the damage report: June 9th, 2017

 

Welcome to the paper’s Damage Report!

In order to keep readers up to date with current events, we decided to start this weekly 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 Friday.

Your News Editors,
Nick & Declan


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James Comey Testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Thursday, in a highly-publicized (and widely televised) public session. Comey was called in to discuss the ongoing FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the reason for his firing by President Trump, and (to some eager Democrats) the conduct of the President himself. Several themes emerged early on, which confirmed earlier statements by Comey and verified some speculation about Russian interference. First, Comey maintained that the Russians had definitively interfered in the election; in fact, he stated that he believed they would again in the future. He stated his belief that he was fired over his handling of the Russia investigation, confirming one of the many narratives that the White House circulated after his firing.

Further, Comey’s testimony brought out new information. First, he revealed himself to have leaked the memos of his meetings with Trump, via a third party (a law professor, as of yet unidentified, at Columbia University). Second, he strongly implied that there are as-yet undisclosed reasons that Attorney General Jeff Sessions needed to recuse himself from the investigation. This implies that perhaps Sessions had greater contact with the Russians than has previously been uncovered. Comey also stated clearly his reasons for taking the memos with Trump: he didn’t trust Trump as he would have another President. (Indeed, when pressed, he stated explicitly that he would not have done so for Pres. Obama or Bush.) Republicans, of course, pushed back, harping in on Trump’s language to deny coercion. (One Senator repeatedly stressed how Trump said “[he] hope[s]” that Comey would drop the Flynn investigation; Comey implied that such a statement was coercive enough.) And Sen. John McCain gave a truly confusing set of questions, some of which inexplicably focused on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

While this does not build a definitive case against Trump, it certainly confirms the patterns of behavior which are concerning in the first place. The investigation will continue, but for now, Comey’s testimony remains a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Further Reading:

Vox Sentences: Mr. Comey goes to Washington


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President Trumps “Covfefe” Tweet Causes Both Laughter and Confusion

On Wednesday at 12:06 am, President Trump tweeted out a very strange message, merely saying “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”. This tweet, which appears to be a typo, as Trump seems to have wanted to write coverage, but instead made this visible mistake in this tweet. At 6am, Trump tweeted out a joking response to the tweet, writing “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ??? Enjoy!”. “Covfefe” immediately became the subject of ridicule by the masses, including numerous tweets and assorted social media posts mocking the mishap. Interestingly enough, while this does seem to be just a stupid internet typo, Press Secretary Sean Spicer has un-ironically made this seem to be a legitimate choice of words, stating that only President Trump’s closest supports and friends are in the know and would really know what it means.

Further Reading:

Spicer refuses to say Trump’s ‘covfefe’ tweet was a typo


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British Election Intended to Strengthen Conservative Party Causes Damage Instead

On Thursday, Britain held a SNAP election. The election was called by British Prime Minister Theresa May back in April of this year. The intent at the time for calling it was to strengthen her party, the Conservative Party.  PM May hoped that the Conservative Party would gain an increase in the number of Parliamentary seats they hold in this election. Unfortunately for PM May, her wish did not come true. The Conservative party, instead of gaining more seats, lost many seats, enough to no longer make them the majority in Parliament. At the moment, none of the political parties hold enough seats to make them the majority party. This is a shocking defeat for the Conservatives and a major embarrassment to Theresa May. Many have called for her resignation, including Labour Party leader James Corbyn.  However, in spite of these calls for her resignation, she has announced that she will remain as the Prime Minister.  May has as well apologized to fellow members who have lost their seats, saying that she will reflect on this defeat. This election complicates the Brexit process, and greatly decreases the Conservative party’s influence over the upcoming Brexit talks.

Further Reading:

The British Election That Somehow Made Brexit Even Harder

UK election 2017: full results


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Uber Begins to Make Changes to Company in Wake of Harassment Allegations 

On Tuesday, the start-up giant Uber has announced that it has fired 20 workers, put 31 other workers in counseling, and gave warnings to 7 others. Further, they are improving their management training, and they have hired 2 women as senior executives. This has occurred in the wake of sexual harassment allegations that have been brought against various Uber workers and executives. The law firm known Perkins Coie was hired, in order to investigate the numerous allegations brought against Uber workers. Alongside Perkins Coie, a separate investigation was started, which is being led up by former Attorney General Eric Holder.  Perkins Coie had recently published their report into their investigations, which led to these changes beginning to be implemented. The firm is still investigating many cases in the company.

Further Reading:

Uber Fires More Than 20 Employees in Harassment Probe


Contributors

Nick Peters – News co-Editor

Declan Murphy – News co-Editor

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