Week in Review- April 18, 2018

Before former FBI director James Comey’s interview with ABC News aired on April 15, President Trump tweeted about his experience with Comey. Trump referred to Comey as a liar, a “slippery” man and a “slimeball” and named him the “Worst FBI Director in history.” During Trump’s morning tweets, he referred to an incident in 2016 that has been brought back into the public’s attention due to an NBC News interview. Trump tweeted about a conversation between former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton and concluded that Comey had thrown Lynch “under the bus.” After Trump’s round of tweets, Comey tweeted about the purpose of his book “A Higher Loyalty,” expected to be released on April 17. Comey said his book was about “ethical leadership” and lessons he learned from his own experience. In his book, Comey talks about his time at the White House and includes descriptions of Trump, making comments about his “orange” appearance and how he is “morally unfit.”

In Philadelphia, two African-American men were arrested on April 12 while waiting for their business partner inside a Starbucks. The two men were escorted to a police station where they were held until April 13. One of the men asked to use the restroom but was rejected because they did not make a purchase. The manager asked them to leave but they refused. Starbucks tweeted on April 14 apologizing and ensuring the reevaluation of their company policies. Protesters gathered in support of the men outside of the Philadelphia store. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’ CEO, apologized on April 16 and is planning to meet with the two men in person. He is also pushing to instill an unconscious bias training. In Los Angeles on April 16, another African-American man was denied to use the bathroom because he had not made a purchase. He was dismissed by a manager right after a white man who also had not made a purchase was given the bathroom code.

Teachers throughout Kentucky protested on April 13 to urge their government representatives to increase school funding, raise teacher salaries and change the state’s retirement pension system. Kentucky joined other Republican dominated legislature states in the battle against budget cuts to the education system. Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, was not in support of the teachers’ efforts. Bevin guaranteed that in the teachers’ absences, thousands of children were exposed to sexual assault or drugs. There was no evidence to back up Bevin’s claims or any explanation for why he found teachers to be at fault for actions that happen outside of the classroom. Brent McKim, the Jefferson County Teachers Association President, responded to Bevin’s statement saying that teachers notified parents about the upcoming closure and that the parents supported the teachers’ actions. McKim agreed with Bevin in that this one day did impact students but the continued cutting of school funds would affect students every day.

President Donald Trump ordered a precision strike on April 13 in response to the chemical attack Syria launched on its civilians the week before. The strike was coordinated with Britain and France. More than 100 missiles targeted chemical weapon facilities in Damascus to slow the creation, distribution and use of chemical weapons in Syria. American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley said the United States is prepared to strike Syria again if the country administers another chemical attack. According to Jim Mattis the U.S. Defense Secretary, the U.S. government is certain chlorine was used in the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Although chlorine was not explicitly named in the 2013 agreement between Russia and the U.S. banning Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Syria still violated the Chemical Weapons Convention which declares that all chemicals are prohibited to be used as a weapon. Russia and Iran have commented on the strike but have not retaliated.

Over 200 girls from Chibok, Nigeria were abducted from their school four years ago on April 14. The girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, a military group that has and continues to abduct and kill Nigerian people. Most abductions have been of children in schools. The kidnapping of the Chibok girls began the Bring Back Our Girls movement, where people have banded together to march, protest and rally for the release of all who are being held captive by Haram. Over 100 Chibok women who have been released over the four-year span have been encouraged to focus on the positives in their lives by moving forward and forgetting their past. Although they have been freed, over 100 girls just from the Chibok kidnapping are still missing. The Nigerian government is still negotiating with Boko Haram to safely bring back students from Chibok and other Nigerian people who are being held by the group.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, two Irish rugby players, had their player contracts cancelled on April 14. The two players were involved in a rape and sexual assault case that occurred in 2016. The trial carried on for nine weeks and the two men were found not guilty. Many people following the case were shocked at the result and found fault in the culture surrounding elite sports and sexual harassment. After the trial, Jackson’s lawyer, Joe McVeigh, remarked about the police taking the case and the woman who made the claims. Jackson also responded still claiming the interactions were consensual but apologized for the hurt he caused the woman. Luke Rossiter, a semi professional soccer player on Drogheda United, agreed stating that the alleged victim should be “locked up.” Facing criticism, he tried to rectify his comment by apologizing and pledging to donate to the rape crisis center.

Hunter may be reached at
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