Project 2025, the dystopian political agenda you need to know about

As the United States elections draw closer, the right-wing has a plan up its sleeve to undermine democracy and backtrack the country by decades.

The American political landscape is grim. As an American watching her country become increasingly more and more divided, unravelling into policy-making mayhem, I can’t help but worry for the safety and wellbeing of my family in the swing state of Pennsylvania.

Even though I voted for him in 2020, I’m worried about Biden’s ability to govern for another four years. Donald Trump currently has a significant lead in the polls, and it looks like he’ll become   the Republican Party nominee for the 2024 election. To me, voting for Trump is out of the question. So, I toyed with the option of not voting in the next election. But since I was told about Project 2025, I think every American needs to go to the polls and vote for Biden to prevent this horrific vision from becoming reality. 

If Trump is elected into office, I think Project 2025’s manifesto will become his main handbook. He’ll sign off on the majority of its proposals and will reverse the progress that the United States has made by decades. 

Project 2025’s 920-page manifesto Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise is spearheaded by the right-wing organisation The Heritage Foundation which aims to “unite the conservative movement and the American people against the elite rule and woke culture warriors.” Its goal, backed by several dozen right-wing think-tanks, is to establish a stand-by government that will be ready to implement their ideas and power on day one of the next Republican president’s administration. 

In a nutshell, their goal is to return to fundamentalist traditional values. They intend to bring back the “picturesque” 1950s nuclear family as the centrepiece of American life, dismantle the administrative state, and return the country to a self-governance state. They want to further the definition of Article II, which establishes the power of the Executive Branch of the government, meaning they would implement the unitary executive theory that would give the president exclusive power. This could override congressional and judicial review and grant the president more power than ever before.

Their desire to turn back the clock on LGBTQ+ and women’s rights by more than half a century includes proposed policies such as making it criminal to even help someone get an abortion, stating a “robust agenda to protect the fundamental right to life, protect conscience rights, and uphold bodily integrity rooted in biological realities, not ideology.” 

Another notion of theirs is to “maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family,” essentially making all LGBTQ+ marriage invalid. This, along with heavy Evangelical Christian ideals presented throughout the manifesto, starts to sound like a watered-down version of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. If you want to know more, I highly recommend YouTuber Leeja Miller. She breaks down their entire plan, and it’s terrifying.

Trump’s base will be Project 2025’s secret weapon. Trump’s Make America Great Again  (MAGA) movement has been identified by scholars as a quasi-New Religious Movement—a kinder way of saying it’s a cult. Project 2025’s initiative aligns perfectly with his fear mongering strategy which states, “The federal government is a behemoth, weaponized against American citizens and conservative values, with freedom and liberty under siege as never before.” 

Trump’s rhetoric preys on the middle class by telling them the answers they desperately want to hear, which has indoctrinated people so deeply that their undying loyalty to Trump will deploy them in droves to the polls. 

The U.S. is so divided, but the least we can do is to try to prevent the Great American Experiment from falling into a religious-based fascist dictatorship. Awareness of Project 2025 needs to be mainstream. It isn’t getting the media attention it deserves because people think it’s too fringe. But wasn’t the idea of Trump becoming president of the United States fringe at one point? 

Ivanka: “The secret service should be better at keeping secrets”

Ivanka Trump addresses the false claims that her family denied Secret Service detail access to a restroom in their home.

As the daughter of a Nice™ man, which I am bound by law to call my father, I first became acquainted with Nice™ suffering at a young age. It was during my youth that I learned the schemes and scripts I can use to flip any situation to financially profit from my spiritual and moral vacancy.

Growing up in a household much like a Nice™ museum has cultivated in me a side that always thinks about the feelings of others. I remember spending many hours as a child attributing feelings to people from their facial expressions, and then practicing those expressions on my own face, so that I might convey a convincing laugh or shed a relatable tear in the future.

With my life experience and track record available for reference, I have consistently yielded my immense power for the good of others.

Therefore, it is with a heavy tin heart that I express my deep-as-a-puddle horror, confusion, and embarrassment to learn of the false claims that my husband and I would ever deny the United States Secret Service (USSS) access to a restroom while assigned to protect us.

These claims are just another drop in the ocean of lies made by the crooked left media trying to expose an already showcased broken economic system that profits and permisses people like me.

Firstly, the slanderous article published by The Washington Post falsely stated that our family’s security detail was initially using a porta-potty located on the sidewalk outside of our “6.5 bathroom” home. This is utterly false, and I take great personal insult to this remark. We, the Kushner/Trumps do not have a single lavatory in our home. We’ve never even used one. We’ve never needed to.

Understandably, our Kalorama neighbours felt frustrated by a clunky porta-potty on the sidewalk, keeping them from using the public space. I hold no grudge against anyone who expressed their insult at this obstruction to our peace.

Secondly, this ridiculous article falsely claims that the USSS then began using the facilities at former President Obama’s home, then at former Vice President Pence’s home, as well as local restaurants, in order to resolve the issue. This is simply another tactic to make my family look like a cold-hearted collection of people who refuse to corner off one isolated bathroom, maybe in a garage, where humans can care for themselves with dignity.

Then, and this is where the “story” becomes downright ludicrous, the USSS allegedly began renting an apartment unit in September of 2017 for $3,000 a month, costing taxpayers more than $100,000.

It is simply unconscionable to publish such a low property value estimate for our neighbourhood. This estimate may impact our reputation moving forward; damages we will see for years to come.

And with this, I will make one last remark. It is rare that I share so much with the public, as I am a very private person. I value to the highest degree my privacy and my secrecy. I am truly hurt and offended that the USSS was unsuccessful at keeping this open secret about me — that I treat everyone that is outside the pack as the help.



Graphic by Taylor Reddam

The significant influence of white supremacists on the U.S. election

Trump could count on the strong support of white supremacists in his race for the White House.

America has become increasingly polarized in the last four years, as Donald Trump has been more determined than ever to build an important electoral base to win again in 2020.

Trump has used a divisive rhetoric since the beginning of his campaign for the 2016 election. He shocked the general public with his failure to condemn far-right movements during various tragic events that took place in America during his presidency.

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said in 2017 after the murder of an anti-racist protester by a neo-Nazi during the white-supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

More recently, during the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, Trump did not strongly condemn white supremacist groups even when Joe Biden mentioned the Proud Boys.

During the debate Trump called on the far-right extremists to “Stand back and stand by.”

Dr. Barbara Perry, Director of Ontario Tech University’s Centre of Hate, Bias and Extremism explained that people have interpreted this message as a call to arms for the far-right.

“He wasn’t talking just to the Proud Boys when he said ‘stand back and stand by,’ he was talking to the movement as a whole, that they should be ready to defend him should he lose and come to his aid,” she said.

During the 2020 election, Trump was aware of the support he had from the far-right, who have benefited from having a president who shares values with them.

“The far-right was looking for an anti-Obama,” said Dr. Perry. “They were ready for a Trump.”

His presidency made far-right movements grow not only in the United States but also across the border in Canada.

“It affected both sides of the border quite dramatically in terms of absolute growth in the number of [far-right] groups and in the number of people coming to these groups,” said Dr. Perry.

As soon as Trump asserted his desire for re-election, white supremacist movements supported him during his campaign and were especially active on social media.

Dr. Perry explained that the promotion of conspiracy ideologies by these groups on social media can influence some American voters. Movements like QAnon, greatly influenced by the pandemic, have therefore taken an important place in support of Trump’s re-election.

On social media, this promotion was also supported by the emergence of far-right Canadians under the name “Canadians for Trump.”

“In response to the Proud Boys incident at the debate, there were Canadian groups who were posting ‘we are also ready to come to your defence,’” said Dr. Perry.

“We are going to see some [far-right] mobilizations … whether Trump loses or wins,” she said. “They will be there locally, but I suspect there will be convoys to D.C. as well to defend him.”


Feature graphic by Taylor Reddam


Joe Biden will be the next U.S. President, but Trump refuses to concede

While Democrats won the 2020 presidential election with a record turnout, the current president claims the election was stolen

Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. He is projected to win the presidential election with at least 290 electoral votes, surpassing the threshold of 270 needed to win. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris will become the vice president, being the first woman, as well as the first Black and first South Asian person in American history to occupy this position.

Biden received over 75 million votes, an all-time high for a presidential candidate, earning 50.6 per cent of the popular vote thus far. Meanwhile, 70.6 million Americans voted for the incumbent President Donald Trump.

Although the presidential election took place on Nov. 3, it was far from over that night. As Biden and Trump had an incredibly close race in several battleground states, Biden was announced as the projected winner only four days later. In his victory tweet, Biden addressed the nation, saying, “America, I’m honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country.”

On election night, Trump was leading in the majority of swing states. However, in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Trump’s lead started to shrink the following day as the mail-in ballots were being counted.

The 2020 election witnessed the highest number of ballots in U.S. history, with over 159.8 million Americans having cast their vote. In fact, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the country had a 66.8 per cent voter turnout, the highest since the year 1900.

Biden and Harris have also broken several records themselves. At the age of 77, Joe Biden became the oldest president-elect in American history. The previous record was held by Donald Trump, who was 70 years old when he won the 2016 presidential election.

Despite the Democrats’ projected win, President Trump appears to not be willing to deliver a concession speech anytime soon. In fact, he refuses to accept the outcome of the election, claiming there was widespread voter fraud and lack of transparency.

“If you count all the legal votes, I easily win the election! If you count all the illegal and late votes, they can steal the election from us!” stated President Trump.

He was referring to millions of mail-in ballots that were counted after Nov. 3, which strongly favoured his opponent and led to Trump’s loss. In fact, those millions of mail-in votes were just as valid as in-person votes that were cast on Election Day, since they were all stamped on or before Nov. 3. As laws in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin barred officials from processing the mail-in ballots before 7 a.m. on election day, many of them were counted in the days that followed.

Trump questioned Biden’s increasing lead as the remaining votes were being counted.

“How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?” asked the president on Twitter.

In reality, the remaining mail-in ballots were coming from heavily Democratic urban centres such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlanta, Georgia. Moreover, the Trump campaign ran Facebook ads earlier this fall to warn his supporters not to trust mail-in voting. Republicans were thus more likely to vote in-person than Democrats, which created an illusion on election night that Trump was the favourite to win in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

Instead of accepting the result as it became clear, Trump tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!” on Nov. 5. This anti-democratic process would prevent the president-elect from overtaking Trump in battleground states. Besides this unprecedented request, Trump suggested that “there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported,” even though there is zero evidence that could prove such a claim.

The incumbent president plans on taking this matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, which he believes should determine the final electoral college results. However, it is very unlikely that Supreme Court justices will get involved in the election, as the Trump administration lacks concrete evidence of “widespread voter fraud” for this legal strategy to work.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Biden and Harris on their election win Saturday morning. In an official statement, Trudeau said that “Canada and the United States enjoy an extraordinary relationship,” and that he looks forward to working with the president-elect, vice president-elect and the U.S. Congress to “tackle the world’s greatest challenges together.”

When it comes to Canada, Biden’s presidency may add some uncertainty to trade between the two nations. On the one hand, Biden’s environmentally-friendly policies are likely to open the market for Canadian clean energy technology. There will also be less uncertainty regarding Canadian steel and aluminium, which were temporarily subject to tariffs imposed by Trump in 2018.

On the other hand, Biden has pledged to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, a multi-billion dollar project that would allow Alberta to transfer over 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day across the border to Nebraska. Meanwhile, Trudeau actively supports this project and vowed to press any U.S. government on its approval.

As for the Canada-U.S. diplomatic relations, the president-elect referred to Canada as an ally and a friend, “one that the U.S. needs more than ever.” Biden also called for the United States to play a more active role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an international military alliance that includes Canada as a long-time member.

Going forward, Biden promised that he will be a president for all Americans, who “doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.”

While Trump refuses to accept defeat and to respect the choice of the American people, Canada prepares for a new chapter in the relationship between the two nations.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will have an official inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2021.



Poli Savvy: How did an insect steal part of the spotlight

A fly that landed on Vice President’s Mike Pence’s head during Vice Presidential debates makes headlines

The hurricane of news erupting less than a month ahead of the U.S. presidential elections can leave anyone with a serious case of whiplash.

Some of the news circulating before and after the 2020 United States Vice Presidential debate: President Trump delayed an economic relief bill to help Americans until after the election; new revelations that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested that children be taken away from migrant families at the border in 2018; President Trump refused to participate in a virtual town hall to debate Biden; Trump changed his mind and requests an in-person debate…

But even with the incessant stream of must-read news flooding news feeds and timelines everywhere, this is what everyone seems to be talking about: a fly resting on Mike Pence’s head for two minutes during the Vice Presidential debate.

“The fly” was trending on Twitter before the debate had even finished, with hundreds of thousands of mentions and dozens of Twitter accounts created attempting to impersonate the insect. Etsy shops now sell Pence’s fly apparel, and Biden’s campaign issued a quickly sold-out “Truth over flies” fly swatter.

Why all the focus on such a small matter, compared to all the other much more serious matters that are being published?

During the debate, many more important news-worthy moments happened. For example, Pence discussed the Trump administration’s take on several hot topics, including the Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett.

According to Pence, “It was an outdoor event, which all of our scientists regularly routinely advise.”

This comes after Trump and 22 members of his administration tested positive for the virus following the meeting, described as a “super-spreader” White House event. Attendees did not wear masks nor social distance, and pictures show they also gathered indoors.

In the current climate, a situation like this just becomes a needle in a polluted haystack of controversies. There’s too much to keep up with. To focus on the fly isn’t about getting immune to corruption, or about having a short attention span.

It’s more about being fed up. It is a way to showcase the perfect visual for how some feel about the administration without having to air out all the grievances on a list.

Maybe that’s how the fly got so big.

Briefs News

World in brief: Oscars 2020, Trump acquitted and extreme weather in Australia

Parasite became the first non-English film to win best picture at the 92nd Academy Awards. The social satire was the first South Korean production to win an Oscar, also taking home the awards for best director, best international film and best original screenplay. There were no big surprises among the other winners, as Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger and Laura Dern all won best performances, as expected. The most memorable moment of the evening hands down goes to Eminem, unexpectedly singing “Lose Yourself,” more than 17 years after he won the award for best original song in 2003.

President Donald Trump was officially acquitted in his Senate trial on both articles of impeachment. A formal impeachment inquiry against the 45th American President was made on Sept. 24, after he was allegedly caught on a phone call seeking help from the Ukraine government to undermine Democratic candidate Joe Biden. He was later charged by the Democrats with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. On Wednesday, the Senate concluded that the allegations did not necessitate the removal of power, as reported by Time Magazine. Trump became the first President seeking re-election after going through an impeachment procedure.

Record rainfall hits Australia after months of devastating bushfires across the country. More than 390mm of rain has fallen over the past four days in Sydney, bringing widespread flooding in the New South Wales region.  BBC reported that 100,000 homes were without power, due to the heavy rain, which was three times higher than the average rainfall for February. Yet, on Monday afternoon, the NSW Rural Fire Service declared on Twitter that it was “the most positive news we’ve had in some time” as the rain extinguished 30 fires. More extreme weather is to be expected in the following days.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


Briefs News

World in Brief: Basketball legend dies, Iraq’s attack on the U.S. embassy, Trump and Thunberg at Davos 2020 and the Coronavirus

Former basketball all-star player, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California last Sunday, reported the CBC. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was among the nine victims in the crash. The city of Calabasas announced Bryant’s death via Twitter. Bryant won five championships, was an 18-time all-star NBA player and currently stands fourth on the all-time points list. He was 41.

Three rockets hit the U.S. embassy in Iraq’s capital last Sunday. A senior Iraqi official told the AFP that one person was wounded, but could not confirm whether it was a U.S. citizen or an Iraqi staff member. Around dinner time, one rocket hit an embassy cafeteria while the two others collided nearby. The attack has yet to be claimed, but Washington is already blaming Iran-backed Iraqi militias. The attack marks the beginning of new escalations following the missile strikes on a U.S. military base in Iraq on Jan. 8.

After four days of conferences, the 50th World Economic Forum ended on Friday in Davos, Switzerland. The annual meeting, which aims to engage world leaders in addressing current global issues, brought together more than 800 guest speakers covering seven themes. Climate change took over Davos 2020, though, as highlight speaker Greta Thunberg and U.S. President Donal Trump argued over the crisis. Without naming Thunberg directly, Trump attacked climate activists, referring to them as “prophets of doom”––as seen in this video shared by Time Magazine.

More than 2,700 cases of the Coronavirus––causing more than 100 deaths in China––have been confirmed as reported through live updates by The Guardian. The first pneumonia-like virus was reported in late-December in Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China. On Friday, China closed all access to six cities and postponed various Lunar New Year activities. The World Health Organization continues to say that the virus is not a global emergency. As of Monday morning, one case has been confirmed in Canada, with a second presumptive case, both in Toronto.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

Briefs News

World in Brief: Lebanon protests, Royal titles and Impeachment

More than 150 people were injured in Lebanon’s capital during new riots against the current government. Police retaliated against protesters who were throwing objects including stones, firecrackers and metal signs last Saturday, according to the Associated Press. The riots have been ongoing for the past three months amidst a dwindling economy and of the government’s reformation following the prime minister’s resignation in October 2019. Saturday’s demonstrations condemned the government’s inaction towards the growing debt of $87 billion US, or 150 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer be members of the royal family, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have their royal titles removed and will no longer receive taxpayer money. “As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments,” reads the statement. The decision came after the couple announced in an Instagram post their intentions to resign from their roles, spend more time in North America and become financially independent.

Democratic U.S. lawmakers said on Saturday that President Donald Trump must be removed from office. The 111-page document marked the first time the Senate was called to convict the President. “The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long term damage to our democratic values and the nation’s security,” read the document, quoted in an article by Reuters. “The case against the president of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming.” The Senate trial is expected to start on Jan. 21.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

Briefs News

World in Brief: de-escalation, volcano, false alarms

President Hassan Rouhani announced Iran’s intentions to de-escalate from long-lasting tensions with the US last Sunday. Rouhani met with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, to conclude de-escalation was the only solution for the wellbeing of the region. “We’ve decided to have more consultations and cooperation for the security of the entire region,” said Rouhani, according to the Agence France Presse

Qatar diplomatically rests uncomfortably between Iran and the US with the largest American military base in the region as well as strong relations with Iran. This comes shortly after high-ranking Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was shot down by a US-led drone attack and a Ukranian Airlines airplane crashed near Tehran after takeoff. It was confirmed the plane had been “mistakenly” taken down by an Iranian missile.

A small volcano near Philippines’s capital Manila erupted on Sunday. The eruption was ranked at a danger level of four, five being the highest ranking. The eruption ejected dust and pebbles 10 to 15 kilometres into the sky. Ash quickly covered the runways at Manila’s international airport, grounding all domestic flights. The eruption was followed by a series of earthquakes, reported the authorities, who rushed to evacuate nearly 300,000 people in the region, reported the Associated Press. The volcano was famous among tourists for its breathtaking scenery.

An alert about the Pickering Nuclear Generation Plant was sent out on Sunday morning. It was soon found to be a mistake during a routine training exercise conducted by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, reported CBC. It was only two hours later that a second alert was sent out to reassure the public about the incident. The nuclear plant is located east of Toronto. Emergency Management Ontario will conduct a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible for the alert.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


Fake news is a meme that should die

“Fake news”—that awful, awful term is a meme that has hit its mark, proven its fitness, and is gaining traction due to misunderstanding, division and lulz that we are all guilty of spouting. We are feeding it every time we utter it.

And we should just stop using it.

Fake news generally refers to information that is false or misleading, often sensational, and masked as news. It is a term that is shouted, spouted, typed and copy-pasted a great deal. It’s even associated with a specific voice in my head—can you guess whose?

Now, when I refer to “fake news” as a “meme,” I don’t mean those tacky time-wasters we should all ignore on the internet. I’m writing about the original definition of meme as coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene.

The book itself presents the view that the gene is the agent of evolution (as opposed to the individual or the group). In the last chapter, Dawkins explores the idea of a unit of cultural evolution that works kind of similarly, though also differently. The meme, as he named it, is an idea, behaviour or style that exists in human minds and persists because of its sticking power and ability to spread. “Smoking is cool” is a meme that receives help from nicotine and the tobacco industry.

To be clear, internet memes aren’t quite the same. As Dawkins put it in a speech at Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase 2013 in Cannes in 2013, “instead of mutating by random chance and spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, they are altered deliberately by human creativity.” Internet memes are mere playthings for humans, and while real memes are created by humans, they evolve naturally.

Fake news is a meme in the original sense, and a strong one at that. It survives because it’s based on truth: false news is a real problem. It thrives by latching on to our fear of being lied to, the belief that people of opposing views are more likely to spread or believe lies—our fear of journalism’s demise, and the mix of humour and outrage we feel when Donald Trump uses it as a slur.

Sure, disinformation has always existed and will always exist—much like the people generating it, believing it and the journalists fighting against it. It’s a never-ending struggle. But this fake news business has gotten out of hand. It doesn’t simply exist to refer to disinformation in one form or another anymore.

The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News were among the first to use the term in October 2016 to describe how false news articles on Facebook had influenced the US elections. That put the seed in people’s minds. Then, President Trump threw an all-caps FN-bomb at CNN on Twitter in December of that year, which was the water that nurtured the meme’s growth.

Columnist Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post actually warned us a couple of weeks later, calling the term a label that has been “co-opted to mean any number of completely different things: Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn’t like to hear.”

To my liberal friends, stop using it ironically. To my conservative friends, stop using it so angrily. To my journalistic friends, stop using the term entirely. After this article, I will also stop using it. That’s the only way to kill a meme. Because we’re not really using it. It’s using us. Stop saying it. Stop writing it. Let it die.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


2010’s biggest news events, and some memorable moments

A new decade is here, bringing with it new events. But before we look forward, here are the 10 defining news events that have set the stage for the 2020s, in no particular order.

Arab Spring

Beginning in December 2010, anti-government protests shook Tunisia and, in 2011, quickly turned into a region-wide uprising referred to as the Arab Spring. This pro-democratic wave of protest that spread across Arabic-speaking countries in Northern Africa and Middle East overthrew the governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. This then led to civil war in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

Release of information

The 2010s were filled with whistleblowers and leaks. Notably, Edward Snowden worked for the National Security Agency and leaked documents about monitoring American citizens. Then U.S. army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning––then Bradley Manning––leaked thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, a website intended to collect and share confidential information, created by Julian Assange.

The Black Lives Matter Movement

On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a Black 17-year-old boy was shot by George Zimmerman, who ended up being acquitted for murdering Martin. This acquittal prompted the creation of the Black Lives Matter Movement, an international activist movement against violence and systemic racism towards Black people.

The #Metoo Movement

In October 2017, #Metoo went viral, making international news, encouraging women to share their stories of sexual violence and harrassment. The #Metoo movement brought to light sexual predators like Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein.

Donald Trump

In 2017, Donald Trump was elected and became the third American president to be impeached. The Trump administration is known for separating migrant families at the border and shutting down the American government for 35 days—the longest in American history—in an attempt to try to force the Democratic party to agree to a deal to build a wall along the Mexican-U.S border.


England held a referendum and voted to exit the European Union in 2016. This created a riff in the country’s political parties, who are unable, to this day, to agree on what may

be one of the biggest decisions in English history in decades.

Climate Crisis

Rising temperatures throughout the past decade have caused an increase in natural disasters around the world. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global temperature will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next 10-years, which will cause devastating damage to the planet. In 2015, 195 nations signed the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep the global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. The inaction of various government have caused people like Greta Thunberg to mobilize millions across the globe in a climate strike.

America’s School Shooting

There have been approximately 180 school shootings in America from 2009-18, and 114 people have been killed. According to an article by CNN, school shootings have increased since the start of the 2010s.

Russia invades Ukraine

Russian forces occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in an attempt to stop Ukraine from trading with America. Over 10,000 people were killed in the long-lasting conflict between the two countries from 2014-18.

ISIS and the rise of terrorism

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was born of an offshoot of Al Qaeda in 2013. The group was involved in multiple terrorist attacks across the world, notably the bombing of a Russian airplane, killing 224 people, and a series of attacks in Paris on the night of Nov.13, 2015, killing 130 people.

Memorable moments

Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar 

The only important event of the 2010’s is that DiCaprio won best actor in 2016 for his role in The Revenant. He had been nominated six times prior to his first win.

Said goodbye to Harry Potter

The last Harry Potter movie came out in 2011, ending the 14-year saga of the Wizarding World. The movie series brought in over $7 billion, and the book series sold over 450 million copies with a similar estimated revenue.

Discovery of the Higgs boson 

The Higgs field is theorized to be what gives matter mass and is made up of a particle called the Higgs boson. This particle has been theorized since the 1960s, but was only detected in 2012. This helps add to the understanding of the Standard Model, a theory that explains t hree of the four fundamental forces in physics.

Ice Bucket Challenge

The viral phenomenon of people dumping buckets of ice water over themselves to raise awareness for ALS and fundraise for the ALS Foundation took place in 2014. Celebrities like Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. participated in the challenge. The campaign raised over $10 million in 30 days, and funded a number of projects. One of these was Project MinE who, in 2016, were able to identify a gene associated with ALS which could possibly lead to a treatment.

First photo of a black hole

We got to see the first ever photo of a black hole, located more than 50 million lightyears away in the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy. The photo was created by the Event Horizon Telescope project, a global collaboration of more than 200 scientists using observatories around the world, ranging from the South Pole to Hawaii. It took more than two years to assemble all the photos gathered from all observatories to create an actual image of the black hole.

Discovering new species

Biologists discovered new species at an incredible rate, averaging approximately 18,000 per year. Some of these include the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey and the Vangunu giant rat. New categories for animals were made to describe newfound fish with “hands” and frogs smaller than a dime. Yet, in 2019, scientists warned that a quarter of plant and animal populations are at risk of extinction.


Poli SAVVY: Petty high school gossip or world leaders making fun of Trump?

Well, Christmas has come a bit early this year, thanks to Saturday Night Live!

Anything with Paul Rudd, really anything, feels like a gift from Santa. Over the weekend, the late-night comedy show produced a skit portraying the world leaders as cool kids teasing the black sheep of the gang, U.S. President Trump.

While Paul Rudd was impersonating a bad boy-version of French President Emmanuel Macron, Jimmy Fallon took the role of an over-apologetic Justin Trudeau and James Corden was U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The skit was a recollection of a conversation from the NATO summit that took place a week ago at Buckingham Palace, in London. Trudeau was caught on hot mic by a CBC producer venting to the other leaders about Trump’s lengthy 40-minute press conference from earlier that day.

As much as the skit was delicious to watch, some people were quick to point out that such comments could hurt the Canada-U.S. relationship. “At a time when Canada needs strong relationships more than ever, Justin Trudeau’s poor judgment, lack of professionalism and love of drama continues to weaken Canada’s position on the world stage. We saw this just yesterday at the NATO Summit,” said Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer on Parliament Hill.

You might wonder what all the fuss is if the entire world is already laughing at the guy…

Even the U.S. president’s leading political rival, Joe Biden, used the footage of Trudeau’s comments for one of his Democratic Party’s presidential nomination ads on Twitter. The post read “The world is laughing at President Trump.”

Does this give a free card for bullying? No. Will it affect Canada’s relationship with America? Well, I would hope that this precious relationship is strong enough to survive high school gossip, Andrew.


Graphic by Victoria Blair

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