FRANCE: Authorities Thwart Election Attack

On 18 April, French authorities arrested several suspects after thwarting an attack that was to be conducted before the presidential election. National security topics were a key theme in the presidential campaigns. Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen strengthened her stance on foreign extremists, as well as border controls after the arrests.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

RUSSIA: Agreement with US to Investigate Syrian Chemical Attack

On 12 April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced an agreement to launch an international investigation into the Syrian chemical attack. The announcement follows a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary Tillerson to discuss salvaging relations between the two countries. Despite differing views on Syria, the two countries plan to conduct the investigation together.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Ivanka Trump Joins Father’s Administration

On 29 March, Ivanka Trump announced she will officially join her father President Donald Trump’s, administration. According to a White House official, she will become the Assistant to the President as an unpaid employee. The announcement follows questions by ethics experts regarding her original plan to serve in a more informal capacity.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.eee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Senate Democrats Request President’s Tax Returns

On 7 March, democratic senators requested President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The requesters stated the returns are a matter of national security. This is the second time the democratic senators have requested the tax returns within the last two weeks. President Trump has declined to the release the returns, stating they were under federal audit. The Internal Revenue Service stated there is not an issue with releasing them publically.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Hawaii Requests Emergency Halt on New Executive Order

On 8 March, Hawaii state officials announced the state will request that a federal court put a temporary restraining order on President Donald Trump’s latest executive order enforcing the travel ban. The goal of the temporary restraining order is to obtain an emergency halt on the executive order. Hawaii is the first state to challenge the travel ban in federal court.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

ICELAND: Legislation Proposed to Force Companies to Prove Equal Pay

On 8 March, government officials announced plans to introduce legislation that would require employers to prove they offer equal pay to employees. The legislation specifically applies to companies with more than 25 employees. The equal pay provision applies to nationality, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity. If passed, the legislation would make Iceland the first country to make companies prove they provide equal pay. The announcement was made on International Women’s Day.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

AUSTRALIA: PM Clarifies US Travel Ban Restrictions

On 31 January, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the US travel ban against seven countries does not affect individuals with Australian passports. The announcement came after a student who had an Iranian and Australian passport was denied a visa into the US for a school trip. The student was denied the visa at the U.S. Consulate in Melbourne. Prime Minister Turnbull stated his announcement came with confirmation from the White House.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]