October 19, 2015: Weekly News Roundup

First Democratic Presidential Debate

Last Tuesday, the first Democratic presidential debate was held. Many felt Hilary Clinton was the winner of the debate, but Bernie Sanders scored one of the most memorable moments of the night, when in response to a question about Clinton’s email scandal, he said “Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” The other three participants in the debate, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafey and Martin O’Malley all failed to receive much of a post-debate bump in the polls, with Webb receiving one percent of support in the polls and both Chafey and O’Malley polling below one percent.

Death Penalty Referendum in Nebraska

Demonstrating the continued conflict between retentionists and abolitionists, a petition drive in Nebraska, which generated 143,000 signatures, has forced a state-wide referendum on the death penalty, just four months after the Nebraska Legislature voted to abolish it. The referendum is scheduled for November, 2016.

Confederate Flag Protest in Mississippi 

On Friday, at the University of Mississippi, a campus gathering to remove the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederate battle flag within it, from campus was interrupted by six members of the Klu Klux Klan. Following a verbal encounter between the two groups the, KKK members were escorted off campus.

Canadian Federal Election

Today, Canadians go to the polls to decide who their next Prime Minister will be. What began as a three way race, seems to have tightened into a two way race between the Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, and, the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is seeking his fourth term in office. During the campaign, women’s right to wear a niqab during the citizenship oath became an unexpected wedge issue, after the Federal Court of Appeal upheld a ruling allowing Zunera Ishaq to wear a niqab while reciting the citizenship oath. In response, Stephen Harper promised to introduce legislation barring women from covering their face during taking the citizenship oath. While polls suggest a majority of Canadians support the initiative, the plaintiff in the Case, Ishaq, said “[t]here are so many other issues in the campaign right now, they should be focusing on them.”

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