Supreme Court’s Feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at the age of 87 as The US Open successfully concludes

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Supreme Court Justice and Feminist icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passes away at the age of 87. The US Open has become one of the first major international events to be held successfully during this pandemic. Apple announces new products in it’s annual September event. Climate change continues to impact the west as wildfires spread. New evidence shows a possible sign for life in Venus. Here are this week’s top stories.

1. A Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 this Friday, due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. She was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993 to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Although she was the second woman to ever serve in the supreme court, she was the first one to fight for woman’s rights and gender equality. She was born into a middle-class family in Brooklin, New York. She worked hard throughout her life supporting gender equality. She attended Cornell University, Columbia Law School, and Harvard Law School. Despite her outstanding academic record, Ginsburg had trouble seeking employment due to gender discrimination in the 1960s. She eventually taught at Rutgers University Law School and at Columbia Law School where she became the school’s first female tenured professor. In the 1970s, she served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, of which she argued six landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court, 5 of which she won. She fought against the Virginia Military Institute because they only accepted men and that violated the 14th Amendment, which confers citizenship upon anyone born in the U.S. She also fought for a woman earning less than her male counterparts which violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She fought for men too when she challenged a portion of the Social Security Act that favored women over men because it granted certain benefits to widows but not widowers. In recent years she served as the most senior member of the court’s liberal wing. She consistently supported progressive votes on the most divisive social issues of the day. Her death, just several weeks before the election has caused a political fight over the future of the court.

2. The Succes of the US Open

The US Open has become one of the first major international events to be held successfully during this pandemic. It was held in New York City with no spectators. The tournament was an achievement itself with almost no one testing positive for Coronavirus. They created a bubble in Long Island similar to the NBA, where no players were allowed to leave the bubble. Six out of the top ten woman’s players did not participate in the tournament. On the men's side, seven out of the top ten participated. The Tournament was a new experience for players, with no fans present, it created a quiet environment for players. There were many ups and downs during the tournament. Djokovic was defaulted for hitting a line empire with a tennis ball. Naomi Osaka won the woman’s title and she also emerged as the new authority figure in women’s tennis. Dominic Thiem won the Men’s title cracking the Federer/Djokovic/Nadal cartel. Thiem made an incredible comeback in the final against his close friend, Alexander Zverev, after losing two sets. He is the first man to do that in 71 years.

3. Everything announced in The Apple Event

Source: Apple

Apple held its annual September event this Tuesday, but they did not announce the new iPhone because of delays due to the pandemic. They announced new Apple Watches and new iPads. They started the event by announcing the new Apple Watch Series 6. They talked about the watch being a health device in addition to a smartwatch. They expanded health measurements, including blood oxygen saturation. They added a new chip-making it faster and more efficient. Apple also decided to release an Apple Watch SE, a more budget-friendly apple watch. The Apple Watch SE is similar to the Series 6 in many ways, but it lacks many new health features and the always-on display. The iPad got a power update to the A12 Bionic processor. They made the iPad look like a necessary educational device. The also made Chromebooks look like an ancient overpriced device compared to the iPad 8th gen. Apple also released a new powerful iPad Air, with no home button and a similar design to the iPad pro. They also announced a new subscription plan, Apple One. It is offering all Apple’s subscriptions including Apple music and the new Apple Fitness in one package. This made Peleton’s Fitness and Spotify Premium subscriptions look overpriced and it also negatively impacted their shares.

4. Wildfires in the west pollute the air and create a hazard for citizens

Photo by Ryan Arnst on Unsplash

The smoke from dozens of wildfires in the west is creating a hazardous environment for residents. The air quality is so bad that 1 in 10 emergency room visits are related to wildfire smoke. The smoke is turning the sky orange creating a ‘post-apocalyptic scene’. The government was advising people to stay indoors as much as possible. Officials warned that residents of all ages and even pets can be at risk. The smoke is spreading east creating hazy skies for New York and Washington DC. As 2020 began, wildfires spread across Australia eventually scorching more than 65,000 square miles, a size larger than New York state by more than 10,000 square miles! In the middle of the year, fires across the artic raged as an intense heatwave raised temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the past month, wildfires across the western United States have destroyed land and homes. These wildfires are clearly the result of climate change. Scientists have been warning about these effects of climate change for decades and we are going through just the beginning. Wildfires will become more common and more destructive if we don't work together to stop climate change.

5. Scientists find a possible sign for life in Venus

A false-color image of Venus as captured by the Ultraviolet Imager aboard Japan’s Venus Climate Orbiter (Akatsuiki). JAXA

Small amounts of a rare molecule called phosphine have been found in the hellish environment of Venus. The significance of this is that Phosphine molecules found on Earth are primarily a result of the actions of microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. The researchers are suggesting the possibility of microbial activity in the upper layers of Venus’s atmosphere. “In order to make this quite extraordinary claim that there might be life there, we really have to rule everything out, and that’s why we’re very cautious saying we’re not claiming there’s life, but claiming there’s something that is really unknown and it might be life,” said team member William Bains, a researcher at MIT. Mars has been considered the most likely planet in the Solar System to have hosted microbial life in the distant past or even in the present, as suggested by background levels of methane. A couple of Jupiter’s moons have also been considered a possible environment for life. NASA and many other countries are studying these planets.

Above were my top stories for the week ending September 19, 2020, hope you liked it. Please leave your feedback or point of view in the form of a comment.

Thanks, see you next week!

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Lakshya Jain

Lakshya Jain

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I share unique stories that are not widely reported in the media. Veritas! Email: lakshya5jain@gmail.com