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Dec 23 2016
by Karly Matthews

What Happened This Week in Politics: The Electoral College Votes, Controversy Erupts on Planes and Terror Rocks the World

By Karly Matthews - Dec 23 2016
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This week, the Electoral College voted, and Donald J. Trump will officially take office as President of the United States on January 20, 2017. Surprisingly, though, this was not even the biggest event in politics this week. Both Germany and Russia experienced acts of terror in different forms, which shook the world.

1. In an act of terror, a German market is attacked.

On Monday, a truck drove through a Berlin Christmas market; the incident killed 12 people and injured another 48. Since it occurred, ISIS has taken responsibility for the event. At first, authorities arrested an initial suspect, whom they later released, and Tunisian Anis Amri is the prime suspect now, and has been killed in a shootout in Milan. Dashcam footage shows the attack first-hand. Unfortunately, Germany has experienced multiple acts of terror in this year alone.

2. Michelle Obama, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, says that America has lost hope.

In an interview that was released Monday night, First Lady Michelle Obama told interviewer Oprah Winfrey that she believes her husband achieved "hope" in the White House but that Americans are now losing that hope. She said, “See, now we are feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept. What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?" For the full interview, visit CBS here.

3. The Russian ambassador to Turkey is shot by a man who posed as one of his security guards.

In an event that seemed almost too gruesome to be true, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead on camera. While giving a speech at an art museum in Turkey, the ambassador was shot by a man who later shouted "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!" The assassin posed as a member of the ambassador's security detail and was able to disguise himself long enough to get close enough to his target. Vladimir Putin has called for cooperation between Russia and Turkey to apprehend the murderer. 

4. Donald Trump is elected as president by the Electoral College.

Despite efforts to sway electors to cast "faithless" votes for Hillary Clinton to change the outcome of the election, the Electoral College favored, as predicted, Donald Trump. According to 270ToWin, Donald Trump "earned" 306 votes while Hillary Clinton had 232. However, just as the 2016 presidential election was one for the books, the Electoral College had some odd happenings. Colin Powell received three votes, Ron Paul had one and a Native American tribal leader named Faith Spotted Eagle was given a vote. Even Ohio Governor John Kasich got one vote on Monday.

5. Actress Lena Dunham said that she "wishes she had an abortion" and later apologizes.

During an episode of her podcast, actress and celebrity personality Lena Dunham discussed abortion and made a controversial comment, saying, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.” This comment caused controversy on both sides of the aisle, and later, Dunham apologized for her comment, which she referred to as a "joke."

6. The crisis in Aleppo continues with government control of the city.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Syrian government has taken control of Aleppo, which marks an end to four years of rebel control of the area. The government had already controlled west Aleppo, but today is the beginning of east control. This new development is obviously a turning point in the civil war, but the fight is far from over. For ways to get involved or help, check out this Fresh U article.

7. Delta Airlines is under fire after accusations of discrimination against a passenger who "spoke in Arabic."

"Youtuber" Adam Saleh was allegedly kicked off a Delta airplane for speaking in Arabic on the phone with his mother before the flight. According to The Guardian, Saleh says that people "felt uncomfortable," and thus he was removed from the plane. However, Saleh has a history of filming "hoaxes" and pranks, so it is unclear whether his story holds water or not. Delta has launched an investigation into the event.

8. A&E releases a documentary profiling the KKK.

In a series entitled "Generation KKK," A&E will take viewers inside the Ku Klux Klan. According to Salon, the show has been in the works for over a year. A&E claims that the purpose of this documentary series is to expose hate and end it; normalizing hate is apparently not on the network's agenda according to executives. These comments have not stopped the uproar or protesting, however, and Ellen Pompeo of Grey's Anatomy has called for a boycott of A&E.

9. Future First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her children experience harassment on a flight.

On Thursday morning, a passenger was removed when Ivanka Trump, her husband and her children also boarded the JetBlue plane. According to CNN, the man said, "You ruined our country. Now you're ruining our flight" before being removed. It is unclear whether true harassment took place because of discrepancies between stories.

10. MTV releases "New Year's Resolutions for White Guys," receiving some backlash.

Early this week, MTV released a video with "Resolutions for White Guys," which was an attempt of social commentary regarding 2016 in general. However, the video was met with controversy, and MTV removed the video before it was reposted. One Fresh U writer gave his unique opinion on the video here.

With Christmas coming up this weekend, don't hesitate to take a small break from politics. While it's important to discuss the happenings of the world with family, it's also important to take some time to just enjoy each other's company without getting too serious. After all, the political world will still be turning come Monday morning.

Lead Image Credit: Gage Skidmore 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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