The Week in Headlines: Obama's Big Decision
What happened this week? Lots. And our friends at theSkimm have you covered with a run-down of the top headlines. (Want them delivered daily to your inbox? Sign up at theskimm.com)
Down by the Bay
On the 100th day of his second term, President Obama vowed to revisit the issue of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.
Is This a Bay I Should Visit?
More like one you’d like to stay away from. The 12-year-old prison for foreign terrorism suspects, located at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, is not viewed upon kindly by human rights groups. Gitmo was opened under President George W. Bush as a place to bring terrorism suspects caught abroad after 9/11. There has been lots of controversy surrounding allegations of abuse, torture, and violations of U.S. and international law on site. Some prisoners have been held without a trial or charges. When running for his first term, Obama promised to close it.
Why is This Coming Up Now?
Recently, a medical team was called in to help deal with the 100 detainees who are refusing to eat. Some of them are being force-fed, which some medical ethics groups aren’t OK with. This isn’t the first hunger strike at Gitmo. This latest strike, though, started when guards did a February cell search. Prisoners say the guards didn’t handle their Korans appropriately; the military says false.
So What Has Obama Said?
Back in ’08/’09, he wanted to shut the place down altogether, but congressional and legal obstacles blocked his efforts to do so.
And What Now?
Shut. It. Down. Part two. Obama said that the existence of the facility is bad for U.S. interests because it’s expensive, inefficient, good for extremist recruiting, and takes a toll on how the rest of the world looks at America. He also said it’s not sustainable to keep people in “no man’s land” forever.
Obama hasn’t seriously talked about this for awhile, so his recommitment now is a big deal. But he offered no new paths to overcome the legal obstacles that have gotten in his way before. To say shutting it down is complicated would be an understatement; the prisoners have to have a place to go, either abroad or on American soil. Gitmo is in legal and ethical limbo. All big issues.
Repeat After Me
What to Say When You Need a Gift for Someone
How about an Apple bond? iNotKidding. Apple has already said it plans on returning $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015—a nice way to reward investors after a tough year—but now it is offering the largest corporate-bond sale ever. Apple definitely has the cash money on hand to give back to shareholders, but a lot of its money is overseas. The U.S. has a little something called “taxes” that make bonds seem like the better way to go. According to The Wall Street Journal, $17 billion worth of bonds would be available for purchase. In other words, you lend money to Apple, get a bond, Apple pays its shareholders, and at a certain specified later date, pays you back with some interest. Everyone gets paid. Yay. Although, some credit agencies did warn that Apple doesn’t have the highest credit rating, so it’s not exactly like buying government bonds. Shoppers’ dilemma.
What People are Horrified By
A four-year-old girl who was raped in India last week has died. She suffered from cardiac arrest. Two men have already been arrested in connection to the attack. She had been lured from her home by one suspect and then raped by the other, a friend of her parents. Reports of violence against women and girls in India have come into the spotlight lately, as more and more horrific attacks have come out. A different five-year-old girl was raped last month, sparking protests. Make it stop.
What to Say When You Feel Lazy
Well, I’ve done nothing today and a two-year old just grew a new windpipe in less than a week. True story. A little girl in South Korea, who was born without a windpipe, has been unable to breathe, eat, drink, or swallow on her own for her entire life. Doctors had warned her parents to brace for the worst. But then Hannah underwent an experimental stem cell treatment. Doctors removed stem cells from her bone marrow and then within a week were able to multiply the cells to help create a new windpipe. The windpipe was implanted in early April and so far it looks like it’s working and she has a very good chance at a normal life. Science is cool.
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