5 Things You Need to Know This Week

Written by: Rachel Antony

From Twitter's 280 characters to Ed Westwick allegations, here's what you need to know this week.

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1. Twitter Update

Twitter rolled out its most exciting update yet - doubling the number of characters that can fit in a Tweet. In a blog post, the company explained that lengthening the size of a Tweet allows for easier expression while still keeping a limit on it. We all know the struggle of trying to fit a thought into a single Tweet, and now, according to the company, people can say what they want to say and send Tweets out faster. During the test period, most people didn't exceed the 140 character limit and even less exceeded 190 characters. According to Twitter, your feed experience shouldn't change that much. Maybe this will encourage more people to turn to Twitter to share their thoughts again. Snapchat, another platform that has far less users than its Facebook rival, will be rolling out new features to hopefully expand its audience and make it easier for people to use.

NBC

NBC

2. Kevin Spacey

Has 99 problems and they're all his fault. More allegations have emerged about Kevin Spacey's behaviour since the initial allegations at the end of October. The claims against him began in the 1980s all the way until last year. As the allegations began to roll in, Netflix cut the next season of House of Cards, his publicist and agent dropped him and it was just announced that he will be completely removed from the already finished Hollywood film, All the Money in the World. Even though Kevin Spacey appears in the trailer, the actor will be replaced by Christopher Plummer and all his scenes will be reshot. This is unheard of for a movie that will be released in less than two months but allegations are continuing to be reported and after a slew of Hollywood sexual assault and harassment cases, serious actions have to be taken. 

JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP

JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP

3. Ed Westwick Allegations

Speaking of sexual harassment allegations, Ed Westwick has been added to the list of Hollywood predators. More commonly known as Chuck Bass, Kristina Cohen came forward via Facebook saying Ed Westwick sexually assaulted her and then raped her at his home after her and her boyfriend refused to have sex with him. His response, also via Facebook, was that he had no idea who this girl was. The allegations have yet to be confirmed. AurΓ©lie Wynn is the second woman to come forward claiming she was also raped by Ed Westwick. On a lengthy Facebook post, she explains how it happened and that she felt compelled to share the story after hearing about Kristina Cohen.

JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION

JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION

4. Canadian Students Win Dyson Award

Four graduates from McMaster University in Ontario have just won the prestigious international Dyson Award for their invention of a low-cost device called sKan that measures skin temperature to quickly and accurately identify melanoma. Current melanoma identification methods include a visual scan of the body which can be very inaccurate and unreliable. When diagnosed early, melanoma can be cured but 10,000 lives are still lost every year to the disease. A low-cost device that is more accurate and widely available could save lives. The students won Β£30,000 which they plan to use to develop the product to a level to obtain regulatory approval from the FDA which would then mean it could be used be medical professionals. 

AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON

AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON

5. Trump + China

President Trump was just in China working out a trade deal with China's President Xi Jinping. They've announced more than $250 billion in deals between the two countries across industries such as energy, technology and aviation. Although some of the agreements are non-binding, they could still have a huge effect on the U.S. economy if they go through. Like the $84 billion plan for China to invest in shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia. It's an effort for China to rely less on polluting coal for energy and start using cleaner energy methods. More deals similar to that were put on the table, how many will actually hold up? Only time will tell.