Journalists often face danger on the job


Journalism has always been a praised and honorable profession, but to what extent can it continue serving its purpose if it implies a life-threatening outcome to those who practice it?

According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 1,055 journalists have been killed worldwide in the past 22 years and 80 have already been killed in 2015.

Many may think that this number is due to the risky situations journalists put themselves in, however figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists show that journalists and reporters are murdered because of their profession.

Also known as “Death Watch” journalists, they are deliberately targeted and murdered either because of their reporting or simply because they are journalists.

The most recent death happened in Virginia recently where a former WDBJ7 employee shot dead a reporter and a cameraman for WDBJ7, a local CBS affiliate, live on air. The shots could be heard on footage taken by the cameraman before he dropped to the ground.

However, what worsens the situation is that many of these murders outside the United States and other Western nations are investigated and in almost 90 percent of cases no one is prosecuted. In other words, impunity is increasing the risks of this profession and media freedom has been decreasing with every shot fired against a journalist and/or reporter.

Despite the agreement that holds each nation responsible to ensure their journalists’ safety and the protection of media freedom, clearly journalists haven’t been acting of safe ground and daily suffer with the “death watch” label.

Not only is this a matter of respect but also of the implementation of legal frameworks to create an environment where not only journalists but any one can practice their profession in peace.

Body shaming grows across media


Body shaming and negative comments using social media outlets have become a major issue in society and has reached an all time high.

It has recently been reported all over the Internet on how supermodel Gigi Hadid slammed a body-shaming “troll” on Instagram. The model received negative comments on her body after posting a picture of herself in a bathing suit.

The newly founded word “troll” associated with online users who negatively comment on stories and a variety of posts online has become too common. Not only are trolls taking over social media with negative comments about others, but they are also commenting on political and social issues on news websites using defamatory language.

It is interesting that this issue is all over media outlets when there are numerous people dealing with trolls everyday. Body shaming has become a major issue that affects not only grown adults but children as well. For years publications of fashion magazines and articles in gossip columns have created an image that one has to look a certain way. This use of media has created the source of negative comments coming from trolls.

Media consider mother-girlfriend issue


In China, there is a tricky question thrown ahead of men: If your mother and wife fell into waters simultaneously, whom would you save first? It is a question that often silents men, though they might whisper their answers in their minds, and generally they shun responding to that imagined situation and expressively criticize the evil nature of that hypothesis, arguing that the case that mother and wife fall into waters at the same time is non-existent.

These days, China’s national judicial examination seems to give an answer to this unanswerable question. In the exam, the question changes to “If forced to choose, would you save your mother or girlfriend from a burning building?” Exam takers are supposed, or duty-bound, to save their mothers. It would put a writer on charge of “crime of non-action” if he decided to prioritize his romantic love.

People voice their different opinions on this issue. Some say that equating the responsibility of supporting one’s parents with the obligation to rescue others in an emergency is ridiculous and there should be no privilege on life-saving because equality is what our society devoted to achieve.

While some people also expressed that they would definitely save mother because mother is peculiar and girls are everywhere.

I read the articles covering this issue from different international news agencies. Some ridicule the question as silly and unreasonable and others are making fun of it by saying “finally we have an answer, thanks to the law test.”

The perspective that impressed me most was from Celia Hatton of BBC News. She pointed out that “interestingly enough, no-one on the Chinese Internet appears to address the sexist nature of the question.” Her words actually threw a bomb in my mind, too. How can I simply ignore the fact that people are still unconsciously put females on a spot that they are helpless, fragile and waiting to be decided? Why is it always females in the context, to appear in a test which does not show much respect? Why do the public still play the roles of promoting gender stereotypes, rather than pointing out the unfair hypothesis here?

Should a woman save her father or her boyfriend first? It is something more than a joking question to ask ourselves.

Is the Pope’s coverage necessary?


You are Catholic and you are right; he is worth all the coverage, I mean some coverage.  He is a very important religious icon, but is it necessary to broadcast live how his plane lands in New York?

I am not spreading anti-Catholic ideas or comments, but we are also talking about a human being, the CEO of the Vatican and more than one billion followers, yet a man who takes charge in politics and controversial topics such as immigration.

Many Catholics said during interviews that they believed the Pope’s prayers will help the American government into passing an amnesty for thousands of undocumented immigrants. Others said that the Pope’s blessings will bring peace and solve all the issues in the world. 

At least we could thank the Pope for reminding individuals that today is the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

There is no doubt that the Pope’s visit deserved coverage, but a 24/7 focus by news media wasn’t necessary, I think.  On a daily basis, the trending news and news around the nation deserve the coverage, and talk about real issues such as: why is Trump raising in the polls, as well as what to do with gun control. I guess the world believes that the Pope will save the day.

Humanizing the numbers


Humans of New York is a blog led by one photographer, Brandon Stanton, who features pictures he took of people along with a few interview questions. In recent years, his site has become increasingly popular, having 15.2 million Facebook likes and 3.8 million followers on his Instagram. His posts became so popular that he compiled his first book of photographs and profiles published in 2013.

He began taking photos of people in New York, where the website’s name comes from, and writing short profiles based on questions he would ask them in a question and answer type format, or a big quote.

Stanton’s first goal was to catalog New York City’s inhabitants. However, as he began asking them questions, a great amount of character and human strife was captured with each individual story. He then began posting his profiles on different social media and as more people saw, it began to humanize the busy world that we see rushing around us.

In December 2012, Stanton traveled to Tehran, Iran, to capture stories there. His posts give people a chance to see another person’s intimate life from across the world and gives perspective to those who have more peninsular minds. His posts often feature innate emotional pain but with good reason and usually a lesson. The majority of his posts feature positive or funny stories, highlighting how people make the best of their situation.

Stanton’s blog has become much more than simple photo posts. He captures humanity and bolsters it to all who can access social media. He shows his followers human life in its rawest form.

On Sept. 25, Stanton posted on his website that he is currently working to share refugee stories. While we hear of the numbers of refugees around the world, the total being 19.5 million, Stanton humanizes these numbers and brings more awareness through a real connection with his photographs. His work should be adapted by media companies in order to paint the picture of what is really happening; of the true suffering that is occurring rather than sticking to numbers, each political move, and the economic toll.

The human lives that are being affected triumph the numbers that are being drawn up. Creating a human connection brings knowledge and awareness of the pain of the refugees and can streamline a better force to help them.

The media are focusing too much on the big picture which does not accrue as much obligation to assistance as human connection. People need to connect with refugees in order to harbor a true sense of what is going on and hopefully pursue efforts of help them.

Tip off for news media covering NBA


Today marks the start of NBA Team Media Day. NBA teams all across the league are starting their preseason training camps, with four teams meeting with news media and the remaining 26 meeting Monday.

During these media days “At least 16 of the NBA’s 30 teams will have video streams of their media day activities live on their team sites.” according to

As part of their coverage, the NBA will cover media day on NBA TV for four hours, then host a recap show later on in the evening.

It has been a long summer break from the NBA, especially as a Heat fan whose team did not make the playoffs, but with the start of NBA Media Day, the 2014-2015 offseason is officially over and it is all in the past.

There is no better professional sports organization in the world in terms of media accessibility and relationship with the players than the NBA.

According to CBS Sports, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, believes the NBA has the best relationship with players out of any sport. Adam Silver notes “the warmth of the personal relationships” he has made with everyone from players to officials to team general managers.

This mutual respect and collective partnership between Adam Silver and the players has benefited the media that covers the association tremendously. With former players making up much of the NBA media, the current players are much more likely to open up and have more revealing interviews.

While the season has not officially started, with the terrific media coverage of the NBA, it is at least one step closer.

CNN plays a Trump card


CNN was put on the defense this past Wednesday, after commenting on the lack of attendance at an event held by Donald Trump (current Republican candidate for president) at the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce annual conference.

The following day, Trump went on the defense claiming that the reason there were photos or videos of the room being half-empty was because everyone “rushed” to the front of the room when he began speaking. He then went on to personally attack the CNN reporter who covered the story, calling her “terrible” and a “horrible reporter.”

But the CNN reporter was, in fact, reporting what had truly taken place at this event. The room was half-empty before Trump began speaking and after he began speaking. And of the half-full room of attendees, the majority of the people were white, disputing Trump’s claim that there were “many African Americans there.”

I watch the news on a daily basis and, based on what I have seen in regards to the coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency, it seems as though most news organizations have been tip-toeing around Trump afraid of his reaction.

This past week, Trump recently announced via Twitter that he was done with FOX and would not be doing any more shows with the network. But Trump has done this before. He threw a similar temper tantrum with FOX in August. Shortly after, he spoke with Fox’s network Chief Roger Ailes who “smoothed” things over and Trump was back on Fox.

As Trump has been garnering a large amount of attention from viewers, news networks are inclined to satiate the candidate and not ruffle his feathers in order to have him on their broadcasts for higher ratings. But it seems as though, more and more networks are reaching their limit with the brash candidate.

Shortly after CNN covered the story, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press reported on the story as well — mirroring CNN’s report. They all came to same conclusion: Donald Trump did speak to a half-empty room which consisted mainly of white people.

They didn’t beat around the bush or come up with excuses for the candidate. They simply reported on what actually happened, supporting CNN as a news organization. The Associated Press wrote in their article that, “CNN’s assessment appears to have been the correct one.”

I applaud CNN and the other news networks that stood behind CNN, for finally calling a spade, a spade Trump.

Campus assaults issue gains attention


One in five women will be sexually assaulted on college campuses, according to according to a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The issue has forever been brushed off and swept under the rug. It was not until Rolling Stone’s coverage of a campus rape at the University of Virginia that the news media started actively discussing campus sexual violence.

This was a crucial topic at the time. It is real, it is happening and finally there was some light shed on it in hopes for universities around the country to change policies regarding sexual violence.

Ultimately, the article was falsely reported and left a bad aftertaste for many Americans. Victims are almost always blamed for sexual assault. Only when a woman immediately reports the assault and can precisely recalls every single detail of the assault, is she considered the “perfect” rape victim and is believed. However, this is rarely the case. Sexual assaults cause tremendous amounts of trauma which can leave the memory flawed and victims are likely to suffer PTSD.

News media coverage of sexual violence on campuses has given the false idea to the public that women are lying, framing or seeking attention. Instead of believing the victim, society is more likely to blame the victim and presume the accused is innocent.

If news media were to actively report sexual violence for what it is, sexual violence, and if society were to stop making the excuse “boys will be boys,” there would not be one in five women on college campuses being sexually assaulted.

Coverage of Pope’s visit is excessive


Pope Francis is officially on U.S soil for the first time and he is getting news media coverage from all major news outlets.

From CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX news, Pope Francis is being covered by all angles. But why? Is it a moment in history? Or is it to appeal to the Catholic news audience?

CNN initially covered Pope Francis’ landing at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington, D.C. It covered about three hours of the landing and official welcome from the president.

TIME reported the Pope’s following weekend schedule …

Friday, Sept. 25

8:30 a.m.: Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The Pope is also expected to attend bilateral meetings with the U.N. Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly.
11:30 a.m.: His Holiness will pray, meet with families and deliver an address at a multi-religious service at the Sept. 11 memorial and museum at the site of the World Trade Center.
4 p.m.: Before taking his motorcade through Central Park, the Pope will visit a third grade class at Our Lady Queen of Angels school, a 120-year-old institution in East Harlem.
5 p.m.: Motorcade through West Central Park between 72nd and 60th Streets. A ticket and valid ID is required to enter.
6 p.m.: Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Saturday, Sept. 26

8:40 a.m.: Pope departs New York for final leg of the trip. He’ll arrive in Philadelphia at 9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.: Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
4:45 p.m.: The Pope is expected to talk immigration and religious during an address at Independence Mall
7:30 p.m.: Visit and prayer vigil at the World Meeting of the Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Sunday, Sept. 27

9:15 a.m.: Pope will meet with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
11 a.m.: Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, the city’s largest jail.
4 p.m.: Mass at World Meeting of the Families.
7 p.m.: Meeting with World Meeting organizers, benefactors and volunteers.
8 p.m.: Official departure.

But what do we care? It’s imperative as news and information consumers that we understand the value of credible journalism. What can we really take away from a major news outlet that isn’t informed on crucial details?

Consider the ideas and motives of these news outlets, so that we’re not just consuming misinformation, but information that’s credible and worthy of consumption.

Trump re-enters war with Fox News


It is no secret that Donald Trump has been extremely vocal when it comes to his experiences with the news media during his campaign for office these past few months. He has notoriously bashed not only individual reporters, but entire news networks themselves, and much of this has been documented through his Twitter posts and live interviews. His controversial presence on social media and verbal attacks on individual journalists as well as entire news networks has become a defining factor of his campaign – let’s review.

One of the most substantial of these feuds occurred in early August, after Trump stepped out onto the Fox News debate stage and was questioned by reporter Megyn Kelly about his sexist remarks in the past. Trump responded the next day through a twitter tantrum attacking Kelly, as well as a few other Fox News personalities. He also addressed the debacle in an interview with CNN, saying, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her … wherever.” Soon after the remark, he was disinvited to a Red State event by Erick Erickson, a Fox News contributor. It had appeared that Trump had started a war with one of the most influential networks, especially for Republicans.

Trump eventually mended his relationship with Fox News after clearing the air with Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes. But as of this past Wednesday, it appears that the “war” between Trump and Fox News is back on.

On Megyn Kelly’s Fox News talk show, conservative columnist Rich Lowry asserted that Carly Fiorina had castrated Trump during the CNN debate last week. Lowry referred to Trump’s private parts, saying that Fiorina had the “precision of a surgeon”.

Obviously, the statement created a lot of shock, prompting Trump to tweet that Lowry was “incompetent” and that “he should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.” The conflict continued to heat up, leading to Trump’s declaration via Twitter that he would be boycotting Fox News because the network has treated him “very unfairly”.

Fox News addressed Trump’s boycott in its statement about the cancellation of his scheduled appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor”, but declined to specify what had canceled the appearance. However, according to CNN, an unidentified Fox News spokesperson said about the issue: “When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”

Now, we’re all waiting to see how long Trump’s latest war with the news media will last. A boycott with Fox News means that he will miss out on access to the millions of viewers who are tuning into the network each night for coverage of the 2016 race. And what will the repercussions be? As of Thursday afternoon, Trump is already down 8 points in the latest CNN/ORC national poll. Only time will show how his campaign will continue to be affected by the turmoil with Fox.

It’s important to pay close attention to Trump’s controversial relationship with the news media throughout his participation in the race. All of these feuds have been made extremely public, and the drama surrounding Trump’s campaign is going to play a crucial role in an election that we will all be impacted by. If there’s anything we need to be keeping up with, it’s the news coverage of the 2016 race – and  as we watch these disputes unfold, we will be able to observe, firsthand, the role that the news media play in politics and the impact that it can have.

Lady Gaga releases PSA about rape


American singer Lady Gaga released a raw public service announcement for the 2015 documentary film, “The Hunting Ground,” which deals with the issue of sexual assault on United States college campuses.

According to Billboard, the music video PSA called “Til It Happens to You” was released on Sept. 17, and has more than 10.5 million views on YouTube. The music video PSA portrays a sexual assault survivor’s experience.

Lady Gaga tweeted that a portion of the proceeds from the music video will go toward a survivors’ organization. Unfortunately, Gaga is a survivor of sexual assault.


According to Marie Claire, Gaga revealed during a December 2014 interview with Howard Stern that she had been raped by a music producer at just 19 years old.

CBS Pittsburgh reported this week that a recent survey done on 27 campuses across the country concluded that one in four female students reports being a victim of a sexual assault. This startling statistic highlights the importance of sexual assault awareness for college-aged individuals.

Gaga’s new music video will definitely have a backlash due to its disturbingly honest interpretation, but will have great impact in spreading awareness. The video will encourage people to discuss the socially taboo issue.

Planned Parenthood funding at risk


Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides health care services to women across the U.S. After months of focus on the organization, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act was made.

A 241-187 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 18 put an end to the federal funding of Planned Parenthood for a one-year period. Republicans say that in the meantime more investigations will be made and any funding will be redirected to clinics that do not offer abortions.

An undercover graphic video was released that shows Planned Parenthood violate federal laws. In the video, the Center for Medical Progress, a group that calls themselves citizen journalists, show Planned Parenthood allowing the sales of fetal tissues for profit and restricting certain abortion procedures. Planned Parenthood denies the wrongdoings and that any of their profits are to cover transportation costs.

Another bill was passed Friday, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill imposes criminal penalties – a maximum of five years in prison and fines — on medical personnel who don’t attempt to aid infants born after an attempted abortion.

President Obama has threatened that he would veto both bills. Overriding Obama would require 67 votes, something that Republican leaders don’t have. The fight over Planned Parenthood funding could cause a government shutdown by Sept. 30. This is also the last date that Congress has to authorize funding to keep the government running.

China’s Xi Jinping visits America


Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in the United States on Sept. 22. During the first two days of events in Seattle, Xi first visited the Boeing manufacturing complex, then greeted the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, and a group of governors from Western states. He also attended U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum that was co-initiated by Microsoft and Chinese Internet Association.

We can infer from the events that they were designed to demonstrate a firm relationship with American business.

The New York Times commented on Xi’s Seattle stay: “in a broad sense it has worked as a show of force to President Obama about the power that China wields, and how much American companies need China even if its policies do not align with Washington’s.”

Nevertheless, frustration is simmering here. A survey conducted in 2010 asking U.S.-China Business Council members’ opinions of business outlook in China. Fifty-eight percent delivered positive feedback, confirming business in China would thrive and support U.S-China business cooperation and 33 percent were somewhat optimistic, compared with 24 percent who were positive while 67 percent maintain somewhat optimistic or neutral in 2015.

Xi is going to stay in the U.S. for a couple of more days and is expected to visit the White House on Sept. 24, to meet with President Obama and attend a State dinner.

Interesting enough, China itself analyzed Xi’s visit quite differently from outside perspectives.

From the Western news media’s accounts, Xi’s visit is expected to address several issues including cyber espionage. The U.S has claimed that China was responsible for cyber theft of U.S. confidential data and 5.6 million federal employee’s fingerprints, that China has inconsistent protection of intellectual property. China’s staggering stock market and contested waters in South China Sea are also expected to be discussed.

Martin Shkreli, ‘most-hated man’


This week, Martin Shkreli, the 32-year old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York,  has earned the title “most-hated man in America.”

Turing Pharmaceuticals bought a drug called Daraprim, the drug can fight toxoplasmosis, which infects people whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS.  However, the company raised the price from $13.50 to $750 for one tablet. According to the latest announcement, the increase of price has been rescinded under the pressure of public opinion.

The conflict was rising when presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said on her Twitter account on Monday:  “Price-gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on.”

However, Shkreli has used television interviews and his own social media account to defend  the company and himself.

He told The New York Times earlier, “This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business.”

Recently, in the interview by CNBC, he said that the infection Daraprim is used to treat had been ignored by the pharmaceutical industry because there was little money to be made.  He claimed that the money will be able to educate doctors about the disease, improve delivery to patients, and develop better drugs for the infection.

There is no hope for saving his reputation, especially due to his way of responding on Twitter.

He wrote on Twitter on Monday, “It seems like the media immediately points a finger at me so I point one back at ‘em, but not the index or pinkie.”

He also said that Twitter seems to be a great medium for socialist and liberal rage and declared once again the price of drug will be a great thing for society. According to CNN Money, Shkreli was fired when he was the CEO of Retrophin. The reason he was fired, in addition to his poor management skills, was his irritating Twitter usage.

The whole issue is causing biotechnology stocks to fall across the board, involving the lively attention of the government, politicians, the healthcare field, and the financial industry. At the same time, the explosion of social media and TV networks have also made it a hot topic around the world.

Twitter boosts TV audience, appeal


Recent research conducted by Twitter revealed the importance of real-time tweets for the popularity and audience of broadcast and cable television.

New and rising media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Buzzfeed, and other online news and search engines have grown among all generations causing television to lose much of its prominence and value in the past years.

However, a new research made by Twitter revealed that Twitter and other social media platforms can actually increase the interest for TV shows and programming and drive a greater audience to take action regarding a specific TV show.

According to Twitter’s global media and agency research director Anjali Midha, the talk about TV shows and its programming on Twitter strongly influences mainstream media as well as consumer attitudes and behaviors.

“There are actionable strategies and tactics that can help both programming content and advertising work harder by tapping into the power of their audiences,” said Midha.

In other words, through TV related posts on Twitter, advertising agencies, directors, anchors, hosts and all others responsible for television programming, gained a real-time access to the audience’s opinion about their work and thus are able to create and deliver material that directly meets the public’s expectations and needs.

Results from the research show that in 2014, 93 percent of Twitter users had a cable subscription and that 85 percent of people active on Twitter during prime-time hours Tweeted about TV. Also, every show with a hashtag integration, had a significant 20 percent increase in tweets per minute about it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.24.09 PM–> Tweets about Television has influenced the audiences to:

– Take action on a show’s social media sites – 52 percent

– Search the show online (through Google, Yahoo, etc.) – 47 percent

– Follow TV show or talent on Twitter – 46 percent

– Search show on Netflix – 43 percent

– Plan to watch show later – 42 percent

Finally, with this increase in viewership and brand engagement, Twitter is reshaping the ‘TV landscape’ and ironically preventing television from becoming obsolete in an era where social media has taken over.

Emmy show viewers at all-time low


The numbers are in and this year’s 67th annual Emmy Awards show has reached an all-time low, averaging just 11.9 million viewers.

The audience size was down nearly four million viewers from last year’s show, which aired on Monday. The Emmys, however, aired on Sunday this year, which automatically created a direct competition with NBC’S Sunday Night football. Typically, NFL would be a good lead in for the show but the late afternoon game ran over and didn’t end until 30 minutes before the start of the Emmys.

Social media were also low on Sunday night with only 6.9 million people who had interactions related to the Emmy’s on Facebook. Twitter was buzzing, however, during Viola Davis acceptance speech when she won the award for Lead Actress in a Drama for “How to Get Away with Murder,” becoming the first black woman to take the prize.

Although there was Twitter action from the viewers that were watching, I find the overall issue of day and hour placement of shows interesting. If the Emmys were on Monday night, rather than Sunday, would there have been a major difference in the amount of views?

Fiorina will damage women’s rights


On Wednesday, the second GOP Debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, enhanced her image and campaign during the debate. Fiorina attacked Planned Parenthood on many occasions, she said that defunding Planned Parenthood should be a priority. Her reasons were grossly inaccurate. She described a falsification of events that took place in the videos that have recently been publicized. Fiorina’s graphic words were false. What actually took place in the videos was edited for dramatic effect.

Fiorina has fought for gender diversity in the workplace for most of her career, she claims to advocate for women’s rights and further our nation in gender equality. However, one of her tactics would ultimately hurt women.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would take away women’s rights to free sex education, free contraceptives and free-to-low cost medical attention. Planned Parenthood’s business is primarily built on women’s health, contraceptives and sex education, not solely abortions.

Women across the country use Planned Parenthood as their primary source of female healthcare, defunding it would leave many women in the dark. There is no such thing as getting rid of abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood would only get rid of safe abortions. The wire hanger is something women should never have to experience again.

Brazilian superfan dies at age 60


According to the Brazilian media Gaucha, on Sept. 16, the world’s most famous fan in football, Clovis Acosta Fernandes has passed away at the age of 60.

His name may not sound familiar to you, perhaps you may wonder who is this “famous fan”? But if you are a fan of the Brazilian national team, you would notice on TV or in an online photograph the face of an old Brazilian World Cup fan with a white beard wearing a bowler hat, even carrying his replica trophy in the bleachers.

Fernandes gained further popularity in the last year’s World Cup. When he saw Brazil collapsed to a 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany, the image of him clinging on to his replica trophy with tears in his eyes drew many attention from international news media. It later emerged that Fernandes had passed his replica trophy on to a German fan, apparently telling her to “… take it to the final. As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it, congratulations.” The photograph immediately exploded on social media and Fernandes became something of a celebrity.

Fernandez had followed the Brazilian national team to more than 60 countries. He watched more than 150 tournaments of the Brazilian team and made sure his face and his trophy were on camera at every World Cup since 1990.  He witnessed his beloved team become champions twice. People call him the “Brazil’s 12th player.”

Sadly, he was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago and was taken away by the disease on Wednesday. He was known to be a friendly man and he liked to be interactive, such as share his selfies and pictures with his fans via his Twitter account.

FIFA made a tribute via Instagram on Wednesday saying: “…Innumerable fans snapped selfies with the good-natured Gaúcho during Brazil 2014, while the sight of him crying during the Seleção’s semi-final defeat was one of the most iconic images of the tournament. We’ll miss you, Clóvis.”

Many fans from all around the world are still leaving messages under FIFA’s tribute, and tweets are currently circulating on Twitter to his well known account @Gauchodacopa. They talked about his background story and expressed condolences through the social media. This time, social media play the role of disseminating the story and uniting people through remembrance.

New report on antibiotics in meat


Fast food chains claim to be actively improving the quality of food through their suppliers. While some are actually progressing, many well known and loved restaurant chains scored low ratings in a new report on the use of antibiotics in meat and poultry supplies. Some of these chains are found on campus.

Friends of Earth’s new report on the largest 25 fast food chains’ use of antibiotics, called “Chain Reaction,” attributes grades based on a restaurant’s antibiotic use policies and its application to which types of meat, the implementation and transparency of these policies to the public, and the actual amount of meat produced without antibiotics.

The two chains that received A grades were Chipotle and Panera Bread. These restaurants serve a majority of their meat without regular antibiotic use and have been doing so for a while, hoping to establish a precedent for other restaurant chains.

Chick-fil-A received a grade of B, while Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s received Cs.

Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Domino’s and Starbucks all received Fs, earning one out of 36 possible points established in the report.

Olive Garden, Papa John’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Applebee’s Sonic, Chili’s, Dairy Queen, and IHOP received F’s with no points at all, among other fast food restaurants.

The report brings the question to light: what have these low-scoring restaurants actually done to improve meat quality compared to their claims of progress?

Papa Johns’ slogan, “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza,” seems false since their low grade was released. However, the company claims to eliminate artificial ingredients and additives and offer antibiotic-free chicken on their pizza by the first half of 2016.

Dunkin’ Donuts has a policy to improve meat quality, but no timeline for implementation, while Panera and Chipotle publicly affirm their meat standards without antibiotics.

The public holds a strong voice, being the sole consumers of these products. Since all of those restaurants hold Twitter and Facebook accounts in order to connect more with its customers, consumers have power to end harmful additives in our foods and raise awareness for our collective health.

By posting messages which not only contact the company, but can be seen by other social media users, ending the use of antibiotics starts with a direct approach towards these restaurant chains. Journalists can also use social media to attain commentary from the restaurants for their articles.

Top reasons for Europe refugee surge


These days, an extraordinary influx of European refugees raised worldwide concern. It is reported that the biggest migration of people to the continent since World War II is happening now. The top three reasons that I see are behind this massive immigration are listed below:

First and foremost, the war in Syria accounts for the bulk of immigration. Syria’s war has ground on for four years and so far resulted in 250,000 deaths. The number will continue rising as long as the war does not cease. People are seeking sanctuaries in Europe to escape from deaths.

The second factor that increases the number of refugees is that the route to Europe became a lot easier. After Macedonia imposed harsh measures targeting preventing refugees from entering the country in June, the route through the Balkans opened up. Turkey is next door to Syria, and it is also more easily accessible for people coming from countries farther to the east, including refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan and economic migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The convenience of the route makes the immigrant trip more affordable. Refugees planning to make the immigrant journey say they now need to pay smugglers no more than $2,000 to $3,000 to complete the journey rather than $5000 to $6000 required to reach Libya and take the boat to Italy.

Also, Germany’s extension of welcome to refugees is another important reason that encourages people to set out.