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Impeached

President Trump became the 3rd US President in history to be impeached on December 18th. The House of Representatives voted on two Articles of Impeachment. Article I: Abuse of Power - Trump abused presidential powers by soliciting a foreign government to investigate his political opponent in the 2020 U.S. election. Article II - Obstructing Congress - Trump obstructed Congressional attempts to investigate him and denied the House its Power of Impeachment.

What happens next?

For background information on impeachment see articles below by Carlos Emilio-Hultsch Martinez.

Junior Class Candy Gram Sale

DHS Clubs

Deming High School Student gets accepted to Harvard

Deming High School

student Ahmed Alsheikh

is one of the few students

to be accepted to Harvard

from Deming High School.

Be on the lookout for our

interview coming soon!

Drama 

Drama students perform Christmas play for Deming elementary schools. 

Skills USA

Deming High School  Skills USA has achieved Quality Chapter status. Julissa Valtierra earned certification for Phlebotomy technician.

Choir

DHS Choir ALL  STATE

Lady Cat Golf

Presley Jackson signs with WNMU to play golf. 

Want to write for the broadcaster? Email us! broadcaster@demingps.org

New Zealand Volcano

Maria Nunez

The tragic eruption of the White Island Volcano in New Zealand was the cause of approximately 14 deaths. On December 9, 2019 there was about 40 people touring the volcano and its surroundings. It was a Level 2 alert therefore the tours would not have to be canceled because it was not a “hazard”, however the hazard was raised to a Level 3. The explosion took everyone by surprise even scientist who say there was no signs of an eruption soon except for steaming and some smoke. The tour boat left the island with some people and then came back to try and help the survivors. Among the victims there was 8 confirmed dead and 20 with severe burns. The survivors who were non-injured decided to try to help others who were left on the island many had severe injuries and were in extreme conditions. The police have tried to recover bodies, but the area is closed off until it is no longer a danger zone. The question almost everyone is asking is why if there was any sense of danger, did they not shut off the tours? With all that has happened, what will the New Zealand government do after this tragic event?

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/why-new-zealand-s-deadly-volcano-eruption-took-people-surprise-n1100076

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/11/asia/new-zealand-volcano-eruption-survivor-intl-hnk/index.html

13-year-old Stabbed a College Student

Katelyn Diharce

 

A according to a local news in New York, a college freshman named Tessa Majors who was 18 was stabbed repeatedly in Morningside Park not far from her school. The college she attended was Barnard located in New York City, this school is one of the most prestigious universities. Tessa was brutally stabbed by 3 teenagers ages 13-14 on December 11, a security guard was the one to have found her and shortly after died. One of the 13-year old was charged with 2nd degree murder, robbery and weapons charge. The police are currently questioning a 14-year-old and are searching for another 13-year-old. They also say that this murder was a robbery gone wrong, that Majors fought her attackers as best as could, including biting one of them on the finger. Police say the suspects “grab the victim, put her in a chokehold and removed items from her pocket.” The family is morning their loss to Tessa and has said “We are devasted by the senseless loss of our beautiful and talented Tess. We are thankful for the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from across the country.” People find this incident hard especially knowing that kids have done this and the question everyone is asking is where are the parents? I advise you to stay safe and stay alert the truth is this stuff is normal thing and an everyday thing hopefully one day soon this will stop.

Source

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/

Protest in India: Country in Danger?

Sebastian Sanchez

 

India has recently been suffering some protest in their country due to some new citizenship laws, called the Citizenship Amendment Act, making the country go into a drastic frenzy. The fear for the Muslim community has opened and the Indian government has made drastic measures to control the people. The new law has created protest with the country going into an outrage in several cities, this paired with a citizenship test makes others think, Is India in Danger?

Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has tried to prevent people from causing public distraction. Troops have been sent out to patrol cities and towns with a curfew for people and even disabling the internet, making communication difficult. These actions are unjustifiable, and the new law is said to be apart of a plan to push India’s Indians as the same group as the Hindus. This is in large part due to the large amount of Hindu people in India with others being Muslim.

India is a country where its religious scene is huge and still affects its laws, the Citizenship Amendment act is combined with a religious test thought to help find illegal immigrants fast for Indian Citizenship. However, the problem being that it doesn’t apply to Muslims therefore, protecting them from Indian Citizenship.

The citizenship test has really stirred up controversy with the fear of nearly 2 million Indian Muslims being proclaimed as stateless. A new citizenship law and its paired with a citizenship test? Many are saying they are being targeted with a sudden uprising of anti-Muslimism sentiment.

This law has been obviously anti-Muslim and with the test in place, which purposely finds undocumented Indian Muslims then kicks them out of India, or possibly in danger of “Detention camps”. This puts 2 million of them in danger with the test possibly being given to other parts of India. The history of this law really threatens India’s idea of equality for all and really begs the question, “What’s next?”

DHS band

Dezi Stockton

The Deming High School band has put in a lot of hard work to get to where they are now. From marching in parades, going to Albuquerque and Las Cruces for marching competitions. One of which they placed third in their class. To having a student make it to All-State and even having a successful Christmas concert.

This year they have marched in four different parades. Each parade starting by IHop and ending at the courthouse park. They have marched in the Duck Parade, which is an annual tradition that only happens in Deming New Mexico. The Fair parade that takes place the morning of the sale. The homecoming parade, of which they walk from the school all the way to the start of the parade. Lastly the band marched in the Christmas Light parade, where they wore Christmas attire and even decorated their instruments.

Competition has been a big part of the DHS band. This fall they were able to go to two separate competitions. Zia which had taken place in Albuquerque, was the first competition the band had gone to. There, though they had played well, the band was not able to place. The second competition known as TOB was in Las Cruces. Where the band had once again played their hearts out, but this time taking third.

However, the band went back to Las Cruces a few weeks later. This time not for a competition, but for All-State auditions. At these auditions each student is asked to play two etudes and two scales. After playing both, the student is then asked to sight read a small piece of music. Their performance is recorded and sent to judges who will then decide rather or not the student is qualified for All-State. This year the Deming band had a student make it, who in a few weeks will go to Albuquerque and play with the All-State band.

Washington plunges into Trump impeachment investigation 

-Written by Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez

The tittle of the article is “Washington plunges into Trump impeachment investigation,” written by Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick and Julie Pace. The article is from The Associated Press. A new controversy seems to shake President Trump’s administration. Apparently, an Intelligence officer heard a telephone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, this official informed that there were concerns regarding the content of the conversation. This made the White House permit a few days later, the release of the call’s transcript, in which there was controversial material in the conversation. According to the article, “President Donald Trump repeatedly pushed Ukraine’s president to “look into” Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to a rough transcript of a summer phone call that is now at the center of Democrats’ impeachment probe into Trump.” (Mascaro et al.). Indeed, the first ones to react to these allegations were the rival Democrats in congress, and they did not wait to act. According to the article “After months of resistance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched the impeachment probe on Tuesday, spurred on by the support of several moderate members in swing districts. After viewing the transcript on Wednesday, Pelosi declared: Congress must act.” (Mascaro et al.)

What this means is that the Democrats have started the first step of the impeachment process, which consists that the House of Representatives may vote on a resolution directing a committee to begin an impeachment inquiry, though it’s disputed whether the constitution

requires this step, this committee will likely investigate any wrongdoing made by the president. Although the process seems robust, President Trump adopted a bold attitude against the Democrats. According to the article “Trump, who thrives on combat, has all but dared Democrats to move toward impeachment, confident that the specter of an investigation led by the opposition party will bolster rather than diminish his political support. “Just so you understand, it’s the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history,” Trump said during a meeting with foreign leaders in New York.” (Mascaro et al.). This attitude by part of Trump was already seen during the “Russiagate” investigation. Altogether, the Democrats in Congress are looking for another opportunity to incriminate Trump. According to the article, “While the possibility of impeachment has hung over Trump for many months, the likelihood of a probe had faded after special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation ended without a clear directive for lawmakers…The burden will probably now shift to Democrats to make the case to a scandal-weary public. In a highly polarized Congress, an impeachment inquiry could simply showcase how clearly two sides can disagree when shown the same evidence rather than approach consensus.” (Mascaro et al.).

Amid the political dispute, the truth is that Trump’s administration has been involved in numerous political inquiries. This event, though, has started an impeachment process, an event that has affected only four previous presidents. Although, a possible senate trial and removal seems unlikely, the controversial events that have happened have stained American politics. Therefore, the event has polarized Americans’ opinion regarding Trump’s transparency and the already fragile American’s trust and dependence on the executive branch. Personally, when I heard about the new of an intelligence officer listening to the conversation, I did not think it was going to evolve into what it is today. Unfortunately, events like this one have become more

common and continue to affect American society, for Americans are divided more and more with political events like this. Hopefully, this event can be solved without any transcendental effect on American politics, history and spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by AP News/Evan Vucci

(President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York).

References

Mascaro, Lisa, et al. “Washington Plunges into Trump Impeachment Investigation.” AP NEWS,

Associated Press, 25 Sept. 2019, https://www.apnews.com/9a57d80e32904356874bbe090e159694.

In the 9th of November 2019, the 30th anniversary of the Fall of Berlin Wall was celebrated around the world. The Fall of the berlin Wall is a transcendental event that has evolved into a symbol of liberty and peace. What happened? What made this event so special?

Like many historical events, the construction of Berlin Wall was an event that was a consequence of  WWII, and its history and context is amazing. According to HISTORY, “Two days after prohibiting access between East and West Berlin with barbed wire, East German authorities begin building the Berlin Wall to enduringly close off access to the West of Germany. For the following 28 years, the mighty Berlin Wall stood as the most concrete symbol of the Cold War; a “iron curtain” dividing Europe’s territories, families and ideologies. The end of World War II in 1945 saw Germany divided into four Allied occupation zones. Berlin, the German capital, was likewise divided into occupation sectors, even though it was located deep within the Soviet zone. The future of Germany and Berlin was a major sticking point in postwar treaty talks, and tensions grew when the United States, Britain, and France moved in 1948 to unite their occupation zones into a single autonomous entity known as the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). In response, the USSR launched a land blockade of West Berlin in an effort to force the West to abandon the city. However, a massive airlift by Britain and the United States kept West Berlin supplied with food and fuel, and in May 1949 the Soviets ended the unsuccessful blockade. By 1961, Cold War tensions over Berlin were running high again. For East Germans dissatisfied with life under the communist system, West Berlin was a gateway to the democratic West. Between 1949 and 1961, around 2.5 million East Germans fled from East to West Germany, most via West Berlin. By August 1961, an average of 2,000 East Germans

were crossing into the West every day. Many of the refugees were skilled laborers, professionals, and intellectuals, and their loss was having a damaging effect for the East German economy. To halt the exodus to the West, Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev recommended to East Germany that it close off access between East and West Berlin. On the night of August 12, 1961, East German soldiers laid down more than 30 miles of barbed wire barrier through the heart of Berlin. East Berlin citizens were forbidden to pass into West Berlin, and the number of checkpoints in which Westerners could cross the border was drastically reduced. The West threatened a trade embargo against East Germany as a counter measure. The Soviets responded that such an embargo be answered with a new land blockade of West Berlin. West Germany was not going to take any major action to protest the closing, East German authorities became emboldened, closing off increasing checkpoints between East and West Berlin. On August 15, they began replacing barbed wire with concrete. The wall, according to the authorities of Eastern Germany, would protect their citizens from the pernicious influence of decadent capitalist culture. The first concrete pilings went up on the Bernauer Strasse and at the Potsdamer Platz. Sullen East German workers, a few in tears, constructed the first segments of the Berlin Wall as East German troops stood guarding them with machine guns. With the border closing permanently, escape attempts by East Germans intensified on August 15. Conrad Schumann, a 19-year-old East German soldier, provided the subject for a famous image when he was photographed leaping over the barbed-wire barrier to freedom. During the rest of 1961, the grim and unsightly Berlin Wall continued to grow in size and scope, eventually consisting of a series of concrete walls up to 15 feet high. These walls were topped with barbed wire and guarded with watchtowers, machine gun emplacements, and mines. By the 1980s, this system of walls and electrified fences extended 28 miles through Berlin and 75 miles around West Berlin, separating it from the rest of East

Germany. East Germans additionally erected an extensive barrier along most of the 850-mile border between East and West Germany. In the West, the Berlin Wall was regarded as a major symbol of communist oppression. About 5,000 East Germans managed to escape across the Berlin Wall to the West, but the frequency of successful escapes dwindled as the wall was increasingly fortified. Thousands of East Germans were captured during attempted crossings and 191 were killed. In 1989, East Germany’s communist regime was overwhelmed by the democratization sweeping across Eastern Europe. On the evening of November 9, 1989, East Germany announced an easing of travel restrictions to the West, and thousands demanded passage though the Berlin Wall. Faced with growing demonstrations, East German border guards opened the borders. Jubilant Berliners climbed on top of the Berlin Wall, painted graffiti on it, and removed fragments as souvenirs. The next day, East German troops began dismantling the wall. In 1990, East and West Germany were formally reunited” (HISTORY).

Amid the effect of the fall on Germany, it became a symbol around the world. 30 years later, now in 2019, government leaders celebrate the anniversary and made a reflection on it. According to Frank Jordans from AP News, “The collapse of the Berlin Wall was brought about largely by peaceful protests and a stream of people fleeing East Germany that piled pressure on the country’s Communist government to open its borders to the West and ultimately end the nation’s post-war division. Thirty years on, Germany has become the most powerful economic and political force on the continent, but there remain deep misgivings among some in the country about how the transition from socialism to capitalism was managed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged this in a recent interview with daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, saying that “with some things, where one might have thought that East and West would have aligned, one can see today that it might rather take half a century or more.” She also recalled that Nov. 9

remains a fraught date in German history, as it also marks the anniversary of the so-called Night of Broken Glass, an anti-Jewish pogrom in 1938 that foreshadowed the Nazi’s Holocaust. Light installations, concerts and public debates were planned throughout the city and other parts of Germany to mark the fall of the Wall, including a concert at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate. Among those who had come to Berlin to celebrate were members of the Trabant Club Middle Hesse, an association that promotes the old East German car affectionately known as the Trabi. Jens Schmidt, who fled East Germany before the fall of the Wall by driving his Trabi to Hungary and then across the open border to the West, said the club has many young members for whom learning to repair the simple but sturdy vehicles can be a lesson in history and civics, too. “The team spirit,” he said. “It was stronger back then” (Jordans).

While the world rejoices on the aftermath of this event, many believe that the experience live today, as societies may build physical or indirect barriers among them. According to Antonio De Loera-Brust from America Magazine, “Walls are not a thing of the past. The democratic optimism ushered in by the end of the Cold War has been significantly tempered. Refugees today continue to flee communist regimes such as North Korea, which has built a border that rivals even the Iron Curtain in brutality and efficiency. In Europe, developments such as Brexit, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the construction of a Hungarian border wall have marked the return of hard borders to a Europe that for the past two decades seemed to be moving in the opposite direction. In the United States, the proposal to build a massive border wall has become a major flashpoint in our politics. While building a wall to keep people in certainly reflects worse on a society than building one to keep people out, the idea shares the delusion of the Berlin Wall, which is that force can forever contain human aspirations. The circumstances that led to both the rise and the fall of the Berlin Wall remind us that the instinct of the human animal is always to

move, to be free and to seek better, regardless of any divisions of race, class, nationality or creed. Remembering the Berlin Wall, for all its horrors, also represents remembering this enduring and universal truth” (Loera-Brust).

In conclusion, the Fall of the Berlin Wall marked a precedent of peace and union 30 years ago. It helped democratize Europe and successfully reconstruct Germany. Today, nations around the world struggle to unite and connect with others. The Fall of the Berlin Wall should remind us that walls exist and that we have the power and duty to peacefully torn down this walls and improve our societies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berliners celebrate on top of the wall as East Germans flood through the dismantled Berlin Wall into West Berlin at Potsdamer Platz, Sunday Nov. 12, 1989, in Berlin. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

References

-HISTORY. (2010, March 4). Berlin Wall built. (H. editors, Ed.) Retrieved Nov 12, 2019, from HISTORY: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/berlin-wall-built

-Jordans, F. (2019, Nov 9). Germany, allies mark 30 years since Berlin Wall fell. Retrieved Nov 12, 2019, from AP News: https://apnews.com/16d54bb192cc438b82f8c78eaf9180c1

-Loera-Brust, A. D. (2018, Feb 7). The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and why it matters today. Retrieved Nov 12, 2019, from America Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/02/07/rise-and-fall-berlin-wall-and-why-it-matters-today

30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and its importance today

 

Written by Carlos Emilio

 Hultsch Martinez

Free College

By: Rodolfo Saldivar

The title of the article is “New Mexico Announces Plan for Free College for State Residents” By Simon Romero and Dana Goldstein. This article is from The New York Times. The article is about a plan the state is proposing to make college tuition free to all New Mexico residents. This includes families that can afford to pay for college. Goner Michelle Lujan Grisham this new scholarship program “will combine with existing state and federal scholarships and grants to cover 100 percent of tuition and fees in New Mexico institutions” (Romero 11). This plan will affect over 55,000 students in New Mexico. They will get the money from the climbing revenue of oil production in the state. This proposal still must have legislative approval and we still don’t know if they will approve it.

 

Some education experts, presidential candidates and policymakers consider universal free college to be a squandering of scarce public dollars, which might be better spent offering more support to the neediest students. Although, others say college has become overwhelming and free tuition would be a good thing. Democratic presidential candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are promising to make all public colleges and universities free. Govender Lujan Grisham said, “This program is an absolute game changer for New Mexico” (Romero 23). Most the democrat presidential candidates are supporting her proposal. Carmen Lopez-Wilson,

the deputy secretary of New Mexico’s Higher Education Department, said, “This is the best way to begin rebuilding the infrastructure of higher education in New Mexico” (Romero 33). A lot of residents, especially students are pushing for this proposal to be accepted.

 

Personally, this proposal sounds great. However, it is concerning how they will maintain the huge amount of money they will need to pay the colleges every year. The cost of the proposal will be, “annual cost of $25 million to $35 million.” (Romero 38). The governor wants this plan to be affected by the fall 2020 semester. That is in about one year from now and the big question is will this proposal be approved by legislative? From past experiences, free tuition has been very successful like “The University of California, the City University of New York” ( Zaloom 47) according to Professor Zaloom, of N.Y.U. Now we all wait to see how this all plays out and if it will be successful.

Romero, Simon. (2019, September 20th). New Mexico Announces Plan for Free College for State Residents. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/us/new-mexico-free-college-tuition.html

Deming High School Super Smash Bros

 Tournament

Bryan Laredo 

Super Smash Bros. is a series of crossover fighting video games published by Nintendo, and primarily features characters from various Nintendo franchises. The series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, who has directed every game in the series. The gameplay objective differs from that of traditional fighters in that the aim is to knock opponents off the stage instead of depleting life bars.

During the 2018-2019 school year, various students in their junior year of high school decided to host a local Super Smash Bros. tournament in our very school. The game has many versions ever since its first release in 1999, it was the most recent version Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that was used in this tournament using Nintendo Switch consoles.

The tournament took place in the DHS Library or Information Nation. Participants who signed up prior to the date, were placed in a bracket that decided their opponents and included the time of their match (all matches took place during both lunches).

In the school year of 2019-2020 during the month of November 2019. The second tournament took place and ran similarly to the previous tournament but with tweaks to improve the quality of the tournament. This time, the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen were separated into two separate tournaments in order to allow two winners in total. Each winner being given the title “Best of their class.” For the lower class, the winner of the event was Ezequiel Cardenas, while the upper-class winner was Joshua Casales.

Normally events in the school tend to be more focused towards the sports and other major parts of the student population. This time, the event was directed towards a less represented population of the school, the students who enjoy electronic games. With the organizer Ricardo Gaona saying “yeah I would like to make one more before I graduate and just name it ‘final round’ for the dramatic effect” when asked about his thoughts on making another event like this.

Pollution Crisis

New Delhi, the capital of India has a population of 21.7 Million. It is a beautiful city with architecture like no other. However, New Delhi is currently facing one of the world’s worst instances of air pollution yet. Toxic brown smog has overtaken the city, making it difficult for those living to breathe, and in some instances, even open their eyes for a long period of time. The World Health Organization deems the level of 25 to be considered safe, and anything over 500 to be considered severe plus. However, some areas of Delhi are measuring over 900. Although the toxic smog is currently at its worst, air pollution has become a yearly problem Delhi has to overtake.

The toxic smog is primarily attributed to the yearly festival known as Diwali. Diwali is a Hindu festival symbolizing the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.” Many celebrate by lighting firecrackers and celebrating. But many have gone the extra mile and as well as lighting firecrackers are lighting crop stubble and burning crops. The smoke from these two as well as the temperature shifting locked in the smoke creating a toxic smog around New Delhi and Delhi.

With the amount of smog in the air, many flights around the world are being diverted to neighboring cities where the smog is less apparent. With New Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal declaring a public health emergency, many are wondering if they are doing enough. Many living in Delhi want stronger measures to stop crop burning, something that causes 44% of the pollution. Some state those in power are not doing anything to stop the crop burning and are using the issue to gain a political advantage among their rivals.

With each day becoming more and more unbearable, it is only a matter of time before drastic measures will be taken to make sure an incident this drastic will not happen again.

Trains Past

On October 20th, 2019, the largest steam locomotive, Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 made an hour stop in Deming. Big Boy made its entrance into Deming at around 10 AM, allowing many to look at the old train. While hundreds observed the train in awe, crew members were working on maintenance to prepare for their next stop. In order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad, Union Pacific rebuilt both Big boy No. 4014 and The Living Legend No. 844. Both trains as of October 2019 are still touring around the United States. The history of both trains and the rails they ride on go far back in history. In 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed in Promontory, Utah. A golden spike was placed into the rail line that connected east to west. In 1881, the second transcontinental railroad met in Deming, New Mexico, where a silver spike was placed in the rail line to commemorate the achievement. Deming was also given a two-story railroad station which was later renovated to a one-floor station. The station is still standing next to Deming Starmax, near 217 N Country Club road. Deming High School Band also performed songs as the train arrived at the crossing. At around 11 AM, the train departed from Deming and continued its tour around the country for one last time. Having the opportunity to see a train from years past is something those lucky few will never forget, and as the trains reach the end of their tour, they will once again be decommissioned and sent to museums in order to preserve the historic trains.

 

This article is based on The Deming Headlight.

Demingheadlight.com. N. p., 2019. Web. 28 Oct. 2019.

Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency

By Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez

The tittle of the article is "Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency,” written by Deb Riechmann. The article is from The Associated Press. The profound examination of president Trump’s epochal call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has evoked immense national attention. What seemed as a usual call from president Trump to a foreign leader ended in a circumstance that has raised impeachment urgings. Formerly, the call was perplexing prior a single word was formulated. According to the article, “This call, as well as others Trump has had with foreign leaders, was unusual in other ways, too. In past administrations, top foreign policy officials routinely briefed a president in person right before a call and provided written materials as well.” (Riechmann). It is well known among the staff of the white house, that President Trump never follows these “pre-briefs,” and decides to bring topics as conversations go by, which was not the case with previous administrations. There is no fault in not following the proceedings, if it is legal, but the content came out of the call was really controversial. According to the article, “At 9:03 a.m., Trump had just finished firing off tweets claiming complete vindication from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony the day before about the Russia investigation. On the call, Trump was first to speak. He showered the 41-year-old Ukrainian, a novice politician and former comedian, with praise following his party’s victory in parliamentary elections. Zelenskiy chatted about how he wanted to “drain the swamp” in Kyiv and how he wished the European Union would provide

more financial support. He told Trump that Ukraine was ready to buy more Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States. The next 10 words that came out of Trump’s mouth — “I would like you to do us a favor, though” — are what triggered the House impeachment inquiry that has imperiled his presidency. Trump asked Zelenskiy to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to look into Biden and his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.” (Riechmann).

After the call, there is an unpleasant and reserved process followed by the White House to preserve these transcripts as official documents. According to the article, “Individuals familiar with Trump White House procedure say one Situation Room staffer, using voice-to-text software, repeats each word the president says and another listens and repeats what the foreign leader says. The software turns the words they repeat into text and a rough draft of the telcon is produced. That draft is given to subject matter specialists on the NSC, who edit the draft for accuracy. Each draft is separately preserved. After it’s finalized, it’s turned over to the national security adviser — Bolton, at the time — or the deputy, who was Kupperman, for their approval. White House lawyers also play a role in approving NSC documents. After that, the telcon is given back to staffers tasked with preserving the document as a presidential record.” (Riechmann). It would have been impossible to know the material of this call if the content of this would not have been ominous to a “whistleblower.” According to the article, “Somewhere during this sequence, people privy to the call questioned whether Trump was pressuring the Ukrainian leader to investigate the Bidens. Trump has denied that he did and publicly released the telcon recounting what was said on the call. He released it after a whistleblower, a CIA officer, filed a complaint about the call with the intelligence community’s inspector general. “In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House

officials had intervened to lock down” all records of the phone call, the whistleblower wrote. “This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.” The unidentified whistleblower — one of two who have come forward — said White House lawyers directed that the telcon be taken off a computer server where classified documents on foreign leader calls are normally kept. They directed it be transferred to a computer network with restricted access for documents about covert operations or other highly sensitive information. The telcon, which was classified as secret, did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.” (Riechmann).

Although the controversy of the call has been present for months, the candor is that the emphasis and conflict on the matter has not settled. Originally, there was certain confusion regarding if Trump’s acts were worthy of serious deed, but it has transcended into the main political headline. The controversy has gained more weight as the Hose of Representatives has started an impeachment process and the 2020 presidential election approaches. One thing is for sure though, the situation has emerged into a political crisis that has not been seen since the impeachment of Bill Clinton and it will certainly mark a precedent for future generations. I think this situation has weakened Trump’s image for many Americans, although his popularity among his voting base has not significantly decreased. Whether the call has juridical repercussions, a mark has been left; terrifyingly, American people might overlook crimes among politicians in order to follow party’s regime. Altogether, the state of American political and social stability is undoubtedly damaged, as two ideologies has emerged and both sides supporting these ideas has dangerously driven Americans away from union. I hope a sense of balance can be restored into the American society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by AP News/Wayne Partlow. 

(A White House-released rough transcript of President Donald Trump's July 25, 2019 telephone conversation with Ukraine's newly elected president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, released Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019).

References

Riechmann, Deb. "Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency." AP News. 12 Oct 2019. <https://apnews.com/ab67c31d9b3c4acdada93a624052ddc4>. (Accesed 4 Nov 2019 via Web).

What are the reasons behind the multiple protests in Latin America?

By Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez

Amid numerous recent protests throughout the region, there are several doubts regarding the context of these outbreaks. First, each protest in each country is different, as each one has different context and resolution.

Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, boomed from 2000 to 2014 before growth dropped off. The average Chilean still earns roughly $560 to $700 a month, income that makes it hard for many to pay their bills. Then, an independent panel implemented a 4-cent subway fare increase that the Chilean government initially said was needed to cope with rising oil prices and a weaker local currency. For thousands of Chileans, it was a final indignity after years of struggling as the country prospered (Weissenstein).

Although president Sebastian Piñera publicly said that his government made the wrong decision and promised to fix the transportation raise, Chileans are still furious with the government, protesting over the right for pensions, social services etc. As the number of deaths and injured piles, it will take very strategic moves from Piñera’s government to alleviate the people’s fury.

Oil-rich Ecuador saw a steep rise in GDP as oil topped $100 a barrel and President Rafael Correa built multi-lane highways, airports and universities. Then oil slumped, leaving Ecuador with billions in debt and a steep annual budget shortfall. Correa’s successor, Lenín Moreno, took out a three-year $4.2 billion IMF credit line and this month announced a $1.3 billion austerity package that included the elimination of fuel subsidies and a resulting sharp rise in gasoline and diesel prices. That sent Ecuadorians to the streets, led by the country’s well-organized, mostly rural indigenous peoples, many of whom are subsistence farmers who saw little to no benefit from the

boom years… Moreno ended the protests by agreeing to restore the subsidies, a solution that analysts said left him weakened and facing the same economic troubles that loomed before nearly two weeks of often-violent protests (Weissenstein).

Haiti was worse off than any other country in the region at the start of the new century but saw an infusion of billions of dollars in highly subsidized oil from Venezuela starting in 2009, plus the flood of international aid after the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. When oil slumped and Venezuela’s economy collapsed, the subsidized fuel ended, and the already-impoverished island suffered regular gasoline shortages. Investigations by Haiti’s Senate and a federal auditor alleged that government officials had embezzled and misappropriated billions in proceeds from the Venezuelan program known as Petrocaribe. Fueled partly by a group of internet-savvy young Haitians known as the Petrocaribe Challengers, street protests erupted that organizers say won’t stop until President Jovenel Moise leaves office.

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales has had 14 years of low inflation and strong GDP growth of 4% a year on average, thanks largely to earnings during the commodities-boom years. In recent years, the country’s income from natural gas sales has been dropping due to falling prices, drops in reserves and less demand from Brazil and Argentina. Experts say the economy is looking increasingly fragile. Against that backdrop, the popularity he won for his economic management and infrastructure investment has been weakened by corruption scandals in his administration and his insistence on seeking re-election despite losing a referendum on the issue. After allegations of fraud in the Sunday election, protests multiplied across Bolivia outside vote-counting centers this week. Rioting was reported in at least six of Bolivia’s nine regions and in the national capital of La Paz, police used tear gas in attempts to quell fighting between

supporters of Morales and opponent Carlos Mesa outside a vote-counting center. Protesters threw firecrackers and stones.

Morales’ opponents burned election offices and ballots in several cities and called for a strike on Wednesday, Morales said his opponents are trying to stage a coup protests (Weissenstein).

It is uncanny how 4 counties in the same region are having major protest movements at the same time with each movement having a different reason. Although each protest has its own context, there are a few patterns in these 4 issues; initial temporal prosperity, depth, controversial reason by the government to alleviate depth, ineffective government, and organized, discontent population. Hopefully, peace can return to the region and the overall situation will serve as a caution for the remainder of Latin American countries.

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Picture by AP News/Fernando Vergara

(Soldiers guard El Arbolito park in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. President Lenin Moreno ordered the army onto the streets of Ecuador's capital Saturday to enforce a curfew after a week and a half of protests over fuel prices devolved into violent incidents, with masked protesters attacking a television station, newspaper and the national auditor's office).

References

In fall of 2019, a new NERF ad appeared in national television. In the ad, a boy has been gifted a NERF N-Strike Elite Disruptor by his parents, which he appears to be happy to have. Next, the boy’s “uncle” shows up and gives a bigger NERF blaster. Then, the parents of the boy give the boy a NERF blaster bigger than that one of his uncle. Finally, the boy’s “grandma” appears into the living room and brings a NERF Ultra One, which appears to be the best NERF blaster of all. The ad ends with the supercut saying: “NERF (center), Buy today at Walmart, (Right Bottom Corner). This ad was firstly aired on the day after the tragedy at the south California High School in Santa Clarita and the re-opening of the Walmart of El Paso’s shooting. I would not want to be one of the victim’s family; turn on the TV and the first thing I see is this commercial.

While NERF, Hasbro and Walmart are legitimate businesses, maybe the ad should have been postponed a couple of days for respect to all the direct and indirect victims of gun violence. I think that this ad more than helping NERF, Hasbro and Walmart, is destroying their reputation. This ad is a discourtesy to the American family, imposing a negative message of indirect violence. In fact, studies have been made to understand relationship with toy blaster early exposure and violence behaviors. According to an article from the magazine how stuff works, “Charles W. Turner, a psychologist on the staff of the Oregon Research Institute, has more than 40 years of experience conducting treatment and prevention research on children, adolescents and young adults with behavior problems. Back in the mid-1970s, he and colleague Diane Goldsmith published one of the earliest papers on the subject, in which they compared a group of children who played with toy guns to another group who played with toy airplanes, and kids who

played with other toys. All were observed for signs of antisocial behavior, such as aggression or rule breaking. "The purpose of the airplanes was to control for the fact that you're introducing a novel toy," Turner explains. "Is it the novelty of the toy leading to the acting out, or whether it's something specific about the gun?" Turner and Goldsmith found that toy guns produced a "reliably higher" rate of antisocial behavior than the average of the toy airplanes and the other toys, though the toy airplanes also increased the rate of kids misbehaving as well. But today, Turner, who moved on from what he calls "hypothetical studies" to studying actual young offenders, cautions against reading too much into his early work. From a practical standpoint, he says, "it would be hard to look at whether playing with guns as a child affected attitudes as an adult." Based on his own work as well as that of other researchers, he suspects that "playing with guns as a child is one small part of a bigger picture of what leads to adult aggressive behavior. It's a small, nearly trivial part." He puts more weight on other influences, such as how a family relates to a child and their pattern of interactions. In a study published in the journal Early Education and Development in 1992 researchers Malcolm W. Watson and Ying Peng observed 36 3-to-5-year-old children in free play in a daycare center, and coded their behavior for the amount of real aggression, pretend aggression, rough-and-tumble play, and non-aggressive pretend play. They also had parents fill out a questionnaire to gather data such as whether kids played with toy guns at home — 56 percent, mostly boys, did — as well as whether they watched TV programs with aggression and the amount of physical punishment that parents used for discipline. The researchers found that toy gun play, along with parental punishment, were associated with a higher level of real aggression, though not with pretend aggression” (Kiger).

While there are numerous factors for these behaviors, it is important to highlight that exposure to toy blasters can definitely contribute to violent behavior. Besides, independently from

contributing to violent behavior, these guns have been tested not very safe for children by ONGs. According to from the AP news, “A Nerf dart gun, ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime and a plastic Power Rangers claw are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s list of worst toys for the holidays. World Against Toys Causing Harm unveiled its annual list Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital… The Massachusetts nonprofit has been releasing the list for more than 40 years. It says many of the products present choking, eye and other safety hazards frequently found in poorly designed toys. It also cites the products for having inconsistent and inadequate warnings labels. The organization says the Nerf Ultra One gun, which is billed as firing soft darts up to 120 feet (37 meters), shoots the projectiles with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries (AP News, 2019).” It is crucial to take notice that this blaster is the same one that is magnified in the new ad.

Altogether, these toys are not extremely safe and most probably may not contribute to children’s healthy behaviors and rather than bringing families together, these toys harm the fringe spirit of the American family.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by AP News/Michael Dwyer (James Swartz, director of World Against Toys Causing Harm, talks about the dangers of the Nerf Ultra One, during a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. The organization says the Nerf Ultra One gun, which is billed as firing soft darts up to 120 feet, shoots the projectiles with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries).

References

-Associated Press. (2019, November 19). Nerf gun, Power Rangers claw cited by toy safety watchdog. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/76d29b1b074f49abb4b955a973b49e77.

The Consequences of Violent Toys.

Written by Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez

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