Monday Briefing | March 27

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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, March 24, following the withdrawal of the American Health Care Act. Photo Courtesy Gabriella Demczuk, The New York Times.

Stories to Follow

A laptop ban goes into effect and airlines make light of it. Last week, the UK and US began banning laptops aboard flights from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries in light of alleged bomb threats and “other factors.” The ban prohibits airline passengers from carrying any device larger than a cell phone on board flights to the UK or the US. Some of the airlines affected by the ban, such as Royal Jordanian and Emirates, poked fun at it through the use of poems, videos and lists of non-electronic activities, including “fighting for territory on the armrest” and “appreciating the miracle of flight.”

Former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, freed while revolutionaries still sit behind bars. Mubarak was freed on Friday from Maadi Military hospital in Cairo where he was detained after being moved from the Tora prison complex. Mubarak was charged with a handful of crimes—including conspiracy to kill protestors and siphoning millions of dollars from the state—but was only convicted of embezzlement. The former authoritarian leader was detained for six years. Although his release did not prompt protests, there is a “sense of injustice that while many revolutionaries are in prison – he has walked free.”

Trump and Ryan lose their first battle against the Affordable Care Act. On Friday, Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled the floor vote on the AHCA—the new GOP healthcare bill—once it became apparent that House Republicans lacked enough “yes” votes to pass the bill into law. This marks a major defeat for the Trump administration, particularly since Republicans have been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare for seven years. This defeat also calls into question whether the GOP can unite on other issues; a strange query since Republicans hold both chambers of Congress and the White House. On the other hand, this failure allows Trump—who was not too invested in the AHCA—to focus on issues he cares about, such as tax reform.

This Week in JPI

Op-Ed | Reconciling Ideology: In Between NYC and Nowhere
In an earnest recount of emigrating from present-day Uzbekistan to New York after the fall of the Soviet Union, JPI’s Milana Meytes shares her family’s personal memories and discusses what it means to be an immigrant in Trump’s America.

Happening This Week

Leadership Across the Political Divide: Do Facts Matter?
NYU Leadership Initiative and Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
Monday, March 27 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm | NYU Kimmel, Rosenthal Pavilion, 10th Floor
Melody Barnes (Former Director of White House Domestic Policy Council under President Obama), Linda Douglass (Global Head of Communications for Bloomberg News and Media), Michael Gerson (Columnist for the Washington Post), and Jay Rosen (NYU Professor of Journalism) will lead a discussion on facts and “alternative facts” in the current political climate.

U.S.-Latin America Relations in the Age of Trump
NYU International Relations Program
Tuesday, March 28 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm | 19 University Place, The Great Room
Juan Gonzalez (Former Latin America Adviser to President Obama, VP Biden and Secretary of State Kerry) will give a talk on how U.S. relations with Latin American countries will be affected by Trump leadership and policies. Pizza will be served.

LGBTI Rights in Africa: Progress, Strategies, and the Way Forward
NYU School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice
Friday, March 31 from 12:45pm to 2:00pm | Furman Hall, Room 120
Tashwill Esterhuizen (Head of the LHBTI and Sex Workers’ Rights Programme, Southern Africa Litigation Centre) and Charles Radcliffe (Senior Human Rights Advisor at the UN on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) will discuss LGBTI rights in African countries that criminalize same-sex intimacy. Their conversation will also touch upon the progress made thus far and how to win cases decriminalizing same-sex relations in the future.

In your free time

Watch John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” break down Trump’s proposed federal budget plan, because sometimes after a day of receiving scary New York Times and Washington Post Trump updates, you have to laugh a little.

Looking for a lighthearted read? Alyssa Mastromonaco (former Deputy Chief of Staff under President Obama) just released an honest and comical memoir titled Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House. Mastromonaco reflects on the good and bad times working in the White House and gives advice for those who want to pursue a similar career path. Learn more here and buy it here.

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