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This Week: April 19

By Jack Garland, Natalie Munoz, Izzy Greig, and Dylan Winward

April 21, 2024 4:15 p.m.

Iran strikes Israel. Trump’s first trial begins. Podcasts contributors Natalie Munoz and Izzy Greig discuss these stories and more with Podcasts Editor Jack Garland. Features and Student Life Editor Dylan Winward joins the show to discuss the Opportunity for All campaign.

Jack Garland: Today is Friday, April 19. And you are listening to “This Week” by Daily Bruin Podcasts.

Welcome back to “This Week.” Thank you for joining us. On this episode, we’re going to talk about the Iranian strikes on Israel, the flooding in Dubai and the stabbings in Sydney. And then, on the national side, we’re going to talk about the start of Trump’s first trial and some action from Congress, and then some sports updates. And then we’ll be joined later on by Dylan Winward, the features and student life editor for the Daily Bruin, and he’s going to talk to us about a Daily Bruin news article from this past week. I’m Jack Garland, and I’m the Podcasts editor.

Natalie Munoz: My name is Natalie Munoz. I’m a Podcasts contributor and international correspondent.

Izzy Greig: My name is Izzy Greg. I’m a Podcasts contributor and the national correspondent.

JG: So Natalie, this is your first time on the podcast.

NM: I’m really excited to be doing an episode this week.

JG: We recently launched the Daily Bruin Podcasts Instagram, and both Natalie and Izzy are doing work for that.

IG: Yeah, it’s super exciting. I’m doing the “This Week” posts. We post on our story every week when we have new episodes coming out.

NM: And I’m doing the Bruin to Bruin posts. So, every Monday we’ll post about a new episode on the story as well.

JG: So please follow the Instagram for updates on our new episodes. And we’ll also be making posts introducing the Daily Bruin Podcasts staff, so please follow us: Daily Bruin Podcasts. All right, now let’s get into the news. We’re going to start with Natalie for the international news updates. Natalie, what is the top story this week?

NM: Yeah, so on Sunday, Iran launched a massive attack on Israel of over 300 drones and missiles. Most of the Iranian projectiles were intercepted by Israel, Jordan, the U.S., the U.K. and France. But a few were able to get through defenses and damage a military base in southern Israel. The attack comes in response to an Israel strike on their Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria. Seven Iranian military officials were killed in that attack. Israel denies involvement in the attack. But the Pentagon and Iran say that Israel’s responsible. Tensions between Israel and Iran have been rising since the October 7 attack by Hamas, but this is the first direct exchange between Iran and Israel. There’s an ongoing exchange of missiles and rockets between Israel and the Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah, and other Iranian-backed groups in the region have carried out attacks on Israeli and U.S. targets. An Israeli response is expected but is uncertain exactly how aggressive the response will be.

JG: And how is the US responding to this latest escalation?

NM: President Biden has stated that the US will not aid Israel in a potential attack on Iran. In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Biden reportedly called the defense of the Iranian attack a win. On the congressional side, the House is reportedly altering its schedule in order to make room to consider a bill that would further aid Israel. Republicans, in particular, are adamant that Iran and connected terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah, must be held accountable for the attack and the ongoing tensions.

JG: And what is the Bruin angle for this story? Why does this matter to UCLA students?

NM: Yeah, so many on campus are already following the war in Gaza. And it is also important to follow the tensions between Israel and Iran. Depending on Israel’s response, this could lead to a major war in the region that would involve the US and other major powers more directly.

JG: And what else is going on around the world?

NM: There were some extreme heavy rains in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, flooding streets and submerging cars, killing more than 20 people. The extreme rain was a freak event, it was reported that the UAE hadn’t received that much rain since 1949. The rain flooded Dubai’s airport runways, preventing planes from taking off and delaying flights. The UAE artificially increases rainfall through cloud seeding, which is the process of injecting clouds with chemicals that encourage them to hold on to larger amounts of water. Experts are still unsure about the effect cloud seeding had on this week’s rainfall.

JG: And what other stories are we following this week?

NM: So two stabbings occurred in Sydney, Australia this past week, one targeting Assyrian Orthodox Church and the other a shopping mall. The assailant of the first shooting was a 16-year-old boy who attacked a mass of churchgoers at Assyrian Christ the Good Shepherd church on Monday. The police have deemed the shooting or religiously motivated terrorist attack, most likely a result of online extremism. At least four people were injured and no fatalities so far have been reported. The perpetrator is still in the hospital after facing injuries to his fingers. The attacker for the mall stabbing was a 40-year old-man named Joel Cauchi, who was shot dead by the police at the scene of the stabbing. Six people are dead as a result. Cauchi’s parents say their son was severely mentally ill, which is most likely the cause of the stabbing. As a result, security has tightened at surrounding malls in Sydney and other parts of Australia, as well as increased security in general for large public areas.

JG: All right, thank you for those updates, Natalie. And now we’re going to turn to Izzy for the national news updates.

IG: This week was the start of the first criminal trial for former president Donald Trump. On March 23, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg brought 34 felony counts of falsifying business records against the former president. The charges are related to hush money payments made during the 2016 election to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who alleged to have an affair with Donald Trump. It is alleged that Trump’s lawyers falsified records of the payments in order to conceal their existence. This is one of four criminal cases currently open against Trump and the first case to go beyond arraignment and into the trial stage. Trump’s possible maximum sentence if found guilty is 20 years in state prison.

JG: And has there been any progress with the trial so far?

IG: So, there has been some progress. The jury selection process wrapped up on Thursday. This process was seen as very critical to the outcome of the case, considering how well-known Trump is and the fact that only one juror could prevent the former president from being found guilty. The selection process encountered multiple roadblocks as two jurors had to be excused. One claimed she did not believe she could be impartial and had concerns over her identity being revealed. The second one was found to have a possible criminal past that he did not disclose. Trump continues to violate a gag order placed on him by the court. The order restricts the former president from speaking against witnesses, prosecutors, jurors, court staff as well as the relatives. Prosecutors are requesting to hold Trump in contempt with a claim he has repeatedly violated the order via social media posts.

JG: What’s the Bruin angle for this story?

IG: So, with the presidential election quickly approaching, having one of the two major candidates facing criminal charges could be a big factor in people’s decision at the ballot box in November. This would be the first time voting for many Bruins, and it’s important to be informed about the candidates in question.

JG: What other national stories are we following this week?

IG: On Wednesday, the Senate dismissed the impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In February the Republican-controlled House impeached Secretary Mayorkas, making him the first Cabinet Secretary since 1876 to be impeached. The house claimed he committed high crimes and misdemeanors in his handling of the southern border. Seeing these charges as highly politicized and illegitimate, the Democrat-controlled Senate dismissed them without holding a trial.

JG: And there’s some other news from Congress. Can you tell us about that?

IG: Yeah, so Speaker Johnson introduced a package of foreign aid bills totaling $95 billion. This package has been a long time coming. It marries a similar bill in the Senate and includes military aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Also included in the package is a bill we reported on a few weeks ago that requires TikTok’s parent company Bytedance to sell to a non Chinese company or face a ban in the U.S. app stores.

There were some big events in the world of sports this weekend. The Masters wrapped up on Sunday with American golfer Scottie Scheffler winning the tournament, notching his second win in three years. And, on Monday, college basketball star Caitlin Clark was drafted to her hometown WNBA team, the Indiana Fever. And also on Monday was the 128th Boston Marathon.

JG: And now we’re going to turn to Dylan for the Daily Bruin news story of the week. Thanks for coming on, Dylan. You were with us last week, so it’s great to see you again.

DW: Thank you for having me, again. It’s great to be back on the show.

JG: What story are you talking about today?

DW: So one of the stories that we’ve been following for a couple of months now is the Opportunities for All campaign. So, it’s a campaign for the University of California. So that’s all of the UC campuses to hire undocumented students as student workers. So this will be in places like libraries but also in things like ASUCLA coffee shops on our campus. The most recent development is that there’s a bill going through the State Assembly. It’s been proposed by state Assemblymember David Alvarez to provide and legislate for equal opportunities for undocumented students to have jobs within the UC and also the California State University systems.

JG: We had a Daily Bruin news editor come on the show a few weeks ago talking about the same campaign. So, can you walk us through the history of this campaign?

DW: Yeah, so this is something that’s been campaigned for for quite a long time. And some of that campaigning has been led at UCLA, actually. So, the UC Board of Regents who govern the University last May created a working group to look at the feasibility of this proposal. So, how it would work to implement it, what the legal ramifications might be? At the time, it was considered a first-in-nation proposal. So, no other state university or public university hired undocumented workers, it would be the first of its kind. They initially set a November deadline for them to come up with a plan to do so. They actually missed that November deadline, which led to some protests. And then, in January, they outright rejected the plan. They said there were too many legal ramifications, something which is disputed. We’ve spoken to legal experts at the UCLA law school who have said they think that it would be legal for UC to hire undocumented workers. But clearly, the Office of the President thinks otherwise. This led briefly to a hunger strike from undocumented students on campus and also led to a significant march on campus as well.

JG: How would undocumented students on campus be affected by this proposal?

DW: Yeah, so in the States as a whole, we’re facing a cost of living crisis. Costs for things like food are higher than ever before. And for undocumented students, being able to work jobs at the university is a great way for them to be able to get income nearer to the campus. It will allow them to pay their bills, their tuition, but also things like their living expenses and their food expenses as well. Undocumented students already struggle with significant barriers. That’s something we’ve looked at this year through some of our reporting. And this will be an opportunity for them to get another source of income.

JG: Thanks, Dylan. I hope to see you soon.

DW: Thank you for having me on the show.

JG: Thank you for joining us today, and please come back next Friday for another episode of “This Week.”

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Jack Garland
Dylan Winward | News editor
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
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