Weekly Headlines: August 30 - September 5

Day 1: Sunday 30 August

What’s Going On:   On Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West announced that he’s running for President in 2020.  He was being presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Why You Should Care: Nobody’s quite sure how serious Kanye is about this announcement, but he has been gaining support from celebrity friends like Ice Cube and even the White House says they look forward to seeing “what slogan he chooses to embroider on his campaign hat”.

Day 2: Monday 31 August

What’s Going On:   In Diyarbakir, Turkey, two Vice journalists and their translator were arrested.  The Turkish government claims they suspect a connection with ISIS, but the journalists had been covering “the violence between the Turkish military and the PKK”.

Why You Should Care: Human rights groups like Amnesty International as well as Vice have condemned the arrest as a violation of human rights.

Day 3: Tuesday 1 September

What’s Going On:  Pope Francis, who has been making unprecedented changes in the Catholic community recently, announced a shocking change to church policy regarding abortions.  As the church’’s “Year of Mercy” begins in December, priests will have full authority to forgive the “sin of abortion” for women who would’ve been otherwise shunned by their church.

Why You Should Care: Although he isn’t making a permanent change to church doctrine as this action will only last for the year, Pope Francis has been working hard to promote mercy and forgiveness over bigotry and hatred in the Catholic community.

Day 4: Wednesday 2 September

What’s Going On:  Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that he would “cut troop levels by 300,000” at a large and impressive display of military presence at a parade on Wednesday night EST- Thursday, in China.

Why You Should Care:  While the gesture was promoted as one that signified peace and goodwill, many believe that the military cut had “nothing to do with curbing military power”, but was in fact a calculated move to divert military resources to developing advanced technologies.

Day 5: Thursday 3 September

What’s Going On:  Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who has consistently defied federal court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples and is now being sued by one of them, was ordered detained in contempt of court.

Why You Should Care:  Earlier this year, the US government said “love wins” and overrode the states that hadn’t yet legalized gay marriage, but some clerks are standing in opposition to the ruling by refusing to issue marriage licenses based on religious values.  Kim Davis, who believes “Marriage is between one man and one woman.”  The government says you can’t do this, but Kim Davis has drawn support from Republican candidates Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz.

Day 6: Friday 4 September

What’s Going On:  In Rowan County, where county clerk Kim Davis was recently jailed for refusing a court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, deputy clerks at the county office have begun to issue licenses in her absence.

Why You Should Care:  Although jailed for refusing to issue licenses, Kim Davis also refused a deal which could’ve provided for her release if she allowed her deputies to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples. 

Day 7: Saturday 5 September

What’s Going On: A group of about 4,000 migrants have crossed over the border from Hungary to Austria, with assistance from the Hungarian government.  Many of them plan to continue through to Germany, where the German government has said “it expects to take in 800,000 asylum seekers this year”.

Why You Should Care: Immigration policy has been a huge and controversial topic this summer, with decisions being made about how to deal with the large groups of refugees seeking homes in European countries.

~ Teddy