News rundown: What you missed over winter break

A lot has happened in the world over the winter break. Let’s catch up on the major news headlines:


Amelia Earhart’s missing plane

The fate of record-breaking American aviator Amelia Earhart has been a mystery to us for nearly 87 years. However, recent findings with Deep Sea Vision researchers might have gotten us a step closer to understanding what happened to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.  

In an attempt to fly around the world, the pair disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, leaving little trace and much room to speculate about what actually happened. It is widely thought that their plane crashed into the ocean after running out of fuel, but nothing was ever confirmed.  

Deep Sea Vision now believes that they’ve found the remnants of Earhart’s plane during an expedition. The team used sonar imaging to map the seafloor and discovered an anomaly that appeared to be shaped like a small aircraft.  

This discovery was made about 100 miles away from Earhart and Noonan’s next planned stop. Researchers cannot confirm anything until they conduct a second expedition. 


UMG removing music from TikTok

Many videos posted on the popular social media platform, TikTok, were muted on Jan. 30, displaying a message that read “This sound isn’t available.” The platform is largely based around music and trending audios, making this a jarring change. 

This silence is a result of Universal Music Group (UMG), a company representing major artists like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Lana Del Rey. They’re removing their music from the platform over a contract dispute.  

UMG stated in an open letter to TikTok and their owner, a company called ByteDance, that the decision to pull their music off the platform was in part due to the app’s disregard to their concerns about music generated by artificial intelligence. 

Another large reason for UMG’s actions was their concern over compensation, noting that their artists were not being paid adequately for the use of their music.  

As of now, TikTok is working to remove all music associated with UMG from their platform. A concrete solution has yet to be agreed upon. 


Rally for border security in Texas

Quemado, Texas saw a convoy of conservative protests arriving in their quaint town on Feb. 3 in an effort to demonstrate their frustration with the American immigration system. Many were initially worried the convoy would incite violence as it passed through the U.S. before getting to its destination. The rally in Quemando was deemed “part political protest, part Christian revival” by the New York Times. There were no reported outbreaks of violence and many attendees decided to join on a whim. 


NYC subway robot removed

New York City’s subway-patrolling robot has already been retired to a brightly lit storefront in the city’s subway system. The robot, Knightscope K5, started its reign over the subway system this past September. 

Mayor Eric Adams brought the idea into fruition, hoping to bring safety to the subways. The robots watchful eyes were meant to deter crimes but required a lot more supervision than anticipated.  

K5 immediately sparked concerns before it made its way into the subway. Many New Yorkers worried about the possibility of it using facial recognition and what exactly was funding the robot. 

K5 has been left to collect dust among cardboard boxes and will be there for the foreseeable future simply because its term ended this past December.  


Death by doctor in Canada

Canada may be one of few countries to allow assisted death for citizens struggling with mental illness. The law is scheduled to take place in March but was passed in late December. 

This decision has divided Canadians. Members of both of Canada’s political parties have expressed concerns regarding promoting death culture and disregarding the effect of expanding their mental health care. 

Many advocating for the law find it no different than the assisted death policies in place for Canadians suffering from terminal or chronic illnesses, citing that hopelessness can be incurable, where therapists are concerned about how the process of prescribing death could work.

Parliament is still working on its implementation plan, and it’s possible the law might not go into effect when scheduled to allow for a proper application of the law.


Featured photo courtesy of Harris&Ewing, Wikimedia