Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Will Be Missed, and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.
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We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Famous Mother and Daughter, Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher, Have Died

After suffering a heart-related emergency on board a flight from London to LA late last week, Carrie Fisher, 60, died on Tuesday. The writer and actor was most famous and beloved for her portrayals of the character Princess Leia in the Star Wars series. As tragic as her death was, it was worsened still a day later when Fisher’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, 84, also died. According to the family, Reynolds was grief-stricken and suffered a stroke but neither mother nor daughter have an official cause of death yet. It's unknown whether autopsies will be performed.

The duo were reportedly very close, even living next door to one another in recent years. Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, has said to the press following his mother’s death that Debbie didn't want to be without her daughter. The surviving family is now preparing what will likely be a double funeral to memorialize their loved ones. The mother-daughter duo have a documentary that chronicles their collective lives in the Hollywood spotlight and their strong familial bond set to premiere on HBO in the coming months (a release date has not been set). Coming as it does after their unexpected deaths, the film, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, is poised to be all the more important and enlightening. Our thoughts are with their surviving family during this most tragic time. —Megan Madden

Pink Gives Birth to Second Child

This week, after making a surprise pregnancy announcement last month, singer Pink gave birth to her second child with husband Carey Hart. The proud mother announced his arrival with another adorable Instagram photo, introducing him as Jameson Moon Hart. The couple has longed for this boy since a 2010 interview in which Pink said she’d like to name a son Jameson. All best to the happy growing family. —Mary Rose Somarriba

An Uber Driver Helped Stop Child Trafficking

This week in California, an unsuspecting Uber driver lived up to the mantra “see something, say something,” freeing a young girl from sex trafficking. The man was driving a girl and two women when he realized something was fishy. The girl was 16 and provocatively dressed, and the women accompanying her were grooming her to provide sexual services for a man in a hotel. According to the news story, women are often among the recruiters for traffickers to help establish trust with the victim. After the Uber driver dropped them off, he called the police which led to the arrest of the two recruiting adult females and the male sex buyer. The trafficked girl is now receiving help and services.

“I think this is a perfect example of the community coming together and recognizing that something is not right,” Beth Hassett told KETV news. Hassett, CEO of WEAVE, a group that provides services for victims of abuse in Sacramento County, added that among the signs to report to authorities are when you see “young girls or boys who aren't where [they] seem like [they] should be; they're obviously not on their way to school. You don't think there are books in that backpack. They're lurking around. They're with somebody who's a lot older than them." Here’s to more seeing and saying, and greater freedom and understanding for victims of trafficking. —MRS

Video Diagnosing Millennial Problems Goes Viral

If you were on Facebook this week, you might have seen a video going around about...you guessed it, Millennials. Specifically, the video is an interview from Tom Bilyeu’s talk show Inside Quest and addresses Millennial dissatisfaction in the workplace. The primary speaker is Simon Sinek, an author, consultant, and TED Talk veteran focused on leadership and management.

In essence, the video makes the point that Millennials don’t know how to cope, and therefore, cannot be happy at work. Having been coddled by too many accolades, too much protection, and easy access to numbing agents, this generation has effectively been short-changed by no fault of their own, as much of this is attributed to parenting and smartphone addiction. Sinek’s main hangup is that for all the instant gratification Millennials have become accustomed to there is no such thing in the realm of job satisfaction and personal relationships. “The overall [career] journey is arduous,” he says, and that’s something this generation just can’t handle. The price of this, Sinek fears, is a whole population of people incapable of finding joy—ever

For all us Millennials, the video’s main points aren’t terribly surprising. After all we’ve been talking about the Millennial “condition” ad nauseum. But Sinek’s main takeaway—that we must learn new ways to find fulfillment or else suffer—is a valid and valuable point. Here’s to a new year and a fresh chance to step away from our filtered lives and into the real ones. –MM

Simone Biles Responds to Haters

How someone could criticize Olympic medalist Simone Biles’ body is impossible to understand, but it’s always refreshing to hear a confident girl’s retort. This week Biles replied on social media to body-shamers, “You all can judge my body all you want, but at the end of the day it's MY body. I love it, and I'm comfortable in my skin.” Kudos to Biles for standing up for herself while also offering a model perspective for young girls to follow. —MRS

Björk Speaks Out Against Sexism

After a DJ gig in Houston this week, singer and musician Bjork opened up to comment on sexism she’s experienced. “Women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “If they change the subject matter to atoms, galaxies, activism, nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones they get criticized. Journalists feel there is just something missing.” As always, thought-provoking stuff from the Icelandic performer. —MRS

New American Girl Doll Showcases Art as a Tool in Overcoming Adversity

This week, America was introduced to the American Girl doll for 2017, Gabriela McBride. A poet and a dancer, Gabriela uses these art forms in helping her overcome her stutter. Gabriela will be available for purchase in January and comes with performance props such as headphones and a microphone, along with a trilogy of Gabriela's story. 

Alongside the launch, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic in an effort to teach poetry through a curriculum called Express Yourself. They will also host a children’s poetry contest in April, which is National Poetry Month, as a nod to the new character's use of poetry to express herself to prevail over her stutter. —Rebecca Curry