This Week in Words: September 29 - October 5, 2018

October 1, 2018
News flash! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, debated and discussed in the news this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.
This week marks the 68th anniversary of the first appearance of the Peanuts comic strip. Led by Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy, the Peanuts characters have become a part of Americana through the syndicated comic strip and their classic animated holiday specials.
The astutely philosophical strip focused entirely on a social circle of young children revolving around the main character, Charlie Brown. - goodnewsnetwork.org (Oct. 2, 2018)
First Lady Melania Trump is on a tour of Africa this week, her first solo international trip. Mrs. Trump will visit Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. Mrs. Trump is promoting her “Be Best” initiative which focuses on youth issues.
Unlike her predecessors, Trump has to contend with the baggage of her husband’s belittling comments about African nations that made headlines across the continent. - The Washington Post (Oct. 2, 2018)
A new study suggests for appendicitis indicates that treatment with antibiotics can be just as effective as surgically removing the infected organ. In the highlighted sentence, cauterized is used metaphorically, to convey the sense that the “remaining issues” were now closed because the study was so thorough. Those issues have been cauterized like a wound.
The new JAMA study, with its full, five-year follow-up, effectively cauterized those remaining issues. - goodnewsnetwork.org ( Sept. 30, 2018)
The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded this week to a trio of scientists who work with lasers. Two of the scientists collaborated on work that is the basis for applications that involve short bursts of energy, such as laser eye surgery. The third scientist, Arthur Ashkin, created a way that laser beams can be used to manipulate and control microscopic things like viruses. 96-year-old Ashkin is believed to be the oldest person ever awarded a Nobel Prize.
In more than a century of the Nobel Prizes, 49 women have been awarded the coveted prize for achievements in chemistry, medicine, economics and other prize categories. - The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 2, 2018)
Amazon has raised its minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. This change affects all 250,000 Amazon employees and will also apply to the temporary workers hired for the busy holiday season, which this year is expected to amount to an additional 100,000 workers. Amazon, and particularly billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, were under public pressure to increase wages for hourly workers.
The company and CEO Jeff Bezos have been facing criticism for its pay disparity. - cnbc.com (Oct. 1, 2018)
In a settlement with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), one of the regulatory bodies of the stock market, Elon Musk has agreed to pay a fine and step down as chairman of his Tesla auto company for a period of time. Musk is being punished for a questionable tweet about having put together enough funding to buy back his company and take it private. Tesla makes luxury autos that run on batteries and electricity, not gasoline.
Priority No. 2 was to push as many electric cars out the door as possible before midnight Sunday, when the end of the third quarter would trigger more scrutiny than ever of his frantic bid to start earning money. - The L.A. Times (Oct. 1, 2018)
In Indonesia, an earthquake that measured 7.5 on the Richter scale and the resulting tsunami have claimed the lives of at least 1,400 people. The search for survivors continues but the rescue operation has been hampered by the debris and damage which have made parts of the island in accessible. In this sentence, the cartoon characters on the carpets used to shroud the victims are incongruous because the goofy images clash with the tragic devastation of the situation.
Workers using heavy equipment dug a swimming pool-size hole and placed the bodies in rows. Many were in body bags and others were wrapped in carpets, including some with an incongruous cartoon-character design.
- The New York Times (Oct. 2, 2018)
A Japanese doctor and an American doctor were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The work they are being recognized for is a pioneering effort to use the human body’s own immune response to help defeat cancer cells. Previous cancer treatments often wiped out the immune system of the patient through chemotherapy, but these doctors conceived a way to target cancer cells so the body’s intact immune system can attack the cancer.
The work of Drs. Allison and Honjo formed the backbone of new generations of blockbuster cancer immunotherapy drugs that are transforming treatment of some of the most intractable cancers. - The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 1, 2018)
The United States has reached a trade deal with Canada and Mexico that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new agreement will be called, appropriately, “The United States-Mexico-Canada -Agreement”’(USMCA).
The United States and Canada reached a last-minute deal to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement on Sunday, overcoming deep divisions to keep the 25-year-old trilateral pact intact. - The New York Times ( Sept. 30, 2018)
Scientist believe they have discovered another dwarf planet in our solar system. Nicknamed “Goblin”, the new dwarf planet is about one-sixth the size of the most famous dwarf planet, Pluto. Goblin is so far away and moves so slowly that it takes 40,000 years to complete one orbit around the sun.
Because 2015 TG387 exists so far away, speaking in terms of miles becomes unwieldy. - The Washington Post (Oct. 2, 2018)

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