Monday Briefing | December 17

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Stories to Follow

A Second Brexit Vote? British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a political crisis on her Brexit deal on Wednesday, overcoming a no-confidence vote by Conservative Party lawmakers that could have ended her party and country leadership. What does winning the vote mean? Her leadership within the Conservative Party will be guaranteed for at least a year, since no new confidence votes will be allowed during that period. However, the margin of her victory – with 200 votes in favor and 117 against – leaves May as a weakened leader who has lost the support of a large part of her party. It also had a high price because May promised not to seek re-election in 2022. Meanwhile, the problem of Brexit remains unresolved, since May seeks to change its separation agreement with the EU so that the British Parliament finds it more acceptable. Is a second referendum the best avenue to solve the Brexit chaos?

 

Mexico: A Possible Educational Reform. Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said he will guarantee free public education at all levels.  AMLO signed the initiative that would cancel the educational reform, promoted and approved in the six years of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidential term. The new project contemplates extending free education to upper secondary and university levels. In addition, AMLO announced the creation of 100 universities and the granting of 300,000 scholarships to students from low-income families. Even though AMLO’s political party and allies have majorities in both houses on Congress, some votes from the opposition parties are needed in order to create constitutional changes.

An Outlook for 2019. The divergence between the United States and the rest of the world has become more noticeable. China’s industrial production and retail sales growth have fallen to the lowest level in 15 years. On the other side, the German economy shrank significantly in the third quarter, with its GDP contracting at a 0.8% annualized rate. Trade battles between the U.S., China, and other countries are also worrying and threaten to hurt economic growth. To give you an interesting perspective,Maurice Obstfeld, former Chief Economist of the IMF, contended that “for the rest of the world there seems to be some air coming out of the balloon and that, I think, will come back and also affect the U.S.” On the other hand, if focusing on U.S. Politics, the expected conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign will be a crucial event for Washington in the year to come.

Happening This Week

Since the semester is almost over, so are school events. They will return as soon as the spring semester begins; for now, explore the City and all the exciting activities the holidays bring.

Looking for something exciting and different?Perhaps ice skating on a rooftop? The Rooftop at Pier 17 has transformed from a concert venue during summer into Winterland, an ice rink with Brooklyn waterfront views and food trucks.

For book worms:

As we approach 2019, a must-read book is The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World, written by Nobel Price Winner and NYU Stern professor Mike Spence.

For art lovers:

  • Lévy Gorvy, an art gallery located at 909 Madison Avenue, is currently holding “Calder/Kelly”, the first major exhibition exploring the visual and personal affinities between landmark American artists Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly. Don’t miss it—as it will run until January 9.
  • The Warhol Retrospectivein the Whitney Museum of American Art is also a must see. This exhibition—the first Warhol retrospective organized by a U.S. institution since 1989—reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. It will be open to the public until March 31, 2019.

Hungry?

Looking for a new restaurant to try near school? Look no more! 12 Chairs Caféis located on 56 MacDougal St #B. Make sure to order the falafel hummus—you will not regret it. They also have a Brooklyn location at 342 Whyte Avenue.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Maria Pilar Salazar.

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