We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
First Woman to Run in Boston Marathon 50 Years Ago Ran Again This Week
The Boston Marathon happened on Monday. One of the most talked about participants was one woman who had no chance of winning: Kathrine Switzer. Fifty years ago Switzer was the first woman to compete in the then all-male marathon. Finishing the race back then was no easy feat—a race official even tried to push her off the course by grabbing her number. But she didn't let that stop her; Switzer wanted to prove that women had the strength and endurance to compete in the race. Now 70 years old, Switzer was back in the race, wearing the same number, running with hundreds of female athletes, and showing us what it means to be truly strong. —Emily Mae Schmid
Time 100 Honors Viola Davis and More
As of yesterday, everyone is buzzing about the TIME 100, the latest list from the magazine on the most influential people of the year. Among the top people recognized on the magazine covers are Viola Davis, who won an Academy Award for her role this year in Fences. Speaking to TIME, Davis said, “Those things that we probably are ashamed of as human beings, certain things that no one would ever talk about—as actors, when we transform into a character, we empathize with those moments.” She continued, "rebel is not a word I would describe for myself but I feel like I was a total rebel being an actor. It made me feel like there was something in me, a passion, a love—and that I didn't just squelch it." Congrats to Davis for her much deserved recognition; she’s one of the people who undoubtedly used her influence for good. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Serena Williams is Expecting
Serena Williams shocked the world this week with a Snapchat announcement: "20 weeks" was the caption on a picture of her in a bathing suit with a baby bump. Yep, that means when she won the Australian Open in January (without dropping a set), the tennis champion was 8 weeks pregnant. Serena is already known as arguably the greatest tennis player of all time—but winning a major championship while pregnant is unheard of. The discovery has caused a mixed reaction; some have questioned whether the professional athlete was taking an unnecessary risk playing while pregnant. Others have praised Williams for doing exactly that, saying it puts to rest outdated stereotypes about what a pregnant woman can or can't do. Serena says she is taking the rest of the year off with her due date in the fall. While the 35-year-old has already accomplished so much, many are asking: will she come back after becoming a mother? We will have to wait and see.
In other athlete momma news, a video of Olympic medalist Dana Vollmer swimming in Tokyo 2020 qualifying races at 6 months pregnant has been making rounds on the Internet. Proof that pregnancy looks different for everyone! —EMS
Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Part Ways Amid Harassment Allegations
Fox News announced on Wednesday that Bill O’Reilly, longtime host of The O’Reilly Factor, will not be returning to the network. His dismissal comes after six allegations from women who claimed he sexually harassed them. O’Reilly, known as a “signature figure” in the rise of Fox News as TV host and commentator, has been with the network for nearly two decades. In early April, the New York Times began investigating him after discovering that the harassment settlements resulting from the accusations totaled around $13 million. With the growing speculation setting O’Reilly in a less-than-stellar limelight, advertisers pulled out in droves and women and men, alike, took to the Internet to express their outrage and insistence that he be fired. Twenty-First Century Fox, the parents company to Fox News, ultimately did decide to sever ties with their longstanding star.
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, O’Reilly parted ways with Fox saying: “Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans…. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.” —Mary Brodeur
Gina Rodriguez is Carmen Sandiego!
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has been confirmed to play the voice of the ever-elusive Carmen Sandiego in a new Netflix series, Variety reports. The '90s educational TV show and computer games taught players United States and world geography and history. The animated series due in 2019 will trace the mysterious history of the super criminal (something I've been curious about since 1992!). One hopes the excitement of chasing Carmen and her band of conniving crooks around the world will introduce a new generation to a love of geography. —Rachel Wilkerson
Convicted Football Player Found Dead in Prison Cell
Former New England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez died after hanging himself with a bed sheet in his prison cell early Wednesday. According to Massachusetts prison officials, Hernandez was found unresponsive in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. The 27-year-old was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd. Just days before being pronounced dead, the NFL star was acquitted of the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Law enforcement told ABC News that Hernandez was found with “John 3:16” written across his forehead referring to the Bible Verse.
In a statement from Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez said, "The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death.” Just before his acquittal on Friday, Hernandez was caught in a tender moment blowing kisses to his 4-year-old daughter he shares with Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez. The New England Patriots said they would not have a comment on the matter. The death is currently under investigation. —Katie Faley
Julia Roberts is 'Most Beautiful Woman' for the Fifth Time
Julia Roberts is certainly living up to the title of her 1990 hit Pretty Woman—People Magazine has put her on the cover of the 'World’s Most Beautiful' special issue for the fifth time this week. People Magazine first dubbed Roberts the world’s most beautiful woman in the 1991 edition when she was 23 years old and had made it big with early movies such as Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias, and, of course, Pretty Woman. Back then, Roberts says she was: "Just very adorable and naive and so happy to be invited to the party.”
Upon reclaiming the title, however, Roberts thinks that her beauty takes on a different meaning. But she is still grateful to still be considered as one of the most beautiful women in the world. She says, “It will become embarrassing. Right now let’s just keep it with flattering.” When asked where she would see herself in another 26 years, Roberts said she wanted to, “grow old gracefully-ish, and watch my kids grow and hopefully have family.” Roberts thinks “that is what the winter of life is supposed to be about.” —Maddy Kearns
Prince Harry Speaks On the Importance of Getting Help for Mental Health
The royals contributed again to the important topic of mental health this week. In a candid moment, Prince Harry spoke about the importance of normalizing mental health. The 32-year-old spoke about dealing with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, with the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon in the first episode of her new podcast Mad World. After his mother died in 1997 in a car accident, Prince Harry chose to put it out of mind, he says. “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help?” He shared how this took a toll on his personal and professional life, and subsequently his mental health, saying, “I can safely say that losing my mom at the age of 12 and, therefore, shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had quite a serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well.”
It wasn’t until his late twenties, after two years of “total chaos,” and with the “huge support” of his brother, Prince William, that Harry finally sought help. “Because of the process that I’ve been through over the last 2½-3 years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, be able to take my private life seriously as well, and be able to put blood, sweat, and tears into the things that really make a difference,” he added, “No matter who you are, the conversation has to be the beginning.”
Prince Harry’s remarks come at a timely moment, as his sister-in-law hosted a group of runners from the Heads Together foundation at Kensington Palace on Wednesday. Heads Together is the mental health campaign the Duchess launched last year. Kate praised her brother-in-law saying he has been “brilliant.” Kate has been an advocate for mental health, especially since welcoming her own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The Duchess told a guest on Wednesday, “Nothing can prepare you for motherhood—especially the first time around, the mixed emotions.” —KF
Photographer in Syria Puts Down Camera After An Attack, Picks up Injured Boy
There have long been many controversial discussions about the role of journalism amid the conflicts of the world. How objective should journalists be? How do we avoid sensationalizing or sentimentalizing war coverage? One of the most-cited examples is the photo of a collapsed starving child being stalked by a vulture taken by Kevin Carter in South Sudan in 1993. Carter was massively accused of inhumanity for remaining journalistically observant and not helping the girl. Carter committed suicide four months after his image won a Pulitzer Prize.
The most recent of these controversies was an image taken by photographer Muhammed Alrageb that shows his colleague Abd Alkader Habak carrying an injured child toward an ambulance. The photo was taken on April 16, when a bomb struck a convoy of buses carrying Syrian evacuees killing at least 126 people, 68 of whom were children. Habak, who is a photographer, said: "He was bleeding. So I ran towards him. I looked at his face and I could see he was breathing. So I picked him up and ran towards the ambulance. I don’t know what happened to the child, but I put him in the ambulance. And they took him to one of the hospitals inside the rebel held area.” His colleague Alrageb, who took the photo, said, "I feel proud that there was a young journalist there helping save lives." —MK
Chris Pratt, Cuddling Family Man
This week actor Chris Pratt shared a heartwarming note on Instagram upon the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. “Love being back in LA cause I get to cuddle my family,” he wrote alongside his post. Pratt and his wife Anna Farris have one child together, and many of his posts indicate how much he loves Farris and identifies as a family man. Talk about an adorable way to remind us the film is coming out on May 5. —MRS