Anti-Semitism? Who cares?


Ilhan Omar posted an openly anti-Semitic comment and basically, no one cares.Earlier this week Congresswoman Ilhan Omar re-tweeted a statement posted by Glenn Greenwald in which he expressed his discontent over continued U.S. support for Israel. Along with her re-tweet she added the statement, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” implying that U.S. support for Israel was entirely bought and paid for by the Jews.

This statement upholds the long-time anti-Semitic view that Jews in America simply buy out politicians and worse, that no one in American politics supports Israel simply from a moral basis. Her comments are disgusting and she should resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee immediately.

What was the response from the news media? The short answer, not much. Instead of focusing on the statement itself, stories focused on the fact that Omar is a “fresh face” in Congress and thus, still finding her way. Stories also covered the fact that Republicans “pounced” on her statement and overreacted.

Omar later apologized, but I would hardly call her statement an apology. She said, in another tweet, that she apologized unequivocally for any pain she may have caused, but that she stood by her statement. In my book, that is not an apology. It seems that for the left anti-Semitism is not a problem.

Omar will stay a Congresswoman and she will keep her position on the Foreign Affairs Committee. If we are to become a society without hate and one of equality, we must denounce all offensive statements. Not only the ones that further our political goals.

Trump to meet Kim Jong-un in Vietnam


U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, a country chosen as a neutral location for their second nuclear summit meeting, on Feb. 27-28.

“Kim and I will meet again on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam,” he said, but did not say where in Vietnam.

Trump made the announcement in his annual State of the Union address to Congress, confirming rumors about Vietnam being chosen as the venue for their second meeting, saying it was part of “a bold new diplomacy” that has already yielded potential results.
Mr. Trump expects the meeting to improve a diplomatic effort that has seemingly stalled since their last meeting in Singapore.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one.”

“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry,” Mr. Trump said. “We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens. Now that doesn’t mean we’re going to make a deal. But certainly I think we have a very good chance of making a deal.”

Vietnam, which has diplomatic ties with both Washington and Pyongyang, offers advantages for both leaders. Vietnam is an easy flight for Kim’s shorter-range aircraft, and for Trump, it offers a symbolic nod to a communist country that has improved relations with the United States since the end of the Vietnam War.

The U.S. President visited Vietnam for the first time in 2017 when he attended Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s annual meeting. I think the location of this upcoming meeting is chosen because of two reasons.

The first is that Vietnam is the setting of the United States’ last major war, a possible reminder of the devastating and long-lasting effects on the country. The second reason is to show how a Communist country can rise up from international isolation and establish a booming economy in a short time.

Another Canadian diplomat falls ill


The Canadian government has confirmed another case of mysterious symptoms affecting one of its embassy employees in Havana. The government released a statement on Wednesday that it plans to withdraw half of its diplomatic staff stationed in Cuba as a result.

The unknown ailment has stricken dozens of American and Canadian government employees since early 2017, who suffered unusual symptoms including dizziness, nausea, insomnia, ringing in the ears, and occasional memory loss. A total of 14 Canadian employees, spouses and dependents have fallen ill.

Canada pulled all nonessential staff and family members of diplomats in April 2018 in response to the onset of symptoms. According to a government statement, it now plans to cut its diplomats from 16 to eight.

“The health, safety and security of our diplomatic staff and their families remain our priority,” the statement said. “The Canadian government continues to investigate the potential causes of the unusual health symptoms … to date, no cause has been identified.”

According to the U.S. State Department, 26 Americans have suffered from a similar illness. Inner-ear damage was discovered in some of the afflicted Americans upon medical examination, but similar to Canada, the United States has yet to determine a cause.

The United States has also reduced the staff stationed at its embassy in Cuba to about two dozen. The Trump administration warned against traveling to the country in October 2017, after expelling over a dozen Cuban diplomats.

“This behavior favors those who in the United States use this issue to attack and denigrate Cuba,” Josefina Vidal, Cuban ambassador to Canada, told CNN. She said Cuba is cooperating in the investigation and is committed to maintaining good relations.

Many news outlets have been consistently following this story for more than a year and covering developments in the case as they arise; The New York Times in particular has covered when 25th U.S. embassy employee fell ill in June 2018, the discovery of inner-ear damage in diplomats in December 2018, as well as the initial withdrawal of nonessential Canadian personnel and the expulsion of Cuban diplomats from the U.S.

Related articles speculating the potential cause of the maladies have also been published, including a theory that a kind of microwave weapon may have been deployed against the diplomats or that two scientists suggest a loud species of cricket found in Cuba is responsible for their neurological symptoms.

The Canadian government said there is no evidence that Canadian travelers are at risk, and that its embassy will continue to function with minimal effect to its services.

Pageant greets first trans contestant


Although Miss Universe has accepted trans participants since 2012, the 26-year-old Angela Ponce will be the first trans gender woman to participate in the global Miss Universe Pageant. After beating 20 other contestants in the Miss Universe Spain Gala and making it to the global pageant, Ponce aims to change the world.

Facing rejection throughout her career for being trans, Ponce wants to become a voice for trans kids and let them know they are beautiful and not alone in the world. Trans teenagers around the globe face high attempts of suicide and not enough help is being offered to this issue.

Transphobia is common all around the world and a topic that is quickly ignored, Ponce wants to use this pageant as a platform to bring awareness for transgender individuals of all ages all around the globe who face suffer suicidal thoughts and attempts as well as legal codes who discriminate against transgenders publicly either in public bathrooms and also employment discrimination.

According to NBC, an European transgender group TGEU published a study last year and discovered that “77.5 percent of 885 transgender people more than 16 years old polled in Georgia, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Sweden had considered taking their own lives and that 24.5 percent of respondents had made at least one attempt.”

News outlets have done a great job at communicating Ponce’s perspective on this milestone and not keeping quiet about this. Ponce’s interview with the Associated Press Madrid in Spain has gone viral allowing people around the world to know about this issue.

It is important that they have not ignored her message, where she does not aim for the title of the crown but more importantly fight for transgender rights.

Bolsonaro wins election in Brazil


After significant strife and controversy within the presidential election, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is Brazil’s new president-elect.

While news media outlets may remain unbiased through their use of language, the angles and topics they cover regarding this election clearly convey the publication’s stance.

An article published by Fox News, “Brazil elects anti-establishment candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president,” by Frank Miles, chooses to only highlight certain aspects of the candidate and election.

Through labeling Bolsonaro as an “anti-establishment candidate” and “political outsider” and referring to his “rebel image,” Miles paints the candidate’s stance in an almost positive light.

The piece does address the reservations some had regarding Bolsonaro, but only in reference to how his supporters overcame them. Additionally, it only contains direct quotations from those who voted for Bolsonaro.

Per usual, CNN’s coverage differs dramatically from Fox’s.

In a piece headlined “Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro wins presidential election in Brazil,” by Flora Charner and Marcia Reverdosa, Bolsonaro’s campaign and subsequent election are portrayed as detrimental to Brazil and the world at large.

The article details how Bolsonaro plans to open parts of the Amazon rain forest to development, “the Women Against Bolsonaro march,” and parallels to Trump through their shared habit of indulging in oppressive rhetoric.

CNN’s piece, however, does include sources from both sides of the election, although the intention of the piece is clear: that Bolsonaro’s election is not a good thing.

Woman stabs 14 in Chinese kindergarten


In Chongqing, China, a 39-year-old woman stabbed numerous children with a kitchen knife as they were going back to class after their 9:30 a.m. exercises at Yudong New Century Kindergarten, said Chongqing City Banan district police.

According to residents, the kindergarten does not have any outdoor space for the children to play so they usually go to a local public park to play and for their morning exercises.

Graphic videos have gone viral due to nearby residents who intervened and tried to help as much as they could. Unfortunately, kids were rushed to the hospital with massive face cuts and wrapped in bandages around their heads.

According to CNN, this incident is not the first time school children have been stabbed and severely hurt. Nine students were killed at a middle school by a 28-year-old man in Shaanxi earlier this year in April.

In 2017, 11 students were attacked as a man invaded the school and climbed over a wall of a kindergarten with a knife.

Prior to this terrible event, there has been protests over faulty medicine for children also. And as America suffers from school and public place shootings, China also suffers as they constantly face knives attacks due to China’s strict gun laws.

The video shows furious nearby residents and some even shocked at what was going on. Luckily there was enough residents who were able to intervene and try to help the situation by attacking the attacker.

The power of today’s technology and social media outlets allow residents with the power of providing footage at the scene of events like this. As graphic and horrible these videos were, it allows the viewer to feel as if they were there.

Sex slave survivor wins Nobel Prize


At the age of 25, Nadia Murad is using her experience and losses to fight against ISIS and is now a winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

Murad testified before a U.S. Senate committee in Washington in 2016, the world discovered and learned about her horrific experience.

The unexpected happened when ISIS militants kidnapped, enslaved and raped her in Mosul in 2014 while she was a high school student. Her mother along with six of her nine brothers were executed by ISIS militants.

“Nearly 6,500 women and children from the Yazidi were abducted and about 5,000 people from the community were killed during that day. For eight months, they separated us from our mothers and our sisters and our brothers, and some of them were killed and other disappeared,” said Murad, in an interview with CNN.

After an attempt to escape, she was gang-raped by ISIS militants but she eventually escaped to Mosul and a Muslim family helped her to escape ISIS territory.

It takes tremendous courage to attempt to escape ISIS militants and Murad not only escaped but is now fighting for women’s rights and advocate for Yazidi minority in Iraq and refugees’ rights as well.

While she survived ISIS, many kids and young women and men are still under the influence and enslavement of ISIS. It is up to news media outlets to change America’s perspective on refugees. Today’s society in America believes or feel that bringing in refugees is dangerous and unnecessary. People are scared of what bringing in refugees can mean to the country.

But these people need help. Thanks to stories like these, more awareness can be spread that refugees need help.

Murad spoke to members of the U.S. Congress and urged them to be more aggressive towards ISIS, declaring: “Daesh will not give up their weapons unless we force them to give up their weapons…. the Yazidi people cannot wait.”

According to CNN, Murad has won the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, the Sakharov Prize, the Clinton Global Citizen Award and the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association of Spain, United Nations’ first goodwill ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She has published a New York Times bestselling memoir titled “The Last Girl.”

It is not about all the awards she has won, it is about the issue and how there are still underage girls and endless victims suffering under ISIS. The media as well as congress needs to do more, and teach our society that refugees are not the enemy. We should not be against refugees, but help them.

U.S. Ryder Cup team struggles in Paris


Although having what many to believe to be one of the most talented teams in U.S. Ryder Cup history, the United States were blow out by Team Europe at this years Ryder Cup.

Although the team struggled on the golf course, many unverified reports say that the team began having issues on the flight across the pond. French tabloids have run pieces saying that stars Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka almost fought both on the plane and in Paris.

The validity of these reports have been put in question as both Koepka and Johnson have vehemently denied the report as well as multiple team members. Dealing with these reports is something the team had to deal with in Paris and questioned whether or not the tabloid published the stories to cause a stir within the team.

Although tabloids have a pretty low standard to follow, it seems as though they don’t mind risking their journalistic integrity to ensure clicks and publicity.

Iraqi police capture top IS members


Iraqi forces in coordination with U.S.-backed Syrian forces have captured five senior Islamic State group leaders, the U.S.-led coalition said Thursday in a statement.

The arrest was a “significant blow to Daesh,” U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon, coalition spokesman, said, using the Arabic acronym for the extremist group.IS fighters no longer control significant pockets of territory inside Iraq, but do maintain a grip inside Syria along Iraq’s border.

The U.S.-led coalition supported Iraqi ground forces and Syrian fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the more than three-year war against IS. After Iraqi forces retook the Iraqi city of Mosul from IS last summer, Syrian forces on the other side of the border claimed a series of swift victories, but the campaign was stalled recently when Turkey launched a cross-border raid into Syria’s north.

Earlier this month the coalition announced a drive to clear the final pockets of IS territory inside Syria. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted about the anti-IS raid Thursday, saying those arrested were the “five most wanted” IS “leaders.”

Last year the Pentagon said that there were “some indicators” that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was still alive a month after Russia claimed to have killed him in a strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa. None of the statements released Thursday from the president or the coalition named the IS fighters arrested. IS fighters swept into Iraq in the summer of 2014, taking control of nearly a third of the country. At the height of the group’s power their self-proclaimed caliphate stretched from the edges of Aleppo in Syria to just north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Now, with the group’s physical caliphate largely destroyed, anti-IS operations are increasingly focused on targeting the extremists’ remaining leadership.

North Korea nears denuclearization


Moon Chung-in, who is a special adviser for the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, announced that Kim Jong-un is willing to negotiate for North Korea’s denuclearization in a bid to stabilize North Korea’s economy and solidify his position as North Korean leader. 

This announcement comes just after President Trump said he would meet with Kim Jong-un and just before the third-ever inter-Korean summit, an event being hailed as a “cautious starting point” for peace efforts by South Korean Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok. The summit is expected to be an opportunity for open communication between both North and South Korea, the United States and other nations near the Korean Peninsula.

“Although the special envoys have already confirmed a willingness to denuclearize, it will make a difference if the two heads of state will meet and more clearly confirm it and make it a formal statement,” said Jong-seok.

Despite these rosy forecasts, skeptics are left wondering why Jong-un would announce denuclearization when he appears close to achieving his long-stated goal of owning nuclear missiles able to reach the mainland of the United States. However, last year’s increase in United Nations’ sanctions are expected to take a massive toll on North Korea’s slow-growing economy, a toll that Jong-un cannot afford if he wants to continue to control the fate of the Northern Korean Peninsula. 

In addition, Chung-in hypothesized that North Korea might have believed the United States would not take the country seriously unless nuclear capabilities were reached. Chung-in said that Jong-un believes the advances in his missile programs will force the United States into the negotiations. Washington has repeatedly rejected earlier calls for negotiation from North Korea over a lack of sincerity. There is the distinct possibility that North Korea comes to this negotiation with the intent of humiliating the United States through absurd or over-the-top demands for peace, allowing Jong-un to both save face and his weapons program. 

Conservative hawks such as National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, advocate for measures as extreme as preventative war with North Korea. North Korea has long advocated for the complete removal of the nearly 30,000 United States troops in South Korea and the end to their joint exercises with the South Korean military. If such drastic demands come to the fore of President Trump’s summit with Jong-un, denuclearization and peace may be a far-off dream yet. But if North Korea’s economy and people continue to dwindle in strength and faith in their leader, Jong-un may be left with no choice but denuclearization.

Trump has plans to meet with Jong-un in May or early June, though that largely depends on the cautious optimism behind the April 27 inter-Korean summit.

Air Niugini plane crashes into sea


All passengers are in good condition after Air Niugini plane crash-landed in the ocean.

Due to poor weather conditions and little visibility, Air Niugini Boeing 737 flight crashed in the sea near Micronesian Island on Friday. It has been reported that the pilot missed the runway yet it is not certain if the plane passed over it or if it detoured before even reaching the runway.

“Dozens of airline passengers were forced to swim for their lives,” said Bark Wilkinson and Hillary Clarke on an article published by CNN news.

Luckily, the aircraft stayed afloat long enough for the passengers to get out through the emergency exits where after they were helped by local fishermen on boats to bring them to safety.

Reportedly, the water was reaching the passengers’ waists. After everyone on board successfully evacuated the plane, the water reached below the window line. Many witnesses of the accident claimed how fortunate they were in that it was daylight at the moment of the incident, giving the passengers a greater chance of surviving.

The reporting on this incident has been focused on the safety and well being of the individuals on board. As of now there have been no serious injuries reported. Further details will be available soon as the investigation of the crash continues.

Nations unite against Venezula’s crisis


Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Canada leaders signed on Wednesday reached out to the president of the International Criminal Court and signed a statement asking for a probe into possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela.

According to CNN, the crimes, dating to 2014, range from extra-judicical murder, torture and the random arrests and detention of political opponents and anti-government protesters.

The protests throughout the last five years has caused unforgivable types of punishments towards Venezuelan citizens and it does not matter the age. Kids as young as 14 years of age have been arrested, or as some say kidnapped, and taken to unknown prison locations. Protesting because citizens want a better, safe, respectful and fair type of government its considered a crime in Venezuela.

Once known as the richest and most potential country for opportunity, Venezuela it is now at the bottom of the list with the highest dead rates, food shortages, starvation, inflammation, the list goes on. The hospitals are overcrowded with not enough doctors or medicine and supermarket shelf stands still remain empty.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, where the request was made, will meet in New York this week with the UN General Assembly General Assembly. According to Human Rights Watch, this is the first time International Criminal Court member governments have decided to follow an investigation of crimes on the territory of another country.

Due to the financial and economic crisis, people have migrated to other countries by the millions. But there are still also millions of civilians living in Venezuela and those who are not as lucky or have the necessary assets to leave and start over in another country.

It is not only about moving to another country for a better life. Venezuela wants its country back. Citizens wants its once almost perfect country. People are dying of hunger and in need of medicine. President Maduro and his allies can no longer hide this throughout their media communications in the country or the world.

If it wasn’t for social media or other communication outlets like Skype, Face-Time and Whatsapp, I don’t believe President Nicholas Maduro would get away with lying to the world about how good and peaceful Venezuela currently is.

Human rights have been violated for years now in Venezuela, and jails are filled with protesters and there are rumors they are not allowed to communicate with one another or they are not allowed to see daylight.

This investigation will hopefully turn down Maduro and the government.

Maduro eats well, but others starving


Over the last decade, Venezuela has gone deep and deeper into a black hole. The economy has been damaged to an extent that today, Venezuela is facing its darkest poverty phase.

I hope it is just a phase, but as the years go by, hospitals loose more and more medicine, the super market shelves remain empty, and the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, continues to lose its value all due to careless government.

This past Monday, President Nicolas Maduro had a feast at “Salt Bae” restaurant in Istanbul. Owned by Celebrity Chef Nusret Gökçe, who is known for his style of seasoning stakes, hung out with the president as Gökçe sliced the meat with his style and spent the day with the president as Maduro smoked cigars.

Not only were people furious back in Venezuela, but once the videos of this get together made it online and on the news, local citizens and Venezuelans went to the famous restaurant to protest against the chef for welcoming the president and his wife Celia Flores.

“I don’t know who this weirdo #Saltbae is but the guy he is so proud to host is not the president of #Venezuela,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

The news of this get together traveled fast though out the world and since the the videos have been removed by the chef himself, according to The New York Times.

I don’t think it is right these videos should have been removed because Venezuela’s crisis is real. By removing these videos, people back in Venezuela who support Maduro still believe he is trying to change the country.

People on social media have grieved the losses of children who have died due to starvation, because there is not food available to eat. And if there is food available, a salary a doctor makes is not enough to buy a dozen of eggs or even one piece of bread.

According to a study published by LACSO, found that 87 percent of citizens in Venezuela are facing starvation. People are trying to buy groceries by crossing the border in Colombia or migrate to other countries in South America or whenever they can.

The crisis Venezuela is facing is now more than violence and dangerous protests, but now a starvation matter.

Maduro stated he stopped by the restaurant on his way back from China to “secure financing for the cash-strapped country,” according to CNN. 

Some videos may have been removed, but I am glad CNN and social media outlets are bringing this issue to light because there is still plenty of people who believe Maduro will fix the economic crisis, even though his government is the one destroying the country.

Soccer incident stirs controversy


For fans of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, the past year has been more disappointing then any in recent memory. Failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a devastating end to a tumultuous qualifying campaign that saw the team lose the first two games of the Hexagonal stage of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) qualifying process and never bounce back.

Now 11 months removed from failing to qualify, fans finally had a reason to celebrate when the United States defeated rival Mexico 1-0 in an international friendly on the 17-year anniversary of 9/11. The team bounced back from a forgettable first half and was able to frustrate the Mexican side with extremely physical play.

The highlight of the game came in the 63rd minute when 6’4 center back Matt Miazga stared down the 5-foot-5 Mexican midfielder Diego Lainez and ended with Miazga mocking the Mexican player for his diminutive stature.

Following the encounter Mexican forward was shown a red-card hard foul and the U.S. capitalized three minutes later with a goal.

With both teams fielding extremely young squads for the friendly, it would seem that post-game commentary would reflect how the squads reacted to the incident. The youthful Mexican squad reacted poorly to the incident and allowed themselves to become frustrated by the antics of the U.S. When asked about the incident, Mexican forward Angel Zaldivar said, “They poked fun [and] tried to play a dirty game that honestly we don’t think is how you should play. That’s their game and we couldn’t do anything about it.”

Some in the news media also felt Miazga’s actions may have represented some greater issue with the overall mentality in U.S. soccer culture. As ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar tweeted following the incident, “Not surprised it was a #USMNT player who made a short joke on a soccer field. Obsession with & size in ‘coaching’ circle in this country is absurd.”

While Salazar’s claim should be considered inherently absurd, especially considering that two of the U.S.’s greatest talents ever, Christian Pulisic and Landon Donovan, both stand at 5-foot-8, it does illustrate a dangerous tendency in sports commentary. To make one instance of juvenile smack talk between two competitors a part of a greater discussion about U.S. soccer development is not productive and fails to enjoy what should have been a fun moment in a fun rivalry.

Shark attack halts Australia competition


During a surf competition in Gracetown, Australia, a shark attacked a surfer. This incident has forced a temporary suspension of the international surfing competition.

The victim was a man in his 30s, the shark bit his leg on Monday morning. He managed to paddle back to shore and a rescue helicopter ferried him to the hospital.

Peter Jovic, a surf photographer told ABC news he witnessed the attack.

“I saw the guy who had been attacked get separated form the surf board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in,” he said. ” They got him to shore and started working on him to stem the bleeding.”

St John Ambulance said in a tweet, “he is conscious and breathing and being treated for leg injuries.”

Trump, Obama not attending wedding


British royal weddings are usually grand affairs of state. It is a place where presidents and prime ministers rub shoulders with obscure European monarchs. But for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle it will not be the case.

Kensington Palace announced on Tuesday that the royal couple will not be inviting political leaders to the event. This means that President Trump and predecessor Barack Obama will not be there.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was not even worthy of an invitation. Only personal friends of the couple were included on the list as well as a number of ordinary British citizens.

A spokesman for Kensington Palace said, “It has been decided that an official list of political leaders both UK and international is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markles wedding. Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by the royal household.”

First Lady Melanie was also not invited, which was confirmed by a White House official.

Unlike the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, this royal wedding is not an official state occasion. It is being regarded as a private ceremony.

This ceremony will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is a much smaller venue than Westminster Abbey where Harry’s older brother Prince William married Kate Middleton.

This was covered in a very informative matter. Not many people know how royal weddings work so it makes people understand what the guest list is normally composed of.

Space station crashes into Pacific


One of China’s greatest space marvels, the Tiangong-1 space station, has met its fiery end by re-entering Earth’s atmosphere on April 1, breaking up over the Pacific. The exact location of the crash is still unknown.

At the size of a school bus, the 8.5-ton space lab has been unmanned since 2013 and lost contact with the Chinese in 2016, following an apparent malfunction that ended communications with the spacecraft. The Chinese have not publicly stated what this malfunction could have been.

The Chinese originally planned to use Tiangong-1’s thrusters to guide the spacecraft harmlessly into the ocean, but after the apparent communications malfunction the space station has gradually been dropping lower as it passes through the upper atmosphere. Scientists predicted the station would re-enter the atmosphere anytime between March 29 to April 2.

“With our current understanding of the dynamics of the upper atmosphere and Europe’s limited sensors, we are not able to make very precise predictions,” Holger Krag, head of the European Space Agency Space Debris Office, said in a statement. “The high speeds of returning satellites mean they can travel thousands of kilometers during that time window, and that makes it very hard to predict a precise location of reentry.”

According to CNN, China’s Manned Space Agency said the space station crashed into the Pacific Ocean at 8:16 p.m. ET on April 1, with most debris burning up in the re-entry process. While the exact location of the downed space station is unknown, it is most likely located north of an area known as “the spacecraft graveyard,” an area of the Pacific where most space agencies try to put space craft down into.

News coverage that surrounded the Tiangong-1 re-entry was unprecedented, only becoming big due to the chance of crashing on land. While no one has died from being hit by falling spacecraft debris, one woman in Tulsa, Okla., was struck on the shoulder by a piece of a rocket fuel tank, but was uninjured, in 1997.

Catholics to discuss Church, Francis


On April 7, a Catholic group, the “Friends of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra,” will be holding a conference in Rome in order to address the concerns they have about the direction the Catholic Church is heading under Pope Francis.

The group is named after recently deceased Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who opposed the new ideas expressed by the Catholic Church and the way it was being led under Pope Francis.  The conference in April is called “The Catholic Church: Where Are You Heading?”

The focus of the conference is to address the confusion in the Catholic Church.  “Its subtitle, ‘Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church,’ is taken from comments Cardinal Caffarra made in an interview with the Italian newspaper II Foglio in January 2017,” wrote the National Catholic Register.

A main issue that the organizers of the conference are hoping to find clarity around is interpretation of Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia, or “Joy of love.”  The Pope broke down barriers and relaxed many of the previous principles for divorced and remarried couples within the Catholic Church in the exhortation.

“It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church,” wrote Pope Francis in the exhortation. “The Christian community’s care of such persons is not to be considered a weakening of its faith and testimony to the indissolubility of marriage; rather, such care is a particular expression of its charity.”

The story has been covered among an array of Christian publications, some specifically Catholic and other’s nondenominational.  The overall tone and language of the coverage of the upcoming conference varies greatly depending on if the news outlet is Catholic or nondenominational.

The Christian Post gave a very factual account of the conference and the issues it is aiming to address without inserting any opinion or biased language.

The first line of the article on the Christian Post reads, “A group of Catholics are planning to hold a conference in Rome next month in response to concerns they have about the direction of the Church under Pope Francis.”

The article on the Christian Post then follows with a series of quotes from Pope Francis’ exhortation and Cardinal Caffarra’s letter to Francis in response to the exhortation.  Their article concludes, with results from a research study interviewing members of the Catholic Church.

“The Roman conference is coming not long after Pew Research Center released a poll finding that, five years since Francis became pope, a growing number of American Catholics have concluded that he is, among other things, ‘too liberal’ and ‘naïve,’” wrote Michael Gryboski for the Christian Post.

The National Catholic Register’s coverage of the story seemed biased against Pope Francis and focused mainly on why Catholics are disillusioned by the current pope.

The first line of the article on the National Catholic Register reads, “Lay faithful as well as members of the hierarchy, clergy and religious are being invited to participate in a Rome conference aimed at helping the Church find its way after the uncertainties of the past five years of Pope Francis’ pontificate.”

“The conference was one of Cardinal Caffarra’s last wishes after he had become deeply disillusioned by the crisis of confusion, most notably regarding the issue of giving the Eucharist to Catholics engaging in sexual relations outside marriage, such as remarried Catholic divorcees and cohabitating couples,” wrote Edward Pentin for the National Catholic Registrar.

LifeSiteNews is a Christian news outlet that offers a “Standard Edition” and a “Catholic Edition.” The story of the conference was covered in the Catholic Edition and contains much biased language against Pope Francis.

The first line of the article on LifeSiteNews reads, “It’s confirmed.  On April 7, 2018 – the Saturday after Easter – a very special conference will be held in Rome whose aim is to indicate the path forward for the Catholic Church after the uncertain journey of the first five years of Pope Francis’ pontificate.”

Unlike all nondenominational coverage of the story, the LifeSiteNews article covers and explains ways in which some Catholics are seeking to reduce and limit papal authority after the exhortations of Pope Francis.

“In a Church seemingly in disarray, the key issue the conference will seek to address is the redefinition of leadership roles for the ‘people of God,’ the character and limits of papal authority, and forms of consulting the faithful on matters of doctrine,” according to LifeSiteNews.

U.S. bans purchase of Venezuelan Petro


On March 8, the Florida Senate took action to ban the state from engaging in business with companies supporting the regime in Venezuela and U.S restrictions with the Venezuelan economy continue.

President Donald Trump took recent action to prohibit the purchase of new Venezuelan cryptocurrency called the Petro. This new medium of exchange was created by President Nicolas Maduro as an attempt to fix the country’s weak economy at the moment and the increasing inflation rate, an article on Bloomberg explained.

The executive order was signed on March 19 and prohibits U.S citizens from buying this cryptocurrency.

While Bloomberg gives a brief description of the situation, an article on CNN Money further explains what this means for both countries.

According to CNN, Trump’s recent action follows his previous ban of U.S investors from buying bonds issued by the Venezuelan government or state-run companies, such as the leading oil company in the country, PDVSA.

Maduro stated the currency will be backed by oil, the primary resource in the country. This does not mean, however, that investors would have ownership of this resource.

Additionally, Maduro stated on a tweet that the Petro’s private auction raised $735 million. But CNN reports this amount has not been confirmed.

This executive order is a significant action for the Trump administration, as it actively recognizes the illegitimacy of the Venezuelan government.

Both articles can be found at and

State to end business with Venezuela


Venezuela has been experiencing the worst economic crisis in the country’s history since current president, Nicolas Maduro, came to power. Yet, American news media often overlook this collapse and focus more on the crises of other counties.

However, recent article from local Miami Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, reported on a new decision that might be good news for the Venezuelan people.

This decision, taken on Thursday by the Florida Senate, prohibits the State of Florida to engage in business with companies that support Maduro’s regime. The article reported that the vote to move forward with this regulation was unanimous.

Finalizing of this decision is especially important for the state of Florida in that it would prevents the state from indirectly contributing to an oppressive regime. The last thing Florida Senate needs for this motion to go through is Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.

State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

Additionally, the article reported on the Florida Senate’s point of view by interviewing one of its members, Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

He said he expressed his support for the action and explained how it favors the Venezuelan people and the struggle for democracy in the country.

Given the high Venezuelan population in South Florida, El Nuevo Herald does a great job at catering to this group of likely readers. However, stories such as this one are still not being reported enough at the national level. The article can be found at