The Big 5: The Top Five News Stories this Week(2/10-2/17)


This week brought many challenges and fears but also celebrations and new beginnings. Questions of U.S. environmental safety, homeland safety and mental safety are circling the public sphere. How will the U.S. respond to both increasing domestic pressure and international pressure.

Anxieties rise as environmental crisis continues in East Palestine

The derailment and ultimate exploitation of a freight train near East Palestine, Ohio, is continuing to wreak havoc on both Ohio residents and the U.S. as a whole. Toxic chemicals are being leaked into the air and water, residents living near the accident reporting health concerns. Some of the cars were carrying vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. As chemicals are burned, some people say this is the biggest environmental crisis in U.S. history. 


Super Bowl LVII

The 57th annual Super Bowl took place on Sunday in Arizona, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.The Kansas City Chiefs ended up pulling the victory after a controversial call with a score of 38-35. In her first show in seven years, Rihanna stunned audiences during the halftime show. Over 5 million more watchers tuned in to see Rihanna then stayed for the game. 



Ban on Social Media for young people? 

Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri, this Tuesday proposed a bill to restrict social media for kids under the age of 16. Senator Hawley, like other lawmakers, parents, teachers and more are concerned for teenagers and youth’s mental health. Recent findings show that social media is highly affecting young people. In the “Facebook Files”, it showed that Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram) understands the negative impact social media can have on teenage girls and a more recent study shows that social media can affect brain development in children. Senator Hawley and others agree, it might be time to rethink social media for young people.


Aliens…or is it just spies?

Over U.S. airspace, hundreds of unidentified objects flying overhead. After the Chinese Spy Balloon earlier this month, Americans are getting more weary about UFOs. Some government officials say that possible spy balloons have been flying overhead for years without U.S. intelligence being aware of it. Questions of national security among Americans are sky high. How will the White House respond? 


Fetterman checks into a hospital for depression treatment

The new Senator from Pennsylvania, John Fetterman, checked himself into the hospital for depression and mental health related concerns. Fetterman struggles with depression and reports say he has for years. Fetterman’s open discussion of his mental health challenges shows a less stigmatized view on mental health issues for people living in the public sphere. Fetterman’s case is also beginning the discussion on mental health for members of Congress, specifically who is “fit to serve”.