Paul Manafort to be Sentenced Today

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 3/7/19

Former Trump campaign chairman and attorney Paul Manafort will be sentenced today by a federal judge on accounts of defrauding banks and government and not paying taxes on millions of dollars from Ukrainian political consulting. Prosecutors have already suggested 19 to 25 years in federal prison for the 69-year-old.

Some are predicting that the sentence that is being suggested for Manafort in addition to the additional charges could lead to the rest of his life behind bars, as well as millions of dollars in fines. He was indicted by the Mueller investigation into corruption and Russian ties in the Trump Presidential Campaign, which has been going on for almost two years.

Some panelists have pointed out the mood of Manafort, with some noting his depressed and sluggish appearance before and after trials. He was even allegedly sent to the hospital, and his lawyer said he’s changed. Despite these arguments, many believe his actions in the election as well as his corruption should lead to a long sentence.

Sources and Pictures: WTOL, CNN, MSNBC

 

North Korea Rebuilding Rocket Launch Site, South Korean Authorities say

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 3/6/19

According to Yonhap, a South Korean news agency, intelligence agencies within South Korea believe that North Korea is rebuilding their Sohae Satellite Station, a missile launch site capable of firing long-range projectiles. Satellite imagery from a US-North Korean think tank reveals a restoration process in the vicinity.

The news has initially broken out about it just two days after the summit in Hanoi between President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. Both leaders failed to reach a deal, as Kim Jong Un said that the United States must lift all sanctions regarding the country, and in return they will take steps towards denuclearization, a deal Trump walked away from, according to CNN.

The launch site, which had never actually launched a missile but rather a satellite, has the capability to do so. The site was decommissioned around mid-July, with no work going on in the area until the photos revealed so. As of now, neither the United States or North Korean government have spoken about the issue.

Sources and pictures: AF.mil, Yonhap, CNN, Foreign Affairs, Twitter

Trump and Kim Jong Un Fail to Reach Deal

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 2/28/19

President Donald Trump admitted that he and King Jong Un had not reached a deal at the Hanoi Summit, Wednesday afternoon. “Sometimes you just have to walk,” Trump said at a news conference following the summit, which to some reports broke up a little earlier.

Kim Jong Un requested that the United States pull out all sanctions on North Korea. In return, North Korea will take some steps toward denuclearization, according to Trump. “I’ve been saying very much from the beginning that speed is not that important to me,” He said regarding the failed deal. “Speed is not important to me. What is important is that we do the right deal.”

The first summit in Singapore last June was the first meeting between a sitting President of the United States and a North Korean leader, and was meant to be a symbolic meeting as well as establishing primary talks towards denuclearization. As of now, there aren’t any future plans for a third meeting between the two, but Trump said that there would be more talks in the future.

Sources and Pictures: CNN Politics, US Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam, CBS News

Kim Jong Un Arrives in Vietnam for Second Summit

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 2/26/19

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un finally arrived at Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, for the second summit between him and United States President Donald Trump. Kim Jong Un, who arrived after a 60-hour train ride from North Korea, was seen smiling and waving to the crowds who gathered at the airport.

Donald Trump will be departing for Hanoi later today, and had a press conference regarding negotiation talks yesterday. In the conference, Trump said that the US’s main goal is denuclearization, and to stop the use of nuclear tests and weapons in the North Korean peninsula.

The first summit, earlier in 2018 in Singapore, established initial relations and requests between the two countries, and was the first time when the US President met a North Korean leader. Despite the talks, though, there have been leaks of information regarding continued nuclear tests in the peninsula, but the meeting on Wednesday night will try and settle the ongoing dispute.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Google, Wikipedia, Flickr

North Carolina 9th Congressional District to Hold Special Election

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 2/22/19

The North Carolina Board of Elections voted to hold a new special election in the 9th Congressional District of the state after an investigation revealed possible voter fraud in the absentee ballots. The investigation was called for by Republican Congressman Mark Harris, who won the election by 905 votes, which surprised many considering he was the victor of the election under surveillance.

The 9th Congressional District, as of the decision to call a new election, has been the only midterm election result to still not be settled, due to the very small margin of victory. In December, the Board of Elections decided to not certify the results of the election, leaving a final decision on the matter up in the air until this point.

Harris’s decision to call for a new election has also been a reversal on his previous stance of certifying the decision. Before the end of the year, Harris notified a district judge to certify the results of the election, and he called on the Board of Elections to certify the results.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Google, Google Maps

Teachers in Oakland Go on Strike

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 2/21/19

Just a day after teachers ended their strike after successfully stopping legislation to create new charter schools and to use public funding in private school tuition in West Virginia, teachers in Oakland, California will be out on strike for a completely different cause from the rest.

Due to a tech boom in Oakland, costs have skyrocketed, leaving some citizens homeless and more in financial trouble. As a result, teachers in its public schools have demanded a wage increase of 12% over the next three years, as opposed to the 5% suggested by the city government due to budget costs.

It is still unclear which side will give in first, as it would be very financially straining for the City of Oakland government if they were to grant a 12% wage increase. Many sources are suggesting that due to the financial strain of the city government, the strike will take a long time.

Sources and Pictures: Flickr, CNN, Google

Venezuela Rejects Foreign Aid, Shuts Down Borders

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 2/20/19

Venezuela’s government opted to close down maritime borders on the ocean as well as ground most nearby flights in response to the opposition party’s efforts to import foreign aid. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuela “Doesn’t need it” and that it’s an attempt to embarrass the country by the US.

There have been recent shortages of both food and medicine. In fact, over 3 million people fled since Hugo Chavez, Socialist predecessor to Nicolas Maduro, rose to power in 1999. Venezuela has also blocked foreign aid within its borders by blocking off highways and roads by barricading them.

In the past month, the United States along with a dozen more Central and South American countries have recognized the head of the opposition party, Juan Guaido, as interim President of Venezuela based on claims that the election was rigged, as only Maduro was allowed to campaign and advertise.

Sources and Pictures: Flickr, The Daily Mail, Wikipedia, CNN, Google