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HC Wake-Up Call: U.S. Rep & Civil Rights Icon Hospitalized, Northern California Wildfire Kills Three & Disney Bans Plastic Straws


Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Rep. John Lewis, Champion of Civil Rights Movement, Hospitalized

U.S. Representative John Lewis, champion of the civil rights movement and congressman for 31 years, has been hospitalized after falling ill on a plane trip back to Atlanta, where he was to attend an event on Saturday night.

via Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV reports that the 78-year-old Georgia congressman was “resting comfortably” in a hospital Saturday night for “routine observation.”

Lewis’ spokesperson, Brenda Jones, said the congressman was expected to be released on Sunday.

The congressman was a close friend with Martin Luther King Jr. and played a key role in the civil right movement. Lewis took part in many of the same iconic events as King, including walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965, where he was badly beaten by police, The Huffington Post reports.

Lewis’ activism did not end with the civil rights movement. The Democrat has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his policies, including the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.

Northern California Wildfire Kills Two Children, Great-Grandmother

A 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren were killed when the rapidly spreading northern California wildfire, trapping them inside of their home, as one of the victims, a five-year-old boy called 911 for help.

The Carr Fire, according to ABC News, jumped the Sacramento River to the town of Redding, California, leveling homes and prompting mass evacuations as the fire shifts direction swiftly and fiercely.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the wildfire has burned 89,194 acres and destroyed at least 536 structures, threatening nearly 5,000 others.

via Noah Berger/AP

The great-grandmother, Melody Bledsoe, “did everything she could to save [the two children]”, Bledsoe's granddaughter, Amanda Woodley, wrote in a Facebook post. “She was hovered over them both with a wet blanket.”

“My nephew called, scared, for help, but they said they couldn't make it in time,” said Carla Bledsoe, the children’s aunt, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

With the deaths of Bledsoe and the two young children, the death toll of the Carr Fire climbed to five.

The Carr Fire is only five percent contained.

Disney Joins List of Major Companies to Ban Plastic Straws

The Walt Disney Co. has announced that it will stop using single-use plastic straws and stirrers at all of its locations, NBC News reports.

In a news release on Thursday, Disney officials said the ban will be implemented mid-2019, and is part of the company’s “long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship,” eliminating more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.

via Disney

Disney is the latest to join the list of major companies banning plastic straws. Early this month, Starbucks pledged to get rid of plastic straws in all of its stores worldwide by 2020.

Cities across the United States, such as Seattle and Santa Barbara, California have also implemented similar bans. San Francisco is currently in the process of enacting a ban on plastic straws and other plastic items.

Disney also announced that it would transition to refillable in-room amenities for its hotels and cruises over the next few years.

What to look out for…

Speaking of Disney, the company is developing a new live-action fairytale about an African princess named Sadé, and I’m so down for this.

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