We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Pope Francis and Donald Trump Weigh In on British Baby’s Fate
Both Pope Francis and President Trump weighed in this week on the case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard. Charlie, who is British, was born with an extremely rare genetic disease, and governmental and medical officials in Britain have overruled his parents’ wishes and ordered that the baby’s life be ended. The hospital that has been treating him asked permission to take Charlie off life support, and three British courts have agreed with this decision. Meanwhile, Charlie’s parents have been fighting to continue to keep their son alive and seek an experimental treatment in the United States.
Despite the courts’ ruling, international entities are suggesting that what is legal isn’t always ethical. Pope Francis was said to be praying that Charlie’s parents’ “desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored,” and the Vatican-run hospital has offered to take Charlie in and to allow his parents to care for him until the very end. President Trump sent out a tweet that the United States would be delighted to welcome Charlie to continue his care in the States. Whatever the outcome, our hearts go out to Charlie and his parents during what must be a terrible and painful time. —Gabriella Patti
New Evidence Suggests Amelia Earhart Survived Plane Crash
The mystery surrounding one of our favorite iconic American women grows curiouser and curiouser. Pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in 1937 during a round-the-world flight, may have survived a crash landing on the Marshall Islands, according to a recently surfaced photograph. The photo was recently discovered in the National Archive, and it shows a group of people sitting on a dock, with a man and woman who appear to be Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan. Analysts for the History Channel say that the photos appear to be authentic.
Many theories have surrounded Earhart’s disappearance, although there has been no conclusive evidence as to what happened to her and Noonan. The photograph will be discussed in a History Channel special this Sunday called “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence.” Here’s hoping the mystery surrounding her disappearance will be solved. In the meantime, I know what I’ll be doing Sunday night. —GP
Simone Biles Opens Up About Her Body Image Struggles
The Olympic gymnast’s recent interview with CNN reveals that even gold medalists can feel insecure about their looks. When asked about the biggest personal challenge she had to overcome, Simone Biles replied, “I think in the gymnastics world, it is your body figure because you get a little bit shy about your body because you are very muscular.”
Biles, who wasn’t shy last December when responding to a few trolls about their unwanted opinions, admits that she used to get bullied by kids at school, especially by boys. “I think they were just jealous because they didn’t have the muscle definition I did. I would try to hide my muscles, not show them, and I would always wear a jacket,” she said.
Today, Biles sounds more confident: “We wouldn’t be able to do the things or achieve the things we did without our bodies, so we’re very grateful for them.” And by things, we’re talking a record-breaking four gold medals in one Olympics event. It’s fair to say all the Twitter trolls in the world can’t hold a candle to this woman. —Krysta Scripter
Graduates Rushing to Freeze Eggs Amid Dearth of Eligible Men
A recent study at Yale University found that more women graduates are turning toward freezing their eggs as a way of preventing infertility later in life. According to the researchers, the data challenges perceptions that career-minded women are putting off having kids because of their jobs.
“Extensive media coverage suggests that educational and career ambitions are the main determinants of professional women’s fertility postponement, especially as they lean into their careers,” Yale Professor Marcia Inhorn told the BBC. “Rather, they were desperately preserving their fertility beyond the natural end of their reproductive lives because they were single without partners to marry.”
Inhorn said in the majority of cases they studied, women said they could not find a man educated enough to settle down with. Egg freezing is hardly a guarantee for future children though—success rate for frozen eggs actually being used for in vitro fertilization is still relatively low, and the process of gathering the eggs can be expensive and painful. —KS
Spiderman Returns . . . Again!
This weekend marks the third time a Spiderman movie franchise was launched in less than twenty years, and frankly we were rolling our eyes a little when Spiderman: Homecoming was announced. Seriously, we can only watch Uncle Ben die so many times. Thankfully, Director Jon Watts was aware of that, and it looks like the film is a definitive step away from the iconic origin story. Trailers show that the focus is more on priming Spidey for his potential role in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside the Avengers, with Tony Stark as a weird mix between a well-meaning counselor and that uncle who slips you firecrackers behind your mom’s back. Early reviews are calling it “the best Spiderman movie yet,” so maybe there’s still hope for a successful run of everyone’s favorite web-slinger. —KS
Make It Stop
After a whirlwind of events and social media rants, the lone brother of the Kardashian Klan, Rob Kardashian, may be facing charges by ex-fiancée Blac Chyna due to his release of Instagram photos in which she is nude. Kardashian also posted screenshots of a rant against Chyna citing infidelity and fraud.
The photos that Kardashian shared are considered “revenge porn”—explicit imagery of a former intimate partner shared on the internet without their consent after the relationship has ended. Revenge porn is illegal in the state of California where Kardashian and Chyna reside, as of 2014. Chyna’s lawyer has since stated that they are “exploring all legal remedies.” Considering revenge porn is a sad and dangerous symptom of our objectifying culture, let’s hope the publicity of this case leads to less of it. —GP
In Better News . . .
PBS announced this week the casting for the upcoming television remake of Little Women, and there are some pretty big women behind it. Louisa May Alcott’s story will be adapted into three parts written by Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife, Upstairs Downstairs) and directed by Vanessa Caswill. Dame Angela Lansbury and Emily Watson have picked up some lead roles, as well as Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, and Kathryn Newton as the March sisters. Can you tell we’re excited? —Mary Rose Somarriba