This week in news: February 26 – March 4 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Seven Maryland police officers arrested
  2. Trump gave a speech to Congress
  3. Sweden reintroduced a military draft
  4. EU may revoke visa-free travel for US citizens
  5. Battle for Mosul continued
  6. Jordan executed 15 people in one day
  7. Somalia and South Sudan plagued with famine
  8. Samsung chief to be indicted on bribery and embezzlement
  9. China made more steps to combat pollution
  10. SpaceX to fly two people around the moon in 2018

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This week in news: January 29 – February 4 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. President Trump’s temporary travel ban was blocked
  2. US raid in Yemen leaves at least 25 dead
  3. Protests at Berkeley over conservative speaker
  4. Delaware prison hostage situation
  5. Canadian shooting at a mosque
  6. UK votes to begin Brexit
  7. Protests in Romania
  8. Iranian missile test, and sanctions
  9. Clashes in the Congo
  10. New brain interface allows paralyzed people to communicate

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The Roots of Trump’s Immigration Ban

(Disclaimer: I denounce a pure immigration ban. Trump’s executive order is flawed, and it is rightfully being criticized. This post is for informational purposes only.)

Some people have been asking why Trump’s recent “Muslim ban” only includes certain countries. A fair question. Other people, like David Frum at The Atlantic, pointed how if this is meant to deter radial Islamic terrorism, then it’s a highly ineffective ban. Why did the Trump administration choose these 7 countries?

The countries in question, for reference: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.

If you’ve paid really close attention to the news over the past couple of years, and have a good memory, you’ll recognize that those countries have been grouped together before. The Obama administration singled them out for travel restrictions.

So if you’re asking why Trump picked those 7 countries for his ban: Trump didn’t pick them. All Trump did was take an already-existing list and expand on the restrictions. If the recent immigration ban ends up as a court case, you can bet that the Trump administration will try to cite the previous administration’s actions as precedent.

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This week in news: January 22-28 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. President Donald Trump signed over a dozen executive orders, the source of many headlines throughout the week
  2. Severe storms created chaos in the southeastern USA
  3. Chile is experiencing “the country’s worst forest fires ever”
  4. Internet blackout in Cameroon
  5. Conflict in Somalia kills 28
  6. Paris to begin experiment with driverless buses
  7. UK court rules Parliament must vote on Brexit
  8. Israel approves controversial new settlements
  9. Train derailment in India kills or injures 100 people
  10. Physicists claim to have turned hydrogen into metal

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This week in news: January 15-21 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Barack Obama commuted sentences for hundreds of inmates, including Chelsea Manning
  2. Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States
  3. Women’s march
  4. “El Chapo” extradited
  5. Brazilian prisons remain unstable
  6. Three shootings in Mexico
  7. Bus crashes in Italy
  8. U.S. performs air strikes in Syria and Libya, some of Obama’s final actions
  9. Nigerian air force mistakenly bombs aid camp
  10. Turkish plane crashes into a village

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This week in news: December 18-24 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Trump officially set to be next US president
  2. US bans drilling in Arctic
  3. China returns drone to USA
  4. Fireworks explosion in Mexico kills or wounds 100
  5. Terrorist attacks in Zurich and Berlin
  6. Plane drama involving JetBlue and Delta
  7. Russian Ambassador assassinated
  8. UN demands Israel stop settlements in Palestine
  9. Aleppo returns to full government control
  10. A new Ebola vaccine is promising

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The USA Isn’t Really One Country (And Some Post-Election Thoughts)

[image of an American flag]

Of course the USA is one country from a technical perspective. Yet from a geographic-based ideological perspective, it’s hard to come to that same conclusion.

The results of the 2016 presidential election have only reinforced regional differences. It’s not so much a liberal-conservative divide but an urban-rural one. Judging from the attitudes of Washington insiders, things aren’t a simple Democrat-Republican divide. Prominent politicians of both parties often have similar ideals and goals.

What’s troubling is the lack of communication and understanding between urban and rural voters. It’s led to continuous anger at The Other Side.

Many liberals, confined to their “coastal citadels,” don’t venture outside of their bubbles. The same is true of many conservatives. For example, you won’t see many farmers or coal miners on a liberal arts college campus. What does an upper middle class Millennial college student from Los Angeles have in common with a 55-year-old lumberjack from West Virginia who saw a neighbor die of a heroin overdose last week? Not much, and neither group seems interested in talking to the other. The city-dwellers call the rural people “backwards rednecks.” The countryside-dwellers call the urban people “entitled smug idiots.” If you don’t interact with certain groups, they can become stereotypes – instead of individuals with unique hopes and fears.

It might seem strange that each area (neighborhood, county, state, etc.) has its own culture, but therein lies the rub: many people don’t realize the sheer diversity of the United States. Talk to people in 10 different states; they’ll give different answers about their concerns. (Even if this doesn’t seem strange to you, it’s not something which often comes to mind.)

Ideologically, the United States of America isn’t really one country. This idea is implied in the name: The United States. It’s a conglomerate of distinct states which have united under a central federal government.

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This week in news: November 6-12 rundown

TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States
  2. Republicans win majority of Senate, House, and Governor positions
  3. Seven U.S. states expand marijuana laws
  4. Wildfire in North Carolina burns over 1,000 acres
  5. Concerns grow over French database of its citizens
  6. Egypt to get a $12 billion loan
  7. Battle for Mosul, Iraq, continues
  8. Suicide bombers strike in Afghanistan, killing or wounding 130
  9. Attack in Pakistan kills or wounds 150
  10. Protests in Hong Kong

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This week in news: October 30 – November 5 rundown

TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Philadelphia transit workers strike
  2. Cubs win the World Series
  3. FBI investigations into Clinton, Trump
  4. Italy’s most powerful earthquake in almost 40 years
  5. Turkish crackdown/purge continues
  6. Car bombs in Turkey and Iraq kill or wound 200 people
  7. Continued fighting in Mosul and Yemen
  8. Train crash in Pakistan kills 17
  9. South Korean protests continue
  10. James Webb Space Telescope complete

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This week in news: October 23-29 rundown

TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Obamacare prices to increase by an average of 20-25%
  2. North Dakota Pipeline protests continue
  3. Trump Hollywood star destroyed in California
  4. FBI reopening investigation into Hillary Clinton over new emails
  5. Calais migrant camp “The Jungle” cleared out
  6. Fighting continues in Iraq and Syria
  7. Pakistani college attacked, leaving 150+ dead or injured
  8. South Korean “Choi-Gate” scandal
  9. Some African countries will leave the International Criminal Court
  10. Large marine sanctuary will be established in Antarctica’s Ross Sea

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