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Cramm for 10/22/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Some big things are happening in world govs. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

ICYMI, back in April, Israel headed to the polls. The race was between the current prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) and Benny Gantz - who’s known as the anti-Netanyahu. Netanyahu took the win...but his political party didn’t snag the majority. Meaning it was up to Netanyahu to get a group of parties together in a coalition - something he wasn’t able to do. Cue election number two

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Netanyahu narrowly won this second election - but still had to put together a coalition. Fast forward to yesterday, and it came out that Netanyahu wasn’t able to do so. Again. Now, it looks like Benny Gantz will get his shot. He’ll have around a month to attempt to create a majority gov. If he can’t, there’s talk of...a third election. Deja vu. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

Israel’s not the only one with elections on its mind. Recently, Canada headed to the polls in a closely-watched election. (It may or may not have had something to do with these recent pictures and videos of current-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface and brownface.) Spoiler: Trudeau came out on top. But his political party didn’t - meaning he’ll have to (you guessed it) form a coalition.

 

SO…?

Both of these events are a very very big deal when it comes to politics. TBD on whether Gantz and Trudeau can form a coalition. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: All eyes are on Lebanon. Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets there to protest the country’s worsening economy. Now, days later, it looks like the gov’s making some changes. Hint: Prime Minister Saad Hariri said ‘okay, okay, we hear you’ and announced that he’ll be cutting gov officials’ salaries, taking a red pen to austerity measures (which include spending cuts and increased taxes), and slapping higher taxes on banks. Plus the gov just passed a 2020 budget, which means billions of dollars could potentially be redirected toward Lebanon’s economy. No word yet on this from protesters. In other news, the Pentagon’s planning ahead. And speaking of which, Syrians aren’t happy with the US. 

 

USA: Everyone’s talking about this settlement. Reminder: over the past few months, thousands of cities, counties, and states have sued big drug bizes over the opioid crisis. So over the weekend, some of the nation’s largest drug distributors - plus a major drugmaker - attempted to settle one of these lawsuits. If they couldn’t, they’d head to Ohio in what would’ve been the first federal trial in the opioid crisis. But just hours before the trial took place, it was revealed that these bizes reached a $260 million settlement. Not a typo. Meanwhile, right now, parts of the Pacific Ocean are dealing with a marine heat wave. Bad news, since this could potentially lead to the death or disease of thousands of marine life. 

 

POLITICS: Facebook’s switching things up. Quick refresher: after the 2016 US presidential election, it was discovered that foreign govs (cough, Russia, cough) used Facebook to spread “politically controversial” stories in an attempt to influence American voters. Since then, Facebook’s gotten a lotttt of flack for how it’s dealt with the spread of fake news and hate on its platforms. So yesterday, the biz said ‘we got you’ and declared that it’s intro’ing new steps to identify state-run media, protect the accounts of political candidates, and wave goodbye to accounts created by foreign govs to meddle with elections. Unclear how effective these new strategies will be. Speaking of which, say hello to this new study on US politics. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Cosmic Crisp:” a new kind of apple debuting at grocery stores. Out of this world.


SAY WHAT?

“C’est moi” - Sen Mitt Romney (R-UT), admitting that he’s behind a secret Twitter account called Pierre Delecto. Oh la la.

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