TIME Washington

Seattle Changes Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Christopher Columbus
Getty Images

Seattle joins a growing number of cities officially recognizing Native American history

Columbus Day will now be known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle.

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved the re-designation, which acknowledges that Native Americans were living in North America well before Christopher Columbus “discovered America” in the 15th century, Reuters reports.

The change, which will go into effect before the Oct. 13 holiday this year, marks the second major city in the U.S. to officially re-designate the day, after Minneapolis’ vote in April. (Though the city of Berkeley, Calif., ceased observation of Columbus Day in 1992.)

“Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington,” said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp in remarks to the council. “This action will allow us to bring into future and present a day honoring our rich history.”

The change faced some opposition from some members of Seattle’s Italian-American community, who view the day as a celebration of their cultural heritage (Columbus hailed from Genoa, Italy).

The Seattle School Board voted last week to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day on the same day in public schools.

[Reuters]

TIME animals

Reindeer Radiation Levels Unusually High This Year

Reindeer Caravan in Tromso, Norway
Getty Images

Blame mushroom season

Rudolph’s nose might be glowing just a little bit brighter this year, for all the wrong reasons: radiation levels in Norwegian reindeer sharply rose this year.

According to a Norwegian environmental report, scientists in September observed 8,200 becquerel (a unit of measurement for radioactivity) of Celsium-137 per kilo in reindeer, a noticeable jump from 2012, when reindeer in the same area had only 1,500 becquerel of Celsium-137 per kilo. (600 becquerel per kilo is the safe limit for sheep meat.)

“This year is extreme,” Lavrans Skuterud, researcher at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority told Norway’s The Local.

But Skuterud knows the source of the radiation levels: mushrooms. Specifically, the gypsy mushroom (Cortinarius caperatus), which can absorb a lot of radiation lingering in that part of the globe nearly 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster.

“This year, there has been extreme amounts of mushroom,” he said. “In addition, the mushroom season has lasted for a long time. And the mushroom has grown very high up on the mountains.”

[The Local]

TIME Television

Members of Improv Group the Groundlings Accuse SNL of Stealing Material

Saturday Night Live - Season 40
Sarah Silverman, Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata during the "Proud Mary" skit on Oct. 4, 2014. Dana Edelson—NBC/Getty Images

Both have skits involving Tina Turner impersonators singing "Proud Mary"

Members of the famed Los Angeles improv group the Groundlings have accused Saturday Night Live of stealing some if its members’ material this past weekend.

SNL’s most recent episode, hosted by Sarah Silverman, featured a skit called “River Sisters” in which Silverman and cast members Sasheer Zamata and Cecily Strong dress up like Tina Turner impersonators and parody Turner’s classic song “Proud Mary,” making the lyrics about their personal misfortune.

Groundlings’ Kimberly Condict and Vanessa Ragland suggested that their routine “Rollin'” was ripped off, in a some tweets posted Sunday, the AV Club reports. That sketch features the two comics dressed like Tina Turner impersonators who sing “Proud Mary” while using stage banter to confess personal aspirations and let-downs.

Groundlings instructor Ian Gary took to Facebook Monday morning to say that “over the years I have seen MANY, MANY sketches flat out stolen” by SNL. “Nobody says anything because I guess SNL is still some dream for some people or they don’t want to get involved, or a million other reasonable things that stop people from standing up for each other when things are blatantly wrong.”

NBC declined to comment.

[AV Club]

TIME ebola

Spain Confirms First Ebola Transmission Outside of Africa

Spain Ebola
An ambulance transporting a Spanish nurse who is believed to have contracted the ebola virus from a 69-year-old Spanish priest leaves Alcorcon Hospital in Madrid on Oct. 7, 2014. Andres Kudacki—AP

Two tests confirmed the Ebola diagnosis

Updated Oct. 7 9:17a.m ET

A nurse in Spain who treated two Ebola victims has tested positive for the virus, becoming the first known person to have contracted the disease outside of Africa, Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday.

The woman had worked as a part of the medical team that treated Spanish priest Manuel García Viejo, who died of the virus in September, the Washington Post reports. She began feeling ill last week and went to a hospital on Sunday, though Mato said she is in stable condition and her only symptom thus far has been a fever. Two tests confirmed the Ebola diagnosis.

Authorities said Tuesday that three people had been put in quarantine, the Associated Press reports, including the nurse’s husband and a colleague who also treated Viejo. Over 50 others were being monitored for having possible contact with the nurse.

[Washington Post]

TIME Fast Food

Drive-Thru Lanes Wait Times Hit Record High

Wait times experienced a record jump in the past year

The drive-thru lane at fast-food restaurants isn’t so quick these days.

The amount of time drivers spend waiting in line is dramatically increasing, according to the 2014 Drive-Thru Performance Study from trade publication QSR Magazine.

In 2013, drivers spent 180.83 seconds on average in line, USA Today reports, but now that average has jumped to 219.97 seconds — a roughly 40-second jump. Though the study increased its sample size in the past year, studying 2,188 trips at 17 fast-food companies instead of last year’s seven chains, those extra 40 seconds make for the longest wait time in the 17 years of its study.

The change is significant for the $200 billion-plus fast food industry, which finds big chains getting more than 60 percent of their business from the drive-thru lane. It’s also significant considering the study found that fewer cars are hitting up the drive-thru line in the first place, signifying a growing preference for accuracy, service and healthier items that are slower to prepare.

[USA Today]

TIME Senate

Ted Cruz: We Must Amend U.S. Constitution to Defend Marriage

Conservatives Gather For Voter Values Summit
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit, Sept. 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

The Texas senator called the Supreme Court's rejection of appeals to uphold same-sex marriage bans in five states "judicial activism at its worst"

Senator Ted Cruz (R—Tex.) announced Monday that he will introduce a constitutional amendment barring the federal government and the courts from overturning state marriage laws.

The announcement follows the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to reject the appeals requests of five states seeking to outlaw same-sex marriages, permitting gay unions to go ahead in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution,” Cruz said in a statement. “The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing.”

Cruz described the court’s denial of appeals, which paves the away for an expansion of legalized same-sex marriage to as many as 30 states, as “judicial activism at its worst” and “a broad interpretation of the 14th Amendment” guaranteeing equal protection under the law, with “far-reaching consequences.”

The Texas Republican isn’t the first to propose amending the constitution over same-sex marriage. In 2013, following the Supreme Court’s striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R.-Kan.) introduced legislation for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (formerly R-Va.) proposed a similar amendment back in 2006.

TIME Music

Now You Can Relive Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj’s ‘Flawless’ Remix on YouTube

A clip from the HBO On the Run special hit YouTube

Beyoncé and Jay Z were technically the stars of their co-headlining On the Run Tour, which recently aired on HBO as a concert special. But anyone who tuned in to watch music’s reigning power couple go gorillas in Paris knows that the real show-stopping moment occurred when Beyoncé brought out Nicki Minaj to perform their “Flawless” remix. (“Where is Jay Z right now?” asked no one, ever.)

For those without access to HBO — or those unwilling to piece together the performance via Instagram — noted fan of surprises Beyoncé has released the professional-quality edit of the song on YouTube, which you can watch above.

TIME Music

Even Meghan Trainor’s Mom Is Tired of Hearing ‘All About That Bass’

Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor Amy Sussman—Invision/AP

The 20-year-old defends the song's message — and explains what's wrong with dating today

You already know what Meghan Trainor’s all about: last month the 20-year-old singer-songwriter released her debut EP, Title, on the strength of “All About That Bass,” her smash-hit ode to plus-size figures that’s now the No. 1 song in both the U.S. and the U.K. But you don’t get to the top without rubbing a few listeners the wrong way — TIME recently caught up with Trainor to talk about the backlash to her message of size-acceptance.

TIME: It seems as if “All About That Bass” is playing everywhere now. Are you sick of hearing it yet?

Meghan Trainor: Oh, for sure. My mom just said, “Wow, that’s pretty annoying now.” But she still loves it.

How do you explain the song’s success?

I think it’s the message and the lyrics and how it sounds different from everything that’s on the radio — I think that helped a lot. When we pitched it to labels, they would say, “You have to re-produce it.” At first it was kind of heartbreaking, but the fact that [record executive] L.A. Reid mastered it and put it out as-is is an ah-ha! for us. We didn’t have to change it to sound poppy or sound different.

Maybe the upright bass needs to have a moment.

When we perform it live, it sounds way better than an electric bass. We should bring it back.

It can be the new saxophone-breakdown trend that’s happening.

Exactly! There’s a lot of that. I’m ready for a new one.

Songs about loving your size are having a moment right now — Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” Colbie Caillat’s “Try” and more. Why do you think that is?

I have no idea. I wrote [“All About That Bass”] a year ago, I didn’t plan it. When I heard Colbie’s song I was so excited. And the fact that she tweeted about my song? I cried a little bit because I’m her biggest fan. It’s amazing that all these songs are doing this body positivity thing. I’m just glad mine’s one of them.

There’s a line referencing “skinny bitches,” though, which some people have taken as a dis to thin people.

The label did say, “You might get some backlash for this line,” but I guess that’s what made the song really popular — people kept talking about it. I didn’t get a record deal to write a song to bash skinny people. I just wrote a song about how I’m comfortable with my body size, and if people can relate to that, that’s amazing.

Do you think the criticism is valid?

I think they stopped listening after they heard “skinny bitches” and didn’t hear the part about, “Nah, I’m just kidding, I know even you guys think you’re fat, and I’m here to say you’re perfect.” I have beautiful skinny friends that destroy themselves in the mirror because they don’t think they’re perfect. A lot of people stopped listening after the word “bitches” and were like, “Screw this Meghan girl! She just bashed us!” But no, I was just trying to say everyone was beautiful in their own way.

A couple songs on your EP, like “Dear Future Husband” and “Title,” seem to be rallying against hookup culture, which is rare in pop music. What inspired you?

Growing up with social media, it’s all, “Did he like my picture today? Did he text me back in the next hour? He must hate me then!” It’s much harder for us growing up. I know I didn’t like myself as much as I should have, and I hope people can hear my songs and know I’m a badass girl and I deserve a good guy to take me out on a date.

These themes suit your music’s retro sound. Did the message or the music come first?

When they told me, “You should write an album,” I thought, “What would I want to say to the world?” I want to help myself. I want to make sure guys take me on a date and treat me right because I didn’t do that in the past. I want to love my body more. I just hope younger girls love themselves more, and younger people in general. I always wrote that down on my vision boards at home: people should love themselves more. I wish I did when I was in high school growing up.

A version of this story appeared in the Oct. 13 issue of TIME, on newstands now.

TIME Military

Obama: ‘Do Not Turn Away’ From Injured Veterans

The newly opened Americans Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is a reminder not to "rush into war"

President Barack Obama somberly thanked veterans for their service and acknowledged that the U.S. hasn’t always provided enough support upon their return home during a Sunday speech at the opening of Washington, D.C.’s Americans Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

“With this memorial we commemorate, for the first time, two battles our disabled veterans have fought: The battle over there and the battle here at home,” Obama said.

The memorial, which the President says is a reminder not to “rush into war,” is the first one on the National Mall to specifically honor veterans who were injured in combat, ABC News reports. It joins the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials that exist around the Mall.

Obama’s remarks come during the same year the Veterans Affairs scandal put the conversation around veterans’ physical and mental health at the forefront.

“If you’re an American and you see a veteran, maybe with a prosthetic arm or leg, maybe burns on their face, don’t ever look away,” Obama said. “Do not turn away. You go up and you reach out and you shake their hand and you look them in the eye and say those words every veteran should hear all the time: Welcome home. Thank you. We need you more than ever. You helped us stay strong. You helped us stay free.”

[ABC]

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