Five Things Friday: from flip phones to war criminals

Photo by Francis Storr , published March 8, 2014 , Link to License: , Link to original work: , Bitcoin’s acceptance has been increasing in the past year.

11/25/17: Apple patents for flip phone technology

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently revealed in an report that Apple has filed a patent for “an electronic device [that] may have a flexible portion that allows [it] to be folded” in September 2016. The patent was approved this Saturday. The technology describes flexible displays with touch sensors and portions that bend like “being opened and closed like a book.” This flexible screen can also be applied to various items, such as laptops, tablets, and watches. This, however, is not the only patent that Apple has applied within the past year. In fact, they have applied for various ideas, such as 360-degree screen that wraps entirely around a phone as well as smart glasses to rival Google’s failed Glass product. While this sparks public excitement for the possibility of new technology, ultimately, many Apple patents are not applied to products that are released.

11/26/17: Bitcoin Value Skyrockets

Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, experienced a great surge in value Sunday morning- reaching $9,500 in some parts of Asia. This digital currency, which was only worth $8,000 this past Monday, has seen a 860% increase in value since the beginning of the year. Over the months, Bitcoin has earned a legitimacy in some parts of the financial industry, with investors able to trade Bitcoin via the Chicago Mercantile Exchange starting next month. But despite this newfound validity, Bitcoin has had its fair share of criticisms for unreliability; JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, for instance, called Bitcoin a “fraud that would eventually crash.” Bitcoin’s value is projected to continue increasing throughout the week.


11/27/17: Aung San suu Kyi stripped of Oxford honor

On Monday morning, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was unanimously voted by Oxford City Council to be stripped of an award given by the city of Oxford in 1977 on Monday morning. She was condemned for her dismissal of the alleged ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in the state of Rohingya. The Freedom of the City of Oxford, which is the highest honor that can be awarded to a person in that city was awarded to her for her value of tolerance and internationalism displayed to her opposition to oppression and military rule in Burma. Counselor Mary Clarkson tweeted, “Aung San Suu Kyi has denied any ethnic cleansing and dismissed numerous claims of sexual violence against Rohingya women as ‘fake rape,'” to briefly comment on the Council’s decision.


11/28/17: Kenya’s new President sworn in after repeat election

Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for his second term on Tuesday after results were annulled two weeks earlier in the official election. Following the weeks of unrest, with only a 40% voter turnout, he won with 98% of the votes. The inauguration, however, was met with illegal protests outside Jacadanda, the inauguration grounds. Unrest was widespread. As President Kenyatta was sworn in, police across town opened fire and forced tear gas on demonstrators led by opposition leader Raila Odinga and local news reports of at least one dead. In response to the weeks of unrest resulting, Kenyatta ended the inauguration with a prayer for those who have lost their lives in the past few weeks’ police riots, where it is estimated about 70 people have died.


11/29/17: Bosnian war criminal swallows poison in court

Former Bosnian general and war criminal Slobodan Praljak died after ingesting poison as a judge at the Hague read his 20-year sentence for war crimes. Before swallowing the poison, Praljak shouted, “Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I am rejecting your verdict with contempt.” The judge immediately suspended proceedings and called for medical attention. According to the original indictment, Praljak played a significant role in securing weapons and ammunition for the Croatian Defense Council army to further ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population in parts of Bosnia to ensure Croatia domination during the 1990s. Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed the former general had died and offered his condolences. The nature of the substance ingested by Praljak is still not clear.