We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Amal and George Welcome Their Twins
The babies are here! News broke this Tuesday that Amal Clooney has delivered fraternal twins Ella and Alexander and that mom and babies are doing well. Celebrities tweeted their congratulations to the human rights lawyer and her actor husband that have become something of international royalty. As of this printing, no photos of the newborns have been released, but grandfather Nick Clooney, who met the children via Skype shortly after the births, says they are beautiful and brown-haired. Sending wishes of health, happiness, rest—and double the fun—to the new parents. —Mary Rose Somarriba
New Attack in London Kills 8
Saturday night, eight people were killed in Central London by three male assailants in two separate attacks. A van was driven into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge followed by a knife attack waged in Borough Market. The men retreated to a nearby pub where they were shot dead shortly after. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. This continues a series of recent attacks in England, including the suicide bomb attack that occurred at an Ariana Grande concert last month.
The bravery and resilience of civilians in the face of these vicious acts, however, offers a hopeful portrayal of the human capacity for good. In the pub, civilians fought back as the three assailants attacked, by throwing whatever was at hand. Among the heroes who risked their lives were a baker who attacked the men with a bread crate and a journalist who dragged his friend to safety despite being wounded himself. Also making headlines was a man who was recorded walking calmly away from the attacks while still holding a pint of beer in his hand—who became something of a symbol of defiance. Our hearts go out to London as we grieve with its suffering citizens, and we salute those who selflessly stood up to these unthinkable acts of violence. —Gabriella Patti
Ballet Dancer Rescues Man Shoved onto Subway Tracks
A ballet dancer in New York rescued a man after he fell onto the subway tracks earlier this week, the New York Times reports. Gray Davis was coming home from watching his wife perform at the Metropolitan Opera House when the incident occurred. A man and woman were loudly arguing at the 72nd Street Broadway-Seventh Street station when the man fell on the tracks, knocking himself unconscious. “At first I waited for somebody else to jump down there,” Davis said in an interview with the Times. “People were screaming to get help. But nobody jumped down. So I jumped down.”
Davis leapt onto the tracks and lifted the man back to safety. He attributed his ability to climb back up to being a dancer, he said, swinging his leg up to get back onto the platform. In case we needed another reminder of how the arts sustain us. —KS
Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Businesses of 2017 Are Announced
Forbes released a list this week with fifty of the fastest-growing women-owned businesses this year. The number one spot went to Orangetheory Fitness, the popular gym franchise that specializes in high-intensity workouts and personal heart monitors that make sure participants are 84 percent above their normal heart rate, dubbed by owner Ellen Latham as the “orange zone.” Latham started the business after losing her job running a fitness center inside a Miami Beach spa. Other businesses mentioned include Influenster, a beauty review website, and Create NYC, an advertising agency specializing in healthcare advertising. —KS
Wonder Woman Is Most Tweeted Film of 2017
Not only did Wonder Woman bring in a whopping $103 million in opening weekend revenue domestically and $220 million globally, but this week Variety also reports that the film broke the record for most tweeted film of 2017. Beating out La La Land and Beauty and the Beast, Gal Gadot’s performance has spurred 2.19 million tweets and counting. We’re happy to hear the female-directed and female-headlined blockbuster is receiving so much success, not to mention a film we generally found to be entertaining and much more nuanced than her outfit suggests. —MRS
Manchester Benefit Concert Hits the Mark
This past Sunday, Ariana Grande and several other top artists proved that love does indeed overcome in the wake of tragedy. Katy Perry, Coldplay and others gathered alongside Grande for the One Love Manchester benefit concert on June 4 to raise money for the families affected in the terrorist attack at Grande’s concert earlier this May. Scooter Braun, Grande’s manager, praised those who attended.“You looked fear right in the face and you said, ‘No, we are Manchester, and the world is watching.”
Miley Cyrus, Imogen Heap, and Justin Bieber all sang with heart and sincerity, but our favorite was Grande’s tearful “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” closing the concert. There was barely a dry eye in the audience—or at the Verily office watching recordings. —KS
Jennifer Garner Speaks Out After Being Misrepresented in Cover Story
In a recent Facebook post, Jennifer Garner called out People Magazine for writing a false cover story that was framed to seem like it came from her. “Life After Heartbreak,” the cover read, along with, "Since ending her troubled marriage to 'love of her life' Ben Affleck, she's moving on, finding happiness—and starting over at 45." The piece inside was titled, “Jennifer Garner Isn't Ready to Date After Divorce: 'Ben Was the Love of Her Life.'”
Garner was displeased: “I did not pose for this cover. I did not participate in or authorize this article.” Garner said that while “this isn’t a tragedy by any measure,” she felt compelled to post a response because these stories do ultimately affect her family. I, for one, appreciate Garner’s desire to set the record straight and reclaim her narrative. —GP
Andrea Constand Scrutinized for “Confusing Dates” in Cosby Trial
The sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby remain in the public eye with the ongoing testimonies being made against him. Most recently, Andrea Constand and her mother, Gianna Constand, testified that Cosby had drugged Andrea thirteen years ago and sexually assaulted her at his home.
Constand, a former Temple University employee, where Cosby had been a trustee for years, said that leading up to the assault, Cosby took an interest in her career and took her under his wing. After her seven-hour testimony, Cosby’s defense team responded by scrutinizing Constand for details on dates and frequency of meetups, insinuating they were romantic in nature and challenging her for not reporting the assault until a year after it had occurred. Constand responded saying, "I was really nervous and wasn't able to recall every particular moment that I had seen Mr. Cosby in order of dates." She also said that due to the emotional burden of the situation, she lacked the courage to tell her family what had happened.
Women alleging sexual assault claims are often asked why they didn’t report sooner or are accused of wanting to be there. As Verily has reported in the past, there are so many misconceptions surrounding sexual assault, often involving how the victim responds emotionally and whether or not they report right away (or at all)—which of course discourages victims in the future. Hopefully this case will encourage us all to foster a culture where victims can feel safe to report what has been done against them. —GP
Deaf Singer Wows on America’s Got Talent
It’s that time of year again—the hit NBC talent show America's Got Talent is back, bringing talented artists and performers to the stage. This week, a deaf singer wowed judges with an original song that brought the entire audience to their feet.
Mandy Harvey lost her hearing when she was 18 due to a connective tissue disorder. She had been singing since she was four but left music after she lost her hearing. Years later, with the help of muscle memory and visual tuners, she gave it another go. “After I lost my hearing, I gave up,” she told the judges. “But I want to do more than just give up.” Harvey performed her original song “Try,” a heartfelt piece about this very theme. (I'm just going to post the video here because it's been a hard week, amiright?)
Harvey’s gorgeous performance did more than not give up—it earned her Simon Cowell’s coveted Golden Buzzer, which sends Harvey straight to the live performances later this summer. The seasoned talent judge was quick to tell Harvey her performance was incredible. “I’ve done this a long time,” he said. “That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard.” —KS