February 2019 - The News · The News

The News – Week Four – World News

It’s been a really interesting week in world news, with hardly a hint of US news seeping through besides Cohen’s testimony and Kim and Trump’s meeting, that as we all know by now, didn’t end with any new deal (shocking). As you may remember, I spent the week reading Al Jazeera and BBC News to try to get a well rounded perspective of what’s happening globally.

Here are the way the two sites are laid out:

BBC is focused on world news, but obviously has a western tilt as it is a British organization. Their main menu items on the site focus on news, but there is no drop down menu from there, it just takes you straight to a home page of news that they have selected as relevant. From there you can find world news, US & Canada news and UK news with western news taking the forefront. World news gets broken down from there into region so if you want to find out anything that’s happening not in the UK, Australia, Canada or US you have a dig a bit.

Al Jazeera is laid out with a focus on the middle east because Qatar owns it so it was nice to read from that perspective. I got a lot of news from there that I wouldn’t normally read so that was really cool. Their menu page is laid out with a news tab and a drop down menu for choosing your world region, but it has an entire tab dedicated to Middle East news. They also have a trending tab, and it was really cool to see what was trending every day from their perspective.

The story that really dominated the global headlines this week was Venezuela. It took me three weeks to really get into this story since I was focused on American news for the first three weeks and they hardly mentioned it at all.

From Al Jazeera’s front page
From BBC’s front page

I have to say it was refreshing to get my head out of the U.S. news for a bit. That is, until Wednesday when across all world news sources Michael Cohen’s testimony to congress dominated the front page. I was really surprised that it ended up on Al Jazeera all day long with a live video stream to watch considering no other U.S. news was really mentioned on there all week long. I suppose any chance to make Trump look like a buffoon is alright news to them.

Besides that shit show, here were the biggest stories I saw this week and I’d love it if you all could reach out and let me know how many of these you heard about, if any. I have a feeling I wouldn’t have heard of most of these unless I was intentionally looking as specific regions:

  • Maduro shut down Venezuela’s border with Brazil
  • Japan’s Olympics Minister, Yoshitaka Sakurada, publicly apologized after arriving three minutes late to a parliamentary meeting on Thursday
  • Brexit: Irish government hopes no-deal plan ‘sits on shelf’
  • Bangladesh fire: Dhaka residents look for missing people as at least 70 were killed in a blaze that ripped through the residential area
  • Pakistan army: Will respond with ‘full force’ if India attacks, which they ended up doing later in the week with India conducting air strikes on parts of Pakistan. The warning came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan approved military response as tensions rose once again over the Kashmir conflict.
  • Political drama in Thailand as long-delayed election nears Constitutional Court to meet next week as Thai Raksa Chart faces ban over Princess Ubolratana nomination

In Africa: The Sengali and Nigerian elections are dominating the news. In Nigeria voting stations and counting centers were under attack and dozens were killed. Senegal’s president Sall has won again in his second term and Buhari has won again in Nigeria.

In the Middle East: Israel’s PM is facing corruption charges for what feels like the 20th time. That is the top news for BBC in this region, but all Al Jazeera is talking about is Indian-Pakistan clashing again.

In US & Canada: Trump meets with Kim in Hanoi and Michael Cohen testifies to congress.

Latin America: Dozen hurt along Venezuela and Brazil border.

Europe: All eyes on Brexit and what May will decide to do next now that her exit deal plans have been denied.

Asia Pacific: Voters on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa rejected the relocation of a controversial US military base elsewhere on the island, but Japan’s government said it would press ahead with the plan. Top concerns are of noise, military operations and crime. The citizens argue the region bears a disproportionate burden when it comes to hosting US military troops in the country.

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♪ And that’s the NUUUHHHHSSS ♪

Here are my three biggest takeaways from this news challenge:

  • Question everything
  • Ask who benefits from this article (WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO, WHAT BENEFIT DOES THE NEWS SOURCE HAVE IN TELLING THIS STORY, REMEMBER RAGE=VIEW COUNTS)
  • Look at multiple sources for the same story before drawing a conclusion
  • Never share an article after only reading the headline!!!!!

Check back in Monday for an update on my March challenge! We are going back to minimalism!

February 2019 - The News · The News

The News – Week One – No News

When I stopped reading, listening or watching the news at midnight on January 31 here were the headlines in my mind:

  • It’s freezing all over the United States except the west coast because of a polar vortex
  • Russia is using Mueller’s private case files to discredit the Russia Probe
  • Conservatives are mad at the Virginia Governor over a late term abortion bill
  • McConnell is mad about a democratic house bill to make election day a federal holiday
  • Venezuela is in turmoil
  • The EU rejected Theresa May’s plans to change Brexit deal
  • Everybody has measles in Portland/SW Washington
  • The CEO of Starbucks wants to run for president and everyone hates that idea

So after a week of NO NEWS AT ALL, here is what I picked up from people around me in my liberal bubble during the week just by listening to conversations:

  • Liam Neeson said something racist
  • The government of Virginia also did or said some questionably racist things, also something about sexual harassment
  • Women wore white during Trump’s State of the Union, which was filled with bad rhetoric
  • Maroon Five is the worst

If you don’t live in America or only get your news from conservative sources I’m going to guess your headlines looked a lot different. I heard nothing about anything outside of American news and all the news I did pick up included American politicians/celebrities being the absolute worst. I am kind of dying to know what’s happening in Venezuela but I haven’t heard anything.

Damn that’s some shitty reporting from me! Well, except the part about Maroon Five. I didn’t watch a second of the Super Bowl, but I didn’t need a Super Bowl performance by Maroon Five to tell me that they sucked. Everyone loves to hate [insert musician that plays at the Super Bowl]. Doesn’t matter who it is.

I am ITCHING to dig into these four news stories I heard about in passing, but unfortunately it’s week two of my challenge and the only place I can go look up what “really” happened is FOX NEWS. Just to get a taste of what my next post is going to be like let’s do an experiment. I’m going to look up one story on the State of the Union, Liam Neeson and the Virginia government on Fox News and report back right now on what I found.

State of the Union: The night was miserable for congressional democrats. Trump urged for bipartisan cooperation. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t applaud, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand didn’t even stand up once and Nancy Pelosi clapped weird.

Liam Neeson: Admitted that he once wanted to kill a ‘black bastard’ for revenge. Jesus Christ. Anyway, Fox News is reporting that Michelle Rodriguez said he’s not racist because he stuck his tongue super far down Viola Davis’ throat in the movie Widows. Oooookay. Anyway, Neeson apologized for having those thoughts and Fox News gives us no context as to why he would even bring that shit up, but there you go.

Virginia Government: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is involved in a allegation of sexual assault at the 2004 DNC. State Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to donning blackface at a college party in 1980. Fox News is frothing at the mouth at all the bad things these democrats have done and noting any silence about this on the left.

I already have a headache from this and it’s only been one day of Fox News. Next weeks posts should get weird. I almost miss not know what was going on in the news. I’m also going to make a fun game of how many times the Fox News front pages has a story on Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren or Hilary Clinton. We will see who the winner is at the end of the week!

I also finished a really great book this week called Listen Liberal: or whatever happened to the party of the people by Thomas Frank. Check out the review here.