Kamala Harris Suspends Her 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaign + More News

by Debra Brown

Kamala Harris

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


Kamala Harris Out of the Running for 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination 

California senator Kamala Harris has suspended her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Harris said in an email to supporters, “Our campaign demanded no one should be taken for granted by any political party. We will keep up that fight because no one should be made to fight alone.” 

She began her campaign by casting herself as a reform-minded progressive, signing on to Sanders’ Medicare for All bill in the Senate. But her prosecutorial past and a shift on Medicare for all policy drew criticism from the left that she struggled to overcome.

The Senate may hold an impeachment trial against Trump and Harris has become well known for her sharp questioning of Trump administration officials and is likely to be a prominent voice.


House Democrats Vote to Send Impeachment Report to Judiciary Committee

The House Intelligence Committee approved an impeachment report voting 13-9 along party lines. The vote will send the report to the House Judiciary Committee as that panel considers moving forward on articles of impeachment. The report is broken down into two sections, one on Ukraine and the other on obstruction of Congress, both of which are expected to be separate articles of impeachment.


Report Says Rohingya Refugee Children Blocked From Education 

Rohingya refugee children living in a sprawling network of camps in Bangladesh are being denied access to education in a deliberate effort by authorities to prevent them from integrating with local communities, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. 

The camps, located in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, are home to as many as 1 million displaced people, the largest refugee settlement in the world. The bulk of that population includes 740,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar military in August 2017.

Researchers spoke to 163 Rohingya children, parents, and teachers, as well as a government official, aid groups, and United Nations agencies in February 2019.

According to the 81-page report, the Bangladeshi government has barred UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs from providing children in the camps with any formal or accredited education. 

The Bangladeshi government has refuted the report, however, reiterating its years-long support for Rohingya refugees.


Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to allow recreational marijuana sales. Michigan officials issued 18 licenses, including to growers and processors, for the first day of sales, and let stores shift some of their medical marijuana supply to recreational. 

Michigan was the first state in the Midwest to legalize and Illinois legalized marijuana through its legislature earlier this year, with sales expected to begin on January 1, 2020. Besides Michigan and Illinois, nine states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana.


Iran Used Firearms in Deadly Crackdown on Protesters

The Iranian government has officially acknowledged that security officials used firearms on protestors. A report on state television said that some of the protesters killed in the crackdown were “rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers with firearms,” and described how the armed forces had “deftly and vigilantly” fought back against “hostile groups,” according to a translation from The Associated Press.

The comments were among the first admissions by the Iranian authorities that security officers had responded to the demonstrations with lethal force. Iranian officials also denounced reports of the death toll that have emerged since the protests began, saying that the number of victims was much lower but not specifying how many.

About 180 to 450 people are believed to have been killed in four days of violence that broke out when demonstrators gathered on the streets to protest a gasoline price increase. In that same period, at least 2,000 others were wounded and another 7,000 detained, according to international rights organizations, opposition groups, and local journalists.


The US Threatens Tax on French Goods

France is imposing a 3% tax on any digital company with revenue of more than $850m, of which at least €25m is generated in France. France has said it would drop its digital tax if Europe could, as a bloc, come up with an alternative that’s consistent across the European Union.

About 30 companies are expected to pay for it, most US firms such as Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Amazon has already responded by raising fees for French businesses by 3%. 

The US Trade Representative (USTR), has published a list of French products that could face tariffs, up to $2.4bn, including champagne and sparkling wine, Roquefort and other cheeses, make-up, handbags, and homeware such as porcelain and bone china.

Some of the tariffs are as high as 100% of the import price and are likely to push up the price of these products for US consumers. Before the tariffs are confirmed, there will be a period for public comment, including a hearing in Washington in January 2020.


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