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This Week In World News

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Wyatt Zwik

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This Week In World News

In the United States, one of the biggest ongoing issues is the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The nominee has been marred with three accusations of sexual misconduct, ranging from flashing his genitalia to attempted sexual assault. The first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is set to testify before Congress today to recount her experience with Kavanaugh, who will also be testifying on the events. The two other accusers have not made any plans to testify before Congress.

Some believe the accusations against him are credible due to evidence of Ford mentioning the incident before, while some doubt the validity of the claims based on how long ago it occurred. Most Democrats have taken a strong stance against Kavanaugh due to the allegations, mainly due to President Donald Trump’s own accusations of sexual misconduct. However, it’s likely Kavanaugh’s will be confirmed by the Republican majority due to the upcoming November mid-term elections and the possibility of a “blue wave” election.

“The allegations against him are pretty serious, and I feel like if it was any other time, with any other president, he would immediately be disqualified and withdraw his nomination,” senior Hana Frisch said. “I think because of the current of political polarization that has occurred, the Republicans just want to stick with who they picked and see all the problems they have with him, and try to use it their advantage.”

History teacher Joseph Meyer believes the Kavanaugh hearing also draws many parallels to the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court in 1991, in which attorney Anita Hill accused Thomas of inappropriate sexual harassment when they worked together in the US Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“There are definite parallels. With Anita Hill, it was sexual harassment, and she actually worked for Clarence Thomas,” Meyer said. “The difference here is that it was so long ago in the current case, while Anita Hill was more pressing. The big similarity is the opposition to Anita Hill and not taking her claims seriously, and I think you’re seeing that somewhat with the Republicans who are trying to avoid it, but the president isn’t helping with his tweets. There are definite similarities about women’s role in society and how far they will advance.”

President Donald Trump eschewed decades of American foreign policy goals during his second address to the United Nations General Assembly. Despite being laughed at by the entire assembly and world leaders after stating his administration has accomplished more than “almost any administration” in his two years, this is no joking matter. The UN was built on the concept of being a multilateral institution to create a safer world for all, but Trump’s populist tendencies weaken the goals of the organization.

“I thought Trump’s speech was rather underwhelming, pathetic even, but I guess that’s just a recurring theme in the President’s speeches  I think it’s interesting that he took a global stage to brag about all of America’s domestic “accomplishments” which is why it is unsurprising that he was laughed at by global leaders and diplomats alike,” senior Umar Ahmed said. “It also bothers me that he does things to undermine the integrity of multilateral institutions such as the International Court of Justice while also increasing tensions with Iran. Following his tweet threat to the Iranian President you’d expect he’d try to utilize the UN for what it was created for, to collaborate to resolve issues via consensus. Trump’s verbal attack of Iran makes cooperation seem all the more unlikely.”

Famous turned infamous actor Bill Cosby has been sentenced to 3 to ten years in a state prison for his conviction of aggravated indecent assault. The Cosby case was one of the first catalysts of the current #MeToo movement, with multiple other women also coming out with claims of abuse from Cosby.

In world news, the migrant crisis continues to rumble on. A migrant woman was recently killed, and another migrant requiring their arm to be amputated, after the Moroccan navy fired on a speedboat full of migrants. These troubling tragedies will only continue if the issue is not dealt with in some manner, whether it be through the United Nations or individual nations stepping up to assist in the crisis.

Due to the migration crisis, many European nations have seen a surge in right-wing populist groups advocating for more stringent immigration laws. Sweden is no exception. Their recent elections ended in a hung parliament, meaning no party or coalition has an absolute majority, due to anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats obtaining a 17.6% share of the vote, giving them 20 seats in the Riksdagen, the country’s legislature. Due to the hung parliament, current Swedish PM Stefan Lovfen has decided to resign, and allow the legislature to form a new government. This is seen as yet another example of far right populism having an abnormal influence on European countries affairs.

To end off with a bit less depressing news, a man in New Zealand was truly able to go face to face with nature- well, face to tentacle is more like it. In an area known for it’s large seal population, a seal slapped a man with an octopus. The man sustained no injuries, but I can’t say the same for the octopus.

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