Man pleads guilty in attack on Syrian refugee teen
Adrian Vergara, a San Diego man, pleaded guilty to hate crime accusations after he attacked a 17-year-old Syrian refugee on a San Diego trolley on Oct. 15, 2019. According to The New York Times, the 17 year-old was riding the trolley on his way home from school and speaking to a friend in Arabic over FaceTime. Vergara sat down next to him, pulled his earbud out of his ear and asked, “What trash are you speaking?”’ to which the teen replied, “Arabic.” Vergara then proceeded to punch the teen repeatedly, yelling obscenities and racial slurs. According to the unnamed teenager who has only spoken to local news outlets anonymously, none of the bystanders on the trolley car stepped in despite the teenager’s repeated pleas for help. The emotionally traumatized teenager has not been on the trolley since the attack and is being homeschooled until the end of the semester.
Airbnb regulations increased in Jersey City
Last Tuesday, residents of Jersey City, the second-largest city in New Jersey, voted in favor of stricter regulations on short-term rentals. The new regulations will likely shrink the number of Airbnbs in the city. According to he New York Times, the overwhelming support for regulations on the quickly expanding home-sharing industry follows concerns of increasing numbers of often-unruly tourists in residential areas which increases housing costs and accelerates gentrification. Other cities including Amsterdam, Paris, Vancouver and Los Angeles have also passed laws regulating short-term rentals, and in some cities, including Palma de Mallorca in Spain, have chosen to outright ban Airbnb.
Key witness reverses testimony
Last week, a key witness in the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, Gordon D. Sondland, reversed his previous testimony and claimed that testimonies by other witnesses had “refreshed his recollection of the events” involving the United States’ choice to withhold Ukrainian aid. According to The New York Times, Sondland revised his testimony in a written statement and admitted to telling a top Ukraine official that U.S. military aid was contingent on the country’s publicly committing to investigations requested by President Trump.
Photo: A Hammad