Travel Ban Blocked (Again), Budget Proposal, and More

Judges from Maryland and Hawaii blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Wednesday night, just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Sound familiar? That’s because this isn’t the first time a Trump executive order barring people from majority-Muslim countries from coming into the country was blocked. The Trump administration went back to the drawing board, issuing a new executive order last week with some revisions. But the judges still found the order to be unconstitutional, not least of which because of anti-Muslim comments Trump himself made during his campaign. 

True to form, Trump blasted the judges, saying “this ruling makes us look weak” and calling the ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach.” Read the story from The AP. 

Budget Proposal

Trump’s budget proposal cuts many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Read the story from The AP. 

RIP Great Barrier Reef

Coral reefs around the world are threatened by climate change, an effect known as “bleaching.” And in 2016, just 10 percent of the Great Barrier Reef was unbleached. Read the story from NPR. 

Interest Rate Hike 

The feds will raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.75 to 1 percent. That means they have confidence that the U.S. economy is on track. Read the story from The Atlantic. 

What Book You Missed

Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel has been receiving rave reviews in the press for a couple weeks now. It’s not hard to see why: This beautifully rendered tale of war, love, and loss is also incredibly timely. In nuanced and intimate terms, it depicts a country on the brink of civil war, and the young lovers at its center who are forced to seek shelter away from the war-torn streets of their home. At a time when the western world is reconsidering its obligations to refugees the world over, a book like this demonstrates the possibilities of fiction: to expand readers’ horizons and empathy, and, possibly, affect real-world beliefs and policies.