Even the Vulcans are smiling: Say hello to 'Star Trek's' first female director.

For months, the biggest news surrounding "Star Trek" was whether Quentin Tarantino would write and direct the next installment. Instead, "Star Trek" is getting its first female director. And it's about time.

Though details are still emerging, it appears that Clarkson, a veteran director of episodes of acclaimed shows like "Jessica Jones" and "Orange Is the New Black," will direct the fourth installment in the J.J. Abrams-led film reboot of the long-standing science fiction series.

Abrams is also reportedly co-producing the film with a woman, bringing back Hollywood veteran Lindsey Weber, who co-produced the last Trek film in 2016.


GIF from "Star Trek."

"Star Trek" has a long history of inclusion.

50 years ago, the original "Star Trek" made history with the first interracial kiss on TV. Gene Roddenberry's future was one where humanity had moved beyond divisions of race and gender. It's easy to forget now, but one of the show's main heroes was of Russian origin, during the height of the Cold War. And George Takei's "Sulu" is considered one of the first positive on-screen portrayals of an Asian-American.

GIF from "Star Trek."

That theme has been continued throughout Trek's various iterations. When "Star Trek: The Next Generation" premiered, the series' famous prologue "Where no man has gone before" was replaced with the gender neutral "Where no one has gone before."

GIF from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

The newest show in the series canon "Star Trek: Discovery," has pushed inclusion even further, featuring a black woman as the series lead, a more racially and culturally diverse cast, prominent LGBTQ characters, and more diverse talent behind the scenes as well.

"Star Trek has always been pictorial of diversity and inclusion and universality," star Sonequa Martin-Green said before Discovery's premiere.

GIF from "Star Trek: Discovery."

Greater inclusion in Hollywood is the right thing to do and it leads to better entertainment for all of us.

The question foremost on most fans' minds is whether the movie or TV show they're watching is going to be any good. All the inclusion and diversity in the world won't amount to much if no one pays attention.

That's why it's all the more encouraging to see films like "Black Panther," "Wonder Woman," and "Get Out" find groundbreaking success both commercially and critically.

GIF from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

People want to see more diverse stories told from a broader range of people and places. It also just happens to be the right thing to do. And that should give Star Trek fans, and people who care about greater inclusion in Hollywood, a lot to be excited about.

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Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


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In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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Editor's Note: This story will be updated as events are developing.

A grand jury in Jefferson County, Kentucky has formally charged a former Louisville police officer with with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for his conduct in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor. According to the Washington Post, the jury said Brett Hankison "wantonly and blindly" shot 10 times into the apartment where Taylor was sleeping. Under the current charges, Hankison faces up to 5 years in prison.

In responding to the charges, Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the grand jury ruled the other officers in the incident -- Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove -- acted accordingly. Cameron urged calm in response to the charge, noting that "peaceful protests are your right as an American citizens," and that many people would be "disappointed" both that the other officers were not charged and some offended that Hankison was charged at all. However, saying acts of "revenge" were not warranted, Cameron said his department's own role is to enforce the law: "It isn't the quest for revenge, it's the quest for truth," adding that he hopes to be part of "the healing process."


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