Breaking developments and analysis of the situations in North America: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our writers Ian Sanders, Leigh Anderson, and Jacob Lui produce weekly. Our editor is Daniela Weinstein and our previous editor for Fall 2017 was Shira Tarlo.
President Donald Trump pushed law enforcement agencies to “get tough” on crime in a speech on Monday, outlining his plan to reduce deaths from opioid abuse. Although lacking details on specific measures, Trump called for the death penalty for drug dealers as well as a further crackdown on immigration.
Over 22,000 educators and school administrators have demanded an increase in wages from the State Government. The action comes after increased health insurance costs have cut further into the already low salaries of teachers.
On March 4, coinciding with the Oscars, the NRA released an ad attacking “fake news” and “every Hollywood phony.” The ad depicts Dana Loesch, one of their national spokespersons, stating “we [the NRA] have had enough of the lies” over a background of dramatic music. Although not mentioned, this ad comes as part of the NRA’s response to the criticisms they have received from the recent gun reform movement.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly opened up to the possibility of denuclearization and peace talks with the United States, according to South Korean diplomats that met with him in Pyongyang.
Good news appeared on Monday for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) could not be immediately shut down by the Trump Administration. The decision of the court bought more time for these “Dreamers” as the dismantling of DACA is challenged by numerous Democratic States.
Last Wednesday, President Trump met with grieving families and survivors of the Parkland shooting at the White House to listen to their stories and discuss possible changes in gun regulation and school safety. The shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, and 17 people were killed.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that it is looking to implement stricter requirements for food stamp recipients.
On Monday, the White House released President Donald Trump’s $200 billion plan to rebuild and revitalize the nation’s infrastructure. The newly released initiative is focused around spurring widespread investment in infrastructure by local and state government through decreased regulations, federal funding, and incentives for the private sector.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in January that Cohen had paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in October of 2016, in order to keep her quiet about claims of an affair she had with Trump.
Early Friday morning, President Donald Trump signed a $500 billion budget package into law, ending a brief government shutdown.
A train track in South Carolina became the site of disaster early Sunday when an Amtrak train traveling on the wrong line collided with a parked group of freight cars. Two Amtrak employees were killed, and over 115 of the trains passengers were taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries. The crash became the third accident in less than two months for Amtrak, sparking concern for the lax safety regulations of the corporation.
On Monday, January 29th, Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe vacated his post unexpectedly after months of receiving pressure from President Donald Trump. The move came as a surprise to many high-level figures within the intelligence community, as it had widely been expected that Mr. McCabe was planning to retire in mid-March.
Earlier this week after reviewing a draft budget proposal, The Verge reported that Trump Administration is looking to withdraw its support for the International Space Program by 2025.
Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address earlier this week. The ppresident highlighted what he regarded as the primary successes of 2017, and laid out the administration’s plans for the coming year. Trump addressed five core topics over the course of his speech, which turned out to be one of the longest State of the Union addresses in history.
House Republicans voted on Monday to release a secret memo on the Russia investigation, apparently condemning the FBI for abusing their power in what they deemed an inappropriate surveillance operation on Carter Page, a former associate for the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported.
Trump had highly considered firing Mueller, but ultimately dismissed the idea after White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn threatened to resign.
Last Friday night, the United States Government shutdown for the first time since 2013. For 3 whole days, important parts of the federal government, from national parks to the State Department ceased their functions.
On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced that their party had the votes necessary to overturn the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recent decision to repeal Obama-era net neutrality regulations.
Ever since President Donald Trump announced his campaign for president in June 2015, one of his biggest campaign promises has been to build a wall along the Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it. That narrative seems to have taken a slight turn. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump discussed how Mexico “can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA.”
On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide hold on the Trump administration's plan to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The San Francisco Judge, William Alsup, ruled that actions of the White House to shut down the policy were improperly made, and that the program should be allowed to continue.
United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen on Monday reversed a policy that has allowed over 200,000 Salvadorans to live and work in the United States since 2001.
The tumultuous Alabama Senate Race has concluded with a surprising result, Associated Press reported first. In Tuesday’s Special Election, Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign was marred by accusations of sexual assault and child molestation.
On Thursday, Minnesota Senator Al Franken announced on the Senate floor that he “will be resigning in the coming weeks.” The senator’s resignation comes after several women accused him of sexual misconduct as well as pressure from Democrats in the Senate.
Early Tuesday, the White House announced a massive reduction of two national monuments in Utah, removing over two million acres of land from federal protection. The downsizing of the sites, Bear’s Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante, has set off a major legal battle that is set to define the future of environmental protection in the United States.
The Senate passed the Republican-backed tax bill on Saturday. The bill was passed by a 51-49 vote with just one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, voting against it because of concerns about increasing the national deficit.
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