By Allison Lantagne
Hi all, and welcome back to A to ZEE Weekly. Today is March 23rd, 2018. Happy Friday!
The President visited Manchester this week for the first time since taking office in January of last year. The focus of his trip was to address the opioid crisis, just over six months after he referred to the state as a “drug infested den” on Twitter. The president has continued to push the idea of enforcing the death penalty as a legal punishment for drug traffickers, choosing the only state in New England that still uses capital punishment to do so.
Another week, another resignation: John Dowd, President Trump’s lead lawyer, has resigned from the personal legal team that was handling the response to the Russia investigation. The resignation comes only days after Dowd had to walk back a quote about the investigation; first speaking on behalf of the President but then saying it was his own personal opinion.
New York City Council Speaker Christie Quinn has apologized for calling Democratic Primary candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon an “unqualified lesbian.” Nixon is separating herself from current governor Cuomo by claiming to be more progressive and by committing to ridding the state of corruption.
It was revealed this week that Cambridge Analytica, a data company with ties to Trump’s 2016 campaign, accessed the data of over 50 million Facebook users. Mark Zuckerberg has apologized, but statements have revealed that the access to this data was taken legally from Facebook and was not a hack. Therefore, many have criticized Facebook’s commitment (or lack thereof) to protecting the digital safety and privacy of its users. Various members of Congress have called for Zuckerberg and representatives from Cambridge Analytica to testify in front of judiciary committees. You can learn how to protect the data you share with Facebook here.
The state of Illinois held several primaries this week, one of them being for their Governor’s seat. The Democratic turnout was over 600,000, more than triple the Republican turnout. This is especially significant when taking into account the fact that primary turnouts are historically low.
The House passed a $1.3 trillion spending deal to keep the government operational through September of this year. The bill passed with bipartisan support. However, many in the House were displeased at the speed with which they were forced to consider the bill, which was over 2,000 pages long and released at 8PM on Wednesday evening. The vote was early on Thursday.
The Senate nearly unanimously passed a bill this week allowing victims of sex trafficking to prosecute online platforms that knowingly facilitate the activity. The bill passed with similar support in the House and is now awaiting the President’s signature.
That wraps up this week for us! Your pop-culture plug is the film Her. Go forth and be news-savvy. I’ll see you on Friday.