the damage report: April 14th, 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

Neil Gorsuch Sworn in as Supreme Court Justice

The Supreme Court, which has not been whole for the 14 months since Justice Scalia’s passing, has now been made complete again. First, it was Merrick Garland, chosen by Former President Obama to fulfill that vacant seat. However, a Republican controlled Congress completely blocked that appoint.  Now, Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick for the position, was sworn in on Monday after going through a heavily political fight in Congress, in which Senate rules had to be changed.  Neil Gorsuch, with a hand on a bible and a victorious Trump behind him, said his oath to become the next justice on the Supreme Court. In his speech, he specifically thanked Mitch McConnell for helping his confirmation get through the Senate. Gorsuch’s appointment does not only make the court whole but returns it to the previous status quo under Justice Scalia of a conservative tilt.

Further Reading:
Nuclear Option Allows Gorsuch to be Voted to the Supreme Court – the paper

Sean Spicer’s Hitler-Assad Commands Incite Controversy

On Tuesday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in a normal press conference, incited controversy when he made a comparison of Adolf Hitler to President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. His comments were that Hitler “didn’t sink to the levels of using chemical weapons.” When asked by a journalist he later clarified it by saying he was referring to using it on his own people, like Assad is by dropping bombs on his people.  This comment does, of course, seem to neglect the Jewish and other minority Germans, like members of the LGBT community, who were sent to concentration camps and gas chambers. Many were outraged by these comments. Radio host Howard Stern said that he thinks the president should fire Spicer. Sheldon Adelson, one of the top Jewish donors for the Republican party, had his office contact Spicer. It is unknown what talks occurred.  Spicer apologized for his comments on Friday, calling it a big “mistake”.

Further Reading:
Sean Spicer on Assad regime: ‘Even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons.’ – The Guardian

Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau Unveils Bill Legalizing Marijuana

On Thursday, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a bill which legalized marijuana. He is fulfilling a campaign promise through this bill. Trudeau’s administration hopes to have states start selling marijuana legally by the middle of 2018. It was announced that some things still need to be worked on, but the Canadian government is ready to work on all issues associated with this legalization process. Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 1999, after a court ruling, and this bill plans to make it so that Marijuana is legal for everyone.  The rules state that anyone 18 years or older can make a purchase, however they can only legally have about an ounce. Provinces can set that age limit to be higher if desired. At the same time, people can, with a license, grow up to 4 marijuana plants in their houses.

Further Reading:
Justin Trudeau Introduces Bill to Legalize Marijuana in Canada – Time

United Airlines Draws Resentment in Violent Mishandling of Plane Customer

Dr. David Dao boarded a Kentucky-bound United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Subsequently, the airline had overbooked and needed some passengers to get off the plane in order to make room for staff. After receiving no volunteers, the crew chose passengers at random, one of whom was Dao. However, Dao refused to leave the seat that he paid for. Instead of just finding a more compliant, non-doctor passenger, the crew called in aviation officers. The officers proceeded to beat Dao and drag him off the plane. As a result, he got a broken nose, lost two of his front teeth, obtained sinus injuries, and suffered a significant concussion. A video of the scuffle went viral soon afterward.

Once the video went viral, United’s stock dropped. Dao’s lawyer announced plans to sue. Finally, everyone has decided to book with Southwest instead.

Further Reading:
United Airlines Passenger Is Dragged From an Overbooked Flight – The New York Times

NASA Thinks Life Might Exist on two Moons in our Solar System

On Thursday, Nasa, in its ever-present search for life, has announced that it has determined where it believes life beyond Earth is most likely possible.  As a result of two teams conducting two very separate studies, NASA has discovered that two separate moons meet all the necessary conditions to sustain life. A moon of Jupiter, Enceladus, and a moon of Saturn, Europa, both of which bear oceans. The Cassini group has been studying Enceladus and determined that chemicals which bear life exist there.  At the same time, the Hubble Space Telescope researchers have determined that Europa also can possibly hint at life.  However, as of this moment, it seems that data is pointing more towards Enceladus than Europa for life passed Earth as more is known about Enceladus. Signs of hydrogen exist there, and that coupled with other chemicals could help microbes (if any exist) develop into full life forms. This is an exciting discovery and, hopefully, helps renew interest in the NASA program.

Further Reading:
NASA Missions Provide New Insights into ‘Ocean Worlds’ in Our Solar System – NASA


Nick Peters – News Co-Editor
Siobhan Shauni – Deaditor-in-Chief

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