The Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii erupted this week, spewing lava everywhere. Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes. Although lava causes a lot of fire,
smolder means to burn without flame, usually in reference to the aftermath of a fire, when conditions are still very hot and filled with smoke.
Flames creep across what were once lush-green yards, leaving behind a
trail of destruction.
- USA Today (May 6, 2018)
A horse named Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby this week. Justify managed to run a clean race even though a downpour prior to the race had turned the track to mud. Justify also defied what is known in racing circles as the Curse of Apollo. The Curse of Apollo means that no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without starting their racing career as a two-year old. The curse had held since 1882. Justify is 3 years old and the Derby was only his fourth race ever.
trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who’s won the Preakness six times, is likely to show up with sixth-place Derby finisher Bravazo and another horse, Sporting Chance.
- The Baltimore Sun (May 6, 2018)
No one, not even her friends or some of her family, knew that Sylvia Bloom was secretly rich; she lived modestly in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, a high school teacher. A legal secretary who worked at the same law firm for 67 years, Bloom had been quietly amassing a fortune through saving and sound investment. When she died, she left over $6 million dollars to a social services charity mdash; the largest gift from an individual in that organization's history.
Even by the dizzying standards of New York City
, a recent $6.24 million donation to the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side was a whopper — the largest single gift from an individual to the social service group in its 125-year history.
- The New York Times (May 6, 2018)
Faced with the prospect of The United States pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, Irani president Hassan Rouhani said that the U.S. would
rue, or regret, the decision to back out of the deal. Since the deal is one concerning the delayed acquisition of nuclear weapons, Rouhani's warning is a perplexing one. Is he threatening America with nuclear weapons he has pledged not to build, under the agreement he wants us to remain in?
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani, whose negotiating team reached the nuclear accord with six world powers in 2015, said the Trump administration would come to
any decision to renounce the agreement.
- The New York Times (May 6, 2018)
Apple is very close to becoming the first United States company to be valued at one trillion dollars. Apple's valuation currently stands at about $908 billion, which is about $120 billion more than its nearest rivals, like Amazon and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. What makes this all the more impressive is that forecasters thought Apple was having a comparatively rough year, with the latest iPhone sales being less than stellar.
No U.S. company has ever crossed the
trillion-dollar threshold, with Apple coming closest, hovering at about a $900 billion valuation in recent months.
-USA Today (May 7, 2018)
President Trump's nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, faced some tough questions this week at her confirmation hearing. At issue is Haspel's history overseeing detention sites in foreign countries, and whether or not torture of suspects took place at those sites. These hearings will again bring up arguments about the differences, if there are any, between "enhanced interrogation techniques" and torture. Gina Haspel would be the first woman to ever lead the CIA.
In his podcast last week, Michael Morell, who served twice as CIA acting director, described Haspel's career of high-stakes
operations, including one that led to the arrest of two suspects in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in east Africa in August 1998.
-LA Times (May 7, 2018)
Attorney General Sessions instituted a new immigration policy this week, which calls for arresting undocumented immigrants the moment they cross the border. In the case of families, the parents are arrested and the children are taken into separate custody. Sometimes harsh laws are necessary, but critics are calling the move
Draconian,a word that passes judgement,and paints those who support the law as cruel and unfeeling.
new policy is expected to send a flood of deportation cases — and legal challenges — into federal courts.
- sfgate.com (May 7, 2018)
This week President Trump pulled the United States out of its nuclear weapons agreement with Iran. Trump characterized the deal as a "weak" one that should never have been made. The problem is that many of America's allies still support the deal with Iran, leading to a clash among friendly nations. President Trump is being hailed in some corners as a strong leader, while others are pointing out that it is dangerous to pull out of a deal without having another one in its place.
They have committed to staying in the deal, raising the prospect of a diplomatic and economic clash as the United States reimposes
sanctions on Iran.
-The New York Times (May 8, 2018)
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have invented a new way to purify water. The cheap and effective way uses paper coated in carbon and sunlight to produce drinkable water. The researchers project that a device the size of a mini-fridge with their purifier in it could make as much as 10-20 liters of clean water a day. This technology would have potentially life-saving applications in impoverished areas and places that have been hit by natural disasters.
First Lady Melania Trump "Be Best" program plans to address both cyber-bullying and the opioid crisis. The details of First Lady's initiative have already been the subject of some backlash, with people pointing out that her husband isn't always nice to people on Twitter. Fair or not, because she has not influenced her husband to stop cyber-bullying, but expects to persuade others to hold themselves to a higher standard, these critics have labeled her a
"Melania Trump lecturing on cyber-bullying while the biggest cyber bully in the country sits in the audience has got to be the finest example of ironic
in recent memory," tweeted Susan Hudson.
- USA Today (May 8, 2018)