News Roundup | 4.4.18

Cox Hall Clock Tower to Honor MLK

In honor of the 50th anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Cox Hall Clock Tower will chime 39 times on April 4 at 7:05 p.m., according to Associate Director of University Media Relations Elaine Justice. In addition, students will be distributing small bells to publicize the event at the April 4 Wonderful Wednesday. The 39 chimes represent King’s age at the time of his assassination in 1968.

Emory Hosts Annual Tibet Week

Emory’s annual Tibet Week was held on March 26-31 with the theme “Compassion, Healing and Transformation,” according to a March 19 Emory News Center press release. Geshe Lobsang Tenzin and the monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta lead the March 26 opening ceremony. It featured the beginning of the construction of a sand mandala in the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Events also included three panels on Tibetan teachings such as social, emotional and spiritual learning and compassion-centered spiritual health care. President of the Tibetan government-in-exile Sikyong Lobsang Sangay will deliver the 2018 Berman Lecture on April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Tull Auditorium on the topic of  “The Tibetan People’s Transition to Secular Democracy,” according to a March 28 Emory News Center press release.

Trump Tweets Call for Border Wall Funding, Stricter Immigration Control

After spending Easter weekend tweeting about immigration policy, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced new initiatives to crack down on illegal immigration on April 2, according to The New York Times. The legislative effort, which would increase the difficulty in obtaining asylum in the United States and allow families awaiting decisions from immigration authorities to be detained for longer periods of time, comes after Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill in March that did not include money for his promised border wall with Mexico. “As ridiculous as it sounds, the laws of our country do not easily allow us to send those crossing our Southern Border back where they came from,” Trump said in an April 2 tweet. “Mexico & Canada have tough immigration laws, whereas ours are an Obama joke. ACT CONGRESS.” The president also connected the issue of border security with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which he moved to shut down in September, according to the Times. Trump blamed Democrats after bipartisan attempts to strike a deal on the program failed. “DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon,” he tweeted April 2. “Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!”

China Retaliates With Tariffs on 128 U.S. Products

In response to Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese-made steel and aluminum, China has placed tariffs as high as 25 percent on 128 American-made items, including stainless steel and pork, according to the New York Times. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said they believe Trump’s tariffs to be in violation of the World Trade Organization’s rules and indicated that their retaliatory policy is intended to force the Trump to back down from what could become a trade war. Trump has also threatened to add tariffs to $60 billion-worth of other Chinese goods, according to the Times. “China and the United States are the world’s two biggest economies, and cooperation is the only correct choice,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce wrote in an April 2 online statement. “Both sides should use dialogue and consultation to resolve their mutual concerns.”

Oklahoma, Kentucky Teachers Dispute Shuts Down Schools

Oklahoma and Kentucky teachers protesting cuts in pay benefits and school funding staged walkouts on April 2, forcing more than 200 school districts to shut down, according to the New York Times. The protests came in wake of a West Virginia teacher’s strike in March that lasted almost two weeks and ended when teachers were offered a 5 percent pay raise, the Times reported. Last year, teachers in Oklahoma received an average pay raise of $6,000, but the group is asking for a $10,000 raise and additional funding for schools and support staff. In Kentucky, educators are protesting a pension reform plan passed last week that will end their defined-benefit pensions in favor of hybrid retirement plans that combine traditional pensions with 401(k) plans used in the private sector. The wave of protests has occurred primarily in Republican-dominated states, with Arizona expected to join the movement after thousands of teachers rallied in Phoenix last week to demand a 20 percent pay raise, according to the Times.

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