Quick Commentary: The news you missed over break

Conflicting reports on Trump

America seized on a golden opportunity to make fun of President-elect Donald Trump when BuzzFeed published unverified reports of sexual deviance while Trump stayed in Russia some years ago. Trump dismissed the report as “fake news,” and in his defense, there doesn’t seem to be much corroboration to the story. Unfortunately lumped into this news cycle though were more real concerns of conflicts of interest for Trump through his business, which he’s reportedly handing down to his children once he takes office. The multi-millionaire and incoming president can undoubtedly still have his decisions swayed by foreign interests if they’re showering his children with benefits, and Trump’s lack of complete divestment from his company should be the real story here.

From three rings to zero

Sad news for circus lovers in the past couple of weeks. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus recently announced that it is closing for good due to plummeting ticket sales in the past couple of years. If that wasn’t bad enough, Big Apple Circus announced that it is officially bankrupt. It’s sad that the circus companies in this country are struggling to make ends meet. The entertainment tastes have changed due to technological advances, and people are clearly no longer as enthralled in circus acts as they once were. But circuses are still fun and give talented people an outlet to express those talents and creativity and it’s unfortunate to see these companies go.

All it’s cracked up to be

As one campus mainstay moves on from Green Street, a new restaurant will take its crack at the big stage. The owner of the Cracked food truck announced at the beginning of winter break that his company would move into the empty shell of the departing Antonio’s Pizza restaurant. With all due respect for the work Antonio’s did feeding hungry college students for years, forgive us for thinking this isn’t all bad. Cracked’s bold poaching of the 619 E. Green St. location will prove wise as students become more acquainted with the Morning Bender, and Champaign won’t lack for late-night pizza options with Slice Factory opening soon. I understand the wounds of Antonio’s departure are still fresh, so ‘omelette’ the food speak for itself: Cracked is a clear upgrade.

Stock up on quality shows 

Lucky for those who have invested in Netflix, the stocks have reached an all-time high — up 3.5 percent again yesterday to nearly $134 per share. Though we’re only amateur economic analysts, we think the bump is because of Netflix’s recent exclusive and high quality original content, such as the recent Gilmore Girls reboot, and its promising new features such as the ability to download shows and watch on the go. While some have their legitimate qualms with Netflix, this news should be particularly interesting for college students looking to cut the cord. Netflix is still cheaper than the notoriously high prices of cable companies, and it seems unlikely to leave anytime soon. High stocks are always something to celebrate, so apparently Netflix is good for something besides late-night binge watching sessions.

Goliaths fell in sports

It was a winter of some discontent for the traditional powers of the sports world. In college football, the previously unflappable Alabama Crimson Tide were dethroned by Coach Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers. In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving hit another game-winning shot over the outstretched arms of a Golden State Warrior. Though this Christmas’ iteration was slightly less important than the last, in game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals, that didn’t stop fans from pushing out a few more three-to-one comeback jokes. Last, and perhaps most surprising, two recently downtrodden hockey teams from the Midwest turned the NHL standings upside down. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild each won more than 12 games in a row over the last month on their ways to the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the league standings as of this writing.

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Sheer bliss for Ed Sheeran

Looks like this is the week for records to be shattered, because Spotify records were also broken this past week as Ed Sheeran’s new song “Shape of You” became the top song for over a week on the music streaming platform. It also broke the record for most streams in one week, beating out the previous record holder Adele, for her song “Hello” in 2015. This is good news for the singer, as he has been off the scene since he took a hiatus from making music in the spotlight. It looks as though he is back and better than ever, and fans are eagerly anticipating his new album in March.