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Star Trek, US Elections, Jon Stewart’s Comeback

A Mr. Spock impersonator from Star Trek gives the "live long and prosper" high five to a fan at the 2015 Comic-Con International held at the San Diego Convention Center Friday, July 10, 2015 in San Diego in July 2015. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A Mr. Spock impersonator from Star Trek gives the "live long and prosper" high five to a fan at the 2015 Comic-Con International held at the San Diego Convention Center Friday, July 10, 2015 in San Diego in July 2015. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Star Trek, U.S. Votes and Jon Stewart’s Comeback
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If you are a science fiction movie fan, you probably saw the last two Star Trek films. But did you know the films are based on the characters introduced in a 1960s television show?

Fans of the series received good news on Monday when CBS announced it would launch a new series based on Star Trek.

The people who love Star Trek are called “Trekkies.” They are famous for attending conventions dressed as their favorite characters.

Of these characters, Spock was the most-searched Star Trek character on Google after the news came out.

There is a huge collection of scenes from the show Star Trek online. And Trekkies used these scenes to make GIFs, or short animated images. They posted their GIFs on Twitter to show their approval of the news.

Jon Stewart comeback

One of America’s favorite political commentators is Jon Stewart. “The Daily Show” aired five nights a week on Comedy Central. The show was known for interviews that were very different from mainstream media.

The show aired on Comedy Central, so it was known for its humor. But Stewart also produced sharp political commentary as well. Stewart resigned his position in August at the height of his popularity. He was only 52.

But Stewart recently announced his new project: He will work with HBO, a cable television network, to produce online videos for their streaming service.

Stewart said in a news release, “I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content now and again.”

U.S. Elections

Most Americans are focused on the big presidential election in November 2016. But another election took place on Tuesday.

In the state of Washington, people voted to make buying or selling items made from threatened animals -- or the threatened animals themselves -- illegal.

For example, items made from elephant tusks – or ivory – are now illegal. Other examples include products made from tigers, sea turtles and sharks.

One of the most unique animals on the list is called a Pangolin. It is also called a “scaly anteater” because of the way it looks. This strange animal is from Asia and Africa. It is unfamiliar to most Americans.

As news spread about Washington’s vote, people started searching online for pangolin. It helped that commentator John Oliver also talked about pangolins on TV.

But the most-searched term in the U.S. on Election Day was the vote to legalize marijuana in Ohio.

A group of celebrities backed the proposal. It would have given the rights to grow marijuana plants in Ohio to very few people – like ten. One of them is former pop singer Nick Lachey who was married for a short time to singer Jessica Simpson.

Voters rejected the proposal but Google reported over 500,000 searches on the topic.

Robin Williams

Comedian and actor Robin Williams committed suicide in August 2014. Many assumed that Williams was depressed.

On Tuesday, his wife Susan Williams told the ABC television show “Good Morning America” that her husband suffered from early stages of Parkinson’s disease. He also had a disorder called Lewy body dementia.

Most people had never heard of Lewy body dementia. The Mayo Clinic says the disorder causes a decline in mental abilities. It also affects muscle movement and alertness.

Russian Airliner Bomb Reaction

Last weekend, a Russian jet exploded over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. News of the tragedy spread on social media and remained in the news for the entire week.

The Russian news channel RT published one of the first videos from the scene of the crash. That video was viewed over one million times.

On Thursday night, President Obama said the U.S. is “taking very seriously” the possibility that a bomb was planted on board the plane.

That is what caught people’s attention this week in the U.S.

I’m Anna Mateo.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck and Hai Do were the editors.

What were people talking about in your country this week? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

original – adj. happening or existing first or at the beginning

science fiction – adj. stories about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future

phrase – n. a group of two or more words that express a single idea but do not usually form a complete sentence

dementia – n. a mental illness that causes someone to be unable to think clearly or to understand what is real and what is not real

unique – adj. used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else

peak – v. to reach the highest level