By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate

Canadian senate passes bill for gender neutral anthem lyrics

The Senate passed a bill making Canada’s national anthem gender neutral. The House of Commons had passed a bill in 2016 changing “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.” “O Canada” has been the country’s official national anthem since 1980 and, in that time, 12 bills have been introduced in the House of Commons to change the gendered phase “sons.” The bill was opposed by some Conservative senators who did not agree with Parliament changing the words of a song written by a long dead artist, and who believed the changes should have been put to a referendum for the public to decide.

With files from CBC News.


Scientist find massive Mayan ruins in Guatemala jungle

More than 60,000 previously hidden Mayan ruins have been found in the Guatemalan region of Peten. Scientists used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) laser technology to examine the jungle, finding houses, palaces, highways, and defensive works. This breakthrough leads experts to believe that millions more people might have lived in the area than archeologists previously estimated. Previously, LiDAR had also proven instrumental to finding hidden ruins near Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The technology works by beaming laser into the ground from an aircraft and measuring the wavelengths as they bounce back. The measurements are then compiled to produce 3D maps of the surface topography.

With files from BBC News.


Epic spacewalk ends with uncompleted mission

Russian astronauts set an antenna in the wrong position outside the International Space Station following a record-setting spacewalk. The antenna, whose purpose is to aid communication with Russian Mission Control, became stuck after being upgraded by a pair of Russian astronauts during a spacewalk that lasted eight hours and 13 minutes. After the pair realized the antenna could not extend properly, they were forced to push the antenna into the right place. Ultimately, the hardware ended up being 180 degrees further than needed. The lengthy space walk surpassed the previous Russian record of eight hours and seven minutes.

With files from AP News.


Wall Street Starbucks slow growth from too many stores, prices too high

Wall Street analysts are citing Starbucks’ many stores and high prices as reasons for the company’s slowing growth. Analysts believe that Starbucks has reached overcapacity in the market and has raised prices too high, preventing the company from meeting growth quotas for investors for the past year. In response, Starbucks disagreed with the Wall Street analysis, and cited alternate reasons for slowdown in growth such as the failure of special drinks and changes to its rewards program. The company also claimed that its yearly 1% or 2% price increases are mitigated by discounts through their rewards program. Less expensive coffee providers such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are believed to be attracting some of Starbucks’ previous customers.

With files from Reuters.