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
Bill O’Reilly is Out at Fox News Amid Harassment Scandals
A couple weeks ago, The New York Times published an investigation that found that Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, and 21st Century Fox were covering up $13 million in settlements paid to keep women from speaking out against O’Reilly. These women, who had all either worked for or appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, had filed claims that O’Reilly had sexual and verbally harassed them. After the story broke, advertisers started pulling out of their spaces during the O’Reilly Factor which seriously hurt the show’s massive income. On Wednesday, Robert Murdoch and his sons, who run 21st Century Fox, announced that O’Reilly will not be returning to Fox News after his short “vacation” this past week. Right now, it is unclear the contractual obligations of O’Reilly. Fox News might owe him millions of dollars under his multi-year contract and there is no definite word on whether or not O’Reilly will be able to pursue another show on a different channel. Though, this is unlikely due to the nature of Fox News and O’Reilly’s separation. The O’Reilly Factor had been the most watched show on cable news.
Venezuela Breaks Out in Violent Protests Against Corrupt Leader
Since Wednesday, Venezuelan citizens have taken to the streets to demand a return to democratic rule and free elections. So far, at least seven people have been killed and upwards of 400 people have been arrested in the ensuing chaos against President Nicolás Maduro. These anti-government protests believe that Maduro is a dictator, especially after the Supreme Court, which is pro-Maduro, attempted to dissolve the opposition-controlled legislature last month. Despite much of the ruling being reversed by Maduro after the international community called it a failed coup, lawmakers in this government are essentially powerless. The leader of the opposition party, who is believed to be a serious threat to Maduro in the presidential elections, has been barred from holding office for the next 15 years. In addition, the protests are being met with oppression by Maduro’s government, with police force using tear gas, firebombs, and other means of riot control. Venezuela is currently suffering from a failing economy and major food shortages. The protesters have not shown any signs of stopping until the country returns to democracy.
White House South Sidewalk Closed Forever to Public
On Thursday, the Secret Service announced that it will permanently close the sidewalk next to the south fence of the White House. It should be noted that the sidewalk has been closed to the public at night since 2015, however, this new announcement would extend this to the entire day. This decision comes after multiple incidents of people illegally gaining access to the White House lawn through jumping the fences around the premises. The most recent incident occurred on March 10th at night, when a man jumped over the east fence and was on the lawn for a little over 15 minutes before being caught by Secret Service agents. The Secret Service hopes that closing the southern sidewalk will help limit incidents such as this from occurring. This plan will go into effect starting next Wednesday.
Trump’s Former Foreign Policy Advisor Caused FBI Investigation
On Wednesday, it was reported that Carter Page, one of President Trump’s former advisors, was the inciting reason for the FBI to begin their investigation into the Trump campaigns ties with Russia. Page, a veteran of the Navy and a businessman, had served as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign during the election. He had stepped down from his position in September, at the same time that the FBI was beginning their investigation. However, his pro-Russia viewpoints and connections caused the FBI to grow suspicious of the Trump campaign when he joined them as a foreign policy advisor. Previously he had lived in Russia, specifically the city of Moscow, for 3 years. In 2013 the FBI discovered that a spy from Russia was trying to turn Page, which garnered their attention. However, his 3 day trip to Russia that occurred this July was what pushed the FBI to investigate his ties as well as the Trump campaigns. It is unknown what specific information from the trip inspired them to officially begin their investigation. This is a part of a developing story over the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, and whether there was Russian interference in the United States Presidential Election, a story which continues to get more complex as more information comes to light.
Rachel Poe, News Co-Editor
Nick Peters, News Co-Editor