The Justice Department is supporting a group of Asian-Americans suing Harvard University over affirmative action policies. The group of plaintiffs rejected from admission claim Harvard’s policies discriminate against Asian-American applicants. The Justice Department called Harvard’s admission practices ‘racial balancing.’ Harvard denies the claim. The case highlights the Trump administration’s skepticism of affirmative action in education.
President Trump issued a White House statement on Wednesday blaming China for difficulties in US-North Korea relations, saying ‘North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China.’. Trump commented that there is ‘no reason at this time’ for joint military exercises with South Korea. The Beijing government said the US was trying to ‘distort facts.’
UN investigators released a report on Tuesday claiming the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen is responsible for killing thousands of civilians, torturing detainees, using child soldiers, and raping civilians. The report increases international pressure on the coalition which receives support from the US, Britain, and France.
North Korea’s main newspaper accused the United States on Sunday of staging military drills to prepare an invasion while at the same time pursuing dialogue with ‘a smile on its face.’ The opinion piece came two days after President Trump canceled a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing a lack of progress in getting North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons.
Hawaii saw nearly 20 inches of rain with flooding and landslides on Friday as Hurricane Lane approached the island. Public schools across the state are closed Friday in anticipation of the Category 3 storm and several major airlines have issued weather waivers. Typhoons Cimarron and Soulik weakened after battering Japan and South Korea this week.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues to fight back against calls for his resignation amid an escalating leadership crisis causing the parliament to be suspended on Thursday. Turnbull is attempting to retain his position as rivals in the Liberal Party push to replace him. A party meeting will be held to gauge support for Turnbull.
Facebook announced on Tuesday it had identified multiple new influence campaigns aimed at misleading people around the world. The activity originated in Iran and Russia. A total of 652 fake accounts, pages, and groups were removed. Microsoft Corporation announced they found and seized websites created recently by Russian hackers meant to target US political institutions.
Pope Francis released a letter on Monday saying the Catholic Church has not properly dealt with ‘crimes’ against children and that it must prevent sexual abuses from being ‘covered up and perpetuated.’ Pope Francis condemned the ‘atrocities’ but made no specific remedy suggestions. The mishandling of abuse has eroded the Church’s authority in the West.
Kofi Annan Nobel Peace Prize winner and seventh secretary-general of the UN died on Saturday in Bern Switzerland at age 80. Annan was the first black African to head the UN. Annan used his post to focus on safeguarding international peace and security. Annan enhanced the UN’s role in fighting poverty, injustice, and disease.
Walmart announced on Thursday its last quarter performance from its grocery division was its best in nine years after efforts to boost its food shopping services. Walmart facilitates online ordering, in-person pick-up, and home delivery of groceries. The performance was the company’s largest increase in a decade and pushed stock up more than 10%.