Here Are Five Stories Overshadowed By This Week’s Trump News

Another week, another series of important stories missed because of President Donald Trump.

An ICE officer arrests an Iranian immigrant in San Clemente, California, May 11, 2017. — REUTERS
May 19, 2017 at 2:51 PM ET

Well, President Donald Trump overshadowed just about every other news story this week. Again.

On Monday, The Washington Post reported on how Trump shared classified information with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting this month. (Trump confirmed this in tweets the following morning.) On Tuesday, The New York Times reported on a memo from former FBI Director James Comey that detailed how Trump asked Comey, whom he fired earlier this month, to stop the probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. On Wednesday, the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as special counsel to the Russia probe. On Thursday, Trump denied that he asked Comey to stop the investigation related to Flynn, and maintained there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

As the president heads out on the first overseas trip of his administration, Vocativ looks back on a week full of major stories that, during any other seven-day stretch, would have been more noticeable if not for the endless wave of stories related to Trump, Comey and the Russia investigation.

So, without further ado, here are five stories you may have missed this week:

Syria’s regime constructed a crematorium to deal with the remains of executed prisoners

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is killing so many prisoners that it had to build a new crematorium at Saydnaya to dispose of the dead, according to recently declassified information.

Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, said Syria is executing at least 50 prisoners per day — an indication that Assad is continuing to flout international law by exterminating civilians.

Further, the Syrian government is doing so with the support of Russia and Iran.

GOP bill may potentially force undocumented immigrants to wear electronic monitoring devices

A pair of Texas lawmakers want the parents of undocumented teenagers to wear ankle bracelets, according to draft legislation reviewed by the Washington Post.

That’s just one of many harsh measures proposed by Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Mike McCaul. If passed, the legislation would also jail immigrants that re-enter the United States illegally after being deported for at least five years, take away federal funding from “sanctuary cities,” and also compensate states that choose to send members of their National Guard to police the U.S.-Mexican border.

Immigration experts contacted by Vocativ called the measure “absolutely disgusting,” and also said that if it didn’t deal with illegal employment, “it will fail to make much of a difference.”

Every day, ICE is detaining more than 100 undocumented immigrants with clean records

The president seems to be making good on his recent pledge to get undocumented immigrant criminals “the hell out” of the U.S.

Figures released Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that the feds arrested 41,318 people during Trump’s first 100 days, an increase of 40 percent compared to the same time last year.

Further, ICE rounded up 10,845 undocumented immigrants that had no past criminal record between Jan. 22 and April 29 — a 256 percent increase compared to last year. (During that same time, 4,242 people were detained under former President Barack Obama.)

The numbers reflect one of Trump’s executive orders, which essentially makes anybody living in the country illegally eligible for deportation.

Nevada’s new name change bill seeks to help transgender people

A bill that unanimously passed through Nevada’s state assembly and senate on Tuesday proposed that transgender individuals in the Silver State not be required to publicize their new identities in local newspapers. The proposal is awaiting Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s signature to be passed into law.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada has forced residents who wish to change their name to take out space in a newspaper and list both their former and current names once a week for three weeks. The bill, however, would say that people changing their name “to conform the applicant’s name to his or her gender identity” would not have to announce it in their local paper.

Nevada’s transgender community considers the measure a big win.

Oklahoma cop acquitted in the death of Terence Crutcher 

On Wednesday night, a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last year was found not guilty on a charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the September 2016 death of Terence Crutcher.

Crutcher had been walking around an SUV stopped in the middle of the road, and a team of officers attended the scene. As the officers approached, Crutcher reportedly walked toward the vehicle with his hands behind his head, and then appeared to reach into the car. One officer used a Taser on the victim, and afterward, Shelby shot him.

Crutcher was found to be unarmed at the time of the shooting, though he was found to have the drug PCP in his system.

“I saw a threat and I used the force I felt necessary to stop a threat,” Shelby said in an April interview with “60 Minutes.” 

The verdict left Crutcher’s family, namely his father, Joseph, stunned.

“Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder,” he told CNN.