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The Rundown

Plastic Waste Is the Final Straw for Teenage Activist

Your daily guide to what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do about it.

Straws are for suckers: A teen has started a campaign to nix plastic straws entirely, and before you complain about not being able to properly enjoy your overpriced latte consider the benefits. Six years ago, Milo Cress, now 15-years-old, started "Be Straw Free" to clean up pollution in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Straws may seem harmless because they're so small, but, according to Be Straw Free, Americans use half a billion straws every day that end up polluting the ocean. Ready to help? Taking action is easy. Make the pledge to go strawless when you're eating out or buy reusable straws today.


Angry emoji reaction: Facebook's latest controversy means safe spaces for minorities on the internet are hard to come by. Per a report from ProPublica, internal documents from Facebook show that the site censors its users' posts to shield people from hate speech, but the only group that has been protected is white men while young people of color are hung out to dry.

Their problematic algorithm polices free speech on a "colorblindness" scale, which means a uniform rule is applied to all posts rather than an individualized approach that addresses specific issues of diversity on a case by case basis. Facebook has become a breeding ground for fake news articles and obscene posts with graphic imagery, which the company is aware of and trying to rectify. For now, it might just be best to log off.

Uncertainty IRL: Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods is already making waves in the food and tech industries, which has other companies struggling. Yesterday, Blue Apron, the food delivery service, decided to go public and are selling off shares at lower prices than initially estimated. Also, Staples announced yesterday that a private firm is buying their company. Their retail stores aren't pulling in big bucks because people would rather shop online than IRL.

Care less, much? President Trump issued a statement Tuesday in recognition of National HIV Testing Day. It gave general information on the prevalence and impacts of HIV/AIDS, and outlined reasons why it is important for people to get tested. The statement is surprising considering the administration does next to nothing to recognize or offer help to the groups most affected. Two weeks ago, six board members from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned, lamenting the fact that President Trump "simply doesn't care" and is woefully unaware of the impacts of the virus.

Legendary senior citizen arrested: Ninety-eight-year-old activist Frances Crowe was arrested Saturday for protesting a natural gas pipeline in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Her anti-fossil fuel group, the Sugar Shack Alliance, was staging a mock funeral for the "Fossil Fuel Era," when state police arrived and demanded that they leave. In an IDGAF display of resistance and environmental activism, the group stood their ground and were arrested for trespassing. Crowe, who has been arrested three times now since turning 90, proving we still have a lot to learn from our elders.