Recap: December 7 – 13



Smog in Beijing, historic elections in Saudi Arabia, Holtzclaw convicted and Obama signs education bill this week.

Sophie Feinberg, Editor

International Affairs

“Venezuela’s opposition has won an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections in the oil-rich nation, which is mired in economic turmoil and violent crime. Candidates for the centre-right opposition seized a majority in the national assembly, with most of the results in, marking a major political shift in the country, which set out on a leftist path in 1999 under the late president Hugo Chavez and his project to make Venezuela a model of what he called “21st century socialism”.”

“Syria is accusing a U.S.-led coalition of bombing an army camp in the eastern part of the country. Three Syrian soldiers were killed and 13 others were injured in Monday’s bombing. “This hampers efforts to combat terrorism and proves once again that this coalition lacks seriousness and credibility to effectively fight terrorism,” the government in Damascus wrote in a letter to the United Nations.”

“Officials in Beijing declared on Monday that the thick smog blanketing the city was bad enough to require a red alert, the first time they had raised the alarm to its highest level since an emergency air-pollution response system was announced in 2013. Across the city, residents braced for another “airpocalypse” — the term that some English speakers here use for the most toxic bouts of air pollution.”

Kim Jong-un has suggested that North Korea has the capacity to launch a hydrogen bomb, a step up from the less powerful atomic bomb, although international experts are sceptical of the claim. The North Korean leader made the comments on a tour of the Phyongchon Revolutionary Site, which commemorates the achievements of his father Kim Jong-il and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on Thursday, the official KCNA news agency reported.”

Saudi Arabia has elected its first female local councillors in a historic step for a country where women are banned from driving and face routine discrimination. Results from Saturday’s municipal council elections indicated there were about 17 female winners. These included four in Jeddah, one near Mecca – home to Islam’s holiest site – and others in Tabuk, Ahsaa and Qatif. Several more, reported by al-Sabq online newspaper, were expected to be confirmed later.”

Domestic Affairs

“Supreme Court justices appeared divided Wednesday about the future of a program at the University of Texas that takes race into consideration as one factor of admissions. The hearing, which was at times tense and went over the originally allotted one hour time frame, revealed some of the same fissures that bothered the justices when the case was heard for the first time in 2012. The three liberal justices on the bench appeared largely supportive of the plan. The conservatives, led with passionate questions from Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia were at times sharply critical of arguments made by a lawyer for the University.”

“A pair of polls Thursday revealed that about two-thirds of Republican voters support Donald Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from entering the country, putting pressure on other GOP presidential candidates to re-evaluate attacking the idea as “un-American.” Voters overall reject Mr. Trump’s call, which has been disavowed by leaders from around the globe, by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. and by pundits who call Mr. Trump a bigot and his plan an assault on freedom of religion.”

“A jury found former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty Thursday of some of the most serious charges against him, including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and rape. Holtzclaw faced 36 counts. He was found guilty on 18. The former officer cried openly in the courtroom and rocked in his chair as the verdict was being read. Jurors deliberated for more than 40 hours over four days.”

“President Obama on Thursday signed a sweeping rewrite of the controversial No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law. Obama called the proposal “a Christmas miracle” during a signing ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. “This is an early Christmas present. After more than 10 years, members of Congress from both parties have come together to revise our national education law,” Obama said.”

“The Capitol Hill office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was temporarily evacuated Thursday after the arrival of a hate letter containing a foreign substance, the advocacy organization said. The letter that came into contact with three staffers was ultimately determined to be safe, according to a statement released by CAIR.”

About the Contributor
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Sophie Feinberg, Editor

Sophie Feinberg is an IB senior excited to be a part of the hardworking team that is CavsConnect. Though soft spoken, she enjoys putting her words...

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Recap: December 7 – 13