the damage report: April 4th, 2017

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


Gorsuch’s Supreme Court Nomination Threatens to Change How the Senate Works

Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s appointment for the supreme court, is slowly approaching nomination. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, voting on party lines 11-9, approved Gorsuch, whose nomination now moves into the senate. Already, there are enough Democrats dissenting against the nomination to warrant a filibuster. The filibuster would mean that, despite Republicans having a majority control, the minority Democrats can choose to postpone the vote infinitely.  The Republicans have a 52 – 48 control over the Senate and will most likely vote in Gorsuch. Four Democrats have come out as in favor of the nomination, bumping up support to 56 Senators. Two Senators remain undecided, however, even if they vote for Gorsuch, it would bring up the numbers to 58, two senators away from canceling a filibuster. If the vote comes to a filibuster, the Republicans have threatened to use the “nuclear option.” This means that the Republicans will merely change the rules to eliminate filibusters.  

Further Reading:
Democrats’ Vow to Filibuster Ensure Bitter Fight Over Gorsuch – The New York Times
The Senate Filibuster, Explained – The New York Times


Subway Bomb Goes Off in St. Petersburg, Russia

On Monday, tragedy struck as a bomb detonated in a subway train in the metro system of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was announced by Russian news programs that two bombs had gone off, but that was eventually revealed to be misinformation. A second bomb was found in a different metro station, but Russian authorities successfully disarmed it. Russian authorities are calling this bombing a terrorist attack, despite there being no known link to terrorist groups yet. It is believed to be a suicide bombing. It is unknown who the culprit is, as no group has claimed credit yet, however, some believe this may be the work of Chechen militants, who have carried out similar and much more deadly attacks on Russia before. Eleven have so far been announced as dead and there are another 45 people currently being treated for their wounds in the hospital. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was already in the city for different reasons, expressed his sympathies to the victims of the attack, as well laid flowers at the site.  

Further Reading:
Bomb in St. Petersburg subway, killing 11, sets a city on edge – The Washington Post


Trump Meeting with the Egyptian President Drastically Changes US Foreign Policy

Egyptian General-turned-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with Donald Trump at the White House today, signaling a major shift in U.S foreign policy from former President Obama. “We agree on so many things,” Trump stated about the authoritarian ruler of Egypt who seized power through a military takeover of the government, ousting the then elected president Mohamed Morsi. For el-Sisi, this meeting was a dream come true. Since 2009, el-Sisi and similar authoritarian rulers have been banned from visiting the United States; the last Egyptian leader to have visited the White House being Hosni Mubarak, who was taken out of power during the 2011 Arab Spring. El-Sisi, like Trump, is vehemently opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, and this meeting likely signals a dramatic shift in U.S stances on the organization.

Further Reading:
Trump Shifts Course on Egypt, Praising Its Authoritarian Leader – The New York Times


Michael Flynn’s Contact with Russia Only Gets Sketchier

As more and more information connecting the Trump campaign and administration to Russia is revealed, a familiar name has been brought back into the conversation. Former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who was fired from his position after less than a month, failed to originally disclose that he received payments for speaking engagements from Russian companies. Flynn’s initial financial discourses left out thousands of dollars he received from RT, a state-funded Russian television network, for a speech in Moscow in December of 2015 and from Volga-Dnepr Airlines, an air cargo company, and Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc., a cybersecurity firm, for speaking engagements here in the United States. Flynn did not disclose the amount received from the RT speech but according to a top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, the amount is most likely around $33,000. The US intelligence community has long believed that RT is a propaganda tool of the Kremlin. Flynn also failed to disclose payments from about an additional two dozen companies. 

Further Reading:
Michael Flynn left Russian speaking fees off initial financial disclosures – CNN


Fox News Exposed for Covering Up Sexual Harassment with Settlements

Bill O’Reilly has often been seen as the “Golden Boy” over at Fox News as, for nearly two decades, he has been their top asset with the No. 1 program in cable news and billions of dollars in ad revenue. An investigation by The New York Times found that a total of five women have received payouts from O’Reilly and/or 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, to not speak out, press charges, or pursue further litigation in regards to their accusations against O’Reilly of sexual harassment. These payments totaled up to around $13 million. The allegations include verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances, and phones calls in which the victims said it sounded like O’Reilly was masturbating and all come from women who either worked for him or appeared on his show. This is not Fox News’ first time dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace and attempting to cover it up only blows holes in their zero tolerance policy. A number of companies have already pulled their ads from their time slots on the O’Reilly Factor.

Further Reading:
Bill O’Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up – The New York Times
At Fox News, fear and silence amid O’Reilly controversy – CNN


Fordham CSA Holds First Ever Bronx Celebration Day (Spotlight on Fordham and the Bronx)

The McGinley Center was a flurry of activity on Saturday, April 1st. If you stopped by, you would have been treated to a joint festival between Fordham University and the Bronx community for an event called Bronx Celebration Day. Inside McGinley were many vendors and local businesses from throughout the Bronx, including Edible Bronx, Bronx Native Clothing Line, Mainland Media, a Bronx-based memorabilia store, etc. The Bronx Children’s Museum provided activities for kids. Furthermore, there was a DJ, speakers, performances, and the Commuting Students Association’s (CSA) third annual Rams Got Talent show. Bronx Celebration Day was part of an overall week of CSA events called Commuter Week.

The brainchild of Bronx Celebration Day was Bronx native and CSA Executive Vice President, Paola Joaquin Rosso. She worked with the President’s Office, the Fordham Club (special shout out to co-organizer Ariana Cipriani), Community Board 6 (special shout out to John Sanchez), and others. The event was open to all Fordham students and Bronx residents. Fordham University has a contentious history with the surrounding neighborhood. Many times students make racist comments about the local community and keep residents up at night with their nighttime activities. However, this event shows that it is possible to have a positive relationship with our neighbors and that the real iron gates are in our minds.  

Further Reading:
Fordham hosts first ever Bronx Celebration Day – News 12: The Bronx
Celebrating Bronx Pride – Fordham News

Rachel Poe, News Co-Editor
Nick Peters, News Co-Editor
Michael Jack O’Brien, Features and List Co-Editor
Siobhan Donahue, Deaditor in Chief

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