Happy almost New Year! Join us as we bid goodbye to the garbage pile that was 2017 by taking a look at some recent stories about firsts and fresh starts. Let’s get started, shall we?
The tenure of Radhika Jones, the first woman to serve as editor in chief of Vanity Fair since our very own Tina Brown, got off to a rough start after the magazine published a poorly received video about Hillary Clinton. In the clip, Vanity Fair editors suggest New Year’s resolutions for Clinton — including taking up hobbies like “knitting” and “teaching a class about alternate-nostril breathing” — that will “keep [her] from running again.” Critics pointed out that the publication did not extend similar advice to male candidates who have tried and failed to run for the presidency. Anyways, our future election fears should probably be concentrated on this guy.
South Korea may seek to revise its agreement with Japan over compensation for “comfort women,” the euphemistic term for women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. A 2015 settlement between the countries required Japan to pay more than $8.8 million dollars to Korean “comfort women,” but a recent South Korean investigation concluded that Japan has failed to meet these terms. On Wednesday, Japanese Foreign minister Taro Kono cautioned that attempts to revise the agreement would make diplomatic relations with South Korea “unmanageable.”
In the wake of Matt Lauer’s dismissal from NBC over allegations of sexual misconduct, the network has reportedly issued stringent new guidelines aimed at cracking down on workplace harassment. An unnamed source told The New York Post that the guidelines include advice on appropriate workplace hugging (“a quick hug, then an immediate release, and step away to avoid body contact”) and inform employees that they can be fired for failing to report any “affairs, romances, inappropriate relationships or behavior in the office.” The guidelines reportedly also caution staffers against “taking vegans to steakhouses,” which, you know, fair enough.
Barbara Jatta, the first-ever director of the Vatican Museums, is bringing big changes to the historic institution. A former archivist in the Vatican libraries, Jatta told The New York Times that she has proposed the construction of a second entrance at the Sistine Chapel to accommodate the millions of people that are expected to visit this year. She also plans to extend operating hours at the Vatican’s smaller museums, in the hopes of directing the public to collections that are often overlooked. And while we’re on the subject of the Vatican, someone please direct us to the pope’s birthday pizza party.