The Week in Review


Courtesy of Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Hong Kong Polytechnic University protestors resting on the floor of a parking garage

State of Emergency Declared over Washington Portion of I-5

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency over roughly one million dollars worth of damages on Interstate Five. The damages are on an important and highly travelled portion of the highway in Chehalis. This comes a few weeks after Initiative 976 was not passed by the Washington state senate, which was estimated to remove millions of dollars from the Washington Department of Transportation (WDOT). An oversized truck carrying a large load was crossing on an overpass and was said to have caused the damages. The main costs of the repairs are due to emergency contractors who had to be called in to do repairs on the bridge. WDOT is rerouting people away from the damages and repairs are forthcoming.

Hong Kong Police and Protesters in Standoff

Large fires broke out at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University after protesters threw firebombs at entrances into the school. This comes after months of protests in the city over an increase of Chinese control over the autonomous region, as Hong Kong approaches the 2047 expiration year of its autonomy deal with China. The firebombs were set off by demonstrators after the police tried to overtake the school. The protestors had been occupying the school for 118 days. There have been clashes between police and protesters for days as protesters used bows and arrows. The police have said in a statement that they will start to use live round ammunition if protesters continue to use these types of weapons. These protests have disrupted daily life in the city since they started, with the city hitting its first recession in more than a decade.

Democrats Respond to Obama’s Warnings About 2020 Election

Former President Barack Obama made a rare public announcement about the state of the democratic debates and 2020 presidential election. In a speech at a fundraiser in Washington, Obama said that Democratic candidates should make sure their plans are “rooted in reality.” Obama is considered by many to be a moderate Democrat, especially compared to candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and has yet to back a candidate for the primaries. This has been commented on by many of the democratic front runners including Sanders, who argued that radical change was not tearing down the system but rather working towards justice. Other candidates agreed with the former presidents remarks, such as Joe Biden, saying that it was important to come to a compromise to unify the country. With the primaries fast approaching, Biden is ahead in the polls followed closely by Sanders and Warren.

Protests in Chile Continue

This week the Chilean government has bent to protesters’ demands of change after nearly a month of civil action. In recent weeks protests over a bill that would increase transportation fairs in the city have rocked the capital city of Santiago. The protests then evolved into anti-government protests, calling for social and political change in the Constitution which was created in the 1960s. A public vote has been scheduled for April about adopting changes to the constitution, which will include public health care reform and state funded education. This decision comes after months of violence and over 150 cases of human rights abuse reported by the National Human Rights Institue, including violence and murder of protestors.

Israel Investigates Gaza Strip Deaths

Eight civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike against alleged Palastinian militants from the Palastinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip. Five of the eight killed in the attack were children. The attack was meant to target the home of Rasmi Abu Malhaus, the leader of the PIJ. The Israeli military initially claimed he was among those killed, but has since retracted this claim. This attack comes as part of a broader series of attacks that were exchanged over a two day period where there have been 34 Palastianian deaths, about 25 of which are confirmed militants. The Israeli government has confirmed that it will launch an independent investigation into the events to review the identities of the victims.

Trump Impeachment Inquiry Hearings Televise Testimonies

Impeachment Hearings of President Donald Trump were made official this week as Democrats held televised testimonies of many officials involved in the Ukraine scandal. After closed door National Security Committee questionings, the House voted last week to make the hearings public in hopes of passing articles of impeachment through the house and to the Senate. In a near party line vote, the house passed a resolution to make the hearings public, with Republicans opposing the resolution. Over the next coming days witnesses will continue to testify leading up to the House voting on the matter.

Logan may be reached at [email protected]