HC Wake-Up Call: Bloomberg Isn’t Running for President, White House Won't Hand Over Security Clearance Docs & Virgin Atlantic Scraps 'Mandatory Makeup' Rule

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Michael Bloomberg Isn’t Running for President in 2020

Michael Bloomberg will not be running for president in 2020, citing the difficulty of competing with the quickly growing and competitive Democratic primary.

In an opinion piece published on the Bloomberg publication Tuesday, the billionaire entrepreneur and former New York City mayor wrote, “I know what it takes to run a winning campaign, and every day when I read the news, I grow more frustrated by the incompetence in the Oval Office,” adding that his decision to not run for the presidency is not because he doesn’t believe he could beat President Donald Trump.

“I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election. But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field,” Bloomberg, who became a registered Democrat last year, said.

He acknowledged that the 2020 Democratic primary will be difficult, writing “we cannot allow the primary process to drag the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election and translate into ‘Four More Years.’”

Instead, Bloomberg will be focusing his efforts on the Beyond Coal campaign “so that we can retire every single coal-fired power plant over the next 11 years,” as well as gun violence, education, the opioid crisis and health care, The Huffington Post reports.

“In the weeks and months ahead, I will dive even deeper into the work of turning around our country, through concrete actions and results,” he wrote.

Bloomberg, who spent over $100 million to help elect Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections, said he would “continue supporting candidates who can provide the leadership we need — on climate change, gun violence, education, health, voting rights, and other critical issues — and continue holding their feet to the fire to deliver what they promise,” ABC News reports.

White House Refuses to Hand Over Security Clearance Documents

The White House said Tuesday that it will not be handing over documents pertaining to senior adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance to Congress, calling the House Democrats’ requests for documents “overly intrusive.”

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter Monday to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) saying the Trump administration would brief the House Oversight Committee on its process for granting security clearances, but would not provide documents explaining the process for granting security clearances to top aides like Kushner, and criticized the committee for its request being specific to him, Politico reports.

“Although we are prepared to continue negotiations in good faith, the committee seeks unilateral concessions without any offer of accommodation on its part, and then complains that the White House has refused to simply turn over everything the committee inappropriately seeks,” Cipollone’s letter read. “These actions suggest that the committee is not interested in proper oversight, but rather seeks information that it knows cannot be provided consistent with applicable law.”

According to The Huffington Post, Cummings responded to the letter Tuesday, calling the existing security clearance system “broken,” and adding that Cipollone’s letter “appears to be arguing that Congress has no authority to examine decisions by the Executive Branch that impact our national security.”

“The White House’s argument defies the Constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and just plain common-sense,” Cummings wrote. “The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform.”

In January, Cummings announced the committee was launching an investigation into the White House’s handling of classified information dating back to Trump’s election. Cummings then expanded the investigation when the The New York Times reported that Trump ordered then-chief of staff John Kelly to give Kushner full security clearance despite reservations from intelligence experts.

Cummings said last week that he would give the White House one more chance to comply with the committee’s request for documents before issuing subpoenas. The chairman said Tuesday he would consult with lawmakers about the next step.

Virgin Atlantic Scraps “Mandatory Makeup” Rule for Female Flight Attendants

Virgin Atlantic will no longer be requiring its female flight attendants to wear makeup on the job and will give them the choice to wear pants or a skirt, the airline announced.

“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work,” Mark Anderson, an Executive Vice President at the airline, told USA TODAY in a statement. “Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company.”

While it may seem baffling that an airline company would have a company-wide makeup requirement, it is actually pretty common among airlines. According to The Daily Beast, British Airways requires female flight attendants to wear at least lipstick and United calls for its female attendants to wear “conservative” makeup, while Emirates has a specific makeup routine that must be followed.

Anderson told CNN the changes were implemented in response to employee feedback.

For flight attendants who choose to wear makeup, they will be “welcome” to wear foundation, lipstick and other makeup items approved in the airline company’s guidelines.  

Virgin Atlantic will now also provide its female attendants with both skirt and pant options, as it previously only provided pants upon request.

“Our world-famous red uniform is something all of us at Virgin Atlantic are incredibly proud of,” Anderson said. “As an airline, we have always stood out from the crowd and done things differently to the rest of the industry. We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style.”

What to look out for…

A Jonas Brothers documentary is coming to Amazon Prime!