BBMAs

The Billboard Music Awards is an award show that honors outstanding chart performances for the past year. The award is given on by Billboard Magazine. The first Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) were held in 1990, and was continued as an annual event until 2006. It was then restarted in 2011.

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards were held on May 21, 2017, for the 6th annual year. The award show took place in Las Vegas, at T-Mobile Arena, and was hosted by Vanessa Hudgens and Ludacris.

The list of nominees was announced on April 10, 2017. A few of the categories along with their nominees and winners were: 

Top Artist:

Drake — WINNER

Adele

Beyonce

Justin Bieber

The Chainsmokers

Ariana Grande

Shawn Mendes

Rihanna

Twenty One Pilots

The Weeknd

Top New Artist:

Zayn — WINNER

Alessia Cara

Desiigner

Lil Uzi Vert

Lukas Graham

Top Male Artist:

Drake — WINNER

Justin Bieber

Future

Shawn Mendes

The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:

Beyonce — WINNER

Adele

Ariana Grande

Rihanna

Sia

Every year, Billboard has many artists, both old, new, and up and coming, preform at the event. This year’s show included 19 different performances from 19 different artists. Some of the acts that were included: Miley Cyrus – who performed her new single “Malibu,” Drake who performed “Gyalchester” from his album More Life, Halsey, Sam Hunt, Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, The Chainsmokers, Camila Cabello, and many more.

Billboard gave out a total of 42 wards at this year’s event, and rapper Drake claimed 13 of those, for his album More Life, breaking the previous record of 12 awards held by Adele for her album 21 in 2011. According to Billboard Magazine’s official website, winners are chosen on fan interactions, and the winning artist depends on many factors such as album and digital song sales, streaming, radio play, touring, and social engagement.

California family kicked off Delta flight

On April 23, 2017, a California family of 4 were kicked off a Delta flight en route from Maui to Los Angeles. Brittany and Brian Schear from Huntington Beach, CA boarded a Delta flight with their two small children. Issues began when the family was asked to give up their two-year-old son’s, Grayson, seat. The family refused, seeing as they had payed for the seat they didn’t see a reason to give it up.

The Schears originally purchased the ticket for their 18-year-old son Mason, but then decided to send him home early so their 2-year-old could have a seat. The family had explain the situation to the ticket agent and the ticket agent accommodated the families needs and arranged for the four of them to sit together.

A flight attend had ask the Schears to give up their 2-year-old’s seat, and when they refused the Delta flight attendant demanded they give up the seat. Again refusing, the family was then threatened with jail time and having their child put in foster care.

Brittany Schear began filming the encounter on her cellphone. You can hear the flight attention repeatedly asking them to move their child, and Brian clearly distraught and trying to stay calm and reason with the Delta staff. You can hear a female employee say as the Schears refused to exit the plane, “You have to give up the seat or you’re going to jail, your wife is going to jail and they’ll take your kids from you.”  While Brian told a Delta staff member, “You’re saying you’re gonna give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat? That’s not right. You need to do what’s right. I bought the seat and you need to just leave us alone.”

After The video was released Delta responded saying, “We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta, and we’ve reached out to them to refund their travel and provide additional compensation. Delta’s goal is to always work with customers in an attempt to find solutions to their travel issues. That did not happen in this case and we apologize.”

Nerf wars

Nerf wars is an annual event for Highland Park students taking place after spring break. Students who wished to participate had to create a team of 5 and each team member was required to pay a fee of $5 to play.

The competition, this year,  began with 21 teams, and now is in the second round with 16 remaining. Any student was able to participate as long as they paid the fee and had a team of members. The teams were then seeded by grade, number of drivers on the team, previous experience, and if they played any sports.

A team with multiple drivers, and previous experience, is at a much higher advantage than the other teams, but this year’s Nerf wars, in the community, has changed a little. Most parents are not allowing their sons or daughters participate due to the serious risks that come along with the game.

On December 4th, 2015, two Lakeville South students, who were participating in a Nerf wars game, were killed in a car accident. Jacob Flynn, 17, and John Price, 18, were the two students who were killed. Mason Kohlbeck, 18, and Alexander Hughes, 17, were among the ones injured in the car accident. Hughes was driving the pickup truck when it crossed over the center line and flipped multiple times before it stopped.

Due to this tragic event, regarding the Lakeville South students, Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi, sent out an email to many administrators and parents of students participating in Nerf wars this spring. The email brought to attention the potential dangers of the game for the students who chose to play. Choi met, and talked, with parents of different schools, “I learned a lot about what is happening and am concerned that some of these activities are not only dangerous, but also illegal, and could result in serious injuries and/or prosecution.”

In his email, he stated what parents have said about how many different students that have partaken in the game “Have used cars to block other teens; jumped on top of moving vehicles; slashed tires; gotten into car accidents; crawled into homes, garages and/or on roofs without the homeowner’s permission, often in the dark and in violation of curfew laws.” With that being said many of the schools’ administrations are encouraging students not to play.

School administrations aren’t the only ones who are concerned; many parents won’t let their sons or daughters play, which has lowered the number of teams playing. In the past there have been around 34 teams and this year their was only 21 teams.

2017 Paris attack: Orly Airport

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, a 39-year-old man by the name of Ziyed Ben Belgacom attacked the Orly airport in Paris, France. Belgacom held a female French soldier at gunpoint and shouted, “I am here to die in the name of Allah… There will be deaths,” before being shot to death by two soldiers patrolling the airport. According to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Belgacom was shot after tackling the female soldier,  using her as a human shield, and attempting to take her weapon.

Thousands of travelers were evacuated and rerouted to other airports near by. Belgacom was the only casualty. Earlier that day, Belgacom stole a car from a French woman and shot a police officer after stealing his weapon. Officials said the officer didn’t suffer from any life threatening injuries. Francois Molins, a French prosecutor, was the one who identified the attacker as  Ziyed Ben Belgacom. Molins claims that Belgacom had a previous arrest record, such as arrests for violence and theft, including one five-year sentence that began in 2009.

However, Belgacom’s father insists that he is not a terrorist, and instead blames his actions on his drugs use. “My son was not a terrorist. He never prayed and he drank,” said Belgacom’s father. “This is what happens under the influence of drink and cannabis.” A toxicology report showed that Belgacon was in fact under the influence, as he had alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana in his system.

There were also a number of Belgacom relatives taken into custody and questioned. His father was released the next day, Sunday March 19. He stated that his son had called him after the first shooting and had sounded “very angry.” “He said to me: ‘Daddy, please forgive me. I’ve screwed up with a police officer,'” the father said. “I said I didn’t forgive him ‘because you hurt a policeman.'”

A Day Without Immigrants

Thursday, February 16, 2017, was known as “A Day Without Immigrants.” Immigrants around the U.S. stayed home from work, and school, on Thursday, to demonstrate how important they are to America’s economy. In an act of solidarity, many businesses also closed for the day. The boycott was primarily directed at the Trump administration’s efforts to build a wall along the Mexican border, increase deportations, and ban travel from a number of Middle Eastern countries.

The protest affected many aspects of life, but A Day Without Immigrants mainly affected the restaurant industry. The restaurant industry was heavily impacted because it offers the most jobs to new immigrants in the U.S. It offers jobs such as cooks, servers, and dishwashers.

Since the end of 2007, the number of foreign-born employees in the U.S. has jumped by nearly 3.1 million to 25.9 million; they account for 56 percent of the increase in the U.S. workforce, according to the Labor Department. In the restaurant industry, there are 12 million immigrants employed, and in cities such as New York and Chicago, they account for more than 70% of the restaurant workforce. Another industry that felt the impact of the protests was construction.

A large portion of the protesters are having to deal with the consequences of President Trump, when a majority of them didn’t even have the right to vote, while other protesters didn’t even vote for him. There is no nation-wide number stating how many people stayed home from school or work, but many student absences were not excused, and some people who skipped work lost a day’s pay or perhaps even their jobs. Even with these consequences, organizers and participants argued the cause was worth it.

Here in St. Paul, the marches started in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. A couple hundred people gathered at the corner of East Seventh and Hope streets near the offices of the Mexican Consulate in St. Paul. The march traveled down East Seventh street past the Asian grocery store, an Ethiopian church, an Italian pizzeria, and a Mediterranean grill. By noon, the streets of St. Paul had protester groups that were two or three blocks long. The march eventually made its way to the Capitol building. The total number of protesters in the Twin Cities reached nearly 200 people, of all types, who boycotted work and school. There was also a handful of restaurant chains the closed in solidarity to the protest.