By Jack Hervela
President declares state of emergency
After reaching an agreement to avoid a second shutdown, President Trump declared a national emergency Friday in an effort to gain what he initially sought.
“The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency,” read the presidential proclamation.
This emergency declaration moves $6.6 billion between the Defense and Treasury departments towards border wall efforts allowing, “the administration to build more than 230 miles of border barrier, rather than the 55 miles lawmakers approved,” according to NPR.
Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush declared national emergencies to limit transactions with Libya and thwart dealings with Iran during their presidential terms.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement saying the move, “does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation.”
For more on the inception of these declarations and what this all means economically, head here.
Suburban Chicago factory shooting leaves five dead
After learning of his termination, a factory worker shot five people at his plant in Aurora, Illinois on Friday.
Gary Martin, 45, was let go from his job of 15 years at Henry Pratt Co. when he shot, “three people in the room with him and two others just outside and wounding a sixth employee,” reported the Associated Press.
Martin shot five officers before holing up in a corner, and eventually getting gunned down an hour later after trading shots with officers.
Martin committed the terrorist act with an illegal gun.
With six arrests in Aurora, Martin also had, “a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi that should have prevented him from buying his gun,” the AP reported.
For those interested in a detailed account of what happened, head here.
Iran, China continue aggressive cyber attacks
A large handful of U.S. banks, businesses and government agencies have been targeted in assertive cyber attacks by Iranian and Chinese assailants.
“The Iranian attacks coincide with a renewed Chinese offensive geared toward stealing trade and military secrets from American military contractors and technology companies,” reported the New York Times.
A summary of an intelligence briefing read to the New York Times, noted Boeing, General Electric Aviation and T-Mobile as victims of of Chinese cyber-offensives.
Although a 2015 deal between then President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China trounced trade-secret-hacking from the Chinese momentarily, “the 2015 agreement appears to have been unofficially canceled amid the continuing trade tension between the United States and China,” the New York Times stated.
“Some of the recent intelligence collection has been for military purposes or preparing for some future cyber conflict, but a lot of the recent theft is driven by the demands of the five-year plan and other technology strategies,” said Council on Foreign Relations director of the cyberspace program Adam Segal again on China’s motivation for the attacks.
While countries such as Russia still occupy a large portion of American cyber worry, the introduction, again, of such prominent industrial-espionage is concerning.
For a detailed report on the attacks and Iranian-Chinese-American cyber relations, head here.
Governor stops Ionia detainment facility short
Governor Gretchen Whitmer blocked the sale of an old Ionia state prison to developers interested in raising an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainment center.
The former Deerfield Correctional Facility has stood vacant 10 years, a distinction which prompted Immigration Centers of America to put forth $35-40 million for the project.
“The Governor believes that building more detention facilities won’t solve our immigration crisis, and she also believes that separating families doesn’t reflect our Michigan values. Therefore, the Governor has decided that the sale of state property in Deerfield to ICA will not move forward,” said Whitmer spokesperson Tiffany Brown.
Among those reasons Whitmer also noted an unease about conditions upon which ICE had no indication of or approval.
“It’s obvious the governor’s rejection was about appeasing her political base and taking a swipe at President Trump. Like it or not, people that come into this country illegally are going to be detained,” said Republican Rep. Thomas Albert.
Albert and other detractors to Whitmer’s decision note the almost 250 jobs which could have been gained.
“It was expected to employ between 225 and 250 people, including some in health care, on a federal pay scale,” reported WOODTV 8.
For a full statement from Whitmer’s office along with a history of these developments, head here.
Amazon steps away from initial second headquarters
The proposed New York (Long Island) City second headquarters of Amazon has been nixed as backlash from the community pushed the corporation out.
Ever since choosing the area, Amazon has been hit with criticism albeit hoisting the golden carrot of 25,000 more jobs in front of the community.
In a statement Thursday, Amazon cited these tensions, saying, “For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.”
Taking no heed in the subtle tone of bitterness, New York officials were quick to respond.
“We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Others even closer to the matter than the mayor felt passionate another way.
“Defeating an anti-union corporation that mistreats workers and assists ICE in terrorizing immigrant communities is a victory. Defeating an unprecedented act of corporate welfare is a triumph that should change the way we do economic development deals in our city and state forever,” said Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
A full rundown of the move from Amazon and reactions from lawmakers can be found here.