The Rogue Recap takes a look back at the good, the bad, and the bizarre of the past week in the realms of entertainment, politics, culture, and society. In this week’s edition:
New Year kills less people this year than last year
New Year’s Eve festivities resulted in only 105 firecracker-related injuries, according to the Department of Health (DOH)—a dramatic reduction in cases, compared to the 413 injuries reported during the previous New Year celebration. This dramatic 68 percent drop has been attributed to the firecracker ban implemented by President Rodrigo Duterte under Executive Order No. 28. However, the DOH states that, as long as people continue to sustain injuries during the holiday, more can still be done to reduce the number of cases. So in line with the Duterte administration’s strategy of instilling fear in its people, the DOH now plans to ban any mention of the words “firecracker,” “fireworks,” and “paputok.” Earth Hour will also be held on New Year’s Eve, and will last for 12 hours.
Iceland skips 2018, starts living in the future
In a major move to combat gender inequality, Iceland has started implementing the Equal Pay Standard. Under this law, companies with more than 24 full-time employees are required to review their salary structures every three years, and file a report to the government proving that men and women at the companies are receiving the same amount of money for the same jobs. Failure to receive certification from the government will result in penalties. Though equal pay laws have existed in Iceland since 1961, these are the country’s first concrete steps toward achieving that goal. Critics of the Equal Pay Standard have pointed out that the larger issue lies in unequal employment opportunities between men and women. This is a good point of discussion, and steals our punchline for this segment.
Alaska also skips 2018, starts living in 3018
Alaska has revised its criminal bail processes, doing away with monetary payment, and creating a point system instead. The state will now place individuals charged with crime under review, evaluating how likely they are to make court appearances or to commit another crime. Studies show that extending the jail time of nonviolent offenders increases their likelihood to reoffend. This new system should allow more people to be released from jail with supervision, and still be allowed to seek employment. The state will also no longer have to pay for jail time. In other news, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has just come up with an idea for a new episode.
♫ There’s always gonna be another mountain ♫
Nepal has imposed new safety regulations for people seeking to climb its mountains. In an attempt to reduce the number of accidents and deaths on their slopes, the country has banned solo climbers from attempting to reach any summits. Foreign climbers must also be accompanied by a guide, which will hopefully create more jobs for Nepali mountain guides. Double amputees and blind climbers have also been banned from climbing Everest unless they can provide a valid medical certificate. Nepal is also thinking of requiring all climbers to submit 15-page essays answering the questions “Are you okay?” and “Why do you have a death wish?”
Philippine senator raises the level of discourse on social media
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian lost his cool in an exchange on Twitter on New Year’s Eve. After users rightfully pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of Gatchalian’s responses to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, the senator responded with the words “gago” and “ulol.” When asked what caused him to make his heated statements, he said, “Daming nang-iinis e.” His senate seatmate JV Ejercito was quick to come to his defense, spinning it as proof of how much Gatchalian cares about his work. And this leads us to our wish for 2018: may you all find someone who cares enough to call you “gago.” Happy New Year, ulol.