As he forecast he would last week, this week President Trump granted a federal pardon to controversial immigration figure Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was accused of detaining suspected illegal immigrants in poor conditions in tent cities in his home state of Arizona. Arpaio was a major Trump supporter during the campaign and is also a proponent of the President's proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The big news of the week was the catastrophe of Hurricane Harvey. The storm battered the Gulf Coast of the country and dumped a record amount of rainfall for a single storm onto places like the city of Houston. There was massive flooding as a result of all the rain, and thousand of people lost their homes and their possessions. There have been about thirty casualties thus far. It is estimated that it will take years for the most severely affected cities to recover from the hurricane.
The big sporting event of the week was the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor. Many thought that the fight was ridiculous because McGregor is not a boxer; he is a former MMA fighter, used to kicking and eye-gouging his opponent. McGregor did manage to stick to using only his fists, and was really no challenge for the seasoned Mayweather, Jr. who won by technical knockout in the tenth round.
Another White House staffer left his post this week. Sebastian Gorka, was either fired or resigned from his position, depending on which story you believe. It is unclear exactly what Gorka did for President Trump, but he often appeared on television talk shows defending the President. It is unknown whether Gorka will continue to appear on television in this role now that he no longer works in the West Wing.
In short, he was fired, as many people predicted he would be following Steve Bannon’s
from the White House.
-slate.com (August 26, 2017)
In business news this week, Amazon's takeover of Whole Foods became official. Amazon celebrated by lowering prices on some items in the store, like avocados and rotisserie chickens. The price reductions are an effort to show that things are going to change under Amazon's leadership, including (they hope) the image of the food store being so pricey food that it earned the nickname "Whole Paycheck."
The retailer is hoping the
takeover by Seattle-based Amazon will help it shed its "Whole Paycheck" nickname.
Our favorite kind of story comes to us from Florida this week, where one county has banned homework. In place of worksheets regarded by some as just busy work, the schools have asked that parents read with their children 20 minutes per night. We’re hoping this catches on, since reading is fundamental in every school subject ( including math, science and history). Any assignment that promotes literacy and spending special time with a parents sounds like a good thing.
Kids don't learn the way they used to," says Keven Christian of Marion County Schools. "And making them do meaningless or
homework assignments every night just really doesn't contribute to their learning."
- sunnyskyz.com (August 28, 2017)
Uber has chosen a new head executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who used to lead the internet travel site Expedia. Scandal and disorder have plagued Uber for months, and Mr. Khosrowshahi's job will be to right the ship. Maybe after he gets the company's act together, he can tell me why my passenger rating is so low — I'm great at small talk! I swear, people
want to hear about how many fried dumplings I can fit into my mouth at one time...
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in a phone call on Thursday morning that the U.S. is ejecting several Russian diplomats and closing their offices. The Trump administration explained that the move was purely reciprocal, and was not intended to escalate tensions between the United States and Russia.
The Trump administration ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic annexes, in New York and Washington, retaliating against Russia’s order for the United States to reduce its
staff in Moscow ...
- The New York Times (August 27, 2017)
There was more frightening North Korea news this week. The nation fired a missile over U.S. ally Japan. Earlier this month, North Korea successfully miniaturized a nuclear device and threatened to attack the U.S. territory of Guam. Firing over Japan could be seen as exactly the kind of
provocative action President Trump recently warned North Korea not to pursue.
North Korea carried out one of its most
missile tests in recent years early Tuesday morning, hurling a ballistic missile directly over Japan that prompted the government in Tokyo to warn residents in its path to take cover.
- The New York Times (August 28, 2017)
President Trump and the First Lady flew to Texas to view the damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. The president has already declared parts of the Gulf Coast disaster areas and pledged federal relief funds to help in the recovery effort.