BEYONCE’S NEW SONG CAUSES CONTROVERSY—
Beyoncé’s performance at the Superbowl halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 7 caused controversy among some viewers. During her set, Beyoncé performed her latest single “Formation” after releasing the video the day before. In the song’s lyrics, the singer addresses the pride she has in her black heritage and asks for an end to police brutality. For the performance, Beyoncé wore an all-black outfit with a leotard and a black and gold jacket to promote black power and black unity. Some viewers interpreted the militant costumes and dance routine as an allusion to the Black Panthers, which they argued was inappropriate for a Superbowl halftime show. Many people posted messages on social media threatening to boycott Beyoncé’s upcoming tour. Others saw the performance as empowering and defended the singer for expressing herself so candidly. Beyoncé has not responded to the controversy.
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY WILL publish UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH JOURNAL—
In a joint venture between Seattle University students, the College of Arts and Sciences, the English Department and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the university will publish a journal to showcase the student body’s scholarship. The journal will be an opportunity for students interested to expand on their editing and researching skills. The first issue of “SUURJ” will be published in spring 2017. The English Department will also offer a 5-credit course in editing and publishing an online journal and 5 credits of practicum for the editorial team over the academic year. The advanced editing course will be open to all students from every major. Two informational sessions will be held Tuesday Feb. 23 and Monday Feb. 29, where English professor Molly Clark Hillard and the founding team will answer questions.
TRUMP THREATENS TO SUE CRUZ—
In a heated bid for the U.S. presidency, Donald Trump has threatened to sue Sen. Ted Cruz “for not being a natural born citizen.” Trump has also previously argued that if the Canada-born Texas Senator wins the Republican nomination, democrats will argue that he is ineligible to be president because he was not born in the U.S. Trump and Cruz, both frontrunners for the Republican nomination, are in a tight race in South Carolina as the state’s primary approaches. Cruz responded to Trump’s threat of suing by stating that it’s ironic that Trump, who has a history of being as obscene and vulgar, has the audacity of accusing anyone else “of being nasty.”
SUPREME COURT BLOCKS EPA’S CLEAN POWER PLANT—
A split Supreme Court decision blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan from going forward while the rule is being challenged in court. President Barack Obama has told supporters to not overreact to this decision that temporarily blocks the administration’s rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Obama also referred to the Supreme Court’s decision as “unusual,” saying that his administration is very confident it is on the right side of the law. During his years in office, Obama has pushed action on global warming and has made a deal at the United Nation’s talks on climate change two months ago. The president promised to work harder to fight global warming during his last year in office.
FLINT WATER MAY BE LINKED TO MISCARRIAGES—
Officials in Flint, Mich. are investigating whether the lead-contaminated Flint River water has had an effect on the rise of miscarriages in the city. The state’s investigation is proactive and was not based on complaints. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the same doctor who first warned authorities about high levels of lead and iron in the river water, is leading the investigation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that there is evidence that pregnant women exposed to high levels of lead have a higher risk of miscarriage before week 20 of a pregnancy.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA DIES—
Antonin Scalia, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court since 1986, died on Saturday, Feb. 13 at age 79. The cause of his death was not immediately released, though it is believed to be of natural causes. Scalia was known for his vivid writing and strong personality. Depending on who Scalia’s replacement will be, this could mean a change in balance on the court. Some members of the Republican Party have argued that a president should not appoint a new Supreme Court Justice in the last year of a term. Even so, President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to nominate Scalia’s successor before he leaves the White House, promising to choose someone with an “outstanding legal mind.”