Largest Firework

The world’s largest firework was launched from Steamboat Springs, Colo. on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, reported CNN. The firework was a part of the city’s annual winter carnival.

The firework shell weighed in at almost 2,800 pounds, which is comparable to a Toyota Corolla, and was 62 inches in diameter. The company responsible for creating the firework is Steamboat Fireworks. A video of the launch can be found on their website.

The shell was launched from a 26-foot steel tube that was buried in the ground on Emerald Mountain; this overlooks the carnival. Due to the size of the shell, explosives propelled the shell out of the ground at 300 miles per hour and launched it nearly a mile into the air prior to eruption, reported CNN.

The project manager and financier Tim Borden is quoted in a press release saying, “We invested hundred of hours into this project, and we anticipate that we will enjoy the satisfaction of this success for months to come.”

An official from Guinness World Records attended the launch and presented the team with the official record, making the United Arab Emirates 2018 shell the former record holder.

Presidential Candidates Drop Out

The New York Times reported that Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. This now leaves eight democratic candidates.

Yang is an entrepreneur who has no previous political experience, making him an underdog in the race since the start, reported The New York Times. Bennet is a senator from Colorado who campaigned to "fix a broken Washington."

After announcing his withdrawal from the race, Bennet tweeted, “I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter. Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again."

To announce his departure from the race, Yang stated, “I am the math guy and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. So tonight I am announcing that I am suspending my campaign.”

The remaining ten candidates for the presidential race include two Republicans and eight Democrats. The New York Times has an interactive infographic that shows a list of all of the candidates still in the race and those who have withdrawn.

Women Protest in Iraq

On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, thousands of women gathered in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces to support the ongoing protests, reported The New Times. The protests are anti-government and reject the violence that has been used against female protesters in the past.

Aljazeera reported that the large gathering was sparked by Shia leaders calling for gender separation at anti-government rallies.

Chants and combative banners filled Tahir Square in Baghdad as women from all walks of life gathered to defend their rights.

Ruwayda Khetter, a 20-year-old protestor is quoted as saying, “We refuse [al-Sadr’s] tweet. We’re protesting for our rights because in Iraq they’ve been stolen.”

Now with women at the forefront of the anti-government movement, they are demanding job opportunities, as well as an end to government corruption and foreign interference. With the increase of women taking leadership roles, protestors feel that Iraq’s conservative gendered dynamics have started to shift, reported Aljazeera.

Fatamam Ramadan, a 23-year-old, is quoted as saying, “Society inside the square has changed. You can see there’s a difference [in how women are perceived] between inside and outside [of Tahir Square].”