News Rewind 02

November 21 | by Sarah Kadous | shot by Brook Mckeon

a bite-sized, fortnightly round-up of current affairs on this little planet of ours

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Jeff Sessions is Out, Matthew Whitaker is In

Two Wednesdays ago, Jeff Sessions resigned as US Attorney General, over his self- recusement from the investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. Since Sessions’ departure, political critics have risen many questions regarding the constitutionality of President Trump hand picking a new Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker.  Whitaker has openly stated his intentions of focussing deeply on the Mueller investigation and condemned any accusations connecting Trump’s win to Russian intervention. Sessions’ resignation may change the future of the legalization of recreational marijuana on the Federal level, a change he strongly opposed.

The “Camp Fire” Kills 77

A wildfire titled “Camp Fire”, the now deadliest US wildfire in history, hit hard the Paradise retirement home, taking the lives of 77 people and destroying over 10,300 houses. On Saturday, President Trump visited the community and reassured that the state and federal partners would “get this cleaned up”. Gov. Jerry Brown continued to insist that climate change is responsible for the incident, a concept Trump deemed to be a mere “Chinese hoax”.

Highest Voter Turnout since 1914 in 2018 US Midterms

According to the United States Election Project, the 2018 Midterm Elections have reached the highest levels of voter turnout since 1914, with about 49.3% of registered voters casting their ballots. This data significantly overturns the voting turnouts of the past to elections; in 2010, only 41.8% of eligible voters turned out, and in 2014 an even lesser number of 36.7%. As of now, 25 of the 50 states have turned out over 60% of their voters. With that said, these numbers may increase once all of the ballots are counted.

Rest In Peace, Stan Lee

At age 95, American comic book writer, editor, and publisher has passed. Lee had been suffering from pneumonia and vision issues for about a year before his death at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This unforgettable Marvel creator is the brains behind Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man and so much more. After the world heard news of Lee’s passing, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger described Lee as “A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world...Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart."

Saturday Night Live? More Like Saturday Night Mess Up the Sketch and Laugh it Off

On Saturday, America watched as Steve Carell, Pete Davidson and Kenan Thompson laughed along with the live studio audience after a seemingly planned skit went rather wrong. “Space Thanksgiving”, got off on the wrong foot when someone kicked over a stage prop, immediately throwing the cast off guard. This followed by several errors in reciting the script, the actors bursted into laughter and ultimately gave into their defeat. Oh well, skits are meant to make people laugh, right?

Fantastic Beasts Claims Yet Another Success for Writer J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros

As of Sunday, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grinwald, the second film of its series and Harry Potter sequel, earned nearly $62.2 million from sold tickets (Comscore Inc.). The film manifestation of Rowling’s work topped the box office this weekend in all of North America and is expected to reach an estimated $63 million within the next month (Box Office Pro).

Pelosi’s Party Opposition

As of Monday, 16 members of the Democratic Party representing in the House pledged in a signed letter their opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s becoming of Speaker of the House. Sitting House members that signed this document are Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Bill Foster of Illinois, Brian Higgins of New York, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Kathleen Rice of New York, Tim Ryan of Ohio, Linda Sánchez of California, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Filemon Vela of Texas; incoming House members that also signed the document are Anthony Brindisi of New York, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Ben McAdams of Utah (whose race against Rep. Mia Love is still too close to call), Max Rose of New York, and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey. In the letter, the participants voiced their hopes of switching things up for the future of the party. Democrats ran and won on a message of change," the letter spelled out clearly. "We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise."

Airbnb Takes Political Action on Palestine-Israel Conflict

Airbnb, a company operating in roughly 191 countries across the globe announced this week their official removal of all property renting in the Israeli occupied territory of the West Bank from their website. This decision follows a long running term of backlash from pro-Palestinian liberation movements opposing the technically illegal settlements over Palestinian land.  Airbnb expects to face new found retaliation from Israel’s masses and national bank, but stated that, we [the company] should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Update: King S Speaks Out- But Not About Khashoggi

"We ensure that this country will never deviate from implementing God's law and... serving justice," were of the first words King Salman of Saudi Arabia spoke after nearly a month of silence post the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Accusations continue to be investigated regarding King Salman and his son, Mohammed Bin Salman, and their involvement in the murder. The Riyadh Government currently points fingers at poor intelligence officer leadership to blame for the incident. The specific name of the head officer is still unknown. As of this week, eleven people have been charged with the murder as the case continues.  

Taylor Swift is Moving on Up

Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift kisses goodbye her partnership with the Nashville based Record Label Big Machine Records after twelve years of working with the company. The young American artist recently announced her new partnership with Universal Music Group and its subsidiary, Republic Records. Swift shared a photo of the new company’s heads and captioned it, “my new home”.

Man Sues British Airways for Being Seated Next to a “real lump” of a Man

Yes- you read that title correctly. British Airways is currently being sued by Stephen Prosser, 51, after supposedly facing severe nerve damage in his back and a pelvic misalignment after sitting next to a “huge block”, “big boned” man. Prosser’s flight was from Bangkok to London, a roughly thirteen hour flight. “I had no choice but to go back to my seat and the discomfort ar being squashed up against the cabin soon turned to agony”, the former customer said, who is now seeking 175,000 in medical damages that led to income losses after not working for three months after the flight.