5 Things to Talk About Today

  • Jessica Alba's Honest company has raised $100 million to launch its new beauty range. The manufacturer currently sells over 120 "non-toxic" lifestyle products and plans to use the money for a new line of skincare, cosmetics, and hair products that will launch globally. The new investors include Glade Brook Capital Partners, AllianceBernstein, and Fidelity Management & Research Company. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company, which launched in 2012, has been valued at $1.7 billion. — Money
  • Famous basketball player LeBron James has announced he will pay for over 1000 students to go to college for free. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar announced the initiative this week that will see the LeBron James Family Foundation join other companies to help cover tuition costs at the University of Akron in James's hometown. The four-year scholarship under the “I Promise” program will sponsor those who qualify. The scholarship will cover tuition and the university’s general service fee—currently $9500 per year. Considering the total number of students already in the program, the cost could amount to $42 million. "These kids are everything," he said. — Daily News
  • Gene therapy has cured blindness by replacing vision cells in the eyes of three blind mice. The new process involves "injecting the gene for a pigment that detects light into the eyes of blind mice can help them see real objects again." The new approach was developed and tested by Rob Lucas from the University of Manchester, U.K. The team aims to treat all types of blindness caused by damaged or missing rods and cones, the eye’s light receptor cells. — New Scientist
  • Secretary of State John Kerry raised the U.S. flag over the embassy in Havana, Cuba, for the first time in 54 years. This symbolic visit marks the end of the Cold War, but reports state long-standing tensions are still high after more than half a century of diplomatic animosity. CNN reports "anti-Castro dissidents won't be at the U.S. Embassy ceremony marking the restoration of ties." Dissidents and human rights activists will meet with Kerry at another flag-raising, which will be closed to the press. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said the moveto exclude dissidents at the first ceremony was "shameful." —  CNN
  • new study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal has found 102 common chemicals linked to breast cancer. A team of scientists at the Silent Spring Institute discovered not only what the chemicals are but also that we are exposed to these chemicals every day and they are found in Americans’ blood, urine and even breastmilk. Some ways to avoid the chemicals include avoiding secondhand smoke, decreasing exposure to fumes such as gasoline and idling cars, and using a ventilation fan when cooking. — Safer Chemicals