Newscoop Footnotes: October 22, 2018

Welcome to Newscoop Footnotes — the weekly review of important news no one’s talking about.

Hi, I’m Arasha Lalani.

Another crazy week around the world. We’ve promised in the past that Newscoop’s Footnotes would not be all-about-Trump, though that was challenging this week. A prominent Washington Post journalist was murdered by the Saudis, while Donald Trump was openly encouraging violence against the media. Trump pulled the U.S. out of a critical nuclear treaty with Russia. And New York witches continued their spells on the GOP, following up their hexes on Trump with a new one on Brett Kavanaugh.

  • Global outcry has built over the October 2nd murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey. Donald Trump first promised “severe punishment” if the Saudis were found to have killed Khashoggi. Then Trump spoke of the importance to the U.S. of the Saudi relationship. Next, he began floating the possibility of “rogue killers” being responsible, complaining that the Saudis were being held “guilty until proven innocent.” Then Trump announced that he found perfectly credible the most recent Saudi explanation that Khashoggi died in a “fist-fight.”

    And then last Tuesday — the very day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss Khashoggi’s murder, the Saudis transferred $100 million to the United States  — ostensibly to support the stabilization of northeastern Syria. While for Trump, everything may have a price, most aren’t buying it. This time not even Congressional Republicans.

  • Next, Trump seemed to feel it was all-ok to ditch a critical nuclear arms control agreement with Russia. He announced on October 20th that he was pulling the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF Treaty, negotiated in 1987 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. While Reagan isn’t around to tell Trump how dumb that is, Gorbachev is. Gorbachev warned that Trump’s plans undermine the global effort to disarm, and risks provoking a dangerous military escalation. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, accused the U.S. of behaving “clumsily and crudely.”
  • And while many Americans review their various options for activism against the recent Supreme Court appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, a group of New York witches has come up with their own resistance measure:  they’ve placed a hex on Brett Kavanaugh. The Brooklyn hex event was sold out, and also streamed online. Event organizers said the purpose was to expose “Brett Kavanaugh for what he truly is, to cause him harm and see him undone.” A Catholic priest and exorcist, Father Thomas, announced his intention to counter the spell with prayers.

    The Brooklyn event followed 3 earlier spells by the group on Donald Trump, which they claim have been enormously successful.

  • And given all of that, it’s not surprising that a commission of global experts assembled by the Lancet medical journal is reporting a world crisis in mental health around the globe. Their review estimates that the global epidemic costs as much as 13.5 million lives each year, with the cost to the global economy expected to reach $16 trillion by 2030.

    The report speaks of the “collective failure to respond to this global health crisis,” and that those with mental disorders are often abused, incarcerated, locked in mental institutions and living on the street — leading to a “monumental loss of human capabilities and avoidable suffering.”  Joint lead editor of the Lancet report, Professor Vikram Patel of Harvard Medical School, said that “Mental health problems kill more young people than any other cause around the world.”


This has been the latest edition of Newscoop’s Footnotes – important events getting too little attention. See you next week with more.


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