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
Supreme Court Allows Parts of President Trump’s Travel Ban
The Supreme Court agreed to (temporarily) allow parts of President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect, pending a full review by the Court this fall. In their per curiam opinion (an opinion written by the whole Court, often preceding a judgment), the Court said that the ban would be in effect for travelers from the six countries without a “bona fide relationship” to someone in the U.S. At the time, those parameters were unclear. On Thursday, the Trump administration put those restrictions into effect and put forward their definition of a ‘bona fide’ relationship. This includes parents, siblings (including step-siblings), students, and some tourists, but does not include grandparents. (A late-in-the-game rule change allowed fiancees as well.) It is unclear how much of the ban will remain in effect; the new rules will also likely be litigated almost immediately, just like the original ban. However, the definitive ruling will not be handed down until this fall, when the Court hears oral arguments.
Trump Publicly Insults Morning Joe Host Mika Brzezinski in Tweet-storm
On Thursday, President Trump took to Twitter to publicly bash the hosts of NBC’s “Morning Joe”, prompting yet another discussion of the President’s temperament. Trump unleashed a barrage of insults, calling Brzezisnki “low I.Q. Crazy Mike” and her co-host Joe Scarborough “psycho Joe”. In a second tweet, he stated that Brzezisnki was bleeding from her face after a face lift procedure, which the President claimed to have observed at a New Year’s Party. Congressional Republicans and Democrats alike have condemned the tweets, and Brzezisnki and Scarborough wrote an op-ed responding to the criticism (link below). Still, many see this as a sign that the President does not have the disposition to be an adequate leader.
Senate Healthcare Bill Vote is Put on Hold
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this week that he would delay a vote on the Senate’s proposed healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). McConnell had hoped to vote on the bill before the upcoming July 4th congressional recess. This comes in the aftermath of the disastrous CBO report, which stated that the Senate bill would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. Several Senators expressed concern with the bill, including Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, Senator Rand Paul, and others. Because the Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Senate, McConnell could only afford to lose 2 votes and have the bill still pass. There is no official word yet on when the bill might be brought to the floor, but some believe McConnell will try to do so before the next Congressional recess in August.
Rogue Helicopter Attacks Venezuela Government Buildings
On Tuesday, a helicopter carrying a banner which read “Freedom!” on it attacked both the buildings for Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry of the country Venezuela. Following the attack, a still ongoing manhunt was started for the perpetrators. It is believed that the main organizer of the attack was Oscar Perez, a 36 year old policeman. The state of Venezuela is putting all the blame on this man as the reason for this attack having been unfolded. A video released by Perez, in which hooded figures in the background looked on as Perez stood in the middle of them, announcing that he is rising up against “tyranny”. Despite what the government claims, there are many who believe that this was staged by the government themselves. This incident makes up a part in the series of violence that has been going on in Venezuela for the past couple of months, as a severe amount of political unrest has provoked this heavy violence and casualties, with more than 70 people dead.
Cardinal George Pell accused of sexual assault
Australian Cardinal George Pell will return to Australia to defend himself on allegations of sexual misconduct, the Vatican announced on Thursday. The charges are the first to be leveled against a Cardinal, one of the highest officials within the Catholic Church. Some are arguing that this charge draws attention to Pope Francis’s inattention to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the reform of which was a major focus of his predecessor.
Cuomo declares MTA in State of Emergency
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency this week after a train derailment in Harlem. The accident occurred on Tuesday, in which an A train was derailed. Dozens were injured, though none fatally, and trains were delayed substantially for the remainder of the day. This comes amidst reports of increasing delays and inadequate resources for the MTA. Recent reports indicate that most train lines run on a delay, with some only on time for less than 40% of rides. The state of emergency allocates $1 billion in additional funding for the MTA to address these issues.
Declan Murphy – News Co-Editor
Nick Peters – News Co-Editor