This week’s politically potent headlines

Ashton Long and Kyle Soto

As the class of 2017 finishes their last week of high school before graduation, each senior anxiously awaits receiving the sheet of paper that represents their freedom from high school.  However, as the lives of seniors are to due for a major change in the following months, the news has stayed the same with many political headlines in circulation. With President Trump’s creation of a new holiday, information on the Iranian Nuclear Deal coming out, and a new crisis in Times Square, the following weeks may hold the key to the future of the United States and even the political world.

President Donald J. Trump proclaims May 15, 2017, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 14 through May 20, 2017, as Police Week (5/15)

The week began with another proclamation from President Donald J. Trump. He announced to the United States that May 15 will be known as Peace Officers Memorial Day. In addition, May 14 through May 20, 2017 will be known as Police Week. President Trump has expressed his desire to recognize the men and women who put on police uniforms and risk their lives on a daily basis. In 2016, a total of 118 police officer died. Sixty-six of those officers were victims of malicious acts, nearly a 40 percent increase from 2015.

President Trump stated his administration assist and improve the conditions for law enforcement officers and their families. He gave attention to the Officer Safety and Wellness Group and the Public Safety Officers’ benefits Program, groups dedicated to job safety for officers and providing vital resources to impacted families, respectively. President Trump hopes to bring positive attention to police officers and reduce violence against federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.

Democrats escalate calls for Trump inquiry, with Republicans more reserved (5/16)

On Tuesday, Congress from both parties made calls for James B. Comey, the former FBI director, to appear before them. It has been reported that President Trump asked Comey to drop an investigation into Michael T. Flynn prior to Comey’s termination. Democrats desire a hearing and a private investigation while Republicans want to learn more about the issue and hear from Comey himself.

Various Republicans have told Comey he must provide the proof. Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has stated he will obtain a memo Comey wrote during a February meeting regarding Trump’s alleged request to drop the investigation. Lawmakers from both parties have been impacted by this latest piece of controversy while their ability to progress has been diminished due to President Trump’s policy priorities. As the day progressed, the focus remained on President Trump and his ties with Russia, invoking a call for a more aggressive investigation from Democrats.

Iran Nuclear Deal will remain for now, White House signals (5/17)

The White House announced on Wednesday that as of right now, the Iran Nuclear Deal will not be axed despite President Trump’s criticism on the subject. Due to limits negotiated by the Obama administration, the White House waived sanctions against Iran, a requirement of the deal. Although the deal will remain in place, the White House has implemented new rules for various organizations in Iran and the Trump administration has indicated it will continue to look into the Iran Nuclear Deal.

President Trump has become seemingly less aggressive toward the Iran Nuclear Deal despite his original criticism. He has also become less aggressive to matters such as the North American Trade Agreement and pulling out of NATO. The White House announced these new developments two days before Iranian elections and right before Trump’s first trip overseas, as the President, where he will visit Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Car rams into pedestrians in Time Square (5/18)

Richard Rojas, a former Navy Veteran from the Bronx, was believed to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol while ramming into people in Time Square with his car. Around noon, Rojas swerved onto the curb and accelerated down the sidewalks running down anyone who happened to be in his way. Rojas and his maroon Honda Accord traveled three blocks until he was surrounded by police. Police questioned him in his car after the incident about his motives.

This event is believed to be an act of terrorism since there had been an attempted car bomb attack in 2010 at Time Square. Recent terrorist attacks overseas have used cars as weapons to kill people. With the information gathered on Rojas and the car incident, no signs showed that this was a terror attack. There seems to be “alternate explanations for the episode to investigators,” and Rojas was taken into custody after the evaluation from the hospital.

Three teens face capital murder charge in Mississippi boy’s death (5/19)

Three teenage boys from Mississippi shot and killed a 6-year-old boy in his mother’s stolen car. The 17-year-olds were tried as adults for capital murder. This means, the charges could lead to the death penalty if they are convicted. One of the lawyers refused to represent one of the teenagers and declined commenting on why they would not be represented.

As they are being tried, authorities mention that the roles the teenage boys had played in the episode is unclear. They do not know who exactly drove and shot the 6-year-old child. However, they do know the mother of the child left the car running as she went into the supermarket. With the supermarket surrounded by sheriff’s deputies and one golf cart, a car drove up to the running Camry and drove off with the child in the back. After the child abduction, 16 miles away from the capital, the car was found and the three suspects were later arrested.