February News Briefs

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Brexit:

As of Jan. 31, the United Kingdom has departed from the European Union. This decision was originally formulated by former prime minister Theresa May in June of 2016, but all three of her exit proposals were rejected by Parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued with the UK’s withdrawal and his agreement was passed on Jan. 31, formerly ending the UK’s involvement with the EU. The first 11 months will be a transition period for the United Kingdom, forcing them to comply with the EU’s rules. During this period, the EU and Britain will have to decide how to dispute trade relations as well as how to handle security cooperation. If the 11-month period proves to be too short, Johnson will have to either prolong the transition period or will have to comply with the EU’s tariffs on goods.

 

Coronavirus:

Coronavirus, a group of viruses that can cause disease, originated in China early this year has infected and killed more than 500 people (as of Feb.4); the virus has since spread to eight other countries and infected over 23,000 people, according to CNN.

The illness primarily fluctuates the ability of the respiratory system and causes fevers, but can also resemble symptoms of the common flu. In mid-January, a Washington man caught symptoms of the virus while travelling to the city of Wuhan in China, making the United States the first country outside of Asia to be contaminated. As of Jan. 27, there are five confirmed cases of the virus in California, Arizona, Chicago and Washington State.

Scientists and health officials have stated that the virus was first generated in a fish market and can be transmitted through human contact.

 

Impeachment Trial:

On Dec. 18, 2019, President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives and charged with the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The impeachment trial in the Senate began on Jan. 21. Most of the trial revolves around the Trump-Ukraine relationship, in which it is alleged that President Trump withheld security assistance and a meeting with Ukraine’s president so that Ukraine would start an investigation into Joe Biden, former vice president and a Democratic contender for president. Republican officials deny the allegations and rejected Democrats’ attempts to subpoena witnesses or allow documents pertaining to the Ukraine scandal to be presented in the Senate trial by a 51-49 vote. The final impeachment vote will be on Feb. 5 and will determine if President Trump will be on the ballot later this year.

 

Elections:

The 2020 presidential election will take place later this year on Nov. 3. So far, 12 Democratic candidates are running along with three Republican candidates.

According to The New York Times, the most favored Democratic presidential candidates leading the race include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As for the Republicans, President Trump will likely not face much of a serious challenge from the two men also seeking the nomination.

Recent voting trends predict that the 2020 election will have a large voting turnout.

During the Iowa Caucus earlier this month, President Trump easily won the Republican contest. As for the Democrats, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders were the leading candidates after initial results were released.