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.
On Wednesday, Oct 17, Canada legalized the possession and usage of recreational marijuana across all ten of its provinces. The nation became the first major power to permit the drug, with Uruguay being the only other country in the world that also allows marijuana usage. The legalization comes as a great victory for the Administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who championed the idea during his election.
The 2018 midterm election will be anything but predictable. With the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, his victory has sent shockwaves to voters across the country. Below are four key races to keep an eye on come November.
In a surprise announcement, Nikki Haley, the acting United States ambassador to the U.N., declared that she was resigning from her post on Tuesday, October 9th. Her departure from the Trump administration is causing new questions about the stability of the White House going into the midterm elections, as well as the possibility of political aspirations for Haley herself.
On the night of Sunday, September 30th, a new trade deal was born in fevered negotiations between representatives for the nations of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is being renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to find common ground between the three countries.
The future career of U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is in serious trouble after a flurry of meetings and private discussions were held concerning his fate on Monday. For now Rosenstein still holds his position at the Department of Justice, but is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday over allegations that he planned to secretly record Trump and invoke the 25th amendment, which transfers the office of presidency to the vice president in the case of the president’s death, resignation, removal from office, or severe impairment.
Only a week of significant negotiating time remains for the United States and Canada to conclude on the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If a solution is not found by the end of the week, it will likely be too late for Canada to meet the U.S. demand for a completely drafted deal by October 1st.
Members of the U.S. Government met with rebellious officers of the Venezuelan Military in talks to discuss the possibility of a coup several times over the last year. After numerous meetings, officials decided against providing support to these rouge military elements against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. However, the discovery of these clandestine operations has opened up serious concerns within the international community as to the possibility of United States intervention in the foreign affairs of other nations.
On June 26th, democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the country with her defeat of incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic Primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. Crowley, who has been serving New York’s 14th congressional district since 2013, and the 7th district for 14 years before that, was expected to be a shoe-in in the midterm elections earlier this summer.
Tensions flared on Capitol Hill this week as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh seeks confirmation from the Senate.
Late Monday night, the White House declared that the deadline for the imposition of tariffs on European and Chinese goods would be pushed back by 30 days, creating more time for negotiations.
A Washington D.C. federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to continue protections for DACA recipients and accept new applications if the Department of Homeland Security cannot come up with a legitimate reason for the program’s rescission within 90 days.
Following North Korea that indicated its willingness to have denuclearization talks with the United States, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plan to meet face-to-face for a historic summit said to take place either in May or early June.
Republicans on Tuesday maintained their congressional seat in Arizona’s eighth district. The Republican seat, which voted for Trump in 2016 by more than 20 points, came into play for Democrats when Hiral Tipirneni ran a serious campaign. Debbie Lesko, the Republican candidate, won by just five points.
Among the growing list of corporations to receive backlash from President Donald Trump is Amazon.
In a courtroom hearing in Manhattan on Monday, Fox News personality Sean Hannity was revealed as the secret client of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
On April 14th, a combined group of American, British, and French armed forces sent hundreds of guided missiles into the heart of Syria, targeting the chemical weapons of Dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Overnight, the bombardment inflicted significant damage to the stockpiles and research facilities of President Assad, but avoided wider attacks on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions.
On the night of April 15, ABC News aired an interview with James Comey, former FBI director who was fired last year by President Trump. The interview, which was to promote his new book, reveals startling realities of working for President Trump. The book is about the incident and is launching next week.
Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has recently faced serious accusations over his management and spending practices. Since being appointed by President Trump in February of last year, Mr. Pruitt has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel, security, and pay raises for his most loyal employees. Members of both political parties have questioned the necessity of these expenses, and have vowed investigations.
The office and hotel room of President Trump’s lawyer Michael D. Cohen were raided on Monday by the FBI, increasing scrutiny about the Russia investigation and Trump’s past extra-marital affairs. The raid set off a Twitter tirade by the president, who fumed that “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” and called the investigation “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”
A new report released on April 9 by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that the federal deficit will rise substantially over the next decade due to both a new spending deal and the GOP tax plan passed last December. The CBO also projects that the U.S. national debt will approach 100 percent of GDP by 2028 (see below). The office warns that the deficit over each of the next ten years will be historically large, reaching levels only seen during World War II and the years following the 2007-2009 recession.
In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, the White House informed reporters that President Donald Trump is planning to sign a proclamation to deploy National Guard forces on the United States border with Mexico. The decision came after a tirade of tweets by the President promising increased border security and condemning a recent uptick in illegal immigration.
Inspired by the strikes last month in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky took to their state capitols to protest low pay and demand greater funding and benefits. Two hundred of Oklahoma’s school districts were closed on Monday due to the strikes, The New York Times reported, and the marches and closures that continued Tuesday affected 70 school districts, according to Reuters.
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