Pipeline leaks oil in South Dakota


Last year, thousands of people participated in the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in North Dakota. Protesters feared that the pipe would break, and leak oil into tribal territory. This Thursday, 210,000 gallons of oil leaked into South Dakota from the Keystone Pipeline.

This leak comes days before a decision to finalize permits needed to begin construction on Keystone XL, a sister pipeline to the Keystone Pipeline.

Even though, livestock and drinking water sources were not threatened, Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources told The New York Times “…this is not a little spill from any perspective.”

According to TransCanada, The Keystone Pipeline system stretches from Alberta, Canada, to Manitoba, Canada. The pipeline then travels south into Texas, in hope to make transporting crude oil from Canada easier. Smaller sections of the pipeline would cut into Oklahoma and Illinois.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, would travel from Alberta to Nebraska, and cut through parts of Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Illinois.

The leak is near Lake Traverse Reservation, but is not on Sioux property, said Dave Flute, tribal chairman for Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

In a statement, Flute said: “We are monitoring the situation as this leak is adjacent to our reservation…We do not know the impact this has on our environment at this time but we are aware of the leak.”

According to CNN, this is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, and the third this year.

Major articles from NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times circulated social media, after people took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the leak. Many cited the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and urged officials to think before approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.


Same-sex marriage closer in Australia


Australia is on its way to legalizing same sex marriage, after a survey showed that the country is ready to take a progressive step forward.

In a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 62 percent of registered voters said “yes” to same-sex marriage, prompting Parliament to consider legalizing the weddings later this year.

If legalized, Australia will become to 26th country to do so. Following after Ireland to put same-sex marriage to a popular vote.

Needing only to change its Australian Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the overwhelming push sparked thousands of marriage equality supporters to fill the streets in celebration of the news.

The news came to social media with #AustraliaSaysYes as people celebrated with posts and pictures of loved ones waiting to get married.

According to CNN.com, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that legalization could happen by Christmas. However, there has been opposition from conservative politicians due to extensive religious protection, in hopes to stall the bill.

Several lawmakers have submitted their drafts of the bill, but fear of discrimination and dissolving protection are making lawmakers cautious to proposals.

If a law is passed, this will be a major step for the country, after the last prime minister, Tony Abbott, openly opposed same-sex marriage and led the campaign in against changing the law.

What’s next, America?


It feels like we are in a constant cycle of tragedy. From mass shooting to sexual harassment scandals, it’s as if we have become numb to the cycle. Something bad happens, we mourn, have little discussion, then move on to the next sad thing. There’s little to no solution being discussed, as we feed off of the next thing that makes the news.

Earlier this week we mourned the lives of innocent people in Texas, in yet another mass shooting. Simultaneously, the list continues to grow, in Hollywood, of high profile men making sexual advances and misconduct in the workplace. So far names like Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick, and recently Louis C.K, are making headlines as more and more are speaking up against the harassment.

As we hear about all the tragedies that are happening, maybe instead of asking what’s next, we ask what can we do next?

In an article by Vox.com, since more people are speaking out, acknowledgement of sexual harassment in the workplace has become more prominent and therefore easier to stop. People are become more comfortable and accepting of speaking out, especially if it means it might help the next person.

However, unless like the little progress made in workplace harassment, nothing has been done with gun control in America.

In an article by TIME, many have noticed the lack of action to prevent tragedies like Los Vegas and Texas. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin told TIME, “It just strikes me that we see tragedy after tragedy and no action….”

It is the news media’s job to bring attention to and shift talking topics, but so far no one is talking about the cycle we constantly find ourselves in. Maybe we are too focused on reporting the next tragedy instead of doing something to prevent one from happening.

Violence against women protested


Last Sunday, Miss Peru contestants stood in solidarity as each contestant presented facts on the violence against women in Peru instead of their individual body measurements.

This protest against the violence of women and femicide was pre-planned by former 1987 pageant winner, Jessica Newton, Vanity Fair reported.

All 23 contestants walked the bathing-suit section while news about murdered and assaulted women cycled behind them,and answered questions focused on topics like femicide and gender violence during the question and answer section.

“We definitely had wanted a different Miss Peru,” Luciana Olivares told NPR. Olivares is a content and strategy manager of Frecuencia Latina, the TV network that broadcast the competition.


The hashtag #MisMedidasSon (“#MyMeasurementsAre”) was trending in Perú Sunday night, during and after the pageant.

“This contest could not be about casting pretty faces,” Olivares said. “We decided that we had the opportunity to turn the pageant around and use it as a platform to mobilize, raise awareness and speak up. We knew the whole country would be watching.”

The topic of violence on social media and the protest fits within a larger movement against femicide and violence against women across Latin America, and in wake of the sexual scandals of high profile Hollywood executives in the US.

Lyft’s major lift by Google


Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is making a $1 billion investment in Lyft; definitively ending their previous partnership with Uber after three years together.

In a blog post by Lyft, the company announced that Alphabet’s venture capital arm, CapitalG, was funding the investment, which Lyft projects to secure their position in going public by 2018.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with market leader Uber.

While the ride-hailing service has been in deep conversation with many investment banks, so far none have been named as the company’s I.P.O. However, with CapitalG’s investment, Lyft’s new value of $11 billion, a major jump from last year’s $6.9 billion, may help the company reach its goal by 2018.

Lyft is still far from Uber, its biggest rival, which is valued around $70 billion. In the past, Alphabet had partnered with Uber through Google Ventures, which invested $258 million, as well as Alphabet’s chief legal officer David Drummond joining the Uber board. Google also gave Uber an “Uber tab” under their “Map tab.”

Relations took a turn for the worse after Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project, sued Uber after allegations came of Uber’s engineers stealing software and trade secrets. Uber has also had many internal disputations, which resulted in the former chief executive and co-founder Travis Kalanick leaving the company.

Lyft has certainly benefited from Uber’s missteps, and has since increased in 54 percent more Lyft drivers. Lyft also welcomed CapitalG’s partner David Lawee on as one of their board of directors, another ploy to help the company in its race to become public before Uber.

Multiple news media outlets have picked up the story; however, the investment is still new and will most likely go unnoticed until Waymo and Uber go to trial in early December. If Waymo wins, Uber may have to pay billions of dollars in damages and derail its efforts to build its own fleet of self-driving cars.

Eminem speaks out against Trump


Rapper Eminem expressed his distaste for Donald Trump, during a four and a half-minute cypher Tuesday night at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

As part of the BET Hip Hop Awards, every year an array of rappers are selected to perform a freestyle cypher. Usually the selected rappers are those who are up and coming, but this year veteran rapper Eminem used the platform as a way to address the recent actions of Trump.

Titled “The Storm,” Eminem covered a range of topics from racism, hypocrisy and the disrespect of military veterans. Eminem also name drops Colin Kaepernick, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He also calls out his own fans and supporters of Trump, asking which one do fans like more: Eminem or Trump.

Since the release of “The Storm,” the rap has been streamed more than 2.1 million times, and flooded by critics on Twitter. Colin Kaepernick also responded on twitter in support of the rap, along with LeBron James and fellow rapper J. Cole.

Late-night hosts Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and James Corden all opened their Wednesday night monologues with the same statement for viewers: it’s time to choose.

However there has been minor back-lashed as many fans have commented that if this was a black rapper speaking out, there would not be this much momentum.

Either way multiple news media outlets have picked up the story, including The New York Times and CNN. Many outlets praised Eminem for speaking out and encouraged others to do the same.

Plague in Madagascar panics locals


The plague has returned to the country of Madagascar as reports of more than 194 people contacting the disease came in Tuesday.

For majority of the world, the plague is a thing of the past but, for the country of Madagascar, is it a seasonal worry that has taken the lives of 63 out of the 275 reported cases last year. Officials are particularly worried about this season’s outbreak, as it is mainly affecting heavily populated areas.

Madagascar has temporarily shut down all public and government institutions, including its capital, Antananarivo, home to 1.3 million residents. World Health Organization officials said plans to ship emergency supplies are underway.

Madagascar’s Minister of Public Health, Mamy Andriamanarivo, says the country is running low on face masks for the public, CBC reports.

On average, Madagascar accounts for 82 percent of the world’s plague related deaths. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, most people making under $2 per day, The Washington Post reports. For the United States, rare cases have been reported and all have survived.

So far there has been little news media coverage on the condition of Madagascar, as most of the United States is giving attention to Sunday night’s Las Vegas massacre, as well as Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico rebuilding after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Epidemic season runs from September to April in Madagascar. So far the disease has killed 30 people.

Airlines increase prices ahead of Irma


Major airlines gouged ticket prices Tuesday afternoon after Gov. Rick Scott announced Hurricane Irma evacuations.

Airlines such as American, Delta, United and Jet Blue gouged ticket prices up to $1,000 plus after it was announced Florida would start evacuations.

Travelers took to Twitter expressing their outrage with the airlines to complain about the price gouging ahead of the Category 5 storm. CNBC reported people taking screenshot examples of the gouging. Examples included a $1,738 United flight between Miami and Indianapolis and a $2,370 American flight between Miami and Los Angeles. Those and others flooded social media Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bus and train transportation followed suit after the airlines, making it nearly impossible to get out of the state.

Due to the hiked airline, bus and train tickets, thousands headed to the road Wednesday and experienced gas gouging as well; however, in the state of Florida, it is illegal to gouge gas prices during an emergency.

While airlines are not subject to Florida’s price gouging law, many people saw the inflated prices as unethical and dangerous as people were trying to evacuate the area.

In a statement to The Business Insider, most of the major airlines planned to cap prices at $99 per ticket out of Florida, and connecting flights priced at $159, but flight delays and cancellations have left many discouraged.

Hurricane Irma is estimated to make headway on Friday and into the weekend. Mandatory evacuations are in place for those in the South Florida area.

Megachurch pastor finally opens doors


Houston pastor Joel Osteen came under fire earlier this week when he refused to open his church doors to Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

After backlash on social media, Osteen eventually opened his megachurch to serve as a shelter for the public Tuesday.

Millions took to Twitter expressing their anger at Osteen. Many said that the Houston pastor cares more about wealth than welfare and, that if a place of worship is not a shelter, then it is not a place of worship.

After several allegations, Osteen spoke on NBC’s “Today Show” and “CBS This Morning,” stating that the church has always been open as a shelter but faced flooding and water damage.

Osteen has also stated that the city of Houston never asked him to become an official shelter, as there was one four miles from his church. He said his church’s building was intended to be a distribution center.

After major backlash on social media, mainstream media picked up the story with most in agreement with social media. Even though Osteen has clarified that he does not pay attention to social media, various media outlets used Twitter images of people expressing their discontent with the pastor.

Major media outlets such as the Washington Post and Huffington Post have called out the pastor; denouncing Osteen’s church as prosperity gospel and stating that his initial reaction of not opening as a shelter has only reinforced this belief.

As of now the megachurch, which can fit more than 16,000 people, is open as a shelter and will remain open until conditions in Houston improve.