5 Things You Need to Know This Week

From Facebook to Pope Francis, here's what you need to know.

1. Facebook’s Dating App

“There are 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Mark Zuckerberg noted in his F8 keynote Tuesday. He went on to say the new dating app will focus on building long-term relationships, not just quick hook-ups taking a jab at Tinder, one of Facebook’s competitors. This new feature isn’t a big leap for Facebook since people already meet through the platform as well as on Instagram. Plus, other dating apps link up to people’s Facebook profile to make everyone seem more real. There hasn’t been a prototype released yet, but it will be separate from your main profile, will be an optional feature and your friends won’t be able to see your profile. The people suggested to you will also have the dating feature on and match your preferences. There are still questions floating around on privacy and safety, which Facebook will have to deal with. After Zuckerberg’s announcement, the share price of Match Group, which owns properties such as Tinder, OkCupid and Match.com, fell 22%.

In other Facebook news, after the Facebook scandal last month, Cambridge Analytica is closing its doors. The firm was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients. They were using the personal data of millions of Facebook users to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum. The company is still performing an internal investigation as to what happened and prevent it from happening again. Even though Cambridge Analytica is gone, the ball is rolling as Facebook continues to audit its apps and third party users and there will probably be more issues like this brought to the public.


2. Pope Francis to Visit Canada

Parliament will be asking Pope Francis to come to Canada to apologize on behalf of the church for the abuses committed against children by Roman Catholic priests, nuns and other officials at this country’s former Indian residential schools. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favour of a motion tabled by MP Charlie Angus. This motion is a reaction to the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has spent years looking at the tragic experiences Indigenous students faced while attending the church-run schools that operated for more than a century in Canada. In addition to the apology, it asks the church to resume its efforts to raise $25-million for Indigenous healing, as required in the residential schools’ settlement agreement that came into effect in 2007 but abandoned by the Catholic dioceses in 2015. Pope Francis has yet to respond but he has come forward in the past to apologize for the wrongdoings of the Church.


3. India Dust & Rain Storm

Last night, a powerful dust storm and rain swept through north and western India, causing serious damage. Houses collapsed, trees fell over and at least 100 people have been reported dead, leaving more than 160 people injured and hundreds more without electricity. The most severe part of the storm roared through Agra, the northern Indian city where the white marble Taj Mahal is located as winds blew more than 130m/hour, killing at least 64 people. Another 35 are confirmed to have died in Rajasthan and two each in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. Heavy dust and sand frequently blow across the region in the dry season, but this freak storm was tragically worse than usual. Most of the deaths occurred from collapsing houses while people were sleeping. The strong winds and heavy rain were expected to last another 24 hours.


4. Starbucks Settlement

The two black men that were arrested last month for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything have settled with the company. Yesterday, Starbucks announced it reached a financial settlement with the men after the embarrassing incident for a company that has a reputation for being socially conscious. Separately, they reached a deal with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. The two business partners feel this is the best way to make a positive impact with the Apri l12 incident that caused outrage over racial profiling. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.” The men will also be given the chance to discuss their experience and share their recommendations for changes at Starbucks with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.


5. Toronto Bridge Prank

On Wednesday morning, TO police found a car dangling off the Millwood Road bridge. The car was a burnt-out blue sedan lacking windows, seats, a steering wheel and an engine and no one knew why it was there. The police speculated it was part of a movie shoot, but the city came back with no active permits in the area. It is also thought to be an elaborate prank since there was already caution tape below the hanging car. It was suspended from the bridge using a winch system, the same device a tow truck might use. When the photos started circulating social media, people thought it resembled a prank by engineering students at the University of British Columbia in 2001 in which they suspended a classic Volkswagen Beetle from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The police department in the 6 has initiated a public-mischief investigation.



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