Trump and Kim Jong Un Arrive in Singapore

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 6/11/18

Both North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have now arrived in Singapore, for a summit that will be held on June 12th. Kim Jong Un arrived earlier, in the morning hours of yesterday, June 10th, while Trump arrived just hours later from the G7 Summit that he skipped part of.

Today, both leaders will also be completing activities. Trump has accepted an invitation for a state visit with the Singapore government, and reports suggest that Kim Jong Un brought his own toilet, as he is conscious about it. The meeting itself is going to be held at the luxury hotel Capella Singapore, a five star venue with many activities and space for the summit.

Security footage and photos have already been shown, showing the high stakes and preparations needed for the summit. Both leaders plan to have a private conversation, a public one, and a photo op together. This is also the farthest outside of North Korea, that Kim Jong Un has ever been, and the first meeting between a North Korean and American leader in years.

Sources: Wikipedia, CNN, Channel NewsAsia, TicToc by Bloomberg

EXCLUSIVE: The Stanley Cup and NBA Finals in Review

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 6/9/18

Both the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals ended back to back, one day after another, and both proving to be very exciting. The Stanley Cup was first, between the new expansion team Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the underdog and championship-less Washington Capitals. The Golden Knights were looking to be become the second expansion team in major sport history to win the championship in their first season, and hoped to do so against the Capitals, whom aimed to get their first championship since they were created in 1976.

The Golden Knights proved that they were the favored team, taking a 1-0 series lead in a high scoring game 1. However, the Capitals came back, and won their next 4 games in a row to win the series 4-1, capping an incredible upset, and their first Stanley Cup ever. The win was not only huge for the Capitals however, but for the Washington DC fanbase, the city with the longest active championship drought of cities with all 4 major sports teams.

Over in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors once again took on the Cleveland Cavaliers, in their forth NBA finals meeting in a row. In the past three NBA finals where they met, the Warriors won two and the Cavaliers one. The NBA Finals this year could’ve been different this year though, with both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals going to game 7. However, the Boston Celtics snapped their streak of winning every home game in the playoffs, giving the Cavaliers the win. Over in the Western Conference Finals, the Houston Rockets couldn’t contain the Warriors who zipped right by.

In the NBA Finals, game 1 was the closest of them all. After making a free throw to tie up the game, Cavs player George Hill missed his second free throw. JR Smith got the rebound, but in an apparent twist, he thought that his team was winning, so he dribbled back not realizing he could’ve scored. The mistake ended them up the Cavs up in overtime, where they eventually lost. It wouldn’t get better for the Cavaliers, as they would lose the rest of their games and get swept 4-0. Many speculated that the easy finals loss might mean that Cavaliers’ star player LeBron James could move to a different team, as he is currently in the talks with 6 other NBA teams. However, it is unclear what his decision is now.

Sources: Bleacher Report, Wikimedia Commons, NBA.com, Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN

Trump Will Skip Part of G7 Summit

By Nick Baum

FRIDAY – 6/8/18

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump announced he plans to leave the Group of 7 Summit a few hours early, according to the White House. The decision came after a back and forth Twitter feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emanuel Macron over tariffs and a possible trade war.

At the summit, which will be held in remote Quebec, an aide of Trump will replace him for the final hours of the summit which Trump plans to skip. As said before, the decision was made after a Twitter exchange with other leaders, but the exact reason, according to the White House, is avoid confrontation or argument over the US’s new tariffs.

Trump also said he was “enthusiastic” about creating new tariffs and protecting American workers, but said he was “unenthusiastic” about waging and expressing his plans to other world leaders in person. However, trade tensions are still expected to be the top of the discussion for the two days of the G7 Summit, even after President Trump leaves.

Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal, Wikipedia, White House

OPINION: Tariffs Never Work

By Nick Baum

THURSDAY – 6/7/18

The news about tariffs in the most recent months is absolutely idiotic, but before I dive in let me explain exactly what a tariff is. A tariff is an added tax or price on a certain product that comes from another country. For example, President Trump had the US start its tariff program by adding tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, meaning steel and aluminum in the United States that came from China will be higher, which will force companies to buy from American workers.

So you can see why tariffs are used a lot, as it is seen as a way to protect American workers and sort of force companies to buy and hire American. Except, it doesn’t really work in real life. When tariffs are added in a certain category, it actually has a very low chance of actually helping the country’s workers, because usually, the companies who are most effected by the tariffs will either find a loophole, use a different material, or just take the same product from another country.

Not only that, but tariffs can easily backfire because it raises the price of products in America. If you’re shopping for clothes in America and you found something that recently had a tariff on, that price will rise, and in many circumstances, by a lot. Tariffs sometimes help American workers, but backfires when it makes it difficult for American consumers to get the certain product.

Donald Trump recently added tariffs in different categories on China, and the response is, well, you guessed it. Different prices are soaring, American workers are somewhat being helped, but now a trade war is occurring. A trade war is when different countries slap tariffs on certain products from the same country that slapped tariffs on them. Basically, it is an endless back and forth cycle of countries putting tariffs on different products.

Already, after the United States’s tariffs, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union decided to add their own tariffs, and that doesn’t even include China, which is most effected by this decision. Not only does this prompt poor relations, but it hurts the economy, because certain products have gotten more expensive. If it wasn’t for Trump’s tariffs, the stock market could’ve shot even further up. However, now it is rocky, not only the stock market, but trade relations with our closest allies.

Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal, Wikimedia Commons, Fox News

2018 Primaries: Results and News

By Nick Baum

WEDNESDAY – 6/6/18

The 2018 Primary Elections seemed balanced for both major political parties, but with some elections in North Carolina, Indiana, and West Virginia showing that the Democrats have the edge, with many having a higher voter turnout that their Republican counterparts. However, the GOP candidates have fielded their expected candidates, including in the Montana race for the Senate seat, currently being held by Sen. Tester, who will be challenged by Rosendale, a respected candidate in the GOP.

In California, votes in some cases are still being counted, but the California primaries have taught us that any party can make some noise, no matter where. California’s primaries are “jungle primaries”, meaning that both Republicans and Democrats run against each other, and the top two go to the general election. In the race for governor, Democratic front runner Newsom won as expected, but Republican candidate Cox made an upset by replacing the other expected Democrat Villaraigosa.

Also in California, the Senate Primaries are still being counted. The Senate Primaries are also jungle primaries, and currently the top spot has been projected to be Feinstein, easily projected to win. This leaves room for one more candidate, and it has come down to Democrat De Leon with 10.9%, and Republican Bradley with 9.1%, so the second spot is easily up for grabs.

Sources: CNN, FiveThirtyEight, Fox News, CNN Politics, Flickr

Trump Cancels White House Visit with Eagles

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 6/5/18

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump called the White House visit off with the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles, after only 10 members of the team agreed to join. In a statement, Trump declared the reason for the canceling of the visit was “disagreements with our anthem”, after many players didn’t want to visit the White House, and the President they felt they strongly disagreed with in terms of standing or kneeling during the national anthem.

Since the decision, Trump has been criticized by many, as some thought the remaining Eagles members still should have been allowed to go, but decided not to because “the fans deserve better.” Trump has also received criticism by Philadelphia’s mayor Jim Kenney called Trump as “not a real patriot” and “a fragile egomaniac” after the decision to cancel based on anthem disagreements.

Full Statement: The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

Sources: CNN, Fox News, The New York Times

Guatemala Volcano Eruption Kills 25

By Nick Baum

MONDAY – 6/4/18

Just hours ago, the famous Volcán de Fuego, an active volcano in Guatemala, erupted killing 25 people and injuring 20 more, according to the country’s disaster relief agency CONRED. Its last eruption was March 25, 2017, and the volcano has been deemed active for many years. The surprise eruption sent ash and fumes into nearby villages, as well as the country’s capital, Guatemala City.

Immediately once the eruption began, the lava stream switched directions and instead came barreling down to a small village called El Rodeo. The incoming river of lava and ash buried the town, killing unexpecting residents in the process. After, the eruption invaded a nearby village, San Miguel Los Lotes, and once again completely burying the town.

Just minutes later, the ash and clouds shifted direction once again, and spread the ash to Guatemala City, the largest city and capital in Guatemala. However, no fatalities were reported in Guatemala City, and the eruption has passed. Guatemalan President Jimmy Moralez called for “three days of mourning” in response to the surprise eruption.

Sources: CNN, CONRED, Wikipedia