Trump convicted

Donald Trump made history by becoming the first U.S. President, current or former, to be convicted of a felony. The guilty verdicts came on Thursday May 30, convicting Trump of thirty-four counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to The New York Times. Of these charges, eleven are for falsified invoices, twelve are for falsified general ledger entries and eleven are for legal services by way of Michael Cohen.

In a statement immediately after exiting the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, Trump said “the real verdict is going to be November 5th,” referring to his run for the presidency. The statement, captured by NBC news, continued to allege that the trial and verdict were political attacks from President Joe Biden. Local leaders reacted swiftly after the verdict. Mayor Brandon Johnson said on X that “Donald Trump is a con artist, a bigot, and an embarrassment of a former president.” Governor J.B. Pritzker chimed in on X also, saying “Donald Trump is a racist, a homophobe, a grifter, and a threat to this country. He can now add one more title to his list—a felon.”

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in Manhattan on July 11.

Historic Mexican elections

Mexico made history Sunday night by electing its first woman president, Claudia Sheinbaum, with fifty-eight to sixty percent of the vote, beating her conservative opponent, another woman, Xóchitl Galvez. Sheinbaum was the former mayor of Mexico City and is of Jewish descent. She had the endorsement of populist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador and she vowed to continue to build on his campaign agenda (Mexico’s constitution does not allow reelection), such as raising the minimum wage and guaranteed pensions for Mexican retirees. 

This election was also historic by allowing Mexican nationals abroad to cast a vote both online and in person. In the United States, more than 157,000 Mexicans were registered to vote. More than 10,000 were registered to vote in Illinois—about 1,500 in Chicago. However, backlogs were reported in the four participating Mexican consulates in the country, including Chicago’s. Long lines stretched down Ashland and Ogden Ave. for hours on Sunday before consulate officials announced the polls would close at 7 p.m. and would not allow hundreds of people in line to vote. Frustrated would-be voters hoped this was not an omen of things to come.

University of Chicago denies diplomas to four pro-Palestinian students

Dozens of students chanted and walked out of the University of Chicago graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 1 in protest of the university withholding diplomas from four students and the administration’s refusal to acknowledge and divest from the genocide in Gaza. The four students—Youssef Hasweh, Kelly Hui, Rayna Acha, and a fourth student who did not want to be named, according to Block Club Chicago—learned they would not be receiving their degrees about a week before graduation because of pending “disruptive conduct” complaints related to the Popular University for Gaza encampment that lasted for some eight days on campus before being cleared by UCPD in the early morning of May 7. Pressed for comment by Block Club, administrators did not say what specific acts the students were being accused of, only that students may be allowed to receive their diplomas if cleared of disciplinary charges at some point in the future. Students began the encampment to demand the university recognize genocide and scholasticide in Gaza, disclose its investments, divest from weapons manufacturers, and end its relationship with the Israel Institute. More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October of last year, and hundreds of thousands more are facing famine, disease outbreaks, and continued bombardment by the Israeli military. Following encampments at other universities across the country, some universities have also refused to grant diplomas to students active in those protests.

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