CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
Trump Settles Trump University Lawsuits
President-elect Donald Trump agreed Nov. 18 to settle three lawsuits involving Trump University for $25 million. Issues with Trump University have been debated throughout his presidential campaign. The school is now closed, but the students responsible for the lawsuits say that they were tricked into paying thousands of dollars in return for learning Trump’s real estate secrets. The settlement was negotiated with Trump’s legal team, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the law firm who brought the lawsuit to court. The $25 million will include restitution for the students along with $1 million in state penalties.
Trump Nominates National Security Team
President-elect Donald Trump announced his nominations for his administration’s national security team on Friday. Included in the announcement were Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA director, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security advisor. All three appointees have strong views on foreign policy, especially on the issue of Islamic terrorism. All of the men have held positions in both Washington and national security. Flynn has served as a defense intelligence chief and lieutenant general. Sessions has been the state’s attorney general and prosecutor and served on the Senate as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Pompeo graduated from West Point, is a veteran of the Army and serves on the House Intelligence Committee.
Obama And The EU Keep Sanctions On Russia
President Barack Obama met with EU leaders in Berlin to reaffirm sanctions on Russia because of the Ukraine crisis. In the meeting, both parties also criticized Russia’s air strikes in Syria. President-elect Donald Trump is hoping for better relations with Russia during his term in office. The meeting in Berlin affirmed that the sanctions are to remain in place until Moscow “fully met its commitments to resolve the conflict,” according to BBC.
Aleppo Bombing Continues
Bombings continued for a fourth day Nov. 18 in the rebel-held city of Aleppo, Syria. Thirteen people were killed by rebel rockets in government controlled areas of the city. The UN’s Syria humanitarian advisor said that Aleppo is facing hard times because necessary supplies are low and cold weather is coming. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that at least 18 neighborhoods have been hit. The only nearby hospital, which contained two weeks worth of medical supplies, is reported to have been hit as well. The army, backed by Iran and Russia, began an assault to take the city back on September 22 of this year. This event started the air strikes that are responsible for the deaths of over 700 civilians.
Huge New Zealand Earthquake Lifts Sea Floor
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand Nov. 14, causing the seabed to lift two meters. Seaweed-covered rock platforms and stranded marine animals are now visible on land. Roads were also destroyed during the earthquake. The disaster occurred just after midnight near Kaikoura, located 55 miles northeast of the city of Christchurch. A smaller 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck at 1:30 p.m. further north of Christchurch. Over 60 4.5 magnitude or greater aftershocks have been reported. The raised coastline could be permanent, unless another earthquake readjusts the land.
Zika Crisis Declared Over
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Zika will no longer be treated as an international medical emergency, but acknowledged that the mosquito-borne virus is going to stick around. In nearly 30 countries, the virus has been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with a small head and poor brain development. The virus is mainly spread by a mosquito bite, but can also be sexually transmitted. WHO is shifting to a long-term plan to fight the virus. Zika was first discovered in Uganda in 1947, but was reported in Brazil in May 2015 and spread rapidly from there.