Possible Secretary of State Pick? Plus, Iran Gets Huge U.S. Deal


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The possible new secretary of state cozies up to Putin.
Photo Credit: 
Wall Street Journal

After the CIA claimed they had determined a link between the Russian government and Trump’s win in the presidential election, the president-elect took to berating the intelligence agency over the weekend. The antagonism between the two bring up questions regarding how the various government spying agencies will be treated under a Trump administration. In the ways in which Trump treats the CIA, some are saying that he’s comparable to Richard Nixon. Meanwhile, President Obama has ordered the CIA to turn over all possible information regarding their currently under-wraps Russian link before Trump’s inauguration next month.

Another possible candidate for secretary of state has risen amongst the various individuals in Trump’s circle. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is being considered and, while some sources say that Trump has made up his mind, but not made this decision public, others are cautioning that nothing is true until it’s been formally announced. Tillerson would be just one of many wealthy outsiders chosen by Trump to enter the political arena during his administration. Tillerson would be the first secretary of state in the last 100 years to have zero government experience. He also has ties with Russia and Vladimir Putin, having received the Order of Friendship from the country in 2013.

Istanbul experienced two blasts near a soccer stadium this weekend, killing dozens and wounding more than 150. A car bomber and suicide bomber located near the Besiktas soccer stadium and using approximately 400 kilograms of explosives sparked just the latest among an array of large-scale terrorist attacks. While there has not been a claim of responsibility for the attack, government officials suspect that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party is to blame. Fatalities include those of 30 police officers. Funeral services are already taking place at the Istanbul police headquarters. Turkey’s Interior Minister Salesman Soylu called out the Kurdistan Worker’ Party while speaking at the funeral, asking, “Have you accomplished anything beyond being the servants, pawns and hit men of certain dark forces, of your dark Western partners?”

The University of Michigan and Google are providing the citizens of Flint with a new app and website to help address the city’s water crisis. Mywater-Flint was developed at the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor campuses, with funding and technical support from Google. Both the app and website offer information regarding water testing, lead-testing results and distribution centers for bottled water and water filters. Additionally, the resource can help homeowners determine how likely they are to experience high lead levels, based on home age, location, value and size.

That’s not the only project the University of Michigan has been working on. They’ve also been pairing with NASA. The two are currently developing instruments which make up the Martian Aqueous Habitat Reconnaissance Suite. The instruments are designed to investigate the wet brine environments on Mars. It’s hoped that the project will lead to the discovery of evidence of life on Mars.

In the biggest business deal between the U.S. and Iran since 1979, Boeing is selling 80 airplanes to Iran Air. Many lawmakers have protested the business dealing, including Donald Trump. Originally agreed upon in June, the contract provides Iran Air with 50 Boeing 737 aircraft and 30 Boeing 777s. The value of the deal in total is $16.6 billion. The Treasury Department has approved the delivery of the planes to Iran, and Boeing has acquired the necessary approval to ensure that Iran will not use the planes for their military. In addition to the 80 new planes, Boeing has also pledged to help Iran Air find 29 more Boeing aircraft to lease from outside companies. Airbus is Boeing’s primary competitor in the aircraft industry; Airbus, which is based out of Europe, has a current deal with Iran Air for 118 aircraft. Currently, Iran Air is known to have the oldest, riskiest and most dangerous fleet of aircraft in the entire world; the debilitation of their fleet is due to the heavy sanctions placed on the country.

The U.S. Surgeon General released a report on Thursday regarding teen e-cigarette usage. The popular option, the report says, gives young users a false sense of safety. However, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, and may cause mood disorders and learning disabilities for those under 25. Additionally, chemical flavorings found in most can cause lung disease. The report claims that one out of every six high school students has used an e-cigarette in the past month, and that 60 percent of teenagers did not know e-cigarettes are harmful.

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