homeland Security will have to accept new applications.

 

 

ABC News

Bill Cosby convicted of Sexual Assault

The conviction of Bill Cosby for sexual assault is being considered the latest success of the #MeToo movement. Though the statute of limitations on many of the cases against had expired, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 14 years ago.

 

                                      Photo: ABC News

 

The National Organization for Women declared the verdict a “notice to sexual predators everywhere,” and a moment where going forward, the accounts of women can be afforded greater credibility.

 

International

Nicaraguan Plans to Change Social Security Scrapped

Following nationwide protests and the death of 42 people, the Nicaraguan government has decided to scrap the proposed changes to the social security system. President Daniel Ortega implemented a controversial pension reform resolution to address the deficit in the system, increasing worker contribution three-fold while reducing the pension.

Reversal of the resolution has put an end to violent clashes, the death toll of which includes students, police, civilians and a journalist covering the protests. However, peaceful protests continue calling for the resignation of President Ortega.

 

Photo:The Atlantic

 

Kim Jong Un Crosses Borders for talks with South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the borders between North and South Korea to discuss denuclearization and pursue talks with the United States to end the Korean War. This was the first time a North Korean leader entered the South to negotiate a treaty and end the uncertain truce between the two countries.

 

Ahead of the meeting, South Korea decided to stop blaring K-pop music across the border. In the U.S., officials cautiously approached the topic, drawing a two year plan to denuclearize North Korea.

 

Skeptics, however, warn that similar pledges have been made previously, and this could be a move by the North Korean leader to remove sanctions on the country.

 

Protests in Germany amidst growing anti-semitism in the Continent

People of various faiths took to the streets of Germany to protest the anti-Semitic attack in Berlin, and the growing hatred for Jews in the country. Protesters wore Jewish skull caps in solidarity with the two young men who were attacked in the capital, and led to widespread outrage and condemnation by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

The attacks come in the wake of more than a million Muslim immigrants, and the rise of the Nationalist anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic party, the Alternative for Germany, and is causing tensions in the country trying to overcome its past of Nazi killings of more than six million European Jews in the Holocaust.

 

In Other News

Michael Bloomberg to Finance U.S. Commitment to Paris Climate Deal

On “Face the Nation,” the former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he would write a check for $4.5 million this year to fund the Paris climate agreement, calling it his responsibility to step up in lieu of the Trump administration pulling out of the deal.

However, Bloomberg remains hopeful that President Trump will change his mind despite his open criticism of the agreement and climate change.

 

Long Nosed Bat taken off U.S. Endangered Species List

The long-nosed bat is the first U.S. bat to be removed from the U.S. Endangered Species list, after its recovery in the last few decades. The bat feeds on nectar, and migrated to southern and central Mexico for the winter. The ‘nectar trail’ along Mexico to Arizona have been disturbed by drug and human traffickers using the trail, and vandals often killed these bats.

 

However, a binational effort by the U.S. and Mexico has managed to improve the populations of the species by monitoring and protecting the bat’s habitat.

 

EPA to overhaul its Scientific Review Process

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new regulation to limit the kinds of scientific studies used by the agency to create policies. The EPA will now require that all the studies used by the agency to formulate air and water regulations have their data publicly available.

 

Critics say that this would greatly restrict the studies that can be used as many such studies rely on confidential data obtained from study subjects. This will limit the E.P.A.’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, air pollution and pesticides, and public health and environmental groups have vowed to challenge the move in court.

 

​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.

 

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