Pope Francis, Trump battle over faith


On Thursday, Pope Francis said in a press conference that Donald Trump “is not a Christian” if he advocates building a wall at the Mexican and U.S. border.

CNN quickly reported on the event with the headline: “Pope suggests Trump ‘is not a Christian.’”

Trump quickly fired back, stating that the Pope does not reserve “the right to question another man’s religion.”

While Trump has every right to defend himself and his religious beliefs, CNN and many major news networks do not understand that sometimes something as little as a headline can add fuel to an already raging fire.

The news media have the ability to stimulate divisiveness whether it is intentional or not, and only later in the article does it explain that the Pope also said he wasn’t fully informed about the situation, but was willing to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt.”

Instead, the news media capitalized on the Pope’s most controversial statement in its headline and throughout the majority of the article.

Trump now has his eyes set on the Pope, adding, “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS … I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.”

While an initial retaliation is to be expected from Trump, any growing tension between the two of them will be a product of media influence.

Because of the disproportionate reporting and over-exaggeration by the media, people will often fail to realize that the Pope is a religious leader. He was elected under the condition that he would uphold the Catholic values and, whether one agrees with him or not, he was simply answering a question about Trump in accordance with those values.

40,000 acres of land burn in Oklahoma


With high temperatures in the area, fires burned more than 40,000 acres of wildlife in Oklahoma.  For the Midwest, this occurrence was a big deal to the region.

“We haven’t had one of these in the last few years,” said Mark Goeller, the Oklahoma Forestry Services’ fire management chief, told CNN. “Fires are going to burn all night.”

Fires in Harper County had 17,280 acres of land burnt in a matter of three hours, according to Goeller.

In fact, 76 out of the 77 counties in Oklahoma received red flag warnings, that advise the citizens of extreme caution of open flames in the area.

Oklahoma’s Department of Emergency Management reported that there are no injuries or loss of life, but a few people lost their homes.

You never how hot it will get out in the Midwest.

Controversial Yeezy re-release is Friday


Adidas will restock Kanye West’s personally designed Yeezy Boost 350 Pirate Black shoes on Friday to retailers and consumers around the world. Anyone who follows sneaker news and Kanye West in general knows this is a huge deal for the “sneaker head” community.

Landing Yeezy’s during a scheduled release, for their retail value of $200, could entail reselling the shoes for around $800 to $1,000. However, due to high demand, most shoppers just want to flaunt that they were lucky enough to snatch a pair.

Prior to this release, Adidas first debuted this design in August 2015 and it immediately flew off the shelves. Due to high demand and West’s exposure, they are re-releasing the Pirate Black color for a second time just six months later.

Retail stores like Champs, Footlocker and Adidas held raffles to avoid overcrowding, long lines and potential safety hazards on the actual release day.

Social media platforms, fashion bloggers and mainstream sites have been raving and taunting West for weeks regarding the re-release of his shoes, his new album and recent twitter rants/tangents. Maybe the timing of all these events is not a coincidence.

News outlets available to the everyday consumer are exposing West for “broken promises” to his loyal fans.

In a story, GQ stated, “Despite Kanye’s intentions to make the sneakers available to a wider audience, the only big box stores that will be carrying them are Finish Line, Foot Locker, and Champs. And you can only claim a pair at those stores through raffles you either already had to wait in line to get or should be currently in line to get.”

In lieu of the drop of the Yeezy’s, West conveniently claimed he was $53 million in debt from launching his own clothing line.

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In response CNN said, “Oh, Kanye West. Wow. Even by your attention-grabbing standards, this was a weekend to remember.”

On another note, fans of West and his designs had a more positive take on the situation.

Rolling Stone’s Grammy moments


The 58th annual Grammy Awards was full of good performances and tributes to great artists, like David Bowie and Lionel Richie. The Rolling Stone magazine did a review of the 20 best and worst moments but overlooked certain important aspects of some performances, like criticizing Adele for a minor sound issue and putting as the “worst” moment the non-attendance of Rihanna, even knowing she was sick and couldn’t sing.

The magazine analyzed important parts like the performance of Lady Gaga in honor of David Bowie: “her nods to Bowie’s performances showed a true obsessive, what made Gaga’s performance perfect was the way she captured the spirit of the man’s work throughout his career”; and the “notable solo performance” of the artist The Weekend, as well as other great performances of Taylor Swift, The Eagles and Stevie Wonder with the Pentatonix group.

The worst moments, however, were in part understandable. Others weren’t. The tribute to Lionel Richie performed by John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese Gibson was good until John Legend stopped singing. Even Lionel Richie, who was at the event, stopped cheering as he listened to his own work being sung by the other performers, as Rolling Stone pointed out.

Another worst moment was the duet of singers Tori Kelly and James Bay that seemed out of pace when both tried to sing both of their singles on the same time, and the music and scenarios were not good enough compared to the other performances.

What I think Rolling Stone may have exaggerated was the fact that one of the “worst” moments was the fact that, in Adele’s performance, the piano microphones fell into the piano strings, making the sound dissonant and, as noted by the magazine, “sounded like a fork on a guitar and a volume drop that nearly silenced the singer.” I think despite the audio trouble, Adele’s performance was good, there was no problem with her voice or whatsoever and I wouldn’t judge as a bad performance someone that wears a “messy bob” as being the worst part of the Grammys.

Also, Rihanna didn’t show up at the event due to bronchitis. Her doctor told her not to sing and the magazine also pointed that out, but still, “Rihanna bails.” Her performance was not even judged as good or bad and her condition forbid her to perform.

Saying goodbye to Justice Scalia


With the presidential campaign underway, the news media have placed a lot of focus on updating their audiences on the latest polls and debates. It’s no longer a shock to see Donald Trump’s face streamed across headline pages of different news websites. One story, however, has been leading topic for the past few days, catching the attention of the public and overshadowing news about the presidential candidates.

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has recently been the talk of the nation. Scalia, the longest serving justice on the court, was found dead in a resort in West Texas.

It has been confirmed that the 79-year-old Italian-American, died from a heart attack. Scalia’s family and colleagues grieve for his death, but it’s also worth taking a closer look with regards to how the news media presented his passing.

Hours after the public was informed of Scalia’s death, articles on the vacancy of the late  justice’s position were published online. It makes perfect sense to fill an empty seat, but was it so urgent to have the need to look for a replacement almost as soon as the spot was empty?

I find it insensitive on the news media’s part to have rushed the publication of finding Scalia’s new successor. The least the news media could have done was give Scalia’s family more time to grieve for its loss.

Grammys bring race issues onto stage


Under the dim lights of the stage, multiple black figures immersed from the darkness in a straight line. As the figures became closer to center stage, it became apparent that they were shackled, chained together. Even closer, it became visible that the figures were dressed as inmates. They continued to walk in unison, closer and closer to full visibility, until the leader of the line reached the microphone that waited in the center of the stage. The head of the line was award-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar and he was about to deliver a controversial, political performance on one of the largest music stages in the world: the Grammys.

Lamar, a popular African American rapper known for his songs about the struggles within the black community, delivered a powerful performance with many messages about racial injustice, African American heritage, and self-hatred intertwined. The performance began with Lamar and his background dancers in chains and dressed as prisoners while he rapped his song “The Blacker the Berry” which discusses oppression issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Lamar rapped, “You hate me, don’t you? You hate my people. Your plan is to terminate my culture,” among other lyrics.

As the mood of the performance shifts, Lamar and his dancers drop their chains and begin to dance. Lamar then walks on to another set on stage with African dancers around a fire and begins to sing, “We gon’ be alright,” a lyric form another one of his popular songs. He ends the performance alone on stage, once again, rapping about racial injustice and oppression towards African Americans as an image of the continent of Africa with the word “Compton” written inside appears on a screen behind him.

Any time an artist, politician, or anyone for that matter, has the courage to speak on an issue of race on such a large stage, it is a hit or miss with the news media. Some times the individual receives enormous praise in the media while other times there is major backlash. In this case, Kendrick Lamar’s Performance was raved about within the media.

USA Today and the Los Angeles Times called Lamar’s performance “the only one that mattered.” CNN and many other popular entertainment news outlets covered his performance, all in a positive light. However, this positive reaction by the news media is drastically different from the reactions spurred by Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.

Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance was also an attempt to bring light to the struggles of African Americans, but using a different approach. Beyonce’s back-up dancers all sported “Black Panther” attire as their outfits for the performance. Although a subtle message, this sent the media into a frenzy over Beyonce’s intentions. Some claimed the bold move was racist and anti-police.

Others connected the Black Panther reference to support for the Black Live Matter movement. Regardless, the media picks and chooses which racial messages to accept and which to reject. When one decides to discuss the “race issue” on a world stage, there is a risk attached, one that can impact the favorability of the artist in the eyes of the media.

TV show contestant wins $120K car


It’s Dream Car Week on the popular game show “The Price is Right” and one contestant’s dream just came true.

Contest551771ant, Francesca Penko, became the lucky first participant to become the winner of her dream car on the TV show on Monday. Penko, a wedding photographer, won the grand prize of a 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT Coupe worth $120,265.

To win the luxury vehicle, Penko participated in a Spelling Bee game in which she was asked to guess the price of three different household items. Lucky for her, she guessed all three correctly and was presented with the difficult choice of finishing the game and walking away with $25,000 or to keep playing for a chance to win her dream car with the risk of losing the previous money won.

Although it was a risky move, Penko chose to continue playing for the chance to win the grand prize. Host Drew Carey, tried to convince her to keep the cash but the audience encouraged her to go on for the big prize. She chose a card and Carey flipped it over revealing that her card had the word C-A-R written boldly on it.

Penko jumped up wildly and screamed in disbelief as her husband shouted in joy from the audience. The show is not known to give out such luxurious vehicles or prizes so this was big moment for everyone involved.

‘Elephantizing’ profile pictures


Have you ever heard about the ivory trade? If you aren’t an animal activist, you probably haven’t.

News media have failed in the attempt of covering this type of issue, maybe because it involves a lot of international legal details or perhaps it is because they know very little about it.

Even though it isn’t covered enough, the ivory trade is still a huge problem for which every single person interested in giving humanity a better name should be interested.

Ivory trade is the commercial, often an illegal exchange of the ivory tusks of animals such as elephants, hippopotamus, walrus and mammoths. Ivory isn’t a necessary material, it is simply used to make decorative items. However, it’s estimated that 33,000 elephants are killed every year just for their ivory; and with the current rate of slaughter, they will be extinct long before the midway point of this century. How ridiculous, how inhuman!

Fortunately for us, social media not only has addressed the situation but has also created a powerful campaign in order to reach as many people as possible around the world.

As a response to the injustice committed against wild and innocent animals, WildAid, an organization that works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products, launched a new campaign last week: #JoinTheHerd and make 2016 the Year of the Elephant, with the intention of making 2016 the year when more elephants are born than killed by poachers.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.00.40 PMThe idea went viral, few hours after launching it, actors, musicians, authors, athletes and millions of people joined the herd by changing their social media profile picture for one that shows half an elephant and half the person’s face … now you know why your Facebook was full of elephants …

#JoinTheHerd had quite an impact, through it, we are being called to be advocates for change only by circulating information resources about the topic among our networks.

It is all very do-able, so let’s save elephants from extinction.

Fashion Week’s top ticket


Every September and February, American designers prepare to show their freshly minted collection for the spring-summer and fall-winter collections ahead, bringing fashion lovers, bloggers, and celebrities to New York from all over the world.

Every designer has hype over his or her show or presentation: Who’s sitting front row, what bloggers are in attendance, and so forth. Even though New York Fashion Week just started Wednesday, the show that everyone could not stop talking about was Kanye West’s “Yeezy Season 3” fashion extravaganza at Madison Square Garden.

In addition to his fashion show, he debuted his newest album, “T.L.O.P.” or “The Life of Pablo,” which in the past few weeks has undergone multiple title changes until landing on this one.

Watch our all-access video from #YeezySeason3 now in the link in our bio. #NYFW

A video posted by Vogue Runway (@voguerunway) on

The fashion show-concert was very much different from his show last season; where models were ushered in by the calls of drill sergeants. This time, Kanye started the show by thanking the individuals who helped and supported during the making of this album, as well as his wife and kids.

The models were ushered in on two large platforms in the center of Madison Square Garden and, according to Vanity Fair, were still for a good amount of the show. They just stood there, with about 100 others dressed in Yeezy on the floor beneath them.

You don't even know 🙌🏻 #Yeezus (snapchat, now!) #NYFW

A photo posted by by Danielle (@weworewhat) on

I knew as of last week that the Yeezy show would be the hot ticket of the week, but I still did not understand what all of the hype was about. Yes the Kardashian-Jenner clan would be there or, as Kanye calls them, “the new Jacksons” on one of his tracks, but still?

I guess it’s because people have lusted after the looks of the K-family and editors like Anna Wintour of American Vogue and Carine Roitfeld of CR Fashion Book adore Kanye. Evidence enough can be found  in interviews and documentaries by both fashion moguls.

The other hype: I guess that the clothes sell for hundreds of dollars in the stores and the shoes go for a few thousand when being auctioned off online. The exclusivity of these items is over the top.

Does the sound “I wanna be like Kanye,” ring a bell?

SI debuts plus-size swimsuit model


Every year, males and females alike, anxiously await the release of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit Issue. This year, the magazine is set to hit stands on Feb. 17. However, this year the aura surrounding the launch is different from the past.

In the 1990s, women craved to look and dress like Kate Moss. Her size zero physique and luscious blonde hair consumed the minds of women and men around the world. Girls wanted to be her, guys wanted to date her.

Flash forward to our digital society in the 21st century; out goes Kate Moss and her tiny frame and in comes Kim Kardashian taking up the entire lens with her behind.

Bottom line, with our constantly evolving society our idea of the ideal body type rapidly changes and with that, so does the Sports Illustrated magazine’s swimsuit edition.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.11.55 AMThis year’s magazine will feature the first plus-sized model in all of Sports Illustrated swimsuit history. Ashley Graham, a 28-year-old Lincoln, Neb., native and seasoned plus-size model, will show her voluptuous curves inside the coveted yearly edition.

When she heard the news, she immediately declared her excitement and anticipation for her big break on Instagram.

However, others were not exactly “welcoming her with open arms.”

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Graham is no rookie when it comes to modeling. Her resume includes modeling for Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.24.42 AMmagazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Latina. She has also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “CBS News” with regards to her career in modeling and breaking social barriers.

Many news outlets like ABC and CNN speak positively about Sports Illustrated’s decision to revamp its image and stray away from the stereotypical skinny swimsuit models.

Sports Illustrated and Graham fans seem supportive of this progressive move.

Do you think society is headed in the right direction based on this move by Sports Illustrated? Do you think it was simply just a publicity stunt or will it continue to have plus-sized models in every yearly issue?

Beyonce gets political at Super Bowl 50


The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers Sunday night at Super Bowl 50, but many are talking about the halftime performance.

The halftime show began with Coldplay and an array of fireworks, streamers, flags and a stadium full of color. Fans held up signs that read “Believe in love.” Coldplay was then joined by Bruno Mars who performed his big hit from 2015, “Uptown Funk.”

Beyonce joined in and that is all anyone is remembering from the halftime show.

Beyonce was accompanied by 30 back-up dancers and flames blowing with every line in her new single “Formation.” But her special effects were not what people were talking about.

Beyonce’s dancers were dressed eerily similar to the Black Panthers, with berets and afros. While “Queen B” wore a Michael Jackson inspired outfit. The outfits alone caused controversy.

The star released the music video of “Formation” the day before the big game. The video referenced the “Black Lives Matter” movement with police officers and a young black boy wearing a hoodie and “stop shooting us” on a written on a wall behind him.

Beyonce’s political statement during the Super Bowl shocked many people, including former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.

“I think it was outrageous,” Giuliani said. “This is football, not Hollywood and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”

Others had opposing views.

Black Lives Matter activist Erika Totten said Beyonce’s message accomplished exactly what the movement is supposed to do.

But why are news outlets bursting at the seams with Beyonce’s call for equality? Could it be because she never engaged in political discussion before?

Most media outlets seem to have forgotten that Coldplay was the headliner and Beyonce and Bruno Mars were guests. Coldplay clearly made a reference to gay rights with the bright rainbow colors on stage and in the stands. Why don’t I see journalists over-analyzing Coldplay’s contribution to recognizing gay rights? It was their halftime show anyways.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.10.56 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.10.34 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.09.11 AMCould the news media be scrutinizing Beyonce’s performance because she’s black? If that is the case, Beyonce’s message should have be heard and seen by all. It is unfair that a celebrity of her status is being put under the microscope by the media because she addressed the racially charged issues in America.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.08.47 AMArticles all over the Internet are criticizing her performance and her contribution to bring attention to the social injustices. Instead of trying to inform and unite the public, the media does the exact opposite.

Beyonce has found her voice and speaking out through her music, but she’s not the only one to do it. I hope to see news outlets acknowledge other celebrities who are trying to draw attention to social issues as much as they did for Beyonce.

Sandy Hook victim father up for awards


Saxophonist Jimmy Greene has endured tremendous grief ever since his daughter, Ana Marquez Greene, 6 at the time, was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings back in December of 2012.

Greene continued by composing music and an album, “A Beautiful Life,” to honor Ana.  The album is up for two Grammy Awards this year: best jazz instrumental and best arrangement for vocals, as these are his first two nominations.

The nominations are a huge honor for Greene, but he wishes his daughter was there to see it.

According to ABC News, Greene said, “There is not a day that goes by that doesn’t have tears and just incredible sadness, … Music is a language in and of itself and it’s a language for me that kind of picks up where words leave off.”

It was not always easy for Greene to continue playing the saxophone.

“So the process of making the music, it was fraught with tears and a lot of pain, but it was a necessary expression, just like talking is a necessary expression.” Greene said, in a report from CBS News.

His time and effort towards his saxophone playing has helped Greene cope with the loss, as he has continued to do what he loves the most and that is to perform.

The 58th annual Grammy Awards will take place this Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Pacific solution: Paradise or prison?


This week, thousands of Americans were given a very personal look into controversial Australian detention centers that have kept hundreds of refuges from gaining asylum.

Hailed by the Australian government as the “Pacific Solution,” the detention centers opened in 2001. Located in Naru and Manus Island in Papa New Guinea, they were created as a response to the increasing number of people seeking asylum in Australia by crossing international waters.

From the beginning, controversy has surrounded the extremely isolated centers. While it is difficult for those held there to speak out, reports of beatings by officers, rape and violence between refuges continue to surface.

The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Australian citizens have all condemned the Australian policy due to what can best be called the camp conditions.

According to BuzzFeed News, in 2014 a report from the Australian Senate committee gathered overwhelming accounts of the horrible conditions including dead flies in the food, overflowing toilets, abuse by guards, and detainees suffering heatstroke while waiting for food.

With the influx of refugees becoming a powerful international issue, it’s surprising that both the American news media and public have devoted such little attention to the Australian policy. Little recent information can be found about the detention centers, especially not from major U.S. news outlets.

This comes as both especially surprising and disappointing since, as of Feb. 6, the company operate the centers, Broadspectrum, extended its contract for another year. With another five-year lease, this does not come as a hopeful development to those against the policy.

As debates about what the solution is for handling immigrants and fears of terrorism rise internationally, the detention centers show no signs of closing soon. Hopefully, the American public will identify with the cause before the situation worsens.

Live: Reporter sexually assaulted


We’ve been ingrained with the idea that journalists hold a significant amount of power in society. Like it or not, it’s just how it is. Whatever is released and exposed to the public depends on whether a news story is newsworthy and relevant, in other words, “journalist-approved.”

What if the role of the viewer and that of the news media’s were to overlap? I’d say that would be pretty catastrophic. Imagine viewers dictating and interrupting news segments that are going on live. Surely, that would be disastrous.

Recently, Esmeralda Labye, a Belgian reporter from Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française (RTFB), was sexually assaulted during her live broadcast. Labye was reporting on the Cologne carnival in Germany when a man kissed her on the neck and made obscene gestures while she was reporting live.

The story has gained considerable attention with several renowned news websites such as CNN, BBC and The Guardian reporting on the sex attack. A similar pattern persists across all these reports where Labye has been delineated as competent in the manner of how she handled the situation.

Irrefutably, Labye can be commended for the professionalism she showed. It would be difficult to be in a situation similar to what she was in, where she managed to remain calm and have her emotions in line. Her actions exhibit her credibility as a reporter. Above all, professional was seen through how Labye prioritized news delivery before her personal concerns for the time being.

Likewise, the decision of RTFB not to publish the video online is an issue of ethics. Ethical journalism has always been a sensitive topic when it comes to news reporting and the fact that the station decided not to release it online only shows accountability towards its staff.

News stories similar to this come and go but, from what I see, this story will serve as a landmark for future stories to come. RTFB handled the situation in their own hands making sure their reporter would not be more humiliated than she already was. In fact, the station’s decision not to publish the video online was solely for the best interest of Labye.

Snowboarding video gets attention


Casey Neistat is a 34-year-old American film and YouTube content creator. He currently has two million subscribers and 459 million views on his YouTube channel. On an everyday basis he films everyday vlogs, in which he shows his viewers his daily activities and his family.

About two weeks ago, New York City was struck with a gigantic blizzard and snowstorm. News reporters and police were warning citizens not to drive around because it was too dangerous. This, however, did not stop Casey and he got out his truck, attached chains and a rope to the back and decided to snowboard throughout the city.

He had cameras all over, which allowed him to get footage from many different angels. He collected the clips and uploaded the video to his channel. A few days later his video was broadcast all over the world. It was shown on newscasts in Germany, Switzerland, England, Australia and many other countries.

Even news network Web sites such as CNN and ABC did stories on his video. A lot of news media decided to cover Casey and his video, and it was all in a positive light.

The reason for so many news sites covering this specific video was because as you can see in the video that Casey is the only one driving through New York. This is a very rare occurrence, as the city is always full with lots of cars and people.

New York City is also a city known to many other countries around the world, and they were also aware of the big blizzard going on. Therefore, it is no coincidence that various countries decided on reporting on Casey Neistat’s video, which brought much attention and enjoyment to most readers.

With this Neistat has without knowing produced a viral video. The fact that his video was covered by so many news sources boosts his YouTube channel and the video now has 1.5 million views. And, of course, it gave a tremendous boost to his career as a filmmaker .

Error 53: Bad news for iPhone users


The Guardian and other newspapers are talking about an error that can happen and has happened to about 1,000 iPhone 6 users: Error 53. This error can literally “kill your phone.” erasing photos, data or making the cell phone completely useless.

Error 53 happened to the users that repaired their Touch ID button with a non-official company or individual or had their phones damaged, but not fixed because they were still usable. And even worse, the error seemed to appear to the users that updated the latest version of software, iOS 9.

Thousands of Apple consumers lost their trust on the product, but the company pledged that the “error 53” is to protect customer’s security, since it disables any kind of substitution on an iPhone made from companies that are non-official.

“This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support,” stated the company.

But what about the phones that were slightly damaged or the people that installed the latest version of the software?

The article “Apple under pressure as lawyers pledge action over ‘Error 53’ codes” published by The Guardian affirms that consumers grew angrier after going to the Apple Store and complaining about the error and being told nothing could be done but to buy another phone to solve the problem.

Lots of iPhone users take their phones to get fixed by other sources rather than Apple, for their repair can be really expensive — in the UK to repair the home button the cost is £236, or $340 –- but they end up with a higher cost: having a phone that doesn’t work even after repair. Apple measures should take more in consideration their costumers that are with useless phones and continue with their customer’s security, as long as they work and can be repaired at any Apple Store.

Mexican crime reporter found dead


Mexican journalist Anabel Flores Salazar was found dead on the side of a highway Tuesday after being abducted from her Veracruz home in the early morning hours Monday.

Salazar, who reported crime for the Mexican newspaper El Sol de Orizaba, was found naked and bound in the state of Puebla, according to the Puebla Attorney General’s office.

According to Salazar’s aunt, who witnessed the abduction, the kidnappers entered the home with an alleged warrant for Salazar’s arrest.

The death reports that followed are unfortunately the norm in many countries outside of the U.S. According to CNN, Salazar was one of 11 reported journalist murders in the Veracruz state within the past five years. Regrettably, that number doesn’t include at least 10 other Mexican journalists who have gone missing or whose murders remain mysteries.

Although Mexico boasts a special prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression, the very fact that such a thing exists in the country is evidence that major changes need to be made to protect journalists’ rights.

It is the 21st century and freedom of speech and the press should be a fundamental right for all journalists worldwide, let alone all people, without fear of persecution.

This request may be difficult to make a reality given Mexico’s longstanding crime and corruption and it’s impossible to keep journalists safe from all harm, but it should at least serve as some motivation to take action.

It’s an extremely sad day for the world as a whole, when a person is killed for doing her job courageously and attempting to uncover the truth.

Major changes needed to be made for reporters in more dangerous countries, and how to make those changes will be an even more strenuous undertaking. But, as of now, justice will come only when the Mexican government convicts Salazar’s killers and develops a system to more fervently protect its reporters.

Seeking truth in the Middle East


My grandmother believed that we, the people of the “technological era,” are very fortunate. “You have access to every piece of information you want, INSTANTLY!” she said and she was right. What she didn’t notice was that sometimes the news media build a completely wrong image of something and mislead millions of people.

Sadly, this is a common problem when reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. We have to admit it is a very difficult thing to understand, but that can’t be the excuse to portray inaccurate and misleading information.

It seems as a routine, anywhere in the world the news of a terrorist attack is always on the victim when the terrorist attack is in Israel news is about the terrorist dead.

CBS News report on Feb. 3, 2016, wasn’t an exception. “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on,” read the distorted headline, without mentioning that they were killed after attacking and killing a 19-year-old female officer.

Although they were shot dead at the scene as a matter of defense, readers of the news site will surely think Israel is at fault of the death of three “innocent” men, who were actually terrorists.

After causing a storm on Twitter and thousands of complaints, the headline was changed to: “Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers.” That’s definitely a better headline for the story that followed it, but it was insufficient to satisfy the police narration, which stated that the Palestinian men planned to use guns, knives and explosives during an attack near a holy site.

Surprisingly, this time, other news sites recognized for posting anti-Israel news, such as BBC, had neutral headlines: “Israeli border guard shot in Jerusalem attack.”

CBS didn’t issue any statement or response over the headline, however, the unsatisfied readers accomplished their goal victoriously and opened our eyes to make us realize that if the news media can’t choose the side of facts, we can make sure that the true story is told.

Use your voice!

Giuliani criticizes halftime show


This past Monday, Rudy Giuliani stirred up some controversy over the Super Bowl halftime performance by Coldplay, which featured Bruno Mars and Beyoncé.

The portion of the performance by Beyoncé referenced ongoing social issues being confronted in the U.S., such as the Black Lives Matter movement, while also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers.

The performance proved to be quite divisive as both proponents and opponents advocated their positions on the various platforms, from online-opinion articles to morning shows on national news networks.

The former mayor of New York, Giuliani, expressed his deep offense by Beyoncé’s performance on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning. He said that it was “outrageous” and that it was an attack on law enforcement.

The story has not made major waves in the form of newsworthy topics on local or national news stations. I feel that it is appropriate that news stations have not blown the story up to extreme proportions, as they have been known to do recently. I feel that it may be worth mentioning as a tidbit during segments, but the nation should not concern itself with an insignificant feud.

The nation is immersed in the presidential campaign, especially now with the presidential primaries and caucuses in New Hampshire and other states. Following the campaign to try and figure out which of the candidates might take the lead in the race for the White House is more important.

This is one instance where I feel the media took the right approach with covering the Beyoncé-Giuliani story. It contains the news element of prominence, which would permit it to receive some attention, but not enough to allot more time than is necessary — like what we have seen lately with some stories, such as the woman who pulled over the police officer, or if you watch ESPN, the ongoing saga with the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Manziel.

Apple taking damaged phones for trade


Good news for iPhone users with damaged phones.

Apple has just announced their new update on their Reuse and Recycle iPhone trade-in program. Damaged phones are now being accepted at the retail stores in return for credit. Whether the display is cracked, the camera’s broken or the home button isn’t working, they confirmed that all devices are welcomed.

The company’s Reuse and Recycle Program previously offered store credit for older iPhone models but the catch was that the phones had to be in new to good condition with no cracks or defects. Leading users with an impaired phone to make the hard decision of spending a good amount of money on the repair of their phone or wondering if they should just lose the phone and purchase a new one since the repair can be as costly as the total value of the device.

Now, Apple customers with cracked or damaged phones have the opportunity to upgrade to a newer model at a lower cost instead of repairing their old device. The trade-in values were announced as $50 for an iPhone 5s, $150 for an iPhone 6 and $200 for an iPhone 6 Plus.

It was also announced that Apple will begin selling official screen protectors for iPhones in all of their retail stores and will install them in hopes of reducing the amount of iPhones with a cracked display screen.

The change was confirmed by Apple spokesman Nick Leahy. The program is applicable to iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models that are brought to the retail stores. This offer is not applicable online.