News Rewind 05


June 28 | by Sarah Kadous | shot by Ann Noun

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

President Trump Imposes Sanctions on Iran 

On Monday, US President Donald Trump announced the imposing of new sanctions on Iran amidst a long running tension between the two nations. These sanctions follow in the footsteps of previous sanctions made by the Trump Administration in Spring that cut off  all revenues from Iranian oil exports, severely hurting the Middle Eastern nation’s economy that depends almost solely on oil. The latest sanctions are intended to punish recent governmental behaviours in Tehran by restricting superiorIranian officials from benefiting from general financial outlets such as IBS, the international banking system, and microcosmic outlets as organized by western nations. The Administration hopes that these sanctions will pressure Iran into relinquishing its diplomatic power-grabs to the US, such as its attempts to amass nuclear fuel, for the sake of its economic stability. 

The Democratic Debate

Last night was the first of two democratic debates for potential presidential nominees. Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren dominated most of the conversation while John Delaney and Tim Ryan did not insert as much as the other possible candidates. The major topics of discussion included those most crucial to the dems’ party platform: immigration, varying stances on universal healthcare, and details regarding abortion and reproductive rights (or “reproductive justice” as Julián Castro advocated for). The second round of the debates with the anticipated Bernie Sanders / Joe Biden lineup airs tonight.

U.S. Suicide Rates The Highest They’ve Been for Decades 

According to a study done this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. suicide rates are the highest they have been since World War II and show no signs of coming down. The numbers present a staggering  33% increase in suicide from 2017 since 1999, affecting a wide range of genders, age groups and ethnicities. Recent reports reveal that the increase in suicide rates is felt most promptly by Native American women and Alaska Natives, especially for ages between 15 to 44. Caucasian suicides were most present between ages 45 to 65.  If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741 for free. 

Sudan’s Uprising and the Internal Crisis 

Over 100 pro-democracy Sudanese protestors have died after a military coup following the overthrowing of former President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir of 20 years, left Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan and his behind-the-curtain assist Gen. Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo in power. The deaths were reportedly taken out by the  notorious janjaweed militia that were also responsible for the mass genocide of of non-Arabs in Darfur. The military transitional council of Sudan has additionally essentially cut off all internet access for the masses of the nation through the two largest mobile providers MTN and Mobitel (ZAIN) in an attempt to suppress nationwide protests and foreign aid and by limiting organization communications through social media and prohibiting the spread of digital material that may yield international sympathy for the pro-democracy movement in Sudan. This totalitarian approach of rule sets the tone for the new military rule. 

300 Migrant Children Relocated Out of “Appalling” Texas Facility 

Department of Homeland Security officials shared with national news outlets on Monday chilling stories regarding the conditions of migrant children in a certain Texas facility after lawyers visited the site. The lawyers described seeing teenage mothers wearing shirts stained with breast milk, children wearing the same unwashed clothes for days and a heavy lack of hygiene supplies such as soap, shampoo, menstrual products, and toothpaste. Additionally, the DHS was notified regarding flu outbreaks and minimal food supplies within the facility. About 300 migrant children were thus, after the DHS heard news of these migrant care violations, relocated to a tent detention camp also in El Paso, Texas under the temporary protection of Border Patrol. 

A Historic Heat Wave Rides Over Europe 

A possibly record breaking heat wave is expected to overcome the majority of Europe this week. The wave will likely begin across a band between Poland and Spain that will exhibit 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit above the normal weather, reaching overall temperatures between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit-at least.  Weather analysts are especially concerned that such a wave could be absolutely lethal for the homeless or financially underprivileged households that may not have access to air conditioning or elderly with bodies that face higher susceptibility to heat related illness. This Summer 2019 is expected to surpass the previous heat wave of 2003 that lead to a total of 70,000 fatalities. 

NBA Star Mutombo Helps US Contain Ebola Outbreak 

In an attempt to assist in the containment of an Ebola outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa, US health officials have reached out to NBA defensive player Dikembe Mutombo for help. Philanthropist and Congo-native Mutombo has been consistently creating and uploading videos that persuade the masses of Congo to take precautionary measures towards preventing the spread of Ebola.  The Hall of Fame athlete uses his Congolese roots to build a sense of trust with his target audience in order to counteract decades of distrust between the people of Congo and western advice to inject foreign chemicals into their bodies to counteract the disease. Amidst rebel attacks that have left tens of doctors and researchers dead, the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reposting Mutombos videos on their YouTube channel. 

Manama Workshop Led by Jared Kushner Denounced by Palestinians 

Tuesday marks the beginning of the two day workshop led by US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner in Manama that will consist of different Middle Eastern nation representatives, such as from Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and of course Israel,  and US diplomats discussing the financial and economic aspects of approaching the Palestine-Israel conflict. The yet to occur meeting has already been met with much opposition by the Palestinian masses, as depicted through the influx of protestors in the occupied West Bank territory of Ramala as they protest their condemnation of the discussion that will likely compromise chances Palestinian sovereignty. The event was referred to by Kushner as a “Peace Plan” coordination in an interview with Al Jazeera that will not however align with the Arab Peace Initiative.

Toy Story 4 Hits the Box Office with Success 

The latest Disney Pixar film Toy Story 4 hit the box office on Friday, June 21, and is already the most successful of the four animations. Toy story 4 made a significant $121 million opening weekend, surpassing Toy Story 3 by a mere $11 million and the original Toy Story by $92 million. The supposedly last addition to the series centers around the previously supporting character Bo-Peep and her relationship with the classic main character Woody. Director Josh Cooley, who also happens to be the man behind Inside Out and Up, tweeted on opening night that viewers should “stay after the credits” because “the story doesn’t end until the VERY last frame”.

Takeaways from the 2018-19 NBA Awards 

A series of controversial wins overcame long running fan debates on Monday in the NBA Awards event hosted this year by Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Political comedian, Netflix star and NBA fanatic Hasan Minhaj also made a guest appearance, taking the floor in front of the NBA athletes for a hot couple minutes as he proceeded to poke fun at the not-so-hot moments in their careers. 24 year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo’s crowning with title of MVP is considered by some sports analysts to foreshadow the rise of a new face for the championship, following in the footsteps of Steph Curry, Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Click this link to read more about what the NBA regards as the 6 biggest takeaways from the event.