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Cramm for 1/22/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Say hello to Lebanon’s new gov. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

A few months ago, Lebanon faced mass protests over decades of political corruption and poor gov management that became known as the “October Revolution.” Only the protests didn’t end. Even after the country’s prime minister stepped down, the demonstrations - and violence - continued. And over the weekend, the violence escalated. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

More than 460 people were injured during protests in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut. Protesters did things like throw stones, attempt to invade the parliament building, and vandalize buildings - while law enforcement responded with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets. So the country took this as a wake-up call...and finally agreed on a new gov. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

Hassan Diab’s been tapped as prime minister. He’s a 60 year old professor of computer engineering - plus a former education minister. Joining him in his cabinet are 2o ministers, including six women and a former ambassador to the Arab League. Diab says the new gov will “strive to meet” the demands of the protesters and will focus on building an “independent judiciary,” recovering “embezzled funds,” and fighting against “illegal gains.” 

 

SO…?

After months of unrest and uncertainty (not to mention a growing economic crisis), it looks like Lebanon finally has a new gov. TBD on whether protesters will be satisfied. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: Recently, at least 36 civilians were killed during a terrorist attack on a village in Sanmatenga province in Burkina Faso. The gov has declared two days of mourning. No word yet on who’s responsible for the attack. In other news, the Trump team’s reportedly planning on expanding its travel ban list to include seven new nations. Think: Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan. Not yet clear on the details on this travel ban, but expect this to worsen ties between the US and these seven countries. Speaking of which, Prez Trump is threatening to slap high tariffs on imports of cars from the European Union if the group doesn’t nod its head to a trade deal. Tension, higher than those tariffs. 

 

HEALTH: The Wuhan coronavirus is spreading. We’ll remind you: this virus (which has pneumonia-like symptoms and can be spread between humans) originated in Wuhan, China, and has quickly spread to major Chinese cities and a slew of other countries. And yesterday, the first case of the coronavirus appeared in the US after a man returned from Wuhan. This comes as the death toll has risen to 9 people. Meanwhile, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by residents of Flint, Michigan. The lawsuit points fingers at city officials for the water crisis, and reportedly won’t be blocked by the Supreme Court. Stay tuned. And in other news, human body temps are apparently cooling down

 

PEOPLE: Everyone’s talking about Jeff Bezos. Pay attention: a couple years ago, Jamal Khashoggi - a Saudi journalist who criticized Saudi leadership - went missing after entering a Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Later, it came out he’d been assassinated, with the trail allegedly pointing to the Saudi Crown Prince. This whole story was reported on by the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos (yes, the Amazon guy). Months later, details of Bezos’ affair were leaked to the public. Now, digital forensics experts are putting the blame on Saudi Arabia - and saying Bezos’ phone was hacked personally by the Saudi Crown Prince. Because, retaliation. Meanwhile, Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were just elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.


WHAT TO KNOW

Candy:” the only food allowed in the chamber during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. The gov is run by 80 year old children. 


SAY WHAT?

“Don't be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight” - the National Weather Service. Noted. 

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