Beyond the Bricks: Week of 11/18
by Tyler English | published Jan. 14th, 2020
Fiona Hill Testifies
Former White House Russia expert and National Security Council official, Fiona Hill, denounced the claims from President Donald Trump and Republican allies. They claimed that it was Ukraine not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election, reported The New York Times.
With this testimony coming out in the midst of the impeachment hearings, The New York Times reported that these statements are indirect rebukes to the president. The New Yorker reported that Hill effectively accused congressional Republicans of supporting falsehoods.
Hill is quoted as saying, "In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”
Hill also continued to say that claims made by Trump and his allies, though fictitious, are still harmful as Russian interference in the 2020 election is a very real threat.
“These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes,” Hill told reporters.
Given Hill’s expertise, she claims that the U.S. is running out of time to stop Russian interference in the upcoming election. She also said Trump and other Republicans only deter our efforts to stop them by making these statements.
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, reported that at least 106 people died in Iran during protests and government crackdowns. The Associated Press reported that the protests were due to rising fuel protests and the government trying to stop them.
Ordinary Iranian citizens are struggling to get accurate information regarding the protests and the death tolls due to lack of access to social media, international news and internet restrictions, reported ABC News.
A university student who asked not to be named by ABC News told them, “I feel like I am stranded on an island. I have no idea what is happening to other people and to my friends in other cities.”
The protests began on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 and quickly spread across the country to major cities. On Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, the protests gained another platform demanding internet access and accurate information from the government.
In terms of what was covered by Iranian news, they failed to acknowledge the true cause of the protest — the rise in gas prices. The jump in gas prices left a burden on Iranians who suffered from the currency collapse following the withdrawal of U.S.'s involvement back in 2015.
Chemistry Professors and Meth
On Nov. 18, 2019, USA Today reported that two chemistry professors in Arkansas have been charged for making meth in a college lab. The two professors were charged with using the drug paraphernalia to manufacture methamphetamine.
Terry Bateman, 45, and Bradley Rowland, 40, were arrested on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 after investigators found traces of methamphetamine production in school laboratories. Both Bateman and Rowland are associate professors of chemistry at Henderson State University (HSU), a liberal arts school about 60 miles southwest of Little Rock, Ark., reported The New York Times.
Tina Hall, spokeswoman for HSU, said that Bateman and Rowland have been on administrative leave since Oct. 11, 2019. Three days prior, Hall said that the police were called in to the university to investigate a chemical odor that was reported in the school’s science center. The investigation into the smell is what lead to the discovery of meth production.
Hall said that the building was closed down during the investigation as the fumes could have been dangerous to the health of students. Once the air was cleared, the building was reopened on Oct. 29, 2019.
Hall is quoted as saying, “The safety of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority, and we continue to cooperate with authorities.”