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Written by @ameliezilber // @twominutetimes
Political & International Update

Bordering Reality

A surveillance video released this week painted a very different image than what was accounted by border officials back in May, of the nature of immigrant Carlos Vasquez's death.
The sick Guatemalan boy, stuck in Border Patrol custody, was found lying on the floor, dead, by his cellmate. 

Vasquez had been diagnosed with the flu, reported with a 103-degree fever, and was thrown into a cold, concrete cell with another boy rather than being taken to the ER. The video of the 16-year-old boy shows patrol agents rarely coming to check on him, despite his condition visibly worsening throughout the day. 

He is the sixth child to die after being detained at the border in less than a year. 
Rest in power, Carlos. May we elect an official willing to protect asylum-seekers and build a better country in honor of your death.


Navy in the News

A total of five US servicemen were killed in back-to-back shootings, this week, at both a US Naval base in Florida and at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
The attack in Florida was undertaken by suspect Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi national and member of the country's air force who was in the US for flight training. Though the motives of both shootings remain unknown, the attacks are being investigated as potential acts of terrorism against the US military. 

Excellent Decisions

In other, really great, heart-warming, fantastic news, the Trump admin. appointed Robert Marbut to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness. 

A little background info
Marbut is a former consultant who used to urge city governments to STOP feeding the homeless. 
He’s advocated, with condescending, victim-blaming rhetoric, to end the “housing first” program to provide permanent housing for the homeless, he wants to stop school lunch programs and he already proposed cutting back on food stamps. 

His huge heart of gold is truly inspiring.

Up in Arms

Over 800,000 rail workers, bus drivers, teachers, hospital staff and students gathered, Thursday and Friday, to protest new reforms proposed by President Macron altering the country’s generous pension system. Schools were shut, flights canceled and transit systems disrupted. 

What’s with the new reforms?
Macron is seeking to unify the pension system, which currently has specific rules for certain occupations, like railway workers, by making workers work longer hours, with less generous pensions when they retire. The aim is to support an aging population and have enough money to provide for those coming into retirement. However, unions argue the reform will drive up the retirement age and force tired, aging workers into labor in order to support themselves.

In response, police have been using extreme force against demonstrators, beating them up and firing tear gas to break up protests.
The protests have brought the country to a halt. Who wins depends on which group, union groups or the government, gives in first. 

Forced into Womanhood
Child marriage is on the rise, according to Pakistani investigators. 
Earlier this year, investigators found that since 2018 hundreds of young girls and women were forced to marry Chinese men. Once married, girls were found physically and sexually abused, and some even forced into prostitution.

Why is this still a problem?
Not only is the exploitation lucrative for both Chinese and Pakistanis involved, who can make up to a few hundred thousand, but economically, women are seen as entities to be bartered, while the son is considered the breadwinner. 

Plain and simple, child marriage puts an end to a child’s right to freedom and it must be stopped. 
News to Bring Comfort
Fifty Republican members of Congress have visited a Trump-owned property since the impeachment hearings began just a few weeks ago.
Congress is tasked with providing unbiased checks and balances on the president, including Trump’s conflicts of interest related to his businesses, many members have chosen to forgo these responsibilities while enjoying the political benefits that visiting and spending money at Trump properties provides. 

And when they stay, where does their money go? 
Right into Trump’s pocket. 

And when is this all happening? 
Right as they’re deciding whether or not the President violated the constitution. 

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