9/11/19 -
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Today marks the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a series of airplane hijackings and suicide attacks perpetrated by the terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001. Lawmakers have pursued initiatives to preserve its remembrance, including a $10.2 billion fund for first responders who fell ill after the attacks and a New York state law requiring schools to have a moment of silence on each anniversary.

Remembering, always

Netanyahu Vows to Annex the West Bank 🇮🇱


Impending elections 

Ahead of Israel’s snap general election next week, current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trails behind his rival Benny Gantz, a centrist. In an attempt to garner support from Israeli voters living in West Bank settlements, Netanyahu has pledged to annex the eastern border of the contested West Bank. In the event of a two-state solution, the move would result in a Palestinian state encircled by Israel—an act that would effectively dismantle the peace process. 

International influences

Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War. The region is considered by the majority of the world to be occupied territory, as well as Israeli settlements and annexation to be illegal. Netanyahu has claimed that this move is one afforded to him by the Trump administration, who have yet to support or condemn the proposal. President Trump is expected to release a peace plan for the Middle East after the Israeli vote. 


The left largely views Netanyahu’s claims as an act of aggression and criticizes President Trump’s tacit approval of the brazen vow. Further, many sources identify Netanyahu’s announcement as a “last ditch move” to secure an election he appears at risk to lose. 


The right emphasizes the United States’ support of Israel with little criticism of either nation. The claim is often presented as a necessary move to secure the eastern border, as opposed to a political move before upcoming elections. Many conservative news outlets have focused their coverage of Israel on reports of two rockets launched from Gaza that caused Netanyahu to seek shelter during a campaign event, rather than Netanyahu’s recent annexation pledge. 

Where's the common ground?

The highly politicized state of the Israel-Palestine conflict is reflected in the stark stances taken on the left and right sides of the debate. Within the Israeli government, Netanyahu’s opponent, Benny Gantz, has agreed that the Jordan Valley is “a part of Israel,” but opposed Netanyahu’s meshing of Israeli and American politics. 

Both sides @ each other

Bye Bye Bolton 👋


Bolton’s dismissal

On Tuesday. Pres. Trump dismissed John Bolton from his position as the national security adviser. Bolton’s abrupt termination, which occurred shortly before a press conference he was meant to take part in, reportedly stemmed from a series of disagreements among him, Pres. Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump’s new selection

Bolton, who devised the 2003 Iraq War and advocated for more aggressive foreign policy in North Korea and Venezuela, clashed with Trump’s less combative approach to foreign affairs. The selection of Bolton’s successor is now left in the hands of the president.


Those ambivalent about Bolton’s dismissal highlight the importance of maintaining a critical, and expert, presence in the administration’s approach to national security and foreign affairs. While they acknowledge their initial skepticism of Bolton and his missteps, they emphasize the former adviser's willingness to question Pres. Trump’s decision-making.


Those in favor of Bolton’s dismissal call into question Bolton’s extremely combative, and often violent, approach to foreign policy. Articles often focus on ways this change in national security advising could strengthen diplomacy and encourage peace between the U.S. and nations like North Korea and Iran.

Whether's the common ground?

While both sides are divided on Trump’s decision to fire Bolton, they can agree that the kind of foreign policy issues the next appointed national security advisor will face are not to be taken lightly.

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Extra extra...✨

Competition. Apple unveiled an iPhone with three cameras and a new $5 streaming TV service to compete with Disney and Netflix. (Reuters)

A new discovery. Paleontologists discovered a new pterosaur species in Alberta, Canada. (National Geographic)

Got milk? Scientists discovered evidence that people started drinking milk nearly 6,000 years ago. (BBC)

A new low. The US Census Bureau reported that the poverty rate has finally dropped below pre-Great Recession levels. (NPR)

Uh oh. A Kansas man becomes the sixth person to die from an unknown lung disease linked to vaping. (CNBC)

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