We're pleased to bring you "While You Were Out"—Verily's quick takes on the happenings of this week.
January 6 committee focuses on Trump’s election claims and Pence’s pushback
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol continued its hearings this week, with day three on Thursday focusing on former President Donald Trump’s role in rousing his supporters against former Vice President Mike Pence.
The House committee brought in testimony describing how Trump tried to pressure Pence to block the certification of the 2020 presidential election, an action that would have been illegal. The hearings revealed that Trump had been told multiple times that this scheme was against the law, but this didn’t stop him from urging Pence to follow along.
According to the committee, this situation was closely connected to the January 6 riots. CNN reports, “The committee tried to connect Trump's pressure campaign against Pence to the violence on January 6, by weaving together testimony from Pence aides, Trump's public statements, and comments from rioters at the Capitol.”
The committee also highlighted that Trump supporters angry with Pence came within 40 feet of him during the riot at the Capitol. Trump’s public frustration with Pence appears to have put him in danger.
The previous hearing on Monday, as USA Today summarizes, “was marked by explosive testimony from Trump aides as well as former Attorney General Bill Barr of how they advised Trump not to declare victory on election night and how he ignored evidence he lost the election.”
The next hearing will be Tuesday, with several more to follow. —Madeline Fry Schultz
Kim Kardashian apparently damaged Marilyn Monroe’s dress
After Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress at the Met Gala, fashion historians worried that Kardashian would damage the historic piece. It looks like they were right. Even though Kardashian said that she lost 16 pounds to fit into the dress and promptly changed into a replica after walking the red carpet at the gala, recently released photos show before and after pics of the dress, revealing small tears and missing crystals along the back zipper.
The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, which loaned out the 1962 dress, maintained that Kardashian did not damage the outfit. “From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in,” Ripley’s vice president of publishing and licensing, Amanda Joiner, said in a statement. This wasn’t enough to satisfy many commenters on the internet, though.
The $4.8 million value of the dress aside, fans thought that letting the dress be used and evidently damaged was disrespectful to Monroe and her legacy. “It's not about the actual dress,” one person tweeted. “It's about the meaning. Marilyn was used all her life, she hardly had anything that was truly her own. This dress, it was hers. it was designed specifically and ONLY for her . . . now it's ruined.” —MFS
Revlon beauty company files for bankruptcy
Cosmetic company Revlon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday following issues with their supply chain and substantial debt.
In the filing, the over 90-year-old company said that they are currently unable to fill almost one-third of customers' product demands in a timely manner as they have been unable to obtain “a “sufficient and regular supply of raw materials.” According to the filing, materials have been taking longer to arrive and cost four times as much as they did in 2019.
According to CNBC, Revlon is “the first major consumer-facing business to file for bankruptcy protection in what has been a yearslong pause of distress in the retail sector.” Bankruptcy filings among retailers peaked in 2020, marking an 11-year-high.
Revlon narrowly avoided bankruptcy at the time; however, this filing has been in the cards for some time as the company has lost market shares to Proctor & Gamble and failed to keep up with younger cosmetic lines like Kylie Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, and Glossier. Revlon’s portfolio includes Elizabeth Arden, Almay, and Britney Spears Fragrances, among others.
The filing “will allow Revlon to offer our consumers the iconic products we have delivered for decades while providing a clearer path for our future growth,” Revlon president and chief executive officer Debra Perelman said in a press release Thursday morning. In an interview last year, Perlman said she was optimistic about the company’s future and that they were learning from younger, celebrity-led companies to be more “nimble.” —Gabriella Patti
Beyonce’s New Album Is Announced for July Release
It’s official—six years after releasing her iconic visual album, “Lemonade,” Beyonce will be releasing a new album titled Renaissance on July 29. The surprise announcement was made Thursday when streaming platform Tidal, owned by Beyonce’s husband, rapper and producer Jay-Z, tweeted the news.
The announcement came the same day that Beyonce unveiled on Instagram the photos taken for her British Vogue cover shoot for the July 2022 issue.
In the cover story, written by British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enniful describes listening to the upcoming album as “music I love to my core. Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul. As ever with Beyoncé, it is all about the intent.” July 29 can’t come soon enough! —GP
Federal Reserve announces record-high interest rate hike
The Federal Reserve has raised the interest rates by 0.75 percent—the highest since 1994—in an attempt to slow inflation. They announced that further hikes will come later this year as they try to slow inflation and dampen demand.
According to Yahoo Finance, the decision raises short-term borrowing costs to a target range between 1.50 percent and 1.75 percent.
Vox summarized the news in laymen's terms: “the idea is to tamp down consumer spending and slow business expansion by increasing costs in other areas (namely, borrowing and loans). The Fed is trying to get you, for now, to stop buying so much stuff.”
Financial advisors say that things will get worse for consumers before they get better. However, the hope is that this rise will improve the economy in the long run. —GP
Good News of the Week
Who runs the world (best)? Girls!
According to a recent study by the University of Queensland in Australia, women prove to be better leaders when it comes to solving significant crises. The study showed that female leaders saved significantly more lives than male leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study included data from 91 nations, which led to the conclusion that countries with female leaders recorded 40 percent fewer deaths from COVID-19 than nations led by men during the first year of the pandemic. The study highlighted the importance of prevention over treatment.
“We found female leaders tend to act promptly and decisively and are more risk-averse towards the loss of human life, which play an essential role in pandemic prevention and outcomes,” researcher Kelvin Tan wrote in the summary.
“Countries where women were at the head of government outperformed countries with male leadership, with an average 39.9 percent fewer confirmed COVID-19 deaths,” Tan said. “This figure can be attributed to female leaders taking quick and decisive action, a broader view of the wider impact on society and being more receptive to innovative thinking.” —GP
Watch of the Week
If you are like us, your curiosity probably wins over every time a new Jane Austen film adaptation is announced. Check out the trailer for the new adaption of her novel, Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson and premiering July 15 on Netflix!