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Bwoglines: Apologies And Authoritarianism

Today’s Bwoglines bring you an unexpected, unprecedented apology, as well as expected, unsubstantiated claims.

Happening in the World: Earlier today, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un apologized for the killing of a South Korean official, in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. North Korean troops found the 47-year old official in the North’s waters, later shooting him and setting his body on fire. Kim’s apology letter called the event a “disgraceful affair,” saying he was “very sorry” for “disappointing” Moon and South Korea. Moon remarked that this killing is “shocking” and urged North Korea to take “responsible” actions following the attack (BBC).

Happening in the US: On Wednesday, President Trump continued to push his desire for a new Supreme Court justice to replace the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before Election Day. Trump believed there will be a dispute over who wins the presidential election and said “[it] will end up in the Supreme Court.” He also made the unsubstantiated claim that “the Democrats are pulling…a scam,” saying that the opposition party is trying to rig the election, and that “the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court.” Trump also claimed that Democrats are sending “unsolicited millions of ballots,” but there is zero evidence that vote by mail creates widespread voter fraud. Trump’s comments strongly suggest that he wishes to appoint a justice that will agree with him to ensure another term in the White House, in the event that the election results are brought to the Supreme Court (ABC News).

Happening in NYC: Unemployment claims increase throughout New York State due to pandemic fallout, with the NYC unemployment rate “staggeringly high compared to other metro-areas.” The citywide unemployment rate was 16.3% in August, down from its previous 16.5% in April. The New School economist James Parrot claims that the citywide unemployment rate for August 2020 is actually 32% when based off of “how many people are getting unemployment checks” instead of “whether an unemployed person has been actively looking for [employment].” In both studies—the city government’s and Parrot’s—the Bronx has the highest unemployment rate, followed by Brooklyn and Queens, ending with Manhattan and Staten Island at significantly lower rates (Gothamist).

Happening in our community: On Monday, September 28, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights will host “Resisting the Gaslight: Lawyering for Palestinian Rights,” an online event at 12:30 pm. The conversation will include attorney Diala Shamas, from the Center for Constitutional Rights, with an introduction from Rashid Khalidi. You can register for the event here.

Song of the Day: “Respect” by Aretha Franklin

President Trump via Flickr

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