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Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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Black Lives Matter

Bowie, Brexit, Black Lives Matter: Google looks back on 2016

Bowie, Brexit, Black Lives Matter: Google looks back on 2016

By all unofficial and unscientific metrics, 2016 was a terrible year.  Icons like Prince and David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder passed away. Regardless of who won the U.S. presidential election, false news pieces had more sway than top-performing stories from established news sites. Three years ago, activist movement Black Lives Matter formed and began making headlines; its force continued through 2016. And abroad, terror groups ravage the Middle East. But, it wasn't all bad. As news continues to look glum in the final countdown of 2016, Google has reminded us of those bright moments. The search-engine giant released its lists of the most-searched topics in 2016 Wednesday, looking back on a year that took away some heroes, but also gave us new ones. In the United States, the Powerball topped overall searches. Google users' interest piqued in early January, when the jackpot mushroomed to $1.58 billion. Prince followed in the No. 2 slot, with search queries for the pop star spiking in April after his death. Hurricane Matthew, Pokemon Go and Slither.io – an online multiplayer game similar to Snake of the early cell phone days – followed in the final three top searches nationwide. In news topics, the U.S. election was, surprisingly, not the most-searched topic, taking a backseat to the Rio Olympics. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, came in third, with Brexit and Zika virus following.  President-elect Donald Trump was the most-searched figure in 2016, followed closely by his former foe, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In topics related to Trump searches, Google lists Billy Bush, Super Tuesday, Mike Pence, Iraq War, Alec Baldwin and delegates. For Clinton, however, related searches include body double, syncope, epileptic seizure, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. In its Losses category, Google reminds us of all those taken by 2016: Prince, David Bowie, Christina Grimmie, Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Jose Fernandez, Gene Wilder and more. Google also dedicated a section to GIFs and memes, which offered humor in darker moments, like Harambe:
Why are police boycotting Ben & Jerry's?

Why are police boycotting Ben & Jerry's?

Vermont's finest ice cream hasn't shied away from politics in the past, but this time it might be feeling burned. A pro-police organization is calling for a nationwide boycott of Ben & Jerry's and its products for the company's support of the Black Lives Matter movement. "Ben & Jerry's went beyond making a statement in support of civil rights when they actively accused law enforcement of widespread racism," Blue Lives Matter said in a statement.  "By spreading these false and misleading statements, Ben & Jerry’s lends an appearance of legitimacy to the baseless claims that police officers are killing men based on the color of their skin. This message has inspired the assassination and attempted assassination of police officers, and it costs officers their lives." The statement is in response several posts from the ice-cream creators. In one, the company details why Black lives matter: "They matter because they are children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. They matter because the injustices they face steal from all of us — white people and people of color alike. They steal our very humanity ... All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter." "It’s been hard to watch the list of unarmed Black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer. We understand that numerous Black Americans and white Americans have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s become clear to us at Ben & Jerry’s that we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for Black lives. In another post, the company gives a detailed seven-point breakdown of how systemic racism is real, citing housing segregation, the wealth gap, discrimination in policing and healthcare. Ben & Jerry's said, "When white people occupy most positions of decision-making power, people of color have a difficult time getting a fair shake, let alone getting ahead. Bottom line: we have a lot of work to do." Still, Blue Lives Matter supporters have joined in the boycott, declaring so in the article's comment section and on the group's Facebook page. "I loved the Chunky Monkey Flavor but it looks like I have lost the Craving for that flavor of Ice Cream I will never buy it again, & this is for all of you who have Died & still Serving I Thank you to all the Peace Officer's out their may God alway's be with you all!!!" wrote one supporter. Another said, " I have been boycotting Ben and Jerry for years. They should use there business ability to do something to help the African-American communities and children to be safe in their communities and lift them out of poverty instead of attacking the public servants that have to protect them."

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