1/11/19 -
Reading time: 4 min
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Japan is planning to buy the uninhabited island of Mageshima – and give it to the US. Kind of. For the price of 16 billion yen ($150 million), Japan would own the island, but allow the US to run military drills there, rather than on Okinawa, where inhabitants have begun to complain that the US ground exercises currently held there "disturb the peace."
So you can an island?
excuse me wow GIF by Mashable

Trump’s Emergency at the Border ⏰💵

The president is on the move

On Thursday, President Trump traveled to McAllen, Texas to continue making his case for “the wall,” his promised solution to the immigration “crisis” at the border. The trip, which the President himself has deemed pointless, comes after a failed meeting with Congressional leaders, which further stalled government shutdown talks.

Skipping over Congress?

Before leaving for the border patrol station in McAllen, President Trump addressed the media, stating he has the “absolute right to declare a national emergency.” This move, which is typically used for mass tragedies and natural disasters (like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina), would supposedly allow Trump to bypass Congress and use military funds to build the wall.


The left continually stresses the high likelihood that if Trump does decide to declare a national emergency at the border, it will undoubtedly be challenged in court. They also repeatedly mention that the “crisis” Trump has conjured up for the media is, in fact, not a crisis at all.


The right, while also acknowledging the possibility of Trump declaring a national emergency, put more emphasis on Democratic hypocrisy, regarding whether the issue is worthy of the term “emergency.” For example, the right points to past statements made by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who previously referenced the humanitarian crisis at the border.

No end in sight

Trump has made a (most likely) futile trip to the border, Democrats are extremely frustrated in Washington, and 800,000 federal workers want to be paid for their work again. Although it may seem like moves are being made, the shutdown has ironically hit a wall.

Hit. The. Wall. 
Common Ground #22 🤝
Quick reminder
We recently launched a new series called Common Ground. As a reminder, our goal with this series is to highlight the common values that left and right-leaning media outlets share. We're doing this because we want to remind our readers that not every topic is partisan and polarizing.
How will we do this?

We’ll take articles from the left and the right that seem to be telling a news story in the same way - and extract common values from them. We hope these common values spark a conversation of agreement with your neighbor on the other side of the aisle. 😊


Summary: Alabama had a close election race in 2017, with Doug Jones (D) defeating Roy Moore (R). Recently, Democrat operatives were found to have used social media to spread misinformation through “false flag” operations. In efforts to deceive the public about Moore's platform/friends, they impersonated Russian accounts and an alcoholic prohibition group supporting Moore. Both the left and the right showed alarm at these tactics.

Evidence of Common Ground:

  • Both titles call out the operation for its lying (“Fakery”, “Misinformation campaigns”)
  • Both connect methods to Russian tactics in the most recent election

  • NYT says “there is no doubt the progressive Democrats who created the now-defunct Facebook pages… were trying to deceive voters”

  • Fox News has video embedded in the article in which Karl Rove calls this “really dangerous stuff”

Common Ground: This is what Russia did to America – it shouldn't be what America does to itself


Summary:  December 28th was the last time many Federal Employees were paid, as the government shut down wears on into its third week. While the left and right argue about who’s at fault and what the solution is, both sides took time to look at the struggles of the 800,000 unpaid Federal employees.  

Evidence of Common Ground:

  • New York Post describes people needing to pay for baby formula and mortgages 
  • Time describes federal employees considering part-time jobs to make ends meet and wondering if they are going to be evicted for late rent
  • New York Post mentions GoFundMe accounts for some federal employees, but that most aren't making enough money to support the employees at this time

Common Ground: Let's not forget about the people affected by this political impasse

What, we can only imagine, the impersonators felt like
Extra extra...✨📰✨

Job cuts. Jaguar and Ford announce they will cutting thousands of jobs from their businesses in Europe. (Reuters)

A 12th century boss. Rare blue pigment found on a Medieval woman’s skeleton suggests women worked as luxury manuscript scribes. (CNN)

36 poached horns. South African customs officials seize a shipment of illegal rhino horn, weighing 256 lbs, at the airport. (BBC)

Seasick. A Royal Caribbean cruise liner returns a day early after 300 of its 9,000 passengers got sick from a norovirus. (Florida Today)

Earth 2.0? Citizen scientists discover a new planet, twice the size of the Earth. (Geek)

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