5 Things for Friday
President Trump's First Foreign Trip:
After courting several foreign leaders at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, President Trump is preparing to leave for his first foreign trip. The President will be heading to the Middle East, the Vatican, and Belgium over a nine day period, beginning today.
Mr. Trump’s first stop- Saudi Arabia, sends a powerful message that the strained ties between the two countries under former President Barack Obama are over. Saudi Arabia is rolling out all the stops for the President- including a concert by country singer Toby Keith. The big event though is King Salman’s convening of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders, with the focused message of coming together to fight extremism- namely ISIS.
The Search for a New FBI Director:
President Trump’s self-appointed deadline for naming a new FBI Director is today. After the firing of former FBI Director James Comey last week, the President promised a quick transition with a new and trusted director.
Some thought Mr. Trump would push naming a replacement after his apparent top pick- Texas Senator John Cornyn, said he was uninterested in the job. But yesterday, the President said he was “very close” to picking someone, naming Senator Joe Lieberman as one of his top choice. By picking Lieberman, a former-Democrat and now Independent, Mr. Trump might be pushing for more bi-partisan support.
General Lee Confederate Statue Removal:
Yes, confederate statues are still being removed in New Orleans. The last of four Confederate-era monuments- the statue of General Robert E. Lee, is set to be taken down today. The statue has been in New Orleans for more than 130 years, holding both positive and negative significance to residents.
Much like the other Confederate monument removals, both pro and anti-monument groups stayed at the symbol of General Robert E. Lee Thursday night rallying their opinions. The supporters stoically held Confederate flags while opponents chanted “take ‘em down” with a drumline, there were no barricades separating the groups and one man was taken into custody.
Iranians are voting today in the country’s first presidential election since the nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S. What’s the big deal? Hardline conservatives in Iran who don’t agree with incumbent president Hassan Rouhani’s moderate policies are pushing against him. Rouhani’s most notable opponent- cleric Ebrahaim Raisi, is suspicious of America and might not be as accepting as Rouhani.
Car Plows through Times Square:
A man who drove his car into a crowded sidewalk in New York’s Times Square has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder after he killed 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman and injured 22 others. Richard Rojas had a history of drunk driving, but come to find out he was high on PCP during the crash. He claimed that “God made him do it.”