News Rewind 03


March 16 | by Sarah Kadous & Abby Strangward | shot by Brook Mckeon

a bite-sized, fortnightly round-up of current affairs on this little planet of ours

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.51.31 am.png

international student climate strikes

Over a 24 hour period across the world, it’s believed more than 1 million students skipped school on Friday to protest the lack of action over climate change from our governments. From Australia and New Zealand, to Asia, Europe, North American and South America, students took to the streets. Organisers say there were more than 2000 protests in 125 countries. The movement was inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, now nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, after she sat outside Swedish Parliament every Friday beginning last August. Students carried messages of both fear and hope, but overwhelmingly a frustration at the lack of action, and a burning desire to keep fighting. The fight for climate change action has grown noticeably louder since experts at the United Nations released findings that we had just 11 years to drastically change our entire system, or risk catastrophic climate change.

mass shooting in christchurch

The world is in shock after 49 people were killed and at least 48 injured in a horrific mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand this Friday. The violent and sickening event was entirely live-streamed on facebook, with an 87-page manifesto filled with anti-immigrant, anti-muslim ideas published right before the attack, from an account linked to the gunman. Spokespeople for Facebook, Google and YouTube say they’ve removed the footage from their platforms, and are working to delete any comments/posts in support of the attack. Three people have since been arrested in connection to the shooting, with one charged with murder and due to appear in court Saturday morning.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Israel Controversy

Back in February, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar made public statements about the financial relationship between Israel and the United States, arguing in a viral tweet that their alliance was “all about the Benjamins”. In a Congressional hearing, Omar once again brought up the topic of Israel in a statement that ignited major controversy across political spectrum. New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders, and Michigan’s Rashida Harbi Tlaib along with dozens of organizations, lobbyists and other organizations were quick to backup Omar’s argument amidst risks of Pelosi-ed out of the  Foreign Relations Committee and endless public criticism as well as accusations of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Fox News Jeanine Pirro took some punches at Rep. Omar’s religious expression of the Islamic hijab, questioning her Americanism, and Republican representative Steve Scalise declared Ilhan Omar a “threat to national security”.

Ethiopian Airline Crash

On Sunday, 157 people were killed on a  Boeing aircraft from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya. This would be the second plane accident of the Boeing 737 Max 8 model, the other happening in October, in which 189 people died under Lion Air. Investigations of the crashes began on Monday.

No Pot Without Economic Representation

On Monday, New York lawmakers blocked the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state under fears that they cannot insure the economic benefit of minority groups in the forthcoming plant industries. The movement led by predominantly African lawmakers argued in favor of ensuring the proportionate sectionality among minority businessmen/business-women in the $3 billion industry, a form of corrective justice for the historically disproportionate pot-based arrests of African Americans. According to the NY Times, said money is intended to be allocated for “job training programs, and that minority entrepreneurs will receive licenses to cultivate or sell the marijuana”.

Venezuela Blackout

Venezuela experienced a national blackout that affected dozens of schools, hospitals, houses, shops and just about anything else that requires electricity. President Nicolas Maduro, in a televised media statement, claimed in response to accusations of general welfare negelection  that the blackouts were caused by criminal coup’s hired by the U.S.. Recognized by the U.S. as the leader/opposition to the acting president, Juan Guaido told CNN that Venezuela is in a state of national emergency.

It's Been 42 Days: Sarah Sanders is Back
and Briefed

"I'm not aware of those specific, uh, checks," is how spokeswoman Sarah Sanders responded to questions following the Cohen testimony in a recent White House briefing. After not giving answers to nearly all of the questions brought to the table regarding a permanent defense secretary, Trump’s financial affairs and avoiding a platform of discussion of the Manafort sentencing, Sanders hinted at recent controversy regarding Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s statement’s about Israel and Nancy Pelosi’s response to the event. She also opened the floor to speak on behalf of the Democratic Party, claiming: "I think that the real shame in all of this is that Democrats are perfectly capable in coming together and agreeing on the fact that they're comfortable ripping babies straight from a mother's womb or killing a baby after birth”.

Zuckerberg Plans to Read Your Mind:
Here’s How

In an interview with Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his plans to develop a 'brain-computer interface' of sorts in which humans could interact with each other using essentially only their thoughts. In a recent Facebook post, Zuckerberg explained the need and inspiration for the product: “Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. 'The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world—speech—can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem”. Talks of ethics and morality have since been brought to the table, questioning the morality of accessing someone else’s private thoughts; to which the Silicon Valley giant reiterated the need for regulation of the product through contracts approaching the complications of consent. Until then, the future seems arguably interesting.

Captain Marvel Breaks Box Office Record

Over the Weekend, Marvel’s latest film Captain Marvel kicked off to an exponentially strong start after a rather weak introduction for the industry in the company past year. The film, centered around a strong female lead, made a total of $455 million, $302 million from international markets and the rest from the U.S. and Canada alone. According to Gamespot, CM’s box office start exceeded that of the weekends for “Iron Man 1 and 2, the first two Captain America movies, all the Thor films, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, and every Spider-Man movie ever released.”