Grind for October 23rd, 2018
“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Treasury Sec. to visit Saudi Arabia following journalist’s death
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is heading to Saudi Arabia to solidify a pressure campaign against Iran (the kingdom’s biggest rival) days before full US sanctions go into effect.
The visit comes amid international criticism regarding the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and journalist who disappeared on October 2nd after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Mnuchin said it was too early to discuss potential sanctions against the kingdom for its suspected role in Khashoggi’s death, but his trip shows the fine line Trump is willing to walk to cultivate a strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia and Prince Salman.
When Khashoggi disappeared, Turkish official immediately claimed he was murdered by the Saudi government.
Saudi officials initially denied any knowledge of the journalist’s fate, but on Friday said he died in a “fistfight” inside the consulate after talks between Khashoggi and Saudi officials “did not go as required.”
According to a statement released by the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs, officials at the consulate were involved in a “cover-up.” His body has not been found.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to admit details about the death was a “good first step,” said Trump, but what happened to the journalist was “unacceptable.”
While Trump may be willing to believe the story in order to preserve ties with Saudi Arabia, lawmakers are demanding answers.
If Khashoggi died during a fistfight, he was “fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), adding that if Trump fails to hold the kingdom accountable for the journalist’s death, Congress will.
Science policy issues will play a huge role in midterm elections
With midterm elections less than a month away, communities and voters throughout the country are focused on a range of scientific, technological, and environmental challenges including rising sea levels, wildfires, pollution, crumbling infrastructure, and drug addiction.
Here are some of the biggest science policy issues by state:
— California: drought, wildfires, water scarcity, and Internet freedom
— Florida: coastal protection
— Illinois: cleaning up the Great Lakes
— Indiana: containing coal ash
— Kentucky: fighting opioid abuse
— Mississippi: rebuilding crumbling brides
— New York: restoring water quality
— South Carolina: monitoring oil cleanup
— Texas: flood management and rural healthcare
On November 6th, voters will elect 36 governors and 470 federal representatives. Whether or not the victors consider the issues above important, they will be forced to address them once sworn in.
The decisions these individuals make in the coming years will affect how open our Internet will be, how communities recover from natural disasters, whether our water is safe to drink, and more.
“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” says League of Conservation Voters executive Bill Holland.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… the scent of women’s tears temporarily reduces sexual arousal and testosterone production in men.