Yemen And School Lunches

Grind for April 7th, 2019
“One mustn’t ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.”

– Gustave Flaubert

Its About Time

The Headline

House lawmakers vote to end support for Saudi-led campaign in Yemen

The Grind

House lawmakers on Thursday voted 247-175 in favor of a bipartisan resolution to end America’s support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the Yemeni Civil War. A similar resolution passed through the Senate last month.

President Trump, who often speaks about the importance of our partnership with Saudi Arabia, is expected to veto the resolution.

The Background

The civil war in Yemen, which began in 2015, is a conflict between those loyal to ousted president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and an Islamic armed movement known as “Houthi” or “Ansar Allah.”

Both sides claim they are the rightful government of Yemen.

Worried the war would end in favor of forces backed by Iran, a coalition of nine countries from the Middle East and Africa intervened in an attempt to restore Hadi’s government.

The coalition received weapons and logistical support from the US, the UK, and France.

The Implication

The ongoing conflict has created a humanitarian crisis for those living in Yemen, where an estimated 24 million people require immediate assistance.

Thousands of people have been killed and injured by the fighting. According to the UN, roughly 65% of the 7,000+ civilian deaths were caused by collation air strikes.

For these and other reasons, lawmakers have been fighting to end our support for the coalition.

The effort gained momentum last year after a group of Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. Investigations suggest the murder was ordered by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Salman.

Its Never Enough

The Headline

State attorneys general sue Trump Administration over school lunches

The Grind

State attorneys general from six states and the District of Colombia are suing the Trump Administration over its decision to ease federal nutrition standards for school lunches.

Children in low-income families depend on school meals to provide the nutrition they need to learn, argues the lawsuit, and the changes approved by the Trump Administration threaten the health of millions of kids.

The Details

The complaint, which focuses on Obama-era restrictions limiting salt content and refined grains, insists that the weakened standards represent a violation of the National School Lunch Act.

“When I think about what policies are available to move the needle on the health of kids, this is the big one,” says Laura MacCleery, policy director at the Center for Science and the Public Interest. “The Trump Administration is blowing it.”

Last year’s changes to nutrition standards are backed by the School Nutrition Association (SNA), which points out that some kids refuse to eat healthy options.

According to SNA data, nearly 2 million fewer students chose to eat school lunches following the implementation of better nutrition standards.

“School nutrition professionals have made tremendous progress in improving student diets, but the pace and degree of menu changes under updated nutrition standards were more than some students would accept,” says SNA President Gay Anderson.

“The final rule strikes a healthy balance. Schools will continue to meet strong nutrition standards but can prepare meals that appeal to a wide range of students.”

Did you know… Donkeys are commonly used by the Iraqi Rebels to launch rockets!