Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying on Russia Probe

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 11/30/18

Former Trump Campaign Attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty for lying under investigation for an alleged Trump Tower project in Moscow. Many prospects and journalists are calling this a major decision of Robert Mueller, head of the investigation into the Trump Campaign’s ties with Russia.

Months ago, Cohen had a testimony in front of Congress under oath for allegedly cooperating with the Russians in an effort to finalize a deal to build another Trump Tower in Moscow, and later admitted to Mueller that he had lied under oath about said deal.

As the Mueller investigation itself is drawing to a possible closure, there are still many questions that are still to be answered, including whether Trump himself or another closely related staffer or campaigner worked with Russia. President Trump tweeted, “This is an illegal Hoax that should be ended immediately,” late yesterday, as both sides of the aisle are voicing their opinions on the matter.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Wikipedia, CNN Politics, Flickr

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Mississippi Senate Election

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 11/28/18

Results have shown from last night that Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith narrowly defeated Democrat Mike Espy in the last Senate election of the year, bringing the Republican’s Senate majority to three, and the number of women in the Senate to 24, which is a new record.

Hyde-Smith is now the first female senator to represent the state of Mississippi, and has also defended the Republican seat that Thad Cochran resigned, meaning that Hyde-Smith will be up for reelection in 2020, as that was the rest of the term. In addition, allegations of racism have been made against Hyde-Smith for apparently joking about “attending a public hanging”. While she did apologize for her words, many donors asked for refunds.

Even though this is the last Senate election of 2018, there are still some house races that are too close to call. Last night, Democrat Xochitl Torres Small defeated incumbent Republican Yvette Herrell, bringing the Democrat’s seat pick up to 39, with just one race left to decide.

Sources and Pictures: Twitter, Wikipedia, CNN, CNNPolitics

Northeast to get Hit by Snow

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 11/15/18

The northeastern United States is predicted to see its first snowfall of the year, and it’s only halfway through November! Weather.com predicts the possibility of snow starts at 12:15 and then will turn into a rather cold, icy rain mixed with snow, creating slush.

Despite being turned into rain later on and throughout the morning, Winter Storm Avery, the name of the snowstorm that is expected to hit states from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, all the way up to New Hampshire and Maine, is said disrupt travel and commerce in the area.

Although it is very likely there won’t even be an inch of snow due to the rain and area of snowfall, experts say this snowstorm could be the gateway to a very cold and snowy winter, and to exercise caution while in the snow today.

Sources and Pictures: Weather.com, Flickr, Google Weather

Wildfires Continue to Spread in California

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 11/12/18

Wildfires in North California have continued to spread west as hundreds of acres have been completely destroyed. So far, 31 are confirmed dead and over 200 missing in what’s considered “the deadliest fire in California history”. The fire, known as “Camp Fire” after the nearby creek where it originated, continues to worsen in the California heat.

As of right now, the fire is spreading towards Chico, California. A city with a population of about 100,000 where many citizens who’ve lost homes has come to. Currently, traffic jams have clogged many roads leading out of the fire, and that includes around Chico, which is where the university California State Chico is located.

Among those that lost their homes include notable individuals like Miley Cyrus, Niel Young, and Gerard Butler. Through an on pour of donations and help, certain areas originally covered by the blaze have been uncovered, but other areas are in severe danger.

Sources and Pictures: Wikipedia, CNN, The New York Times

OPINION: Esports are not Real Sports

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 11/10/18

The craze over esports has grown and grown, and to be honest, I don’t have a problem with that. Video games are fun as heck, and competitive competitions are a great way to spread popularity, share skills, and all around have fun. However, you cannot call it a sport.

Sure, studies have shown that playing video games helps your mentality, it increases your alertness and is overall good for your mental health, but the definition of a sport is a competition or activity that requires physical exertion or contact. In esports, the most “moving” you do is moving your fingers and thumbs around pressing different buttons.

So stop comparing virtual athletes to real athletes. Stop comparing Ninja to LeBron James, the Overwatch World Cup to the FIFA World Cup, and overall esports to real sports. While video games are fun and I have nothing wrong with them or video game competitions, in the end, you can’t compare it with real sports.

Sources and Pictures: Flickr, Oxford Dictionary, IGN

12 Dead in Thousand Oaks, California Shooting

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 11/9/18

Over the night of Wednesday, the seventh, reports came in that shots were fired at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a popular venue for country music and dinner in Thousand Oaks, California, north of Los Angeles. Now after the shooting, twelve have been confirmed dead including multiple college students from nearby California – Lutheran as well as a police officer, although it’s uncertain whether he was on duty or not.

The shooter was later identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a veteran of the US Marine Corps who lived with his mom just minutes away from the bar. In fact, witnesses say that Long used to frequently travel to the bar, stating that “he was part of the community.” Long also had a marriage in 2009 but divorced in 2011 and later dissolved the marriage in 2013.

Long’s neighbor noted that his mom “lived in fear” of Long, as the neighbor noted, “it took half a day for the police to get him out of the house.” FBI agents confirmed after the shooting that Long took his own life after killing 12 others. The FBI also stated that there are no other dangers in the area and that service dogs and personnel will be deployed to help survivors.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, FBI, Wikimedia Commons

Trump Fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 11/8/18

Yesterday, President Donald Trump asked for the resignation of current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions after months of criticism in handling the Mueller probe and the FBI investigation. This move was seen coming by many Republicans and Democrats, as Trump’s approval of Sessions has dropped tremendously.

Sessions actually received the letter, not by Trump, but by new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. After writing his resignation, many Democrats came to criticize the decision in firing him. Current Minority Leader and future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that the decision “was a blatant attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation.”

As of now, the new US Attorney General is Matthew G. Whitaker, who was chief of staff to Jeff Sessions. Sessions was also seen as a loyalist to President Trump, being one of the Trump cabinet’s original picks, as he was invited for his likability from President Trump, as he was a proud ally of Trump and former Senator from Alabama.

Sources and Pictures: CNN, Twitter, Washington Post, CNNPolitics