HC Wake-Up Call: Trump's SOTU to Stess 'Unity', Border Protection Makes Largest Fentanyl Bust in U.S. History & The Super Bowl Halftime Show

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.)

President Trump’s State of the Union Address to Focus on “Unity”

President Donald Trump said Thursday that “unity” will be the theme of this year’s State of the Union address, mirroring the tone of his address from last year, where he described the public as “one American family.”

“It will focus on the bipartisan achievements we’ve already had, and look toward things that should be areas where we can work together” with Democrats, a White House official said.

“I really think it’s going to be a speech that is going to cover a lot of territory, but part of it is going to be unity,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Trump will give his address Tuesday before a joint session of Congress during what has been a sensitive time due to the recent government shutdown, talks over keeping the government open and the funding for the border wall that he is demanding as part of any deal.

The president is giving his speech a week later than originally planned after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to postpone the State of the Union address until after the government had been fully reopened.

For the State of the Union address, members of Congress are inviting federal workers worried about another shutdown after February 15th, ABC News reports.

According to Politico, Trump plans to address border security, as well as immigration and call for bipartisan infrastructure legislation and measures to lower drug prices, two things which Pelosi has signaled that she is willing to work with him on.

A White House aide has said that Trump is seeking to balance his goal of forceful immigration tactics with a softer tone, and has even contemplated inviting a newly naturalized citizen to sit in the presidential box during the address.

Following his address, Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, will give the Democratic response, and will be the first black woman to deliver the rebuttal, ABC News reports.

“I hope she does a good job. I respect her,” Trump said of Abrams.

Abrams has said her speech for the rebuttal will come “at a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose.”

Border Protection Makes Largest Fentanyl Bust in U.S. History

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Thursday that the agency made the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history, seizing hundreds of pounds of the drug along the southern border over the weekend.

According to The Huffington Post, CBP officers made the discovery on Saturday when they stopped a 26-year-old man at the Nogales border checkpoint in Arizona. The officers found more than 250 pounds of the deadly drug in pill form beneath a floor compartment of the driver’s truck, which was filled with cucumbers, Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said at a press conference. The drugs were valued at $3.5 million.

Officers arrested Juan Antonio Torres-Barraza and charged him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute for allegedly attempting to enter the U.S. with the drugs, ABC News reports.

Authorities also found 395 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $1.1 million in the truck.

“I want to express my gratitude to the CBP officers involved in this case and Nogales personnel who selflessly perform their duties with dedication, vigilance, and professional even during a funding hiatus,” Humphries said. “Opioids pose a real danger to our local communities and are having fatal consequences across our nation. This past weekend, our CBP officers were able to stop an enormous amount of these deadly narcotics from hitting our streets.”

President Donald Trump has previously said that drugs are pouring into the U.S. from the southern border, and has used it as an argument to demand funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thursday evening, Trump thanked the CBP agents for the drug seizure

“Our great U.S. Border Patrol Agents made the biggest Fentanyl bust in our Country’s history,” Trump wrote. “Thanks, as always, for a job well done!”

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Talks Super Bowl Halftime Show, Teases Performance

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Thursday, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine talked the controversy surrounding the halftime show, discussing the cancellation of the pre-game news conference, as well as what’s to come for the halftime show in Atlanta on Sunday.

The singer said it was the NFL’s decision to cancel the pre-game interview, but didn’t offer too many details.

“The NFL canceled the press conference, so you'll have to speak with them,” Levine said.

“When you look back on every single Super Bowl halftime show, people just can't — it's this, like, insatiable urge to hate a little bit,” the singer added. “I’m not in the right profession if I can’t handle a little bit of controversy. It’s what it is. We expected it. We would like to move on from it, and like, I said earlier, speak through the music.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Halftime show headline Maroon 5 and supporting acts Travis Scott and Outkast’s Big Boi have been dealing with criticism for several months, ever since the artists agreed to perform amid protests over the league’s treatment of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, ABC News reports.  

Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racism and police brutality, and has since been without a job in the NFL. According to ABC News, the former quarterback filed a grievance against league owners last year for allegedly conspiring against him to ensure that he would remained unsigned with the league.

Maroon 5 and Scott, to quiet the noise of critics, each donated $500,000 to the organizations Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Dream Corps, respectively, and partnering with the NFL on the donations.

The NFL launched its “Inspire Change” initiative earlier this month to support criminal justice reform and to promote better relationships between the community and police, ABC News reports.

In his interview, Levine did hint as what’s to come for the halftime show, saying that the artists are aiming to be a voice for the voiceless.

“They will be [heard]. That’s all I want to say because I don’t want to spoil anything. I’ve never been more excited in my life to present this to the people because I believe it’s a representation of all of us,” Levine said. “We are going to keep doing what we are doing hopefully without becoming politicians to make people understand, we got you.”

What to look out for...

Serena Williams’ feminist Super Bowl ad with Bumble for the brand’s “The Ball is in Her Court” campaign is super empowering.