Around the Globe

Hannah Powell

Trump address draws both praise and criticism

In the administration’s’ first joint address to Congress Tuesday night, President Trump used dramatic rhetoric and audience reaction to rally support for his policies. In one particularly powerful moment, Trump described a recent anti-terrorism operation that, while successful in terms of intelligence gathering, ended in the death of Navy Seal Ryan Owens. His widow Carryn Owens, seated next to Trump’s daughter Ivanka in the audience of the address, was on screen for exactly 1 minute and 42 seconds while Trump led a standing ovation for her and her family’s sacrifice for the country. “Ryan’s legacy is etched in eternity,” Trump said as America watched Owens cry and mouth, “I love you” and “thank you” toward the sky. The president is receiving mixed reviews for the lengthy clap, some thanking him for recognizing the Owens’ loss, some chastising him for using the tragedy as a prop to further his own policies.

Leaders at Wells Fargo miss out on bonuses in wake of fall scandal

Wells Fargo announced that 8 of its top executives will not receive $32 million in bonuses this year in a continuous effort to make up for the bank’s scandal in the fall. The bank will not personally blame these executives for any of the fake customer accounts discovered a few months ago (though they did fire 5,300 employees), but says it is simply making every possible effort to correct the harm done to its customers. Many critics of the bank have asserted that unreasonable sales goals are what drove employees to create the fake accounts, and Wells Fargo has since eliminated these standards. Chairman Stephen Sanger has assured the press that the bank will not forget the mistakes that led to this scandal, and that it will continue its “efforts to promote accountability and ensure Wells Fargo puts customers’ interests first.

Budget cuts to NOAA to reduce research and satellite spending

The Trump administration plans to cut major spending in one of the government’s primary environmental agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The areas that will suffer the most within this organization are research and satellite programs, but the cuts will also impact smaller branches like coastal management and estuary reserves. The Trump administration explains that these cuts are necessary to refocus the budget in other areas, like rebuilding the military. The OMB passback, the document that proposes these cuts in the budget process, claims that the administration will be looking for “savings and efficiencies to keep the nation on a responsible fiscal path.” Commerce Secretary William Ross agrees with cuts to the budget, and he feels that Congress’s approval will be the obstacle.

Whole Foods faces competition from mass-market retailers

A bill was recently passed in Kentucky that could change a school districting program that ensures the diversity of the student body in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Even as segregation has been on the rise in other areas of the country in recent years, this program has brought “black, white, rich and poor” students together and yielded, the administrators claim, better academic outcomes for children of lower income families. The creators of the bill feel, however, that children attending school in their own neighborhoods is more important that ensuring integration in far away schools. Part of the argument is that parents can more easily attend conferences and PTA meetings when their children go to school around the corner, and students can often dedicate more of their time to extracurricular activities. Opponents of the bill claim that it will re-segregate the children and have far more negative impact than positive for students.