Ukrainian Jews Look to Israel for Safety

Last week, after a Passover service in Donetsk, Ukraine, leaflets were given out to the Jews exiting the temple, demanding they ‘register’ with pro-Russian forces.

The leaflets stated that all Jews over the age of 16 had to register their religion, or face deportation. It also stated that registration cost $50 dollars, and required Jewish citizens to get special passports that “marked their confession of faith.”

This was later deemed an anti-Semitic attack, but one that held little to no actual bearing. The leaflets were deemed fake and the pro-Russian forces deny responsibility for the leaflet.

However, one thing this leaflet did cause is heightened tensions.

Ukraine’s prime minister is searching to find out, and punish, the distributor of the fliers, but even so Jews in eastern Ukraine remain highly concerned.

The event was too reminiscent of the Nazi-era for people to remain calm and collected. With the developing invasion of the Russians on the Ukrainian frontier, people and organizations are urging citizens to move to Israel to seek safety.

More people than not are discussing returning home to Israel. Many citizens have feared that war will start, and now with the addition of anti-Semitism, Jews don’t want to stick around to find out what can happen.

A Holocaust survivor, Sam Pivnik, who at 14 was rounded up and placed in Auschwitz, says that Ukraine is still a hotbed for anti-Semitism. He claims “Jews have no place in Ukraine, because nothing has changed, and as long as Jews remain there, nothing will change.”

Pivnik advices all Jews to leave the country immediately, fearing that they will have to experience what he once did.

As for now, the talk of fleeing to Israel remains in prevalent conversation with the lingering possibility of war. Ukraine officials claim to be searching for the instigator, but many wonder if that will help the anti-Semitism problem in Ukraine.

Coachella challenges social media


About 90,000 three-day passes were purchased for each weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Southern California.

Multiply that with the retro, vintage, hippie costume of the event and imagine the number and the damage it could do to the hipster dominated app; Instagram.

And that damage was large, mainly because Coachella literally caused damage to the application’s server. On Saturday, around 12 p.m. Instragram shut down.

It seems that Instagram had enough of white crochet and flower crowns because the constant influx of Instagrams by celebrities, non-celebrities, viewers at home, and even just jealous fans, was too much for the app to handle.

This was not the only social media faux pas caused by the festival. The vintage-y and hippie inspired atmosphere of the festival provokes a very specific dress. Subdued colors, cut off jeans shorts, knit, and more are often the common style of the festival.

However, many celebrities took their own twist on the retro look; but not all were appreciated. Many of the celebrities attempts at trendy and unique actually raised question on its’ cultural appropriation.

Several celebrities were seen sporting feather headbands, bindi dots, or headwraps.

Denny’s took this opportunity to promote not only their chain, but cultural appropriation as well. They retweeted several celebrities pictures that question cultural ethics and added their own twist.

Coachella is one of the largest musical events in the world. It hosts a different crowd than Miami’s very own Ultra Music Festival, but no matter what, both will cause controversy due to their size and nature.

US Airways explains risky tweet


Monday afternoon during a flight delay, a passenger on US Airways flight 1787, announced her dismay with the airline through a tweet to the airline’s official Twitter account.

The response she received was nothing short of pornographic and offensive.

After sending several tweets to the airline’s Twitter account, she finally elicited a response. They stated “We truly dislike delays too and are very sorry your flight was affected.”

The unsatisfied flier continued on to tweet a rude response addressing the fact that they have ignored her previous tweets. The airline seemed to be trying to make up for its mistakes in its next tweet to her, but something went terribly wrong.

In the seemingly appropriate and warranted tweet they mention, “We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail it here for review and followup.”

The imaged that followed was certainly not the customer satisfaction survey that they meant to attention.

Instead the tweet was followed by a pornographic picture featuring a woman and a plastic airplane.

The inappropriate tweet stayed online for several minutes, before the airline realized its serious error.

Officials from US Air quickly tweeted; “We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses, We’ve removed the tweet and are investigating.”

The tweets, however, had already gone viral. Several websites featured the airline’s inappropriate tweet and poked fun at the obvious misfortune of the event.

The airline finally came forward announcing that the tweet came not from a hacking, but by honest mistake. The inappropriate picture had been used in a tweet tagging the airline, one which it had flagged as inappropriate, so that it could later be deleted. Because of this, the image was placed in the “clipboard” and accidentally “pasted” into what should have been an honest and innocent tweet.

The airline publicly apologized and claimed it is making internal changes to its communication process to ensure that this never happens again.

NFL faces a moment of change


Sam Michaels tackles the slow attempt at change in the NFL and forces the league to deal head on with the long-time controversy of unspoken homophobia.

With gay marriage being legalized and acceptance of LGBT alliances higher than ever, why is it okay that one of the biggest sports leagues in the world is still the most anti-gay and least accepting of change?

Whereas this problem was easily swept under the rug because there was no case in which the NFL was immediately forced to deal with regarding the controversy, the coming out of Sam Michaels catapulted the issue to that of top priority.

In the most “manly” business in the world, built around physical strength that is supposed to represent the macho alpha males of the world, coming out only months before the draft is a very risky decision.

However, the news and sports media attention has been more positive than many would have expected. This could in fact be at the fault of his risky decision. Being the first male to come out, gain Michael’s a title of courage and bravery.

Many teams have released statements of support for Michaels.

New York Giants owner John Mara said:

“As Patrick Burke and Wade Davis constantly remind all of us, regardless of who you are, what your background is and what your personal or sexual orientation is, if you can play, you can play. Michael’s announcement will not affect his position on our draft board.”

The question of how the NFL will react remains a mystery for now, but it’ll be hard for one of the largest and most influential businesses to support any direction other than in that of the modern change. The entire business will need to reposition itself but, in order for the business to progress, it must be progressive.

Late night hosts announce departures


Last week the entertainment world was left gasping when two of their best comedians announced departures from their beloved networks.

David Letterman, a long-time favorite around the world, told the public he will be retiring from his “Last Night” show on CBS.

In addition, the first and possibly most successful female comedy show host, Chelsea Handler, shocked the public with her exodus from the E! Network.

The perfect timing seems to be causing suspicion.

Before Letterman’s announced retirement, Handler has reportedly shot down CBS’s offer to take over Craig Ferguson’s 12:30 a.m. slot. However, after the retirement of Letterman, Handler is supposedly back in consideration with CBS.

This possibility has caused a lot of media attention.

If Handler does take this position, she will become the first female late-night show host, since Cynthia Garrett’s short stint in 2000-01.

Controversy arose in two forms. One direction, is the fear that if Handler leaves the E! Network, and neglects to take a late night job at CBS, she is leaving the late night field completely male dominated.

Another direction of controversy in the media is that of ancient perspective. Many people have expressed their dismay of a woman taking over this previously male heavy field. They fear she will add too much sex appeal to the show. And her raunchy personality, opening up fairly easily about her drug and alcohol abuse, may be too much for this broadcast network.

Is it okay that people in this day and age are still forming their opinions over someone’s sex?

Whether or not, the fulfillment of Letterman’s position, be Handler, or Howard Stern, or any other man, will no doubt be a large topic of media attention.

People take advantage of Flight 370?


The missing Malaysia flight MH 370 has caused quite the news media rampage. This mysterious, mind boggling event of the missing flight is currently an all consuming topic. However, there are people out there taking advantage of this tragic event.

On Thursday, March 20, reports ran rampant over sites such as Facebook and Twitter, that the missing flight had in fact been found. News feeds were overwhelmed by links such as “Shocking Video Reveals Found Flight MH370.” All that had to be done in order to access these supposed videos were to share the link and sign up for something.

Many people fell for these tricks; liking and sharing as fast as they could. Fake CNN Twitter accounts were then created to further these false claims.

Cyber hackers are exploiting the intense interest in the missing planes. By having these fake videos in which people need to sign up to view, they are in fact granting the ability to hack the user’s system.

After spam e-mails became widely known to be unhealthy to the user’s server, hackers had to become creative. Most hackers today rely on social media and the most prevalent news stories or trends.

Another widespread scam surfacing on social media websites is relating to health and weight loss. With our generations’ large focus on health, it is no surprise that hackers look to target people using an ad that claims to be “the miracle weight loss pill.” These ads guarantee quick and easy weight loss at a low price. Once someone clicks on the link they are immediately send to a scam website that clones a reputable one.

In conclusion, it is important to watch what you share and like on Facebook and other social media websites. Only listen to reputable websites such as for updates on the latest news stories. If something is serious, and happening, especially with such a large story such as the missing plane, it will have been reported in several other places besides Facebook in which you can check.

Did media cause school shooting hoax?


On Thursday, March 6, 2014, around 2:30 p.m., a call was made to 911 claiming that a student at Beverley Hills High School was being held hostage by a student gunman.

After the school — and surrounding schools — were placed on lockdown and, after much investigation, it was determined that the call was a hoax.

Is it possible that the media are to blame for this inappropriate prank?

After all of the recent school shootings, such as those at Sandy Hook, many precautions have been taken at schools around the world. In addition, media attention over such situations have thrived.

Due to the increase in media attention and the extra focus on safety in schools, students may now be seeking their own personal source of attention through these events.

Because of the hyped up nature of the crime, students see the potential for the magnitude of reporting these events.

Besides the hostage hoax at Beverley Hills High School, an anonymous bomb threat was reported through social media site, Yik Yak, at San Clemente High School. This, too, turned out to be a hoax.

With the feared epidemic of school shootings, comes a possible epidemic of reported fake shootings. With the rise in recognition of the topic, comes a bigger gain of attention for each reported crime. Students know that all threats and tips will be treated with the utmost importance and seriousness.

This developing popularity, may be increasing the amount of fake tips, which in turn, can lessen the validity of future reports.

Nasty e-mail causes controversy


The popular website LinkedIn is designed to help people in the professional world establish their profile and search for future employees they can trust and who obtain needed credentials. This is a website where reaching out to others is encouraged and either you get the job, or not, no harm in trying.

However, if you’re reaching out to Kelly Blazek, there is in fact harm in trying.

Last week, Kelly Blazek, a woman named Cleveland’s “Communicator of the Year” for her popular online job bank for marketing professionals, realized the importance of playing it safe on social media – the hard way.

Ever since e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and social media became popular high schoolers, college kids, and young adults were warned of the consequences these websites could have on your future. Making sure no questionable activity surfaces to potential future employers. However, once you get the job, it doesn’t mean you can let down your guard and inappropriately use social media.

When 26-year-old Diana Mekota added Blazek, she received quite the backlash.

After e-mailing her a professional note stating only her experiences and positive job seeking attitude, Mekota was expecting an e-mail of subtle rejection, an e-mail of acceptance, or no e-mail at all. What she got was unexpected by all.

Only hours after Mekota sent her original e-mail, she received an e-mail detailing how her “invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky.” She continued on, “wow, I cannot wait to let every 26-year-old job-seeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job.”

Within days the e-mail went viral. Surfacing on websites such as Buzzfeed, known for their humor and poking fun at outrageous situations.

Also within days, other people began coming out of the works claiming to have received similar e-mails from Blazek. In one of the e-mails she signed off  “Done with this conversation, and you.”

Blazek’s responses have created quite the frenzy in the media and she has since publicly apologized to all that she offended and deleted several forms of social media.

Although unfortunate to all involved, and potentially Blazek’s career, she has definitely made an example of herself. She proven it’s not only important to have a clean and reputable online appearance when seeking a job, but unquestionably important to maintain that appearance even when you’ve received your dream job and hold titles such as “Communicator of the Year.”

Sochi problems continue to get attention


Controversy is arising over the conditions at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. After seven years of preparing the city for the Olympics- seven years filled with corruption, debt, worker-rights controversy, etc.- is it fair that the misfortunes in Sochi are becoming a punch line?

“#SochiProblems” is a newly consuming hash tag on social media. It’s mainly pursued by journalist’s living in hotels with unfinished lobbies, toxic water, shortages of pillows and sheets, and other less than positive conditions of the hotels in Sochi.

The tweets and articles written by journalists living under these circumstances have catapulted to full on media frenzy. Crazy pictures and witty tweets have led the unpreparedness of Sochi to become the punch line of the Games.

However, this humorous and overwhelming new trend may be harming legitimate news coverage. The twitter handle “Sochi Problems” currently as more than 100,000 more followers than that of the official twitter of the Olympics.

Controversy has arisen due to complaints that this seems more like making fun of a poor classmate, than genuine, necessary reporting. After Russia took seven years to prepare for these games and sacrificed so much, is it fair to poke fun at their shortcomings?

The other side expresses their belief that Russia did in fact take seven years to prepare. Is it uncalled to poke fun after seven years of preparations, and hotel lobbies are still missing?

Either way, the main problem lays in the media attention. It is not right that the poor conditions in which the journalists are living are taking precedent in the news over actual newsworthy stories about the Games. The journalists’ need to refocus- they didn’t go to Sochi for a five star vacation, but to keep the world informed on the Games.