By EMILY WEIKL
June 1- U.S withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement
President Trump removed the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, the global treaty governing greenhouse gas emissions, on the first day of June. “In order to fulfil my solemn duty to the United States and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re- enter either the Paris accords or a really entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said in a speech outside the White House, according to CNBC.
The U.S. is now the third country not to be involved in the agreement, along with Syria and Nicaragua.
July 31 – Scarmucci’s Ten Day Tenure
Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci resigned his position at the end of July, ten days after being hired. “Scaramucci is the third White House communications director to leave the post that had been vacant since late May, when Mike Dubke left after about three months on the job,” CNN reported on July 31. “Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, also assumed some of the communications director role before he resigned when Scaramucci was hired July 21.”
Aug. 12 – Rally in Charlottesville
White supremacists and Neo-Nazis were part of a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 11 and 12 to protest the potential removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Counter protestors clashed with those who were apart of the “Unite
the Right” rally. On August 12, a white nationalist named James Alex Fields drove into a crowd of protestors. 32-year-old Heather Heyer died and 19 others were injured. Two state troopers, identified as Berke M.M. Bates and Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, died after a helicopter they were piloting crashed outside of Charlottesville the same day, according to Politico.
The president’s initial speech condemned the hate groups involved in the rally, but also seemed to place an equal amount of blame on the counter protesters. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said. A second speech on August 14 was more direct in terms of culpability, with Trump saying, “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.” But a speech given on August 15 diverged from the one given the previous day, saying that not all of the protesters were Neo Nazis. He also falsely claimed that the counter protesters did not have a permit and said that they were “very violent,” according to Politico.
Many Democratic and Republican members of the United States Congress criticized his remarks, including Senators Cory Booker and John McCain. “In the ensuing hours and days, (President Donald) Trump’s insistence that “both sides” bore responsibility for the violence turned the event into a political watershed, as many Republicans and Democrats chastised him for failing to condemn white supremacists more directly,” according to Politico.
Aug. 21 – Solar Eclipse
A total or partial solar eclipse was visible across the United States on Aug. 21. According to Space.com, “A total solar eclipse occurs when the disk of the moon appears to completely cover the disk of the sun in the sky.” There was considerable media hype surrounding the eclipse, since the last one to pass through the U.S. was in 1918.
Events were set up in Oregon, Illinois, Missouri and other places where totality would occur, and livestreams were set up so viewers outside the path could see. Eclipse glasses were used to view the eclipse, along with shadow boxes. New Jersey residents saw a partial eclipse at approximately 2:40pm. Totality lasted for two minutes and forty seconds. The next total eclipse that will be seen in the United States will be in 2024.