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Sep 09 2016
by Karly Matthews

Weekly Political Round-Up: Navy SEALs, Cancelled Meetings & Protests

By Karly Matthews - Sep 09 2016
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This week, politics saw the death of a conservative icon, a continuation of the 2016 presidential election and a former governor's divorce. Newly released information opened the public's eyes, and President Obama had an international disagreement.

1. UPenn Students speak out.

In the wake of Brock Turner's early release from prison and new laws regarding rapist punishment, female UPenn students received what they considered an offensive, sexist email regarding a campus party, so some decided to do something about it. Activists printed the email, wrote "This is what rape culture looks like" on the copies, and posted them across campus. Since the protest, UPenn received support and attention.

2. Conservative, pro-life icon Phyllis Schlafly dies at 92.

On September 5, conservative Americans lost the face of the pro-life movement, and a day later, her 27th book - entitled The Conservative Case for Trump - was published. According to The New York TimesScholarly was the "'First Lady' of a Political March to the Right." Throughout her life, Scholarly argued against abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, making her one of the most controversial figures of her time.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

3. AirBnB confronts racist allegations.

The rental company based in San Francisco has been under scrutiny this year because it has been easy for their hosts to discriminate against renters based on race, ethnicity or other factors. The controversy started when Harvard University conducted a study and found it was harder for people with "African American sounding names" to book rentals. That said, a nondiscriminatory policy will be implemented on November 1, which all hosts will have to abide by or else face consequences.

4. President Obama clashes with - and later forgives - Filipino leader.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte publicly called President Obama the "son of a whore," thus Obama cancelled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Despite this, the two still met before a regional summit later in the week after Durterte publicly expressed regret for the crude comment. The Washington Post reports that Obama did shake Durterte's hand, and for all intents and purposes, the relationship between the United States and the Philippines remains intact. That said, it's fair to say Obama and Durterte aren't having coffee any time soon.

5. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie divorce after 45 years.

After being separated for five years, the political power couple called it quits on September 6 according to The divorce was first officially reported by Philadelphia Magazine, and former governor claims he and his ex are "amicable." The pair will continue a professional relationship through the Rendell Center, the couple's nonprofit, education-based venture.

6. Violet Overn makes powerful, artistic statement.

The artist published a series of photos entitled "Fraternity Houses," in which she "passes out" in front of fraternity houses, surrounded by Solo cups and the obvious remnants of a party. Overn claims she is "making a statement" with her art and that "somebody had to." The photos, despite your views on this issue, are disturbing, moving and worth a look.

7. Gary Johnson slips up in foreign policy expertise.

During an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson revealed that his knowledge of foreign policy may be lacking. When asked about Aleppo, a Syrian city that has been extremely violent of late, Johnson replied, "What is Aleppo?" Because he's running to be the country's commander-in-chief - granted with very little chance of being elected - his slip up concerned voters.

8. North Korea tests its fifth nuclear warhead.

While many Americans simply laugh at North Korea's attempts at nuclear weaponry, its capabilities are looking more and more real. Last night, it was confirmed that the country once again tested - this time its most powerful - nuclear warhead. Obviously, this action will be noted by the rest of the world, and it's unclear how we will react to the news.

9. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton is featured on Humans of New York.

Humans of New York, a human interest project, profiled Hillary Clinton as one of its subjects this week. In the two-part interview - the latter is shown here - Clinton cited her experiences with sexism in college and her ambition towards the presidency in 2016. In the second half of the interview, she explained why to some voters she comes off "aloof," which you can read below. 

10. A Navy SEALs mission was revealed.

Because the Navy SEALs conduct confidential missions, the public usually doesn't hear about them until after the fact. This week, the Navy released a statement that Navy SEALs came within hours of rescuing two hostages - one American and one Australian - in Afghanistan. The hostages are professors at the American University of Afghanistan. To read more about the mission, click here.

Another week of blunders, inspirations and historical events is over, and we look to the future to see if the United States will combat North Korea, or if the Navy SEALs will be able to rescue those two hostages.

Lead Image Credit: Karsun Designs via Flickr Creative Commons

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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