After Election Day Tuesday, the results are in. Democrats will soon have control over the House of Representatives while Republicans still have a majority in the Senate. National Public Radio explains that this means starting next year, the overall control of Congress will be split instead of the House and Senate both being mostly republican. Democrats plan to use this new power in the house to launch full investigations into President Trump’s tax returns and business dealings, but House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says that this does not extend to trying to impeach the president. This midterm election has been seen by many as extremely significant as the House has remained mostly Republican for the past 8 years, according to the New York Times. Additionally, a record number of women have won political offices. The overall voter turnout for this midterm election was also said to be much higher than in the past, likely caused by dissatisfaction with President Trump, who has a current approval rating of only about 40% according to Business Insider. The turnout can also be attributed to the nation having strong yet divided opinions over key issues such as immigration and gun control. NPR claims that Trump’s heavy campaigning in mostly red states caused more Republicans to be elected in the Senate. Meanwhile, The New York Times claims that “voter fury towards President Trump” is what caused Democrats to win the House.
President Trump has re-imposed sanctions on Iran. The British Broadcasting Company reports that this is one of the most significant foreign policy moves made by Barack Obama being directly reversed by Trump. This is thought to be a strategy to pressure the Iranian government into changing its “malign” policies. The sanctions are mainly targeting Iran’s oil and energy industries. Many American businesses have already left Iran or vice versa in anticipation of these sanctions since the initial announcement came in May.
According to a United Nations report, the ozone layer in the atmosphere seems to be healing itself, and if conservation efforts continue, it could be completely replenished in just a few decades. The ozone layer is a protective layer that keeps harmful ultraviolet sun rays from scorching the planet. Human pollution in recent decades, specifically the use of man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has caused the layer to deplete. Multiple weak spots and holes in the ozone layer were first discovered in the 1980s, inspiring plenty of conservation efforts such as banning the use of CFCs. The UN report says that the ozone layer has rebounded by as much as 3 percent every decade since then.
Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and House Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin have all been re-elected for office in Rhode Island. House Speaker Nick Mattiello and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea of Rhode Island also retained their seats. Raimondo easily won 53% of the vote versus Republican candidate Allan Fung, and Independent Joe Trillo. “The stakes were very, very high in this election, but the people of Rhode Island had a choice and they were crystal clear about the choice that they wanted tonight,” Raimondo said during her acceptance speech. WJAR says she plans to continue expanding the projects she began during her first term as governor, including continuing job training programs and her free college tuition program. Raimondo has mentioned many times throughout her campaign that Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years and that the economy as a whole is rebounding, and she believes sticking to her plan will continue the trend. Raimondo also commented on how proud she is of the political climate going on in the state compared to Washington. “We’re about getting up tomorrow and coming together and working with one another, for one another, to secure our future. We were founded on a principle of tolerance and inclusion,” she said.
Convicted child rapist Richard Gardner is back behind bars after he allegedly wrote false information on an official document. WPRI reports that Gardener was arrested on Friday after writing his mother’s Weymouth, Massachusetts address on a marriage license instead of his Providence address. Gardner’s previous release from prison was a few weeks ago, after the expiration of his previous 30-year sentence, was extremely controversial. His neighbors rallied in front of his house on multiple occasions to try to get him to move out of their neighborhood. It was reported that his neighbors were cheering as he was taken out of his home by police.
Two-hundred and two mass graves have been found across Iraq, and investigators there believe at least 6,000 civilians have been buried in them. In Mosul, a province that the Islamic State held until 2017, at least 4,000 bodies are believed to have been dumped into a sinkhole. National Public Radio reports that this is the result of the Islamic state’s ruling over its people. The United Nations estimates that as many as 30,000 civilians could have been killed during the Islamic State’s reign in Iraq alone, and if the number rises, this could be considered a genocide.