News Roundup (Week of Nov. 20-26, 2016)

news roundup, Nov 20-26

Hello, Readers! It’s time for another news roundup.

For this week, I decided to tweak the formula a bit. Now, I will include some items about health news. Also, I was asked about adding a commentary section. I will leave details for that at the end of this post.

What You Will find in this News Roundup

Each week, I plan to do a total of 10-15 articles minimum and 20-25 items maximum. Here are the areas I will focus on (mandatory items are in bold):

  • Up to 10 Items from Around the World That Have a Huge Impact
  • Up to 5 Items with a National Impact
  • Up to 3 Regional Items (from Various Cities, States or Provinces, from Any Country)
  • Up to 2 Health News Items
  • Up to 2 Tech/Internet Items
  • Up to 2 Entertainment Items
  • Commentary (Reader Input/Mailbag)

Now that’s understood, let’s get into the news!

In International News …

The TPP Isn’t Necessarily Dead Yet …

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the current state of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, November 21, 2016 while in attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. Minister Lee is in support of the TPP and said that the United States’ withdrawal from negotiations would definitely be a big blow to the agreement.

In the event the United States walks away from the table, Mr. Lee was hopeful that a new agreement could be drawn up, even without the U.S. However, it would be very difficult, considering how long (eight years) it took to get to this point with the TPP. Also, new market and economic conditions would have to be accounted for.

The TPP can be put into effect if it is approved by six of the twelve countries “that account for at least 85 per cent of the group’s economic output.” Since the United States has the largest economy in the world, it goes without saying that it effectively has the power to kill the TPP.

That said Mr. Lee has knowledge of how the American system works. While Trump said one thing on the campaign trail, he could still go back on his words. Also, there is still a two-year window for the TPP.

The First U.S. Service Member Died in Syria

On Thursday, the first U.S. service member was killed in fighting connected to the Syrian civil war. On Friday, the Pentagon revealed that Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Dayton was the service member killed in Syria. (It is customary for the United States Armed Forces to wait at least 24 hours before releasing the names of fallen service members. Time is given to alert the next of kin.)

Dayton’s is the first death of an American service member during the current fighting in Syria. Dayton, 42, was a sailor assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, which is based in Virginia Beach. Dayton was from Woodbridge, Virginia.

Dayton died in northern Syria from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. Specifically, the deadly explosion occurred about 30 miles north of ISIS-held Raqqa.

Currently, there are about 300 members of the U.S. Special Forces in Syria. A small coalition was sent there last year in order to advise and assist the Syrian Democratic Forces. Those forces consist of local militias and the Kurdish YPG.

Some Fires in Israel Are Suspected Arson.

Firefighters in the northern city of Haifa have brought the blaze there under control. About 80,000 residents there were ordered to evacuate. The United States, Cyprus, Russia, Italy, Croatia and Greece, have offered assistance, including aircraft, to help fight the blaze.

However, there are a series of smaller fires in different locations over the past four days. Israeli officials suspect those were set by arsonists. The country’s Fire and Rescue Services operations Chief Shmulik Fridman went on Israel radio Friday in order to deliver that message. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if those fires were deliberately set, the government would treat that as an act of terrorism.

While Education Minister Naftali Bennett hinted that there may be Israeli Arab or Palestinian involvement, Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed that notion. The Palestinian President said the Israeli government was using the fires in order to point a finger at Abbas’ people.

So far, 12 people have been arrested on suspicion of arson. Fires have started in Beit Meir (3 suspects were arrested), Horashim, and Neve Shalom.

The fire in Haifa is the worst since 2010. A fire on Mount Carmel (just south of Haifa) resulted in the deaths of 44 people.

An Indian Rail Crash Claims 142 Lives.

A train traveling from Indore to Patna derailed in Pukhrayan in Uttar Pradesh, India (about 65 km — 40 miles — south of the city of Kanpur). The crash occurred in the early hours on Monday, November 21, 2016, during India’s busy wedding season. On a train carrying 1,000 passengers, more than 200 people were injured, 58 of them with serious injuries, and 142 passengers were found dead.

Later on Monday, the police called off a search of the train’s 14 carriages after the bodies of 142 passengers were already pulled from the wreckage. Kanpur’s police inspector general, Zaki Ahmed, announced that rescue operations were over and rescuers did not expect to find any more bodies.

The colonial-era train network carries about 23 million people daily. The average top speeds of Indian trains reach 50 kmph (30 mph).

This was the deadliest crash in India since 2010, when a passenger collided with a goods train. The deadliest train crash in India occurred in 1981, when a train fell into a river in the state of Bihar. Between 500 and 800 people were estimated to have died.

Monday’s derailment is undoubtedly the result of the country’s poorly maintained train network. Accidents are common and there is little investment in the infrastructure.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, promised to turn the railways into a more efficient, safer network. It is estimated that 20 trillion rupees ($293.34 billion US) by 2020 in order to modernize the railways.

There Were 4 Big Earthquakes This Week.

Tremors could be felt in at least 7 countries this week.

New Zealand

At magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit New Zealand 90 kilometers northeast of Christchurch in the South Island just after midnight (local time). The initial earthquake was followed by a second with a magnitude of 6.2 (downgraded from a 6.8). There were hundreds of aftershocks and damage was seen in the capital, Wellington, 214 km from the epicenter.

Structural damage included the loss of communications and compromised buildings. Roads and rail lines were closes due to cracks and land slippage. The emergencty all line 111 was temporarily out. Many officials had to travel by helicopter. Also, a Slip Dam on the Clarence River was breached.

Two people died due to the first earthquake. One person was located in the coastal town of Kaikoura (where police spokeswoman Rachel Purdom reported that several others suffered minor injuries). The other death was reported at the Mt. Lyford ski resort. Prime Minister John Key said he believed there was no reason to believe the death toll would rise.

There were differences in the measurement of the first quake. While New Zealand gave an initial estimate of 7.5, the US Geological Survey put it at 7.8.

There was a tsunami warning in effect, but that was downgraded to coastal warnings after waves of about 2 meters hit the coast.

Rescuers were looking to transport those stranded to the immediate north and south of Kaikoura.

New Zealand sits on the “Ring of Fire.” That geographic area has a series of faults around the Pacific Ocean, making earthquakes common.

On Tuesday, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit off of Japan’s Honshu Island. The epicenter of the quake was just 37 km (23 miles) southeast of Namie. There were a series of aftershocks; five of 5.4-magnitude were felt a few hours after the earthquake. There may be aftershocks of 7.0-magnitude.

The earthquake triggered a series of tsunamis. As a result, there were tsunami warnings in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures. Those warnings were lifted a few hours later.


Tuesday’s quake harkened back to five years ago. In 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan; it was the worst to hit the country. The poorly maintained Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit by tsunamis that reached up to 12 meters (40 feet), causing a nuclear meltdown.

More than 20,000 people lost their lives during the disaster. More than 200,000 more were evacuated from their homes. Tens of thousands are not allowed to return home and still live in temporary housing.

The 2011 quake also had enormous geological effects. For one thing, Japan’s coast was moved 8 feet. Also, the earth’s axis was shifted.

Tuesday’s earthquake was less catastrophic as the one five years ago. Only three people were suffered injuries due to Tuesday’s quake. And there were was a brief power outage that affected more than 1,900 homes.

At Fukushima Daiichi’s sister power plant, Fukushima Daini, no abnormalities or rise in radiation levels were reported. A cooling pump system was stopped briefly after the quake, but operations have since resumed. Both plants are owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

There is still an exclusion zone around the first power plant. In that area, radiation levels are considered unsafe for humans. TEPCO estimates that the cleanup could take up to 40 years.

El Salvador and Honduras

El Salvador and Nicaragua were hit with a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Thursday. It came just an hour after hurricane Otto hit Nicaragua’s eastern coast. Tsunami warnings were in effect for only a few hours.

The epicenter of the quake was around 75 miles off the coast of El Salvador. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the depth of the epicenter to be about 20 miles beneath the Pacific Ocean.

The earthquake was felt in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, as well as San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica), Honduras, and Guatemala.

The dual disaster would be all the more devastating to Nicaragua. It is an impoverished nation without emergence resources and plans in place. However, no damage or casualties were reported from the quake, Nicaragua.

There were some deaths from hurricane Otto, the southernmost hurricane to ever hit Central America. Four people in Panama perished due to the outer limits of the storm. The worst may be yet to come, as mudslides are expected and parts of Northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua could face up to 20 inches of rain.


An earthquake struck China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region late Friday. The area borders Tajikstan and Kyrgyzstan.

One farmer was said to have died as a result of a collapsing building.

The USGS gave a preliminary estimate of 6.5-magnitude and a depth of 12 Km (7.5 miles). The epicenter was said to be in Aldo County in Kizilsu Khirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang.

Cuba’s Fidel Castro Has Died.

State TV in Cuba reported that its former president Fidel Castro died at age 90.

Castro ruled Cuba for nearly 50 years until he handed over power to his brother, Raul, in 2008. He last attended the final day of the Communist Party congress in April 2016.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born to Angel María Bautista Castro y Argiz and Lina Ruz González on August 13, 1926. Castro’s father was a wealthy farmer who immigrated to Cuba from Spain. Castro’s mother was his father’s mistress until the two married after their son’s birth.

Castro turned to Marxism after marrying Mirta Diaz-Balart in 1948. Diaz-Balart was the daughter of a wealthy Cuban politician. Castro blamed the country’s economic problems on “unbridled capitalism.”

Castro first rose to power after overthrowing the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Bautista on January 2, 1959. This followed 2 years of guerrilla warfare in Havana. Castro had tried to overthrow Bautista in 1953, but was arrested. That came after a number of unsuccessful court cases against Bautista.

The promise of the Castro regime was one that returned land to the people and defended the poor. But after a one-party system was implemented, many political prisoners were sent to jail and labor camps.

The trade embargo on Cuba was put into effect after Castro nationalized all US-owned businesses on the island. The embargo lasted into the 21st century.

In April 1961, Castro put down the Bay of Pigs invasion. In that failed mission, Cuban exiles were recruited by the United States government in order to topple Cuba’s government. Many of the operatives were killed and 1,000 were captured.

In 1962, American reconnaissance planes discovered the shipment of Soviet Missiles on their way to Cuba. Hence started the Cuban Missile Crisis. Disaster was averted when Khruschev took his missiles out of Cuba in exchange for the U.S. taking its missiles out of Turkey.

Cuba was left impoverished after Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union refused to buy Cuba’s sugar harvest. Castro had a special relationship with Gorbachev’s predecessor, Nikita Khruschev. The level of poverty in Cuba caused a mass exodus of Cubans to American shores.

Many Cubans hated Castro due to the economic fallout, but many more loved him and Cuba did have free health care for all.

On July 31, 2006, Fidel Castro ceded his executive powers to his brother, Raul, due to surgery. Fidel Castro would largely stay of public life ever since. Raul was officially made the president of Cuba as Fidel’s health deteriorated.

In National News …

Neo Nazis

Roof Was Declared Competent to Stand Trial.

On Friday, Dylann Roof was declared competent to stand trial for the June 17, 2015 South Carolina church shootings.  Judge Richard Gergel  made the declaration after Roof underwent a psychiatric review on November 15 and went through a competency hearing on November 21-22.

It is believed that Roof spent about an hour attending the Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in before killing the Charlotte Nine. Rev. Clementa Pickney, the pastor of the church and a former state senator, was among the victims.

Restaurant Chain Issues an Apology for Hosting a White Supremacist Group.

On Friday, November 18, the National Policy Institute held a dinner at Little Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights. During the dinner in the D.C. area, the NPI’s leader, white supremacist Richard Spencer gave a speech that harkened to Nazi Germany.

Spencer, who was mentioned last week for being suspended from Twitter, used direct Nazi terms and similar terms throughout his speech. He said things like “Hail Trump,” and “Lügenpresse.”

The Lügenpresse translates to “lying press.” It was used by Hitler to refer to outside journalists. The term was chosen in 2015 as the German “Worst Word of the Year,” because it has been used by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim activists in Germany.

Additionally, Spencer expressed a sense of entitlement with regards to America. At the end of the speech, most of the attendees did a Nazi salute.

The 51-restaurant chain is owned by Texas-based Brinker International. It referred all questions to Steve Provost, who is the president of the chain. Provost issued an apology in a statement he left via Facebook

Update on Trump

So far, Donald Trump has either contradicted and scaled back a number of his campaign promises. For instance, had had retracted a bit on his famous wall declaration to only say he will be a fence along the United States-Mexico border. He “elaborated” on his plan to deport illegal immigrants to only include dangerous criminals. And he now says that climate change is real.

However, there is a question about at least one of his state positions …

Trump’s Cabinet Has a Long Way to Go.

As mentioned last week, Trump has over 4,000 positions to fill, so his search for cabinet members continues.

This week, two more people were named to positions, neither of which requires congressional approval. Kathleen Troia “KT McFarland was tapped to serve as Trump’s deputy national security advisor. Donald McGahn, who served as Trump’s campaign attorney, is set to be White House counsel.

McFarland has extensive experience working with presidents. Of the three she worked for, the most recent was Ronald Reagan.

Rudy Giuliani is still being considered for attorney general. Mitt Romney is also a candidate, but Kellyanne Conway has warned against choosing Romney.

Here’s Another Possible Peak into a Trump Administration.

On November 9, 2016, CoreCivic Co. saw a 43% increase of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange. The company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, is a private prison company.

Geo Group is another private prison company. It saw a 21% increase it its shares on the NYSE.

What is the connection? There are analysts who believe Trump may support private prisons as president. Trump uttered support for private prisons and a two-year mandatory minimum for sentencing during the 2016 campaign. It analysts are right about the private prisons, that would be a reversal of President Barack Obama’s policy.

In August, President Obama announced that the U.S. government would move away from using private prisons [for American citizens]. The decision was based on an audit by the Justice Department which found that private prisons had greater safety and security problems than government-run prisons. Government officials said they would consider phasing out private prisons run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Up to 34,000 immigrants awaiting deportation are held by ICE. About 73% of those immigrants are held in private prisons. Out of 180 facilities used by ICE, 46 of them are privately run.

Trump’s Plans for Clinton Should Not Surprise You.

It is known that Donald Trump said he would investigate Hillary Clinton’s dealings (particularly her emails) if he became president. In particular, he said she belonged in prison during the second 2016 presidential debate.

On Monday, Trump did not rule out the possibility that he would go after Clinton. However, Kellyanne Conway, a top aide in the Trump transition team, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday morning to contradict that notion. Conway said there were no plans to instigate a Justice Department investigation into Hillary Clinton.

Update on DAPL

Sunday at the Bridge

There was a clash between police officers and protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline late on Sunday Evening. The clash took place at the Backwater Bridge, on Highway 1806. The bridge had been blockaded since late October, after protesters were forcibly removed from land that is said to be owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the oil pipeline.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office gave an estimate of about 400 protesters who were attempting to cross the bridge. The Sheriff’s office also said it was part of an “ongoing riot.” At least one person was arrested.

One protester shot video that appeared to show police officers firing tear gas and water cannons at other protesters.

Amy Sisk, a journalist with Inside Energy who has been reporting for NPR for months, gave some details about the clash between 400 protesters and police officers on Sunday: When protestors took to the bridge, they were hit with pepper spray and sponge bullets. The protestors were also sprayed with water in below freezing temperatures.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.8-billion, four-state pipeline that is being built for the purposes of carrying oil from western North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois. That is a span of 1,200 miles. The last part of the pipeline calls for a routing underneath Lake Oahe.

DAPL has been protested by the Standing Rock Sioux and its allies. The Native American tribe resides on a reservation alongside the path of the pipeline and they content that sacred lands are being disturbed and possible oil leaks will threaten the local water supply.

ETP said there has been no disturbance of burial grounds. And the company’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, said on November 18 there were no plans to reroute the pipeline.

Serious Injury

Sophia Wilansky, 21, was injured earlier this week while protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. The injury she received if serious; she might lose her arm, according to her father, Wayne Wilansky. A doctor says she may have to go through 20 surgeries for the chance to save her arm.

There are different accounts of how Sophia Wilansky was injured. According to numerous witnesses, police officers hit Wilansky with a concussion grenade. Police officers say the woman was injured due to an explosion caused by protestors.

The police claim to have claimed a number of propane tanks and that some were punctured, i.e., rigged to explode. However, no one was arrested for making explosives.

Election News

The votes from the 2016 Presidential Election are still being tallied and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote continues to grow. On election night, Clinton had a thin margin at 175,000 more votes than her Republican foe, Donald Trump. By Sunday, the totals were 62,523,126 to 61,201,031 votes in favor of Clinton. By the Thursday, she neared a 2 million vote margin in the popular vote.

The votes that are still being tallied come from mail-in and absentee ballots. Most of these ballots are presumably from blue states like California, Washington, and New York.


Some computer scientists urged Hillary Clinton’s team to ask for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. J Alex Halderman, the director of University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, is among the group urging the Clinton campaign. The scientists are citing differences in counties with different voting methods.

According to the most recent totals, Clinton performed worse in counties that used electronic voting machines compared to counties that used paper ballots and optical scanners. She received 7% fewer votes in counties with electronic voting machines.

On Tuesday, Jill Stein called for recounts in 3 rustbelt states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. She started a fundraiser with an initial amount of $2 million, which was quickly met.

Stein is not calling for a recount for her benefit. She was last said to have garnered only 1% of the popular vote nationally and 1.1% in Wisconsin. Instead, Stein says she wants our elections to be fair and to have any instance of election fraud snuffed out.

On this page, Jill Stein’s campaign asks for up to $7 million dollars to do recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. A $2 million minimum was required in order to do a recount in Wisconsin and file for a recount by Friday, November 25, 2016.

Here is a breakdown of the filing fees and deadlines (courtesy of the page on Jill Stein’s 2016 website:

  • Wisconsin: $1.1 million by Nov 25
  • Pennsylvania: $0.5 million by Nov 28
  • Michigan: $0.6 million by Nov 30

Additionally, attorney fees were factored into the equation.

Thanks to the inpouring of donations, Stein was able to file for a Wisconsin recount. The state is getting ready to do the recount, where Trump only held a 22,000-vote lead.

Clinton’s team has since announced that it wants to take part in the recount.

DNC Update

Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison is building support among Democrats to become the next DNC chair. As stated last week, incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren endorsed him. However, this week, Ellison is facing some resistance from President Barack Obama.

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez have been suggested as alternatives by some of Obama’s advisors. Vice President Joe Biden has also been named, but he has stated that he has no interest in the post.

One reason for the resistance is some Democrats want someone to serve as DNC full-time. If Ellison is named DNC chair, his time would be split between those duties and his duties as a congressman. This wasn’t noted by many in the political sphere, but there may also be a problem with conflicts of interest. Ellison would need to raise funds for any reelection campaign and there might a situation like the one that arose with DWS and Tim Canova in Florida where another Democrat goes up against Ellison in a primary.

Secondly, some Democrats and their supporters want to consider other names first. The AFL-CIO really likes Thomas E. Perez and would presumably support his bid. And Howard Dean is putting his name out there to become DNC chair once again.

Third, are comments Ellison made about Louis Farrakhan and his position on Israel. Ellison said Farrakhan was “not an anti-Semite.” And Ellison is aligned with the progressive wing when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fourth, and this may be the biggest, is the Bernie Sanders factor. Ellison endorsed Sanders’ run for president and there is residual resentment towards the Vermont Senator, who made the following statement on Tuesday when speaking to students in Boston:

“It’s not good enough for someone to say: ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’ No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

In Regional News …

Michigan’s Residents Are Frustrated with Their Governor, to Say the Least.

Flint Water Crisis

This is from last week, but it’s important nonetheless. Two weeks ago, the state of Michigan was ordered by U.S. District Judge David Lawson to give four cases of water to residents who don’t have access to clean water. However, the state’s attorneys filed a motion for a stay.

Gov. Rich Snyder’s spokeswoman, Anna Heaton, said that it would be impractical and expensive to follow Judge Lawson’s order. Also, she contended that the emergency funds needed to comply with that order may cause money to be shifted from other items, like the nutritional program for children. Additionally, she said that residents were given filters.

The Flint Michigan water crisis began in 2014 when residents began to complain about the taste, color, and smell of the water. The city had decided to leave Detroit’s water system and start drawing water from the nearby Flint River. However, the water from the river was not treated in order to prevent corrosion.

As a result of having untreated water filtering through city pipes, the water drawn had an unusually high level of lead in it. Lead exposure is dangerous and the metal can impair children’s brain development.

Education … A Right?

In September, seven children attending schools in Detroit, Michigan filed a class action lawsuit against the state. The children, represented by California-Based Public Counsel, contend that there are untenable conditions at Detroit public schools. The plaintiffs put the responsibility on the state for the condition of the schools and curriculum, since the state took over Detroit public schools in 1999.

Complaints include: classrooms without teachers, a lack of books, unsafe conditions, and vermin.

Lawyers for the state content that there is no legal right to literacy. Furthermore, while the state can fund schools, the responsibility for their condition and the learning of students is up to the local school districts.

In Health News …

There Is Some Moderated Promising New About the Worldwide AIDS Epidemic.

The United Nations announced that 18 million people worldwide have access to AIDS treatment. That’s 1.2 million more than at the end of 2015. Also, the highest number of people aged 50 and over living with HIV increased to its highest level (5.8 million in 2015).

Since AIDS was first discovered in the early 1980’s, if has infected 78 million people and claimed 35 million lives. According to UNAIDS, there was a 45% drop in AIDS deaths over a decade due to the increase improvements in treatment and increase in patients receiving treatment. In 2005, the peak number of AIDS deaths, the toll was 2 million lives; 1.1 million died from AIDS in 2015.

UNAIDS has a goal of 30 million HIV-positive people in need of treatment on it by 2020. However, there is a challenge. While adherence to drug regimens could reduce the appearance of the virus in blood for some patients, they may develop a resistance to the drugs. Also, HIV patients might be susceptible to other illnesses, like tuberculosis.

GlaxoSmithKline Wants Early U.S. Approval for a Lung Drug.

On Monday, Britain’s largest drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline, announced that it filed its lung drug for U.S. approval. If approved, the three-in-one inhalable lung drug could hit the market in 2017.

GSK is in competition with AstraZeneca and Navartis to develop a “closed triple” therapy, which would only require a single inhaler for patients who have more advanced lung disease. GSK is also dealing with falling sales of it two-drug inhaler Advair.

The therapy GlaxoSmithKline wants approved is being developed with Innoviva. The three drugs being combined would be fluticasone, umeclidinium, and vilanterol.

GSK is filing the drug for approval in the EU in the coming weeks. The drug maker will also apply in order countries in 2017.

In Internet/Tech News …

Facebook Is Combatting Fake News

Facebook’s plans to flag fake news on the social media platform. The move was being pushed on November 19 after a series of complaints connected to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Some users contend that some fake news stories swayed people to vote for Trump.

A day later, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined a 7-point plan to combat fake news.

According to information from the Pew Research Center, nearly of Americans get their news from Facebook. Only 2 in 10 get their news from print newspapers.


Kanye West Might Have Had a Mental Breakdown.

On November 19, Kanye West went on a 10-minute rant during a concert. He performed 3 songs during the performance before breaking into the rant. (Warning: NSFW language.)

A day earlier, West said he would have voted for Trump if he had voted.

During his speech, West went off on Jay-Z, Beyoncé, MTV, and others. In particular, West said he was betrayed by the Miss Knowles and her husband. The rest of West’s Sao Paulo tour was cancelled.

On Monday, West was hospitalized for what is believed to be mental issues.

Florence Henderson Passed Away.

Florence Henderson died on November 24, 2016 from what is believed to be heart failure. She was 82 years old.

Henderson was best known for her role as Carol Brady on ABC’s The Brady Bunch (1969-1974). The show was not very popular in its time; it never reached the top 25 during its run. However, the reruns of the show helped it develop quite a following some time later.

Henderson had a diversified resume in show business. In 1952 (when she was 18), she was chosen as the led role of Laurey in the touring production of “Oklahoma!” A year later, she starred in the Broadway version. She toured as Maria in The Sound of Music in 1961.

Henderson became a regular on NBC’s Today show in 1959. Her role was to report on fashion and the weather. In 1962, she was the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show. She would return to NBC in 1999 to host Later Today.

Earlier this week, Henderson appeared on Dancing with the Stars to cheer on her former co-star Maureen McCormack (who played Marcia Brady). Henderson herself was featured on the show in 2010.

Henderson leaves behind four children from her first marriage and five grandchildren.


I’m just gonna say it: A Trump administration will be filled with conflicts of interest.

Last week, Trump had a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump’s older daughter, Ivanka, was in attendance. Many have questioned the inclusion of Ivanka in such as meeting, particularly when one considers that Trump said he wants to give his oldest children top government security.

Additionally, while a president could theoretically still own and run his businesses while in office, there is potential for conflicts of interest. This is especially true about Trump, who is said to have over 500 companies, 269 with his name on them. Instead of placing his empire into a blind trust, he wants his kids to run them.

Also, Trump recently opened a hotel in Washington, D.C. so it is possible that he could pressure guests and heads of state to stay there.

This is what I thought. Trump’s presidential one served two purposes:

One, he wanted to build his brand.

Two, he wanted to enrich himself.

There really is a third, which is to sate his insatiable ego. They’re all interconnected.

Trump is going to use the office of president to make it easier for him to game the system and even take government money to add to his own coffers. He would have nothing against doing that since he has already used his own charity to pay debts and to line his own pockets.

Would You Like to Contribute?

Would you like to share a short opinion about news items? Here are the parameters:

We will treat this like a commentary section in a newspaper. You can add your thoughts to any relevant news topic, but do your best to keep your word count to 300.

If your comment is approved, I might only edit it for spelling and grammar. Once that’s done, I will put your comment near the end of the News Roundup post and credit it to you.

If you are interested, please go to my new Contact Me page and leave a message. I will get back to you via email and we can discuss the details.

By the Way …

I can be found on Facebook and Twitter if you want to follow me there.

(Likes for my Facebook page are very much appreciated. ❤ If you have a Facebook page, please let me know.)

3 thoughts on “News Roundup (Week of Nov. 20-26, 2016)

    1. Thanks so much.

      Yes, I want to be objective, but point toward some version of the truth. Sometimes, it takes a little more digging.

      I think this feature is helping me to be more observant and learn more as a whole. That was one of my goals when coming up with this post.

      And if you would like to add your perspective to a future post, please let me know.


Have any thoughts on the subject? Time’s yours.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.