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In Brief

This month’s news updates.

By News

Republicans Want Americans To Work More

It’s Jeb Bush’s goal to increase the economy by 4 percent. No one is sure where Bush pulled that number from, but while he was campaigning in New Hampshire, Bush said, “People [would] need to work longer hours, and through their productivity, gain more income for their families.” Bush’s campaign clarified that he meant to say part-time workers who desired full-time careers would have to work hard. This strategy slip highlights some of the more obvious ways the Republican Party tries to benefit its upper-class interests. Some things that might sound familiar are raising the minimum age eligibility for Social Security, adding work requirements to qualify for Medicaid or food aid, or creating a block grant system for welfare-based programs.

Muslim Charities Show Support

After the Emanuel AME Church was attacked in South Carolina this June, several black churches across the South have been set ablaze. The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, Arab American Association of New York, and Ummah Wide have raised approximately $45,000 of aid for the churches since their fundraiser has started last week. A statement released by the campaign said, “ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries — a place where all should feel safe, a place we can seek refuge when the world is too much to bear.” Representatives from the organization stated they understood, at least on some level, the institutionalized hate and bigotry in the United States.

Israeli Officer Caught Up

On July 3, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officer Colonel Israel Shomer shot 17-year-old Mohammed Kasbeh in the back. The shooting happened at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, a scene known for its clashes between Palestinian citizens and the IDF. A gas station attendant told the Guardian that after a group of young boys had thrown rocks at a car holding IDF officers; the officers in the car pursued them. Shomer shot Kasbeh in the back and side of the head while he was between 35 and 49 feet away and running. Video footage was recently released from an Israeli human rights group called B’Tselem, which invalidates the officer’s claim that he shot Kasbeh because he felt that his life was in danger.

Transgender Troops?

U. S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Monday that there is a plan to allow transgender people to openly serve in the United States Military. According to CNN, he wrote in his statement, “… we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines — real, patriotic Americans — who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit. The U. S. military’s ban on gay men and women was lifted in 2011, but its ban on transgender men and women is still very much in place. Despite that ban, The National Center for Transgender Equality reports that over 134,000 American veterans are transgender, and over 15,000 transgender people are serving the military currently. Some of the perils they face while serving in the military include the inability to take hormones, sleeping in government regulated bunks, and uniform mandates that force them to identify as either male or female. The U. S. Department of Defense and the Pentagon are currently testing the effects of medical and legal issues that transgender people might face while serving in the military.

The Dwarf Planet That Could

Nine years ago, NASA launched a spacecraft named New Horizons with the goal of reaching Pluto. Tuesday morning, the spacecraft flew past Pluto capturing dozens of high-resolution photographs of the planet’s surface. This marks the first ever encounter with Pluto, which is 736 miles across and 3 billion miles away from Earth. The dwarf planet is located on the Kuiper Belt, which holds remnants of the very first days of our solar system.

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