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What in the World Wednesdays #4: Off to the Races

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By: burgundy bug

A horse eating grass.

Source: Horsin’ Around | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Democrats continue to come forward in announcing their candidacy for the 2020 United States presidential election while President Donald Trump remains the only official Republican candidate in the running. Meanwhile, The Academy announced the nominations for the 91st Oscar Awards, Sunday marked the last lunar eclipse of this decade, and the first foldable phone is making headlines.

What in the World of Politics

And… They’re off! The 2020 U.S. presidential election has one of the largest, most diverse body of candidates in history.

As of Jan. 23, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) lists 476 candidates who have decided to run for president in the 2020 election. Of the 476, 145 candidates are registered as Democrats, 65 are registered Republicans, and the remaining 266 are Libertarians, Green, etc…

Democrats Running for President in 2020

Out of the 145 Democratic candidates who have registered with the FEC, only eight have come out and explicitly declared they are running or launching an exploratory campaign.

The Democrats who have announced their candidacy to the public are:

  • John K. Delaney (D) the former Maryland congressman and entrepreneur got a head start, launching his campaign in July of 2017. Raised by a blue-collar family in New Jersey, Delaney is looking to fight for the American Dream. On his website, Delaney lists unity, prosperity, security, and justice as some of his core values.
  • Richard Ojeda (D) is a U.S. army veteran who served for 24 years. He is here to take back the Democratic party so that it once again stands for We the People. More on his mission as a candidate is available on his website.
  • Elizabeth Warren (D) announced the launch of her exploratory campaign on New Years Eve last year. Oklahoma born and raised, Warren says she is fighting to give every kid the same chance to succeed on her website. More on her announcement is available in the first What in the World Wednesdays, which released to The Burgundy Zine earlier in the month.
  • Tulsi Gabbard (D) is a former veteran and currently a representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. On one of her websites, she describes being an environmentalist as well as a representative who works day after day to secure a sustainable economy.
  • Julián Castro (D) is the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the grandson of Mexican immigrants, according to his website. Castro believes strongly in family, unity, and giving every American an equal opportunity to succeed.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is a Senator of New York who’s top priority is rebuilding the economy, according to her website. Gillibrand is also known for her involvement in the fight against sexual assault in the military as well as on college campuses.
  • Kamala D. Harris (D) is a Senator of California who strongly opposes a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico and believes in Medicare for all. She would also like to reform the criminal justice system, and address the issue of substance abuse, according to her website.
  • Andrew Yang (D) is an entrepreneur who is seeking to protect the workforce from artificial intelligence taking their jobs. Putting Humanity First, Yang believes in building an economy that prioritizes humans, expanding Medicare, and focusing on environmental sustainability, among other issues according to his website.

Candidates on the other side of the aisle haven’t stepped forward quite yet.

Republicans Running for President in 2020

Of the 65 Republicans who have registered with the FEC, President Donald Trump is the only candidate in his party who has to officially declare his candidacy in the 2020 election. The president filed his campaign for reelection in Jan. 2017, according to the FEC.

What Else is Going on in the World of Politics?

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court revived the ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military with an unsigned vote of 5-4, according to The New York Times.

President Trump had announced this policy on Twitter in July 2017, just one year after the Obama administration had lifted the ban according to NBC News.

This decision allows for the ban to temporarily go into effect while the case proceeds.

The Pentagon would like to stress this is not a ban on all transgendered individuals seeking to enlist in the military.

“As always, we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity,” Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson said, according to CNN. “[The Department of Defense’s] proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that DoD be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world.”

The only transgender individuals who are not affected by the ban are:

  • Those who joined the service 36 months after completing their surgery and hormone treatments.
  • Those who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria after joining the military so long as they do not require gender reassignment.
  • Those who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria before the date the policy goes into effect may serve and receive medical treatment.
  • Those who have not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria may serve so long as they enlist as the gender they were assigned at birth.

What in the World of Arts and Entertainment?

On Monday, the French Magazine Closer reported an unnamed 24-year old woman had accused the singer-songwriter Chris Brown of raping her in a suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the night of Jan. 15 to Jan. 16.

Following these allegations, Brown was arrested on Tuesday and released just a few hours later, according to CNN.

Brown took to Instagram to set the record straight after he was released.

On Tuesday, the nominations for the 91st Oscars Awards Ceremony were announced. Some of the nominees and films nominated include:

  • Bradley Cooper (Best Leading Actor in A Star is Born)
  • Richard E. Grant (Best Supporting Actor in Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  • Lady Gaga (Best Leading Actress in A Star is Born)
  • Emma Stone (Best Supporting Actress in The Favourite)
  • Incredibles 2 (Animated Feature Film)
  • Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralphs Breaks the Internet (Animated Feature Film)
  • Roma (Cinematography)
  • Black Panther (Costume Design)
  • Vice (Directing)
  • RBG (Documentary Feature)
  • Black Sheep (Documentary Short Subject)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (Film Editing)
  • Never Look Away (Foreign Language Film)

The full list of nominations and nominees are available on the Oscars website.

However, The Academy has yet to announce a new host following Kevin Hart’s decision to “stand his ground”.

I chose to pass.

Source: Kevin Hart on Instagram

“[The Academy] basically said, ‘Kevin apologize for your Tweets of old, or we’re going to have to move on to find another host.'” Hart, who was originally supposed to host the 2019 Oscar Awards, said in a video on Instagram last month.

Hart said he is tired of addressing these Tweets because he has moved on from who he used to be.

“I’m gonna be me, I’m gonna stand my ground,” Hart said. “Regardless Academy, I am thankful and appreciative of the opportunity.”

What Else is Going on in the World?

Last Wednesday, research by the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK was released, cautioning that at least 60% of all coffee species are at risk of facing extinction.

Some of the factors contributing to this risk include climate change, deforestation, plant diseases, as well as droughts.

Coffee isn’t the only plant struggling out here in the universe.

Earlier this month, China’s Change-4 probe successfully sprouted cotton seeds on the moon, as Tweeted by People’s Daily, China.

However, EarthSky reports these sprouts have already died due to freezing cold temperatures of -62 degrees Fahrenheit on the moon.

On Sunday, the Western Hemisphere witnessed the last lunar eclipse of this decade. The blood moon also happened to be hit by a meteor, according to National Geographic.

“It’s a rare alignment of infrequent events,” Justin Cowart, a Ph.D. candidate at Stony Brook University in New York said. “It may be the first time such an impact has been recorded during a lunar eclipse.”

In other news, China Royole released the first phone with a foldable screen, according to Engadget.

While Royole is the first company to officially release a phone with this sort of technology, the concept itself isn’t anything new.

Samsung had originally revealed their plans for a bendable phone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2013, according to CBS News.

Samsung Flexible OLED Display Phone

Source: 2014 Samsung Flexible OLED Display Phone and Tab Concept | IndVideos

In Conclusion…

  • Although 476 candidates have filed their campaign for the United States 2020 presidential election, only eight Democrats and President Donald Trump have officially announced their candidacy.
  • The Supreme Court passed an unsigned vote to reinstate the ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military.
  • Chris Brown was arrested in Paris on Tuesday following rape allegations, however the singer-songwriter was released just a few hours later.
  • Although the Oscars have yet to announce a host in place of Kevin Hart, the nominations and nominees were announced on Tuesday.
  • New research conducted by the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens found that 60% of all coffee species are at risk of extinction.
  • The cotton plants germinated on the moon in China’s Change-4 probe died after temperatures plummeted down to -62 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The Western Hemisphere witnessed the last lunar eclipse until 2021, which also happened to be the first blood moon ever struck by a meteor.
  • China Royole released the first phone with a foldable screen.

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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