By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 1/11/19
The US-led military coalition in Syria has reportedly begun the process of withdrawing troops, US military official Sean Ryan stated this morning. “The US started the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria.” This has come after President Trump signed to make the decision back before Christmas in December.
Col. Ryan also stated that there will be no specific timelines nor location of the withdrawal out of “concern of operational security”. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a non-profit organization centered in Syria, reported that the withdrawal had already started overnight.
The decision to withdraw troops from Syria has been met with mixed feedback, including criticism from Democrats and some Republicans, while there was positive feedback from many pro-Trump voters and conservatives. Overall though, the decision to withdraw before the official surrendering of ISIS means that the fight will now be up to regional fighters such as Iraq and the Syrian forces.
Sources and Pictures: CNN, Flickr, Fox News
By Nick Baum
THURSDAY – 12/20/18
Just yesterday, President Donald Trump announced in a speech that he will be withdrawing all 2,000 US soldiers from Syria. Later on Twitter, he declared US victory of the Islamic State, and that troops should be home for Christmas and the holidays.
The decision to withdraw troops has gained more criticism than approval from Capitol Hill, but has still seen mixed reactions across the aisle. Republican Senator and Trump ally Lindsay Graham blasted the decision, calling it “A stain on the honor of the United States.”
Other Republican lawmakers, as well as liberal journalist Jake Tapper, disapproved of the action, but Democrat congresswoman Barbara Lee agreed after campaigning for a troop withdrawal from Syria for a while. Overall though, we have yet to see the effects of this decision.
Sources and Pictures: US Military News, CNN Politics, CNN, Fox News
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 12/3/18
Just days ago, 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush was pronounced dead by family sources. Bush was the youngest Navy pilot in World War II, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, CIA director, Vice-President of the US and then President of the United States from 1985 to 1989.
He has died at age 94, and is currently being transported to Washington. Two funerals will be held, a private family included one at his home church of Saint Martin’s, and a national funeral with a larger invitation of guests, that will be at the Washington National Cathedral, a high honor where only past Presidents have had their funerals.
Notable politicians have voiced their condolences and thoughts after Bush’s death, including messages from his sons, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and 43rd President George W. Bush, both of which will be speakers at his national funeral. Current US President Trump canceled his G20 summit meeting, and also had Air Force One transport Bush’s casket to Washington.
Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times
By Nick Baum
WEDNESDAY – 11/7/18
Dramatic, hard fought, and down to the end. These phrases describe the seven-hour-long midterm election last night, as dozens of house seats, as well as Senate seats, went down to the wire, many of which were too close to call.
The Democrats have flipped the House of Representatives in their majority for the first time in 8 years, as it has been two midterm elections since the Democrats had a majority in the house. They needed to gain 23 seats in order to retain a majority and was able to accomplish that early on in the night with victories in key battleground states like Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As of now, votes are still live but House Democrats have the ability to add even more seats to their gain, as some races were too close to call from last night.
As for the Senate, the GOP will maintain their majority with a two-seat gain. Republicans managed to defeat incumbents in Florida, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri while still taking losses in Nevada and Montana, in order to keep a Senate majority. However, four Senate races are still up, and The New York Times projects that the Republicans can expand their majority to 53 seats.
Sources: The New York Times, CNN, FiveThirtyEight
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 11/5/18
The buildup for the 2018 midterm elections has reached a peak, as tomorrow, millions of Americans will be choosing their representatives in what many are calling “The most important election in years.” At stake in the midterms, is control of both lower and upper houses, with all 435 House of Representative seats up, and 35 Senate seats up, too. According to numerous polls, many American voters are treating the election as a referendum on Trump halfway through his presidency, while others will be voting within party lines or for new candidates.
In the House of Representatives, the Democrats are being projected to win, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 7 in 8 chance of regaining control of the house as of 6:00 PM. What has caused what many call a “blue wave”, is liberal and sometimes independent backlash of President Trump, while other polls show that issues like gun violence and controversy surrounding Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh has energized voters. In order to win back the house, 23 Republican seats will need to be turned over to Democratic control, while the Republican’s strategy consists of accepting a loss in seats, but still maintaining a majority in the House of Representatives.
As for the Senate, Republicans are poised to hang on to a majority in the upper house, as many tight races are up in the air, some of which favoring the Republicans. Also, not all seats are up for election, protecting some individuals on both parties from facing tough reelection or voting out. Overall, the Senate Republicans are projected to keep the same number of seats, 51, if not gain a few more from close races in Nevada, North Dakota, Tennesee, Missouri, Florida, and even surprising upset watches like Democrat Beto O’Rourke taking on Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas, or Republican challenger Bob Hugin running to replace Democrat incumbent Bob Menendez in New Jersey.
Sources: CNN Politics, FiveThirtyEight, 270toWin, Wikimedia Commons
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