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A viral video about refugees from 2 years ago now has a sequel, and it's gut-wrenching.

In 2014, international relief organization Save the Children released video about the struggles of child refugees that caught the world's attention — by employing an ingenious twist.

Photo by Save the Children/YouTube.


The 90-second film transplants the Syrian Civil War to the U.K., and the "child refugee" it follows is a young, middle-class British girl.

Photo by Save the Children/YouTube.

In less than two minutes, we watch the girl — whose name we never learn — go from living a comfortable, familiar life to having that life brutally upended, her home abandoned, and her family split up by an (imaginary) war.

Photo by Save the Children/YouTube.

As of May 11, 2016, the video had been viewed more than 53 million times.

As we leave her, celebrating her birthday in a medical tent, we're left wondering what will happen to her.

Photo by Save the Children/YouTube.

Last week, Save the Children released a follow-up short film that answers that question — and it's predictably gut-wrenching.

In the two years since we last checked in with the girl, she's been forced to flee her country in a raft:

GIFs via Save the Children/YouTube.

Herded into strange, refugee camps...

Gif by Save the Children/YouTube.

Experienced racism and xenophobia...

And, ultimately, left completely alone with only an anonymous aid worker to care for her.

Since 2011, nearly 5 million people have fled Syria. 2 million of them are children.

These children are often forced to travel without their families, leaving them unprotected and at risk for exploitation.

In May, CBS News reported that dozens of Syrian child refugees in Turkey are being forced to labor long hours in textile factories.

Why is it so hard to get people to care about the refugee crisis?

Recent studies suggest that humans frequently struggle with inter-group empathy — feeling genuine concern for those we perceive not to be like us.

A Syrian refugee child waits to cross the border into Jordan. Photo by Khalil Mazraawi/Getty Images.

The rash of closed borders and dismissals across Europe and in the U.S. would seem to indicate that there are indeed many in those places who consider Syrians "not us."

With this new video, Save the Children appears to be betting that it's easier to get an audience to empathize with the plight of a (fictional) European girl in danger and to draw the connection to the (non-fictional) refugee crisis from there.

The organization may very well be right (witness the difference in coverage between March's bombings in Belgium and May's deadly terrorist attack in Baghdad).

Most refugees speak a different language than most Europeans and Americans do. Many observe a different religion.

Photo by Aris Messinis/Getty Images.

That an organization like Save the Children would need to portray their struggles via a child who looks similar with experiences that are recognizable to the average Westerner in order to jolt folks into action is heartbreaking in its own right.

But you know what?

Photo by Save the Children/YouTube.

We’re already too far into this crisis to worry about how we get people to care.

What matters is that people do.

And that we do something to help those in need.

You can read more about Save the Children's efforts to address the Syrian refugee crisis here.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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