The Trump administration has announced its plan to remove protections extended to refugees from El Salvador who fled natural disasters that decimated their country in 2001. The move would make 200,000 El Salvadorans currently living in the U.S. subject to deportation. The administration said it would give these individuals ample time to relocate before such plans would go into effect.
Salvadorans are the largest group of foreigners currently protected by the TPS program, and their possible
has prompted outcry from advocates as well as some political and religious leaders.
- The Wall Street Journal ( Jan 7, 2018)
As of this week, it is illegal in Iceland to pay men and women different salaries for the same work. Companies of a certain size must have the government certify that they pay their workers the same rate, or be subject to fines.
Parity is a word that refers to things being balanced or equal. Its opposite is
disparity , meaning a lack of equality or when things don't match up.
Steve Bannon, former strategist for the Trump administration, apologized this week for comments he made to a reporter about Mr. Trump's children. It seems the apology was too little too late to save Mr. Bannon's career however, as both the conservative news site he ran and the satellite radio show he hosted terminated his employment later in the week.
Soon after came a rare and lengthy statement of
from Mr. Bannon, who over the last week found himself isolated from his political allies and cut off from his financial patrons.
- The New York Times ( Jan 7, 2018)
In a stunning comeback, Alabama beat Georgia to win the National Championship in college football this week. Nick Saban, the Alabama coach, now has six national championships to his credit. This one was achieved by Saban switching quarterbacks at halftime and putting the ball in the hands of a freshman. After a rocky start, the freshman QB threw the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
coaching from Saban, who used an unexpected onside kick two years ago to help the Tide beat Clemson in that championship game.
- The New York Times ( Jan 9, 2018)
South Korea and North Korea engaged in talks that resulted in the North pledging to send an Olympic delegation to the winter games in South Korea next month, as well as some easing of border restrictions between the countries. Although the topic of nuclear missiles was not addressed in the talks, South Korea is cautiously optimistic that these negotiations were the beginning of broader discussions and a new sense of diplomacy between the two nations.
For the South Koreans, who have been rattled by the exchange of threats of war between North Korea and the United States in the past year, the border talks provide a welcome
, although some analysts warned that it might be short-lived.
- The New York Times ( Jan 8, 2018)
A scientific breakthrough offers hope to those who made a New Year's resolution to lose weight. Scientists in Singapore have developed a patch which turns fat stored in the body into the so-called "brown fat," which burns away as energy at an accelerated rate. The drug has so far been shown to reduce fat mass in mice by more than 30% over the course of four weeks.
What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is
and yet affordable,” said Chen, a biotechnology expert who researches obesity.
- goodnewsnetwork.org ( Jan 6, 2018)
The entire cell phone industry has been subject to criticism about not doing enough to curb "screen addiction" in young people, and a movement has started to hold the companies accountable. Apple responded to the criticism this week, asserting that they carefully consider how their products will be used and offer parental controls.
A tussle this week between prominent investors and Apple Inc. over iPhone use by young people comes amid a
re-evaluation of the smartphone’s social consequences within the industry that spawned it.
- The Wall Street Journal ( Jan 9, 2018)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi only made 28.7 million dollars when it opened in China this week, placing a distant second at the box office. Since international receipts are a huge concern for movie studios these days, this is viewed as something of a disappointment. One has to wonder if it makes any sense at all to call a movie that will make over a billion dollars in ticket sales a disappointment.
While it may be hard for fans to imagine, the hit franchise just hasn't acquired the same fevered
in China that it has elsewhere.
- money.cnn.com ( Jan 8, 2018)
The Justice Department announced this week that it will begin pursuing the death penalty more aggressively than it has in the recent past. For example, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that his department may seek the death penalty for high profile crimes like the terrorist attack in downtown Manhattan last year that killed eight. Sessions called the death penalty "a valuable tool in the tool belt” of law enforcement.
The flu season is upon us, and some experts expect it to be especially bad this year. These experts claim that the technology which produces the flu vaccine is outdated and can result in a vaccine that is not very effective against the virus. The term
pandemic is used when a disease spreads to a very wide geographical region, as opposed to an
epidemic , which is more localized.
Yet as bad as this winter’s epidemic is, it won’t compare with the flu
that is almost certainly on the horizon if we don’t dedicate energy and resources to a universal vaccine.
- The New York Times ( Jan 8, 2018)
A federal judge has temporarily prevented the Trump Administration’s cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The repeal of DACA is part of President Trump’s plan for immigration reform. The White House called the judge’s decision “outrageous.”
President Donald Trump lashed out at the federal courts Wednesday morning over an
temporarily barring the cancellation of an Obama-era program that shielded hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
- The Wall Street Journal ( Jan 10, 2018)
At least 17 people have died in mudslides that ravaged the same part of Southern California which recently experienced devastating wild fires. Many more people are still missing, and there is a tremendous amount of property damage.