The Ripcurrent: Trans Housing Protections, Explosion in Beirut, Axios Interview

Trump Admin Rolls Back Housing Rights for Trans People

The Trump administration is calling for a ruling that would allow homeless shelters to openly discriminate against transgender individuals. For example, transgender women could be turned away from all-women shelters and forced into an all-men shelter. The administration argues this ruling will make women’s shelters safer by preventing men from gaining access to women, which could cause issues. LGBT activists say that this is untrue; if anything, transgender individuals, specifically women, are the ones at risk of abuse. This is a big issue, considering one in five transgender people will experience some form of homelessness in their lifetime. The ruling will go into effect after a 60-day comment period.

This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has rolled back rights for trans individuals. In 2017, it banned transgender individuals from serving in the military. This June, the Trump administration finalized a regulation stating that transgender people can be discriminated against in the healthcare industry; trans patients can be turned away by doctors and hospitals simply for being transgender. The Obama administration had ruled that trans students can use the bathroom of their choice in schools. Trump recently took that right away, as well. The Trump administration has been significantly narrowing transgendered individuals’ rights through the military, healthcare industry, education, and now through housing.

Source -Liam Cooper

Explosion in Beirut: What this means for Lebanon

For years now, there has been a stockpile of explosive chemicals in the heart of Beirut, bearing no safety measures in place. On Tuesday, August 4th a massive explosion completely destroyed its surroundings, and left many homeless, wounded, or dead.

The chemicals were identified as 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. President Michel Aoun was told of the dangerous stockpile approximately three weeks before the explosion, and then ordered security measures to be taken place. Documents resurfaced on many social media platforms about how authorities and organizations from Lebanon had previous knowledge of the dangerous chemicals, but no action was taken. This brought light to Lebanon’s ongoing neglect of its people and long time running political oligarchy. Many have been brought into question about suspicious activity regarding the chemical that led to the devastating explosion.

As of August 8th, the known death count from the explosion is 154, with more than 5,000 people wounded. The city has undergone billions of dollars worth of costly and widespread damage. Aid and relief must be given to Lebanon during these devastating times.

Source -Amy Whitman

A Look At Trump's Axios Interview

Last Tuesday, President Trump spoke with Axios journalist Jonathan Swan on a number of pressing issues facing the nation. Here are some key moments.


Trump called the federal response "an incredible job", even though the United States is leading the world in over 5 million cases. He claimed that his response "saved millions of lives" and that he cannot be held accountable for the seemingly messy response, citing that "nobody knew". Trump blamed governors for not doing enough, alleged that "you can test too much" and repeated his faulty reasoning that "because we test so much, we show more cases." He praised his response and confused Swan by touting that "when [he] took over [they] didn't even have a test." Swan countered with the obvious argument– "why would you have a test? The virus didn't exist yet!"

He then shifted the focus off the U.S. and pointed out that Spain was also experiencing a resurgence of the virus, although the country only recorded 58 new deaths in comparison to 390 deaths in Arizona alone this past week. He also pointed the finger at cases in Brazil, India, and Russia and said, "never gonna forget China".

Later, when Swan confronted the president on the startling number of deaths in the U.S. Trump denied this claim, pulling out a chart and saying, "the United States is lowest in numerous categories...We're lower than the world." He continued, "They are dying, that's true...It is what it is." He finished by reassuring Swan, "I think it's under control."


When asked about the November election, Trump insisted that it would be a fraudulent event where "millions of ballots" would be sent out with no regulation or order. This is false. In fact, just like absentee voting (which he uses), applications are sent to registered voters. The president's final word? "[There's] no way you can go through a mail in vote without massive cheating."

Race & Protests

Pres. Trump reinforced his stance on the Black Lives Matter protests being staged across the nation, calling them "anarchists" and "agitators" as well as alleging that a majority of the protesters were members of the (in his view, terrorist) political group Antifa. He called the Portland protesters "dangerous looking" and accused them of terrorizing the families of police officers and the home of Acting Secretary of Homeland security Chad Wolf.

When prompted on topic of race, Trump asserted that he "did more for the black community than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln." He also pointed out that more white people are killed every year than black people by police, although proportionally, black men are twice as likely to be killed by police in America. He did call the police brutality in this country "unacceptable", but also refused to fully acknowledge the legacy of the late Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis because Lewis had boycotted his inauguration.

Source -Viviane Kim

Amy Whitman

Amy is The Current’s Multimedia lead. A junior, she contributes to our podcast and News column. She loves writing, reading, sports, and film, and plans to major in journalism and political science.

Viviane E. Kim

Viviane, a sophomore, is Editor-in-Chief of The Current. She's an aspiring pianist, flutist, artist, and activist. She has won several writing competitions and performed with the SBU Orchestra.

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