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Cramm for 10/9/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Ecuador’s gov is going on a trip. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Meet Lenín Moreno. He’s Ecuador’s former vice prez who became prez after the last guy - Rafael Correa - faced corruption allegations, leading him to pack up and move to Brussels in a self-imposed exile. Prez Moreno’s known for inching Ecuador - which was swayed to the left under Correa - closer to the center. For having an approval rating that’s drop drop dropped from 70%...to under 30%. For, last week, announcing that he’d be taking a red pen to fuel subsidies. Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Spoiler alert: pretty much no one was happy about the trashed fuel subsidies. For about a week, thousands have been taking to the streets to protest - protests that’ve turned violent. Demonstrators reportedly ransacked and vandalized public buildings, clashed with police, and threw petrol bombs and stones. At one point, 50 members of the military were held hostage by protesters. So far, nearly 600 protesters have been arrested - with the protests continuing to escalate. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Moreno’s pointing fingers at Correa. He says Correa is using the protests to try to retake control of Ecuador. Then added that the whole thing is basically a coup. In response, Correa declared Moreno was “finished” and called for new elections - but said he has nothing to do with the protests. Now, it looks like Ecuador’s declaring a state of emergency…and moving its entire gov from the capital to Guayaquil. 

 

SO…?

As of now, there’s no end in sight. TBD on what moving the gov means for Ecuador. 


THE ACTION

USA: Recently, PG&E said ‘not this time, fire’ and announced that they’ll be cutting power across parts of Northern California. Yes, really. Reminder: back in 2018, California faced the Camp Fire - the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire ever. And after a state investigation, it was discovered that a PG&E power line caused the fire after hitting a tree. Now, it looks like the biz is cutting power to about 800,000 people for as long as a week in order to protect against wildfires. Speaking of which, saltwater from rising oceans is apparently killing forests - even ones that aren’t all that close to the beach. Not good. 

 

POLITICS: The Trump team is feeling rebellious. Yesterday, the State Dept said ‘not so fast’ and blocked the testimony of Gordon Sondland - the US ambassador to the European Union and a key player in the House’s impeachment inquiry into Prez Trump. Then, hours later, sent a letter to House Dems saying they won’t go along with the inquiry. Because, unfairness. The letter also said the inquiry was an effort to mess with the 2020 presidential election and give Dems an advantage. Plot twist. In other news, a White House official who listened in on Prez Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s prez - Volodymyr Zelensky - reportedly told the whistleblower that it was “crazy” and “frightening.” And was apparently “visibly shaken.” 

 

WORLD: The US is taking a stand. Reminder: last year, it was discovered that China’s been holding over one million Uighur Muslims (a predominantly-Muslim ethnic group) in what have been largely seen as internment camps - reportedly as part of a campaign to crack down on terrorism. Cue outrage. Now, it looks like the US is slapping visa bans on any Chinese officials who have ties to these camps. Meanwhile, Turkey has big plans. Reminder: for years, the US fought alongside the Kurds (a minority group) in an effort to defeat ISIS. Problem, since Turkey sees the Kurds as terrorists - and plans to attack them once the US pulls out of Syria. An attack that will apparently be happening “shortly.” Stay tuned. 


WHAT TO KNOW

21:” the number of world championships Simone Biles has won. It’s a new record. Gymtastic. 


SAY WHAT?

“A total bummer” - the reaction to Gwen Stefani ditching ‘The Voice.’ The Sweet Escape. 

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