5 Things For Monday
Bill Cosby Trial Jury Selection Begins Today:
Today begins the long-awaited trial of Bill Cosby for sexual assault. It’s just the start of jury selection, but it should no doubt be a complicated one. 3,000 residents of Pennsylvania were sent jury questionnaires, and starting today 125 eligible jurors will come for more in-depth questioning until a full jury of 12 and six alternates are selected.
Jury selection was already moved to a more diverse county in Pennsylvania- Cosby’s lawyers hoping the new location would bring people untainted by the constant stream of media attention. Although over 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, this trial just surrounds the accusations of one woman- Andrea Constand, who claims Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004.
President Trump in Israel:
President Trump touched down in Israel early this morning to begin his second stop on his first foreign trip. Mr. Trump is meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas- the end goal being to broker a peace deal between the two.
Mr. Trump himself does lean toward the side of Israel though, proclaiming in his entrance into the country that there was an “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel. The President will also be visiting the Western Wall- one of the holiest places in the Jewish faith, and is the first president to ever do so. He will hold off though on his campaign promise to move the site of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, claiming the timing is not right at the moment.
President of the Philippines’ Trip to Russia:
Speaking of foreign trips, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte leaves for a five-day trip to Russia today. What’s the big deal? It signals a departure from the country’s longtime status as an ally of the U.S. Since Duterte came to power last June, the Philippines have seen an array of changes- and one of Duterte’s biggest goals is getting closer to Russia and China. The purpose of the trip is to get weapons for the country to fight Islamist militants- but we’ll see how foreign relations for all countries play out in the future.
Chaffetz to Meet with Comey:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is set to meet with former FBI Director James Comey today. The meeting will surround obtaining Comey’s documents with details of his meetings with the President. The committee hopes the documents will give more clarity to the extent of what Comey’s firing had to do with the investigation of President Trump’s ties to Russia.
Chaffetz was quick to say that nobody has actually seen the documents yet, clarifying the rumors swirling about the claims about Comey’s memos. Both sides of the aisle agree that they want to look into anything Comey has.
North Korean Missile Launch:
North Korea launched a new medium-range ballistic missile in a test that they said was successful on Sunday, leaving several anxious on what come next for the often unstable country. With North Korea conducting more and more missile tests, and satellite imagery showing that the country’s next nuclear test could come anytime soon- the U.S. is not only worried for their close allies South Korea and Japan (which have about 80,000 U.S. troops) but also for their homeland.