Friday Spotlight – January 1 – 5

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.

Over the weekend:

  • North Korea arranged a communication with South Korea, presumably to discuss Olympics arrangements. The North Korean government also claim that all of the United States are within range of their Nuclear Weapons. President Trump replied to the taunt with by boasting about the size of his nuclear launch button.
  • The Trump administration decided not to appeal a ruling allowing the recruitment of transgender troops, clearing the way for open service.
  • China’s ban on domestic ivory took effect, mirroring a similar pledge by the United States that took effect in July 2016.
  • Russia ruled that the premier opposition leader Navalny cannot run for president. Navalny plans to lead protests and appeal to the European court of human rights.

On Monday:

  • President Trump bemoaned Pakistan’s support of anti-American terrorism, and threatened to withdraw aid. Pakistan summoned the American Ambassador to voice their concerns over the threats.
  • Protests in Iran continued, with the death toll rising. Most protesters are not political, but economic, protesting the corruption and inequality that has plagued the country.

On Tuesday:

  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018.
  • Protests in Iran continued with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, attempting to blame foreign enemies for the demonstrations. Naturally, President Trump had a tweet to go with the news.

On Wednesday:

  • A flurry of excerpts and quotes emerged from an upcoming book by Michael Wolfe, who was apparently allowed unfettered access to the Oval Office during the chaotic early months of the Trump administration. The most immediate consequence was the final souring of the relationship between Trump and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, over comments made by Bannon in the book.
  • Trump dissolved his Voter Fraud Commission, possibly due to legal issues related to the commission’s lack of transparency, as well as difficulties in obtaining requested voter information from most states.

On Thursday: