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News Brief: Week of Sept. 8-14


Trump announces plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes

The Trump administration on Wednesday, Sept. 11 announced plans to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. This announcement follows numerous cases of vaping-related illnesses and deaths in the United States, especially among young people.

Trump stated one reason why he is against flavored e-cigarette products is due to the scarcity of long-term research surrounding the industry, saying “It’s got big problems. We have to find out the extent of the problem.”

A Kansas woman died Tuesday, Sept. 10 due to vaping-related lung disease. This marks the sixth vaping-related death in the United States. Over 450 cases of illnesses attributed to vaping were also reported.

Vaping is popular with young people. One-quarter of high school students in the United States saying they have vaped in the last 30 days. 

Trump expressed concern about youth and the e-cigarette industry, saying “We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our kids be so affected.”

Courts allow tougher restrictions on asylum seekers

The Supreme Court has passed restrictions backed by the Trump administration which will bar most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum.

According to the new rule, immigrants who pass through a different country on their way to the United States must seek asylum in the first country instead of the United States. This new policy will primarily affect immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala, who must pass through Mexico before reaching the United States.

Migrants may still ask for asylum, but if the proposed rule survives other legal challenges, then those affected by the restrictions will be denied. However, immigrants may still ask for a meeting with an asylum officer or request an appearance in court.

Immigrants who can prove their persecution at home may still be allowed to live in the United States and work, but this process will not lead to permanent residence.

Anti-ICE protesters arrested in New York

Seventy-six protesters were arrested on Saturday, Sept. 14, after staging a sit-in at the Microsoft store in Manhattan.

The group was protesting against Microsoft, urging the company to stop allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use their technology, according to Close the Camps, the coalition which organized the protest. New York police arrested protesters for blocking traffic.

Microsoft has previously stated they are “not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border.”


Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens died

T. Boone Pickens, native Oklahoman and oil billionaire, died Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the age of 91.

Pickens was born in Holdenville, OK, as the son of an oil and gas businessman. He followed in his father’s footsteps to become an oil and gas entrepreneur, making his mark through bold and innovative business tactics.

A proud Cowboy alumnus, Pickens donated $625 million to Oklahoma State University in his lifetime. His donation of $125 million in 2005 was the largest single donation to an athletic program in NCAA history. In 2008, he donated $100 million to endow faculty chairs and professorships. Both the football stadium and the school of geology bear his name.

In addition, Pickens was a major philanthropist to other organizations. Over his lifetime, he donated over one billion dollars of his fortune. 

Football player dies after collapsing on field

A high school football player died early yesterday morning after collapsing during a game on Friday, Sept. 13. 

Peter Webb, a student at Southwest Covenant Christian School in Yukon, was rushed to the hospital on Friday evening after collapsing. 

According to the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Coaches Association, Webb was unconscious and had too much swelling on his brain to operate.

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