In the News This Week

by Debra Brown

Mexican Presidential Election


Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Wins Mexico’s Presidential Election. 

Leftist President-elect Lopez Obrador received over 53% of the vote, more than double the total of his closest rival. In his speech to supporters, the President-elect said he would forge a new relationship with the US rooted in respect, fight violence and corruption, pursue a peace plan with the U.N. and strengthen their internal market to decrease the necessity of migration.

Lopez Obrador has run for president in every election since 2006. Nearly 13 million voters between the ages of 18 and 23 were expected to vote for the first time in the election. An issue that could have an impact on global human rights is if the Presidents of the US and Mexico both work to limit the rights of the LGTBI community and women’s sexual and reproductive rights.


820 Children Under 6 in Public Housing Tested High for Lead. 

The New York City department of health said that 820 children younger than 6 were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood between 2012 and 2016.

Lead can cause devastating harm in children, stunting their intellectual growth and affecting cardiovascular, hormone and immune systems. Citywide, childhood lead poisoning has decreased by 87 percent from 37,344 cases in 2005 to 4,928 in 2016.


Trump Officials Reverse Obama’s Policy on Affirmative Action in Schools. 

In a joint letter, the Education and Justice Departments announced that they had rescinded seven Obama-era policy guidelines on affirmative action, which, the departments said, “advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution.”

School officials who keep their race-conscious admissions policies intact would do so knowing that they could face a Justice Department investigation or lawsuit, or lose funding from the Education Department.


Angela Merkel Announces a New Migrant Plan for Germany. 

In a compromise with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, they agreed to build transit centers on the German side of the border with Austria. Asylum-seekers will be returned from those centers to other European countries where they first entered, if there are arrangements with those countries. They would be returned to Austria otherwise.


Poland’s Government Forcing Supreme Court Justices To Step Down. 

New legislation reduces the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 65, triggering the immediate removal of 27 of 72 judges, including the highest-ranking member of the court, Malgorzata Gersdorf.

The Polish government also intends to create a “disciplinary chamber,” which will grant the government authority to reopen any case from the past 20 years to be reviewed by government-friendly judges.

Thousands gathered for anti-government protests in Warsaw and several other Polish cities in defense of the country’s constitution, judicial independence and the rule of law.


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