Your Weekly News Roundup for the Week of March 31st

Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden made headlines this week, but not for the reason we were all expecting. A second woman came forward this week accusing Biden of unwelcome touching. Later issuing a statement and video, Biden pledged to be “much more mindful” and “respectful” of personal space in the future.

The apology fell short for many. Many were quick to notice that the apology never actually offered the words “I’m sorry”, but rather defended his actions upon changing social norms and being part of his persona.  

President Trump, who has quite the history of actually bragging about sexual misconduct, later tweeted a doctored video of the former vice president creeping up on himself and grabbing his shoulders. Biden fired back with, “I see you are on the job and presidential, as always.”

Chicago

Chicago made history this week with its election for a new mayor. For the first time, a gay black woman will lead the city. Lori Lightfoot, a former assistant US attorney, won against Toni Preckwinkle and will replace current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He did not seek a third term.

Lightfoot created the new police accountability task force during her time in the US Attorney’s Office and plans to continue her work to create a safer city as mayor.  During her acceptance speech she spoke to her vision for Chicago. "Out there tonight a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They're watching us. And they're seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different," Lightfoot told the crowd on Tuesday. "They're seeing a city reborn. A city where it doesn't matter what color you are, where it doesn't matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart."

Mexico

On Monday, President Trump threatened to close the Mexican border due to the ongoing migrant crisis. It is possible for a president to shut down an entire border, however pushback from Congress is highly likely. Not to mention the massive economic impact it would cause from lack of trade. Trump later said he would give Mexico a “one-year warning” before the closure occurs to respond to the migrant crisis and stop the massive inflow of drugs. If he doesn’t close the border, he claims he will at least impose auto tariffs.

Brunei

On Wednesday, a few new laws went into effect in Brunei, a city on the small island of Borneo off of China. To name a few: adultery and intercourse between two men are both punishable with death by stoning, intercourse between two women is punishable by 40 lashes, and theft is punishable by the amputation of limbs. The laws are based upon Sharia law, a strict Islamic legal system which outlines corporal punishments.

This has caused some LGBT citizens to flee and many other nations to come out in forceful opposition, including the United States, Australia, and the UK. Celebrities, such as George Clooney, have called for boycotts of businesses that have ties to Brunei.

Violence Against Women Act

On Thursday, the House voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. 33 Republicans joined Democrats to gain the necessary number of votes. The National Rifle Association took major issue with the act due to its lifetime ban on individuals convicted of misdemeanor charges of stalking or domestic abuse on purchasing firearms. Democrats argue that they are trying to close a loophole in current gun laws.

Republicans also objected to the bill for a few other reasons, including the inclusion of protections for transgender people and a provision that would prohibit those convicted of certain misdemeanor charges from purchasing firearms. VAWA will likely face an unsteady future in the Senate, which is still controlled by Republicans.