An explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert left 19 people dead and approximately 50 people injured. The alleged suicide attack happened outside the Manchester Arena in England. Authorities are treating the attack as terrorism. The arena is one of the largest venues, holding up to 21,000 people. The singer was not injured.
China wants to resurrect the Silk Road
1. China has big plans for the Silk Road. Yes, that Silk Road you learned about in your world history class. China hopes to recreate Marco Polo’s trade route to reconnect Asia and Europe for trading purposes. President Xi Jinping is going to trade in the camels and caravans for a network of $1.4 trillion modern trading routes that includes roads, a high-speed rail, airports, and pipelines. Jinping hosted the “Belt and Road,” a two-day summit with 28 heads of state.
2. The new Silk Road would involve 60 countries and shift the world’s economic structure. The trade route would cut through countries with 70 percent of the World’s population, 75 percent of energy reserves and 55 percent of global economic output. The economic shift would also impact the geopolitics of the world, shifting the economic power to Eurasia and possibly helping to stabilize Some Middle Eastern countries.
3. So, is the new Silk Road just ambition or the future of world economics?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey
1. FBI Director James Comey was fired from his position by President Donald Trump. The FBI director position is independent, non-partisan and supposed to be politically isolated. Any investigations launched by the department and run by the director are unbiased and fair. This is the second time in American history that an FBI director was fired. Trump said he was fired because of how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server.
2. Comey was leading the investigation into Russia's involvement with the Trump presidential campaign and his White House staff. He reportedly asked for more resources in the investigation just days before he was fired from his position. Comey apparently learned the news from TV reports. Republicans are mostly supporting Trump's decision to fire Comey, but Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said the firing could lead to impeachment proceedings.
3. So, did Trump go too far in firing Comey?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
ESPN whittled down it’s staff by laying off about 100 employees, including familiar faces like Ed Werder, Danny Kanell, Len Elmore, Jayson Stark and Trent Dilfer. Empolyees got phone calls Wednesday morning informing them thye were let go. ESPN is focusing on increasing attention on SportsCenter TV and digital-efforts.ESPN will also be moving its ESPNU studio operation from Charlotte to Bristol.
A dispute over whether the US government deported an undocumented immigrant with protected status reignited Wednesday after details about the case were released by the Department of Homeland Security. Lawyers for the man said their client was apprehended by Border Patrol and deported to Mexico on February 18. The Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday that that had never happened. Lawyers for the deported man are also arguing in a lawsuit that he was deported despite having protected legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This was a program enacted by executive order under President Obama. Trump has not dismantled it yet, but this action calls to question his support of the program.
Turkey referendum gives sweeping powers to president
1. Turkey's citizens voted in a national referendum to grant their president sweeping powers that could bring an end to democracy in the country. Voters cast ballots on an 18-article constitutional reform package that would change Turkey's parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency. Under the new constitution, the position of prime minister would disappear, to be replaced by several vice presidents. The Turkish president would become the head executive and the head of state. And, most notably, the president alone will be able to declare a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
2. The referendum passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. Turkey's current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party have argued that the new constitution streamlines decision-making and avoids unwieldy parliamentary coalitions. They have argued that the current parliamentary system has been holding Turkey back. Citizens who voted in favor of the changes say they believe Turkey's future would be safer and more prosperous with President Erdogan and his new powers.
3. So, is the referendum granting too much power to Turkey's president?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
The United States dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb, known as the "mother of all bombs," on ISIS positions in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has described it as a tactical move. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb was dropped Thursday night on a network of fortified underground tunnels that ISIS had been using to stage attacks on government forces. The strike killed 36 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials said. The bomb is GPS-guided and has the power to destroy an area equivalent to nine city blocks. The blast destroyed three underground tunnels as well as weapons and ammunition but no civilians were hurt, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.
A teacher and a student are dead after a husband fatally shot his estranged wife in her classroom at San Bernardino, California's North Park Elementary School on Monday. Another student was injured in the shooting and appears to be in stable condition. The shooter, 53-year-old Cedric Anderson, opened fire in a special needs classroom before killing himself. An eight-year-old boy and the teacher 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith died. There were 15 students between first-and-fourth-grade and two teacher aides in the room at the time of the shooting.
President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria in response to Syrian President Basha Assad's use of a deadly chemical agent against his own people. The target of the airstrike was a Syrian air base. Trump announced the airstrike Thursday night from Mar-a-Lago. He said the strike was intended to deter future use of poison gas. "It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," Trump said. Some experts have expressed concern that the airstrike could exacerbate tensions in the region. Russia currently has ground troops in the area working with the Syrian regime to fight against the rebel factions. Russian President Vladimir Putin could take this action by the United States as an offense to his government's efforts.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is starting another company called Neuralink, which will specialize in developing implantable brain chips. Musk is the brain behind the all-electric car Tesla and the private space exploration company SpaceX. Neuralink will work on implanting tiny electrodes to treat brain disorders like epilepsy and depression. Rudimentary electrodes are already being used to treat Parkinson's disease. But Musk envisions these implants one day being used in healthy people's brains to combat what he sees as the potentially dangerous rise of artificial intelligence.
By George, they really did it. The Federal Reserve raised the interest rates to range between 0.75 percent and 1 percent. This is the third time in 15 months the rate has increased, signaling an end to the nine-year stimulus project. Spending and hiring numbers are up. The market keeps surging, showing investors are confident. The Fed is expected to raise rates again this summer. Better pay of your credit card debt.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday that two Russian intelligence agents and two other people were indicted on charges stemming from the hacking of at least half a billion Yahoo accounts. The defendants were able to gain information about "millions of subscribers" at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers late last year, according to the Justice Department. The two Russian Federal Security Service agents Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin allegedly paid co-conspirators to access email accounts.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has hit a 44-year low. Claims for state unemployment benefits have dropped by 19,000. Only 223,000 people filed for benefits. This is the lowest this number has been since March 1973, according to the Labor Department. This is the 104th straight week where claims were below 300,000. The decreased number of Americans filing for benefits indicates a healthy labor market. This stronger labor market combined with rising inflation could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon.
It might feel like spring for part of the United States. But the clash of warm fronts and cold fronts is creating bad weather for the Midwest and Southeast. A string of tornados went through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and southeastern Ohio Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Three people have died in Tuesday’s storms. The National Weather Service received more than 20 reports of tornadoes or possible twisters on Tuesday. Several million people are at risk go severe weather damage.
Mardi Gras got serious after a drunk driver drove into a parade crowd, injuring 28 people. According to New Orleans police, 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto had three times the legal alcohol limit. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence, one count of reckless operation and one count of hit-and-run driving. The youngest person to be injured is 3-years-old. Rizzuto's bail is set at $125,000.
J.C. Penny announced that it will close anywhere from 130 to 140 stores and two distribution centers over the next two months. The company is aiming to improve profitability in light of online shopping. The closures represent 13 to 14 percent of J.C. Penny's current store count, which is also less than 5 percent of total annual sales. The company said it would initiate a voluntary early retirement program for 6,000 eligible employees. J.C. Penny is looking for ways to increase sales while improving its e-commerce.
Thousands of businesses slowed down on A Day Without Immigrants, a protest in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Several restaurants in the Pentagon, including Sbarros, Taco Bell, and Qdoba, closed their locations. Rick Bayless and Jose Andres closed their respective restaurants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.7 percent of the workforce are foreign-born people working in the United States. An estimated 11.1 million undocumented immigrants lived in the United States in 2014. Forty percent of Forbes 500 companies were started by immigrants and 47 percent of the workforce expansion from 2004-2014 was due to immigrants.
Trump's national security adviser resigns
1. National security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned from his position in the Trump administration after Flynn offered potentially-illegal assurances to the Russian ambassador and gave false accounts of that conversation to White House officials. Russian lawmakers called Flynn's resignation the result of American paranoia toward Moscow and a campaign by Trump's opponents to damage relations between Russia and the United States.
2. However, House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz said his committee has no plans to investigate the conversations or how Flynn briefed White House officials about them. According to Chaffetz, further investigation falls to the House Intelligence Committee instead. But Intelligence Committee Chair David Nunes said his committee won't investigate either, citing executive privilege. This is a privilege that is usually claimed by the president as justification for withholding information that may be of public interest.
3. So should Congress investigate the circumstances leading to Flynn's resignation?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
About 188,000 residents in and near Oroville, California were forced to evacuate after a hole in an emergency spillway in the Oroville Dam threatened to flood the area. Highways were clogged leading out of the area Sunday night through early Monday. By early Monday, the water level in the man-made Lake Oroville had dropped to a point where water was no longer overflowing. Water flows over the emergency spillway at 901 feet. The level reached its peak at 902 feet early Sunday morning and dropped Monday to 898 feet. Northern California received 228 percent more than its normal rainfall for this time of year. The area's average rainfall of 50 inches per year has been broken with 68 inches just in the first month and a half of 2017.
The Northeast is expecting around 12 inches of snowfall. Many parts of the Northeast experienced unusually warm weather Wednesday, but temperatures are expected to drop quickly by Thursday morning. A snowstorm is expected to hit areas from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. Some cities are expected to receive as much as 2 inches of snow per hour throughout the day. The snow isn't expected to stick at first, but as more and more of it falls, commuters can expect to face the snowfall during their morning drive Thursday morning.
Michael Kors took a dive in the stock market Tuesday. Shares fell 6.9 percent in the third quarter and on Tuesday, that number reached 7.7 percent. The apparel and accessories lifestyle brand raked in just $1.35 billion in the most shopping oriented quarter. Current-quarter revenue is expected fall in the $1.04 billion to $1.06 billion range. Michael Kors isn’t the only retail company experiencing a drop in revenue. Ralph Lauren’s stock value has dropped more than 20 percent in the last six months. Macy might be sold to the Hudson Bay Company after a 20 percent decrease in stock value. Despite a brand overhaul, Abercrombie and Fitch’s third quarter net sales fell to $358.3 million.
More than 100,000 visas revoked due to immigration ban
1. More than 100,000 visas, according to a Justice Department lawyer, have been revoked due to the implementation of President Donald Trump's immigration ban on seven majority-Muslim countries. This figure was later lowered to 60,000 by a State Department official. Visas are temporary permits to enter the country. No legal permanent residents, or green card holders, have been denied entry. Trump and his administration have argued that the immigration ban is to prevent terrorists from being let into the country. Also, the ban is temporary and is planned to only last 90 days while the administration reviews the vetting process.
2. However, opponents of the immigration ban argue that the nationalities being blocked from entry have no recent connection to terrorism in the United States. Visas have been revoked for people already in the United States, with no notice to the visa holder. Additionally, many people with long-term visas like a work visa or a student visa have likely already been living in the country for several years. Others have also said the implementation of the immigration ban has been messy. Some have even labeled the process as "chaos."
3. So, do you think Trump's immigration ban is effective?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
French soldiers shot a man who was wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu akbar" as he attacked them in Paris Friday. The attacker was seriously wounded and has been hospitalised. The incident took place at the Carrousel du Louvre, which is an underground shopping center that connects to the famous Louvre museum. A police union official said the attacker was carrying two backpacks and two machetes and attacked a soldier when he was told he couldn't bring his bags into the shopping center. French President François Hollande said there is "no doubt" that the attack was of a "terrorist nature."