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5 Things to Know This Weekend: May 5, 2017

5 Things to Know This Weekend: May 5, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Before you start cataloguing your pre-existing conditions, here are the things to know this weekend. 

On Monday, the Trump Administration moved to weaken girls education around the world and healthy food for students in the U.S.

According to a memo, one of former first lady Michelle Obama's signature efforts, Let Girls Learn, will not be a standalone program anymore. The program was largely an effort of the Peace Corps and USAID and promoted education for adolescent girls in developing nations. Despite the cessation of the brand and program, a Peace Corps spokesperson told CNN they would continue girls' education initiatives.

Healthy school lunch standards that were also a priority of Michelle Obama were also set to be rolled back, according to Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue. An interim rule change will halt further reduction in the sodium content of school lunches, and do away with the requirement that whole grain-rich foods be prioritized. The White House said the existing rules were too strict, especially for low-income schools and hope to give them more flexibility to serve food that kids will want to eat.  

On Tuesday, California introduced Senate Bill 100—the California Clean Energy Act of 2017.

The new bill would pave the way for California, already has one of the cleanest economies in the world, to become 100 percent reliable on clean energy sources by 2045. In addition to setting the 2045 goal, the measure would accelerate prior mandates for clean renewable energy, establish new policies for energy companies to capture emissions, and ensure landfills and waste water treatment plants replace natural gas with renewable fuels. 

Wednesday, The New York Times reported its biggest revenue growth in six years. 

The newspaper added 308,000 net digital news subscriptions—significantly more than the 276,000 added last quarter. During his campaigning and post-election, Trump called The New York Times “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people" but Americans appear to disagree. 

CLIMATE WATCH: Switzerland is taking great lengths to save a famous glacier from the effects of global warming. 

The Morteratsch Glacier—sometimes called a Swiss “national treasure”  and major tourist destination—has been shrinking due to rising temperatures and reduced rainfall. The iconic part of the Swiss landscape is particularly special because it’s so easy to access—you can get to it even if you’re in a wheelchair. 

Beginning this summer,  Utrecht University is piloting a potential solution, blowing artificial snow onto a small glacier in the south-eastern part of Switzerland in the hope that the layer of snow will reflect more sunlight away from the ice underneath and prevent the glacier from melting. If successful, the technology could be used on Morteratsch and other large glaciers.

Thursday, the House passed the new healthcare bill to replace Obamacare. 

The measure passed through the House with 217 votes—one vote more than the minimum needed to move forward—despite widespread criticism from just about every stakeholder group, including major insurance companies. The Washington Post outlines three paths from here: the measure could die in the Senate; the Senate can alter the bill so much that the House does not approve it; or the Senate could pass a compromised version that the House does approve, leading to a victory for its supporters. Regardless, it’s going to be a long, drawn-out process. 

Rather than drowning your sorrows this Friday (depression would be a pre-existing condition under the GOP healthcare bill), cheer up with some good news: You’re a partial owner of the moon and the stars. 

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

That probably made you smile, right? In 1967, the “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space” stated that space is open to all states and people to explore and use for the benefit and interest of humanity. What that means is that space belongs to everyone, and can’t be used for private gain. Even the moon is common property, and no one can kick you off it, assuming you make it up there, that is. Basically what we’re saying is, if you’re seriously considering jumping planets, there’s a lot of free property up there.  

And remember, though it may be Cinco De Mayo weekend, if you must celebrate with margaritas, check your cultural appropriation tendencies or risk ending up like a disgraced frat boy. 
 

Captain Planet! Watch Like the Future Depends on It

Captain Planet! Watch Like the Future Depends on It

The Government Has Its Own System for Tracking Your Credit, and You’ve Probably Never Heard of It

The Government Has Its Own System for Tracking Your Credit, and You’ve Probably Never Heard of It