Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Week in Review- February 28th

Billy Graham dies at 99—

Billy Graham, an evangelical Christian minister, passed away at the age of 99 on Feb. 21. Nicknamed “America’s Pastor,” Graham met with every president since Harry Truman and was a close and trusted adviser to many of them. Graham had especially strong relationships with Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Graham was criticized heavily for anti-Semitic remarks made in a discussion with President Nixon. Within the United States, his influence and outreach went beyond the White House. He advocated for civil rights and stood by Martin Luther King Jr. Beyond his political influence, Graham led religious campaigns from 1947 until 2005 called the “Billy Graham Crusades.” Graham also made an impact internationally. He met with Queen Elizabeth II in 1955 and was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2001. In 1992, he was one of the first foreign religious figures to visit North Korea and meet with President Kim Il Sung.

North Korea Open to Talks with United States—

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is advocating for North Korea and the U.S. to have open discussions. Jae-in said that as North and South Korean relations develop, in light of the unifying Winter Olympic Games, North Korea and U.S. relations should develop simultaneously. However, there aren’t any direct reports from North Korean leaders regarding willingness for discussions with the U.S. The U.S. government has reiterated that improved relations will not occur as long as North Korea possesses nuclear weapons. In a statement on Feb. 25, the White House said that if North Korea is moving towards denuclearization, the U.S. will be receptive to open discussions. The White House claimed that in the meantime, the U.S. and other countries maintain that North Korea’s nuclear programs are alienating them from the rest of the world. e White House plans to soon release its most aggressive economic sanctions on North Korea yet, in an effort to further denuclearize the nation.

Parkland Teenagers Organize and Rally—

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine’s Day, the discussion throughout the country about gun control has been ignited. At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 21-24, President Trump proposed that “People who are adept with weaponry and with guns” should be armed within schools through concealed carry permits. He rejected the claim that he wants all teachers to be armed, emphasizing he only wanted those he classified as “gun adept people.” He suggested strengthening background checks and preventing people with mental health problems from obtaining guns. Meanwhile, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have organized a movement called “March For Our Lives” to advocate for gun control. e students have held rallies, created a website, met with the president and will be holding a march in Washington D.C. on March 24 of this year. Organizers of the Women’s March are also planning a student walkout across the nation.

Syria Ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta Violated—

On Feb. 24, the United Nations Security Council made the unanimous decision to enact a 30-day cease fire on Syria. Cease fire was intended to give space for humanitarian aid to reach the devastated area, as well as multiple other areas of Syria, and tend to the wounded and evacuate as many civilians as possible. Russia, which is Syria’s main ally, delayed and blocked the cease fire vote for three days by arguing for amendments to the proposal. Even in this temporary moment of peace, an activist informed Al Jazeera News Tuesday that an attack was made 30 minutes following the cease fire, which had originally started at 7 a.m. The week has been incredibly tough on Eastern Ghouta, a small suburb of Damascus. The Syrian government has been heavily bombing this suburb because it is a rebel-controlled area. However, more than 500 civilians have been killed in the past week due to this increased intensity of bombing.

GOP Memo Faces Democratic Rebuttal—

On Feb. 2, the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) released a four-page memo alleging that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice illegally obtained the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant used to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. Known as the “Nunes Memo” because of the HPSCI’s chairman Devin Nunes, the memo has been used in President Trump’s argument that the FBI is biased against him. On Feb. 24, weeks after the release of the Nunes Memo, Democrats released their 10 page rebuttal memo. The Democrats memo claims that the DOJ provided sufficient evidence when applying for the FISA warrant. Many specific rebuttals to the Nunes memo were included to defend the FBI’s actions and refute the claim that they abused their power during the Russia investigations. The Democratic memo accuses Republicans of framing information selectively to misrepresent the FBI’s work.

Rick Gates Pleads Guilty—

Rick Gates, former deputy chairman of the Trump campaign and business partner of Paul Manafort, is facing between four to six years in prison, according to U.S. sentencing guidelines. He has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, which will be taken into consideration for his sentencing. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leading the investigation into Manafort and Gates to search for alleged corruption and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On Feb. 23, Rick Gates plead guilty to two charges. The first was conspiracy against the United States for obstruction of both the Justice Department and the Treasury. The second was for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about a meeting in March of 2013 which Manafort attended. In this meeting, Gates previously claimed there was no discussion about Ukraine.

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