This Week in the News 11/15

In this past week we have seen our hearts torn to pieces with the images and stories surfacing from the devastation in the Philippines and most recently the string of tornadoes ripping through the Midwest on Sunday. However, as usually is the case in life, whenever we are left most discouraged something comes along to lift us up. This week, that something was given a name, a cape and masked face – Batkid.

Top News

1. Midwest Towns Devasted by Multiple Tornadoes – Killing at Least Six

Multiple storms moved throughout the Midwest this past Sunday, killing at least six in Illinois and injury dozens of others. States such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin all experienced heavy winds and rain throughout the day. On Monday morning, the devastation was clear. Multiple tornadoes – 77 estimated by the National Weather Service as of Sunday evening – were believed to have touched down causing utter destruction in its path. Washington, Ill., one of the hardest hit towns, experienced an EF-4 tornado, officially rated by the National Weather Service today, with winds reaching 195 mph. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued a disaster declaration for seven counties with the arduous cleanup and rebuilding task already underway.

18storm-hp-ss-slide-8TK9-articleLarge

Jessie Starkey/News-Gazette, via Associated Press

2. Continued Struggles for the Philippines in Typhoon Aftermath

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 3,976 are confirmed dead, 1,598 are missing and 18,175 are injured, on a national level (this excludes the surrounding islands). The Associated Press also reports an additional 600,000 are reported missing as well.  This coming after when one of most powerful storms in recorded history tore through the Philippines a mere week ago. With large infrastructural problems mounting by the day, some aid is finally reaching victims after being quagmired by riots and inaccessible roads. Multiple countries as well as numerous NGO’s are working to deliver aid to those in need.

3. Obama and Obamacare

This past week President Obama seemed to be playing his usual defense of the Affordable Care Act. However, this past week was the first time in which we have seen the president admit fault in the Affordable Care Act. In a White House Press Corp briefing on Thursday, President Obama admitted his administration “fumbled” the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. According to The Washington Post and government officials and other industry leaders associated with the Healthcare.gov are now considering the project a success if 80% of users can buy health care plans online.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Full The Washington Post story here.

4. Facebook Unsuccessful in Purchase of Snapchat

The Wall Street Journal reported this past Wednesday, Snapchat, a highly-popular messaging/photo service, turned down an all cash $3 billion offer for purchase from executives at Facebook. Both Facebook and Snapchat spokespersons declined to comment on this offer. Snapchat is currently being wooed by multiple different technology companies for purchase, leaving 23-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel in a predicament I’m sure most people wouldn’t have a problem with. Snapchat, particularly popular among younger users, is yet another buyout venture by Facebook similar to that of Instagram. With Snapchat being a very young company, it will be interesting to see where Spiegel and Snapchat executives move forward with it.

5. Batkid

In one of the truly most heartwarming stories of the year so far, this week was introduced to 5-year-old Miles Scott aka “Batkid.” Scott is a kindergartner from Tulelake, Calif., who has been battling leukemia since he was 18-months-old. A wish of Scott has always been to become his superhero in life, Batman. In collaboration with Make-A-Wish Foundation, thousands of volunteers and the entire city of San Francisco, Scott’s wish became a reality. San Francisco turned into ‘Gotham City’ for the day and Scott transformed into Batkid. With an estimated 12,000 fans and supporters cheering him along, as well as his younger brother dressed as Robin, Batkid spent the day chasing around villians Riddler and the Penguin, saving the city. With support pouring in through social media from around the world, people were reminded of the of a wish.

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 4.15.24 PM

6. One World Trade Center Tallest Building in U.S.

There are not too many weeks where an architects’ panel make headlines news as was the case this past week. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, considered a leader in the field of super-sized skyscrapers, declared this past week the Willis Tower in Chicago, Ill., standing at 1,451 feet is no longer the tallest building in the United States. This title is now passed to One World Trade Center, standing at 1,776 feet tall. While it may be official, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual, is quick to point out the 408-foot needle sitting at the top of One World Trade Center, sparking some controversy between the two cities. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat concluded  the 408-foot needle shall in fact be counted when assessing the height of the skyscraper.

Top Viral Posts You May Have Missed

1. Russian Toddler Stands on Ice

While this video is nothing more than a small children having a hard time standing up on a patch of ice, there is just something about the way she goes down, which seems to resonate with just about everyone who watches.

2. #Roofbreakup

New York City based comedian/writer Kyle Ayers was sitting on a rooftop in Brooklyn this Sunday when a couple arrived on the same rooftop and decided to breakup. Ayers, decided to live tweet the entire breakup. While the authenticity of this may come into question, as no one has been able to confirm this event besides Ayers himself, and some of the dialogue does seem a little too perfect, #roofbreakup still proves to be hilarious.

Buzzfeed put together the entire live tweet of #roofbreakup, complete with commentary here.

3. Couple Nails the Dirty Dancing Move

Now say what you want about the dancing which goes on at weddings, but every now and then you get a winner. You have to respect this couple’s dedication as they took weeks of dance lessons leading up them tying the knot. Complete even down to the wardrobe, this couple, Terra and Drake Otto, nailed the iconic dance from the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.”

Dance itself starts at 2:20.

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