White House officials may have attempted to share nuclear weapon technology with Saudi Arabia
On Tuesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings announced that he was opening an investigation into the reports that senior White House officials pushed for a policy of sharing U.S. nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia. Those officials advocated for the program over concerns raised by both ethics and national security officials. Whistleblowers alerted Democrats when they noticed “abnormal acts” in the White House regarding the proposals to build a dozen nuclear reactors. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, is in charge of the White House’s plan to form a peace agreement and is among numerous White House officials who reportedly stand to benefit from economic deals with the House of Saud.
Congressional investigators have been reportedly eyeing both former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI, and Tom Barrack, the man who ran Trump’s inaugural committee. Flynn is awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI, while Barrack has, according to a spokesman, recently been working in the Middle East to create “better aligned U.S. and Middle East objectives.”
Pope Francis holds Vatican summit on sexual abuse in the church
Catholic Church leaders opened the floor of the Vatican on Feb. 21 to hear testimonials from survivors of alleged abuse from clergymen in the last few decades. This unprecedented meeting of bishops as well as other ranking members of the church was facilitated by Pope Francis to provide a forum for addressing rampant allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests that have grabbed headlines in the past eight months.
The primary goal of this meeting was to address the allegations as well as impress upon those in attendance the necessity of trust and transparency within the Church. The meeting has placed the pope in a dilemma as many church members call for a forceful response to sexual abuse, a global issue that has proven to be continuously ignored and denied as allegations continue to pile up. Pope Francis has disciplined several clergymen to communicate the seriousness of the issue. The meeting was a step toward addressing a problem that continues to inflict harm on the Church’s global reputation.
Israel to attempt moon landing
Following a historic launch on Feb. 21, Israel is attempting to become the fourth country to in history to successfully reach the moon, after the U.S., China and Russia. The probe, named Beresheet, appropriately references the Hebrew phrase, “In the beginning,” and is expected to reach the moon in seven weeks. A tentative prediction for its arrival is April 11.
A notable aspect of this launch is its private sponsorships. The probe itself was created by SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit group established to enter Google’s Lunar XPrize competition. The Lunar Xprize competition was engineered to encourage private groups to design probes for space missions, incentivizing them with funding and sponsors. Although Beresheet was designed with this goal in mind, the mission launched without winning the competition.