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Cramm for 10/4/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Prez Trump’s expanding his horizons. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Last week, The Washington Post published an article alleging that a conversation between Prez Trump and a foreign leader sparked a whistleblower complaint. In the days since, it’s come out that the call was with Ukraine’s prez, Volodymyr Zelensky. The topic of discussion: Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. And just a week before the call took place, Trump reportedly told his team to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine. Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, Trump said ‘I know I just said it but I’m still not guilty’ and asked China to pretty please investigate the Bidens. In front of a group of reporters. Then declared “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.” In front of a group of reporters. Not a typo. We’ll remind you: right now, the Prez is facing impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to take a magnifying glass to the Bidens. And is now publicly repeating the exact same thing with China. Hi, political chaos. 

 

THE REACTION. 

So far, this marks the alleged fifth time Trump’s attempted to get a foreign country to look into the Bidens. This comes just after the State Dept’s special envoy to Ukraine testified before Congress - and described Trump’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine as a “crazy plan” to get “help with a political campaign.” 

 

SO…?

The situation keeps escalating. TBD on how this affects things. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: The number of people facing vaping-related lung disease keeps rising. Reminder: a few months ago, the CDC announced that multiple people had been hospitalized after vaping. Cue an investigation - an investigation that’s turned up empty. In the months since, hundreds more have been affected by this disease. And yesterday, the CDC revealed that it’s dealing with 1,080 cases and 18 deaths. Still unclear what’s causing these illnesses - but “toxic chemical fumes” could apparently have something to do with it. Meanwhile, at least 5 people were killed recently after a plane crashed in Ukraine. The plane reportedly ran out of fuel right before a planned stopover, which led to the crash. 

 

BIZ: All eyes are on MGM Resorts International. Reminder: back in October 2017, a gunman opened fire on a concert from a nearby hotel room, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. Now, years later, it looks like MGM - which owns the hotel where the gunman carried out the attack - has reached a settlement with the victims of the shooting that’ll pay out up to $800 million. Stay tuned. In other news, the European Union’s top court just ruled that individual countries can force Facebook to trash content worldwide. Meaning if one country bans content...it’ll be removed everywhere. Intro controversy. 

 

POLITICS: Everyone’s talking about Brexit. Quick refresher: back in 2016, the UK shocked everyone and voted to ditch the EU. Something that hasn’t exactly happened yet. Fast forward to now, and the deadline for Brexit is October 31 - as in a few weeks from now. And the UK’s no closer to working out a deal. Now, it looks like Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s giving in and agreeing to ask for a deadline extension - if Parliament still can’t work out a deal in time. Suspense, thick. Speaking of which, a new report says more than a quarter of mammals in the UK are facing extinction - plus one in five plants. Not good. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Threads:” Instagram’s new app that lets you chat with your close friends. Poor Snapchat. 


SAY WHAT?

“Laugh now” - Bansky after one of his paintings (which showed Parliament as chimpanzees) sold for $12.2 million. Laughing all the way to the bank(sy). 

The Cramm: You may or may not have heard of our super awesome Editorial Team member, Kyndall Tenace. She's 18 and she's from Los Angeles, CA. And she's, you know, awesome. After the Global Climate Strike a couple weeks ago, Kyndall wanted to interview multiple young people who participated in walk-outs all over the world. Below, find a preview of the (crazy inspiring) result!

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KT: What inspired you to participate in the Global Climate Strike?

Guy, 21 years old / Strike Location: Cape Town, South Africa 
I am an active environmental as well as animal rights activist and I feel that we are on the precipice of either successful change or irreversible catastrophe, and it’s up to us to decide which way we fall. The world is finely balancing between a world that knows peace, love and harmony with Earth and all beings on it opposed to a world of oppression, climate injustice, inequality and death by the masses. There is no more time to waste. It is time for the masses to come together and stand up to their right to LIFE. Not attending strikes and being complacent indicates that you are taking the side of the oppressor, and in this case solidifying your own destruction and the destruction of those you love. It is up to each and every one of us to take a stand and change the system, as well as inspire others to do so.

Linshan, 23 years old / Strike Location: Hong Lim Park, Singapore
The sheer fact that a lot of these climate protests are being driven by youths my age — or much younger, like Greta — speaks for itself, I think. Our generation feels strongly for the planet we live on, perhaps because we are the ones who will be directly affected in 50-60 years. I can't even imagine what our earth will be like then. Why should we wait until we get to that point of no return before we start to fear the consequences of our actions?  I'm inspired to participate in the Global Climate Strike because it's time that our nation wakes up to the sobering reality of how disastrous climate change is. I wanted to be another voice urging our government to take action, and take action NOW. 
It really didn't help that in the last 2 weeks, Singapore had been affected by such a bad bout of haze that was contributed by our Indonesian neighbour, whose frequent slash-and-burn deforestation practices have led to alarming PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) rates. The air literally gets too toxic for us to even breathe.

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Want more? Check out the full piece here
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