EXCLUSIVE: Royal Wedding Starts Today

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 5/19/18

Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle will be officially wedded today, with Markle joining the British monarchy, and the first time for someone who is half black to do so, as Markle’s mother is African American. The service will start at 7 in the morning Eastern Standard Time, and 12 in the noon in England.

Attending the service, which will be held at the Windsor Chapel, 25 miles outside of London, will be both Markle and Harry’s parents, the Queen of England, and despite skepticism that he won’t attend due to poor health, the King of England will attend the hour long service as well.

Following the wedding service, there will be a parade showcasing the newly wed Markle and Harry, followed by a service to celebrate the wedding. The last royal wedding was in 2011, where Prince William, second in line to the throne, married Catherine Elizabeth Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

Sources: Wikipedia, CBS, CNN

EXCLUSIVE: US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem

By Nick Baum

TUESDAY – 5/15/18

Yesterday, the United States Embassy of Israel had officially moved from Tel Aviv and opened its new location in Jerusalem, with US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. At the new opening ceremony beside the new location, both top officials from the U.S. and Israel attended, with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump representing the President, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The move had a mass support from Israelis and other citizens, but the move also met fierce opposition as well as protests and riots from Palestinians. 11 were killed in riots against the new embassy move, with the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) saying that one officer had to shoot three protesters who looked like they were about to shoot at him. Another officer also killed a few protesters after he found them rigging a fence with explosives.

Despite the death toll, the majority of opposition made peaceful protests, arguing that Jerusalem belongs to Palestine, some of which even arguing that Tel Aviv, the sight of the originally US embassy, should be moved elsewhere due to Tel Aviv being originally placed on Palestinian land. However, the move was still cheered by many locals, with Israeli parades supporting the move being held, as well as Jerusalem’s most famous soccer team and one of the best teams in the Israeli Premier League, Betar Jerusalem, officially changed its name to Beitar “Trump” Jerusalem, sparking outrage from many on the same team that also didn’t allow Arabs.

Sources: IDF,  Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fox News

EXCLUSIVE AND OPINION: Ranking the Top 20 Cities for Amazon’s Second Headquarters (Part 2)

By Nick Baum

Note: DON’T READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVEN’T LOOKED AT THE ORIGINAL PART ONE. LINK HERE: https://thedailynick.com/2018/05/06/exclusive-and-opinion-ranking-the-20-cities-for-amazons-second-headquarters-part-1/

Ever since Amazon first announced they will build a second headquarters, 238 cities across North America sent bids in hopes to obtain the new headquarters, and now, only 20 remain, and the final ten of them will be ranked.

10. Denver, Colorado – The mile high city has been a commercial and tech hub in the mountain region, attracting startup companies for its growing population and skill set. The city also gives out tax breaks and has often looked up to larger companies, giving the city a chance.

9. Dallas, Texas – Dallas is a city that has all of the abilities and needs that Amazon is looking for. Transportation, check. Education, check. Innovation, check. What brings Dallas down however is other cities being able to do the same necessities, but better. Nevertheless, Dallas has a good shot

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The city of brotherly love has seen a massive breakthrough of innovation and commercial success over the past years, and doubled with close vicinity to New York City and other candidate city Newark, gives the city to admire.

7. Miami, Florida – Much like Philadelphia, Miami has seen a recent influx or corporations wanting to move to city that can offer more space and less tensions. Miami is also a city built on tourism and vacationing, not companies. So, while smaller companies might enjoy the increased chances of profit, Amazon might see some difficulty despite the abilities Miami contains.

6. Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Being the only Canadian city on this list, Toronto can perform differently from the rest of the mainstream American crowd, and his the abilities to use different strategies through tax breaks and incentives. Much like New York, it is a powerhouse and is the highest market in Canada, also bringing expensive costs into question.

5. Chicago, Illinois – The windy city is a city that can offer lots to Amazon. It has low costs, lots of commercial success, transportation and airports, and much more, only bringing into question the city’s high crime rate, looking rather unattractive.

4. Columbus, Ohio – This smaller city is still the biggest in Ohio, and can offer low costs as well as transportation between two other Ohio cities, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus has a relatively small market, but hopes for a new rebirth in the city’s economy if Amazon comes in, which is hopeful.

3. Northern Virginia, Virginia – This section of the state can offer the same benefits of Washington DC, but without the high tax rate and limited space. Innovation has been spreading throughout the region, with many companies calling the state home. That mixed with the amount of space available and tax cuts, means Northern Virginia is a top contender.

2. Austin, Texas – The capital of Texas is a very successful city that has been growing large in size ever since the great recession. Contrasting from other entries, Austin has a relatively conservative government, meaning there are more lower taxes as well as space for bigger companies. All in all, and politics aside, Austin has a major chance.

1. Atlanta, Georgia – What other city provides everything that Amazon is looking for in a new headquarters, but in such a good way? Atlanta. The city was founded as a major transportation hub, but has seen an increase in companies and corporations in the area. Atlanta gives plenty of tax breaks to both companies and movies, which is why many movies and tv shows have been shot there, including the Walking Dead, Stranger Things, the Hunger Games, and Baby Driver have been filmed there. Atlanta has the best shot, every requirement Amazon needs the city is one step ahead, making their chance the best of all.

Sources: CNBC, TheDailyNick (Part 1), Tech Crunch, Wall Street Journal

EXCLUSIVE AND OPINION: Ranking the 20 Cities for Amazon’s Second Headquarters (PART 1)

By Nick Baum

SUNDAY – 5/6/18

Ever since Amazon has announced a new second headquarters, hundreds of cities across North America raced to prove why they were best for the company to move its new location. Out of the over 200 bids, came just 20 finalists, ranked. (List goes from least likely to most likely)

20. Washington D.C. – D.C. definitely has some advantages, as having a headquarters in the capital of America as well as an up and coming tech hub can give power to the company. However, take into account the amount of space available in DC as well as high taxes and costs.

19. Montgomery County, Maryland – Montgomery County has a strategic location for Amazon, being squeezed in between both D.C. and Baltimore. Unlike DC, Baltimore didn’t make it to the finalists so the fact that the county of about a million people can rival major cities with their education and transportation proves promising. However, similarly to DC, Montgomery County has very high taxes, and not enough space in the densely populated area.

18. Nashville, Tennessee – Nashville is a center for innovation in the Tennessee area, with many companies flocking to the innovation center. However, the city’s lack of education as well as proximity from any major transportation lines proves to be hard on the city’s bid.

17. Indianapolis, Indiana – Similar to Nashville, Indianapolis is the center of the regional area around, with many companies and important programs in Indiana being centered there. However, the lack of an economy as well as a bigger rival just north of them, Chicago, can prove strong against the city.

16. Newark, New Jersey – Being the smallest city on the list, Newark is the underdog in the battle for Amazon, but has the capabilities. The city is connected to railroad stretching through the east coast, has an airport a short distance from downtown, and is also home to Amazon’s Audible, an audio-book company, as well as having education and tons of space in the city. However, the small size of the city, negative publicity due to its very high 7 billion dollar bid, as well as close proximity to two other candidates, New York and Philadelphia, can prove to be costly for the Brick City.

15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The western Pennsylvanian industrial powerhouse definitely has a shot at Amazon, but will be hard to deliver. Having lots of space in terms of both warehouses and factories, Pittsburgh can deliver. However, the lack of innovation as well as startups or new programs in the city can prove difficult.

14. Raleigh, North Carolina – Raleigh has a stable and well city that has low taxes and can always welcome a new company. However, if you take into account the lack of skills or transportation to other cities, let alone the fact that its the biggest city for miles, could be costly.

13. Boston, Massachusetts – Boston is a stronghold in the region, being the center for finance and commerce in New England while holding a fierce rivalry with New York City. Boston has strong innovation and leadership in the region, as well as strong culture and transportation for Amazon. Despite all of this though, Boston has a high tax rate, and has seen a fair share of corporations leave the city, but Boston still has a small shot at delivering.

12. Los Angeles, California – The City of Angels is dominant in the southwest, boasting lots of companies and startups throughout the region. The city has a population of 4 million, has multiple universities and has multiple airports. Despite all of this though, high taxes and homelessness could be a setback.

11. New York City, New York – The Big Apple might be the largest city in the country, attracting companies big and small and having world class universities and transportation, but similarly to Los Angeles, high taxes as well as space and many regulations in New York might damage the city’s chances, but New York still has a good shot.

The bottom 10 will be featured on Part 2.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, CNBC

EXCLUSIVE: An In-Depth Look at the Egyptian Election

By Alex Baum

TUESDAY – 5/1/18

When comparing the media coverage in an independent, democratic nation such as the United States versus a nation with various undemocratic characteristics, such as Egypt, the vast differences as to how events are portrayed become clear.  This proves to be evident when examining the American and Egyptian media coverage of the recent 2018 Egyptian elections. In the United States, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s almost uncontested victory faced criticism and condemnation. Conversely, Sisi’s silencing of critics in the media created an independent Egyptian media with a limited ability to debate the controversies of the election. Moreover, the state affiliated media outlets downplayed Sisi’s controversies, such as the arrest of opposing candidates, through their use of pro-Sisi propaganda.  As a result of the different ways each nation frames the election, the critical American coverage provides a much more complex understanding of the controversies of the election and its consequences compared to the regulated, biased Egyptian media coverage, whose purpose is to emphasize the beliefs of their leader.

One distinct example of the different ways the American and Egyptian media frame the elections is evident when comparing the coverage of the case of Sami Anan.  Anan, a former General and Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, was arrested just days after announcing his intentions to run for President.  The majority of the American media portrayed this as a move by Sisi to curb his competition, arguing that Sisi is willing to go very far to ensure his victory, even if it means detaining a very renowned and respected senior official. After the arrest, Foreign Policy described the Egyptian political climate as being controlled by Sisi’s “iron fist,” in which “only one candidate is allowed to run.” (Foreign Policy) Overall, they condemn the undemocratic practices of the Egyptian political system, concluding that “if there was any doubt that Egypt’s upcoming presidential election will be neither free nor fair,” the arrest of Anan has made it clear. (Ibid)

The Egyptian articles not only lack criticism, but moreover any personal opinion about the arrest of Sami Anan.  The articles are solely explanatory of the numerous violations that led to Anan’s arrest and don’t contain any political discourse, which is abundant throughout the American articles covering this story.  At times the Egyptian media’s explanation of Anan’s arrest, such as his “foregory” of official documents, seem to aim to justify his arrest. (Egyptian Independent, Sakr) In addition to the political discourse, the American articles also provide crucial details of the arrest which cannot be found in neither independent nor state owned Egyptian media coverage.  For example, the American media mention how Anan was “dragged out of his car by armed men” just days after his announcement to run. (Vice) They also include details about the rest of thirty other members of Anan’s campaign.  Neither the details of Anan’s arrest nor the fact that thrity members of his campaign staff were arrested and being held in an unknown location can be found in most Egyptian media outlets.  Unlike the basic reporting of the violations by Anan that led to his arrest by the Egyptian media, the American media, through interviews and personal opinions, explain how Anan’s arrest was unlawful and reflects Sisi’s authoritarian rule. Additionally, they present details about the arrest which simply can’t be found in the Egyptian media, further providing their readers with a better understanding of the injustices of the election.  With the absence of these crucial details, the arrest of Sami Anan looks routine and plausible to the Egyptian reader, who is thus unaware of the injustices being committed by Sisi.

The difference in the way the American and Egyptian media frame the election is due to the lack of freedom of speech that Sisi’s administration permits, resulting from an ongoing attack on Egyptians’ human rights.   Such attacks on Egyptian citizens’ rights have been condemned by much of the American media, including the Washington Post, who cited Sisi’s extrajudicial killings and the blocking down of “hundreds of websites deemed critical of his regime.”  (Washington Post) The Post, describing his regime as authoritarian, mentioned numerous critical comments of the regime made by some very prominent Egyptians. For instance, one member of the Strong Egypt Party stated how “It is unacceptable for the regime for people to have even a hint of an alternative political force other than them. No one can replace them, and that is their message.” (Ibid) Even a former Presidential candidate, Mohamed Anwar Sadat, spoke out against the undemocratic election, calling it a “controlled democracy.” (Ibid) Although there is no consensus on the critiques of the Egyptian political system among the American media, as some call the regime “authoritarian” while others call it a “controlled democracy,” the criticism that is abundant throughout the American media cannot be found in the Egyptian media.  This lack of criticism in the Egyptian media further reflects the American media’s more thorough understanding of the election controversies.

The acts of the Egyptian state to silence critics and regulate news have given Sisi the ability to downplay the criticisms of the electoral process through the media, which often serve as pro-Sisi propaganda. These news outlets often focus on other subjects to distract attention away from the controversies of the election. For instance, the state owned media heavily focused on the turnout of the election.  Nile International described Sisi’s plea to the Egyptian people to vote, and “make their voices heard.” (Nile International) Even some independent media outlets served as propaganda as well, by refuting claims that the election process was undemocratic. For example, the independent news organization Egyptian Streets uses President Sisi himself to respond to the concerns of Egyptian citizens. One of the major concerns that he responds to is the lack of competition he faced in the election.  Sisi responded to these complaints by saying that he was not at fault for the absence of other candidates, stating that the “country’s political scene” is not ready yet. “I was hoping to have up to 10 candidates in this elections,” he stated in response to his criticism.  (Egyptian Streets) Sisi’s reassurances to his concerned citizens about the lack of competition is ironic, as he has arrested and forced his opposing candidates to resign. Yet, he expresses his “desire” for competition and a better political system. Sisi has in fact crippled Egypt’s democratic system through his attacks on his opposition and control over the media.  

An article by Al Ahram Weekly newspaper similarly minimized the criticisms of the lack of democracy through various articles that include interviews with Egyptian citizens concerning the election.  While Al Ahram Weekly mention several citizens who refuse to vote because the election has a foregone conclusion, they are quick to strike down these concerns. For instance, the government affiliated newspaper cites a citizen who gives a reason for the limited number of candidates, as he states that this is, “due to the massive popularity of Al-Sisi.”  (Ahram, Turnout is key) He further insists that “people knew in advance that they would lose and so opted not to contest the poll.” (Ibid) Not only is the support for Sisi almost universal throughout their coverage of the election, but Al Ahram is striking back against claims that the elections were undemocratic, thus serving as another example of the pro-Sisi propaganda abundant throughout the state sponsored media.

The Egyptian media also heavily focuses on how Sisi’s victory strengthened Egypt’s connections with other countries.  Nile International cited Sisi’s many congratulations by other Arab leaders on his Presidential victory, highlighting how the international community supported Sisi and the “democratic” process he used to win election.  They then argued how the victory reaffirmed their alliances with numerous nations, specifically the United States, stressing how the victory “affirmed the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt.”  (Nile International) While the White House did congratulate Sisi on his victory, it would be incorrect to say that Egypt’s electoral process is entirely endorsed by the United States. Although the State Department also stressed the partnership between the two nations, they also cited the “constraints on freedom” that the election posed, furthermore adding how they will “continue to encourage a broadening of opportunities for political participation for Egyptians, and emphasize the importance of the protection of human rights.” (Nile International) While the Egyptian media portrays their nation’s relations with the United States as being reaffirmed by Sisi’s victory, the American media yet again provides more details that truly explain the relationship between the two states.  They do this by framing the issue as a multifaceted situation, by mentioning both the responses of the White House and the State Department, unlike the Egyptian media who biasedly and solely mentions the positive response they want to hear from the White House.   This more thorough examination of each actor in this complex situation thus serves as an example of how the American media’s critical coverage provides a deeper understanding of the Egyptian elections, and the consequences they have, specifically with their relations with the United States.  

The different coverage of the Egyptian elections by the American and Egyptian media result from the distinct ways each frame the election.  While the American media criticizes and condemns Sisi for his undemocratic victory, the independent Egyptian media is unable to openly debate the election as a result of the Egyptian regulation of the media. Furthermore, the Egyptian media uses propaganda for Sisi to refute the numerous controversies in his electoral victory.  Thus, a more complete and accurate understanding of the election is given by the more critical American media coverage than the pro-Sisi propaganda published by the Egyptian media.

Sources:

Raghavan, Sudarsan. “In Egypt’s Presidential Election, a Strongman’s Only Challenger Is Barely Campaigning.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 11 Mar. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-egypts-presidential-election-a-strongmans-only-challenger-is-barely-campaigning/2018/03/09/df9534d6-1652-11e8-930c-45838ad0d77a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.329a9bba4e14.

Forgey, Quint, et al. “White House, State Strike Different Tones on Egyptian Election.” POLITICO, 2 Apr. 2018, www.politico.com/story/2018/04/02/trump-egypt-el-sisi-election-495247.

Khorshid, Sara. “Egypt’s Undemocratic Election.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 24 Jan. 2018, foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/24/egypts-undemocratic-election/.

King, Laura. “Egypt’s Presidential Election Looks Set to Be a One-Man Affair.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 28 Jan. 2018, www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-egypt-election-background-20180128-story.html.

Walsh, Declan. “Egypt’s Military Detains an Ex-General Seeking to Run for President.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/world/middleeast/sami-anan-egypt-military.html?mtrref=www.google.com.

 

CBS/AP. “Ex-General Arrested after Announcing Plan to Run in Egypt Election.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 23 Jan. 2018, www.cbsnews.com/news/egypt-election-sami-annan-ex-general-arrested-after-announcing-plan-to-run-presidency/.

 

Sirgany, Sarah El. “Egypt’s Sisi Set to Win Second Term with 90% of Vote, State Media Says.” CNN, Cable News Network, 29 Mar. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/03/29/africa/sisi-wins-egyptian-elections-intl/index.html.

 

Walsh, Declan. “Egypt’s Election Should Be a Lock. So Why Is President Sisi Worried?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Mar. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/world/middleeast/egypt-election-sisi.html.

 

“Egypt’s Sisi Sweeps Vote with 97 Percent, Turnout Down.” Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 2 Apr. 2018, http://www.yahoo.com/news/egypts-sisi-sweeps-vote-97-percent-turnout-down-152327341.html.

 

“Egypt’s Choice: President Sisi, or a Man Who Adores Him.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 22 Mar. 2018, www.economist.com/news/leaders/21739155-after-his-inevitable-re-election-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-should-least-respect.

 

“We Asked Egypt’s Exiled Jon Stewart for His Take on the Country’s Elections.” VICE News, news.vice.com/en_us/article/evqqmk/egypts-jon-stewart-watched-the-egyptian-elections-from-la.

 

“Egypt’s Race for President Kicks off with Arrest of Top Challenger.” VICE News, news.vice.com/en_us/article/d34qxq/egypts-race-for-president-kicks-off-with-arrest-of-top-challenger.

 

Habiba. “Analysis: How Sisi Has Been Sidelining His Opponents.” Mada Masr, www.madamasr.com/en/2018/02/10/feature/politics/analysis-how-sisi-has-been-sidelining-his-opponents/.

 

www.egyptindependent.com/reuters-withdraws-article-on-reported-violations-in-egypts-election/+http://www.egyptindependent.com/cairo-based-foreign-reporters-writing-unprofessional-election-coverage-will-be-summoned-sis/+.

 

Al-Youm, Al-Masry. “Election Turnout at 40%, Sisi Holds 92 Percent of Votes: Indicators.” Egypt Independent, 29 Mar. 2018, www.egyptindependent.com/election-turnout-at-40-sisi-holds-92-percent-of-votes-indicators/.

 

El-Behary, Hend. “Why Is There Low Youth Turnout in the 2018 Presidential Elections?” Egypt Independent, 28 Mar. 2018, www.egyptindependent.com/low-youth-turnout-2018-presidential-elections/.

 

Al-Youm, Al-Masry. “103-Year-Old Minya Citizen Votes for Sisi.” Egypt Independent, 27 Mar. 2018, www.egyptindependent.com/103-year-old-minya-citizen-votes-sisi/.

 

Al-Youm, Al-Masry. “Nazaha Coalition Monitors pro-Sisi Propaganda Campaign Violations.” Egypt Independent, 27 Mar. 2018, www.egyptindependent.com/nazaha-coalition-monitors-pro-sisi-propaganda-campaign-violations/.

 

Sakr, Taha. “Breaking: Presidential Hopeful Sami Anan Arrested, Says Campaign Coordinator.” Egypt Independent, 23 Jan. 2018, www.egyptindependent.com/breaking-presidential-hopeful-sami-anan-arrested-says-campaign-coordinator/.

 

“President El-Sisi Calls on Egyptians to ‘Make Their Voices Heard’ in Upcoming Presidential Elections.” Nile International, 19 Mar. 2018, www.nileinternational.net/en/?p=93289.

 

english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/1187/292837/Egypt/-Presidential-Elections–/Egypt-presidential-elections–Turnout-is-key.aspx.

 

“Thoughts on the Election.” Al Ahram Weekly, weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/23878.aspx.

 

Egyptian Streets. “Al-Sisi Listens to Egyptians’ Opinions, Concerns After Four Years in Presidency.” Egyptian Streets, 21 Mar. 2018, egyptianstreets.com/2018/03/21/al-sisi-listens-to-egyptians-opinions-concerns-after-four-years-in-presidency/.

 

Egyptian Streets. “Initial Predictions Have Sisi Winning Election with 90% of Votes.” Egyptian Streets, 29 Mar. 2018, egyptianstreets.com/2018/03/29/initial-predictions-have-sisi-winning-election-with-90-of-votes/.

EXCLUSIVE: The Up and Down Economy

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 4/28/18

Both the economy and the stock market have gone through a roller coaster of a ride these past few months, the results of a growing economy interrupted by the possibilities of a trade war with China.

Months ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the average that measures how will the stock market is doing, had hit 26,000 points, its highest of all time. While many debated on who was to credit for the spike, a trade war was soon to follow and drop it.

US President Donald Trump announced billions of dollars in new tariffs to be added in order to promote American manufacturing and industries. While this could be true, the stock market rapidly declined, and has even reached 22,000, the lowest so far this year.

Stocks could be going up once again, as signs of a trade war have faded away and peace starts to stabilize through the Korean peninsula, it can give some companies a chance at making great profits, as well as spreading influence.

Sources: Fox News, The Wall Street Journal

EXCLUSIVE: The Southwest Emergency Flight: What Happened?

By Nick Baum

SATURDAY – 4/21/18

This week, Southwest Airlines flight 1380, a Boeing 737, was in jeopardy as the left engine exploded mid flight, sending metal and shrapnel into the plane’s fuselage. The pilots had to make an emergency landing, and luckily landed the plane with only one passenger having to go to the hospital, the passenger was later confirmed dead.

Inside the plane was a different story, however. When the engine exploded, it was designed not to send debris into other parts of the plane, as the Boeing 737 was intentionally designed not to do that. Investigations are looking into this, as well as the passenger reaction to it as well. A recorded cell phone video shows that most passengers in the video were wearing their oxygen masks the wrong way, as only their mouth, not their noses were covered.

The pilots of the aircraft are being praised and thanked for their skills and ability to land the plane despite lacking a left engine and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines has offered $5,000 checks to all passengers on the flight, as well as offering another free flight to the same destination.

Sources: CNN, CBS News