5 Things for Monday
Yesterday, 97% of voters in Puerto Rico voted in favor of statehood, which if confirmed by Congress, could make Puerto Rico the 51st state. The catch was that only 23% of the population voted- after opposition parties called for a boycott of the so-called “rigged” vote.
It is now Congress’ hands to decide whether Puerto Rico will be a state. It will be an uphill battle- the island is $70 billion in debt and has a 45% poverty rate, just to name a few issues- making some Congress members think that we should keep the American states at an even 50.
The prosecution rested their case against Bill Cosby last Friday, and today the defense will begin building their case. Many people are wondering who they will call to the stand, some speculating that even Mr. Cosby himself might testify- a decision that could have Cosby charm jurors, or intense cross-examining from prosecution could hurt his case.
Whatever happens, the defense’s turn isn’t expected to be prolonged- and they plan to rest the case early this week if not as soon as today. So it won’t be long before we see if Cosby is found guilty of sexual assault.
Most of the 18 Penn State fraternity members facing hazing charges will go to court today. The hearing today will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. Prosecutors plan to play at least 3 hours of video from the fraternity house where no fraternity members attempted to help 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, who died after tumbling head first down a flight of stairs.
Today it is likely that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will step down for a period of time, facing allegations that the company turns a blind eye to various issues. Kalanick has been under scrutiny for months, after a video went viral showing an argument between a longtime Uber driver and himself.
The $70 billion company is also expected to adopt all of the changes recommended by former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. - all of these major differences hope to turn a new leaf for the company who has been plagued by bad press in recent memory.
Just a year ago today, 49 people died at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and people should not be quick to forget it. Today church bells throughout Orlando will ring 49 times at noon and flags will be flown at half-staff- services will go on all day at the nightclub including a large evening gathering. This awful tragedy is a reminder that we all need to come together despite our differences.