the damage report: April 28th, 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

FCC Commissioner Pai listens to FCC Chairman Wheeler testify at House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

FCC Chairman Launches Major Blow Against Net Neutrality

On Wednesday, Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Committee, presented huge changes to rules regarding Net Neutrality.  Two years ago, under the Obama administration, rules were created to make the internet fair, as companies which provided internet services had to treat content equally. This was dubbed Net Neutrality. To Pai, this government oversight needed to end, as he views them as hurting business. His new rules now leave internet providers to regulate themselves. However, he is not against Net Neutrality as a concept, he just believed that these rules went too far. Large broadband and telecommunications companies have praised this new legislation. However, tech industry groups and companies in Silicon Valley remain divided, with an obvious slant towards opposing them. These new rules are just a part of the Trump administration’s’ commitment to side with business over internet and data issue as recently President Trump has also signed a bill which allowed for service providers to sell their consumer’s information. These rules will not go into effect right away, as they have to go through the Commission as a whole first, however, it is predominantly made up of Republicans, so it is expected to pass.  

The FCC just released a plan to undo its own net neutrality rules – The Washington Post


President Trump’s Tax Plan Promises Largest Tax Cut in History

On Wednesday, the Trump administration released their tax plan, consisting of a single page with bullet points. The plan was revealed to reporters in a press conference headed up by the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and the director of the National Economic Council, Gary D. Cohn. This plan is touted by the administration as having the most tax cuts ever in United States history. However, many have noticed that there is a definite major tilt towards the wealthy, who benefit the most from this plan. Many are criticizing the plan because of its assistance towards wealthy taxpayers. Other critics have noted that the tax cuts in accordance with President Trump’s budget pose questions on where the money to fund the government’s wishes is coming from.  Many have taken issue especially with the tax plan itself, and how it is not a comprehensive written piece of legislation since as stated earlier it is merely a page with bullet points. This vagueness is not helping the already growing questions and concerns of Trump’s tax plan.

Winners and Losers in the Trump Tax Plan – The New York Times

Donald Trump Hosts Canadian PM Justin Trudeau At The White House

President Trump Falls Back on NAFTA Promise

President Trump has flipped his view of the North American Free Trade Act. On the campaign trail, and even as recently as a couple of days ago, President Trump was still pledging to get rid of NAFTA entirely. He would constantly depict it as a mistake and one of the United States’ worst trade deals it has made. Interestingly enough, on Wednesday morning, an official from the White House revealed that the President was exploring an executive order which would terminate involvement in NAFTA. Yet, later that day, following phone calls with the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, President Trump has reconsidered his position. He now no longer desires to get rid of NAFTA, instead, he would prefer to stay involved but renegotiate the terms of the trade agreement. Many analysts theorize that the phone calls with those two leaders might have played a major influence on President Trump’s sudden shift in his position on this policy. This is just a part of an increasing number of pledges and campaign promises that Trump as a candidate has made that Trump as a President has gone back on.

Trump agrees ‘not to terminate NAFTA at this time’ – CNN


New Scientific Discover Reworks Conception of First Humans in America

A report published in Nature magazine, on Wednesday, presented evidence compiled by a team of researchers that shows that life existed in America up to 130,000 years ago. The team of researchers has found artifacts, which include a mastodon skeleton and large stones, which they believe were a part of a place where bones were deposited. These artifacts were found at a site in California back in 1992. The sheer amount of information that was explored is what took the research and findings over 20 years to be published. While there are no actual hominid bones found at the site, these artifacts show that the location was used by hominids to smash mastodon bones for their resources.  This study completely rewrites our conception of hominids in America, as this site is not only now the oldest hominid site in America, but completely predates when we believed the first hominids came to America by more than a hundred thousand years. Many scientists have drawn up criticisms against the findings, and remain skeptical that this research is actually correct. However, these findings present a new contextualization of when hominids first arrived in America that can be further explored.

The Report Published in Nature Magazine

Nick Peters, News Co-Editor

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