Outside Iona



President Trump declared a national emergency on Feb. 15 to consolidate money needed to fund construction of a border wall. The money will go towards building new sections and upgrading existing parts of the wall.

Abigail Rapillo, News Editor

What’s been happening in the world during the past few weeks?

    1. Trump declared a national emergency for the border wall

President Donald J. Trump announced that he was declaring a national emergency on Feb. 15 for a border wall along the southern US border with Mexico. 16 states’ attorneys general challenged the national emergency, beginning with California on Feb. 18.

By declaring a national emergency, Trump is able to use money from other government programs to fund the construction of the border wall. The president said he needs $8 billion to build the wall.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Feb. 26 that would effectively cancel the national emergency, and bar Trump from accessing the money needed to build the wall. The vote was nearly along party lines, but 13 Republican representatives in the House voted to pass the resolution. The resolution did not get a two-thirds supermajority to override a presidential veto, which Trump has already said he will use. The resolution needs to be voted on by the Senate next.

Information from NPR, CBS, the AP and Fox News.

  1. Amazon decided pull its plans to construct a headquarters in Long Island City, New York

Amazon announced on Feb. 14 that it will not be building its second headquarters in Long Island City. The decision came amidst backlash from local politicians, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz, due to their constituents being worried about rising home prices in the area and being driven out due to Amazon being located there. New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica voiced his disappointment that the plan fell through because of the loss of more than 25,000 jobs and $27 billion. Mujica also blasted Queens politicians who opposed the construction of the headquarters, saying it would discourage other businesses from moving to New York and that the opposition was based in faulty information.

Information from Forbes, Bloomberg and the New York State Budget Office website.

  1. Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett, an actor on the show “Empire” reported to the Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime on Jan. 29. Smollett claimed that the attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him while wearing MAGA hats and saying “This is MAGA country.” Smollett is both black and gay and plays a queer character on “Empire.” Smollett accused his attackers of putting a noose around his neck and pouring a liquid on him that he said was bleach. Police arrested two brothers, who are Nigerian immigrants, as suspects in the attack on Feb. 14. Police said that one of the brothers was Smollett’s personal trainer on the set of “Empire.” After, police announced they were investigating Smollett for staging his own attack. Smollett turned himself in to police on Feb. 20 and maintained his innocence. Chicago police have emphasized that Smollett has the presumption of innocence.

Information from NBC, Fox News, VOX and ABC.

  1. Coast Guard lieutenant possibly planned a terror attack

Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested on Feb. 20 for stockpiling weapons and created what investigators called a hit list of Democratic senators and media personalities on MSNBC and CNN. The suspect is also suspected of using work computers to make Google searches related to finding senators and the security of Supreme Court Justices and Congress people, according to the Washington Post.

Hasson has been accused of being a white nationalist and court documents said he had plans to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”

Information from the Washington Post and ABC.

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