The GOOD Report Card: What’s Good (And Not So Good) In The World This Week

A pop star fights back against Photoshop while “Trump of the East” wins the presidential election

This week’s GOOD Report Card includes the epic rise of powerful women, a serious change for Slave Leia, and the shocking “Punisher” for president.


Two female generals make bad-ass history

The staggeringly scandalized FIFA Council announced today its new secretary general will be Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura (pictured above). The Senegalese-born Samoura, who previously worked for the United Nations, is the sports organization’s first female leader. She will bring “transparency and accountability”—which stands in contrast to totally opaque, blame-shifting Jerome Valke. In was also announced today that Gen. Lori Robinson will be the first female general to lead U.S. military command. This comes five months after the Pentagon agreed to admit female soldiers into all levels of combat.

Slave Leia is now “The Huttslayer”

The recently published Star Wars: Bloodlines novel is doing away with Slave Leia and replacing the moniker with something much more appropriate for a General: The Huttslayer! Bloodlines is an official work of the Star Wars canon, so this is a legit rebranding of bikini-clad Leia as a warrior badass—even though we already knew that in our hearts. The novel also establishes origin details for The First Order and gets into the actual relationship of Han and the Princess-turned-military commander, but clearly the most important element is the Huttslayer, who took down a Hutt with the very chains he enslaved her in.

Meghan Trainor re-releases “Me Too” video

Meghan Trainor released the video for her new single “Me Too” on Monday, and then promptly had it taken down from Vevo after noticing “They photoshopped the crap out of me,” which she told fans via SnapChat after the video was removed. In deeply millennial fashion, Trainor added after seeing the edited video she “Cried all morning lol hate them” and that she told The Man “to fix it ASAP Rocky because I will be going to Times Square to play it for my fans.” She then talked to Howard Stern about the kerfuffle and posted Instagram pictures of her before and after the airbrushing.

Trainor’s brand is built around That Bass, so putting out a video where she’s digitally trimmed to look more sleek would be an affront to her whole self-love ethos. Some are speculating that this was just a PR stunt designed to make Trainor look like a self-empowerment champion and to drum up publicity, but the thing is… so what? If Meghan Trainor or any pop star wants to stage mini PR dust ups to deliver a message of self-acceptance then there’s zero percent wrong with that.

Marvel goes bonanza with Black Panther cast

This week we got one definite fantastic development regarding the upcoming film, as Michael B. Jordan has signed on to play an undisclosed role for the production by director Ryan Coogler. This will be the pairs third project together (Fruitvale Station, Creed), and while his character is as yet unknown, it’s being speculated that he might play a villain. The double shot of good news is that Lupita Nyong’o is also reportedly circling the role of Panther’s love interest. In our perfect world Lupita would get to play the villain while Jordan took romantic partner responsibilities, but maybe that’s a twist for 2026 instead of 2016. Either way, this could mean Jordan, Nyong’o and Coogler all working together on the same set, making the same movie. It’s already legendary.

Not So Good:

Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte voted president of the Philippines

Oh, wow. Hot on the heels of electing its first out trans congressperson to office, the people of the Philippines have voted in one hell of a scary new president… Maybe. Rodrigo Duterte has been the mayor of the island city of Davao for decades, and despite littering the campaign trail with obscenities, off-color jokes and unbelievably violent threats to those who would break the law, the Filipino people seem to love him. (Because everyone loves a God damn maverick.) Duterte’s nicknames include “Duterte Harry” and “The Punisher”. He called Pope Francis’ mom a whore. He has been proudly linked to “death squads” that killed hundreds during his mayoral tenure in Davao City (saying, “Am I the death squad? True. That is true.”). And he’s vowed to be the best kind of dictator he can be, telling a hometown crowd, "I will be strict. I will be a dictator, no doubt it. But only against forces of evil—criminality, drugs and corruption in government."

We can’t say this is going to turn out terribly. We can’t know that yet. And the Filipino people did seem to enthusiastically elect him. But let’s keep a gimlet eye on Duterte going forward. He doesn’t seem like someone you want to get caught sleeping on.

Emma Watson shows up in the Panama Papers

Oh no! Living Angel and impossibly tasteful actress activist Emma Watson has been wrapped up in the Panama Papers? You remember those, right? The massive cache of documents leaked from a law firm called Mossack Fonseca that proved a ton of rich people are hiding their money in tax havens? Yeah, those Panama Papers. Well, newly mined information shows that Watson used Mossack Fonseca to set up an offshore company called Falling Leaves Ltd in 2013. Her spokesman said that Watson set up the enterprise to protect her financial safety and anonymity.

That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but we’re pretty sure darling Emma is keeping her money safe in a shell corporation so she can later use it to forge thousands of sledge hammers from pure gold that we may all use to smash the patriarchy. It’s not a great look for Watson, but we choose to belive in heroes.

Part of the Problem:

Azalea Banks gets suspended from Twitter for being generally heinous

For the 178th time, always-offensive person and sometimes rapper Azalea Banks mouthed off on Twitter this week, spewing some awfully racist vitriol at former One Direction member Zayn Malik. We’re not even going to repeat Banks’ trash here, but suffice to say she took aim at his Pakistani heritage, was implicitly homophobic and just generally embarrassingly thirsty. Then she took aim at the mom of Disney star Skai Jackson, who she went off on for sexualizing the image of her daughter.

For all this, Banks got suspended from Twitter. And then blamed white supremacy. Banks says she wasn’t kicked off Twitter until she insulted white people (despite the fact that Malik and Jackson are both people of color) and then she posted a very long Instagram tirade about it, which you can read here. But you might be too exhausted by Banks to indulge her that much. We sure as hell are.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

via Found Animals Foundation / Flickr

Service dogs are true blessings that provide a wide array of services for their owners based on their disability.

They can provide preventative alerts for people with epilepsy and dysautonomia. They can do small household tasks like turning lights on and off or providing stability for their owners while standing or walking.

For those with PTSD they can provide emotional support to help them in triggering situations.

However, there are many people out there who fraudulently claim their pets are service or emotional support animals. These trained animals can cause disturbances in businesses or on public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less