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illustration by Sophie Lucido Johnson

illustration by Sophie Lucido Johnson


Trump Boycotts Republican Debates

Less than a week into the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump announced that he would not participate in the Republican debates due to an ongoing feud with Fox News and its moderator Megyn Kelly. Trump’s unrelenting bashing of Kelly on Twitter (he has called her “dopey,” “highly overrated,” and “very bad at math,” among other things) caused Fox to release a statement last week saying network officials “had learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president.” On Thursday night, Trump threw a “fundraiser for veterans” in Des Moines, Iowa which gave him the platform to talk about his frustrations. The Daily Beast reported, that the funds raised at the rally did not go directly to veterans, but to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In the meantime, other Republican candidates — most notably Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush — had the opportunity to speak more fluidly about their platforms, with particular attention given to immigration reform.


Zika Virus Spreads Explosively

The first case of the mosquito-borne Zika Virus was reported in Virginia this week, sparking concern of the possibility of a global health crisis. The infection has already swept dozens of countries, and is mostly associated with causing a rare birth defect called microcephaly that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads. Brazil has been the hardest-hit by the virus; more than 4,000 babies have been born with the defect since the October. This raises concerns for the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to take place in Brazil in August. Scientists have linked rising temperatures as a result of global climate change to the rapid outbreaks of the virus.


South Carolina Bill Could Require Tracking Refugees

The South Carolina Senate committee approved a measure that would require police to track refugees in the state by placing their home addresses in an Internet registry. The proposed registry has been compared to the Internet registries used to track registered sex offenders. The bill is based on assumptions that are contradictory to standing knowledge about refugees and terrorism. In a piece for the Migration Policy Institute, Kathleen Newman wrote that the United States has accepted 784,000 refugees since September 11, 2001, and only three have been accused of planning acts of terrorism.

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