Happy Friday! Here are 5 news highlights of the week. 🙂
- Avengers: Endgame beats box office records with $1.2 billion debut
Within five days of release, Avengers Endgame has broken box office records and made a total of $1.2 billion through global ticket sales. Endgame is the 22nd movie in the Marvel series. The previous global debut record of $640 million was also set by last year’s Avengers movie, which is Infinity War. Critics have awarded Endgame with positive reviews, and this movie has earned a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. Japanese Emperor declares historic abdication
On the 30th of April, Emperor Akihito, whose reign lasted for 30 years, abdicated the Japanese throne due to health issues. In 2016, he mentioned that he was afraid of not being able to carry out his responsibilities and duties as emperor due to the effects of old age. He is reportedly the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years. In his final speech, he said, “I am deeply grateful for the people that accepted me as a symbol and supported me,” as he had won the hearts of numerous Japanese citizens. A new era – known as Reiwa, meaning order and harmony – will be noted down in Japan’s unique calendar. His reign will now be followed by Crown Prince Naruhito, his eldest son.
3. Netflix to make a series about Thai cave boys
On the 30th of April, it was announced that Netflix will be making a short series about the rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their coach last year. These boys were a part of the ‘Wild Boars’ football team and became popular all over the world after their seemingly impossible rescue from a cave in Northern Thailand. Netflix representative Erica North mentioned, “The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important market for Netflix, and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally resonant story to life.” As of now, two novels about this case have been published and a feature film by British-Thai director Tom Waller, The Cave, wrapped up shooting in December, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
4. Cyclone Fani hits India
On the 2nd of May, thousands of people evacuated from their villages along the coast as Cyclone Fani heads towards Orissa. The wind speeds are expected to be up to 190 km/h (120 mph). HR Biswas, director of the meteorological centre in the state capital Bhubaneshwar, said that at least 11 districts in Orissa would be hit – and that they have “suggested people to stay indoors”. Once the cyclone has made landfall in north-eastern India, it is expected to move towards Chittagong in Bangladesh. According to BBC, Indian officials say they have set up more than 850 shelters, which are thought to be able to hold almost one million people. The navy, the coast guard and the National Disaster Response Force have all been prepared for deployment.
5. The effect of climate change escalates in Antartica
There may be a future sea level rise due to Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf 10 times faster. It was caused by relatively warm water getting in contact with the base of the ice shelf. According to researchers, the Ross Ice Shelf is a huge frozen block about the size of France that floats in the southern portion of Antarctica’s Ross Sea. In some areas, it can be about 750m (2,450ft) thick. This research is essential because the Ross Ice Shelf stabilises the West Antarctic Ice Sheet by blocking the ice which flows into it from some of the world’s largest glaciers. This may have implications for sea-level rise in future.