In the News This Week

by Debra Brown

El Salvador

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


U.S. Ends El Salvador’s Protected Status, Affecting 200,000 Residents. 

Homeland security officials said that they were ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001. This TPS group makes up about 60% of all TPS holders and have 193,000 U.S. citizen children. The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians lost protections granted after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

TPS immigrants pay hundreds of dollars in fees for permits every 18 months to maintain their work authorization. NPR’s Carrie Kahn reports, “The vast majority of [Salvadorans] that were here in the country living illegally at the time had fled in the 1980s and ’90s, during the decades of the U.S.-backed civil war in the country and unrest there.”


Ban on Book About Mass Incarceration Lifted in New Jersey Prisons After A.C.L.U. Protest. 

New Jersey lifted the ban on a best-selling book about mass incarceration after the American Civil Liberties Union called for an immediate end to what it said was an “ironic, misguided, and harmful” instance of censorship.

The state’s decision to reverse a prohibition on “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” by Michelle Alexander, at the two prisons came hours after the A.C.L.U. of New Jersey on Monday sent a letter to the state’s corrections commissioner, Gary M. Lanigan.


Aziz Ansari, Sterling K. Brown and Oprah Winfrey Make History at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards. 

Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American actor to win in the best actor in a TV drama category for “This Is Us,” Aziz Ansari became the first Asian-American actor to win a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV comedy for “Master of None”, and Oprah Winfrey who gave an inspiring speech was the first black woman to be awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.


The Senate Will Vote on Whether to Keep Net-Neutrality Protections in Place.

A Senate bill reviewing the FCC’s recent decision to undo net-neutrality protections received its 30th co-sponsor this week, thus ensuring that it will come to a vote. Yesterday, Missouri senator Claire McCaskill signed on as a sponsor, giving the bill enough support to bypass committee review and make its way to the floor.

Here is what you can do to help. 


Trump Named The World’s No. 1 Oppressor Of Press Freedom. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists named President Trump as the winner of its “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom” award in its “Press Oppressors” awards.

Trump claimed the journalism organization’s top prize for “overall achievement in undermining global press freedom,” and joins four other leaders, including strongmen like Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who “have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said.


Southern California Mudslides Wipe Out Homes, 13 People are Killed.

Heavy rains caused rivers of mud and debris in Southern California on Tuesday leaving at least 13 people dead, destroying homes and forcing heavily traveled roads to close. After the wildfires last month, burned vegetation and charred soil created a water repellent layer which blocks water absorption. Together with the loss of vegetation, this leads to an increased risk of mudslides and floods.

Santa Barbara issued mandatory evacuations for more than 6,000 people, Voluntary evacuation warnings were in effect for another 20,000 people.


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