FDA investigates vaping and seizures


The Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday that it will investigate dozens of reports of seizures after using electronic cigarettes in the last decade.

At least 35 people who actively vape, mostly teens and young adults, reported suffering seizures to the FDA since 2010. Seizures, convulsions, vomiting and brain injuries are all known side effects of nicotine poisoning, according to NBC News.

“We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in Wednesday’s statement. “As a public health agency, it’s our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate.”

According to USA Today, federal data shows that e-cigarette use was up 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018. Popular vaping products can be highly addictive, many containing a significantly higher dose of nicotine than traditional cigarettes

“The FDA is committed to monitoring this issue closely and taking additional steps as necessary to protect the public, especially our nation’s youth,” said Gottlieb. “We will continue to provide updates as more is learned.”

This story received an extensive amount of coverage, as expected from a pervasive issue that affects youth in particular. As more is learned about the health effects of these products, media outlets fulfill their role in distributing the information, which can influence societal patterns.

Royal couple expecting first child


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are set to expect their first child within the next few weeks. The Duke and Duchess both announced they were expecting in early October 2018 during their 16 – day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga.

It’s only been 11 months since the wedding last May and the couple is already making way for the child to be seventh in line to the throne. Not only will this be the first child of both Meghan and Harry but also will become the first British-American baby born into royal descent.

Officials at Kensington Palace have been very secretive about the Duchess of Sussex’s exact due date. Meghan is said to have told members of the public at numerous royal events that the baby is set to be due around the end of April or the beginning of May. 

It is unlikely the baby will be delivered at the Lindo Wing at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital. This hospital is where Prince William and Harry were born, as well as where the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, gave birth to her three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The couple is likely to choose another hospital, one closer to their home.

The sex of the baby has not yet been revealed. At an event in February, the Duchess of Sussex was overheard saying that the couple does not want to find out the gender of the baby until it is born.

When the baby finally arrives, both the royal family and Meghan’s family will be the first to be informed. British Prime Minister Theresa May and the Governor General of each Commonwealth Nation will also be informed, before the public, of the new baby’s birth.

Jane Merrick, a writer for CNN stated, “The new prince or princess will not only have that American heritage but will also be the first biracial baby in line to the British throne.”

What is happening here is something historical. The fact that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are about to have the first British-American, biracial baby is a thought no one in the royal family has ever had. I like to see that certain boundaries can be broken without the discrimination of race and ethnicity. 

#joetoo? Woman accuses Biden


Is Joe Biden a sexual predator? The short answer is no.

Earlier this week, Lucy Flores, a former Nevada State Assembly woman, accused Joe Biden of touching her inappropriately. She did not state that he sexually assaulted her, but she did say that Biden had made her feel very uncomfortable.

At a campaign event in 2014, Vice President Biden came up behind Lucy Flores, grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed the back of her head. She recalls being shocked and appalled by his actions and says he, “crossed a line of decency and respect.”

Let’s begin with the VP. The man is clearly out of line here. While some people, like Biden, are very affectionate and “touchy,” some people, like Flores, are not. Those people have a right not to be touched and have a right to express frustration at this kind of behavior.

That being said, why did it take Flores over five years to express herself? A possible answer is that Flores wants to hurt Biden. Joe Biden has made it clear that he is interested in running for president and he is currently at the top of the polls. Flores is an open Beto O’Rourke supporter and so perhaps this whole story is a political stunt.

Lastly, I will say that I am both surprised and disappointed that this story received so much news media coverage. Some woman from Nevada is mad that Joe Biden put his hands on her shoulders five years ago and somehow that is national news?

This story just illustrates the fact that political elections have become dirty, dirty games. People will try anything to take down politicians and the news media will help them every step of the way.

Fighting causes student’s death


According to CNN news, a South Carolina student died after a fight with another student in the classroom. The students’ families are trying to figure out this incident.

According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Raniya had a physical altercation with another girl. Authorities did not publicize the names of the students because they are younger than 17. Raniya was described as a good student who loved to write, play basketball and spend time with her friends.

The report stated that when first responders arrived, the student was on the nurse’s station with breathing. Then she was taken to the medical center and then airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Health in Charleston.

After the conflict, school administrators secured the scene immediately, they ended the fight and called emergency medical services to the school. 

This incident influenced Raniya’s family. Ashley Wright, Raniya’s parents were saddened and they were planning her funeral on Thursday.

A school board member decided to do some research and a survey, trying to find any avenues that can help solve these problems so that they can make campus life safer. William Bowman, a school board member said, “we would continue to do the survey and got funds to apply different safety measures or needed safety measures.”

Fan banned after slur against Cousins


Earlier today the Boston Celtics issued a statement concerning a two-year suspension of a fan that used racial slurs against Golden States Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.

The incident occurred on Jan. 26, during a game where the Warriors faced the Celtics in Boston. A fan murmured a racial slur at Cousins while he was on the court. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, “During that game, there was a fan who muttered the n-word at DeMarcus Cousins.”

Cousins then went on to inform the security team and they took care of the fan. The fan, who was a minor, was ultimately removed from the game. Over the last two months, the team has held an investigation surrounding the incident, interviewing fans, officers and other witnesses.

This morning the Celtics finally released a statement in regards to the situation. Based off of the evidence, the team has decided to issue a two-year ban on the perpetrator. According to the statement, “the punishment for any corroborated discriminatory language used towards any player, employee, or fan at a Celtics home game is a lifetime ban.”

Earlier this week Cousins made a statement claiming that he has been referred to as a n-word on multiple occasions by fans. In a report that he made with Yahoo! he says, “It’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back and I was still punished for it.”

It doesn’t just stop there. Cousins is only one of many African American basketball players who have experienced similar cruelty from fans. Marcus Smart, a shooting guard on the Celtics, expressed disappointment about the incident in a conversation with Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. In the pregame statement, Smart stated “I’ve dealt with a lot of things, here in my own city, and out of this city … I get it. I’ve seen it. I’m not surprised, and it has to be fixed, plain and simple.”

Let’s not forget that just earlier this month; Russell Westbrook was all over the headlines when the Utah Jazz permanently banned a fan who belligerently mocked him with racial references. In Westbrook’s situation he raised controversy in his rebuttal to the offensive comments. However, Cousins argues that “our emotions are the same as yours. You somewhere walking down the street and someone says something crazy to you, you’re going to react.”

It appears that the NBA is making moves to hold fans more accountable for their inappropriate behavior at basketball games. These players are too often taunted by heckling, racial slurs etc. and are expected to remain calm. This is an issue that must be regulated and dealt with accordingly.

This story has been majorly reported by all of the top news networks. It seems that majority of the stories hold the importance of protecting athletes and holding fans accountable. This story also made television airwaves, being reported on CBS Sports, ESPN and many more networks.

Fans suspect a Hannah Montana reboot


After an eight-year hiatus, fans of Miley Cyrus, often known as Hannah Montana are expecting a reboot of the character than so many know and love.

The speculation comes weeks after another Disney Channel favorite band, the Jonas Brothers created an Instagram for themselves, and ultimately ended up reuniting and putting out music. The reunion of this band apparently made Cyrus nostalgic of her days on Disney with the “Jo-Bros,” who are some of her best friends.

Fans noticed an Instagram handle made for @Hannahmontana, the same way that the Jonas Brothers sneakily hinted that they would be reuniting. Cyrus later posted on her personal account a video of her in the famous Hannah Montana wig, singing the theme song to the Disney show.

She also featured a post on her Snapchat account wearing the same wig Hannah wore in the show where she said to fans “it was so hard going back and forth so I think I’ll just be Hannah forever!”

The statement is inspired by the Disney Channel show, “Hannah Montana” which premiered 13 years ago. The show followed a seemingly normal teenage girl, Miley Stewart, as she tried to balance being a regular teenage girl with also being a worldwide pop star when she put on her blonde wig.

Both Montana and Cyrus created music that many fans enjoyed. After the show ended, Cyrus continued on as a musician and actress and had a very successful career. Many girls look up to her as she has not only been around since the childhood of many, but she is also very philanthropic, starting her very own Happy Hippie Foundation. Speculation will continue about a Hannah Montana comeback, but no one will know the truth until it happens.

Slovenian fans celebrate at Heat game


After Thursday night’s win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks, the Heat are back in the playoffs, sitting just above the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Mavericks jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half and pushed the Heat to the brink in a tense battle that came down to the wire.

The Mavericks got another special performance from their prized rookie, Luka Doncic. Doncic threatened to achieve his seventh triple-double of the season, which would have tied the all time record for rookies in NBA history. Goran Dragic, his Slovenian counterpart, notched a triple double of his own, shredding the Mavs defense particularly in the third quarter.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the game, however, was the amount of Slovenian fans that attended the game. Both Doncic and Dragic were born and raised there, where they have become international sensations. Doncic played professional basketball in Spain for six years before coming to the NBA, and Dragic has been a star in the NBA for nearly 10 years.

During each sequence where either Dragic or Doncic scored, the entire crowd erupted into a frenzy, chanting their names so loudly that the typical chants of “defense” or “let’s go Heat” were completely drowned out. Both Doncic and Dragic returned to the court after the game to see the crowd and shake hands with the fans.

Kidnapper, murderer pleads guilty


A man was in court on Wednesday to answer for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents in Wisconsin on Oct. 15, 2018.

James Patterson pleaded guilty on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide one count of kidnapping. The remaining charges of burglary were dropped, which was ruled as a life sentence for the accused.

After three months into her disappearance she was able to escape from her kidnapper’s house. By the time she was able to get to safety an arrested was made against Patterson within 30 minutes. Upon exiting the courtroom, his last words were ‘Bye Jayme’ but she was not there.

According to The New York Times, Patterson had trouble finding direction and appeared to lack companionship.

“Former high school classmates and teachers described Mr. Patterson as a quiet, bookish boy who struggled to find his way after graduation. He enlisted in the Marines but was sent home from boot camp after five weeks. Neighbors said he bounced from job to job and spent much of his time alone.”

What are some of your thoughts about this person? Do you think he’s mentally challenged or he plain evil?

Burundi schoolgirls released


The three Burundi schoolgirls who were detained for drawing on President Pierre Nkurunziza’s picture in a school textbook have been released.

The schoolgirls, aged 15, 16 and 17, were first charged on March 18 with “insulting the head of state” by doodling designs like mustaches and glasses on his face in a textbook used at the school.

Nyanzira Prosper, the girls’ lawyer, told the BBC they were freed on bail until the girls appear in court. Mr. Prosper states that the charges will stand, and prosecutors will continue to investigate the case.

Due to the schoolgirls’ being detained, the Burundian government went into international condemnation. People all over twitter were showing their support for the girls by recreating the images the girls drew of Nkurunziza with the hashtag #FreeOurGirls.

Other school children in Burundi have been jailed for very similar acts.

The National Intelligence Service of Burundi arrested eight high school students in 2016, for apparently disrespecting Nkurunziza by writing phrases such as “No to the 3rd term” on a picture in a textbook, according to the Human Rights Watch.

“Authorities should focus on holding perpetrators of serious rights violations to account instead of jailing schoolchildren for doodles,” said Human Rights Watch’s Central Africa Director, Lewis Mudge.

Nkurunziza has been in office since 2005. He was re-elected to a third term in 2015 despite major protest and concerns about his past terms as president. 

Reading a story like this makes me feel so blessed to be living in a country like America. It’s so sad to see that in other countries children can get treated so badly by the government especially for such a minor incident. Drawing on the president in a textbook is something no one would get in trouble for in America due the first amendment and freedom of speech. I hope the Burundi government over throws the president so that country can live under better, more reasonable laws.

Corruption likely in Smollett case


In a shocking turn of events, all charges against actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped by the Cook County prosecutor.

On March 8, a grand jury charged Smollett with 16 felony counts, one for each lie he told police. Both Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted Smollett for committing such an offensive and pointless crime.

On Monday, all charges were dropped. His lawyer stated he would forfeit his bail money and that he agreed to do some community service. Smollett, however, maintains his innocence.

So which one is it? Is Smollett guilty of making a false police report and as a consequence paying $10,000? Or is he not guilty and facing no repercussions?

The story does not make sense and smells of corruption. With the overwhelming amount of evidence, including a check signed by Smollett to the “attackers,” it is unfathomable that a prosecutor would simply drop the charges.

State attorney Kim Fox said she would rather focus on more important issues such as the gun violence that plagues Chicago. Smollett caused police to waist hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours on his hoax story. Time and money that could have been spent on the gun violence epidemic.

Many people are furious over this issue as they should be. It only further highlights Smollett’s privilege and reinforces notions that celebrities are above the law.

Smollett saga comes to unexpected end


This week, the charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped. Smollett was arrested for staging a fake hate crime in Chicago. The FBI is currently undergoing an investigation into why the charges against Smollett were dropped. The news has resulted in many angry reactions from various sources, including President Donald Trump.

The entire Smollett saga represents a failure of both journalism and the ability of people to remain skeptical. When the story first broke out, there were several people who were skeptical about the validity of Smollett’s claims. However, the skeptics were widely criticized for downplaying the apparent tragic incident. The focus of the media became the attack and how it was a reflection of the current social issues facing the country.

However, this narrative began to unravel rather quickly. It became apparent that Smollett’s story had several holes and inconsistencies. Eventually, Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report. It was soon discovered Smollett had actually hired two African-American brothers to stage the attack. As a result, there was public outrage all across the internet.

Several lessons can be taken from the Smollett incident. Firstly, it is important to remain skeptical about all claims until all the facts are in and they can be properly analyzed. Secondly, you should never run to anyone’s defense simply because said person has a political or social ideology you agree with. People like Smollett may take advantage of the current social climate in order to further their own selfish goals. Hopefully, this entire saga will serve as a wake-up call for many people.

Gronkowski announces retirement


After nine remarkable seasons and three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, the superstar tight end made the decision to retire.

Rob Gronkowski, better known as “Gronk,” announced his retirement in a lengthy Instagram post last Sunday.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL Draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far,” Gronk wrote. “I will be retiring from the game of football today.”

Bill Belichick, the Patriot’s head coach, also released a statement that same day. He called Gronk one of the “most complete players at his position” and commented on the 29-year-old’s impact on the entire New England organization and football league.

“Rob’s impact on our team and organization was felt in many ways. In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate,” Belichick said. “His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten. Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game as among the best.”

Gronk had reportedly considered retiring prior to staring the 2018 season, but he decided to play one more season. Unfortunately, his multiple injuries caused him to miss three games and put up the worst numbers in his career. The tight end caught just three touchdown passes during the regular season, marking his personal career low.

During his recent Super Bowl win, however, Gronk caught six passes for 87 yards. His final career reception placed the ball at the Rams’ 2-yard line, leading to the only touchdown in the entire game.

Ever since being drafted second round at the 2010 NFL Draft, Gronk made the most Super Bowl receptions than any other tight end in NFL history (23) and tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns for any player in NFL playoff history (12). In the postseason, he had the most tight end receptions (81), most receiving yards (1,163) and most receiving touchdowns (12). As per receiving yards during the regular season, Gronk will also retire with the most per game (68.4) for any tight end.

In total, the 6-foot-6-inch tight end’s NFL career will end with 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdown receptions — something truly legendary.

Perhaps in five years, once he would be eligible, Gronk will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. One person that undoubtedly believes he will is the Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft.

“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day,” Kraft said in a statement. “Gronk quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for nearly a decade. I look forward to honoring him in the near future as both a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer.”

I will certainly miss watching Gronk play on Sunday nights. He was amusing, passionate and definitely one of the most driven players in the league. However, like most fans, I understand the reasons behind his retirement. He had suffered multiple injuries and underwent numerous surgeries which were inevitably reflecting on the field.

Likewise, I am pleased to see the majority of the news outlets to be reporting on his announcement with multiple highlights of his notable accomplishments on and off the field. I reckon its important to note that while he was a football player, he was also a person outside of that.

Charges dropped against Smollett


In a stunning twist, Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday after he was accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself. However, Smollett still maintains innocence.

Despite refuting Smollett’s claim of being a victim rather than the mastermind behind the attack, prosecutors felt Smollett’s completion of 16 community service hours and $10,000 bond donated to the city was a sufficient punishment.

Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanual are angered by the prosecutors’ decision, believing Smollett staged the attack upon himself to gain publicity and advance his career.

This shocking decision leaves many people confused across the state as well as the nation because the Chicago police had said it had plenty of evidence that Smollett did orchestrate the attack on himself.

In hearing this decision, I was shocked myself because I saw the sharp criticism against Smollett and calls for justice all over the news and social media. Top officials made appearances promising that Smollett will be properly punished for his crimes.

I am left wondering as well as many others if Smollett’s fame played a factor in handling of this case. If this was a regular individual, would they receive the same punishment for 16 felony charges? I do not think so. Not only that but Smollett continues to lie about really happened so he did not seem to gain any lessons from his community service hours. Is there something happening within the State Attorney’s Office of Chicago that we don’t know about? It definitely seems like it as the office has completely changed its stance regarding this case for no apparent reason. Hopefully, the Fourth Estate can get to work in exposing what is really going on here and provide people answers to their questions.

Georgia teachers bully student


Yahoo! News published an article recently entitled, “Georgia teachers suspended after allegedly mocking student’s sexuality, teasing him about ‘boyfriend’.” The article is written by Mark Osborne from “Good Morning America.”

I for one, was very shocked to read this headline. I knew bullying still happened today in society but I would never expect it from teachers.  Osborne did a great job of making the article easy to read describing how Jean Mott, the mother of 14-year-old student at Shiloh Middle School located in Snellville, a suburb northeast of Atlanta, was devastated to see her son come home in tears. The son told the mother how he had been bullied by classmates because of two teachers’ comments.

The teachers’ comments included, “Your boyfriend was cheating on you while you were away. Oh, you two make a really good couple.” Not only did the teachers say this to the student, but they did so in front of the whole entire class.

The school has taken action by following through investigations and have suspended the teachers for the time being. Another investigation that is still ongoing is  being conducted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. According to the article, the commission “has the ability to pull the teaching certificates for both teachers based on the outcome.”

I hope the school takes action and fires these two teachers immediately. With all the violence going on lately, I feel like school is the one place a child should enjoy going to as a place to learn and grow. Teachers should be there to inspire and motivate you, not bring you down. 

School tragedies lead to three deaths


This week, there have been three suicides related to school massacres. In an article from CNN, the writers stated that “three suicides have devastated communities already linked by mass tragedies.” Getting through tragedy is hard for any community, but does the news media make it worse to get through these times?

It is the duty of a journalist to tell the truth and report on what is happening in the world. When tragedy strikes, it is a journalist’s job to report it. However, to what extent do we report this tragedy?

When the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre happened just over a year ago, the story was constantly in the news. It was on every station you turned to, especially in South Florida, and you could not escape it. While it was necessary for people to stay updated on everything surrounding the tragedy, we did not really look at how it affected the community.

If you attended the school or were a part of this community and constantly heard the name “Nikolas Cruz” on every station you turned to, then you could have very extreme reactions to that. Often times people believed that news stations were making Cruz famous or helping him accomplish what he set out to do.

This also bombarded people in the community because they were constantly having to hear about the tragedy. It does not help with trying to cope when you are reminded about the incident constantly. While the suicides were likely caused due to survivor guilt, according to CNN, the news media talking about these tragedies were probably not helpful to the people trying to deal with these losses.

It is the job of journalists to report the news, but not to insight fear and tragedy in a community that has already taken many hits from it. By over saturating the news with one topic of conversation, it can hurt the community and affect other’s who had a similar tragedy happen to them.

World’s biggest T. rex discovered


Paleontologists at a fossil site in Saskatchewan, Canada, discovered the heaviest Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found. The dinosaur, which was unveiled last week in The Anatomical Record, is estimated to have weighed 19,500 pounds during its life.

The skeleton includes the skull and hips along with some of its ribs, leg bones, and tail bones, making it roughly 65 percent complete. Paleontologists have nicknamed the massive Tyrannosaurus rex “Scotty” and he would have been much heavier than the elephants that walk our planet today.

Although the bones were actually discovered in 1991, it took paleontologists over a decade to excavate them from the sandstone that they were in, and even longer to put all of the bones together.

This discovery is a large step for the paleontology community, but surprisingly these findings to not typically get much attention from the media outside of the science world. Articles about this enormous skeleton can be found on websites such as National Geographic, ScienceAlert and New Scientist, but not on any major news websites.

Our news feeds today are filled with politics, scandals and sports, but it is unfortunate that the news media today tend to shy away from science. Although dinosaurs have not walked our earth in 66 million years, these findings help scientists gather more information on important topics such as evolutionary biology and climate change. Hopefully this impressive discovery will get the attention that it deserves, because paleontology is still very relevant in science today.

Deadly floods swamp Iran


Flash floods in 20 of Iran’s 31 provinces have killed at least 24 people and injured hundreds more earlier this week, according to emergency services.

Days of “unprecedented” rain have caused rivers to overflow and engulf cities and villages across the country. Video footage on Twitter shows people clinging to lampposts as currents sweep through streets with massive debris.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences to the people of Iran and expanded government-led relief efforts, which will be supported by the United Nations.

The torrential rainfall was at times equivalent to half of the average annual levels within 24 hours, according to CBS News, which is highly unusual for the country that suffered decades of drought until 2018.

“Climate change is forcing itself on our country,” Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian told Tasnim news agency. “These unprecedented floods in our country are because of climate change worldwide.”

Coverage of the floods in Iran adds to the continuing narrative of increasing natural disasters around the world as a result of climate change. Although the story would receive more attention in the U.S. if a Western country was devastated, social media allows Americans to better visualize of the extent of the tragedy.

Boeing loses large 737 Max order


According to the CNN news, Indonesian airline has canceled its $4.9 billion order for the Boeing 737 Max.

“Boeing 737 Max has happened plane cash twice and caused death in less than five months,” said Indonesian airline Garuda. Indonesia lion air happened crashing in October 2018, killing all 189 people aboard. An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed earlier this month and 157 people were killed.

People are afraid to fly on a Boeing 737 Max. Passengers have lost their confidence in Boeing. The Indonesian airline ordered 50 planes in 2014. It has already taken one of the planes, but the airline stated that it no longer want to receive any other 737 Max planes.

According to the black box data and physical evidence, there were similarities in the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes. Boeing company has developed a software patch and pilot training program to solve this problem.

These incidents have been a blow to Boeing. The plane has been grounded worldwide and Boeing also lost money.

Airline cancels $4.9 billion Boeing order


Indonesia’s national airline Garuda cancelled a $4.9 billion order of Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger jets after the model suffered two fatal crashes in less than five months.

This move follows a worldwide grounding of Max 8s in response to the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which killed all 157 people on board and Lion Air Flight 610, which killed all 189 people on board. Officials are investigating whether or not Boeing’s changes to the model’s flight control system played a role, according to CNN.

“Continuing the Max order does not benefit Garuda,” Garuda spokesperson, Ikhsan Rosan, told The New York Times. “Our passengers, psychologically, they don’t trust flying with Max anymore. They often asked during booking what type of aircraft they would be flying on.”

Garuda sent a letter to Boeing on March 14 requesting the withdrawal of their order, but acknowledges that it will be difficult to proceed since the agreement has already been signed. Garuda and Boeing executives plan to meet to discuss the cancellation request.

Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, said in a statement this week that the company is working to update its software and “taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 Max.”

The resonating effects of the two Max 8 crashes have been covered across media platforms, including stories regarding the families of the victims, the investigation on the cause of the crashes, and the minimal training given to pilots before flying the model. Recent coverage by The New York Times also revealed how some of Boeing’s safety features on the Max 8 are sold only as extras.

March Madness favorites open with wins


As March rolls around, college basketball fans find their spirit reignited after a long season. Hope stirs among crowds and people prepare for what lower-seeded teams hope will be madness.

Fans who have long awaited selection Sunday wait to see if their team made the most elite 68 teams in college basketball. As for those who have had their dreams cut short, they often hope for the excitement that comes with high-pressure games. Coming off a tournament where for the first time in history, a No. 1 seed fell to a No. 16 seed, fans were unsure with how much more exciting the tournament could get.

Based on solely the first day of competition, the answer is limited in excitement. It was smooth sailing in the first day of competition, as No. 1 seed Gonzaga and number two seed Michigan rolled past their competition, both coming out with wins with a large margin.

The upsets that did occur on the first day were far from surprising, with No. 10 University of Florida, a fairly consistent team throughout the season beating No. 7 seed University of Nevada, who rarely has tournament success.

These predictable tournament results are great for bracketologists who pride themselves on making the correct picks; however, this is not good for media outlets who are looking to write interesting stories about the “Cinderella teams” of the tournament. Media coverage is always plentiful for the tournament, but lacks an entertaining value when the tournament goes exactly as planned.

Day two holds three games for No. 1 seeds, leaving room for many surprising games, as well as many classic wins. The Duke Blue Devils, are likely to keep the classic trend going, as they are 26.5-point favorites to beat the North Dakota State Bison in the first round. Maybe there is hope for the No. 12-15 seeds — for a more interesting tournament than we have seen on opening day.