Venezuela: An Update

By Ethan Johnson

Violent protests broke out across Venezuela after self declared interim president , Juan Guaido called for people to join him in the streets for protests on Tuesday. So far there is only one confirmed death from the violence but there are also reports of multiple injuries.

Members of the military have fired tear gas and water hoses at some of the protestors. At one an armored military vehicle was filmed driving into protestors. This fresh wave of protests marks the most violent episode of the Venezuelan crisis since it began in January.

In a video released on Tuesday, Guaido claimed to have the support of many defectors of the Venezuelan army but Nicolas Maduro claimed to still maintain the loyalty of most of the military and all of its top ranking officers. Maduro also declared victory over Guaido’s movement which he denounced as a coup attempt. "No-one dare touch our sacred ground or bring war to Venezuela," he said.

Guaido did recently manage to release Leopoldo Lopez, a fellow opposition leader, from house arrest. Lopez stood next to Guaido as he called for people to join him on protesting Maduro.

Lopez was later reported to have sought safety within the Spanish embassy. A warrant for Mr. Lopez’s arrest had been issued. The order has stated that Mr. Lopez will serve the remaining 13 years of his imprisonment. The Spanish government has said that it has said that it has no intention of releasing Mr. Lopez to the Venezuelan authorities.

The United States recently claimed that Maduro had been prepared to board a plane and flee to Havana but was talked out of it by Russia. "They had an airplane on the tarmac," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "He was ready to leave this morning [Tuesday], as we understand it. Russians indicated he should stay." Maduro has since dismissed the claim and once again accused the United States of directing the coup attempt.

Venezuela has been in a crisis since January when Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on the grounds that incumbent president Nicolas Maduro’s recent reelection was illegitimate.

More than 50 countries including the United States and the UK have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Other nations including Russia and China insist that Maduro is the leader of Venezuela.

Maduro was first elected to power in Venezuela after the death of President Hugo Chavez in 2013. During his first term, Venezuela’s economy collapsed. Many blamed Maduro and his policies for the crisis. His unpopularity led many to become suspicious of his reelection in 2018.

Juan Guaido was originally the president of the National Assembly, a legislative body that lost most of its power in 2017 with the creation of the National Constituent Assembly. He claims that Maduro’s second term is the result of a fraudulent election due to the jailing and threatening of opponents. He says that because the election was illegitimate, then the position of president is vacant and that the Venezuelan constitution gives Guaido the power to declare himself interim president to fill the void.

Since the protests against Maduro began, Venezuela has continued to face hyperinflation that leaves most of the population in poverty. The nation has also begun suffering power outages that span large swathes of the country and last for days on end.

It is estimated that over three million venezuelans have fled the country in recent years. As many as one million of them have gone to neighboring Columbia. Others have travelled to other nations including Peru, the United States, and Spain.

The United States has reiterated its support for Guaido and the opposition. Mike Pompeo said in a television interview on Wednesday said that “military action is possible” if deemed necessary. President Donald Trump has also said that he is watching the situation closely.

Other nations have had different reactions to the situation. Columbia’s President Ivan Duque has urged Venezuela’s military to stand "on the right side of history" against Maduro. Nations that support Maduro such as Bolivia and Cuba have condemned Guaido’s efforts as an attempted coup.

Inflation in the country has skyrocketed reaching 1.3 million percent in November 2018. The price of a cup of coffee doubled in just one week last December. The massive prices have left many Venezuelans scrambling to find supplies to keep their families fed.

Tensions continue to rise in Venezuela with neither side seeming to be willing to back down nor compromise. The crisis has been dragging on for months now but it appears that it may still have quite a ways to go before its finished.

The Growing Issue of Screen Time in Today's Parenting

By Lexxi Bursey

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the new guidelines regarding screen time for infants and young children. Released Wednesday 24th, the WHO concluded that children under five years old should not be spending as much time as they are on screens. In order for them grow up healthy and develop healthy habits as an adult, children should be spending far less times sitting and watching screens. This has become a growing issue for the young infants and children of today, and obviously will be a continuing trend in the future.

This has became an issue due to the “busy” lives of today’s society, which prominently is rushed activities and a high sense of self importance. Millennials, the parents of the young children, are failing to spend as much time with their children as they should be. In place of the family time, there are iPads and screens placed in front of their eyes for them to occupy their time with. Many children today already have some sort of screen, whether it be a phone or a tablet, or even both. There is also the televisions in the home, which now more often are found in the child’s room and in the living room.

While handing your child may be the easiest and quickest fix to entertain a child, it is not the most practical. It decreases their physical and delineated from forming healthy habits to continue in their future. According to Dr. Fiona Bull, the program manager for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable disease at WHO, “Improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and ensuring quality sleep in young children will improve their physical, mental health and wellbeing, and help prevent childhood obesity and associated diseases later in life.”

Not only does it influence the habits for life, but according to WHO, applying the new recommendations in their guidelines during the first five years of the child’s life will also contribute to the motor skills and cognitive development and lifelong health of the child.

The guidelines stated that child below one year should not receive any screens and children up to five should spend less that one hour a day. A summary of the rest of the guidelines are following, according to a summary from WSLS from WHO.

Infants (less than 1 year) should

  • “Be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways, particularly through interactive, floor-based play; more is better. For those not yet mobile, this includes at least 30 minutes in the prone position (tummy time) spread throughout the day while awake”, according to WSLS10.

  • “Not be restrained for more than one hour at a time (e.g. prams/strollers, high chairs, or strapped on a caregiver’s back). Screen time is not recommended. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged”, according to WSLS.

  • “Have 14 to 17 hours (from 0–3 months of age) or 12 to 16 hours (from 4–11 months of age) of good, quality sleep, including naps,” according to WSLS.

Children 1-2 years of age should

  • “Spend at least three hours in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, including moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day; more is better”, according to WSLS10.

  • “Not be restrained for more than an hour at a time (e.g., prams/strollers, high chairs or strapped on a caregiver’s back) or sit for extended periods of time. For 1-year-olds, sedentary screen time (such as watching TV or videos, playing computer games) is not recommended. For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than one hour; less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged,” according to WSLS.

  • “Have 11 to 14 hours of good, quality sleep, including naps, with regular sleep and wake-up times,” according to WSLS.

Children 3-4 years of age should

  • “Spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, of which at least 60 minutes, is moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day; more is better,” according to WSLS.

  • “Not be restrained for more than one hour at a time (e.g., prams/strollers) or sit for extended periods of time. Sedentary screen time should be no more than one hour; less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged,” according to WSLS.

  • “Have 10 to 13 hours of good, quality sleep, which may include a nap, with regular sleep and wake-up times,” according to WSLS.

Notre Dame Fire

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

On April 15th and 16th this year, the infamous church in France named Notre Dame’s roof was burning, causing billions of dollars in damages, but only resulting in the death of three people. Estimates regarding the price of the restoration of the church range from one billion dollars, which is the amount of money aimed to be raised for the restoration process through fundraisers, to slightly over two billion dollars. Of the many irreplaceable items damaged, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars to properly restore the damage the fire, as well as water, had caused upon the possibly most famous organ in the world alone. This is due to the over eight thousand pipes and an electric system in the organ’s wind chest, along with other damages. Fortunately,  every artifact, of those documented thus far, including what is thought to be a piece of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified on as well as the crown of thorns Jesus was thought to have worn during his crucifixion, survived the fire, although with some damage restorations needed. With many priceless artifacts such as these (to their respective following), it is easy to understand why there was such an outcry at the fire burning away the building, and possibly everything inside.

After the fire had been successfully put out, by the nearly four hundred fire fighters that had been called to the scene in approximately fifteen hours, donations started pouring into the restoration process from people around the world. Although there was an insurance policy for the cathedral in France, the Insurance company has decided to leave all costs of repairs and restorations to the French government. With a possibly two billion dollar bill to be paid, many could not be started until more money was collected. This could have caused the Notre Dame Cathedral to have taken tens of years to rebuild. These are all reasons as to why billionaires as well as companies rushed to donate. The Walt Disney Company donated five million dollars, Kering donated one hundred and thirty-three million, and Bernard Arnault - partial owner of LVMH - donated two hundred and twenty-six million dollars, just to name a few of the many donors and donations.

With Notre Dame being 856 years old, there was priceless artwork and artifacts there. Some of the vital pieces of art were saved from the fire, including the crown of thorns. The crown of thorns has believed to been worn by Jesus during his crucifixion. The fact that artifacts such as these were housed in the Cathedral makes it very important to many, if not all, Christians. Notre Dame’s iconic bell was also saved from the fire. The roof on the Cathedral was burned along with the spire. A lot of the artwork that was in Notre Dame and their status is unknown. The art and artifacts may not have been burned, but the smoke would still cause an effect on them. After the fire and all the damage was made, Vincent Dunn, former fire chief, said that Notre Dame would have been condemned for being unsafe if it was not a place of worship. The main structure was saved from the fire, but the risk for collapsing has now increased greatly.

Although the donations were very kind, one has to wonder what the billion dollars donated could have done elsewhere. A billion dollars would have been enough money to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is killing our ecosystem and wildlife. The money could also help build more schools. There are places in the world that have less than 10% of their population that has a sliver of education. Somalia has the least functioning school in the world. Eritrea being second, followed by Haiti, Comoros, and Ethiopia. A billion dollars could also fix the amount of homeless people across the world. 150 million people are homeless worldwide. 1.6 billion people live in shelters that are barely providing them safety. Although the people of France are thankful, the amount of money raised for Notre Dame seems excessive. This is not the first fire Notre Dame has had, plus now the place is more dangerous than ever. People give money to an old church but look the other way when it comes to worldwide issues. Although there is sentimental and spiritual value in the Cathedral, as it is a very important figure for many of those who live in France as well as a majority of Catholics around the world, there are other issues throughout the world that could be fixed by these donations.

Biden Allegations

By Ethan Johnson

Former Vice President Joe Biden has become the next public figure to face allegations of inappropriate behavior with women. In total, 4 women have come forward claiming that Biden made them feel uncomfortable with unwanted physical contact.

The first to come forward, Lucy Flores, described an incident where Biden kissed her on the back of the head. "He leaned in and he was, like,right behind me on my body, and he leaned down, smells my hair, and then plants this big, long kiss on the top of my head," she said.

Another woman later came forward, Amy Lappos, who told a story of when Biden gave her an unwelcome eskimo kiss in 2009. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth," she told the Hartford Courant.

Other women also came forward citing incidents where Biden made them feel uncomfortable. The latest accusations came from 22 year-old former college student Caitlyn Caruso and 59 year old writer DJ Hill, reported by the New York Times. Caruso claims that Biden placed his hand on her thigh at an event three years ago despite her squirming. She also says that he hugged her for “just a little bit too long.”

Mrs Hill said that Biden put his hand on her shoulder and started dropping it down her back until her husband intervened. She said that the incident which took place at a fundraising event in 2012 made her “very uncomfortable.”

On Wednesday, Biden released a video defending his actions but also stating that he will be more mindful of people’s boundaries in the future. “I want to talk about gestures of support that I’ve made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable. I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. . . . It’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I try to show I care about them and listening,” Biden said in his video. “The boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying and I understand it. I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility and I’ll meet it.”

Opponents of Biden including President Donald Trump were quick to criticize him for his actions. On Thursday, Trump tweeted a video which depicts Biden’s explanation but edited to have a second Biden place his hands on Biden’s shoulders. Trump’s supporters have also done their part in condemning Biden with one group releasing a “Creepy Joe” ad.

Others came to Biden’s support including the wife of the former Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, Stephanie Carter who said that a picture of Biden with his hands on her shoulders has been used misleadingly. She told The Medium, "The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful. "So, as the sole owner of my story, it is high time that I reclaim it - from strangers, Twitter, the pundits and the late-night hosts."

The daughter of the late senator John McCain, Meghan McCain also came to the defense of Biden talking about his kindness and thoughtfulness.

Many of Biden’s accusers claim that his actions should disqualify him from a presidential run. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, however disagrees saying, “I don't think it's disqualifying.” She later added that "He has to understand in the world that we're in now that people's space is important to them, and what's important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it."

Many of the Democratic Candidates for the 2020 presidential election have been asked about the situation. When asked if Biden should be disqualified from running for president, senator Elizabeth Warren said, “That is their decision about whether or not to run, and it will be up to Democratic voters whether or not to support someone.”

Senator Bernie Sanders said that women being respected in the workplace should not be a partisan issue. “It is not acceptable that when a woman goes to work or is in any kind of environment that she feels anything less than comfortable and safe, and this is an issue the entire country has got to work on,” he said.

Biden has not confirmed whether or not he will be running in the 2020 presidential election but many think that the former vice president would have a strong chance of winning.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

By Evelyn Melvin

The ocean is a scary place, when talking about the animals that reside there. Personally, I believe that it is absolutely bizarre that we have been to the moon, literally out of this world, but we have not been to the bottom of the ocean. Who knows the things we have yet to see, or discover. There could be a dinosaur down there and we would have no clue. There could even be a giant boat full of the biggest amount of gold possible and we wouldn’t know. So, I am here to enlighten you on some of the weirdest fish that can be in something so big.

The Blob Fish - The Blobfish is a bottom dweller. It can be up to 12 inches long, and live so deep in the ocean that it is rarely seen by humans. The Blobfish is in danger of being wiped out. They eat small crabs, sea urchins, and shellfish. We know that the Blobfish lays eggs, but scientist are unaware on how they actually mate, which is crazy.

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse - This fish is typically found in China, North Korea, and South Korea. They have protruding foreheads and chins, and their lips are bigger than other fishes. They feed on crustaceans and shellfish, and they are one of the largest wrasses. When a female reaches a certain size they can convert to a male.

The Frogfish - They are found in tropical areas such as Bali. They are a type of anglerfish. They can camouflage to hide from predators. They do not have scales, and they are usually unusually shaped. They eat fish and crustaceans, and they also wiggle a lure in front of their head to lure fish and other food in to them.

Psychedelic Frogfish - This is recently discovered and it lives on the ocean floor. It can bounce kind of like a rubber ball. It lives near Indonesia. They have a ton of lines that swirl around their bodies, and even their eyes. They have fins on either side of their bodies that act like legs. It is a rare fish, and since its discovery has barely been seen.

The Sunfish - It can stretch up to 14 foot long, and can weigh over 5,000 pounds. This is the heaviest bony fish in the world. A female sunfish can produce up to 300 million eggs. These fish basically look like a giant head, with fins that is. Sunfish use their fused beak to suck in prey. They do not have teeth at the beginning of their mouth, they have them in their throat.

The Moonfish - These fish are considered warm-blooded, this means that they can generate their own body heat. This feature gives the moonfish a greater amount of energy. It averages out at about 100 pounds. It is a rusty reddish color fish which has white spots and bright red fins. These fish eat squid and krill, and sometimes small fish are included in their diet. They live in southern waters, near Hawaii.

The Goblin Shark - This fish has ejecting jaws that they use to catch their prey. This fish is usually lazy and unmotivated. They like deeper waters over shallow. It is characterized with sharks. It is the most unusual of the sharks because of their narrow upper snout. These animals eat fish large and small, other sharks, and sometimes rays. They also sometimes eat crabs and squid.

The Halitrephes Massi Jellyfish - This is a brightly colored jellyfish. They live in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. These jellyfish are rarely seen by humans. This jellyfish’s body reflects light to create a colorful show. They float around in the deep ocean, and they look kind of like umbrellas. Some refer to them as deep sea fireworks, because of the colors presented by the jellyfish.

Gulper Eel - This fish is not actually considered an eel, despite its name. They live in depth up to 10,000 feet. They are bioluminescence, and they have proverbial sleeves. They are not found in tropical waters. They have large mouths that allow them to eat prey larger than them, and even swallow them whole. These creatures have tiny eyes, which is unusual for deep sea creatures. Scientist believe that gulper eels die after mating.

The Triggerfish - This fish lives in tropical and subtropical waters. With their mouths shut, they are considered cute and friendly because of their colors. But when they open their mouths, they are slightly scary.  They are considered to be excellent swimmers, and fast because they are small. They grow up to 25 cm long, which isn’t that big. They eat algae, crustaceans, worms, snails, and sea urchins. In Hawaii, reef triggerfish are also known as the “humuhumunukunukuapua’a.”  They are the state fish of Hawaii.

Women In STEM

By Cameron Hildebrand

Within the STEM industry, they are few women scientists and engineers. However, women are prominent in medicine, law, and business. When it comes to women in the STEM industry, stereotype threats arise. This includes anything from a woman taking a male dominant class, to a woman taking a test in a room with mainly just men and being treated differently while in that room. Throughout STEM careers women are underestimated and underrepresented.

It is believed that individuals with a growth mindset have even more intelligence that keeps developing, unlike individuals with fixed mindsets. Most women are seen to have growth mindsets because they never are happy. They continue to have to desire to grow and learn no matter the difficulty faced. Having a growth mindset benefits women and young girls in science and math because they are constantly faced with negative stereotypes about their facilities.

Out of all scientists and engineers seeking employment within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields 50% under 75 are women, and 49% under 29 are women. About one in seven engineers are female. Men are much more likely than women to have a STEM career regardless of educational attainment, according to Women in STEM Fields.

The range of STEM is far greater than most industries. Some of these include:

  • Aerospace engineering

  • Astronomy

  • Biochemistry

  • Biology

  • Chemical engineering

  • Chemistry

  • Civil engineering

  • Computer science

  • Electrical engineering

  • Mathematics

  • Mechanical engineering

  • Physics

  • Psychology

  • Statistics

While other subcategories may be added underneath of these, these are most of the categories headings. In order to encourage the number of women pursuing careers in STEM government and charities have been launched to increase the number of young women studying STEM degrees and going on to work in STEM-related fields. Girls Who Code, Engineer Girl, and Kode With Klossy are just a few of the organizations that have been established to encourage female participation in STEM subjects. These programs include internships and other work placements that otherwise are often not made available specifically for young women.

Hot Earth

By Adaline Bisese

In 2007 Japan experienced dense smog in its cities and rural areas. The smog smothered citizens causing symptoms from burning eyes to coughing. Twelve years later, the smog has subsided, but its effects are ever present.

Smog, a combination of smoke and fog, covers areas globally. It happens when chemicals are released into the air during the burning of fossil fuels. The gases accumulate under certain weather conditions. These gases are often invisible to the human eye under most conditions and are made of the same gases known as ‘greenhouse gases.’

Greenhouse gases are gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels as well as other natural processes. The most common gases in the atmosphere are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Where the gases originate from and the amounts present vary. Carbon dioxide accounts for about eighty-one percent of the total emissions as of 2016. Carbon dioxide is often a result of the burning of fossil fuels, timber products, and solid waste. It is used during photosynthesis by plants, but it has become excessively abundant in recent years as industrialization and demand for mass produced commodities increases. After carbon dioxide, ten percent of the gases are methane. The abundance of methane in the atmosphere is mostly a result of the agricultural industry. It originates from the decay of organic materials and livestock which has been increasing as the the world’s demand for meat and poultry products grows. As of 2016, Nitrous oxide accounts for six percent of the total greenhouse emissions. This gas is a result of the same processes of methane. The last gas is actually a group of gases called fluorinated gases produced during industrial processes. They account for only about three percent.

Although the majority of greenhouse gases come from human production and use of fossil fuels, a small percentage does come from natural occurrences. Volcanoes, when erupting emit toxic gases. The position of the earth relative to the sun, sun spots, and solar winds also play a role in the recent warming of the earth. The total emissions from natural sources are only partially to blame for the recent rise in temperature as they only account for about two percent of the total gases in the atmosphere.

The earth has gone through periods of warmth and cold over millennials. One of the most well known times of change was the Ice Age, which began around 20,000 years ago. An ice age is a cold period on earth where a large part of the planet is covered by ice. In recent years, the glaciers that have, in the past, covered the northern and southern poles of the earth, are melting. This melting is partly due to greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases retain the heat of the sun within the earth’s atmosphere so that life on earth can thrive. Without greenhouse gases, the earth would be considerably colder. In fact the temperature would be an average of sixty degrees cooler. Since the industrial revolution, emission of gases that make up what are called greenhouse gases have risen steadily and continue to accumulate.

The buildup of greenhouse gases from humans’ overuse of fossil fuels has lead to an increase in global temperature. On average, the earth’s temperature has risen one degree in the past decades. One degree doesn’t seem to be a considerable change, but one degree has affected the environment. One of the known changes has been a continual rise in sea level. Glaciers are melting at faster rates than ever recorded in human history. Greenland and Antarctica are losing chunks of their glaciers as they disintegrate into the warming oceans. The melting over the past three decades has caused the level of the oceans to rise one hundredth of an inch each.

In the future, sea levels are projected to rise as much as twenty six inches. By the year 2100, coastal cities might be submerged. Millions of people will be displaced. The destruction will cost countries trillions of dollars in repairs. A slight rise and fall in sea level is inevitable, but large scale change does not have to be.

The best way to help the planet is limiting the amount of fossil fuels each individual uses. Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released can help regulate the changing temperature. Therefore, instead of driving separately and emitting two to three times the necessary carbon dioxide, try to carpool with others to work, school, or a public event. Attempt to limit the support of international companies that refuse to closely follow environmental guidelines, or ones that manufacture products using large amounts of fossil fuels. Lastly, raising awareness regarding climate change and its effects on the planet is imperative to inspire action.

It is pertinent to acknowledge the state of the changing climate. Only once the residences living on the planet correct their ways can the earth continue to thrive for generations to come.

Apple's New Releases From the Keynote Event and Press Release

By Cameron Hildebrand

During Apple’s Keynote Event, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced the popular companies lineup of new products. This includes the production of its own lineup of films and TV shows that will be available on the new version of the company's Apple TV. However, other releases of the company include Apple TV Channels, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, second generation Airpods with a wireless charging case, iPad Air, and iPad Mini.

The Apple TV+ is a paid, ad-free, video portal that provides its own original movies and TV shows. The predicted launch is for this upcoming fall, but no price has be revealed yet. The plan is to pair with Apple TV Channels in order to get into streaming video.

Apple's new shows include series from Oprah, a show called "See" about a world where everyone is blind after an apocalypse, and "The Morning Show" with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. Other celebrities working on streaming programs include Steven Spielberg, Kumail Nanjiani, J.J. Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan and Damien Chazelle. Apple is reportedly spending $1 billion a year on its own content. Two years ago, Apple poached Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg.

Apple is updating its current TV app to look similar to other streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. There will be tabs on the top that consist of categories such as Watch Now, Movies, TV Shows, Sports, Family, and Library. Services such as Prime Video and Hulu will also appear on the updated app, but Netflix will be absent.

Apple News+ is also being introduced. Apple announced that they were updating their news app in order to add more than 300 magazine subscriptions. This update will not allow advertisers to track and interrupt the readers.

Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs to make its own credit card. The Apple Card will be available on all iOS devices in the Wallet app. It has a rewards system that adds 2% of any Apple Pay purchase amount directly back to the Apple wallet as cash. The reward increases up to 3% for purchases of Apple products. All purchase will require a fingerprint or a face-identification for confirmation.

Apple is additionally releasing a new ad-free subscription gaming service called Apple Arcade. This will allow users to access more than 100 games just for Apple. Even though the games will need to be downloaded, users will be able to stop a game on one device, and resume on a different device.

Apple has also announced new AirPods, which are the second generation of the popular wireless headphones. The new Apple-designed H1 chip, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free "Hey Siri.” H1 allows AirPods to deliver up to 50 percent more talk time compared to first generation AirPods. The new AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new Wireless Charging Case for convenience. AirPods with standard charging case will be available for $159, while AirPods with Wireless Charging Case will be available for $199. The standalone Wireless Charging Case is priced at $79 New AirPods and when purchased on Apple’s online website, customers can add a personal engraving to the AirPods with standard charging case and AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for free.

Apple also recently introduced the all-new iPad Air in an ultra-thin 10.5-inch design. It offers the Apple Pencil1support. Due to the A12 Bionic chip, the new iPad Air delivers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability, and the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology is nearly 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels.

Additionally, Apple also introduced the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, a major upgrade for iPad mini fans who love a compact, ultra-portable design packed with the latest technology. With the A12 Bionic chip, the new iPad mini is a powerful multi-tasking machine, delivering three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. The advanced Retina display with True Tone technology and wide color support is 25 percent and has the highest pixel density of any iPad. With Apple Pencil1support, the new iPad mini is the perfect for sketching and jotting down thoughts.

After this past week, Apple has everyone looking forward to their newest additions. The company claimed that these products will be for sale beginning in the summer months and carrying into late fall.

Dead Rats Filled with Drugs, Drug-Smuggling Cat Running the Prisons

By Fallon Bursey

According to WSLS10, dead rats stuffed with drugs, phones, chargers, and SIM cards were found at the HMP Guys Marsh (prison) in Dorset, southwest England. Some of the staff on patrol at the prison located three dead rats in the yard which had stitching alongside the underbelly of the rats, according to the Ministry of Justice in southwest England.

After opening the animals they are said to have found that the insides of the animals had all been removed and replaced with either drugs or some from of technology. This is following the discovery of pigeons and sports ball which have been used as well to smuggle in materials and objects. The pigeons and balls were filled with contraband in hopes of smuggling the addictive, dangerous drug into the prison walls. The Ministry said that the use of rats is new and to their knowledge had not been done before.

It is said that five phones, five chargers, three SIM cards, cigarette papers, tobacco, drugs, cannabis, and “spice” were found and seized among the dead animals. “Spice” is a synthetic cannabinoid which has chemicals related to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in the synthetic drug. “Spice” is however sold by many different names, each capable and often found to contain different chemical compositions. “Spice” is known for its high potency, much more potent than marijuana, which causes serious side effects.

The use of spice has been the cause of many fatalities and medical cases of severe bleeding in the United States. It is now becoming a.increasingly growing problem in the United Kingdom. According to CNN, there was an outbreak of hospitalizations related to spice in Illinois which resulted in 56 severe bleeding treatments and two deaths resulting from the bleeding. According to the report, the cases involved heavy coughing up blood, bloody urine, bloody nose, bloody gums, and other severe symptoms. Nine of these 56 cases were tested for the contents of brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to Illinois Department of Public Health. The state officials are identifying any common use synthetic cannabinoid products in the cases to determine where they are from.

The cases are still posing many unanswered questions about the illnesses involved; however officials are not sure where the contamination came from.

The spokesperson from the Illinois Department of Public Health stated that, “This is the first time we’ve seen an outbreak of this magnitude in the area,” said Melaney Arnold.

The officials in England say they believe the rats were thrown into the prison yard by criminals to be collected by an inmate, and the sold around to other prisoners in the facility.

“This find shows the extraordinary lengths to which criminals will go to smuggle drugs into prison, and underlines why our works to improve security is so important,” said the prison’s minister, Rory Stewart. In another statement, “Drugs and mobile phones behind bars put prisoners, prison officers, and the public at risk. By toughening security and searching, we can ensure prisons are a place of rehabilitation that will prevent further reoffending and keep the public safe.”

Police are said to be actively working with the prison facility to find the perpetrators behind the illegal actions. Officials in England have agreed to invest $21 million dollars, or 16 million euros, to improve the conditions for the prisoners and staff as an action to initiate a safety increase and security in the prisons, according to the ministry.

Another $9 million, or 7 million euros, is to be allocated to fund the implementation of scanners, phone-blocking technology, improved search methods, and a financial crime group to investigate the inmates who run illegal enterprises in jail.

The United Kingdom criminals are the only inmates trying to create new methods of smuggling, selling, and possessing contraband into prisons. Guards at a Moldovan prison have recently also reported that they have seized a drug-smuggling cat in 2013. It is also reported that an inmate of a Costa Rican jail in 2015 had trained a pigeon as well to smuggle in cocaine and marijuana into the prison. Again in 2012, Georgia officers found a dead cat stuffed with cell phones at a prison fence.

While the drugs, the weapons, the alcohol, and the tobacco are usually the contraband, it is said that phones are actually the most dangerous smuggled object, and also the most craved. This is according to Jon Ozmint, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, who told this to CNN in 2015.

Effects of Social Media on Society

By Rachel Epperly

Social media has increased throughout the years and become more and more popular. Twenty years ago half of the media types that exist today did not back then. Throughout these years, over fourty new social media, instant messaging, and video sharing apps have been released. Social media has changed how people view themselves, treat others, and spend their free time.

With all these new media types, teenagers now have a way to compare themselves to others even more. They are constantly surrounded by pictures that may or may not even truly represent what others look like. This can lead to a decrease in self appreciation or respect causing teenagers to change the way they look or dress based off of others. Social media has also started to affect children and their behavior. Ten years ago most children would start out with flip or slide phones. Nowadays children get iPhones as their first phones and are exposed to the internet and social media right off the bat.

The increased use of social media has led to an increase in cyberbullying as well. Kids can now hide behind screens and say whatever they feel without having to see the person they’re communicating with face to face. This has caused bullying rates to skyrocket. According to, over half of adolescents and teens are faced with cyberbullying. Of this huge number of people that have been bullied over the internet, there are up to 4,400 cases of suicide that involve cyberbullying.

The constant use of social media is causing adolescents to become more and more reliant on their phones. Flashgap, a photo-sharing application with more than 150,000 users, conducted a study to see if social media has caused millenials to be less social when in person. This study found that eighty-seven percent of millennials said they missed out on a conversation because they were caught up with something on their phone. Fifty-four percent of people said that they felt a fear of missing out if they did not check their social medias frequently. Studies have shown that oftentimes females are the guiltiest people when it comes to too much time on their phones.

Apple has started giving users notifications of their screen time showing them how much they are on their phones and which of the apps on their phones are causing their screen time to go up. Going off of this, twenty five students at James River High School were asked whether they had more than two types of social media on their phones. 20% of students said that they had two or less, yet 80% said they had more than that. We followed by asking whether these social medias consumed most of their screen time. 90% of the students said yes, and that social media was in their most used apps.  Only 10% of students said no, and that their screen time was consumed by other apps or uses on their phones.

Although social media has had a negative effect on a lot of things and people, it has also made a good impact on some businesses and socialization aspects. Social media has been a way for businesses to reach new audiences. Businesses can create social media pages and post pictures of their products, events, or other things to increase their visibility. These outreach techniques would not be possible or helpful without the use of social media networks. Businesses also use social media to announce any closings or changes in business hours.

Another good thing that social media has provided for society is a way to reconnect with people who you have not seen recently. Social media has made is possible for friends to meet up and talk while being in different places. Society has also started using social media to form new friendships. For example, when graduating from high school, finding new people and making friends when you are going into college can be hard. A lot of colleges now create Facebook pages where accepted students can join, meet, and talk to new people that are also going to that school. After making these new friends, many teenagers now use social media to talk to them by snapchatting or even making group chats with other prospective students. A lot of students have even met their college roomates solely through Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

All in all, social media has caused a lot of hurt when it comes to the way our society is today, but it has also done a lot of positive things. Without social media, our world would be very different than it is today. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tinder, and many others have all contributed in turning our society into what it is now. Only we can change how we let social media affect the world and what the world turns into because of it.