Your Weekly News Roundup for April 14, 2017
Liz Biscevic—Things to Know Today
Airline scandals, record-breaking batteries, homophobia in North Carolina, and other news you need to know this weekend. Here's your weekly news roundup for April 14.
Monday was kind of a bummer.
Aside from a passenger getting dragged off a United flight for not being convenient enough for the airline, it was reported that only a third of the Great Barrier Reef is undamaged, thanks to two years of back-to-back algae loss. With most of the reef impaired, scientists fear that if normal water temperatures don’t return fast, coral won’t be able to grow there again.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo's board released a report about the fraudulent account scandal that has deeply tarnished its reputation. If you don’t remember, Wells Fargo had been opening up millions of fake accounts without customers’ permission in order to meet their sales goals. The bank was fined 185 million and the CEO was fired. The board’s report blames their former sales exec, who allegedly lied to the board about how extensive the scandal went, and former CEO John Stumpf, who was loathe to find fault with such dazzling sales numbers. Both employees have had to give back upward of $60 million in compensation.
On Tuesday, plans to build the world’s largest solar battery were unveiled.
The project comes as a result of power shortages in South Australia. Energy company Lyon Group has already secured the land it needs to install a 330 MW solar farm that will link to a massive battery installation. The solar farm would be the largest in Australia, and the battery project would be twice the size of those currently in production.
Barely 24 hours after United's disastrous decision to forcibly remove a doctor from an overbooked flight (which included a viral video, tons of social media bashing, and hamfisted press releases), United Continental Holdings (UAL)’s stock was down nearly 4 percent, decreasing the company’s market value by nearly $1 billion dollars. The CEO apologized and some of the stock recovered, but the market value was still down by $250 million at the end of the day.
You know, just to see if it'll work: In a recent survey, Millennials admitted they’d be open to having a “beta marriage” in which they’d commit to each other for a set number of years—usually around two or three—and then renew, renegotiate, or break up, depending on how well it went.
Apparently, the “’til death do us part” isn’t that appealing to our generation. What do you think? Would you prefer to have a “beta marriage” before the final “I do?”
On Wednesday, North Carolina lawmakers introduced a bill that would invalidate same-sex marriage in that state.
House Bill 780 states that "Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina" and says the Supreme Court overstepped its constitutional bounds when they made gay marriage constitutionally legal in the United States.
Republican Deb Butler, an openly LGBTQ assembly member in North Carolina called the legislation “despicable” and doesn’t think the bill will get even close to passing.
On Thursday, Forbes asked how we will feed 9 billion people over the next few decades.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that food production will need to increase by 60-70% over the next few decades in order to sustain humanity. The future may look grim, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel: breakthroughs in farming, technological advances in agriculture, and new ways to conserve and harvest water may lead to further advancements that can solve these problems.
Due to a shortage of Roman Catholic priests, women in southeastern Portugal are stepping up to lead Sunday services. Claudia Rocha, one of these lay leaders, said, "This church would be closed if I wasn't here. Who cares if I am a woman, a deacon, or a priest? What matters is having someone from the community who maintains our connection with the priest, even when he isn't here."