Welcome to Newscoop Footnotes —
the weekly review of important news no one’s talking about.
Hi, I’m Zoe Licata.
First, a quick update on the ongoing fiasco at America’s southern border. This week the Trump administration blew past a court deadline requiring that it reunite more than 100 children under the age of 5 who had been taken from their families. As of last Tuesday, July 10th, the administration had returned just 4. The ACLU has taken the lead in the court action to return the children, and those attorneys are asking: If the Trump administration is unable to to locate and return these 100 children, how will they meet the July 26th deadline to return the additional 2 to 3 thousand? Perhaps most shockingly, in the court filings this week, the Trump administration asked that the children they took from parents who they then deported be excluded from the court’s directive to reunite the families.
Aside from the general heinousness of the Trump administration’s actions in taking these children away from their parents, the most obvious thing to be said is that this is the mess that results when the president gives important jobs to his friends who lack experience for those jobs, and then institutes policies with the sole purpose of promoting a political agenda.
Next, in a belated attempt to stem the ongoing suffering of innocents in the South Sudan conflict, the UN Security Council this past week implemented an arms embargo on the country. In the last five years of civil war, tens of thousands of South Sudanese have lost their lives, and millions more made refugees. African leaders and South Sudan’s ambassador to the UN argued against the timing of the embargo, as the country’s president Salva Kiir and his primary rival Riek Machar just last month agreed to a permanent ceasefire.
And the UK is in the midst of a political crisis that could take down the government of Theresa May. The UK’s Brexit negotiations with the EU have been challenging. And more information continues to come out that indicates Russia may have been behind the Brexit referendum vote results. Is anyone surprised? Now, the populist political vultures are circling overhead. Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has called for Brexiteer Boris Johnson to challenge Theresa May for the prime ministership. And Theresa May revealed in a BBC interview that Donald Trump last Friday advised her to “sue the European Union” rather than negotiate with them. All of this as Trump goes into his very private summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday, July 16th.
Lastly, it’s exciting news for Africa and all the world. Last weekend, the Lancet medical journal announced significant progress into an HIV/AIDS vaccine. The first studies indicate that the vaccine is safe for healthy people, and that it dramatically bolsters the body’s own immune system against the disease.
This has been the latest edition of Newscoop’s Footnotes – important events getting too little attention. Tune in next week for more.
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