We're pleased to bring you "While You Were Out"—Verily's quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Michigan medical students walk out on speaker due to her personal pro-life views
Incoming medical students for the class of 2026 at the University of Michigan walked out of their white coat ceremony to protest the event’s speaker, Dr. Kristin Collier, on Sunday. Collier, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and head of its Health, Spirituality, and Religion program department, has been outspoken about her pro-life beliefs. While she didn’t mention them in her speech, she has spoken publicly about how she converted from a pro-choice atheist to a pro-life Christian.
As soon as she got up to speak, dozens of students and their family and friends left the auditorium. Collier told the Catholic newsletter The Pillar last month that the health profession can be discriminatory toward physicians who, like her, are pro-life. “Again, for a profession which—rightly so—professes the desire to be more diverse and inclusive,” she said, “why does it seem like this inclusivity only includes those who fit a narrow view of what healthcare is or could be?”
Despite the student walkout, even pro-choice students expressed their support for Collier. “I’m as pro-choice as you can get,” a former student said. “But [Collier’s] personal beliefs never came up during our humanism courses. I learned so much from her without religious tinting. She’s a great doc and great professor.” —Madeline Fry Schultz
Federal Reserve hikes interest rates by 0.75 percentage points
Does this sound like deja vu? Just a month after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 0.75 percent, the Fed raised them by another 0.75 percentage points. The central bank’s plan to curb inflation by raising interest rates in June didn’t work as well as it had hoped.
Business Insider explains, “The benchmark rate now sits between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent, roughly matching what officials estimate to be a ‘neutral’ level for rates that's neither stimulative nor restrictive. The 0.75-point hike is only the second such increase since 1994 and reflects the Fed's still-aggressive stance toward countering high inflation.”
This means that interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and credit cards are spiking. The Fed hopes that by raising interest rates, you’ll spend less money, which will curb the runaway inflation for the past several months. With inflation at 9.1 percent and the U.S. facing a recession, government officials are scrambling to save the economy. But the Fed, now trying to curb inflation, deserves much of the blame for creating the problem in the first place. —MFS
Candace Cameron Bure responds to Jojo Siwa calling her the ‘rudest celebrity’
In a now-viral TikTok, Jojo Siwa of Dance Mom’s fame labeled Full House’s Candace Cameron Bure the “rudest celebrity” she had ever encountered in a video where she flashed photos of celebrities, labeling some the “coolest” she had met, “nicest,” and her celebrity “crush.” Siwa did not include a reason for each label.
Cameron Bure responded by sharing a video on Instagram in which she said she was “shocked” and "had no idea where it came from,” which prompted her to reach out to Siwa’s team.
“So I was finally able to talk to Jojo this morning. I called her. And we had a great conversation,” Cameron Bure said in her video. “She was like, 'Hey, how you doin'?' I said, 'Well, I've been better, what happened?'"
Siwa allegedly told Cameron Bure that she had not intended for the video to go viral and didn’t think it was a big deal. Cameron Bure said it was a big deal and asked what she had done to Siwa.
"She actually didn't want to tell me because she said it's so silly, she felt bad and that's why it just wasn't a big deal to her," she continued. "But then she said, 'I met you at the Fuller House premiere when I was 11 years old, and we were all on the red carpet. I had come up to you and said, ‘Can I have a picture with you?’ and you said to me, ‘Not right now.’ And then proceeded to do what you were doing and take pictures with other people on the red carpet.'"
Cameron Bure said she apologized profusely to Siwa, to which Siwa responded: "You weren't even mean! And I get it now, as an adult, when you're on the red carpet and everything's happening and you're being pulled in different directions, but at that time, I was 11."
Cameron Bure apologized for “breaking her 11-year-old heart” and said she felt crummy. Siwa reiterated that it was a big deal, and Cameron Bure responded: "Please know that as a mom, it breaks my heart that I made you feel that way, and I'm sorry to your mom, too, that I did that to her daughter. I know if anyone crosses my kids, mama bear comes out." She also shared that she hopes if she ever failed any other fans that this can be a reminder to "have grace for one another."
While Cameron Bure stated that Siwa did accept her apology, Siwa later told Page Six that Cameron Bure “didn’t share all the details of the meeting.” Siwa said that she told Cameron Bure that what had most upset her was that after Cameron Bure had said no to pictures with Siwa, she went on to take photos with other kids. Ultimately, Siwa said it was a “positive call.”
“We had about a 10-minute conversation, and it was sweet,” she said. “She apologized, and we talked. It was cool. It was nice.” —Gabriella Patti
The WHO declares monkeypox outbreak 'global health emergency' as cases spread
The World Health Organization called monkeypox a “global health emergency,” their highest alert level.
According to CNBC, “The rare designation means the WHO now views the outbreak as a significant enough threat to global health that a coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic.”
More than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported across 75 countries so far in 2022, with the number of confirmed infections rising 77 percent from late June through early July, according to WHO data. While WHO says the risk level is moderate, the threat is highest in Europe, which is the global epicenter.
Five deaths from monkeypox have been reported this year, all in Africa. However, the current outbreak is considered unusual as it disproportionately impacts the United States and Europe, where the virus is not typically found. On Tuesday, the CDC said that the United States has one of the highest levels of monkeypox in the world. The WHO has stated that those at most risk are men having sex with other men.
The virus causes a rash to spread all over the body, which looks like pimples or blisters. For some, it can be painful. The CDC has reported that most people recover from the virus in two-four weeks. —GP
Highland Park shooting suspect is indicted on 117 charges
The suspect in a shooting that took place in Highland Park, Illinois, during an Independence Day parade has been indicted by a grand jury on 117 charges: 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery. The counts represent the seven people killed and dozens wounded in the attack.
The prosecutors had previously filed seven murder charges but announced Wednesday the grand jury’s decision.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that the 48 attempted murder counts and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm represent "each victim who was struck by a bullet, bullet fragment, or shrapnel." The victims ranged from ages eight to over 80.
The suspected shooter, 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, admitted to the rooftop shooting when he was apprehended and arrested by police on July 4, after an hours-long search for him.
"I want to thank law enforcement and the prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury today," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said. "Our investigation continues, and our victim specialists are working around the clock to support all those affected by this crime that led to 117 felony counts being filed." —GP
Good News of the Week
Fossil of earliest predator is named after David Attenborough
The fossil of a 560-year-old creature, which scientists have labeled the “earliest animal predator,” has been named for British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.
The specimen, which has been named Auroralumina attenboroughii, is the earliest creature known to have a skeleton.
The fossil was found in Charnwood Forest near Leicester in central England, where Attenborough used to go fossil hunting.
96-year-old Attenborough, whose posh and soothing voice will forever be associated with commentary on nature and wildlife, is “truly delighted” by the honor.
“It’s generally held that modern animal groups like jellyfish appeared 540 million years ago in the Cambrian explosion,” said Phil Wilby, a paleontologist at the British Geological Survey. “But this predator predates that by 20 million years.”
Wilby said that the fossil may be one of the keys to when “complex life began on earth.” —GP
Watch of the Week
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell stunned crowds at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, by performing her 1969 song “Both Sides, Now” alongside singer Brandi Carlie. This appearance was the first time Mitchell, 78, has performed in public since her 2015 brain aneurysm and her first full-length live set since 2000. Mitchell has previously stated that after her aneurysm, she could not walk, sing or play the guitar, making her comeback as she sings a wistful song from her youth all the more powerful. Watch the performance below!