The world never sleeps: continuing an April filled with life-altering, traumatic events, the start of May brings more change and sometimes, more of the same. From Jason Collins' public declaration of his sexuality to Lil Wayne's ill-timed and very poor joke about Emmett Till, every day is a new dose of reality. Here are the top five quotes from last week's biggest stories, broken down using the crowd-sourced knowledge of News Genius.
News Genius: it's like Reddit, except without wrongfully accusing 5 random people of terrorism.
- Gavin Matthews
5. "Poachers, aided by game rangers, have killed every single rhino in Mozambique"
- International Fund for Animal Welfare, Rhinos Extinct in Mozambique
You read that correctly. Mozambique's rhino population lived entirely in Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a reserve that until recently was thought to be an example of conservation. Instead, tempted by money, rangers and poachers alike ravaged the remaining, highly endangered rhino population. While the species lives on, this final group of 15 rhino were part of the 300 total slain in Mozambique since 2002.
4. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."
- Jason Collins, Jason Collins Comes Out
Think of the world of sports how you like, but any way that you slice it, the field has a past that is low on both tolerance and progress. Thankfully, things are looking up. Collins, a center for the Wizards, decided to lead the cause, opening the conversation and paving the way for a mass relaxation of normal secrecy in teams. Most important is the reaction from the fans: "can he play?" Progress may be here after all.
3. "The FDA today announced that it has approved...Plan B One-Step for use without a prescription by women 15 years of age and older."
- United States Food and Drug Administration, Plan B for All
Sex happens, even for 15 year olds. Somehow, ignoring this fact of life has let one of the most revolutionary medicines to date, one capable of interrupting impregnation long before actual reproduction, was left locked behind counters for minors. As a result, even those 16, above the age of consent in many states, and without a prescription were screwed. Twice. Even President Obama recently supported the science of the FDA decision. Still, don't rush out just yet: the Justice Department is likely to still seek a formal reversal of the decision before it really takes effect.
2. "It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed."
- President Barack Obama, Obama Demands Closure of Guantanamo Bay
Following up on a campaign promise made in his first term, President Obama in an April 30th press conference reiterated his position on the Guantanamo Bay prison. Seeing the perpetual imprisonments and semi-legal detainment as a weapon against peace, the President looks now to Congress to force the closure of the facility. Meanwhile, a large group of prisoners carry on a long-term hunger strike, force fed and denied a trial, making us all wonder exactly who the real extremists are.
1. "I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys."
- Lil Wayne/Epic Records, Lil Wayne's "Apology" to the Family of Emmett Till
In the battle between making a hot rhyme and not offending every person who hears it, only few come out on top. Emmett Till, a 14 year old brutally murdered in Mississippi after being accused of "flirting" with a white woman in town, is one of those "hands-off" cases. Apparently Weezy missed the memo, dropping the line "beat that pussy up like Emmett Till" satirizing what to many is part of an ongoing civil rights struggle. The family, for the record,rejected Wayne's apology, fairly calling it a cheap, detached attempt to duck the issue. If you have to rely on shock tactics to push a track, at least back it up with substance, not just autotuned hooks.