News Roundup | 2.6.19

Cory Booker Enters 2020 Presidential Race

United States Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month. Booker is the second black candidate to declare in this race after Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Booker’s announcement was highly anticipated after the 2018 midterms, when he visited states across the U.S. in support of fellow Democratic candidates, including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Booker joins other high-profile primary contenders such as Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Tulsi Gabbard.

Although Booker has only served one term in the Senate, he has been a vocal member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, namely on issues regarding economic inequality and criminal justice. Booker helped test a federal jobs guarantee program and introduced a bill in the Senate that would decriminalize marijuana nationwide. Prior to his election to the Senate, Booker served two terms as mayor of Newark, N.J., where he supported reforms to prevent gun violence and increase affordable housing.

Booker was a proponent of charter schools and school vouchers during his tenure as mayor and supports Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ school choice organization. Critics have accused him of appeasing business interests after receiving $1.87 million from Wall Street corporations in 2014, more than any other member of Congress.

Polar Vortex Sweeps Across Midwest

The Midwest faced record-breaking cold temperatures last week after a mass of frigid air in the arctic traveled south. In what meteorologists referred to as a “polar vortex,” temperatures plummeted 31 degrees below zero in Fargo, N.D., and 20 degrees below zero in Chicago. The additional windchill brought temperatures even lower.

The cold snap closed schools and businesses, disrupted mail service and caused the deaths of at least 21 people, including a FedEx worker and a University of Iowa student who was found unconscious outside a university building and later died in the hospital.

President Trump Delivers State of the Union

President Donald J. Trump delivered his second State of the Union address on Feb. 5, one week after its originally scheduled date. The address was postponed after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to host Trump for the address during the 35-day government shutdown, arguing that the shutdown posed a security threat because of unpaid Secret Service workers.

During the 82-minute speech, Trump began by speaking of bipartisan unity before veering into discussions of his proposed southern border wall. “Simply put, walls work and walls save lives,” he said. Responding to the Democrats’ commitment to probe into his administration, Trump discouraged “ridiculous partisan investigations.”

Trump also announced plans to hold a second nuclear summit meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un this month in Vietnam.

Stacey Abrams, former Democratic candidate for Georgia’s gubernatorial race, delivered the Democratic response to the address. Abrams pointed to the significance of voting rights and the importance of continuing a fight against racism.

Atlanta Rapper 21 Savage Detained For Overstaying Visa

Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage, legally known as Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Feb. 3, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC). ICE said 21 Savage is a U.K. citizen who came to the U.S. on a one-year visa in 2005 when he was 13. The rapper could face deportation as a result of overstaying his visa.

Abraham-Joseph was arrested in a “targeted operation,” according to the AJC. He was previously arrested in 2014 on felony drug charges but ICE was unaware of his immigration status at that time.

The 26-year-old rapper partially established his career on his upbringing in Atlanta, which he consistently alludes to in his music. 21 Savage has launched a variety of charity campaigns in the city including “Issa Back 2 School Drive” in which free school supplies were donated to more than 2,500 students in DeKalb County.

Eagle Row Pedestrian Bridge to Close Summer 2019

The Eagle Row pedestrian bridge will close for construction during Summer 2019, according to Vice President of Campus Services Matthew Early. The bridge provides access to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, O. Wayne Rollins Research Center and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library.

“The bridge is due for restoration in order to keep the bridge in top condition,” Early wrote in a Jan. 2 email to the Wheel. “We will be replacing the topping slab (walking surface), replacing the lighting, sandblasting and repainting all the structural steel components.”

The project is estimated to cost $500,000 and is scheduled to be completed by June 2019, according to a December 2018 capital projects update report.

Emory Economics Major Classified STEM Major

The Bachelors of Arts Economics Major has been classified as a STEM major due to its quantitative nature, according to Economics Faculty Chair Hashem Dezhbakhsh. All requirements for the degree will remain the same. The Econ/Math major has been classified as a STEM major for a few years.