The Week’s News Wrap-up: Things to Know

Wash. Wins Wing War

After several months, Boeing’s newest project is finally set to takeoff.

Boeing has announced that it will be unveiling the wings for the 777x, an updated version of the Boeing 777, in Everett, Wash. Originally, the contract to build the wings for the new plane in Washington State was denied back in November, but after a beleaguering union negotiation battle, an agreement was, according to The Seattle Times, finally made earlier this week.

Over 20 states had made a bid to Boeing to manufacture the new plane but the company argues that it made the most sense to stay in Everett where the planes will ultimately be assembled.

The 777x will have the largest airplane wing that Boeing has ever built. It will measure 114 feet long and 23 feet wide. Each 777x will be large enough to carry around 400 passengers.

Later this year, a new site will be constructed north of already-existing Boeing production facilities to begin decades of work on the 777x wings.

Boeing has already received orders from three different airlines for a total of 225 new planes. The first plane is expected to be delivered by 2020, meaning that the contract with Everett will provide thousands of Washington workers with jobs for several years.


Bertha’s Big Blunder

Bertha likely won’t be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.

It was recently discovered that Bertha, Seattle’s troubled tunnel drill, is broken and will most likely need several parts replaced.

The machine had been out of operation for over two months after being halted by a steel pipe. Now, it’s been discovered that a protective seal has been damaged, clogging the head of the machine.

For years, the idea of removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been discussed. It was decided that the viaduct would be replaced by a 1.7 mile long tunnel that will run as a part of Highway 99. Unfortunately, Bertha only made it through about ten percent of the tunnel before shutting down.

Seattle did not have a backup plan in place if tunnel construction fell through. So now, the city can only wait for the drill to be repaired.

Currently, there is no timetable on when Bertha may be fixed or replaced. The delay is likely to be long and, ultimately, costly.


FB Feeds Get Newsier

In it’s continued rush toward synthesizing every aspect of individuals’ lives, Facebook has released a new app for the iPhone that congregates user’s news interests.

The app, iPhone Paper, creates a kind of “newspaper” for users by putting together a number of different publications in one place and streaming them to the user. It utilizes the site’s traditional “feed” as a content pool to discover users’ interests and find articles that match them; so instead of a feed full of status updates and baby photos, app users obtain a personalized news service. The app also allows users to check back their Facebook feed and perform traditional tasks and check alerts. Despite being applauded for its streamlined design—the seamless integration of videos and high quality photos, in particular—the App has been criticized for its lack of personalization. Unlike other news aggregators, Paper only allows users to decide which “sections” to put in their nine news feeds—things like technology or medicine—but not which publications or sources they would prefer to obtain these updates from. Instead, Facebook draws from the users’ feeds themselves and matches the content based on it’s own judgment. In this way, the App simply becomes an extension of Facebook itself, rather than an expansion into the News World.


Arsonist Faces the Heat

Musab Musmari, the 30 year old man currently suspected of starting the fire that erupted at local club Neighbors last New Years, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday during his hearing.

Musmari had been a suspect for a number of months on account of other run-ins with the law around the area in previous years as well as numerous tip-offs to the police. When he was arrested, Musmari was on his way to the airport to catch a one-way flight to Turkey, and was in possession of both his Lybian and his United States passports. On account of this, the judge set his bail at $1 million and designated him a “flight risk.” Prosecutors may have reason to charge Musmari with a hate crime, as well. According to court documents, Musmari had told an anonymous informant that he thought homosexuals should be “exterminated” and that he had purchased a rifle and was planning something. The informant had contacted the FBI in fear that Musmari was preparing to perform “terrorist activity.” So far, Musmari has only been charged with one count of first degree arson.