This Week in Words: December 1 - 7 , 2018

December 5, 2018
News flash! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, debated and discussed in the news this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.
The United States and China have agreed to a 90-day “tariff truce” which effectively presses the pause button on the trade war between the two countries. President Trump said he would not pursue the escalation of tariffs that was planned to take effect in January of next year. Trump is not backing away from the general strategy of using tariffs as leverage, however. On Twitter recently he dubbed himself the “Tariff Man.”
Right after the presidents’ dinnertime parlay, Chinese officials said the two sides agreed to put tariffs in abeyance to negotiate a settlement but offered few other details then and in the days since. - The Wall Street Journal (Dec 5, 2018)
A sentencing memo from Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding General Michael Flynn was released to the public. The memo recommends little or no jail time for Flynn, even though he lied about discussions with Russian operatives during the transition and in the early days of the Trump administration, presumably because he has fully cooperated with the Mueller probe and provided valuable information to investigators.
They admonished Mr. Flynn in Tuesday’s memo for concealing his work for Turkey, saying it kept the public in the dark about the extent of its efforts to influence public opinion about the failed coup.
- The New York Times (Dec 4, 2018)
The White House is considering suspending a long-standing pact with Russia in which both countries agree not to develop short and intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Both sides accuse each other of violating the agreement. Vladimir Putin has threatened that if the U.S. does pull out of the treaty, Russia will begin to test these weapons. Contravene has within it the Latin contra, meaning “against.”
Missiles that can strike at a distance of between 300 and 3,400 miles contravene treaty limits.
- The Wall Street Journal (Dec 5, 2018)
A series of memorials for former President George H. W. Bush, who died on November 30, were conducted throughout the week. Many politicians have weighed in on what President Bush’s legacy means to them, and there is a consensus that he was emblematic of a time when there was more respect for the opposition than there is in the current political climate.
George Bush represented an era where you could disagree with someone but still respect and even like the person, where a search for a common ground was applauded, not denigrated.
- MSN (Dec 5, 2018)
C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel briefed a group of Senators on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The evidence was so strong that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the killing that several Senators publicly stated that they had “no doubt” about the Prince's involvement. President Trump has expressed doubts, however. When you equivocate, your spread doubt and avoid committing to one opinion or stance.
But President Donald Trump has equivocated over who is to blame for the killing, frustrating senators who are now looking for ways to punish the longtime Middle East ally.
- Time (Dec 4, 2018)
The Wisconsin legislature is in turmoil this week, with Republican members passing measures that will limit the power of the newly-elected Democratic governor, who will take over in January. While opponents of the provisions say that they weaken the governor out of spite, supporters say that these statutes correct an imbalance between the executive and legislative branches in the state. Similar measures are being considered in the Michigan legislature.
A similar effort is underway in Michigan, where the Republican-controlled legislature is weighing new laws to hamstring incoming Democrats.
- Reuters (Dec 5, 2018)
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal for Brexit is in more trouble. May is being attacked from two sides — by those who want a British exit from the European Union but don’t like the specifics of her plan, and by those who do not want Britain to leave the E.U. at all. The British Parliament ripped apart May’s proposal and an international court ruled that Britain could cancel its withdrawal from the E.U. without getting the consent of the other nations.
Defeat on Dec. 11 could force the prime minister to abandon her proposal or break up her government, or lead to a power struggle that imperils her leadership.
- The New York Times (Dec 4, 2018)
Stephanie Herfel has a dog that has saved her life not once, not twice, but three times. "Sierrea" the dog has the ability to “smell” cancer, and the its uneasy behavior prompted Herfel go for an extra test, even though the doctors had told her it wasn't necessary. The extra test showed that Herfel had Stage 3 ovarian cancer. Sierra also detected a recurrence of the cancer and when it spread to Herfel's liver. Herfel, 52, sought treatment and is now in remission.
Then in 2015 and 2016, Sierra sounded the olfactory alarm again by hiding in the closet – this time for when the cancer reoccurred in Herfel’s liver and then in her pelvic area.
- Good News Network (Dec 5, 2018)
An emotional tribute to the late President George H.W. Bush was offered by his son, George W. Bush. The elder Bush’s last words were to his son, telling him that he loved him. George W. Bush became tearful as he paid tribute to his father at the memorial service in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Bush described his father as a genuinely optimistic and selfless man who “valued character over pedigree,” looked for the good in everyone, and shared credit in victory while shouldering blame in defeat.
- The New York Times (Dec 5, 2018)
After the memorial service in Washington D.C., President Bush’s body was flown back to Texas. His casket will be on display at a church prior to the formal funeral service. Finally, President Bush’s body will be buried on the grounds of his presidential library in College Station, Texas.
The body of former President George H.W. Bush is set to lie in repose all night at the Houston church where his family worshipped.
- The Associated Press (Dec 5, 2018)

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