Biggest News of 2018

5 Stories That Shook America in 2018

It's been a long year. These stories prove that.

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Now that 2018 is officially over, we can look back on the year's most significant ups and downs and reflect on what's to come next. This year saw the emergence of two large-scale movements that broke down barriers and shook up society, increased our understanding of social media's implications, and revealed the troubling extent of America's immigration crisis. The following five news stories were some of the most covered national events of 2018. Each reflect the tumultuous, eye-opening, inspiring year 2018 has been.

Facebook's Mishandling of User Data

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in April.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsF4y8oAdkn/

This social media giant has long been the target of government criticism, but its troubles seemed to peak last year in March. That's when federal regulators began to investigate Facebook's mishandling of user data in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign. The Federal Trade Commission's investigation came in response to reports that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly gained access to 50 million users' information, and exploited this information in Trump's favor during the election. Since then, Facebook's stock value has plummeted, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has launched an aggressive apology campaign. In April, he appeared before an unforgiving Congress to answer questions about Facebook's lacking privacy policies. The company's repeated failures to protect user data will most likely lead to stronger federal regulations come 2019.

March For Our Lives

Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland survivor and one of the movement's organizers, speaks at the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsEfnKWnph_/

On February 14, 2018, seventeen students and teachers were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Days after the tragedy, Parkland students flooded major TV networks demanding gun control. The March For Our Lives movement was created by a group of MSD juniors and seniors with the goal of rallying their generation for gun reform, in the hopes that one day school shootings would be a thing of the past. One month later, over 2,000 schools participated in a nationwide walkout to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Ten days after that, millions gathered in Washington D.C. to march in solidarity with the students of MSD and send a message to lawmakers. As many of these students reach voting age in the coming year, it will be interesting to see how politicians respond to their demands, and the gun control legislation that will follow.

Family Separation 

A portrait of Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, the second Guatemalan child to die in U.S. Border Patrol custody following implementation of the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Br8knx6AVT7/

The Trump Administration's family separation policy at the border, first practiced in October, is perhaps the most controversial act thus far by one of the most controversial presidents. On April 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that would soon separate thousands of children, and many infants, from their parents as they reached the United States. Unsurprisingly, the American public reacted swiftly and angrily to the policy, and their outrage peaked in June when photos of children held in cages began circling the internet. Judges have ordered that the Department of Homeland Security reunite separated families, but the agency has failed to reach two different deadlines, and as of three months ago as many as 200 children remain in government custody. With recent reports that two Guatemalan children have died in Border Patrol custody, this tragic issue won't be going away in 2019.

#MeToo

Actress Ashley Judd, who became one of the first women in Hollywood to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in a 2017 New York Times exposé.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqxhw1CA9Va/

The #MeToo movement began in late 2017 when a New York Times exposé featured firsthand accounts from several women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. As more and more men were forced to step down from powerful positions, Alyssa Milano coined the hashtag "MeToo" to represent victims of sexual assault, and hence the movement began. The following months saw the creation of the Time's Up coalition, the record-breaking second annual Women's March, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, and the imprisonment of Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Larry Nassar. This movement, which took hold over not only Hollywood, but each profession, has brought permanent change to the country as women gain more seats in office and more representation in media. #MeToo has set the precedent for future steps toward gender equality in 2019.

Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsAzHhzHgq8/

Publicized by the #MeToo movement and defined by the political loyalties of skeptical conservatives, Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings kept the nation on edge for two weeks in mid-October. The reason: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and alleged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school. The poise with which Ford presented her testimony, contrasted with the emotional turbulence that characterized Kavanaugh's defense, both moved and shocked the many Americans who watched the hearings unfold live on television. After an initial delay, the confirmation vote proceeded, and Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court on a narrow 50-48 vote split along party lines. To many, Kavanaugh's confirmation symbolized just how much progress the United States has yet to make in its treatment of sexual assault victims, and how little the nation has changed since Anita Hill testified against then-nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.

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10 Photos You Have On Your Camera Roll Of Your S.O. When You've Been Dating For More Than A Year

A wide range from "Aw" to "WTF?"

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My boyfriend and I just hit the year and a half mark of dating, even though it seems like we've been together forever. Over the months, we've taken many pictures together... from football games, to his track meets, to holidays. Although we may have a lot of pictures together, I definitely have a lot of candids of him in my camera roll. If you've been dating your partner for as long as I have or longer, then you'll probably notice you have these same pictures in your photos as well.

1. The awkward first photos together

We laugh at these now, especially this one. Why am I so pale compared to him? It was July! And also, we noticed not to long ago that I was sweating under my arms and his underarms were sweating on me... what a great first time meeting!

2. The ones for VSCO

Every girl who has a significant other posts them onto their VSCO. VSCO is like Instagram, but more has more aesthetically pleasing pictures and there are no "likes." The pictures that include my boyfriend on my VSCO ranges from him holding a bunny to him holding my hand while we went ice skating.

3. Them sleeping

I have so many pictures of my boyfriend sleeping (I promise it's not as weird as it sounds), I just think he's so cute when he's fast asleep while cuddling with me.

4. The embarrassing ones they want no one to see

He's going to kill me when he sees this... but we all have those embarrassing Snapchat pictures that we start to send each other because we've gotten more comfortable with one another.

5. The ones for Facebook

The good looking pictures so you can keep yours and his family updated on how you two are doing. I took my boyfriend to a baby bird meet and greet since he loves birds and has one for a pet. I posted this cute picture of him and his new friends on Facebook so my family can see our adventures together.

6. Old pictures

One of the best parts of dating someone is finally seeing their old pictures. Although, sometimes they may make you cringe... like the one I posted above of my boyfriend after prom in his sophomore year of high school.

7. Their accomplishments

My boyfriend pole vaults for his college and he's really good at it. He just went to division III nationals in March because he qualified! I'm always at his meets so I make sure to get him on video in case he or anyone wants to see. I always try to snag a picture with him too because I'm always so proud.

8. The straight up ugly ones

He sure knows how to make me laugh. And I know he's going to be mad at me for this one too but I think it's a talent that he can do that with his stomach! Sorry, Adam, I promise I still think you look good when you send me these snaps for the most part.

9. But you have the hot ones too

He may be funny and sweet, but he is pretty good looking too. I know us girls keep some attractive pictures of our S.O.'s so we can remind ourselves of what a great looking partner we have.

10. FaceTime screenshots

If you and your lover go to different colleges like my boyfriend and I do, then FaceTiming happens a lot. Sometimes I get some great screenshots, like the one above, to make fun of him later.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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