Hottest News Picks for September 18, 2019

Hottest News Picks for September 18, 2019

1 Pompeo Calls Saudi Oil Strikes an “Act of War”

According to FOX News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the Saudi oil facility strike — allegedly carried out by Iran — is an “act of war.” According to intelligence officials, the evidence is mounting and pointing to Iran being behind the attack.

Investigators claim that remnants of Iranian-made weapons were found among the oil facility’s debris. In direct response to these allegations, Trump tweeted that he has endorsed increasing sanctions against Iran. Other “very significant” actions should follow over the next two days.

Iran has, of course, vehemently denied any involvement with the attack. The nation claims that groups originating in Yemen were responsible, but it’s unknown whether they possess the arsenal required to pull off this kind of attack. The world will know for certain once investigations are complete.

2 Hong Kong Rejects Further Protester Demands

After months of protests, the Hong Kong government finally rejected the notion of signing a Chinese extradition bill. The bill, which sparked the protests, would have massively infringed on individual rights. However, the Hong Kong government doesn’t feel obligated to give in to further demands by the protesters.

While many of the average protesters have achieved the initial goal of thwarting the extradition bill, some die-hard activists continue to demonstrate. Their actions are becoming increasingly violent, including vandalizing subways and throwing gasoline bombs at police. Bernard Chan of Hong Kong’s executive council had this to say.

No one is foolish enough to think that the more violent, more radicalized ones will dissipate anytime soon — I’m afraid that this might drag on for a while. They give the impression that it’s the five demands they want, and they’ll walk. Come on, we all know that’s not true. The five demands may be just the outset. The underlying issues are about all the other social issues we’re facing in Hong Kong.

-Bernard Chan

What do you think about the situation in Hong Kong? Should protesters continue to fight for further reform, or should ending the Chinese extradition bill also spell the end of these protests? Be sure to comment below!

3 California Passes AB5 Bill to Protect Gig Workers

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed Assembly Bill 5 into law, which alters how businesses treat gig workers. Instead of being labeled as “independent contractors,” gig workers can now be treated as employees.

AB5 is just the beginning of Gavin’s notion to forcibly provide worker rights for independent contractors. Gavin’s goal is to create the opportunity for gig workers to form a union and collectively bargain with their employers. In practice, this will result in gig workers getting the same full-time employee benefits without having to work full-time.

A direct implication of this new law is that businesses in California can no longer save money by hiring out independent contractors for short-term tasks. The state is changing how privately-owned companies can conduct business and it’s going to hurt their bottom line. California Democrats are raising the price of labor, which businesses will then have to pass onto their consumers.

Enjoy your potential price hike the next time you use Uber or Lyft in California. You have the Dems to thank for that.

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