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5 Points: The Surreal
Year of 2018

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The Year That Was Brought Many Dramas and Controversies, With Most of Them Emanating From the Orbit of the President of the United States, Donald Trump

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By Karen Weil
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 2, 2019 — This was a year of a government shutdown, immigrant children in cages, a president making a fool of himself on the world stage and a change election.  As we head into 2019, Modern Times publisher John Guzzon and editor Karen Weil review 2018.

Mr. Trump Goes To Washington
In his second year as president, Donald Trump continued to stumble by showing how little he understands (or cares) about government or the rule of law. Spending more time golfing and holding campaign rallies than doing his job, the president’s approval ratings are stuck in the high 30s. Meanwhile, next year he’ll deal with a Democratic House and Robert Mueller’s report, neither of which bodes well for him.

Trump vs. The World: North Korea, China, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Russia
He placed tariffs on the China, but that hurt American farmers more than anything else. A meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un produced no tangible results, while Trump’s decisions on Syria and the Iran treaty met with harsh criticism. If that weren’t bad enough, his willingness to excuse the Saudi government’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was yet another example of his disdain for human rights.

The 2018 Election
Americans unhappy with Trump realized that protests aren’t enough -- and voted in record numbers on Nov. 6. That resulted in the Democrats taking back the House by 40 seats (but Republicans held onto to the U.S.). It was also a year when women won a record number of elections. Does this mean the GOP will have a tough 2020?

Trump: Buffoonery, Lies And Videotape
The president lied about paying off a porn star, military pay raises and just about everything else in 2018. From his interactions with journalists to dealing with Nancy Pelosi over a government shutdown, it was a rough year

Meanwhile ... Life Continues Unabated
Oval Office drama and a Democratic comeback aside, it was an overall difficult year for the United States, as mass shootings continued and concern over climate change grew. Here’s a look back at the top 20 most notable days of 2018:
Political Profundity: The Week After The 2018 Mid-Terms
The Mid-terms Are Finally Almost Over, With Only A Handful Of Races Still To Be Decided. However, The Political World Keeps Churning, With More Trump Foibles, The Impending Release Of The Mueller Investigation And Much More. — Nov. 16, 2018

Modern Times’ Top 20 Timeline of 2018 News

February 14 – A mass shooting occurs at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, resulting in 17 deaths. It is the deadliest high school shooting in the United States, surpassing the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

February 16 – Special Counsel Robert Mueller announces that 13 Russians have been charged with interfering in the 2016 Presidential election.

February 24 – Paul Manafort is indicted with five federal criminal charges including money laundering and foreign lobbying violations

March 9 – President Trump accepts an invite from Kim Jong-un through South Korean officials for a meeting by May.

March 13 – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is fired (effective March 31) by President Trump. CIA Director Mike Pompeo is nominated to replace him.

March 22 – President Trump announces tariffs on up to $60bn in Chinese goods and plans to limit the country's investment in the US. The Dow Jones falls sharply in response.

April 9 – The FBI raids the home, office and hotel room of President Trump's long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, pursuant to a federal search warrant.

June 8–9 – At the G7 summit in Canada, President Trump pushes for the reinstatement of the G8 (to include Russia). He also proposes the elimination of tariffs

June 11–12 – In a historic first, President Trump meets with Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.

June 19 – The United States announces that it will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

July 9 – President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh, a circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to become an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States.

July 16 – President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin for private talks in the Finnish capital Helsinki. In a press conference afterwards, Trump praises Russia and Putin, drawing sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats Senator John McCain describes it as "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."

August 21 – Michael Cohen, who worked as a lawyer for Donald Trump from 2006 until May 2018, pleads guilty to eight charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign.[188]

August 21 – Paul Manafort, the former election campaign chairman for Trump, is convicted on eight out of eighteen charges of tax and bank fraud.

September 27 – Christine Blasey Ford appears before a Senate Judiciary Committee to give evidence against Brett Kavanaugh.

October 2Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, triggering a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

October 29 – 800 U.S. soldiers are deployed to the Mexico-United States border as a part of Operation Faithful Patriot, reinforcing the border against incoming Central American migrant caravans.

November 6 Mid-term elections: The Democrats gain at least 40 seats to take control of the House of Representatives, but lose at least two seats in the Senate.

December 20 – Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigns, effective February 28, 2019, after failing to persuade Trump to reconsider his decision of the previous day to withdraw the remaining American troops from Syria.

December 22 A partial shutdown of the government begins after Congress fails to agree a budget.

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