Welcome to the paper’s Damage Report!
In order to keep readers up to date with current events, we decided to start this biweekly feature, in which we present short, concise explanations of major topics that have occurred that week in the news. As well, we will link to other articles that will provide further information, as well as other articles we believe coincide with the story. This feature will be published every Tuesday – Friday.
Your News Editors,
Nick & Rachel
Trump Claims Obama Wiretapped Trump Tower
Trump went on yet another early morning Twitter tirade this weekend, coming after Former President Obama with unbacked claims that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Trump compared the alleged attack to McCarthyism and the Nixon Watergate scandal, calling President Obama a “bad (or sick) guy!” Multiple officials have come out saying that the allegations were false, including a former senior US intelligence official and another former senior US official, who has direct knowledge of investigations by the Justice Department under Obama. As well, a spokesperson for Obama called the suggestion “simply false.” The source of Trump’s apparently baseless accusations may have come from an article that was circulating on Breitbart and throughout the White House. White House officials called Congress to begin an oversight investigation, as a sort of damage control as it appears that they were unaware Trump was going to make these allegation as he was on his way to play golf down in Florida.
It should be noted that his is not the first time that Trump has made wild accusations without any firm proof. During the election he tried to push forward the narrative that thousands of people were cheering in the streets in New Jersey after 9/11 and claimed President Obama wasn’t even born in the United States for the majority of Obama’s second term. Trump’s allegations are dangerous and reckless as a sizable portion of the country trusts him wholeheartedly.
North Korea Fires Four Missiles into Japanese Waters
According to South Korean reports, which were later confirmed by the US military, North Korea launched four missiles into the Sea of Japan from the Tongchang-ri region, near the their border with China. Three of the missiles fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (a.k.a. Japanese waters) after flying roughly 620 miles. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called it a “new stage of threat.” While the US military determined that the missiles posed no threat to North America, it is an immediate danger to the surrounding countries and violates the UN Security Council Resolutions that explicitly prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missile technology. North Korea has been working extensively on missile technology and experts fear that they seem to be improving with each successful tests. Most experts do believe, though, that North Korea still has a ways to go before being able to fit a nuclear warhead to a missile.
Trump Signs Altered, More Specified Travel Ban
President Trump on Monday signed yet another executive order that barred entry into the United States that contained significant revisions to the previous travel ban. It seems that these revisions are to defuse controversy and aid in defeating challenges in court. The order still “temporarily” bans most travel from six Muslim-majority countries as Iraq has been removed from the list and continues to refuse refugee resettlement in the US. The policy, which will not take effect until March 16th, now indicates that green-card holders are not affected by the ban and has provided a lengthy list of travelers who could be waived in that includes students and children seeking medical treatment. The ban is still receiving criticism as being discriminatory against Muslims and for being “unconstitutional and un-American.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has come forward to defend the ban, claiming that the “Department of Justice believes that [the ban], just as the first, is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority.”
Supreme Court Vacates Gavin Grimm Case
Trump’s administration has just inadvertently dealt another blow to the transgender community as the Supreme Court announced Monday that they will no longer be hearing Gavin Grimm’s case. This is most likely a result of the Trump administration’s reversal of the federal government’s stance on transgender rights. Gavin Grimm is a transgender boy who is fighting to use the boys’ bathroom in his Virginia high school. Under the Obama administration, Gavin could use the bathroom of his gender identity based on the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX. The Department of Education said in 2015 that schools “generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity” and in 2016 made it clear that schools could lose their federal funding if they discriminated against transgender students. Under Trump, it is left up to the individual school district whether or not they permit a transgender student using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The issue here is that Gavin’s school district’s board has students use the bathroom “corresponding [to their] biological genders,” adding that “students with gender identity issues are allowed to use private bathrooms.” Gavin’s defense argues that forcing him to use these separate facilities has promoted bullying and humiliation, making him into a “public spectacle.”
This decision comes after a string of violence against the transgender community, especially transwomen of color. Laverne Cox said it best when she said that this is an issue about allowing the transgender community to exist in public spaces. It is predicted that the case, or one similarly about transgender rights, will fall back in front of the Supreme Court in a year or two, most likely once Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat has been replaced.
Republicans Unveil New Bill to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
On Monday, Republicans introduced their first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare under the Trump administration. The measure would not only aim to keep children on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 and maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but it will also restructure the Medicaid program so that every state receives a set amount of money from the federal government while, in addition, offering individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance. These refundable tax credits could result in millions of Americans losing the coverage they had under the Affordable Care Act. The bill also contains a provision that will take away funding for Planned Parenthood because conservatives believe that the funding is used specifically for abortions even though current federal law bars it. Defunding Planned Parenthood will too major impacts as millions of Medicaid recipients obtain their health care services in these clinics.
The bill was released without any Congressional Budget Office score, which could be taken as a sign that Republicans may be worried about the fallout once the American people fully understand how they will be impacted by the changes and how many will be affected. Currently, Republicans are being confronted by upset constituents, from all across the political spectrum, at town halls all across the country. There is even infighting within the Republican party as a significant amount of representatives worry about the flaws of the bill- specifically the tax credits- and that the replacement isn’t repealing Obamacare like promised. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) calls the repeal “Obamacare Lite.” Maybe it is as Donald Trump said, “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”
Fordham Introduces New Security Measure (SPOTLIGHT ON FORDHAM)
Recently, you may have noticed that logging into my.fordham.edu has somehow become even more of a burden. There’s an app to download. Landlines are an option. Seriously, what’s going on? Turns out, this inconvenience is all for your safety! After all, millions of hackers are just waiting to steal your OrgSync information. Hence, we must add another layer of cyber security.
Actually though, there were many big universities, such as Virginia Tech, where student data was stolen by hackers. So, our a self-appointed doers of justice, Fordham IT, have partnered up with Duo Security to install a multi-factor authentication system. This two-factor security system will make Fordham’s data system more safe. Just make sure you always have a second device on hand when you login!
Rachel Poe – News Co-Editor
Siobhan Donahue – Deaditor in Chief