What in the world is happening?

Tesla:

What happened?

 

The Tesla Model S was just slammed for poor reliability. Consumer Reports, a magazine that reviews products, withdrew its its recommendation for the previously raved-about car.

 

Why is it important?

 

Tesla’s reliability has been called into question in the past, but has recently been praised for creating reliable, upscale cars, so this could be a huge hit to its reputation. Older cars are reported to have issues with the engines and batteries, while newer cars are reported to have issues with the sunroofs. Wealthy Tesla owners (who probably have other cars they can drive) don’t seem to notice these problems. But with Tesla looking to release the affordable Model 3, the unreliability of Tesla’s vehicles might be more obvious in the near future.

 

Canada:

What happened?

 

Canada, our friendly neighbors to the north, just had an election. Justin Trudeau, who initially struggled at the beginning of the campaign, ended up winning the election with his centrist Liberal party.

 

Why is this important?

 

Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister since 2006 and leader of the Conservative party, lost the election to Canada’s Liberal party. The Conservative party has recently been caught up in multiple controversies involving senators’ questionable expenses and antiterrorism measures that have been called Islamophobic. Trudeau will be one of Canada’s youngest PMs in history and as the son of a respected Canadian politician, let’s just hope that politics and good leadership run in his blood, for the sake of our friendly (and highly apologetic) neighbors.

 

Obama:

 

What happened?

 

Obama released a plan to reduce standardized testing in public schools nationwide.

 

Why is this important?

 

As you can probably attest to from experience, students are forced to take a lot of standardized tests throughout grade school. Between federal, state, and district required tests, students spend about 25 hours a year on 112 standardized tests alone--never mind the actual tests, quizzes, and assignments for each class. POTUS believes the pressure teachers feel to teach to a test "takes the joy out of learning both for [the teachers] and for the students" and hopes his new action plan will fix this and encourage more actual learning and less bubble-filling practice.

 

Hurricane Patricia:

 

 

What happened?

Hurricane Patricia was the strongest recorded hurricane to ever make landfall, hitting Mexico on October 30th with winds over 200 miles per hour. Thankfully, despite thousands of homes damaged, there were no reported casualties.

 

Why is this important?

Patricia strengthened more rapidly than any other hurricane ever recorded, but also weakened more rapidly than any hurricane. The high number of Category 5 hurricanes in the Pacific this season are posing concerns to scientists. Because most storms in the Pacific have not been recorded as consistently as Atlantic storms, it's hard to tell whether there really is an increase in high-strength storms or if this is actually normal behavior. Either way, the ocean is about 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than average this year, and along with El Niño and effects from global warming creating perfect storm conditions, this means there will be more intense storms in the future.