Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

News: Update On Trump’s Border Wall

by Gabriel Botello

The government shutdown is over and President Donald Trump is still extremely serious about a potential border wall, to the point where he is willing to build a “human wall.”

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Throughout his presidential term, President Donald Trump has shown time and time again his true intentions regarding the proposed US-Mexican border wall. Although this is one of the President’s top priorities, his proposals have been continuously rejected by Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has shown that she will not budge for the funding of this border wall during the government shutdown and after.

This has ultimately resulted in the Trump’s persistence and willingness to go so far as to declare it a national emergency to fund the border wall. Not only is this an extreme declaration to announce, but President Trump is also debating on removing funds from other government owned organizations to aid him in his quest to build the Mexican border wall.

“[President Trump] continues to threaten that he will divert funding for other military and infrastructure projects to build the wall, with or without congressional approval,” says The New York Times.

President Trump has expressed in many tweets how extremely important this wall is for the United States. In many of his tweets, he has clearly illustrated his thoughts and feelings for how the wall should be built, funded, and why it should be built.

“Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event,” said Trump recently.

“With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security. [Democrats] do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions – KEEP OUT!” the President stated two days ago.

There has been lots of controversy over Trump’s time as President in regards to the border wall. During Trump’s campaign, he has mentioned many times that he will make Mexico pay for the border wall and that the wall will be “enormous” and “huge.”

Currently, the President is finding this plan to be more difficult for him to pursue than he may have thought.

With Nancy Pelosi constantly denying funding, and Mexico also refusing to pay for the border wall, our Trump is trying every possible option, but running out of time to build this border wall.

 

News: Measles Outbreak Spreading Across The Nation

by Gabriel Botello

The measles outbreak in Washington has reached the highest number of infections since 1996, and has now spread to California.

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The disease known as measles has again reached the U.S and is spreading across the country. With rates low on people who take vaccinations for measles, many have been infected. The case of measles began with an international traveler who had contact with communities with low vaccination rates. This led to many outbreaks in the US, first starting in Washington.

According to the Washington Department of Health, “officials identified 11 health care facilities, 13 schools and child-care centers and over 100 public places, including stores, where people may have been exposed to the virus.”

In order to contain the infection from spreading, Washington declared a state of emergency where many nursing programs were put in place to encourage families to receive vaccinations and check-ups. This led to the increase of vaccinations throughout Washington and the beginning of controlling the disease within the state.

Unfortunately, diseases and bacteria spread rapidly and tend to become difficult to control when many people fly and travel from state to state on a daily basis. This led to the disease reaching California. Measles is continuing to spread within the state today.

According to information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments: Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Georgia have reported cases of measles in 2019.

Measles is a disease in which a person develops a high fever and rashes throughout the body. This disease can easily spread through a cough or a sneeze and can remain in the air for about two hours, easily infecting a person without a vaccination. Sadly, this disease is very dangerous towards young children and has been known to hospitalize many who weren’t vaccinated.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One or two out of every 1,000 children who get measles will die from complications.”

The measles vaccine is known to be very effective towards a human and is highly recommended within states that are infected. One dose of the vaccine is known to be 93 percent effective in preventing the infection and a second dose increases that resistance to 97 percent.

According to reports by CNN, “Vaccination rates are low in certain communities, with as few as 60 percent of children having been vaccinated.”

This measles outbreak is putting unvaccinated children and adults at risk and is continuing to spread across the US. With protocols being put into place, many people are vaccinating their children, hoping that this disease will be controlled soon.

 

News: Government Shutdown Finally Comes To A Close

by Elliston Ospina

Government workers returned to their posts this week after 35 days of our government being on pause. President Trump and the Democrats have begun discussing plans to work on the “wall” bordering the United States and Mexico.

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The Senate and the House passed a bill that allowed for government workers to be paid for their 35 days of work where they worked without pay. They also reopened the government until February 15th, according to The New York Times. 

Trump is using this time to allow for the government to make a plan to fund the wall, otherwise he threatened to close the government down again. He also threatened to declare a national emergency to get by Congress without their input, according to The New York Times.

However, the reopening of the government marked a major victory for Nancy Pelosi, the new majority leader of the house. Pelosi has gone toe-to-toe with Trump these last few weeks.

On the other end of the spectrum, this marked a major defeat for President Trump, who had previously refused to let up on his demands. Trump is asking for a wall that stretches across the entirety of the United States-Mexico border.

The Democratic party has acknowledged the necessity of a wall and has proposed the creation of a wall across certain boundaries. However, the President made his demands very clear and wants the wall to stretch all the way.

If Trump’s demand is not met and the wall is not completely funded, our country risks an even longer government shutdown and more turmoil from government workers and political parties in the future.

Despite the fact that the most previous shutdown was the longest our nation has ever endured, it may have just been a warm-up for what could ensue in the near future.

News: Kamala Harris Announces Presidential Campaign

by Kyle Moats and Sele Pemasa

California Senator Kamala D. Harris is the first Democratic senator to announce her candidacy for president. At age 54, she is California’s third female senator to date.

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She is a first term, or junior senator and has been a United States Senator representing California since 2017. Prior to that, Ms. Harris served as the 32nd Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017 and was the District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011.

Since she has been in politics for several years, many of her supporters in the democratic party, to say the least, were thrilled for her that she declared her candidacy. She is the first of many women set to declare their candidacy for President.

During her launch speeches, Harris has come out supporting many platforms. A few of her more pressing issues that she has said that she will be running off are: medicare for all people, populism, preserving sanctuary cities, passing a DREAM Act, and lowering taxes for the working and middle classes while raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest top one percent of Americans.

Kamala Harris announced her run for presidency on January 27th, 2019 at a campaign rally in Oakland. She started her campaign with the moniker “Fearless.” She is claiming to espouse the core concepts of truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom, and democracy.  In the same speech she told potential supporters that her campaign will not be about “negative attacks.”

Since Kamala Harris is the first Democrat to announce her running for presidency, it is way too early to call if she will be the Democratic nominee. Although, there are some speculations that some prominent Democrats could run. According to the Washington Post, former Vice President Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Elizabeth Warren are other likely candidates to run. 

Harris’ other campaign positions are consistent with her liberal voting record, as over her lengthy political career she has also supported the following: Abortion rights advocacy groups, death penalty opposition, legalization of Marijuana, climate change protection, LGBT rights, and gun control among others.

Ms. Harris symbolically chose to announce her candidacy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Being born and raised in Oakland, she found the plaza outside city hall a fitting place to launch her campaign. She also gave her first news conference as a candidate at the historically black college – Howard University – where she attended.

Currently, Ms. Harris serves in her capacity as a U.S. Senator on several committees. She will be drawing on some of her experiences as she continues to develop her campaign platform.

 

 

To date, no complete, formal campaign schedule for appearances and fundraisers has been confirmed, but it has been suggested she will spend extensive time traveling in the next year to expand her base and further her cause.

 

News: The Downfall Of R. Kelly

by Christian James

Famous singer R. Kelly is under FBI investigation for flying a minor across state lines, one of many accusations in his controversial career. 

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Robert Sylvester Kelly, famously known as R. Kelly, has already had many accusations of sexual assault with minors throughout his career. Although there is multiple counts of evidence against him, he has never been found guilty. 

R. Kelly went from a beloved American R&B singer to a social outcast in many societies. He started his career in the year 1990, where he signed his first contract with Jive Records. The next year, Kelly released his first album, “Born in the 90s,” with Public Announcement. This album began to give R.Kelly some recognition in the music industry.

In 1993, he decided to go solo and make albums on his own. Throughout the years, he would be known for his hit songs, “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Ignition” and “Bump N Grind.” R.Kelly would also become sort of an intimate icon in the music industry. While he was rising in success, so were the many accusations against him.

At age 27 in 1994, Kelly would marry another Jive Record singer, Aaliyah Haugton, which caused a good deal of controversy.

“Aailyah’s age is listed as 18 on the falsified marriage certificated, she is underage when she secretly married the R&B singer at a Sheraton Gateway Suites in Chicago,” accused The Cut.

Her real age would eventually be revealed to the public when she sadly died in a plane crash on August 25th, 2001. Aaliyah’s birth certificate determines she was 22 when she died, thus making her 15 when she married R. Kelly in 1994. While she was still alive, Kelly and her both denied ever being married to each other even though many sources had a copy of their marriage certificate from the annulled marriage. R. Kelly would not be charged with anything, but even more accusations against him would come to light.

More accusations of Kelly being with minors and having his own intimate club would begin to form, but he would still continue to be found not guilty. These accusations are now starting to catch up to the infamous R&B singer.

In 2017, a movement labeled #MeToo would emerge, causing many women to share their darkest secrets with the world. During this movement, many women would accuse R. Kelly of being intimate with them while they were minors.

Since then, multiple investigations have been in progress to determine the fate of Kelly. A groundbreaking documentary titled “Surviving R. Kelly” is not helping his case. In this documentary, there are even more women sharing their stories and experiences with the famous singer.

His once famous life of freedom has come to an end and now every move he makes is being monitored closely by the public.

News: Government Shutdown Reaches Longest Point

by Samuel Rodriguez

The federal government’s shutdown occurred on December 22nd, 2018 and has set a record for the longest government shutdown in the modern era, surpassing the previous 21-day shutdown of 1995-96.

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Credit // Kim Komando Show

Today, January 17th, marks the 27th day of the shutdown with no looks of it ending within the near future.

According to Business Insider, the shutdown seems to be due to a dispute between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats about funding for Trump’s border wall. However, the shutdown only affects a part of the government since 7 of the 12 bills that fund the government were passed in September.

Business Insider continues to say that some of the departments that have been affected by the shutdown are the departments of agriculture, homeland security, commerce, transportation, housing, and urban development.

The New York Times estimates that 800,000 federal workers are being affected by this shutdown while the loss of government services are affecting millions more. The shutdown has a widespread but uneven toll, affecting many American’s while going almost unnoticed by others. The New York Times continues to explain that President Trump waits for Democrats to accept his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall, which is highly unpopular.

The Trump administration has called back tens of thousands of federal workers to fulfill key government tasks in an attempt to numb the effects set upon by the shutdown. These workers are being put back to work without pay and, according to The New York Times, a typical federal worker has missed $5,000 in pay from the shutdown thus far.

“They’re not being paid right now because of the Democrats. People are impressed with how well the government is working with the circumstances we’re under,” stated President Donald Trump.

Even though many government officials are patiently waiting for the end of this shutdown to come, Democrats are asking Trump to reopen parts of the government that have nothing to do with the wall before they negotiate further on the issue, states The Washington Post. 

According to The New York Times, President Trump stated on Monday that he rejected a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to halt the shutdown for three weeks in an attempt to “breathe new life” into stalled talks with Democrats.

The shutdown looks to continue on as President Trump and the Democrats stand their ground and have not reached an agreement yet.

News: Yellow Vest Protests

by Lucas Agatep

For the past nine weeks, protests continue to rage on all over France – mainly in Paris – by a group called the “gilets jaunes” or the Yellow Vests.paris-yellow-vest-protest-9th-week.jpg

What started as a peaceful protest against a controversial fuel tax and economic reform has turned into riots demanding the resignation of French President Macron. 

The fuel tax that President Macron implemented to cut down 40 percent of carbon emissions on pollution faced much resistance due to the increased price of gas. After the protest began and turned violent, Macron backtracked on the fuel tax and suspended the tax as well it cut from the 2019 budget.

The anger from the people hasn’t stopped however, and the violence still goes on. Now, the protests have turned into anti-government riots, which occur weekly.

In the latest week of protests, authorities deployed 80,000 officers around the country to control the violence that occurs every time protesters emerge on the weekends. From the protests, vast amounts of damage has been done to businesses and property, government or privately owned. An estimate of 60 percent of the speed camera network of France has been destroyed or vandalized, stated the country’s interior minister.

The protesters consists the majority of the middle class who reasons vary amongst themselves. Coming from both Left and Right political views and parties, one common thing to which they compare is there distrust and hatred for President Macron. The group doesn’t have a leader to their protest, but rather just people uniting against the government.

For the Yellow Vest, there isn’t a specific or symbolic reason why they wear the yellow safety vest when protesting. Their reason to wear it is simply so the protesters have something in common to wear. 

Recently, Macron has asked for direct dialogue with the protesters in a month long debate between the two. President Macron seems to be willing to discuss his policies that he wants to implement and some of his actions. In a 2,330 word letter that he published towards the Yellow Vest protesters asking for dialogue, Macron added in a series of questions which he hopes to be answered. 

Some questions are listed below:

  • Which taxes do you think we should cut?
  • What kind of public spending savings do you think we should make a priority?
  • Should we use referendums more often and who should be able to trigger them?

The Yellow Vest protest in France has influenced anti-government sentiments amongst other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada. In the UK, Brexit protesters have decided to dawn the yellow vest in solidarity towards their cause and distrust into the imposed government. They as well stand for a variety of reasons. A leaflet about what they support and are against was recently passed around and posted on social media.

The Canadians that wear the yellow vest in protest to their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are over gas laws and immigration. However, they are a smaller group and not that renowned compared to their European counterparts.

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