By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 6/12/18
Last night, US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore for peace talks toward denuclearization and relations. The summit, which was held in the popular resort Capella Singapore, featured an extended handshake, signing a document in terms of denuclearization, and both leaders exchanging words for a better future.
The document that was signed by both leaders, held four main points, according to journalists, but the point of it was for the North Koreans to “work towards denuclearization”, and for the United States to halt all military exercises, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While some argued that the document itself proved to be thin and underwhelming, others argue that the document only establishes the countries’ intentions, and that lots of the summit was spent working between the two administrations at a working lunch. In the working lunch, featured a mix of western and asian foods, and for dessert was the top favorite Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream.
Sources: Time, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News
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
By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 5/1/18
Last night in Spain, Mariano Rajoy was ousted from his spot as Prime Minister of Spain by the country’s parliament based on previous corruption and scandals. In fact, Rajoy has become the first Prime Minister in Spain’s modern history (1977 – Now) to be ousted by the parliament.
In return, the leading candidate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), the main opposition of Rajoy’s party, the Popular Party, Pedro Sanchez, will become the next Prime Minister of Spain. Rajoy’s sudden replacement can be linked to previous scandals involving the Popular Party, with the party supposedly using slush funds to help fund election campaigns.
It is yet to be determined where Rajoy will be next, but prosecutors say they will investigate into previous accounts of corruption. Rajoy lost the parliamentary vote with a decent margin. Out of 350 members of the parliament, 180 voted him out, 169 voted to keep him in, and one absentee was recorded.
Sources: CNN, Reuters, Daily Mail
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 5/28/18
Memorial Day is seen by many as a day to relax, go to the beach, and hang out in the unofficial start of summer. Barbecues are started, pools and beaches are packed, and fireworks are fired in this festive day off of school and work.
However, Memorial Day actually has a very sadder origin that many don’t acknowledge when celebrating the day. Memorial Day was first started in up state New York after the Civil War to commemorate all of the lives lost in the Union after the war. A southern version of Memorial Day was also held to commemorate the Confederate soldiers killed, but isn’t celebrated anymore.
The day has shifted from acknowledging not only those killed in the civil war, but now to remember all soldiers serving the United States that have been killed on duty, approximately 1.2 million. So, while celebrating this fun day, remember all of the lives sacrificed to give you this freedom!
Sources: Politico, BuzzFeed
By Nick Baum
SATURDAY – 5/26/18
In a referendum held yesterday, Ireland voters voted 69.4% to 30.6% in favor of repealing the country’s eight amendment, a law put in place in 1983 to prohibit abortions in most to all cases. Momentum on the repealing side grew stronger, and forced a referendum back in March, with the date set for May 25th. Polls since campaigning started in March pointed to a win for the pro-choice side, but the landslide victory drew surprise from many Irish voters.
In the days leading up to the vote, Irish born citizens living abroad traveled home to vote in the very heated referendum. Almost 200,000 tweets using the hashtag #HomeToVote was used by many traveling back to the island nation to express their choice. Other Twitter statistics showed growing momentum on the pro-choice side, with tweets for repealing the amendment were eight times more popular than tweets expressing to keep the amendment.
As of now, the landslide victory has given Irish women the ability to end their pregnancy, and the eighth amendment has been replaced with “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”, meaning that abortions are still allowed to be reviewed by the government under special circumstances. Meanwhile, the legislation to repeal the amendment will be signed by the President soon.
Sources: The Guardian, Wall Street Journal
By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 5/25/18
Just yesterday, US President Donald Trump announced that he will be cancelling the planned summit between the United States and North Korea on June 12 in Singapore due to current relations with North Korea and recent actions committed by the country, the White House announced. President Trump sent a letter to North Korea through the same channel where CIA Director Mike Pompeo communicated to North Korea with.
The decision by Trump was thought to be because of declining relations with North Korea, in which North Korea threatened the summit due to U.S. – South Korea military drills being taken place on the southern part of the peninsula. Just days after, a top North Korean official said that recent decisions by the US have threatened relations between the nations, and that North Korea could see the United States “on the brink of nuclear showdown”.
The decision by Trump has met both approval and criticism from both sides of the aisle. Democrats held a press release in which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi panned the decision, saying “Kim Jong Un must be giggling”. However, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un said that the summit can happen “Anytime, and anywhere”.
Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fox News
By Nick Baum
WEDNESDAY – 5/23/18
US President Donald Trump said in a press release, that the planned summit between North Korea and the United States, thought to be seen as a great step towards peace between the two nations, as well as a victory for the Trump Administration, could be called off. The meeting was originally going to be held on June 12, in Singapore, thought to be a neutral ground for the two countries as Singapore hasn’t been an active member on either side of the peace talks.
The statement by President Trump has been decided after Kim Jong Un threatened peace talks between the two nations after the continuous use of military drills with South Korea, despite growing relations with North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also said that North Korea “will not give up” its nuclear arsenal, and that the United States needs to tone down their hopes.
As of now, it is still very unclear whether the summit will still be held or not, with the possibility that it could be postponed to a later date. However, if relations between North Korea and the US continue to slip, then no summit between the two nations could be seen as a bad loss for not only Trump, but the country.
Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal