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From Hurricanes to Wildfires, Title IX, Pink, and more, here’s what’s on our radar in this week’s News Roundup!

The Weather

From hurricanes to wildfires, the weather across the United States has been harrowing. Much of the west coast has been battling various wildfires, leaving cities like Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle coated in thick smoke and falling ash. The photos above show the view of Seattle’s skyline a week ago on the top and below it is the same skyline this week after nearby wildfires rage on.

Texas is still recovering after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Houston and surrounding areas. While the state works on repairing and rebuilding, the southeastern US is bracing itself for Hurricane Irma. The category 5 storm has already left serious destruction in its path through the Caribbean, and it’s clear that those in Florida will also be dealing with its impact.

And unfortunately, this wild weather isn’t solely happening in the US. Monsoon-related flooding has been taking place in India, causing some of the worst flooding the country has seen in a decade.

With all of this happening, is it really the right time to disband the federal advisory committee on climate change?

Pink’s Speech at MTV Video Awards

Following a badass live performance at the MTV Video Awards show, Pink was presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award by Ellen DeGeneres. In her acceptance speech, the singer talked mostly about her 6-year-old daughter Willow, who was in the audience. The obviously proud mama shared a story of how Willow was upset that she looked like a boy, and how it impacted the young girl’s self-esteem. Pink went into mama bear mode and ended up creating a Powerpoint presentation that showed Willow the array of beauty out there, particularly with stars who played with the concept of gender presentation, like Annie Lennox, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Janis Joplin and more. Pink used her speech not only to thank her dedicated fans, but to share a powerful message of self-love and we love her for it.

Betsy DeVos & Title IX

Yesterday afternoon Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claimed that the current system of campus sexual assault enforcement is a “failed system” that needs to change. Speaking to around 100 guests at George Mason University, while crowds of protesters gathered outside, DeVos made clear that she will be rolling back Obama-era guidelines, including the Title IX provision that requires colleges and universities comply with certain guidelines regarding sexual assault (under threat of withholding their funding if they do not do so). DeVos also wanted to hear more from those who have been wrongly accused of sexually assault, saying “their stories are not often shared,” regardless of the fact that most sexual assault crimes actually go unreported and the percentage of false accusations is a small fraction of rape reports.

While the Obama administration pushed colleges to do better by their students, it seems as if DeVos is more concerned with putting victims and the minuscule percentage of those falsely accused of assault at the same level. While there certainly may be a better way to handle sexual assault on college campuses, terminating the reach of Title IX does not seem like the place to start.

Model Behavior

It’s no secret that the majority of the fashion world relies on ultra-thin models that don’t represent the average woman, but will banning super skinny models on the runway change that? Some French fashion companies seem to think so. Two powerhouse fashion houses have teamed up to draft a charter banning super skinny models from walking the runway. They have also instituted new regulations when it comes to the ages of models, preventing anyone younger than 16 from walking the runway for adult fashion, and having stricter rules for models between 16-18. We applaud these changes, and hope that they will pave the way for more diverse body types and models on future runways and in magazine spreads!

School Lunch for All… In New York City

Starting this week, school lunch will be free for all students attending a  New York City public school! Around 75% of students already qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch, so this initiative will help many students who live in food insecure households, who may struggle to even afford low-cost school meals. One of the biggest problems schools have seen is that some students have refrained from eating free school lunches for fear of embarrassment or bullying from fellow students due to their need.

Making school lunch free for everyone will put all students on an even footing, and hopefully allow those who may have avoided the free food to get the nutrition they need. NYC joins a number of other urban centers like Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago in creating a program like this. Here’s to a fabulous new year of school with full bellies for all. Bon appétit!

What stories have caught your attention this week? Share with us below!