An Embassy Relocation Drowned Out By Protests, SCOTUS Gives Power To The States, and For The First Time We Talk About The First Lady

Today marked the official relocation of the United States Embassy from Tal Aviv to Jerusalem. On the 70th anniversary of the state's formation protests erupted on the Gaza border. The violence began as a mass of Palestinians attempted to cross the border from Israel to Gaza. Israeli soldiers responded with rifle fire and by the time night fell, 52 Palestinians had been killed and more than 2,400 were injured. Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, attempted to cast doubt on the number of casualties being reported from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry claiming that a large number of those injured were suffering from only tear-gas inhalation. The Health Ministry is currently reporting 1,204 injuries from live fire,  133 injuries from bullet fragments and 837 injuries resulting form gas. The breakdown did not account for the remaining injuries. As the protests developed, American and Israeli officials gathered to commemorate Trump's relocation of the Embassy. A video message from Trump was played which restated his commitment to "facilitating a lasting peace agreement". Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner spoke at the ceremony in Jerusalem stating; "When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and will remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth". The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had these words to share; "Remember this moment! This is history! President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay,” he said. “We are here in Jerusalem protected by the great soldiers of the army of Israel and our brave soldiers are protecting the border of Israel as we speak today”.  Although the relocation ceremony has ended, protests near Gaza and on the Israeli boarder persist. 

In a 6-3 decision, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, passed in 1992 was unconstitutional. the Act prohibited sports betting - except in the states of Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon were it was already legalized, unless a state passed a law within the one year time period of the Act's passage. The majority opinion reasoned that the federal law placed a limit on the states by forcing them to prohibit sports betting under their own individual state laws. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own". It was argued that the federal statute did not force the states to do ban sports betting itself but rather told states what they could not do my preventing states from making sports betting legal.  

The ban was spear headed back in 1992 by former Senator and basketball player, Bill Bradly. Bradly was motivated to institute a ban on legalizing sports gambling due to his view that sports betting was at its core betting on human beings which he ultimately thought was wrong. "It turns players into roulette chips. It makes the game, which is a game of high-level competition and excellence, into slot machines, and I don't think that should be what we do in this country".  Bradley recalls little to no congressional back lash to his bill at the time of its passage, but pointed out that Donald Trump lobbied against it as he at the time has failing investments in Atlantic City and believed that sports betting would be the solution to his poor financial situation. Now it is up to Congress, they can either choose to enact a new form of federal regulations over sports betting or leave the legalization in the hands of individual states. 

Last week First Lady Melania Trump, announced her public awareness campaign "Be Best". In her formal announcement the First Lady stated; “As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often times turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide, “I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life". The focus of the campaign will be on well-being, social media and opioid abuse.

As part of the campaign, the First Lady also issued a PDF which was intended to be an aid to parents when talking with their children about their behavior and actions online. The document included in the PDF was first posted on the Be Best website with credit to the First Lady as teh author. The document has since been changed to state that the original author is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the document is "promoted" by the First Lady. The first version read: “Parents, click here to read Talking with Kids about Being Online, a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission”. The updated website reads: "Parents, click here to read 'Talking with Kids about Being Online,' a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump". This is the second instance where the First Lady has fallen into criticism for alleged plagiarism, the first time being back in 2016 at the Republican National Convention where she nearly red verbatim a section of the speech Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.