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Michael Brown, the Olympics, and Japan: The Week in Review

The 2016 Summer Olympics begin just as the 2-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death is commemorated. Palestine is wiped off of Google Maps, Japanese Emperor Akihito hints at resignation, and a fire strikes a hospital in Baghdad.

We get it, Wednesdays can be tough to get through. In an effort to keep up with the world’s ever-changing news landscape, we’ve put together the top 10 headlines from the week so you can stay on top of things.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Olympic Games began, and they’re amazing


The 2016 Summer Olympics commenced in Rio de Janeiro, making Brazil the first South American country to host the event. The Olympics start as the country faces major political instability and an economic crisis.

This year’s Games includes the first-ever refugee team, comprised of 10 athletes from Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Ibtihaj Muhammad has made headlines as the first woman in hijab to represent and compete for a U.S. team in the Olympics. Some of the most notable wins include Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky’s gold medal wins as they dominate the Olympic pool.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has officially served Russia a blanket ban from the Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee, by contrast, chose to ban individual athletes following the state-wide doping scandal for the Games in Rio.

2. The 2-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The 2-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death was a day for commemoration, reflection, and a re-igniting of resolve. Michael Brown’s death two years ago marks what some argue is the start of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

After an evening church service, in St. Louis, MO, a protestor was struck by a speeding car. Gunfire was heard shortly after. No one is reported injured as a result of the gunfire, and incident is reportedly an accident.

An unarmed Michael Brown was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson August 9th, 2014. He would have been 20 years old by now.

3. The Japanese Emperor Akihito hints at his resignation


Japanese Emperor Akihito asked Parliament to consider rewriting the law, asking for permission to resign from his position and pass it on to his son. Akihito is 82 years old, has battled cancer, and undergone several surgeries.

In a rare televised speech, Akihito addressed his failing health and hinted at his desire to resign. If he were to resign, the very fabric of Japanese tradition would falter. While the Emperor holds no political clout, but the position holds significance to the Japanese people and their history.

4. Landslides in Mexico wreak havoc in the country


Landslides in the Mexican states of Puebla and Veracruz have killed at least 40 people so far. The Landslides come after Hurricane Earl struck the coast earlier this week. Due to the states’ mountainous geography, mudslides have ensued, and evacuation is encouraged for the people’s safety.

Currently, Earl has been downgraded to a tropical depression. However, there’s been significant damage in the two states.

National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Puente has kept the public updated via Twitter on the efforts to provide assistance to affected families.

5. A London knife attack was called “spontaneous”

A total of six individuals were stabbed in London on Thursday, August 4th. The wife of a Florida State University professor,  Darlene Horton, 64, was among the victims. Police are calling this a “spontaneous” incident.

The suspect is a 19-year-old Norwegian of Somali origin. So far, there haven’t been any links to terrorism.

6. Supreme Court ruling falters around transgender rights


An order that would have allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom of his choice has been temporarily blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court. The school board in Gloucester County, Virginia  is challenging the decision amidst growing controversy.

The student, who resides in Virginia, was born female, but now identifies as male. The timing of this blocking means that the student will not be able to use the restroom of his choice by the time the school year begins.

7. #PalestineIsHere reminds Google Maps of their ridiculous mistake


Google Maps is being accused of removing Palestine from the world map, with Google alleging that it never was on the map in the first place. After this discovery, thousands of people shared their anger and thoughts on the matter by utilizing #PalestineIsHere.

Over 270,000 people have signed a petition titled, “Google: Put Palestine On Your Maps!” The petition was created back in March, with it gaining traction especially within the last week.

8. A hospital fire in Baghdad, Iraq brought heartbreak to the country

Reuters, Thaier Al-Sudani
Reuters, Thaier Al-Sudani

A hospital fire has struck a maternity ward in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 11 premature infants. The incident is just another amidst a series of heartbreaking occurrences in Baghdad within the last few weeks.

Some were just hours old, resting in incubators in the preterm birth unit, when a short circuit occurred in an air conditioning unit, according to a preliminary report provided by the Civil Defense.

9. Zika spreads to the U.S., and nobody’s happy

Miami Herald
Miami Herald

There have been four more likely cases of the Zika virus reported in Miami, Florida. So far, the city is the only place in the U.S. with “active transmission” for Zika. Anxiety surrounding the spread of the virus have people in the area panicked.

Hillary Clinton visited the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami and made the case for Congress to approve funding for treatment, testing, and research to combat the virus.

10. Instagram stories is testing our loyalty to Snapchat

Social Media Today
Social Media Today

Instagram rolled out its latest feature, Instagram Stories, in an update this past Friday. The feature is being labeled as Snapchat 2.0, and by those less kind, as a “complete rip off.” Like Snapchat stories, Instagram Stories allows users to post 10 second videos and add text, stickers, and emojis (not to mention it’s all gone after 24 hours). Sound familiar, anyone?

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