Last Week Today: Current Events and Commentary with Sofia

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(Left) Photo courtesy of: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, (Top right) Photo courtesy of: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East/ Wikimedia Commons, (Bottom right) Photo courtesy of: M. Kornmesser/ Wikimedia Commons
During the week of Sept. 9, John Bolton became the former National Security Advisor, Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, and water was found on Planet K2-18b, among other events.

The week of Sept. 9 through 13 was a busy week. Ranging from silly to tragic, many events occurred. Here’s a summary of all that happened: 

 

Brexit Update: France threatened to veto any further extensions on Brexit negotiations, saying they were concerned with the lack of progress. Scotland’s highest civil court ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to dissolve Parliament for five weeks was unlawful. John Bercow, speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons and also known for his shouts for “Order!”, resigned after serving for a decade. All of this basically means that Brexit is getting as crazy as Boris Johnson’s hair. 

Russian Elections: Local elections were held in Russia on Sunday, Sept. 8. Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, lost several seats in the Moscow City Duma – a big victory for the opposition. Most opposition candidates were kept off the local ballots which prompted protests. But not to worry, Vladimir Putin’s approval rating is still nice and high, around 60 percent. This is probably because of his impressive collection of him shirtless riding various animals. 

A Republican Presidential Candidate: Joe Walsh, a 2020 Republican presidential candidate and person who no one has ever heard of, is challenging Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. Unfortunately for him, several states have canceled their Republican primaries in favor of President Donald Trump. Walsh responded by saying, “The Republican party is a cult. They no longer stand for ideas. The Republican party right now is all about washing their leader’s feet every day.” 

Yemen/Saudi Arabia/Iran: Houthis, a rebel group in Yemen, claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two of Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries. The attacks caused widespread fires and hurt more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports. The U.S., however, blamed Iran for the attacks which led Iran to casually remind the U.S. that its military bases are within range of Iran’s missiles. Not a tense situation at all, no worry of war here. 

‘Blue Girl’ sets herself on fire: Sahar Khodayari, a 29-year-old Iranian woman who set herself on fire in front of a Tehran courthouse on Sept. 2, died Monday 9 after suffering burns across 90 percent of her body. In Iran, women are not allowed to enter stadiums. Khodayari was being tried for dressing up as a man to watch her favorite soccer team, Esteghlal. She had just found out she could be put in prison for six months when she doused herself with gasoline and set herself on fire. Online tributes are calling her #BlueGirl because of the blue wig she would wear. 

John Bolton is fired: John Bolton’s new title is now former National Security Advisor due to President Donald Trump firing him or due to Bolton resigning, it depends on who you ask – Bolton or Trump. 

Hong Kong Update: Protests in Hong Kong moved into their fourteenth consecutive week. Thousands of people marched to the U.S. Consulate and submitted a letter asking for greater action to help the protesters. Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong, released a statement warning the U.S. and any other country against interfering, saying it would be “totally unacceptable.” 

Hurricane Dorian and Sharpie-gate: Hurricane Dorian, the first major hurricane this season, has completely battered the Bahamas. At least seven people have been killed and many more are still missing as rescuers pull survivors from floodwaters. President Trump tweeted out which states would be hit as the storm moved up the U.S. coast and included Alabama, which was incorrect. The National Weather Service quickly corrected him, but in a move to prove he was right, it appears the president altered a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) map WITH A SHARPIE to include Alabama in the predicted states that would be affected. Hence Sharpie-gate was born. While it is silly and also a little sad, and several investigations have been launched; Sharpie-gate really serves to distract from far more important events. 

Water detected on Planet K2-18b: For the first time water was found in the atmosphere of planet K2-18b. K2-18b, which is 111 light-years (about 650 million million miles), orbits within the habitable zone of a very distant star. Which means…aliens!  

The Third Democratic Debate: On Thursday, Sept. 13 the third Democratic debate took place. This was the first debate that took place in only one night, with 10 candidates: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Julián Castro. Warren, Sanders, and Biden are still top three but after the debate both Biden and Sanders dropped in support whereas Warren rose. If you’re looking for a breakdown of these candidates here’s my take – Biden and Sanders are too old. I like Warren: she’s knowledgeable, prepared, and energetic. Harris is cool but she is polling in the single digits which means she does not have a chance, like the rest of the candidates.