Read about what really matters from the news last week. We provide you the least-biased news about current events so you can go about your day informed, not brainwashed.
What to avoid:
- It’s going to be incredibly hard to avoid this one, but please, ignore the President’s tweet about the size of his button. Learn why the tweet doesn’t really matter by reading our standalone post here: Trump’s Button vs. Kim’s Button.
- Another item to avoid for the week is the pandemonium over a book coming out about Trump’s fitness for office. The book isn’t widely read and vetted yet, thus we don’t know what really matters inside it, or what type of impact it’ll have. Remember, any sort of removal from office is a political affair, meaning that while the Republicans own Congress, the Trump-fans can most likely breathe easy, and the Trump-haters shouldn’t hold their breath.
What to focus on:
- What you should focus on is what’s actually happening in North Korea, not the tweets about it. After reading our post linked above which will give you the context of the situation, you should focus on what’s currently happening. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently gave a speech in which he threatened the U.S. and struck a softer tone with South Korea. Kim stated the U.S. mainland is within range of the North’s nuclear weapons (the genesis of the nuclear button stuff) but also said he hopes the olympics would be a “success”. Many aren’t sure of how genuine the North’s attempt at dialogue is, wondering if it’s simply a ploy to drive a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea and loosen some international sanctions.
- Regardless of one’s beliefs in trickle-down economics or one’s position on the tax-reform bill, it’s good to give credit where credit is due. Some companies (including about 40+ major companies) have made moves that benefit their employees due to the tax reform bill’s passing. Some of the companies are AT&T ($1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees; $1 billion increase in capital expenditures), Aflac (increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k); $250 million increase in overall U.S. investment), American Airlines ($1,000 bonuses for every employee (excluding officers). The bonuses will total $130 million), Bank of America ($1,000 bonuses to 145,000 U.S. employees), Boeing ($100 million in charitable donations; $100 million for workforce development; $100 million for infrastructure and facilities), Comcast ($1,000 bonuses to 100,000 employees; at least $50 billion investment in infrastructure in next five years), PNC Financial Services ($1,000 bonuses to 47,500 employees; an additional $1,500 in employee pension accounts; base wage hike to $15; $200 million charitable contribution), Southwest Airlines ($1,000 bonuses for all 55,000 employees; $5 million additional charitable donations), U.S. Bancorp ($1,000 bonuses for 60,000 employees; base wage hike to $15 per hour; $150 million charitable contribution), Wells Fargo (raised base wage from $13.50 to $15.00 per hour; $400 million in charitable donations for 2018; $100 million increased capital investment over next three years), and more.
- The Trump Administration is expected to cut aid to Pakistan due to a tweet from President Trump stating, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Many agree with this while some feel it’ll only escalate tensions in both the Middle East and in the India/Pakistan dispute. A great article to read up on the effects of a cut and on possibilities of Pakistani retaliation can be found here.
- Iran has been dealing with some major protests over the last week, mainly stemming from economic issues and income inequality between the royals and the masses. As of 7 December, the Revolutionary Guard claims to have stifled the anti-government protests. The protests clearly had an effect on the government of Iran, leading to a tweet about them from the account held by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
In recent events, enemies of #Iran have allied & used the various means they possess, including money, weapons, politics &intelligence services, to trouble the Islamic Republic. The enemy is always looking for an opportunity & any crevice to infiltrate &strike the Iranian nation. pic.twitter.com/HIXtudRAue
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) January 2, 2018
After catching up on the events of the week, check out what Independent political candidates and organizations did by visiting our Who Did What? post located here.