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Take 5: all the news you need to know this week 10.20

Oct. 21, 2017
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Hey, hey, hey: happy Friday! You’ll be happy to know that this week, we only have ONE topic involving Trump. Mind blown, right? Here are the top five things you need to know to stay informed: 

  1. Bush Calls Out Trump

Former President Bush talked politics on Thursday, and while he didn’t single out Trump by name, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out whom he was referring to. Bush condemned "nationalism distorted into nativism" and recent trends toward bigotry. In the same speech, he also defended immigration and free trade. To top it off, the former president also referred the current public discourse as “casual cruelty.” While Bush’s comments are truthful, many are surprised that he chose to say such things in public, especially considering the fact that Bush hasn’t spoken very much on politics since leaving office.

  1. Spain Prepares to Take Control of Catalonia 

On Thursday, the Spain government announced that they were going to begin the process to crush Catalonia’s independence bid, despite 90% of the population voting in favor. The prime minister of Madrid said they would invoke Article 155 of the Constitution, which allows the government to pause autonomy of the Catalan administration. The situation is really a mess right now: on voting day, the police raided polling stations and fired rubber bullets at civilians, violently injuring more than 800 people in the process. 

  1. FDA Approves Gene Therapy for Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the second gene therapy thus far for cancer. This one is the first to target non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The therapy is for use by adult patients with specific types of lymphoma who have not had success with other treatments. Around 72,000 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphomas are diagnosed each year, a figure that makes up about 4% of cancers in the United States.

  1. Californians Will Now Have Non Binary Option on Birth Certificate

It was just announced that those in California will have the option to label their birth certificate gender as non-binary, rather than being forced to choose between female or male. The same bill also streamlines the process of changing one’s gender marker across the board. Before this, those who wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate had to receive a physician’s affidavit stating that they had gone through surgery to officially transition their gender. 

  1. Taylor Swift Invited Hundreds of Fans to Her Houses

Since this week offered up a slight political reprieve, we might as well bring up that Taylor Swift invited a hundred fans to her house in London, and the same amount to her house in Rhode Island, on separate nights, to play them the entire Reputation album. These little get-togethers have been dubbed the “Secret Sessions”, and this isn’t the first time Swift has pulled this move: she has a long-standing tradition of playing each new album for her fans a month before it comes out. The fans from both occasions have called Reputation her best album yet, and we cannot wait for November 10th. Swift also released a single last night titled “Gorgeous”, which is so different than the other tracks we’ve heard from the album thus far, and we are loving it.