By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 1/22/19
On Monday a viral encounter at a protest between a Trump supporter and a Native American veteran generated over two and a half million views and around 14,400 retweets. The video, posted by now suspended account @2020fight, showed a Native American chanting with a drum in front of a teenager with a MAGA hat, who was smiling in the face of him.
Political figures and celebrities from both sides were quick to denounce the video of the Trump supporter, now identified as Nick Sandmann, mocking the Native American. However, it was later found out that the clip was edited, and that the video beforehand portrayed a group of visiting teenagers for the March for Life protest being shouted at and called names by four African American Hebrew Israelites.
Seconds prior to the confrontation, the Native American and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips got in the middle of the two groups and started chanting while beating a drum in an effort to stop any potential violence. Other footage shows some of the students dancing to the chant, while Sandmann decided to walk forward and maintain a calm expression, he explained. “By remaining motionless and calm, I thought I was helping to diffuse the situation,” the student released in a statement.
Sources and Pictures: Wikimedia Commons, CNN, Twitter
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
By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 6/19/18
Recent reports and news has shown that pressure and opposition to separating families at the US – Mexico border continues, as the separating of families also continues. Recent outcry has come after the policy that was around since the Bush Administration had finally taken effect under Trump, and many have since urged Trump to stop the activity.
A photo taken for the New York Daily News shows a small immigrant infant crying, supposedly because of her family being separated, but it is yet to be confirmed. The photo also had a caption targeting Trump, and it landed the front page of the paper. Politicians like Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Former First Lady Laura Bush have all taken to social media to share their dislikes in the acts. Pelosi also held an announcement relating to it.
The White House also hosted a press conference with Sarah Sanders relating to Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. While many have tried to urge Trump to back down, many predict he won’t due to his support amongst bordering states and citizens along the border. As of now however, CNN reported that the the families are receiving donations of more than $4,000 per minute.
Sources: Flickr, CNN, White House, New York Daily News
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
THURSDAY – 5/24/18
NFL owners voted to officially ban kneeling for the national anthem, a move that will take place next season, after players from almost every team took a knee to protest violence in America. The act of doing so was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest violence against blacks.
In the new ruling, all players on the field have to stand for the anthem, or show “proper respect” to the flag and country. If there is failure to do so, the team gets fined by the league, and a fifteen yard penalty is gained at the start of the game. However, players can choose to stay in locker rooms or other places off the field if they don’t want to stand, bringing back the protest that the Pittsburgh Steelers did, having every player but one wait in the locker room as the national anthem played. The only player out on the field was Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger and served in Afghanistan, but said later tat he “regretted it”.
The decision has already met fierce criticism, as many players have voiced their opposition to the ruling, saying that they are entitled to at under the first amendment. As of now, players can still protest during the national anthem, but by staying in the locker room instead.
Sources: Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, CNN, NFL, NFLPA
By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 5/8/18
The attorney general for the state of New York Eric Schneiderman has resigned amidst allegations of sexual abuse, including four different women accusing him in the last several hours. As attorney general, Schneiderman was in charge of looking over the operations of every major department in the state, as well as serving as top lawyer for the state itself.
However, he claimed that while “he contests” these allegations, he believes that the controversy surrounding him has made his role ineffective, and resigning late Monday, May 7. Schneiderman had also spoken for the #MeToo movement, and had campaigned for women’s rights before.
The attorney general also tried to sue Harvey Weinstein, as well as applauding women for speaking up about their harassers and encouraged more to do the same. In an interview with the New Yorker, two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, said they had both been in relationships with Schneiderman, complaining that he choked and slapped them around, forcing them to seek medical treatment.
Full statement here: “It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as Attorney General for the people of the State of New York. In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”
Sources: CNN, The Washington Post, The New Yorker
By Nick Baum
SATURDAY – 4/14/18
For millions across the nation, the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School was seen as a wake up call for many, and as an annoying movement for many others. However, actions are being taken in schools and cities nationwide, as many try to stop a shooting with the likes of the previous one to take effect.
First, two different public school districts in Pennsylvania. First, the Blue Mountain School District, a rural school district in central Pennsylvania, decided to have a bucket of rocks in every classroom, as an effort to discourage shooters while not implementing guns. The Erie School District bought 600 miniature bats, one for every teacher in the district.
Also, many public schools have upgraded security since the shooting, in an effort to peacefully prevent the schools from another attack. The most controversial security measure since the shooting was Stoneman Douglas’s clear backpack initiative, which many called an infringement on their first amendment rights.
Sources: CNN, BuzzFeed News, Associated Press