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Cramm for 1/24/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The United Nations is coming after Myanmar. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Meet the Rohingya. They’re a mostly-Muslim minority group from Myanmar who have been labelled the world’s most persecuted minority. See: Myanmar doesn’t recognize the Rohingya as legal citizens and even excluded them from the 2014 census. And in 2017, the situation intensified after violence between Rohingya Arsa militants and law enforcement led to death. In response, Myanmar’s military burned hundreds of Rohingya villages and attacked, raped, abused, tortured, and killed thousands of people - including hundreds of children. At least 740,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh, where they’ve been ever since. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

The rest of world did not react well to this. Case in point: Myanmar’s been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. And yesterday, the United Nations’s top court ordered the country to prevent acts of genocide against the Rohingya. This is essentially a formal warning to Myanmar while the UN opens a larger investigation - meaning the country must keep evidence that could be used in the case. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Myanmar is shaking its head to the accusations of genocide - and says human rights violations don’t necessarily equate to genocidal acts. All of this comes as the UN is warning about the safety of the half a million Rohingya still living in Myanmar.

 

SO…?

It’s not yet clear whether Myanmar will cooperate. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

POLITICS: Yesterday was the second day of the Senate impeachment trial. We’ll sum it up: Dems got the floor again. And reminded everyone why they were there in the first place by rehashing Prez Trump’s phone conversation with Ukraine’s prez, Volodymyr Zelensky, and detailing how he withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine in the days surrounding the call. Stay tuned. In other news, the Trump team is cutting back on federal protections for streams and wetlands. Meaning farmers, landowners, and developers will now be able to dump chemicals and pesticides into more bodies of water. And speaking of changes, the State Dept is intro’ing a rule that lets them deny visas to pregnant women. Because, birth tourism. 

 

WORLD: The situation with the Wuhan coronavirus keeps getting worse. At least 26 people have died so far from the virus, with 830 confirmed cases. And recently, China extended its travel restrictions to include 12 cities near Wuhan (where the virus originated). We’ll repeat: 35 million people - nearly the population of California - are now under travel limits. This comes as a second person in the US may be infected. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in Iraq to protest the US’s military presence there. Quick refresher: in the aftermath of Qasem Soleimani’s killing, Iraq voted to kick all US troops out of the country - which still hasn’t happened. Tension, high. 

 

MONEY: Back in 2016, it came out that Wells Fargo employees were secretly creating millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts - letting the biz collect extra fees and make more money. Fast forward to yesterday, and it looks like Wells Fargo’s ex-chief exec will be forced to cough up $17.5 million over the scandal. Big deal, since biz leaders rarely pay the price for company scandals. In other news, New York’s on track to ban cashless stores and restaurants. The gov says stores that don’t accept cash make it harder for homeless people, undocumented immigrants, and senior citizens. And speaking of which, from now on, Goldman Sachs won’t take a biz public if it doesn’t have at least one woman (or diverse person) on the board. 


WHAT TO KNOW

4:” how many new species of walking sharks were just discovered. Jaw(s), dropped. 


SAY WHAT?

“Tacos, anyone? Iguanas are falling from trees, and people are selling the meat online” - a new development in the iguana story. That took a dark turn. 

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