Happy Friday and welcome to your recap of this week's top news stories! Don't worry, after reading this you'll be all set to make awkward small talk this weekend. From Facebook changes to incriminating documents, here are this week's prominent post-its:
Facebook Is Werking It
Today, Facebook announced it released a new chat system that will be used as part of their ‘Facebook At Work’ initiative. It allows coworkers to connect in a business-based chat system. So you can chat with individuals, with groups, send video, and so on. Some people are happy about the convenience while others are groaning about technology making it harder to avoid annoying coworkers. The app is called ‘Work Chat’ and quietly launched Thursday on Google Play. Don’t you worry iPhone users, your version is coming soon! The Apple release date is unknown though so you have some time before you can no longer avoid awkward office conversations.
FBI: Forever Bypassing iPhones
The FBI became impatient so they decided to bypass Apple and the court system by using a private party to create a tool to hack into the San Bernardino killer’s phone. If movies have taught us anything, it’s that ‘private party’ means they found an 18 year old tech genius and pulled him out of his basement for a special assignment. They claim that the tool only works on some Apple phones, not all. So basically the FBI doesn’t even want to be associated with outdated iPhones. The FBI has made it clear that it doesn’t work on the latest version of iPhones so if you’re looking for an excuse upgrade, there it is!
Last night, American Idol bid farewell after 15 seasons and a million judges. Contestants from previous seasons made appearances to honor the show and all that it has done for them. Stars like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Hudson performed. Brian Dunkleman, the man who hosted with Ryan Seacrest during the first season, helped him host one last time. And in a surprising twist, all three original judges showed up. The finale was filled with highlight reels, tears, medleys, and an ode to all of the charities they’ve worked with. Keep in mind that this show raised over $185 million for children in underserved countries. Finally, true to Idol’s style, at the very last moment of the show Trent Harmon was announced the winner!
The controversial Keystone Pipeline is leaking and what thought to have been a loss of 187 gallons of oil has now been reported as 16,800 gallons. Though it's run by TransCanada, the leak is occurring within the state of South Dakota. The exact location of it still hasn’t been found, but experts claim they have it under control. They turned off the oil running through the pipe and 100 people have been tasked to find this leak and minimize the damages. Right now they’re counting their blessings that there aren’t any large bodies of water near the pipe. A little while back TransCanada tried to push through a permit that would have led to an oil pipe running across the entire United States, but President Obama turned it down. With disasters like this environmentalists are saying oil spills are no longer about if's, but when.
Corruption vs. Conspiracy
You may have heard that a lot of titans of industry and leaders of the world are shaking in their boots this week. That's because a group of journalists released information from documents, deemed the Panama Papers, containing details about illegal offshore accounts used to avoid taxes and stash big money. A total of 143 politicians were named, but most have declined the accusations. One of the most noted responses came from the Prime Minister of Iceland. 10,000 people showed up to protest outside of Parliament for the first time in its nation’s history. So the PM felt he had no other choice, and resigned. Some Icelandic people say this should be taken as an example to others around the world of what the people of a nation, big or small, are capable of. Vladimir Putin was also named in the papers, but he claims that it’s an American conspiracy even though his close friend who was also named admitted to his guilt. As of right now, it is unclear whether the papers can be used as proof of incitement because the papers themselves have not been released to the public.
I know, there's a lot going on, but that's why we're here! So meet us back here next Friday to stay on top of the biggest headlines. Until then, have a great weekend!
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