5 Things to Know This Weekend: June 9, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
If you're over talking about congressional hearings, but also don't want to look like you've been living under a rock this week, here are the six most important things to know going into your weekend.
On Monday, Apple held their annual WWDC summit.
Aside from unveiling the new MacOS High Sierra and iOS 11, they announced the release of a series of new Macs that support VR and a new speaker called HomePod that offers Siri integration. Pretty standard stuff, for the most part.
Perhaps the most impressive thing to come out of it was introducing Amanda Southworth—the 15-year-old developer who received one of Apple's coveted WWDC scholarships to attend the event. The self-taught computer scientist has been coding for nearly six years and has built robots and micro-controllers in addition to developing web and iPhone applications. Her first app, AnxietyHelper, provides mental health resources to young people.
Climate Watch: Also on Monday, 1,200 American politicians, business leaders, and university presidents committed to the Paris Climate Accord, no matter what the White House plans.
After President Trump confirmed he would begin action to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement to reduce climate warming emissions last week, several U.S. mayors and many more university presidents and business leaders heading up companies like Target, Google, and even Campbell's Soup, signed a letter titled "We're Still In." The letter signals dedication to the goals of the Paris climate agreement, despite the President's backing out of the accord.
After a blog post about sexism and harassment at Uber went viral, the ever-controversial ride-sharing company launched multiple investigations into both the harassment claims and overall corporate culture. They looked into hundreds of complaints, and more than 20 employees—including senior executives—were fired as a result.
On Wednesday, America raised a brow at President Donald Trump’s proposal on how to pay for the infamous border wall: solar panels.
In a meeting with congress on Tuesday, Trump suggested putting solar panels on the wall built between the US and Mexico. The energy generated could be sold to help the project pay for itself, according to the president. During his campaign, Trump stated the wall will help prevent illegal immigration and drug smuggling from Mexico, and promised that Mexico would pay for it, which clearly isn’t happening. As of now, Congress hasn’t allocated a budget for this project, and opposition from both Democrats and some Republican lawmakers may prevent any further action. Despite the clean energy boost, the wall isn't gaining any acceptance among detractors, especially those concerned with disrupting the border region's natural habitat. Upon learning of this proposal, a representative from the Center of Biodiversity quipped, "“An ecological disaster with solar panels on top is still an ecological disaster. With solar panels on top.”
On Thursday, as America tuned in to watch Comey testify, Congress got busy dismantling Dodd-Frank financial regulations.
Former FBI director James Comey deservedly got most of the spotlight late this week for testifying about why and how worried he was that Trump “might lie” about their conversations regarding the federal investigation into Russia's tampering with the 2016 elections. But around the same time, the U.S. House of Representatives gave Trump a small victory by passing a bill designed to shred much of the Dodd-Frank Act. That act was passed after the 2008 financial crisis in order to curb the financial industry's riskiest behavior, and some of its hallmarks now on the chopping block include the Volker Rule, which constrains banks' ability to use their own capital to make speculative market bets, and the Fiduciary Rule, which just tries to ensure financial advisors work in their clients' best interests. While the Treasury Department is also expected to pick up on this deregulation agenda, the House bill just passed does not face favorable odds in the Senate.
L’Oréal—the largest cosmetics company in the world—put The Body Shop for sale in February due to a decline in sales over the last two years, in some ways caused by the pathbreaking natural and cruelty-free Body Shop ethos generating stiff competition in recent years. Guilherme Leal, co-chair of Natura’s board, told the Guardian, “The complementarity of our international footprints, the sustainable use of biodiversity in our products, a belief in ethics in management and fair relations with communities, and a high degree of innovation constitute the pillars of the journey on which we are now embarking.” It'll also help the Brazilian cosmetics company expand internationally, as The Body Shop currently operates 3,200 stores worldwide.