Outside Iona



President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un met in Vietnam in February to discuss the possibility of North Korea’s denuclearization.

Abigail Rapillo, News Editor

What’s been happening in the world since the last issue of the Ionian?

  1. Michael Cohen Testimony

Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27 to give evidence for claims he has made against the president. He said that he was ready to come clean after lying to Congress and wanted to reveal what he says Trump has been involved in. He brought documents to serve as evidence, such as a copy of a check Cohen received from Trump which Cohen claimed was reimbursement for paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. The documents also said that requests had been made to keep Trump’s academic records hidden and offered proof that Trump had exaggerated how wealthy he was. Cohen referred to the president as a “racist” and a “conman” and said he blindly followed Trump’s directions for over a decade.

Many Republican senators called into question Cohen’s credibility, as he had lied to Congress before.

Cohen was tried and found guilty of financial crimes and perjury in December. He began serving his three-year prison sentence on March 6.

Information from Fox News, Vox, The New York Times, CBS News and the Washington Post.

  1. S./North Korea Summit

President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Feb. 28 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The United States went into the Summit with the stated desire to draw closer to North Korean denuclearization, but talks ended abruptly over American sanctions on North Korea. To put economic pressure on the regime, the U.S. has placed economic and diplomatic sanctions on North Korea, causing a blow to their economy. Kim wanted all sanctions to be lifted immediately in exchange for North Korean steps towards disarmament of nuclear weapons, but Trump said the U.S. would be unwilling to do so.

The president regularly talks about his good relationship with Kim and has said he believes this will bring North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons. Trump’s national security adviser said that the president is confident in the personal relationship the two have built.

The two leaders appeared together to speak with the press and Kim answered direct questions from Western journalists for the first time at the summit.

Information from the Washington Post, Reuters and PBS NewsHour.

  1. Boeing Jets grounded after crashes around the world

China, Ethiopia, the European Union and many other countries around the world have grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes after the second deadly crash of the airplane in five months on March 10 in Ethiopia. This crash killed all 157 people on board and both crashes occurred soon after take-off, causing countries to be skeptical of the safety of the airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration said they have complete faith in the MAX 8 and will not require companies to ground the planes.

Plane passengers are voicing their concerns via social media that the FAA has not grounded the planes, and have even called airline companies to make sure they will not be flying on a MAX 8.

The MAX 8 is the newest commercial liner from Boeing. The other MAX 8 crash occurred in China in October and killed all 189 people on board.

Information from NPR, the AP, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

  1. Brexit Update

The United Kingdom Parliament voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union for the second time on March 12. The agreed-upon date for the U.K. to leave the EU is March 26, and is likely to leave without a deal, throwing the U.K. economy into chaos and drawing the country closer to a dangerous situation at the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Theresa May did not give a directive to her party on how to vote on the new deal, nor how they should vote in respect to a no-deal Brexit, in which the U.K. would split from the EU with no provisions. The BBC reported that this shows that May has lost control over her party. The BBC and other news outlets have reported that the reason the deal cannot pass is because part of the parliament does not want Brexit to happen at all, and others do not think the plan goes far enough in separating the U.K. from the EU. Many believe that the result of this divide will be a no-deal Brexit.

Protests have risen up across the country in the two years since the referendum where the country voted by a small margin to leave the EU, centering on the idea that many people who were not able to vote two years ago and now can will vote against Brexit. Many in the country have also said that they did not really know what the Brexit truly meant as advertising on both sides of the issue confused voters.

Information from The New York Times, the BBC and Vox.

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