News Briefs

The biggest stories of May explained.


Donald Glover’s America

Donald Glover, otherwise known as Childish Gambino, has had a record breaking, culture defining month. The actor/rapper/singer/writer did double duty on SNL, hosting then performing two new songs. The next day he released the video for his song This Is America, which has received 100 million views faster than any other video this year. The controversial video features Gambino gunning down a choir and running from a mob, all while singing and dancing, and is considered by many to be a complex metaphor for the trauma African-Americans deal with. In the week following, Glover released the season finale for his Emmy winning show Atlanta, which he directed, and attended the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which he stars in as Lando Calrissian. Both garnered rave reviews.


Seattle’s New Tax

Seattle City Council approved a new tax on Monday; thrilling the homeless, and infuriating Amazon. The new “head tax” will force large corporations in Seattle to pay the city $275 per employee, generating 48 million dollars which the city will use to fight homelessness and provide affordable housing. Many of Seattle’s large corporations blasted the tax. Amazon, the city’s largest employer, was especially threatening in their critique. “The council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses forces us to question our growth here”, an Amazon spokesperson said. Supporters of the tax, like Mayor Jenny Durkan, have applauded the plan for helping the city to address the homelessness crisis.


Iran Deal Exit

President Trump has withdrawn from the Iran Nuclear Deal. The deal was the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama Administration, but has been lambasted by Republicans since it was signed in 2015. The agreement forced Iran to get rid of 97% of its Uranium, 70% of its centrifuges, and allow for constant international surveillance of its weapons program. In return, the US and the other countries involved promised to lower sanctions against Iran. By withdrawing, Trump is fulfilling one of his central campaign promises, but critics from around the world have questioned his decision. France, Germany, and the UK, all expressed their disappointment, and Obama called the decision “misguided”. Due to the deal’s widespread international support, it’s likely that America’s exit won’t cause the deal to fall apart, though new terms may have to be negotiated between Iran and the remaining countries.


Costa Rica CO2 Cut

Costa Rica’s newly elected president, the 38 year old ex-journalist Carlos Alvarado, announced a bold new plan to decarbonize his country. “We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.” Alvarado said. Costa Rica is already a world leader in renewable energy, and recently went 300 days using only renewables for electricity, but the Central American country still emits a great amount because of gas guzzling automobiles. To make Costa Rica the first Carbon-Neutral country, Alvarado plans to take the gas guzzlers off the road and replace them with electric public transport. Ultimately, Alvarado hopes to end fossil fuel use in transportation by 2021, and eliminate all fossil fuels in Costa Rica soon after.