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This Week: May 31

Photo credit: Helen Quach

By Zoe Bordes, Olivia Miller, Sam Mulick, and Izzy Greig

June 4, 2024 8:17 p.m.

Updates from the Israel-Hamas war. Former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump found guilty of 34 felony counts. Podcasts contributors Izzy Greig, Zoë Bordes and Olivia Miller discuss these stories and more. Daily Bruin staffer and incoming features and student life editor Sam Mulick joins the show.

Izzy Greig: Today is Friday, May 31st, and you’re listening to This Week by Daily Bruin Podcasts. This is the Daily Bruin’s weekly news podcast for college students. Thank you for joining us for another episode. Today on the international side, we’ll be discussing updates from the war in Gaza, the landslide in Papua New Guinea, and the South African election. And on the national side, we’ll be talking about Trump’s conviction, U.S. Military aid to Ukraine, and the lawsuit against Live Nation. I’m Izzy Greig, and I’m a podcast contributor and the host for today.

Zoë Bordes: My name is Zoë Bordes. I’m a podcast contributor and the international correspondent today.

Olivia Miller: My name is Olivia Miller. I’m a podcast contributor and today’s national correspondent.

IG: And later on the episode will be joined by Sam Mulick, the incoming features and student life editor. First, we’re going to Zoë for the international news from the Week. What is the top story of the week, Zoë?

ZB: Our headlining story is that on Friday, President Biden endorsed Israel’s proposal of a three-part plan for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages held there for the last eight months. This first phase involves a six-week full ceasefire, Israeli forces withdrawing from Gaza’s populated areas, and the release of women and children hostages. This stage also includes a massive humanitarian effort with 600 aid trucks entering Gaza daily. The second phase, which begins only after agreements from Phase One, involves Hamas releasing all living hostages in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. The final phase focuses on Gaza’s reconstruction and returning any final remains of the hostages to their families.

IG: It’s good to hear that this conflict could be hitting a turning point. But why is this happening now? Did any specific event lead to this proposal?

ZB: Yeah, so a little background. This comes after an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp in Rafah on Sunday. It started a fire and it’s believed to have killed at least 45 people. Israeli Defense Forces have also said that the strike killed two senior members of Hamas. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu described the Rafah fire as a tragic mistake, but the event has only increased already mounting international pressure for a halt to Israel’s military operations. On Thursday, Hamas told mediators that it’s ready for a complete agreement, including the release of all hostages if Israel stops the war. This proposal could be a response to that. As of today, Israel’s military says it has completed operations in part of North Gaza. Its forces are now operating in central parts of Rafah. Some 800,000 people have fled Rafah since the start of an Israeli ground operation there three weeks ago, but hundreds of thousands are still believed to be sheltering there. We’ll keep you guys updated as more details are released.

IG: What other international stories are developing?

ZB: On May 24th, a landslide hit a community in the Enga province of Papua New Guinea. Boulders the size of shipping containers demolished buildings, burying at least 60 homes and at least one elementary school. It’s unclear how many people have died with figures ranging from 670 to over 2,000. Papua New Guinea is particularly susceptible to landslides due to its geography. This, coupled with the effects of climate change, creating extraordinary weather patterns in the area, means that a second landslide is possible. People continue to be evacuated as the area remains unsafe, and additionally, the UN has warned that the debris buildup has caused water sources to become tainted, augmenting the risk of disease. Also, votes are currently being counted in the South African national elections. For the first time in 30 years, the African National Congress, or the ANC, looks like they’ll be losing their majority and are seeking coalition partners. The ANC has held a clear majority since 1994 when they ended apartheid and Nelson Mandela became the country’s first Black president. Slipping below 50% would create huge changes for South Africa. While the ANC made significant progress in its first decade in power, it’s now blamed for failures in basic government services, several corruption scandals, and a recent electricity crisis causing rolling blackouts across the country of 62 million people.

IG: Thanks, Zoë. Olivia, what’s going on around the U.S.?

OM: Trump was convicted of 34 felony counts related to the falsification of business records. His sentencing date is July 11th. He reacted by calling the verdict a disgrace and rigged. This is historic as he is the first president to be convicted of a felony.

IG: How will this affect the election in Trump’s campaign?

OM: It is not known exactly how badly this will hurt Trump’s campaign. According to a CNN survey, 76% of Trump supporters said they would support Trump regardless, and 24% said they might reconsider their support for him if he was convicted. But things are still uncertain. Constitutionally, there are not many requirements for being president other than being 35 and a US-born citizen.

IG: Got it. So what options does this leave Trump?

OM: Trump can appeal the case and possibly reverse the charges. If he were to be elected in November, he would have the ability to grant pardons for federal convictions. However, this does not apply to state convictions. So, he would not be able to pardon himself as president.

IG: What are some of the other top national stories from this week?

OM: Earlier, Biden had covertly allowed Ukraine to strike targets within Russia using US weapons. He has since made this permission public. This applies to weapons used in the Northeastern Kharkiv region, which is currently under severe Russian bombardment.

IG: And what’s our last national story?

OM: Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster, is facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice. Given the monopoly Live Nation has on selling tickets, they’re being charged with abusing their power by creating contracts with venues to maintain this power.

IG: Thanks for those updates, Olivia. Now we’re turning to Sam for the Daily Bruin News story of the week. Sam, thanks for joining us.

Sam Mulick: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

IG: What stories will you be sharing with us today?

SM: So, I’ll be sharing the reporting from our Outgoing City and Crime Editor, Sharla Steinman, who obtained documents related to the police’s involvement on campus during the Palestine Solidarity Encampment from April 30th to May 3rd. And so, just to get into some of the numbers that we obtained, from the night of April 30th to May 3rd, we had 590 LAPD officers on the UCLA campus. And so, in the total number of those hours and overtime hours that the officers were involved in during that time, LAPD is now seeking $583,084 in reimbursement from the California Governor’s Office. And then we also obtained numbers related to the California Highway Patrol officers, and so UCLA has to pay those officers $86.34 an hour and $105.02 per hour for sergeants. And the $86 was for officers. The reason this is significant is because if a CHP officer or sergeant is deployed onto the scene and they work less than four hours, the requesting party who requests them to the scene is required to pay for those four hours of work—in this case, the university. So these were just the numbers of the cost of having the police clear the Palestine Solidarity Encampment during that time.

IG: Wow, super interesting. Thank you for sharing. So that’s what the police have been doing, but what’s been going on the school side? How have they been handling this?

SM: So a number of things have happened in response. I think the first of which is that the UC Police Department Chief, John Thomas, was reassigned last week. Actually, we found this out the night before Gene Block testified at the House of Representatives. Not only that, but the university also created an Office of Campus Safety headed by the Vice Chancellor Rick Brazil, a former Sacramento police chief. And then I think it’s also important to note that in response to the second Palestine solidarity encampment, which happened last Tuesday on the morning of Chancellor Block’s testimony, we saw a very different deployment of police officers during that time, and the police departments involved—which included UCPD, LAPD, Santa Monica Police Department and Culver City Police Department—they cleared the encampment within hours of it going up.

IG: Got it. Wow. Thank you for sharing Sam.

SM: Absolutely.

IG: Thanks for coming on.

SM: My pleasure.

IG: Thanks for joining us today. Come back next Friday for another episode of This Week.

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Zoe Bordes
Olivia Miller | Podcasts producer
Miller is the 2024-2025 Podcasts producer. She was previously a 2023-2024 contributor to the Podcasts section. Miller is a fourth-year communication and sociology student from San Diego.
Miller is the 2024-2025 Podcasts producer. She was previously a 2023-2024 contributor to the Podcasts section. Miller is a fourth-year communication and sociology student from San Diego.
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
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