US Navy SEAL case leads to Navy secretary’s dismissal

By: Joseph Lyttleton

Reading Time: 3 minutes On Sunday, November 24, U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was ousted for his handling of court-martialed U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s case. In September this year, Gallagher was demoted for his involvement in criminal activities while serving in Iraq, but in November, President Donald Trump intervened to restore the SEAL’s rank.

Spencer’s handling of the case earned the ire of both President Trump and his direct superior, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Go beyond the headlines…

– Who is Eddie Gallagher?
– Why are the details of Richard Spencer’s ousting?
– What are the reactions to Gallagher’s case?

Good News for Today Feature – 2019 November Updates

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 5 minutes As Hong Kong experiences its fifth month of violent protests, over 100 Iranians are killed during a nationwide demonstration and impeachment hearings take place in an already deeply divided White House, it is easy to grow overwhelmed and for our minds to conclude that there is no good news in the world. 

But the truth is, although negative media is overwhelmingly loud, good news does exist. To prove this point – in alignment with our mission of neutrality at Millennial Source – here is our attempt at shedding light on some of the positive developments happening in our world today.

1) Fourteen hospitals and institutions set out to address income inequality
2) Microsoft Japan grants employees a four-day workweek
3) Indian village plants 111 trees for every daughter born
4) First Ebola vaccine approved for global use

Trump administration reverses long-standing U.S. policy on Israeli settlements

By: Andrew Stafford

Reading Time: 3 minutes On Monday, November 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank – which the majority of the international community views as illegal as per Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention – as violating international law. The announcement reverses four decades of American policy and rejects a 1978 State Department conclusion deeming the settlements “inconsistent with international law.”

The shift is the latest pro-Israel move by the Trump administration which dismays Palestinians, and breaks with international law and consensus.

Go beyond the headlines…

– How does Trump’s stance on the issue compare to previous administrations?
– What was the Israeli reaction vs. the Palestinian reaction?
– How did the international community respond?

Bills supporting Hong Kong human rights tabled before President Trump

By: Austin Wright

Reading Time: 3 minutes On November 21, the United States Senate approved two bills intended to back human rights in Hong Kong. If signed by President Trump, the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” and the “Placing Restrictions on Teargas Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong Act” would restrict the exportation of teargas and crowd control technology to Hong Kong authorities.

They would also extend annual reporting on Hong Kong to include assessments of its autonomy.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What has been Hong Kong’s response?
– What is the road ahead?

Everything you need to know about Marie Yovanovitch and her testimony in the impeachment hearings

By: Andrew Stafford

Reading Time: 6 minutes On Friday, November 15, Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified on the second day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Marie Yovanovitch was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine between August 2016 and May 2019. Barack Obama appointed her in this position and the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed her appointment.

Go beyond the headlines…

– Why is Marie Yovanovitch a witness in the hearings?
– Why was Yovanovitch a victim of a smear campaign?
– What was her response to the July 25 phone call?
– How did Trump attack Yovanovitch via Twitter?

LVMH absorbs Tiffany & Co in $16.2 billion acquisition deal

By: The Millennial Source

Reading Time: 2 minutes Tiffany & Co and LVMH both experienced a stock jump of 6% in New York and 1% in Paris on Monday, November 25, after these luxury brands struck a $16.2 billion acquisition deal, with Tiffany & Co taken over by the French giant.

According to Reuters, the quintessential US brand accepted a sweeter offer of $135 per share from the French luxury goods giant, after reportedly turning down a lower offer earlier this month. The transaction is expected to close mid-2020.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What does this deal mean for LVMH?

Google reportedly manipulates search results to favor big businesses and retarget controversial subjects

By: Chi Ngo

Reading Time: 4 minutes A new Wall Street Journal investigation into Google’s search algorithm has found that the search engine manipulates its search results to hide controversial results related to sensitive subjects such as abortion and suicide, as well as to favor big businesses.

The investigation analyzed over 100 interviews and compared organic Google Search results and auto-complete phrases with two other search engines – Microsoft’s Bing and the privacy-focused engine DuckDuckGo. The study was conducted over several weeks from July to September 2019.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What did the study find?

Twitter outlines plan to ban political ads

By: Chi Ngo

Reading Time: 3 minutes On November 15, Twitter outlined its new policy to ban political advertising on its platform. According to Twitter’s Business page, political advertising will include references to political candidates or legislation, and it will not allow ads that advocate for a specific outcome on social or political causes. The ban will take effect on November 22.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey announced the decision on October 30 from his personal Twitter account. Dorsey said certain political ads had been spreading misleading information, which presented “challenges to civic discourse.”

Go beyond the headlines…

– What is the policy and how will Twitter enforce it?
– What is the political impact in the US?

A smart shopper’s guide to Black Friday

By: Chi Ngo

Reading Time: 3 minutes Black Friday is a beloved American ‘holiday’ that has now become a global trend that allows consumers to go on a shopping spree without breaking the bank. Whether you’re hoping to upgrade to a new phone or buy Christmas gifts, here’s how to approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday like a pro.

Go beyond the headlines…

– How do you avoid the crowds?
– What shouldn’t you buy on Black Friday?
– What should you buy instead on this beloved holiday?

First witnesses testify in public impeachment hearings

By: Andrew Stafford

Reading Time: 6 minutes The public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump began on Wednesday, November 13. Among the witnesses to provide testimony to the House Intelligence Committee thus far are William B. Taylor, the acting US Ambassador to Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the European and Eurasian Bureau George Kent. These testimonies form part of the first public impeachment hearings in two decades.

Go beyond the headlines…

– Who is George Kent and what did he testify in the impeachment hearings against President Trump?
– Who is William B. Taylor and what did he newly reveal in his opening statement?

Violence and unrest in Hong Kong: Understanding the complexities between the PRC and a former British colony

By: Austin Wright

Reading Time: 3 minutes On November 11, over five months of Hong Kong protests culminated into an eruption of violence that left one person shot by police and another severely burned by protesters. Protests began in March this year after Hong Kong’s Security Bureau proposed a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China, something many Hongkongers view as an attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What is the history of protests in Hong Kong?
– What are the five demands of the Hong Kong demonstrators?

Trump denies lifting tariffs on China

By: Andrew Stafford

Reading Time: 3 minutes President Trump said on Friday, November 8, that he had not agreed to lift trade tariffs on Chinese goods. Officials from the US and China had previously suggested that an agreement was in place to remove some tariffs as part of a “phase one” trade deal.

However, Trump denied earlier indications of a deal. His remarks dampen hopes that the world’s two largest economies will end the trade war that has contributed to slow global growth.

Go beyond the headlines…

– What did President Trump say?
– How does this announcement compare to Trump’s earlier remarks on a possible agreement with China?