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News Roundup: Strikes, Aliens, and Other News

Auto Workers Strike Against General Motors

On Monday, nearly 50,000 workers at the large American car maker General Motors (GM) went on strike. In a strike, workers protest by stopping work. The GM protests are organized by a workers’ group known as the UAW (United Auto Workers).

The UAW began the strike for several reasons. GM has closed some of its US factories and cut many jobs. Though GM made about $8 billion in profit last year, it has moved some factories to countries where workers get paid less.

UAW Workers striking.
On Monday, 50,000 workers at the large American car maker General Motors (GM) went on strike. The GM protests are organized by a workers’ group known as the UAW (United Auto Workers). The UAW posted this picture of its striking workers online.
(Source: UAW, via Twitter.)

The UAW wants GM to keep its factories open and not cut jobs. They also don’t like the way the company treats temporary workers, who are paid far less. Some “temporary” workers have been at the company for years.

Already the strike is having an effect. Two GM factories in Canada have been closed because they couldn’t keep running without the parts they normally get from GM’s US factories.

Any deal the workers reach with GM will later affect far more auto workers, since the UAW will make similar deals with other US car makers.

Blackface Photos of Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau

On Wednesday, a photo came out showing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his face painted so that his skin appeared brown. This is often called “blackface” or “brownface”. At best, blackface is considered very disrespectful. At worst, it’s considered racist – suggesting that some people are not as good as others simply because of the color of their skin.

Justin Trudeau in Lima, Peru, 2018
On Wednesday, a photo came out showing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his face painted so that his skin appeared brown. Mr. Trudeau apologized right away for the photo. It’s too early to tell how the news may affect the election. The picture shows Mr. Trudeau in 2018.
(Source: Presidencia de la República Mexicana [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Mr. Trudeau apologized right away for the photo, which was taken at a party in 2001 when Mr. Trudeau was a teacher at a private school. But soon, other examples of Mr. Trudeau in blackface came out.

Canada will hold a vote for the country’s leadership in October, and the news has had a big impact on the election. In the past, Mr. Trudeau has worked hard for the rights of people of all colors. Now many are questioning what Mr. Trudeau truly believes.

It’s too early to tell how the news may affect the election.

No Aliens and Very Few People

“Area 51” is a name commonly used for a secret US Air Force base in Lincoln County, Nevada. Though little is known about what happens at Area 51, it’s believed to be a place for testing new aircraft and weapons.

But because Area 51 is so secret, some people have developed their own ideas about what happens there. One unusual but popular idea is that the US government uses the base to study or meet with aliens – creatures from other planets.

Satellite image of Area 51
“Area 51” is a name commonly used for a secret US Air Force base in Lincoln County, Nevada. As a joke, someone recently suggested that thousands of people should “storm” Area 51 to find out what really happens there. Not many people came. The picture shows a satellite image of Area 51. The white part is a salt flat – a dried out salty lake.
(Source: NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

As a joke, someone recently suggested that thousands of people should “storm” Area 51 to find out what really happens there. The idea was that if lots of people came, the Air Force would be unable to stop them all. Over 2 million people signed up on social media,  saying they were going.

But on Friday, only around 75 people actually showed up. After a while, most of them left and went back to two nearby music concerts that had been set up for the visitors. There were no reports of aliens.

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