Friday Spotlight – April 21, 2017

Each Friday, Torchlight Media will publish a summary of the major news that happened for that week: the announcements and events, the twists and turns of ongoing stories, and all of the other highlights in between. Our goal is to give you a big-picture look at the week’s news so that even if you can’t follow everything yourself, you can have a general sense of where things stand. We hope, too, that seeing the highlights laid out will help you separate the small, pointless stories that crop up over the week from the more impactful, ongoing stories.
Here’s what’s in the spotlight for this week:

  • On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a new Parliamentary election; the request was approved the following day. May billed the request as a way to gain a stronger mandate to govern and to strengthen her position in negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The election is scheduled for June 8.
  • On Wednesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff won the primary for the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. Because Ossoff only won 48.1% of the vote, however, he will face the second-place candidate, Republican Karen Handel, in a regular election on June 20.
  • On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the carrier group it had previously reported as on its way to the North Pacific was, in fact, still in the South Pacific near Indonesia. The Times cited a series of miscommunications among military and White House officials as the reason that President Trump claimed the carrier group was nearing North Korea. We are reporting this both because we mentioned the carrier’s movements in last week’s Spotlight and because the President of the United States being so completely, and publicly, misinformed about the location of an aircraft carrier is unusual.
  • On Wednesday, Fox news announced it would cut ties with anchor Bill O’Reilly due to sexual harassment allegations. The separation marks the end of O’Reilly’s 20 year run on the network.
  • Concluding our busy news Wednesday, freshly-minted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch heard his first case. The case regarded whether or not a Missouri law that prohibits religious institutions from receiving public funds is constitutional; the case concerns a church applying for a grant to resurface its playground.
  • On Thursday, a federal court ruled that several Texas state house districts were illegally drawn in order to spread minority voters among several districts, diluting their vote. Additionally, the court found that districts in four counties violated the “one person, one vote” rule by failing to have roughly equal populations. The case highlights the importance of how electoral districts are drawn, an issue of special importance as the 2020 census–and the requisite redrawing of the Congressional map–draws near.