Top 5 in Politics: May 14th- May 19th
1. Special Counsel to Investigate President Trump and Russia
The special counsel was created to research the ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was accused of participating in secret exchanges with the Russian ambassador. President Trump asked FBI Director Comey to stop looking into Flynn, and Comey was fired soon after.
Recently, the Justice Department assembled a special counsel to investigate any ties between President Trump’s team and Russia. Wednesday, May 17th invited a calm press briefing from the White House, but Thursday brought a series of irate tweets from the president.
President Trump has declared this a “witch hunt” and notes that there was never a special counsel appointed for the questionable acts performed under Hillary Clinton or Former President Obama.
2. ISIS Attacks Syrian Villages
52 were pronounced dead as of Thursday, May 18th due to an Islamic State raid on minority villages in central Syria. Of those killed, 17 were children.
Hospitals report that several people were beheaded or had other limbs missing, but most of the deaths occurred because of gunfire. The number of wounded varies from 40-120, but there are also reports of missing persons in the region, though it cannot be proven as the work of ISIS at this point.
The media of Syria, SANA, says that Iraq and Syria plan on working together to prevent terrorism but there is no word yet on how that will go.
3. An Update on Hilary Clinton
The 2016 Democratic candidate continues leading an activist lifestyle. Hillary Clinton started a new Political Action Committee called “Onward Together” that is said to fundraise for racial equality groups such as Color of Change.
Among the other groups getting Clinton’s support are Emerge America (a group helping women to get on the ballot) and runforsomething.com, which pushes for progressive candidates. Swingleft.com is another organization that will be reaping the benefits from “Onward Together.”
There are suspicions that the PAC will also support the Indivisible Project, whose goal is to fight against President Trump’s plans, though the group claims it will accept nothing from the PAC.
Overall, Hillary Clinton has been active since her defeat in November. Some question whether she is able to lead this political charge, while others assert that she is the best person to do it.
4. President Trump Visiting Saudi Arabia
Friday, May 19th will mark President Trump’s first overseas visit. He begins in Saudi Arabia where the hopes of peace outweigh any offensive comments made on the campaign trail.
There will be a total of three summit meetings between President Trump and a mix of leaders from the Middle East. American flags are flying, and tensions between Former President Obama and the Middle Eastern nations have been pushed aside.
Saudi Arabia has positioned itself against ISIS, and there are talks of President Trump aiding in peace treaties between Israel and Palestine. Counterterrorism strategies are being discussed, as well as arms supplies.
The outlook is that of hope, but Saudi Arabia is just one stop on President Trump’s first outing. He will also visit the Vatican, Belgium, and American soldiers stationed overseas before returning to the White House.
5. Macron's Cabinet
President Macron of France has the epitome of a balanced cabinet. Of the 22, half are women and half are men.
Likewise, the group is split between left-leaning and right-leaning members. The cast includes people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. Political backgrounds differ as well: there are well-known politicians, but also several new faces. The cabinet was selected on Wednesday, May 17th and the members lined up for photos the following day.
A phone call placed to Vladimir Putin after their first meeting stole some of the attention from the newly-appointed government officials. However, the phone call was just about friendly relations between Russia and France.
The fact that the palace courtyard was closed to the press was another story that dimmed the light of the new cabinet, but President Macron is making progress in his new administration with or without the full inclusion of the media.