News Update: Politics Roundup

News Update: Politics Roundup

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Also this week, the President announced plans to visit Oklahoma’s El Reno correctional institution, becoming the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. Addressing attendees at the NAACP’s National Convention in Philadelphia yesterday, President Obama touched on a few of the issues that he sees as plaguing the criminal justice and prison systems, including the pervasive privilege of race and wealth, as well as gang activity, rape, and overcrowding.

“We should not tolerate conditions in prison that have no place in any civilized country… We should not be tolerating overcrowding in prison. We should not be tolerating gang activity in prison. We should not be tolerating rape in prison, and we shouldn’t be making jokes about it in our popular culture,” Obama added. “That is no joke. These things are unacceptable.”

Nuclear Agreement Reached With Iran

Today President Obama addressed the media, responding to critics of the recent nuclear agreement reached between several of the world’s superpowers, including the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, Germany, and Iran. Just one day after reaching the agreement, the president and the nuclear agreement have faced scrutiny from members of the press and, most notably, other Middle Eastern nations, as well as domestic lawmakers. In a report from the Wall Street Journal, they note that ‘critics in Washington, Israel and the Gulf nations that neighbor Iran say the deal will merely delay the country’s path to nuclear weapons. After 10 years of restraint on its activities mandated by the agreement, Iran will then be able to ratchet up its nuclear program and potentially unleash a nuclear arms race in the region, they fear.’

In his address today, President Obama offered that – “With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program… without a deal, those pathways remain open. There would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran could move closer to a nuclear bomb.”

The terms of the deal, which has been roughly a decade in the making, essentially state that Iran will restrain its nuclear development for 10 years – allowing for strict and rigorous oversight throughout and, in exchange, will benefit from the removal of economic sanctions placed on the nation by the U.S., E.U., and U.N.

Recognizing that the deal is a stopgap in the pursuit of world peace, President Obama added to his message – ”We’ve got a historic chance to pursue a safer and more secure world,” he said, “an opportunity that may not come again in our lifetimes.”