Virginia’s Attorney General Admits to Wearing Blackface in College
Following reports of racist photos in Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 yearbook, another politic figure stepped forward to admit a similar act. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, acknowledged wearing “wigs and brown makeup” with friends to a college party. His controversial statement was made only days after joining in the call for Governor Northam to step down. While neither has resigned their positions as of today, prospects of continuing their political careers look grim in the mists of constituents and party members calling for their removal.
Measles Outbreak Now an Emergency In Washington
Over 20 years ago, measles was declared eliminated as a threat to the health of US citizens, but in states including Washington who have relaxed on enforcing vaccinations, outbreaks have re-emerged. According to the New York Times, “seventy-nine cases of measles have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the start of this year. Fifty cases of the highly contagious disease were in Washington State.” The alarmingly high numbers appear to share a direct correlation to the low rates of vaccinations among students. “For measles, epidemiologists generally consider the threshold for preventing public measles outbreaks to be a vaccination rate of 93 percent or higher,” a number many schools don’t come close to meeting. The state legislature is now pushing to retract the leeway given to parents to exempt their children from vaccines for personal and philosophical reasons.
New Disability Themed Emojis Released for 2019
A complaint to Apple that disabled persons are not represented by popular emojis is being addressed as Apple announced a introduction of dozens of new accessibility-themed emojis. According to BBC News, most smartphones should have access to this new set of emoticons by the second half of 2019. The new additions include men and women of varying ethnicities using hearing aids, wheelchairs and other individual products.The American Council of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf, among other disability organisations, have echoed their approvals for this important inclusion. Phil Talbot, from the disability charity Scope said,
“Social media is hugely influential and it’s great to see these new disability-inclusive emojis.”
Oscars to be Held Without a Host
For the first time in 30 years, the 2019 Oscars is set to be held without a host. According to ABC Entertainment, which airs the ceremony, the program will instead feature celebrities presenting the trophies. According to BBC News, the decision was made following comedian Kevin Hart stepping down from the position after old “homophobic” tweets resurfaced in December of 2018. The role of an Oscars host has traditionally been filled with a well-known and comically gifted individual intended to guide the audience and viewers through the ceremony.