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This Week: February 9

Photo credit: Helen Quach

By Jack Garland, Ashley Tsao, and Reese Dahlgren

March 8, 2024 10:49 a.m.

A new military chief in Ukraine. The United States Supreme Court hears a case barring Trump from the 2024 ballot. Podcasts contributors Ashley Tsao and Reese Dahlgren discuss with Podcasts editor Jack Garland. News editor Catherine Hamilton joins the show to discuss how recent storms affected campus.

Jack Garland: Today is Friday, February 9, and you are listening to This Week by Daily Bruin Podcasts.

This week is our weekly news show for college students. We bring you the biggest international and national news from the past week. And we also highlight a Daily Bruin news story. I’m Jack Garland, I’m the Podcasts editor and today I’m joined by two Podcasts contributors.

Reese Dahlgren: Hi, I’m Reese, and I’m the national news contributor.

Ashley Tsao: Hi, my name is Ashley and I am the international news contributor.

JG: And we also have Catherine Hamilton, the News editor for the Daily Bruin back on the podcast. Hi, thanks for coming on, Catherine. So did anybody watch the Grammys this past week?

RD: I did. I saw that Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy long overdue.

JG: And what was the Grammy again?

RD: It was for Record of the Year.

JG: Record of the Year, not to be confused with Song of the Year, which is different somehow. Ashley, what about you? Did you watch the Grammys?

AT: Oh, yeah, I loved every moment and especially with Taylor Swift. She won her 13th Grammy. And she also announced her 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department. And that is going to be out on April 9.

Catherine Hamilton: It’s out April 19 — I was like I thought it was the ninth, so I looked it up.

JG: Catherine, did you watch the Grammys?

CH: I did watch the Grammys. I’m just happy that this award show host did not decide to make some weird misogynistic comment about one of the female nominees. Jack, did you watch the Grammys?

JG: I didn’t watch the Grammys but one of my roommates was really upset about Travis Scott not winning. Apparently he’s been nominated a bunch of times but still hasn’t won. Anyway, let’s hop into the news. Ashley, what is the biggest international story from this past week?

AT: The top international story was that yesterday President Zelenskyy fired Ukraine’s military chief nearly two years into the war against Russia. Ukraine’s military chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi was regarded as a highly popular military figure. But there were tensions between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi regarding Ukraine’s military tactics to use against Russia. With Russia’s renewed onslaught against Ukraine and U.S. aid being stalled in Congress, Zelenskyy believed significant changes were necessary regarding their military strategies and if Russia is constantly changing their tactics, then Ukraine should also update to the new realities at hand if Ukraine wants to win the war.

JG: So changing your military chief is obviously a big shift in strategy. What is Ukraine’s plan from here?

AT: Ukraine’s plan currently is that Zaluzhnyi will be replaced by Oleksandr Syrskyi, who also was a military commander and had been successful on the battlefield for the last two years for Ukraine. Zaluzhnyi was first known for organizing the defense of Kyiv even when Ukraine rejected Western warnings regarding Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian capital in February of 2022. Since the dismissal, Zelenskyy has offered a new position to Zaluzhnyi. Zaluzhnyi has declined the offer. It is unknown if Zaluzhnyi will continue to be involved in military affairs, but it’s highly speculated that he could be a potential presidential candidate to compete against Zelenskyy.

JG: And at this point in the war, what is Ukraine’s goal overall?

AT: There are fears that this war will turn into a stalemate. Therefore Ukraine is hoping that this decision will have the war turn in their favor.

JG: And what other news is going on around the world?

AT: The U.S. continues to carry out airstrikes in the Middle East. The strikes are responding to an attack on a U.S. military outpost in Jordan that killed three American soldiers. The most recent strike was in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and it killed a senior commander of the Iranian backed militia that the U.S. blames for the attack on the outpost. The U.S. has launched a total of 85 airstrikes in the Iraq-Syria border area, which are meant to deter further attacks by Iran backed militias. For now, the U.S. has appeared to rule out strikes on targets within Iran.

JG: It’s generally assumed that any strikes within Iran would bring the U.S. into a direct confrontation, it’s good to see that the U.S. is trying to avoid that. Are there any updates with the war in Gaza?

AT: The war in Gaza continues but there are efforts to negotiate a ceasefire. Representatives from Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the US met to create a framework for a ceasefire. Qatari and Egyptian officials then met with Hamas leaders and offered Israel a three phase deal on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he is open to negotiations but that Hamas’ current proposal was “delusional.”

In other news, on February 5, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer, but they haven’t specified exactly which type of cancer it is. The King has postponed public duties and is reportedly undergoing regular treatment. Prince Harry has flown from his home in Santa Barbara to London to be with his father.

JG: Hoping the best for King Charles, thank you for those updates, Ashley. And now Reese, we’re going to turn to you.

RD: So we’re recording this episode on February 8, and as of today, the Supreme Court is currently hearing the case that will decide whether or not— Donald Trump will be on the 2024 presidential ballot. For context, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled to remove Trump from the ballot because of his involvement in the January 6 capital riots in 2020. The Court decided that Trump’s conduct during the 2020 presidential race made him ineligible to hold office and they base this ruling largely off section three in the 14th Amendment, which states that anybody engaged in an insurrection after promising to uphold the Constitution is not able to hold office.

JG: So now that the case is in the Supreme Court, what comes next?

RD: So now the official ruling on whether or not Trump is eligible to be on the presidential ballot comes down to the justices’ positions on the 14th amendment. And whether or not individual states can decide if a presidential candidate can be disqualified. It should be noted that three of the Court’s nine justices were appointed by Trump.

JG: And is there any indication about how the Supreme Court will rule?

RD: So far SCOTUS has expressed skepticism to the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling because of the autonomy that this gives individual states without abiding by official legislation from Congress.

JG: And how does this story affect UCLA students?

RD: It would be big news if Trump was barred from the ballot. But as of now, we don’t expect that to happen, which means that the Supreme Court will consider the events of January 6, a riot and not an insurrection. We’ll see how this impacts the future of Trump’s campaign. And whether it affects his support among Republican voters and independents. Everyone should stay tuned for the official decision in the upcoming days.

JG: Yeah, we’ll definitely keep following that story and what else is going on across the country?

RD: Yeah, so Republicans also had a pretty bad week in Congress. On the House side, Republicans were trying to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the southern border. But a group of more moderate Republicans broke with their party and the house ultimately voted not to impeach. On the Senate side, Republican senators abruptly abandoned a bipartisan deal that combined border security with aid for Ukraine, Israel and other allies after Trump came out against the bill. It now appears that any deal on border security and foreign aid may be impossible with the current Congress.

JG: They say that deal making gets harder during a presidential election year. So it looks like we might be seeing that playing out. Any other news?

RD: Yeah, so Apple launched its Apple Vision Pro headset last week for the public. Its first new product category since the Apple Watch was released in 2015. The new device allows users to blend digital and physical worlds in everyday life. The headset will set consumers back around 3500 bucks. You might have already seen some students modeling the new tech around campus.

JG: I’m looking at Ashley right now. She’s shaking her head. What do you think about the Apple Vision Pro?

AT: I just don’t think it’s worth $3,500 to be honest.

JG: Have you used it?

AT: No, but it looked quite silly. Let’s just say that.

JG: All right. Thank you for those updates, Reese and Ashley. And now Catherine, we’re going to turn to you. Can you tell us about a Daily Bruin news story from this week?

CH: Yeah, so I’m sure what’s on a lot of people’s minds this week is the rain that Los Angeles experienced from Sunday to Wednesday. There were a lot of profound impacts on the UCLA campus and throughout Los Angeles County.

JG: Can you tell us about them?

CH: Yeah, so there were a lot of instances of flooding on campus, including the Northern Lights Cafe, the James Bridges Theater at Melnitz Hall and the Veteran Resource Center. As well as a leak in one of the Sunset Village lounges. There was also a tree that fell on Kerkhoff patio, and a lot of professors were turning their classes into a virtual format. But on Sunday, the UCLA Administration released a statement that said it predicted that campus operations would continue as normal.

JG: Was there anything else of note to see on campus this week?

CH: Yeah, actually, on Tuesday as our national news and higher education editor Matthew Royer put it, ‘Record rains did not stop UC optometrists from calling it as they see it, picketing outside Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday,’ both to call for higher salaries and good faith contract bargaining, as well as some more specific things like lowering patient wait times.

JG: That’s some real dedication to come out in the rain. You know, Matthew Royer was on the show last week, and he didn’t have any puns for us.

CH: He exclusively has puns about optometrists.

JG: Okay, so I guess we have to get him on when there’s another optometrist story. All right thanks for those updates, Catherine.

CH: Thank you, bye.

AT: Thank you so much for listening. That is all for this week’s updates. Tune in next Friday for another episode.

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