January 16, 2019

Week In Review

By Leslie Berman
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Supreme Court Takes Eight Cases, but Doesn't Act on Some Big Ones

The Supreme Court added eight cases to its docket, including how gun laws apply to undocumented immigrants and whether the police may have blood drawn from unconscious motorists suspected of drunken driving. However, the court took no action on an unusually large number of pending petitions on significant issues, including President Trump's efforts to shut down a program that shields 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation and to bar most transgender people from military service. Other petitions under consideration concern an Indiana abortion law, a New York City gun control ordinance, a New Jersey ruling barring government grants to repair churches, and whether a federal civil rights law prohibits job discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender workers.


Supreme Court Stays Out of Secret Case That May Be Part of Mueller Probe

The Supreme Court refused to intercede in a fight over a sealed grand jury subpoena to a foreign corporation issued by a federal prosecutor who may or may not be Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia affair. The Court's action means that the corporation, which has not been identified, must provide information to the prosecutor or face financial penalties. The Court's two-sentence order gave no reasons and provided no details.


Justice Kavanaugh Issues First Opinion in Arbitration Case

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh issued his first written opinion in a unanimous ruling that lower courts may not override companies' abilities to use arbitration to resolve disputes with customers or other businesses. Newly appointed justices are generally assigned non-controversial, unanimous cases as their first opinions. Justice Kavanagh's first vote was with the majority ruling that Louisiana and Kansas may not end funding for Planned Parenthood through their Medicaid programs.


Supreme Court Won't Intervene in Case of Kennedy Cousin Skakel

The Supreme Court denied prosecutors' attempts to revive the overturned conviction of Michael C. Skakel, a cousin of the Kennedys, who was charged with murdering a neighbor when he and she were teenagers. Prosecutors sought to appeal a decision by the State Supreme Court to overturn Skakel's conviction, which reversed the Court's own prior decision.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Misses Supreme Court Arguments

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed the Supreme Court's post-holiday break opening arguments as she recuperated at home from cancer surgery. This was the first time Justice Ginsberg has missed an argument in 25 years on the Court, but was announced to be working from home. The Justice will take part in the consideration of those cases based on briefs submitted by the parties and transcripts of the arguments.


Court Rejects Trump's Cuts in Payments for Prescription Drugs

Federal Judge Rudolph Contreras rejected President Trump's effort to cut payments for prescription drugs, saying that the administration went far beyond its legal authority. The Court's ruling states that the Trump administration made a "drastic departure from the statutorily mandated rates" when it reduced payments to hospitals for drugs given to Medicare beneficiaries in outpatient clinics. The secretary of health and human services may not "end-run Congress's clear mandate."


Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds

Scientists say that the world's oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change, because almost all the excess greenhouse gas heat absorbed by the planet -- about 93% of it -- ends up stored in the oceans. A new analysis found that the oceans are heating up 40% faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago.


Trump Storms Out of White House Meeting With Democrats on Shutdown

President Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders when Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not fund a border wall even if he agreed to reopen the government. Democrats present at the meeting said the President had thrown a "temper tantrum" before leaving abruptly. The President's exit left the negotiation in disarray, and congressional leaders without a plan for next steps.


Federal Aviation Administration Unions Highlight Potential Risks to Air Safety From Shutdown

Union leaders representing air traffic controllers and aviation safety inspectors warned that the partial government shutdown was hurting the safety of the nation's air travel system. Their rally outside the Capitol was one of many efforts by the labor movement to press Washington to put federal employees back to work.


Government Shutdown Curtails Food and Drug Administration Food Inspections

The government shutdown has caused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt routine food safety inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables and many others at high risk of contamination. FDA inspectors normally examine operations at about 160 domestic manufacturing and food processing plants each week. Nearly one-third of them are considered to be at high risk of causing food-borne illnesses. The FDA oversees the safety of about 80% of the U.S. food supply, as well as most overseas imports.


Shutdown Means Environmental Protection Agency Pollution Inspectors Aren't on the Job

The federal government's inspections of chemical factories, power plants, oil refineries, water treatment plants, and of thousands of other industrial sites for pollution violations is suspended during the government shutdown. The Environmental Protection Agency has furloughed most of its 600 pollution inspectors and workers who monitor compliance with environmental laws, increasing chances that, either by design or by accident, companies might emit illegal levels of contaminants into the air or water without detection, potentially contaminating streams and rivers.


White House Considers Using Storm Aid Funds as a Way to Pay for the Border Wall

Under constant bombardment from President Trump about tying funding to build a border wall with ending the federal government shutdown, White House officials considered diverting emergency aid from storm- and fire-ravaged Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California, perhaps under an emergency declaration. Some Senate Republicans tried to work out a deal to reopen the government while Congress worked toward a broader agreement tying wall funds to protection for some undocumented immigrants and other migrants. But those negotiations had not really begun when Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Mr. Trump's team let it be known privately that the president would not back such a deal.


Trump Pulls Back From Declaring a National Emergency to Fund a Wall

President Trump has stepped back from declaring a national emergency to pay for a border wall under pressure from congressional Republicans, his own lawyers and advisers, who say using it as a way out of the government shutdown does not justify the precedent it would set and the legal questions it could raise. The President has grown increasingly frustrated by his inability to bend the Democrats to his will; but just as he stated that declaring a national emergency was not in the offing, he contradicted himself, saying that he would declare a state of emergency if he had to.


Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate

Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence while in his position in the Trump campaign. An unsealed court filing provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race. Manafort's lawyers made the disclosure by accident, through a formatting error in a document filed to respond to charges that he had lied to prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, after agreeing to cooperate with their investigation into Russian interference in the election. The document also revealed that during the campaign, Manafort and his Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, discussed a plan for peace in Ukraine.


FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence. The FBI's investigation also had a criminal aspect, as to whether the President's firing of Comey constituted obstruction of justice.


Trump's Efforts to Hide Details of Putin Talks May Set Up Fight With Congress

President Trump's efforts to hide his conversations with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and new details about the FBI inquiry into his ties to Moscow have intensified debate over his relationship with Russia, adding fuel to Democrats' budding investigations of his presidency and potentially setting up a clash between the White House and Congress. Trump has repeatedly withheld details of his conversations with
Putin, according to current and former American officials, a practice that has left officials blind to the dynamic between the two leaders and intensified questions within the administration over the president's actions.


Michael Cohen, Trump's Former Lawyer, Agrees to Testify to Congress

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer who implicated the latter in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, has agreed to testify before a House committee and give "a full and credible account" of his work for Trump in a televised hearing that threatens to further damage the president's image and could clarify the extent of his legal troubles.


Prosecutors Examining Ukrainians Who Flocked to Trump Inaugural

President Trump and his wife Melania danced at the Inaugural Liberty Ball in company with hundreds of their wealthiest and most influential supporters, including a dozen or more Ukrainian political and business officials. Those Ukrainians attended meetings and had encounters at Trump International Hotel with influential Republican members of Congress and close allies of President Trump while in Washington D.C. for the celebration.


Democrats Start Investigative Gears, but Slowly

Democrats have quietly sent dozens of letters in recent weeks seeking documents and testimony from President Trump's businesses, his campaign, and his administration, setting the table for investigations that could reach the center of his presidency. Clear targets have emerged in the process: Family separation and detention policies at the border and the acting attorney general's oversight of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. However, Democrats do not plan to reopen a full-scale Russian interference investigation, and are holding off on an immediate request for Trump's tax returns.


Bolton Puts Conditions on Syria Withdrawal, Suggesting a Delay of Months or Years

National Security Adviser John R. Bolton rolled back President Trump's decision to rapidly withdraw from Syria, laying out conditions for a pullout that could leave American forces there for months or even years. During a visit to Israel, Bolton told reporters that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States. He and other top White House advisers have led a behind-the-scenes effort to slow Trump's order and reassure allies, including Israel.


U.S. Downgraded European Union's Diplomatic Status (but Didn't Say Anything)

The President has been critical of multinational organizations like the United Nations and the European Union (EU), and has suggested that the Brussels government has not been good for its member nations. However, it was a shock to the EU to discover that the Trump administration had downgraded the diplomatic status of its delegation to the United States last year, from member state to an international organization, without making a formal announcement or informing the EU about the change. This was discovered during President Bush's funeral, when the EU ambassador was introduced out of protocol order, at the end of all other introductions. After protest from Brussels and talks between the EU and the Trump administration, the reclassification is believed to have been reversed, at least temporarily.


Iran Has Held U.S. Navy Veteran Since July, Family Says

An American Navy veteran has been held in an Iranian prison on unspecified charges since late July, when he was seized while visiting an Iranian girlfriend. This could further complicate relations between the United States and Iran. Tension between the countries worsened substantially after President Trump renounced the nuclear accord with Iran last May and reimposed severe sanctions. At least three other American citizens, two of them of Iranian descent, have been incarcerated in Iran for years. Another American has been missing in Iran for more than a decade.


Clemency Decision Sparks Praise, Political Questions

Outgoing Republican Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee granted clemency to a woman who killed a man when she was 16. The governor quietly issued his decision on Cyntoia Brown, who says she was a sex-trafficking victim, but the news quickly spread among criminal justice advocates, celebrities and other supporters who had been fighting for years to help Brown (such as Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna). Law enforcement officials had opposed clemency, arguing that Brown was not justified in killing a 43-year-old man who authorities said had paid to have sex with her. The governor's office received an estimated 100,000 phone calls and emails from supporters pleading for mercy.


Saudi Woman Who Fled Family Is Granted Refugee Status

A young Saudi woman who escaped from her family in Kuwait by boarding a flight to Bangkok, and barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to avoid deportation, was granted refugee status by the United Nations refugee agency, clearing the way for an asylum request. The woman said she feared her relatives would kill her if she was forced to return to them. She escaped from her family in Kuwait intending to fly to Australia and apply for asylum, but Thai immigration officials blocked her from entering the country and threatened to deport her. After a tense standoff that was followed on social media, the Thai Immigration Bureau agreed to let her leave the airport under the protection of the United Nations agency, and Canada granted her asylum.


Veselnitskaya, Russian in Trump Tower Meeting, Is Charged in Case That Shows Kremlin Ties

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in 2016, and is a pivotal figure in the
investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign, was charged in a separate case with seeking to thwart an earlier investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm.


Board Sued Over Google's Exit Package for Accused Executive

A shareholder lawsuit filed in California Superior Court says that the board of directors of Google's parent company, Alphabet, played an "active and direct role" in approving a $90 million exit package for Andy Rubin, a senior executive, even though an investigation into a sexual harassment claim against him was deemed credible.


Facing Legal Action, Insurer Now Will Cover People Taking Truvada, an H.I.V.-Prevention Drug

Settling allegations of discrimination filed by the Massachusetts attorney general's office, Mutual of Omaha has agreed not to deny insurance to people who use medications to prevent H.I.V. infection. The insurer also settled a lawsuit brought by an unidentified gay man in Massachusetts who was turned down for long-term-care insurance after acknowledging that he took an H.I.V.-prevention drug called Truvada. Mutual of Omaha became the focus of discrimination complaints after applicants, mostly gay men, said they were denied disability, long-term-care or life insurance solely because they were taking Truvada to protect themselves from H.I.V., a practice called PrEP (short for pre-exposure prophylaxis).


As Supreme Court Shifts Under Trump, Cuomo Vows to Expand Abortion Rights

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo promised to protect women's reproductive rights by expanding New York state's abortion laws within the first 30 days of the new legislative session. "The Republican Senate said, 'You don't need a state law codifying Roe v. Wade. No administration would ever roll back Roe v. Wade,'" Cuomo said at the event at Barnard College, describing why previous efforts had languished for so long. "So help me God, this was the conversation." Cuomo's action is in reaction to the appointment of a conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court, which might imperil women's reproductive rights.


Mayor de Blasio Says Wealth Is 'in the Wrong Hands,' Pledges to Redistribute It

Mayor Bill de Blasio used his sixth State of the City speech to present his tenure in New York City and his promises of things to come as the alternative. Earlier Mr. DeBlasio said that he would embark on a national tour to "preach the gospel" of liberal governance, trumpet his accomplishments in his first five years in office and argue that his new proposals -- such as requiring paid vacation for most private-sector employees -- are a model for the Democratic Party nationally. "{T}here's plenty of money in the world. Plenty of money in this city," the mayor said, flanked by screens with graphs of productivity outpacing compensation. "It's just in the wrong hands!"


Early Voting and Other Changes to Election Laws Are Coming to New York

During last year's midterm elections, New York was the only state in the nation that held separate state and federal primary elections, a division that almost seemed designed to suppress voter turnout. New York also has no early voting, no voting by mail, no same-day voter registration. Now the legislature is in control of both chambers of the State Capitol, and vote reform is on the way. Among the measures is preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds, and consolidation of state and federal elections.


Texas Republicans Rally Behind Muslim Official as Some Try to Oust Him Over Religion

Republicans in the third-most-populous county in Texas voted overwhelmingly against the removal of one of their party leaders from his post. Shahid Shafi, a surgeon and longtime Republican who was appointed vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party is a Muslim, and the disqualification vote was about whether his faith prohibited him from holding the job. The Republican Party's county chairman applauded the vote supporting Dr. Shafi 139 to 49.


U.S. Steel Companies Face Downturn Despite Trump Claims of Revival

President Trump has announced that he wants to use steel to build the wall along the southern border, using the occasion to praise himself for fulfilling two campaign promises at once: keeping out illegal immigrants and resuscitating a struggling manufacturing industry. In the 10 months since the Trump administration imposed 25% tariffs on steel imports, prices in the United States have now fallen back to levels last seen before the tariffs were announced last March.


Florida Felons Once Denied Rights Begin Registering to Vote

Last week, an amendment to the Florida Constitution restoring the voting rights of former felons went into effect, and nearly 1.5 million former felons became eligible to vote.


With Kim's Visit, China Shows U.S. It Has Leverage on Trade

China's leader, Xi Jinping, met with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, during the second day of talks between midlevel trade negotiators from China and the United States. Though the government said that the events were unconnected, Kim's surprise visit was an unmistakable reminder that China could complicate the Trump administration's pursuit of other goals -- including ridding the North of nuclear weapons -- if the two powers fail to strike a deal on trade.


Turkish President Snubs Bolton Over Comments That Turkey Must Protect Kurds

President Trump's plan to withdraw the United States from Syria fell into further disarray after Turkey's leader rebuffed Trump's emissary, John R. Bolton, and angrily dismissed his demand that Turkey agree to protect America's Kurdish allies. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Bolton had made a "grave mistake" in setting that condition for the pullout of troops. "It is not possible for us to swallow the message Bolton gave from Israel," Erdogan said in Parliament, after refusing to meet with Bolton, the president's national security adviser, during his visit to Turkey.


A South Korean Ex-Chief Justice Faces Case-Rigging Accusations

Prosecutors in South Korea confronted a retired Supreme Court chief justice with accusations that he conspired to delay a case that could upset relations with Japan, interrogating him in a closed-door hearing that is likely to lead to an unprecedented indictment. No former or sitting chief justice in South Korea had ever been summoned as a criminal suspect until Yang Sung-tae, 71, presented himself to address allegations that he had manipulated the case on behalf of the nation's disgraced former president. The scandal involving Yang has drawn intense interest in South Korea, where a mistrust of the judiciary is a longstanding phenomenon. The depth of anti-judiciary sentiment is such that when a quixotic pig farmer angry over a court ruling threw a firebomb at the car of the current chief justice, Kim Myeong-su, the November incident received outsize news and social media coverage. Yang's scandal is also being closely watched by diplomats because of its connection to the growing diplomatic schism between South Korea and Japan, both key American allies.


India Finally Has Plan to Fight Air Pollution. Environmentalists Are Wary.

India has nine of the world's 10 most polluted cities, according to one World Health Organization measure, with choking urban smog that researchers estimate killed 1.24 million people in 2017. This week the government's National Clean Air Program unveiled a five-year plan that environmentalists welcomed as long overdue but criticized as lacking clear mechanisms or robust funding to achieve its aims, which include reducing air pollution in 102 cities by up to 30% from 2017 levels.



Judge Dismisses Part of Ashley Judd's Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein

A federal judge dismissed part of Ashley Judd's multipronged lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, ruling that her allegations of sexual harassment do not fall within the scope of a California statute. The order does not end Judd's case, which is built around other claims, including defamation and unfair business practices. In a suit filed in May, she claimed that her career withered because Weinstein spread lies about her in Hollywood after she rejected his sexual requests.


Investigators Looking Into Accusations From R. Kelly Documentary

Prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are seeking information from any potential victims or witnesses after the airing of an investigative documentary about R. Kelly that detailed allegations of more than two decades of sexual and physical abuse by the R&B singer. The district attorney's office in Fulton County, Georgia began conducting interviews after the broadcast of "Surviving R. Kelly," a six-part series that aired on Lifetime, according to the lawyer for a couple who say that the singer is holding their daughter against her will.


Friars Club Director Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

The executive director of the Friars Club, a Manhattan institution long known for its celebrity roasts and as a hangout for entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Jack Benny, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to having filed false income tax returns. Peter Gyure pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Manhattan to one count of filing false returns, and has agreed to pay $156,920 to the Internal Revenue Service. He could face a maximum of three years in prison.


Broadway Actors Pushing for Profit-Sharing in Creation of Shows

Broadway performers and stage managers are demanding a share of the profits from hit shows they help to create, setting off a labor dispute that is threatening to disrupt the high-stakes development of new musicals and plays. Actors' Equity (Equity), the national labor union, and Broadway League, a trade association of producers, are at an impasse in their negotiations, and Equity may hold a limited strike in which its members would be barred from participating in any developmental work with commercial producers.


John Lasseter, Ousted From Pixar in #MeToo Wave, Finds New Hollywood Home

John Lasseter, the Pixar co-founder who was forced to resign from the Walt Disney Company after complaints about unwanted touching in the workplace, has become one of the first men toppled in the #MeToo era to find a new Hollywood perch. David Ellison, a "Mission: Impossible" producer and founder of Skydance Media, a production company affiliated with Paramount Pictures, announced that Lasseter would become Skydance's animation chief. Lasseter will start this month at the company, which Ellison started in 2010 with money inherited from his father, the Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison.


Woodstock Returns Again on the Festival's 50th Anniversary

Michael Lang, one of the producers of the original Woodstock Festival, is at the center of a planned 50th anniversary reunion festival, sponsored by an arm of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu. Lang is hoping to foster social engagement by partnering with activist organizations, and is planning to keep this festival smaller (100,000 attendees), and more relevant, with films and speakers as well as music, on three large stages and three smaller stages in "neighborhoods" with their own services and focus. The festival will be held around the Watkins Glen, New York, racetrack, which has recently been the site of festivals by the jam band Phish.



Must Writers Be Moral? Their Contracts May Require It

Publishers don't like scandals that might threaten the bottom lines of the multinational media conglomerates of which most form a small part. Increasingly, publishers are demanding that authors sign contracts with a "morality clause." Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House have added such clauses to their standard book contracts and others may be debating going the same way. These clauses release a company from the obligation to publish a book if past or future conduct of the author is inconsistent with the author's reputation at the time the agreements are executed, comes to light, and results in sustained, widespread public condemnation of the author that materially diminishes the sales potential of the work.


Prosecutors: Art Dealer Mary Boone Should Go to Prison

Federal prosecutors are recommending that Mary Boone, a veteran art dealer, be sent to prison, saying that she deliberately defrauded the government by filing false tax returns and evading $3 million in taxes. Boone is to be sentenced on January 18th, having pleaded guilty last year to two counts of filing false returns, a charge that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence. Her lawyers had asked the court to spare her prison time because her offenses were the product of depression and anxiety brought on by childhood trauma. Prosecutors argued that Boone had achieved a measure of financial stability and comfort that "most people can only dream about" and should serve 30 to 37 months in prison.


Jury Orders Mongols Biker Club to Forfeit Its Logo, the 'Holy of Holies'

A federal jury in California found that the Mongols motorcycle club must forfeit its rights to the trademarked Genghis Khan-style emblem that identifies the organization. The jury's verdict concluded the second phase of a wide-ranging eight-week racketeering trial in which jurors also branded the Mongols a criminal enterprise. The presiding judge, who in the past has ruled in favor of the Mongols, said he would not immediately order the club to forfeit the logo until he has a chance to review the club's arguments and consider their free speech rights.


Does It Pay to Be a Writer?

A recent study by the Authors Guild, a professional organization for book writers, shows that writing may no longer be a livable profession. According to the survey, median pay for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017, and that number decreased to $6,080 when part-time writers were considered. The latter figure reflects a 42 percent drop since 2009, when the median was $10,500. These findings are the result of an expansive 2018 study of more than 5,000 published book authors, across genres and including both traditional and self-published writers. "In the 20th century, a good literary writer could earn a middle-class living just writing," said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, citing William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Cheever. Now, most writers need to supplement their income with speaking engagements or teaching. Strictly book-related income -- which is to say royalties and advances -- are also down, almost 30 percent for full-time writers since 2009. Writing for magazines and newspapers was once a solid source of additional income for professional writers, but the decline in freelance journalism and pay has meant less opportunity for authors to write for pay. Many print publications, which offered the highest rate, have folded.


Lin-Manuel Miranda and Friends Purchase Drama Book Shop

Lin-Manuel Miranda a composer, lyricist, actor and author is going to be a bookseller Miranda and three of his "Hamilton" collaborators have purchased the Drama Book Shop, a century-old theater district purveyor of scripts, sheet music, and other stage-related reading material. The move is an effort to sustain the store - a mainstay of New York's theater scene that was was recognized with a Tony honor for excellence -- but has struggled to survive the brutal Times Square real estate market and recently announced that it was being forced to move from its current location. The rescue plan is a joint venture between the "Hamilton" team and the city, which has pledged to find the store an affordable space in Midtown.


Warhol Foundation Overturns 8-Year Smithsonian Funding Ban

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Foundation) has announced that it will award $100,000 to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian -- ending an eight-year-old ban on providing money to the Smithsonian. The ban was instituted in 2010 when the National Portrait Gallery removed David Wojnarowicz's video "A Fire in My Belly" from its exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" due to political pressure. The Foundation had supported the show and saw the removal of the artwork as an example of "blatant censorship." In addition to licensing Warhol's work and supporting scholarly research, it also provides grants to arts organizations.


Female Composers Are Trying to Break Film's Sound Barrier

Male composers have been hired to score two forthcoming blockbusters about warrior women -- "Wonder Woman 1984," directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, and "Mulan," directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by three women. The announcements were simply the latest examples of women being unheard in film music. A 2018 study by the University of Southern California revealed that for the top 100 fictional films at the box office every year from 2007 to 2017, only 16 female composers were hired, compared with more than 1,200 men. Another report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film showed that of the top 250 films at the domestic box office in 2018, 94 percent were scored by men.



National Football League and Union Say Eric Reid's Repeated Drug Tests Were Random

The National Football League (NFL, League) and its players association defended their policy of random drug testing of the League's players on Wednesday, after Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid suggested that he had been subjected to a curiously high number of them this season. Reid, who joined the Panthers in Week 4, noted in December that he had been selected for a drug test for the seventh time in 11 weeks this season. In a joint statement, the NFL and players union said that the accusation that Reid had been subjected to an inordinate number of tests deliberately had been investigated by the administrator of the drug policy, and "that Mr. Reid's tests were randomly generated via computer algorithm and that his selection for testing was normal."


Netherlands May Have Given Nike Illegal Tax Breaks, EU Says

European authorities are investigating whether the Dutch government illegally allowed sportswear giant Nike to avoid paying taxes on profits from sales in the region, potentially exposing the company to huge penalties similar to those imposed on Apple and Amazon. The inquiry is part of a broader European Commission crackdown on countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands over accusations that they gave questionable tax breaks to multinational companies, many of them based in the United States, as a way of attracting corporate headquarters and white-collar jobs. Prior investigations fined Apple $16.5 billion to be paid to Ireland and made Amazon pay €283 million to Luxembourg. Starbucks paid €25.7 million to the Netherlands in 2015, and an investigation into Ikea is underway.


Cristiano Ronaldo's DNA Sought by Las Vegas Police in Rape Investigation

Nevada law enforcement officials investigating a sexual assault accusation against the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo have requested a sample of the player's DNA from the Italian authorities. Ronaldo, a Portuguese wing and five-time world player of the year, plays in Italy for Juventus. Investigators are seeking the DNA sample as part of a recently reopened investigation into accusations by an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, who said that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 and later paid her $375,000 for her silence.


In Alabama, a Girl's High School Hoop Dreams Are Restored

An Alabama girl's banishment from high school basketball came to an end on Friday morning when a circuit court judge ruled that she could return to competition pending a hearing. The judge will decide whether Maori Davenport deserved to be ruled ineligible for accepting a mistaken payment from the sport's national governing body for playing on a junior national team last summer.


Japan's Olympics Chief Faces Corruption Charges in France

The president of Japan's Olympic Committee, a former Olympian who is also the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee's marketing commission, has been indicted on corruption charges in France after an investigation into the bidding process that led to Tokyo's being awarded the Summer Games it is preparing to host next year. In a statement, Tsunekazu Takeda acknowledged that he had been questioned by the French authorities, but denied their accusations. The news is yet another blow to the credibility of the Olympic movement, which has been battered by a number of corruption cases linked to previous Olympic bids and the ongoing repercussions of a widespread Russian doping operation at the 2014 Winter Olympics.


Enes Kanter to Skip Knicks' Trip to London, Citing Fear of Turkish Retaliation

Knicks center Enes Kanter said that he would not travel with the team to play the Washington Wizards in London on January 17th because he feared retaliation for his public opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Kanter, who is Turkish, has been an outspoken critic of the president for years, and said that Turkish operatives could present a danger to him in London. An official at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity to abide by diplomatic protocol, dismissed Kanter's comments as baseless.



Legal Battle Between Sumner Redstone and Former Girlfriend Is Settled

Sumner M. Redstone, the aging media mogul, has settled a long-running legal battle with his former girlfriend Manuela Herzer, capping a dispute that challenged Redstone's mental capacity and sowed doubt over the future of his empire. The settlement includes Redstone's daughter, Shari E. Redstone, who has taken a leadership role in Viacom and CBS. The Redstones control both companies through their private theater chain, National Amusements. As part of the agreement, Herzer will pay back $3.25 million for the lavish gifts and monetary rewards Redstone had given her over the years.


The Exclusive That Wasn't? Publication Retracts Moonves Interview

A week before Christmas, Leslie Moonves, just been fired as the chief executive of CBS after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, appeared to give an exclusive, on-the-record interview to a little-known publication in which he bluntly addressed his dismissal. Agenda, a news service owned by The Financial Times, quoted Moonves as saying: "How quickly the board forgets the job I did for CBS. They were a rudderless ship when I went there, when I took over." Moonves had shunned all interview requests since the publication of an article in The New Yorker last summer that included detailed, on-the-record accounts from women saying that he had assaulted them. For much of 2018, reporters at major outlets had aggressively sought to interview Moonves, with little success. The idea that Agenda, a niche outlet with 6,000 subscribers focused on corporate governance issues, had scored his first on-record comments since his firing struck many observers as implausible.


'She Literally Never Stops.' CBS News, in Need of Fixing, Turns to Susan Zirinsky

Susan Zirinsky is a legend in the world of television news. The stories about her exploits in the world of television news are legendary. She was the inspiration for Holly Hunter's high-strung and highly ethical producer in the Oscar-nominated movie "Broadcast News". Dan Rather once said that she was such a part of the network's firmament that she arrived in a yellow CBS shipping bag straight from the maternity ward. After more than four decades at CBS, Zirinsky has been named the first woman to lead CBS News, replacing David Rhodes as the division's president in the coming weeks. She will be leading a group that has been rocked by a string of executive changes and unsavory revelations about the broader corporate culture at CBS: Charlie Rose was fired from his roles at "CBS This Morning" and "60 Minutes" after being accused of sexual misconduct last year.


It's Final: Megyn Kelly and NBC Part Ways and She Will Be Paid in Full

After a drawn-out negotiation, NBC and former cable news start Megyn Kelly have formally agreed to part ways. The parties reached a final agreement nearly three months after Kelly wondered aloud on-air why it was inappropriate for white people to dress up in blackface for Halloween. NBC and a representative for Kelly declined to reveal the details of the exit package. At the time of the separation, Kelly was in the middle of a three-year, $69 million contract with the network.


He Disparaged the Police on Facebook. So They Arrested Him.

Robert Frese commented last year on a newspaper's Facebook page that a New Hampshire police officer who had given him a traffic citation was "a dirty cop." He also said the police chief was a coward who had covered up the matter. The police then arrested arrested Frese, saying he had committed criminal libel. About half of U.S. states have laws making libel a crime, and prosecutions are not uncommon. About 25 people were charged with violating New Hampshire's law from 2009 to 2017, according to a lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Frese by the American Civil Liberties Union. Nationwide, according to a preliminary count by Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, "it appears that they happen about 20 times per year, and often lead to convictions."


The Latest Smear Against Ocasio-Cortez: A Fake Nude Photo

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York whose outspokenness and progressive views have made her a target of conservatives, lashed out at the right-wing news site The Daily Caller after it posted an article on Monday showing a photo that had been falsely described as a nude selfie of the congresswoman with an emphasis on her feet. It was fake foot news. The photo that had been making the rounds showed a different woman's bare shins and feet.


Democrats Faked Online Push to Outlaw Alcohol in Alabama Race

The "Dry Alabama" Facebook page proclaimed alcohol to be the work of the devil, and urged the state to ban alcohol throughout the state. The Facebook page and a companion Twitter feed appeared to be the work of Baptist teetotaler supporters of the Republican, Roy S. Moore, a candidate in the 2017 Alabama Senate race. They were actually secretly created by progressive Democrats working to defeat Moore.


Twitter Users in China Face Detention and Threats in New Beijing Crackdown

One man spent 15 days in a detention center. The police threatened another's family. A third was chained to a chair for eight hours of interrogation. Their offense: posting on Twitter. The Chinese police, in a sharp escalation of the country's online censorship efforts, are questioning and detaining a growing number of Twitter users even though the social media platform is blocked in China and the vast majority of people in the country cannot see it. The crackdown is the latest front in President Xi Jinping's campaign to suppress internet activity. Wang Aizhong, a human-rights activist, said the police had told him to delete messages criticizing the Chinese government. In effect, the authorities are extending their control over Chinese citizens' online lives, even if what they post is unlikely to be seen in the country.


Netflix's Bow to Saudi Censors Comes at a Cost to Free Speech

Under Article 6, Paragraph 1 of Saudi Arabia's Anti-Cyber Crime Law, Production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers is punishable by up to five years in prison. Recently, the Kingdom had alerted Netflix that it had violated this statute with an episode of its comedy show "Patriot Act", starring Hasan Minhaj, a comedian and American Muslim, when Minhaj questioned Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the CIA's conclusion that he ordered the murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi and for Saudi war atrocities in Yemen. The shock came with Netflix's compliance. After pulling the episode from its Saudi feed, the streaming service told The Financial Times that it was simply responding to "a valid legal request."


China Targets Prominent Uighur Intellectuals to Erase an Ethnic Identity

As a writer and magazine editor, Qurban Mamut promoted the culture and history of his people, the Uighurs, and that of other Turkic minority groups who live in far western China. He did so within the strict confines of censorship imposed by the Chinese authorities, who are ever wary of ethnic separatism and Islamic extremism among the predominantly Muslim peoples of the region. Then last year, the red line moved. Suddenly, Mamut and more than a hundred other Uighur intellectuals who had successfully navigated the worlds of academia, art and journalism became the latest targets of a sweeping crackdown in the region of Xinjiang that has ensnared as many as one million Muslims in indoctrination camps.


January 6, 2019

Week In Review

By Eric Lanter
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker as Democrats Take Control of House

The House of Representatives changed hands this week, and for the first time in decades, a former Speaker of the House has returned to the post after having lost it. Nancy Pelosi, formerly the Majority Leader of the Democrats in the House and a representative from California, has retaken the gavel and already sent a message to Republicans and President Trump. She began the day by suggesting that a sitting president may be indicted and reiterating that Democrats would not pass a bill that approved funding for a border wall.


Government Shutdown Leaves Workers Reeling: 'We Seem to Be Pawns'

The federal government is now in its third week of being shut down, making it the longest shutdown in United States history. While members of Congress expressed hope that it would be over in a matter of days or weeks, bringing hope to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who are being docked pay, President Trump took to the Rose Garden to announce that the shutdown could last months or even years if the demand for the border wall funding is not met. The consequences of the shutdown go beyond paychecks: the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced that the agency would "suspend most operations," and many government lawyers are beginning to ask federal judges for stays in actions, given the limited government resources during the shutdown.


Undocumented Worker Says That Trump Resort Shielded Her From Secret Service

The Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster has recently terminated workers who were not eligible to work in the country, and a former employee of the New Jersey golf course has said that her name was removed from a list of workers that the Secret Service vets. These reports are the latest indication that the resort knew it was hiring undocumented workers. Several of the workers have been cooperating with the New Jersey Attorney General's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as there may be evidence of managers knowing that workers were illegally working and potentially one supervisor helping an employee obtain forged working documents.


Elizabeth Warren Announces Iowa Trip as She Starts 2020 Presidential Run

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has announced that she is entering the 2020 presidential race, becoming the first major candidate in what is likely to be a crowded Democratic primary. She is planning to visit Iowa in the coming days, as it is the first state to vote in the primary in February 2020. The fight for the Democratic nomination is expected to be as wide open as in 1992, and other top-tier candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, are expected to announce their runs in the coming weeks.


U.S. Ambassador Visits American Arrested in Russia on Spying Charge

Following Russia's arrest of an American (and Canadian, British, and Irish) citizen, Paul Whelan, for charges of espionage comes Ambassador Jon Huntsman's visit to Whelan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at a news conference, announced that the State Department is learning more about the charges and the circumstances surrounding Whelan's visit to Russia, and he has vowed that if the detention is not appropriate, "we will demand his immediate return." Whelan's family has said that he was in Moscow for the wedding of a friend.




Chief Justice Pushes for Tougher Measures to Shield Court Workers From Harassment

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote this week that the federal court system "must do more to protect law clerks and other employees from abusive conduct." His statement comes approximately a year after allegations from 15 women surfaced that Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had sexually harassed them over the course of three decades. Many had served as his law clerks and have detailed his inappropriate comments and touches. In response, Judge Kozinski stated that he had a "broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female clerks alike." Chief Justice Roberts observed that the very qualities that make the law clerk position attractive, close proximity to senior members of the legal profession, "can create special risks of abuse."


$15 An Hour Wage Seemed Impossible and Is Now Reality for a Million New Yorkers

On Monday, the the minimum wage rose to $15 an hour in New York City for most companies that employ more than 10 workers. The two dollar increase comes six years after fast-food workers in New York City, who were then earning as little as $7.25 an hour, joined together to demand a seemingly preposterous $15 minimum wage. Their effort led to a movement in New York City and several cities on the West Coast, including San Francisco and Seattle, and in New York, several labor leaders and unions led the effort to raise the minimum wage.


China's Moon Landing: Lunar Rover Begins Exploring

A 300-pound Chinese rover landed on the far side of the moon. It began transmitting images to Earth of a side of the moon less known than the one constantly facing Earth and is traveling toward a crater near the landing site. The reaction within China to the landing of the rover has been muted, as many find the slowing economy and trade war with the United States to be of greater importance. It has caused some Chinese to wonder how much money the government is spending on the country's space missions at a time when the economy needs boosting.



Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


Twisted Sister Clashes With Australian Politician Over Use of Rock Anthem

The rock band Twisted Sister has told an Australian politician, Clive Palmer, to stop using its song "We're Not Gonna Take It" in his advertising campaign. The ads that the campaign has aired changed the words to "Australia ain't gonna cop it" and criticizes the spending and delays related to an infrastructure project. Dee Snider, the lead singer of Twisted Sister, said that he was incensed by the "butchering" of the song and that the band was considering legal action against the politician.


Offered Free Tickets for 'Schindler's List,' Germany's Far Right Sees a Provocation

Steven Spielberg announced that he would bring the film "Schindler's List" back to theaters around the world in a hope to provoke discussion. An independent movie theater in western Germany offered free tickets to members of the far-right party Alternative for Germany to screen the film on Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th. Some leaders of the party have seen the screening as a "senseless provocation," and the screening theater has released a statement: "We see ourselves as a meeting place; films are windows on the world and initiate discussion in society."


Fewer Women Directed Top Films in 2018, Study Finds

Even as women in Hollywood had a more prominent voice in advocating for their rights in the industry, new research finds that this has not translated into women making "headway securing key positions in top films." Women comprised 8% of directors in the top 250 films at the domestic box office last year, down from 11% the year before and even below the 9% figure in 1998. Behind the scenes positions were more positive, such as producers, executive producers, writers, and editors.



New Life for Old Classics As Copyrights Run Out

With the first of the year came a number of works into the public domain. Works by several artists and writers, including Marcel Proust, Agatha Christie, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Frost, are losing their protected status. Serving as a boon to readers, who will have more editions from which to choose, the deluge of available works goes back to Congress' legislation in 1998, which extended copyright protections by 20 years. The law reset the copyright term for works from 1923 to 1977 and lengthened the period from 75 years to 95 years. Each January will now bring "a fresh crop of novels, plays, music, and movies into the public domain."


Star Conductors Faced #MeToo Allegations and Are Back

Conductors Daniele Gatti and Charles Dutoit faced sexual harassment allegations in 2017 and have already returned to conducting. This has raised questions of the effectiveness of the #MeToo movement in other parts of the world and industries. James Levine, the former music director of the Metropolitan Opera, was also fired following accusations of sexual misconduct, and some question whether and how soon he may return to the industry. Other performers who have been accused of sexual misconduct, such as stand-up comedian Louis C.K., have also been making inroads to resuming their careers.


Uffizi Prods Germans to Return Painting Stolen in World War II

The Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy have called on the German government to see that an 18th century piece, "Vase of Flowers" by Dutchman Jan van Huysum, be returned to the museum after having been stolen during World War II. The museum has taken to social media to create public pressure for the German government to respond, and the latter has not yet done so. Under German law, legal claims for stolen property cannot be made after more than 30 years, but there have been negotiations between Italian authorities and agents for the German family that has had the work for decades.


Archaeologists Find Pre-Columbian Temple of 'Flayed Lord'

Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a temple dedicated to a deity known as the Flayed Lord, a god important to the Aztec Empire. The temple is located in the central state of Puebla at a site built by the Popoloca people and is estimated to have been built between 1000 and 1260 A.D. It is expected that when the Aztecs took over the area around 1450 A.D., it adopted the culture and language of the Popoloca people into its society.



National Basketball Association Assistant Is Paid As Much As An Intern

Kristi Toliver, a player in the Womens National Basketball Association (WNBA) for the Washington Mystics, hoped to continue her career in the role of an assistant coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA). She expected the move to be a positive one for her career, given the prestige of the NBA, but did not expect the issue in relation to pay: because the move would be to the Washington Wizards, a team with the same owner as the Mystics, her pay would be limited to $10,000. The WNBA places a $50,000 limit on what can be paid to its players for off-season work, and $40,000 had already been promised to Toliver's teammate, leaving her with the remainder for her work. Meanwhile, other NBA assistants make $100,000 or more a year for the same work. She agreed to take the job regardless of the measly pay and accepted "what amounts to a high-profile internship financially."


Firing of Several Black Coaches Puts National Football League Hiring Under Scrutiny

Several weeks ago, the National Football League's (NFL) 32 owners announced that it was strengthening rules "to obligate teams to consider minority candidates when hiring coaches." With the end of the regular season this week, coaches knew that they could be shown the door. The result has been five African-American coaches fired in 2018, leaving only two African-American coaches in a league where over 70% of players are African-American. With eight current coaching vacancies, analysts are waiting to see whether the NFL's hiring practices will in fact live up to the its words.


Russia Misses Deadline to Provide Doping Data

Russia has missed the deadline to provide doping data for its athletes, which was a condition of lifting penalties that had barred Russia from hosting or participating in international events. The country pledged in September to deliver the data to the regulator, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which would show whether the doping that occurred was part of a state-sanctioned program. Given the failure to provide the data, it is expected that Russia will continue to be penalized and its athletes not permitted to participate in sporting events around the world.


Top Qatari Soccer Official Barred From Tournament in United Arab Emirates

The sports world has again been the site of flaring tensions between Qatar and its Arab neighbors. A Qatari vice president of Asia's soccer confederation was not permitted to travel to the United Arab Emirates ahead of the region's top tournament as part of UAE's breaking diplomatic relations and severing all ties with Qatar in 2017. The Asian Football Confederation released a statement to the effect that it had received assurance "of visas and entry permits" for the organizing committee members and executives for the tournament. It is unlikely that many Qatari supporters will be permitted to travel to Abu Dhabi to see their country's team compete.



Facebook Takes on Tricky Public Health Role

In recent months, Facebook has been contacting police departments all over the world when its monitors have perceived threats of suicide from its users. In one case in Ohio, police located the woman and forced her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the hospital or otherwise be arrested. Facebook has emerged as "a global arbiter" of mental distress even as it has faced scrutiny for failing to properly deal with election interference and "ethnic hatred campaigns." Those who support Facebook say that it is an example of how Facebook's power can be used for good.


Los Angeles Accuses Weather Channel App of Covertly Mining User Data

The city attorney of Los Angeles has filed an action against the Weather Company, owner of the Weather Channel app, for its deceptive collection, sharing, and profiting from the location information of millions of American consumers. The app has been downloaded more than 100 million times and has 45 million active monthly users, and the lawsuit alleges that the data from users has been used "for unrelated commercial purposes, like targeted marketing and analysis for hedge funds." A previous report by The New York Times showed that at least 75 companies engaged in similar practices, with one company "logging a person's whereabouts more than 14,000 times in just one day." The lawsuit seeks civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation of the Unfair Competition Law based on its failure to disclose its data practices when obtaining users' permission to track location.


Censoring China's Internet For Stability and Profit

Chinese media companies employ thousands of censors to comb through online content and block anything the government considers dangerous, such as oblique references to "Chinese leaders and scandals, or the memes that touch on subjects the Chinese government does not want people to read about." Many of the censors begin learning their own history by doing so, as one graduate reported learning of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo. The stakes are high for censors, as they are expected to not miss any content, as such "could cause a serious political mistake."


January 5, 2019

Center for Art Law Case Updates

The following case selection first appeared in this week's Center for Art Law newsletter:

Bruce Berg v. Kingdom of The Netherlands et al., No. 2:18-cv-3123 (D.S.C. filed on Nov. 11, 2018). In the wake of restitution cases brought against European museums, Bruce Berg, the heir of the Katz brothers who were Dutch partners and collectors, filed a federal suit against the Dutch government to recover paintings allegedly sold or traded under duress to representatives of the Nazi regime between mid-1940 and 1942, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands (https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2018/12/10/federal-lawsuit-seeks-to-recover-art-lost-during-nazi-occupation-of-netherlands/amp/?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). Complaint available upon request.

Otto v. Hearst Communications, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-04712 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 10, 2018). A case over a photo misused by several media sources to headline stories about President Trump highlights how Copyright law extends to amateur photographers, such as Jonathan Otto (https://www.law360.com/articles/1110325/-guy-with-iphone-beats-hearst-in-trump-pic-copyright-suit?nl_pk=933b2dbc-00b3-4d5d-9896-14cf322848bb&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=special&utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8, http://blog.digitalmedialicensing.org/?p=4678&utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). The Southern District allowed Otto to claim originality in his work, and found that Esquire.com's use of the 2017 photo of Trump at a private wedding in an article about him crashing the wedding was not fair use. Order available upon request.

His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, The Archbishop of Constantinople, Newrome, and Ecumenical Patriarch et al v. Princeton University, No. 3:18-cv-17195 (D.N.J. filed on Dec. 13, 2018). Princeton University's collection includes Byzantine Era Manuscripts that church leaders argued were stolen from a monastery in Greece during World War I (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/arts/design/princeton-eastern-orthodox-church.html?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). Evidence put forth by the church leaders includes a Princeton-published book, which states that the manuscripts had been taken by Bulgarian guerrilla forces in 1917. Princeton, meanwhile, remains confident that its provenance research demonstrates that the manuscripts were not looted. Complaint available upon request.

Cenedella v. Metropolitan Museum of Art et al., No. 1:18-cv-01029 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 19, 2018). "Rebel" artist Robert Cenedella's suit against five major New York museums was dismissed for insufficient evidence (https://hyperallergic.com/476464/can-an-outsider-artist-win-his-100-million-lawsuit-against-nycs-five-major-museums/?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8, https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-bastard-suit-dismissed-1426297?utm_source=Center%20for%20Art%20Law%20General%20List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). Cenedalla claimed that the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the New Museum were conspiring to exclude him and other deserving artists from their collections and exhibition programs because the artists were not represented by major galleries. Order available upon request.

U.S. v. One Painting Entitled "Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina", No. 1:18-cv-03015 (D.D.C. filed on Dec. 20, 2018). The U.S. Attorney filed a notice of forfeiture of an oil painting entitled "Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina" by Russian artist Mikhail N. Panin. The piece had hung on the walls of the Connecticut home of Holocaust survivor Gabby Tracy (https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/national-investigations/Painting-Stolen-From-Nazi-Occupied-Eastern-Europe-Recovered-in-DC-Area-503324421.html?amp=y&utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8); it was sent for auction in 2017, before research revealed that it had been looted from the Dnepropetrovsk Art Museum in Ukraine during WWII (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/ivan-the-terrible-painting-sent-for-auction-had-been-looted-during-nazi-occupied-ukraine/2018/12/21/d0a43c68-0546-11e9-b5df-5d3874f1ac36_story.html?mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8&noredirect=on&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Center%20for%20Art%20Law%20General%20List&utm_term=.6aaff6739eb2). The government seized the painting right before the auction, which was not contested by the Tracys. The notice filed by the U.S. Attorney ensures that no one else can claim ownership before the FBI returns the painting to Ukraine. Complaint available here: https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Forfeiture-Complaint.pdf?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8.

Viktor v. Top Dawg Entertainment LLC, No. 1:18-cv-01554 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 21, 2018). Artist Lina Iris Viktor claimed rapper Kendrick Lamar appropriated her artwork in a video clip for the "Black Panther" movie soundtrack. The parties announced that they reached a settlement (https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/artist-lina-iris-viktor-and-rapper-kendrick-lamar-resolve-black-panther-legal-battle?utm_source=Center+for+Art+Law+General+List&utm_campaign=b82c81de10-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_022731d685-b82c81de10-346773625&mc_cid=b82c81de10&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8).

The Center for Art Law strives to create a coherent community for all those interested in law and the arts. Positioned as a centralized resource for art and cultural heritage law, it serves as a portal to connect artists and students, academics and legal practitioners, collectors and dealers, government officials and others in the field. In addition to the weekly newsletter (http://cardozo.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=78692bfa901c588ea1fe5e801&id=022731d685), the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog (http://itsartlaw.com/blog/)and calendar of events (http://itsartlaw.com/events/). The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: www.itsartlaw.com or write to itsartlaw@gmail.com.

December 31, 2018

Week In Review Bloggers

Thank you to the wonderful 2018 EASL Week In Review bloggers who summarized the general and EASL-related news for your convenience on a weekly basis: 

Leslie Berman (leslie.berman@gmail.com), 

​Nick Crudele (​nick.crudele@gmail.com),

Jana S. Farmer (Jana.Farmer@wilsonelser.com​​),

Eric Lanter (ericjlanter@gmail.com), who is also the EASL Journal citation editor, and

Algela Peco (​anxhela.peco@gmail.com).

Have a wonderful New Year! Here's to 2019.


December 25, 2018

Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Rules Agreed Upon To Implement Paris Accord

Negotiators from around the world agreed to rules on how to implement the Paris Agreement and keep the accord intact in the face of mounting geopolitical conflict. The U.S., which remains in talks until it can officially withdraw from the accord in 2020, held an event promoting fossil fuels where it argued that the country was injecting a dose of "reality" in the face of "alarmism" around climate change.


Jim Mattis Resigns

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his retirement purportedly out of protest to President Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria and halve the number of troops in Afghanistan.



Senate Approves Criminal Justice System Overhaul

The Senate passed a sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system after a remarkable political shift from Republicans who voted in large numbers to save money by reducing prison sentences.


Senate Votes to Make Lynching Federal Crime

The Senate voted to make lynching a federal crime, passing the bill by unanimous consent. The measure ensures that lynching would have an enhanced sentence like other federal hate crimes, including life in prison. Congress had previously tried to pass anti-lynching legislation over 200 times, but Southern senators blocked those bills.


Ryan Zinke Resigns From Interior Department

Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after facing pressure to step down because of multiple probes tied to his real estate dealings and conduct while in office. The White House had been pushing Zinke to resign for weeks.


Trump Charity Closed

President Trump agreed to shut down his personal charity and donate its assets under an agreement with the New York attorney general, following allegations that the charity squandered funds on political and business purposes.


Flynn Sentencing Delayed

Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan postponed former national security advisor Michael Flynn's sentencing for lying to the FBI after a blistering retort of Flynn's action, including suggesting that Flynn committed a crime for which he was neither accused of nor for which he was prosecuted. The prosecution askedg for no jail time. The FBI has been highly criticized for its interviewing tactics of Flynn, with some even suggesting there was entrapment.


New Jersey Democrats Reverse Course on Redistricting

Legislative leaders in New Jersey will not move forward with a proposal to redraw legislative districts that would have essentially written gerrymandering into the State Constitution. Senate president Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin released statements announcing that they would not put the proposal up for a vote.


Arizona Governor Taps Martha McSally to Fill McCain's Seat

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed fellow Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate to fill the seat John McCain once held. McSally, who lost a close race for Arizona's other Senate seat this year, will succeed Sen. Jon Kyl, who will step down at the end of the year.


DeBlasio Backs Legal Marijuana

Despite having no bearing on the decision on whether to legalize marijuana in the state, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he backs the legalization, but insisted he won't allow it to be dominated by corporate interests.


Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


"Fresh Prince's" Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite Over Use of Signature Dance

Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton on the hit television show "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" filed lawsuits against Fortnite's developers Epic Games Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. for unfairly profiting from his likeness and exploiting his "protective creative expression" by using his signature dance used in the 1990's sitcom.


Putin's War on Rap

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that rap music was part of the Russian culture and therefore it was necessary for the government to manage and guide the industry. The Russian government had been trying to crack down on rap artists. Putin, responding to concerns over freedom of expression, said: "If it is impossible to stop, then it is necessary to navigate and guide accordingly."



"Hakuna Matata" Trademark Irks Many

Disney's decision to trademark the Swahili phrase "Hakuna Matata", made famous in its hit movie "The Lion King", has caused backlash with some 150,000 people signing a petition asking the company to drop it. A Disney spokesperson said that the trademark only applies to T-shirts and only under the context of Disney's "Lion King" franchise.


American Airlines Finally Gets Approval to Copyright Logo

After three rejections from the U.S. Copyright Office, American Airlines was finally given approval to copyright its 2013 logo redesign. The Copyright Office previously rejected the logo, saying that it represented nothing more than a collection of geometric shapes, lacking the creativity the office demands for copyright protection.



The Women's Tennis Association Changes Pregnancy Rule

The Women's Tennis Association will no longer treat pregnancy like an injury or illness and mothers returning from maternity leave will receive more consideration. A returning mother will now have up to three years after the birth of her child to be eligible for a special ranking to gain entry into tournaments. Players returning from childbirth who are out of competition for 52 weeks or longer can also use that special ranking for 12 tournaments instead of eight. New mothers can also wear modified clothing. The topic of special seedings and clothing received attention after Serena Williams returned to the tour six months after giving birth to her daughter.



Moonves Denied $120M Severance

Former CBS CEO Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the company's board accused him of not fully cooperating with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. Moonves was fired in September after allegations from women who said that he subjected them to mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping, and retaliation if they resisted. A statement from the board cited Moonves' "willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of his contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the company's investigation."


Senate Reports Say Russia Likes Trump

The Senate released a pair of reports claiming that Russia engaged in an all-out social media campaign to help Donald Trump. In the reports, Google, Twitter, and Facebook were described by researchers as having "evaded" and "misrepresented" themselves and the extent of Russian activity on their sites. The companies were also criticized for not turning over complete sets of data about Russian manipulation to the Senate.


BuzzFeed Wins Defamation Suit Over Trump Dossier

BuzzFeed News won a court challenge over its publication of the Russia dossier. A federal judge essentially ruled that the dossier was newsworthy.


Tucker Carlson Remains Defiant

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said about immigrants: "We have a moral obligation to admit the world's poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided." After he made the comments, critics called for advertisers to pull their ads. Carlson stands by his comments. Some advertisers have pulled their support.


D.C. Sues Facebook

The District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users. The complaint alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed for years to properly monitor third-party apps.


German Journalist Made Up Stories For Years

Germany's Der Spiegel, a top European news magazine, fired one of its star journalists after discovering that he had fabricated facts and sources in more than a dozen articles over a seven-year period. The magazine published an article saying "Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues."


December 16, 2018

Week In Review

By Eric Lanter
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Senate Votes to End Aid for Yemen

On Thursday, the United States Senate voted to end American military assistance for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. The vote is a rebuke of President Trump and comes as the Saudis have led a four-year war in Yemen that has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians. The Senate also voted unanimously to approve a resolution to hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate's actions are "an extraordinary break" with President Trump, as Trump has refused to acknowledge the Crown Prince's role in ordering the assassination of Khashoggi, even contradicting the CIA's conclusion that the Crown Prince personally ordered the killing.


Pelosi and Dissident Democrats Reach Deal to Limit Her Speakership

Representative Nancy Pelosi has obtained the votes required for her to take the speakership in the House of Representatives, but it has come at a cost. She has agreed with dissident Democrats to limit her term as Speaker to four years, which would make her nearly 83 years old when she relinquishes the speakership, assuming that Democrats keep control of the House in the 2020 elections.The deal reflects the younger Democrats' wish to hold leadership positions within the party, be mentored, and transition out the senior House leadership.


Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations

Federal prosecutors are said to be examining President Trump's inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC to determine whether foreigners illegally funneled donations with the hope of buying access and influence over American policy. The investigation is focused on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, with the aim of determining whether funds violated the prohibition on foreign contributions being made to federal campaigns, political action committees, or inaugural funds. The investigation is just the latest investigation into the Trump campaign and presidency as the investigation of hush money payments to silence accusations of extramarital affairs during the campaign and the investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III continue.


Federal Prosecutors Shift Focus to Trump Family Business As Michael Cohen Receives Three-Year Sentence in Hush-Money Scandal

Prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum regarding President Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, recommending a substantial prison term for his work in breaking campaign finance laws and other crimes. With Cohen being sentenced to three years in prison, prosecutors have shifted their attention to whether the Trump Organization executives played a role in facilitating the campaign finance violations. The investigation is separate from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government or obstruction of that investigation. The parent company of The National Enquirer, the publisher that allegedly bought and buried the stories regarding the hush money payments, is said to be cooperating with prosecutors.





Trump's Intervention in Huawei Case Would Be Legal but Bad Precedent

President Trump announced that he is willing to intercede in the case of a Huawei executive, detained in Canada, being extradited to the United States if it helped achieve "the largest trade deal ever made." The announcement makes clear that the White House "saw no problem intervening in the justice system to achieve what it considered economic gain." Experts agree that a president may order the government to rescind an extradition request or even drop the charges against the executive, Meng Wanzhou, but there was no known prior instance of a president injecting himself into a criminal proceeding in this way. One former under secretary of state noted that it sets a bad precedent to mix justice with trade, as it "devalues both." Those in the Justice Department have expressed concerns that Trump's intervention may interfere with the U.S.'s ability to go after foreign wrongdoers.



Playing By His Own Rules, Trump Flips the Shutdown Script

In a remarkable exchange with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, President Trump noted that he would "take the mantle" and shut down the government if Congress did not "accede to his request for $5 billion to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico." Pelosi and Schumer, pleased to have someone to blame for a shutdown, used the term "Trump shutdown" throughout their conversation, but Trump appeared pleased with his stance.


Trump Scrambling to Find New Chief of Staff

President Trump is searching for a new chief of staff. There was a short list of candidates for chief of staff, including Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who refused the offer, and some fear the continuing staff turnover of the Trump administration. Regardless of the administration, an expert on chiefs of staff has said that it is an inherently thankless job where the chief gets "all of the blame and none of the credit for everything that happens."


Trump's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Nominee Won't Get Senate Vote This Year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be without a Senate-confirmed leader for the longest period since its creation in 1970. The Senate is expected to vote on a leader in early 2019, and both parties have blamed each other for the delay. Scientists have said that the Trump administration's failure to install permanent leaders in top positions has demonstrated its disinterest in science.


Trump Team Pushes Fossil Fuels at Climate Talks

At high-stakes climate talks in Poland, Trump administration officials argued that a "rapid retreat from coal, oil, and gas was unrealistic." That message resonated with officials from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Australia and places the United States as the emerging leader to promote coal and fossil fuels despite reports that the planet is growing "dangerously warmer because of greenhouse gasses." Behind the scenes, American diplomats are working to negotiate a "rule book" that will allow the Paris agreement to become operational and reduce emissions, and protests permeated the climate talks in Poland.


While Working for Trump, Giuliani Courts Business Abroad

President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, has been traveling the world while his client faces investigations from all sides. Giuliani's travels have included him meeting with the king of Bahrain, a country with a record of human rights abuses, with Giuliani seeking a lucrative "security consulting contract" with Bahrain's government. His travels have brought him to Africa and South America for similar contracts with his company Giuliani Security and Safety. As he is the president's personal attorney, he is not a government employee and is not subject to government ethics rules which would prohibit outside work.


Supreme Court Will Not Hear Planned Parenthood Cases

The Supreme Court has refused to hear cases regarding Planned Parenthood clinics using Medicaid. With four votes required for the Court to hear a case, the conservatives split on the vote with Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch voting to take the case and Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh voting not to take the case. Justice Thomas issued a dissent questioning his colleagues' motives, as not taking the case allows the lower court's decision to stand. The lower court decided that states may not terminate providers from Medicaid programs for any reason that is unrelated to the competence of the provider or the quality of the health care provided.


Wisconsin Governor Enacts Law Hamstringing His Democratic Successor

Governor Scott Walker has enacted new laws to limit the power of his successor, virtually guaranteeing a lawsuit. Former attorney general Eric Holder has called the laws "grossly partisan" and "deeply undemocratic," and it is expected that the lawsuit will make its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has a right-leaning bench. There are two court seats up for election in the next year-and-a-half, which could flip the Court to be left-leaning by the time it hears the challenge to Governor Walker's laws.


Texas Judge Strikes Down Affordable Care Act as Unconstitutional

Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth has struck down the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that its mandate for people to have health insurance is unconstitutional. The case focused on the mandate's tax penalty, which the Supreme Court found constitutional as a legitimate use of Congress's taxing power, and found that the mandate was unconstitutional and could not be severed from the remainder of the Affordable Care Act. Thus, Judge O'Connor reasoned, the entire act was unconstitutional. An appeal to the Supreme Court is likely, and until the appeals are exhausted, the Affordable Care Act will remain in place, including the mandate and the requirement that people with pre-existing conditions be able to obtain coverage from insurers.


U.S. Diplomats with Mysterious Illness in Cuba Had Inner-Ear Damage

After Americans posted in the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba began to report disturbing symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, and nausea, many were tested and not found to have suffered any clear injuries. Some doctors and analysts had wondered whether there was any mechanism of injury at all given the absence of evidence, but doctors have now reported that the diplomats suffered inner-ear damage. The cause for the injuries remain unclear, as there has not been any evidence to establish who or what may be responsible for causing such debilitating injuries.


Pompeo Calls Iran 'Reckless' and Argues for Tougher United Nations Stance

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a rare appearance at the United Nations (UN) Security Council and argued that Iran has destabilized the Middle East in its "reckless" development of ballistic missiles systems. He blamed the Iran nuclear deal for giving Iran access to funding streams that have allowed it to go on a "proliferation spree." Pompeo received a cordial reception at the Security Council, despite just a week prior disparaging the UN as an organization and questioning its value.


Hungary Creates New Court System, Cementing Leader's Control of Judiciary

Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, has furthered his control over his government as Parliament has now approved the creation of a parallel court system that allows Orban's justice minister to control the hiring and promotion of judges who oversee cases relating to "public administration", including electoral law, corruption, and freedom of speech. The existing court system will be stripped of much of its power but continue to exist. Civil rights watchdogs see the move as just the latest example of eroding democracy in Hungary, which has been an example in Europe of a backsliding democracy and a model for populist figures to follow.


NASA's Intrepid Voyager 2 Probe Crosses Into Interstellar Space

A NASA probe has become only the second human-made object to enter interstellar space. The probe, Voyager 2, was launched in 1977 and was designed for a five-year mission> It has ventured more than 11 billion miles from Earth. While the probe was originally meant to study Jupiter and Saturn, it also studied Uranus and Neptune, and has now left the heliosphere and entered interstellar space.


Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


How 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' Went From Parlor Act to Problematic

The 74-year-old song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has been in heavy radio rotation during the holiday season for decades, but the lyrics of the song are being scrutinized differently in the wake of the #MeToo movement. With the lyrics raising questions about whether the interaction between the dueling singers is consensual, many radio stations have pulled the song from their rotations.


CBS Paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Harassment Claims

Eliza Dushku, an actress, received a confidential settlement from broadcaster CBS for $9.5 million in relation to her work on the prime-time show "Bull". She began working on the show in March 2017 and had a major role in three episodes, but then was written off the show. The star of the show, Michael Weatherly, was alleged to have made inappropriate remarks about Dushku's appearance, made a rape joke, and commented about a threesome with Dushku. When she confronted him about his behavior, Dushku was soon written off the show. She believed that was in retaliation for her raising concerns. Lawyers investigating CBS found that CBS mishandled Dushku's complaints and found the mishandling to be "emblematic of larger problems at CBS."


Cosby's Appeal Cites 11 'Errors' by Trial Judge

Bill Cosby's attorneys have appealed the conviction for Cosby's sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. They raised 11 issues about the trial, including the judge's finding that Cosby was a sexually violent predator with a risk of reoffending. The strongest argument raised by Cosby's attorneys was the judge's decision to allow five additional women to testify in the case, as their allegations may be construed as being "too remote in time and too dissimilar to the Constand allegations."



'Blurred Lines' Suit Against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams Ends in $5 Million Judgment

Marvin Gaye's family has been awarded a judgment of nearly $5 million against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement. Their 2013 single "Blurred Lines" has been found to infringe on Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." In 2015, the estate obtained a judgment exceeding $7 million, which was reduced and then appealed. With the most recent judgment, Gaye's estate also will receive prejudgment interest on the damages and 50% of the royalties from "Blurred Lines."


Church Leaders Sue Princeton Over 'Stolen' Manuscripts

Spiritual leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church has filed a lawsuit against Princeton University seeking to return manuscripts that are over 1,000 years old. The university received the manuscripts in 1942 as a gift from someone who had bought them at a German auction house 20 years earlier, and the leaders have alleged that the manuscripts were stolen from a monastery in northern Greece during World War I. The leaders had attempted to recover the five manuscripts in 2015 by sending a letter to the university, but the university has maintained that the manuscripts were not stolen.



Afghanistan Suspends Five Soccer Officials in Sex Abuse Scandal

Five officials in Afghanistan's soccer federation have been suspended indefinitely after allegations that officials had sexually abused female players. The attorney general's office announced that the suspensions were meant to prevent "violation of the investigative process," and the suspensions came less than a week after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation into the accusations.


Top United States Olympic Committee Officials Failed to Act on Nassar Allegations, Report Says

A 233-page report authored by law firm Ropes & Gray has been released with a damning conclusion: two of the highest ranking United States Olympic officials did nothing to "investigate, report, or stop Larry Nassar" even after learning that he had been accused of sexual abuse. They knew of the allegations a full year before the allegations became public, and investigators characterized the environment of the Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics as "an ecosystem that facilitated" Nassar's criminal acts. The report's blistering conclusions led to Alan Ashley, the chief of sport performance, to be fired. Senators have now requested an FBI investigation into whether the chief of the Olympic Committee, Scott Blackmun, who stepped down in February, lied to Congress, "harming the investigation and ability to develop policy."



Goodell: National Football League Won't Pay for Video in Domestic Investigations

National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that the NFL will not pay for video evidence in cases involving domestic violence, defending the way in which the NFL has handled previous investigations. He noted that the NFL has "some of the highest standards of any organization." Specific to the Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt having been shown on video shoving and kicking a woman in February, Goodell said that the Cleveland police declined to release the video to the NFL, and as a matter of policy, it does not pay for videos. Only after TMZ released the video did the NFL take action.


Former Tar Heel Players Derail New Home for 'Silent Sam' Confederate Statue

A group of former players at the University of North Carolina have used their influence to stop the "Silent Sam" Confederate statue from being displayed in a new campus history center just as the university's board of governors was considering the proposal. Critics have called the statue "an enduring tribute to white supremacy," and the athletes accused the university of using black students as "accessories" for not taking a stand against the monument.



Jailing Hundreds of Journalists Worldwide Is the 'New Normal,' Group Finds

In 2018, more than 250 journalists have been jailed worldwide, continuing the trend in recent years of jailing journalists. The advocacy group that conducted the study calls the trend "a sign that an authoritarian response to critical news coverage is 'more than a temporary spike.'" Turkey, China, and Egypt are responsible for jailing the most journalists, and 70% of those jailed are facing anti-state charges such as providing assistant to groups deemed by the authorities to be terrorist organizations.


Troubled by Lapses, Government's Voices to the World Braces for New Trump Management

The Voice of America has long been the American government's outlet for promoting its values abroad, but it has been plagued in recent months: it had 15 journalists fired for accepting bribes from a Nigerian official and fired the chief of the Mandarin-language section. It is expected that the Trump administration is going to remake the Voice of America in its own image, as many other countries have used their own official media sources to promote their agendas in deceptive ways.


December 10, 2018

Week In Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


President Trump Will Nominate William Barr as Attorney General

William Barr previously served as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. As head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, he advanced a strong view of executive power and urged top lawyers at departments across the Executive branch to be vigilant about Congressional encroachments on executive power.


Congress Avoids Shutdown, Postpones Battle Over Border Wall

The Senate passed a bill to fund the government for another two weeks and avoid a shutdown over Trump's border wall. The stop-gap measure gives Congress until just before Christmas to come to a decision about the president's push to allocate $5 billion for a border wall. Republicans have floated the possibility of spreading the $5 billion over two years. Democrats are opposed to any funding in excess of $1.6 billion for border security, and want no money allocated for the wall.


Chief of Staff John Kelly to Step Down by the End of 2018

President Trump confirmed that his chief of staff, John Kelly, will step down by the end of the year, and that a replacement will be named soon. Trump's first choice, Nick Ayers, turned down the job.


U.S. Senators Say That Saudi Prince is Complicit in Khashoggi's Murder

A bipartisan group of senior senators said that a classified briefing by the Central Intelligence Agency director only solidified their belief that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.


U.S. Gives Russia a Deadline on Nuclear Treaty; Putin Vows to "React Accordingly"

The Trump administration has given Russia 60 days to return to compliance with the treaty's terms before the U.S. begins the formal process to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received unanimous support from NATO allies for his contention that Russia was in violation of the treaty, which prevents the development and deployment of ground-based intermediate-range missiles.



President Trump's Warning to China Roils the Stock Market Despite Earlier Trade Truce

As President Trump threatened China with further tariffs while referring to himself as a "Tariff Man," fears of a lasting trade war roiled the stock market. Investors are grappling with the potential for a protracted conflict even though the two countries agreed to a cease-fire in their escalating economic conflict last week.



Huawei Executive's Arrest Intensifies Fears of a Trade War with China

The chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies was arrested in Canada at Washington's request, reportedly for alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran. The U.S. alleges that Meng Wanzhou helped Huawei get around U.S. sanctions on Iran by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company. The arrest has put a new strain on the tense relationship between Washington and Beijing, which are trying to negotiate an end to their trade war.

In a recent move, one of Britain's largest telecom-infrastructure firms, BT, is removing Huawei equipment from key areas of its 4G network as concerns grow globally about the Chinese firm's presence in critical telecom infrastructures.



Department of Agriculture Rolls Back Obama-Era Rules for School Lunches

The Department of Agriculture will lower nutritional standards for grains, flavored milks, and sodium in school cafeterias that were part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The changes will go into effect in July and will apply to school meals that qualify for at least some federal reimbursement.


Trump Drilling Plan Threatens 9 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat

The Trump administration detailed its plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining by rolling back sage grouse protections. Oil companies have long considered the imperiled ground-nesting bird an obstacle to some of the richest deposits in the American West.


Mueller Team Recommends Little to No Prison Time for Michael Flynn

According to a sentencing recommendation memorandum, special counsel Mueller's investigators consider Michael Flynn to be a key cooperator, sitting for 19 interviews and handing over documents and communications. Prosecutors state that President Trump's first national security advisor helped substantially with the special counsel's investigation and should receive little to no prison time for lying to investigators.


Prosecutors Say Trump Directed Illegal Payments During Campaign

In a new memo arguing for a prison term for lawyer Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York argue that President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the 2016 election. Cohen will be sentenced for campaign finance violations, financial crimes, and lying to Congress about the extent of Trump's business dealings in Russia. In another filing, prosecutors for special counsel Mueller say that an unnamed Russian offered Michael Cohen government level synergy between Russia and Trump's campaign.


Cohen's Campaign Finance Charges Expose the President to Allegations of Defrauding Voters

The various investigations into President Trump and his team are painting a picture of a candidate who intentionally directed an illegal scheme to manipulate the 2016 election. With respect to payments made to two women alleging affairs with the president, federal prosecutors in New York made clear in a sentencing memo that Michael Cohen's efforts to suppress those stories were a perversion of a democratic election. They argue that Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election. By extension, they effectively accuse the president, who ordered those hush payments, of defrauding voters. While the prevailing view at the Justice Department is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, prosecutors in New York have examined the statute of limitations on the campaign finance violations and believe that the president could be charged if he is not re-elected.


House Republican Committee Says It Was Hacked by a "Foreign Entity" in 2018

The campaign committee for House Republicans discovered in April that the email accounts of several of its senior officials had been hacked by a foreign entity, highlighting the continued vulnerability of the U.S. to interference in its elections. Party officials say that none of the stolen information has been made public and they have not received any threats regarding its exposure.


U.S. Prosecutors Bring Charges in Connection with Panama Papers Leak

Four men have been charged with tax fraud, money laundering, and other crimes as part of alleged schemes uncovered by the Panama Papers leak. According to the indictment that was unsealed in the Southern District of New York, the men, among them an American accountant, helped U.S. taxpayers evade taxes by using undisclosed foreign accounts and shell companies, and repatriating those funds to the U.S. while concealing them from the Internal Revenue Service.


Oil Drilling Threatens a Pristine Arctic Refuge

A review of internal government deliberations and federal documents shows that the Trump administration is clearing the way for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the coast of the Beaufort Sea. The administration is on pace to finish an environmental impact assessment in half the usual time to lock in drilling opportunities before the 2020 presidential election.


Wisconsin State Assembly Moves to Limit the Power of Incoming Democrats

In a special legislative session, Wisconsin Republicans pushed through a set of bills aimed at curbing the powers of the incoming Democratic leaders. The legislative package places a new limit on early voting; allows lawmakers, not the governor, to control the majority of appointments on an economic development board; and prevents the governor from banning guns in the Wisconsin Capitol without permission from legislators. Governor Scott Walker has signaled support for the measures, but he has yet to sign them.


Charlottesville Demonstrator Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder

Following a nine-day trial, a jury found James Fields guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester at the 2017 Charlottesville rally. Fields faces up to life in prison.


Satanic Temple Sculpture Added to Illinois Capitol Rotunda Displays

A "Snaketivity" sculpture donated by the Satanic Temple has been placed beside the traditional nativity scene and Hanukkah menorah in the Illinois State Capitol. The state says that the First Amendment protects Satanic speech and requires that the state allow temporary, public displays in the capitol as long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars. A spokesperson for the Satanic Temple said the group does not worship Satan or believe he exists, but sees the fallen angel as a metaphor for "rebellion in the face of religious tyranny."


France Scraps Fuel Tax Rise That Sparked Riots

French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped a fuel tax increase after weeks of nationwide protests and violent riots in Paris. The price of diesel, the most-commonly used gas in French cars, has already risen by 23% in the last year. The government had initially agreed to suspend the tax rise for six months, but instead of appeasing the protesters, it spurred other groups to join. The tax rise was part of Macron's efforts to wean France off fossil fuels and is a blow to broader efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.


Hungarian Government Closes George Soros-Founded University

The Soros-founded Central European University is being forced from its campus in Budapest by the increasingly authoritarian government of Prime Minister Orban. Founded in Hungary after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the university will move its United States-accredited degree programs to Vienna next fall.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising at an Alarming Rate

New research published by the Global Carbon Project predicts that carbon emissions worldwide will increase by 2.7% this year, and that the rapid increase will likely bring about the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected.


Qatar Quits the OPEC Oil Cartel

The future of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is in doubt after Qatar abruptly announced that it would sever ties with the oil cartel in January 2019. The country denied that the move was linked to the deteriorating political situation between Qatar and its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, which have imposed a trade and travel embargo on the country since last year over allegations that it supports terrorism. Qatar leaving OPEC means that the oil cartel is now a two-member organization consisting of Russia and Saudi Arabia.



Judge Allows "Harry Potter" and "Evan Hansen" in San Francisco

A Delaware judge has refused a request by one of the nation's largest theater owners to block San Francisco productions of "Dear Evan Hansen" and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child". The two prominent families at the center of this dispute operate competing theaters in San Francisco. Nederlander sought a preliminary injunction to block the Curran Theater from staging either show, as doing so would violate a non-compete agreement between the families.


Stage Adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird" Set to Open in New York City

The new stage adaptation of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" features a script by Oscar and Emmy winner Aaron Sorkin. In early 2018, the estate of Harper Lee filed a lawsuit against the producers, arguing that the script deviates too much from the beloved novel. Although the suit was settled, the producer declined to release a script. This will be the first opportunity for audiences to assess how the legal dispute ultimately affected the play's development.


CBS Report Finds That Les Moonves Obstructed Investigation into Misconduct Claims

According to a draft report prepared by the company's board, former Chief Executive Moonves destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to preserve his reputation and save his $120 million severance. The lawyers who conducted the inquiry said they had found Moonves to be evasive and untruthful and to have minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.


Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians Elects New Leadership

The leadership team of the New York local of the musician's union, the union's largest local in the nation, was voted out of office amid concerns over the underfunded musicians' pension plan. One of the new president's priorities is bringing more musicians into the fold and coming up with more flexible contract frameworks for musicians that do not fall into the traditional union mold.


Lego Foundation and Sesame Workshop Team Up to Help Refugee Children

The Lego Foundation will provide $100 million over five years to the makers of "Sesame Street" to deepen the work of organizations working with Syrian and Rohingya refugees in their host communities. The aim is to create play-based learning programs for children up to age 6, emphasizing social and emotional development to counter the effects of stress and suffering.


Weinstein Sent Email Plea About "One Hell of a Year"

Harvey Weinstein sent an email to several close friends in which he complained that he had "one hell of a year" and criticized police investigators involved in the sexual-assault case against him. His lawyer said the leaked email was not part of any legal strategy. Weinstein faces charges in Manhattan over allegations that he raped one woman and performed an unwanted sex act on another. He is free on $1 million bail and due back in court this December.


Netflix Pays $100 Million to Stream "Friends" for Another Year

Netflix will reportedly pay $100 million to continue licensing the program from its owner, WarnerMedia. The streaming service had previously paid $30 million a year to stream the show. Netflix has 57 million users in the U.S. and 130 million worldwide, making the acquisition of hit content a priority in order to preserve and expand its customer base.


Female Voices Take Center Stage at Grammys

Only one woman won a solo award during the televised broadcast last year, and nominees for album of the year only included one woman. The 2019 Grammys, however, are shaping up to be the year of the woman, with powerful female artists well-represented in the top categories.


Screening of "Surviving R. Kelly" Documentary Evacuated in NYC

A Manhattan theater was evacuated over a gun threat during a screening of the Lifetime documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly". Word of the threat spread as #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and four Kelly accusers were about to share their personal stories on stage. R. Kelly has faced mounting sexual abuse and misconduct allegations by numerous women in recent months. He denies the claims.


Egyptian Actress, Rania Youssef, on Trial for Wearing Revealing Dress

Rania Youssef is facing trial for public obscenity after she wearing a revealing outfit to a Cairo film festival. The suit was brought by three Egyptian lawyers known for using the courts to engage in vigilantism, arguing that her outfit constituted "incitement to debauchery". If convicted, she could face a possible five-year jail term.



National Rifle Association Will Remove Image of Chicago's Bean from Its Videos

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has agreed to erase an image of the Chicago sculpture known as the Bean from one of its videos, settling a lawsuit with its creator, Anish Kapoor. Kapoor filed suit in Federal District Court in Chicago alleging copyright infringement. The NRA initially argued that it was allowed to use an image of a public structure and the artist was trying to muzzle First Amendment-protected speech, but later said it chose to remove the image to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation.


Italian Court Rules Getty Museum Must Return a Prized Bronze

After a decade-long battle, Italy's highest court has ordered that the Getty Bronze should be returned to Italy in a ruling that could either lead to a trans-Atlantic transfer or a diplomatic standoff. The bronze was retrieved from Adriatic waters by Italian fishermen in 1964. The Getty has long argued that the statue was probably created outside Italy and was discovered in international waters after thousands of years, so it is not an Italian object subject to repatriation. The Getty Trust purchased it from an antiques dealer in Germany in 1977. Italy has argued that the statue was smuggled out of the country illegally, without a required export license, in violation of a 1939 law. Italian officials say they plan to ask the United States Justice Department to enforce the ruling by seizing the statue.



U.S.A. Gymnastics Files for Bankruptcy

U.S.A. Gymnastics filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in Indianapolis federal court, reportedly putting a stay on all pending lawsuits against the organization from victims of former national team doctor, Larry Nassar. The bankruptcy will put an automatic stop to depositions and discovery in lawsuits related to Nassar. It will also reportedly stop efforts to strip U.S.A. Gymnastics' status as the sport's official governing body.



Some National Football League Owners Want to Revisit How the League Conducts Investigations

There are growing concerns among owners about the National Football League's (NFL) investigation into Kareem Hunt, the running back released by the Kansas City Chiefs last week, over an assault on a young woman at a Cleveland hotel in February. Several weeks ago, NFL investigators questioned Hunt about another, unrelated assault, but did not bring up the Cleveland incident. Celebrity news site TMZ published a video of the assault after the NFL said it had been unable to obtain it, renewing intense public discussion about the league's commitment to investigating and policing players' off-field conduct.



Baseball Agents Alleged to Have Orchestrated Doping Cover-Up Expose a Gap in Baseball's Drug Testing Program

Two of the game's top agents are alleged to have helped players obtain and use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and hide the misconduct from Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players' union (MLBPA). The issue continues to be a source of deep frustration for MLB, which sees the union as unwilling to work with the commissioner's office on many fronts, including providing details of its investigation into the agents. The issue has also exposed a gap in baseball's drug testing program: MLB has no power to regulate agents or to punish any who may facilitate PED use by their clients.


National Hockey League Unanimously Approves Seattle as 32nd Franchise

Seattle becomes the National Hockey League's 32nd team after the league unanimously approved the expansion bid at its Board of Governors meeting. The ownership group will pay a $650-million expansion fee and the team will begin play in the '21-22 season. By comparison, the Vegas Golden Knights paid a $500-million fee two years ago.


Afghan Women's Soccer Team Accuses Officials of Sexual Abuse

The Afghan government is investigating allegations that players on the women's national soccer team were sexually and physically abused by male coaches and officials, including the head of the Afghan soccer federation, Keramuddin Keram. FIFA, the world body regulating international soccer, is conducting its own investigation. Danish sportswear company Hummel, the team's principal sponsor, has withdrawn its support.


Saudi Arabia Disqualified From Hosting Chess Match

The international chess governing body has stripped Saudi Arabia of hosting rights to a prominent tournament without offering any explanation. A nonprofit legal advocacy group that represents Israeli chess players, who were banned by the Saudis from attending the tournament in 2017, said that the decision came after the group had to pressure the association to act.


Australian Government Asks Thailand to Release Soccer Player and Political Refugee Al-Araibi

The football player and Australian-based refugee was detained in Thailand and held on an Interpol warrant issued at the request of Bahrain. Thai authorities have been asked to extradite Hakeem Al-Araibi to Bahrain, a country he fled in 2014 after having been targeted and tortured for being a dissident. He was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017.




Facebook Used People's Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals

Internal Facebook emails and other company documents released by a British parliamentary committee show that Facebook gave certain companies like Airbnb and Netflix special access to its platforms, while cutting off others it perceived as threats. The documents show how Facebook executives treated data as the company's most valuable resource and wielded it to gain a strategic advanced.


"60 Minutes" Workplace Culture Permitted Misconduct

A leaked draft report of an outside investigation into CBS found that the network was justified in firing former executive producer Jeff Fager. Investigators wrote that the physical, administrative, and cultural separation between "60 Minutes" and the rest of CBS News permitted misconduct by some "60 Minutes" employees.


AOL Owner Agrees to $5 Million Settlement in Children's Privacy Case

Oath, the owner of AOL and Yahoo, agreed to pay about $5 million to settle charges that the media company's online advertising business violated a federal children's privacy law. The New York attorney general accused AOL of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 when it helped place targeted display ads on hundreds of websites that it knew were directed to children under 13, by using personal data, like cookies and geolocation information. The law's purpose is protect young children from being tracked and targeted by advertisers online.


Philippine Journalist Turns Herself in to Face Charges

The Philippine government has accused journalist Maria Ressa of evading taxes, a move that her organization considers to be part of a broader attack on the news media, which President Duterte has often accused of being dishonest and manufacturing fake news. She faces a fine along with up to 10 years of imprisonment.


December 3, 2018

Week In Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

President George H. W. Bush Dies At 94

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, passed away on Friday at age 94. In his later years, he took good-will trips around the globe to raise funds for victims of the 2004 tsunami and of Hurricane Katrina. He was the second U.S. president after John Adams to be a father of another U.S. president, George W. Bush.


Touch Down On Mars

NASA's InSight lander has safely descended to Mars after a six-month journey. The spacecraft will now begin its study of the Martian underworld, to help would help scientists understand how Mars and other rocky planets formed.



US And China Call A Truce In Trade War

During the Group of 20 meeting, Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping struck a handshake deal that the U.S. will hold off new tariffs in exchange for China's pledge to purchase more American products.


New Emails Reveal That Federal Trade Commission Lawyer Was Surprised Last Year by Matthew Whitaker's Appointment As Chief Of Staff To Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Emails released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests for documents about Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) fraud investigation of World Patent Marketing, a Miami company, reveal that the FTC's lawyers expressed surprise over Whitaker's Justice Department appointment, considering that he was on the advisory board of the company under investigation.


Office Of Special Counsel Relaxes Warning Over Speech To Federal Employees

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent governmental agency, enforces the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity for or against partisan election campaigns while at work. Last week, the Office issued a guidance to over two million federal employees, cautioning against discussions of impeachment and resistance. This week, following criticism from legal specialists that such guidance went too far, it issued a clarification that casual discussion of impeachment remained acceptable as long as the federal employee does not advocate support or opposition to presidential candidates.


Floyd Mayweather And DJ Khaled Are Fined In Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer and rapper Khaled Khaled, known as DJ Khaled, will have to refund all money they received for promoting new digital tokens by the start-up Centra Tech and pay fines. This announcement came amid SEC increasing scrutiny of behavior in the virtual currency industry.


New Jersey Ties Legalizing Marijuana With Debate On Race And Criminal Justice Fairness

As the New Jersey Legislature considers whether to legalize recreational marijuana, it is also weighing a companion measure to clear the criminal records of many people with drug offenses. The debate is turning into a discussion about fairness in the criminal justice system and the role of race in drug convictions over the decades.


European Union And United Kingdom Agree On Brexit Terms

The other 27 European Union members approved the terms of Britain's formal exit from the bloc, and it is now up to the British Parliament to ratify the deal before beginning months of negotiations on trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, and other areas.


Below, for your browsing convenience, are summaries of news reports in categories divided into Entertainment, Art, Sports, and Media


Jay-Z Wins A Diversity Victory In The Midst Of A Legal Battle

Jay-Z and his new clothing brand, Roc Nation, are embroiled in a legal dispute with Iconix, a brand management company, over alleged violation of the 2007 sale agreement of Jay-Z's former clothing brand, Rocawear. Last week, Jay-Z won a court battle to suspend arbitration proceedings on the grounds that there were not enough African-American arbitrators eligible to hear the case.


Weinstein Pushes For Dismissal Of Manhattan Case

Harvey Weinstein's legal team filed another motion in State Supreme Court, New York County, seeking to dismiss the indictment against him on the grounds that Weinstein's accuser's friend, who was allegedly asked to back up the rape allegation, informed the police that she was never told of any assault or rape. Weinstein's lawyers say that prosecutors did not share this evidence until now.


Neil deGrasse Tyson Embroiled In #MeToo Allegations

The renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused of sexual misconduct by three women. In a lengthy Facebook post, he denied the allegations of inappropriate behavior. Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the science program "Cosmos", and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, are investigating the accusations.


Art and Cultural Heritage

Collector Wins Damages In A Fake Art Case

A jury in Federal District Court in Concord, New Hampshire awarded $465,000 to Andrew J. Hall, a Wall Street titan and a prolific art collector, against Lorettann Gascard, a former college professor, and her son Nikolas Gascard, for selling him 24 fake paintings, allegedly by the modern artist Leon Golub. The artist's foundation had no record of the subject paintings in its database and found a number of discrepancies with the artist's style during in-person examinations of the paintings. At trial, Jon Bird, a Golub expert and a professor emeritus at Middlesex University in London, testified that the works sold to Hall demonstrated clear differences with Golub's style. It did not help the defendants' case when Nikolas Gascard admitted in a deposition to making up titles and dates for some of the paintings.


Five Countries Slow To Address Nazi-Looted Art, Per US Expert

Speaking last week at a major Berlin conference commemorating the 20th anniversary of Washington Conference Principles (Principles) on Nazi-Confiscated Art, Stuart E. Eizenstat, an adviser to the State Department, criticized Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Hungary for refusing to carry out the Principles. The Principles were endorsed by representatives of 44 countries, with the goal to complete the restitution by the end of the century. Twenty years later, there is still plenty of work to be done. Eizenstadt, however, described the current state of affairs as a glass "slightly more than half full."



African Officials Comment On France's Looted Art Report; Macron Calls For Conference

Last week, France issued a report, commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron, recommending that all objects removed without consent from Africa and sent to France be permanently returned if the countries of origin asked for them. Senegal's culture minister, Abdou Latif Coulibaly, was the first to respond, calling for the return of all Senegalese artwork held in French museums and institutions. Ivory Coast drew up a list of about 100 masterpieces that it wanted to have returned. France holds at least 90,000 sub-Saharan artifacts, of which 70,000 are in the Quai Branly Museum. French President Emmanuel Macron called for a Euro-African conference on the return of African artifacts to be held in Paris by next April.




The Whitney Museum Of Art's Staff Call For Resignation Of Board Vice Chair Whose Companies Produce Tear Gas

Staff at the Whitney Museum of American Art sent a letter to museum leadership, calling for resignation of the museum's board vice chair, Warren B. Kanders. Kanders reportedly owns the companies that produce the tear gas that was used against migrants attempting to enter the country last week.


The Great Pompeii Project Uncovers Another Extraordinary Fresco

Archaeologists uncovered an amazingly well preserved fresco depicting the mythological scene of Leda and the swan as part of the large-scale intervention to excavate and secure more than two miles of earth that border an unexcavated area of the ancient city of Pompeii, which have suffered structural damage due to heavy rains in recent years. This is only the latest among the discoveries made by the Great Pompeii Project this year. Last month, an elaborate shrine was uncovered in Pompeii, which was also well preserved despite the centuries of being buried under volcanic ash.




49ers Release Reuben Foster After Second Domestic Violence Arrest; Redskins Pick Him Up

The San Francisco 49ers announced that the team has released linebacker Reuben Foster following his second arrest a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence. The team previously made it clear that it would have a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence. The Washington Redskins claimed the player off waivers and the coach, Jay Gruden, defended Foster, citing his youth. Foster, who remains on the commissioner's exempt list, will play only if he is cleared.




Major League Baseball Asks Senator Hyde-Smith To Return Donation

Major League Baseball (MLB), which previously donated $5,000 to the campaign of Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, asked her to return the donation after her comments invoking public hangings made the news. The MLB has several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in its sport.


Todd Ewen Joins A Growing List Of Former National Hockey League Players With Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Posthumous analysis of Todd Ewen's brain tissue reportedly confirmed, years after Ewen's suicide, that he did have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative neurological disease. The new findings have been said to raise questions about how his symptoms, including brain lesions, were not recognized as telltale signs of the disease.


Chiefs Let Kareem Hunt Go After Video Showing Him Attacking A Woman

The Kansas City Chiefs' running back, Kareem Hunt, was cut by the Chiefs and suspended by the National Football League in response to the release of a video that showed Hunt knocking down and kicking a woman.


MLB Embraces Gambling After Years Of Being Averse To It

MLB announced that MGM Resorts is becoming baseball's official gambling industry partner. The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League also reached deals with MGM, since the recent SCOTUS decision effectively struck down a federal law that had served to ban sports betting in most states.



Daniel Hernandez, A/K/A 6ix9ine, Arrested On Federal Racketeering Charges

The Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine reportedly worked meticulously to build his reputation of a "super villain" on social media, his presence attracting drama and gun violence. To aid in his act, the artist partnered with a street gang, Nine Try Gangsta Bloods, according to the police. He was arrested on federal racketeering charges for participation in shootings and violent robberies - some of which he allegedly live-streamed on Instagram.


The Harvard Crimson Elects First Black Woman President

Kristine E. Guillaume was elected the Harvard Crimson newspaper's first black female president, making her the third black president and first black woman to helm the organization since its founding in 1873.


Sheryl Sandberg Ordered Research Into George Soros's Motivation Behind His Facebook Critique

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, asked staff to investigate whether billionaire philanthropist George Soros had financial motivations against Facebook when he called the service a "menace to society." Facebook's research into Soros set off a public relations debacle, in which it was accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic attacks.




News Media Outlets In Hungary Are Being Concentrated Under Control Of A State-Friendly Entity

The owners of several hundred private Hungarian news outlets simultaneously donated them to a central holding company reportedly run by people close to the far-right prime minister Viktor Orban.


Journalist Javier Valdez Slain In Mexico; His Colleagues Hacked

Javier Valdez, a prominent investigative reporter, was shot dead in Mexico. Days later, his colleagues received messages that his killers had been detained. The messages, however, were allegedly infected with a spyware known as Pegasus, which the Mexican government reportedly purchased from an Israeli cyber arms dealer called the NSO Group.


A Warning About Derivative Rights and Digital Media

By Barry Skidelsky, Esq, EASL Chair

In one of the first nationally prominent lawsuits concerning podcasts, some of the world's leading record labels and music publishers recently sued the owner of pokernews.com for willful copyright infringement due to unauthorized use of music in the defendant's poker related podcasts. Additional causes of action were stated for unfair competition under state and common law.

The case serves as a wake-up call to all future and current owners of podcasts, apps, websites, and streaming services to realize that most digital media are "derivative works" involving multiple original works and underlying rights which must be "cleared" upfront. Failure to do so increases risks and costs.

In UMG v. iBus Media (case no. 2:18-cv-9709, U.S. District Court, Central District of California), the Complaint filed on November 16, 2018 (https://torrentfreak.com/images/rl-pokernews.pdf) alleges that (although discovery and further investigation may raise the numbers) 46 copyrighted songs were unlawfully used in more than 253 podcasts.

Examples listed include "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol, "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" by Bobby Bland, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police, "Pennies From Heaven" by Frank Sinatra, "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks, "Money Maker" by Ludacris, "I Can" by Nas, and "Touch The Sky" by Kanye West. Kudos to you if you know all of those songs, as you obviously have eclectic tastes!

The Complaint seeks statutory damages (estimated to be nearly $7 Million, based on a maximum of $150,000 for each of the 46 infringed works), punitive damages, temporary and permanent injunctions, counsel fees, and other relief. Whether or not pokernews.com will ante up or fold as a result of this hand it has been dealt remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, if you would like to learn more about derivative rights, including practical pointers about the business and law relevant to adaptations of original works and underlying rights, please register and attend EASL's Annual Meeting (Tuesday, January 15, 2019) at the NYC Hilton, which will be followed by an off-site joint networking reception with NYSBA's IP section.

As always, registration and other info is available at www.nysba.org/easl. I look forward to seeing you soon. Happy holidays to one and all!

Barry Skidelsky (EASL's Chair) has experience as a musician, broadcaster, bankruptcy trustee, FCC trustee, arbitrator, and General Counsel of inter alia a publicly traded digital media/advertising technology company. With interests and expertise in media, entertainment, communications and technology, Barry provides diverse legal representation, counsel, co-counsel, consulting and related services.

November 26, 2018

Week In Review

By Leslie Berman
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Despite Evidence on Khashoggi, Trump Sticks With the Crown Prince. Why?

Evidence pointing to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, de facto leader of the Saudi kingdom, implicates him in the brutal killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, President Trump refuses to concede any possibility that the Prince was involved in the crime. Trump who once condemned Saudi leaders for perpetrating "the worst cover-up in history" has now praised Saudi Arabia as a "truly spectacular ally" even after the CIA concluded that the Prince ordered the murder.


In Extraordinary Statement, Trump Stands With Saudis Despite Khashoggi Killing

President Trump defied the nation's intelligence agencies and a growing body of evidence that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman authorized the killing of Washington Post journalist and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, to declare his unswerving loyalty to Saudi Arabia, asserting that the Crown Prince's culpability for the killing of Khashoggi might never be known. The President's statement: "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" appeared calculated to end the debate over the American response to the killing of Khashoggi. "We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," Mr. Trump added. "In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."


Trump Says No Penalty for Saudi Prince for Khashoggi Murder

Although he condemned the brutal slaying of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as a "horrible crime ... that our country does not condone," President Trump declared he would not further punish Saudi Arabia for the journalist's murder in an exclamation-filled statement that the benefits of good relations with the kingdom outweigh the possibility its crown prince ordered the killing. In making that statement, he rejected calls by many in Congress, including members of his own party, for a tougher response, and dismissed reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that the Crown Prince must have at least known about such an audacious and intricate plot.


Trump's Criticism of Architect of Bin Laden Raid Draws Fire

President Trump labelled the non-partisan Admiral William H. Mr. McRaven a "Hillary Clinton fan," impugning the highly regarded former Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, thus raising the ire of Nicholas J. Rasmussen, a top counterterrorism official in the George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, who called the President's remarks wrong on every level.


Chief Justice Defends Judicial Independence After Trump Attacks 'Obama Judge'

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary, rebuking President Trump for calling a judge who had ruled against his administration's asylum policy "an Obama judge." "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Justice Roberts said in a statement. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."


Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States. The temporary restraining order blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally: "Whatever the scope of the president's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden."


The Price Tag of Migrant Family Separation: $80 million and Rising

The federal government has already spent $80 million to care for and reunite migrant children who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities, and the cost continues to grow months after the policy ended because more than 140 children are still in custody. The cost comes to about $30,000 per child. That data was handed over by the Health and Human Services Department to members of Congress. "That is outrageous," said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that pays for the shelter program that houses the separated children.


Interpol Rejects Russian as President, Electing South Korean Instead

Interpol elected a South Korean police veteran as its next president, in the face of pressure from Western diplomats who said choosing a Russian candidate who had been considered the front-runner could jeopardize the independence of the world's largest international policing organization. South Korean Kim Jong-yang was elected by secret ballot at Interpol's annual conference in Dubai, where its top official downplayed the controversy surrounding the vote and offered assurances that the agency would remain independent. "No matter what the nationality of the president is, it is not affecting Interpol's neutrality and the independence of our organization."


Representative Mia Love, Once a Republican Star, Loses Re-election in Utah

Ben McAdams, the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, unseated Representative Mia Love, the first and only black Republican woman in Congress, whose bid for re-election in Utah failed by a narrow margin. After two drawn-out weeks of vote counting, McAdams won by about 700 votes, a feat that many viewed as unlikely in the Fourth District which has fewer than 15% registered Democrats.


Rick Scott Wins Florida Senate Recount as Bill Nelson Concedes

Republican Governor Rick Scott became Florida's next senator after a 12-day recount showed his Democratic opponent, Senator Bill Nelson, trailing by 10,033 votes out of more than 8.1 million cast, and leading Nelson to conceded the election.


Will Hurd Wins Re-election to Texas Congressional Seat

Gina Ortiz-Jones, the former Air Force intelligence officer and Democratic challenger, failed to unseat Representative Will Hurd, a two-term Republican congressman for the 23rd District in Texas's border region. Ortiz-Jones conceded the race, ending a nearly two-week dispute over the counting of provisional and other ballots in the tight race. Only 1,150 votes separating the two candidates, according to state elections officials.


Democratic Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in Court

Three Democratic senators - Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island - who sit on the Judiciary Committee, which conducts confirmation hearings for attorney general nominees, asked a Federal District Court judge to issue an injunction barring Matthew G. Whitaker from exercising the powers of head of the Justice Department. They argued that an official who had not been confirmed by the Senate could not run the Justice Department, even temporarily.


Amazon, Apple, and Facebook Once Led the Market. Now They Are Driving It Down.

Slowing growth, a trade war with China, and revelations about privacy lapses, security issues, and mismanagement have eroded investors faith in the tech sector, and helped drive the stock market down. Apple's stock was worth more than $1 trillion at the start of November but has dropped to $880 billion. Apple is just one of the tech giants who seemed invincible, but whose stocks are down between 10 and 20% since the market peaked. This could affect the remainder of the market, because the sheer size of the tech giants can push markets up or down in their wake.


Why Big Law Is Taking On Trump Over Immigration

About 75 corporate lawyers at Paul Weiss, a prestigious Manhattan law firm, have been trying to find more than 400 parents separated from their families at the southern border who were deported without their children. Paul Weiss is looking for these parents, pro bono, as part of a federal American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Trump administration over its family separation policy.


City's Watchdog Claims Intimidation. Mayor's Response: 'Delusions of Grandeur.'

A small power struggle between officials in Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration and New York City's investigations commissioner over a little-known office that handled inquiries into the school system has ballooned into a public relations crisis for the mayor, exposing him to lurid allegations that he or his administration had tried to cover up embarrassing inquiries, accused the commissioner of being disloyal and ultimately dismissed him in the interest of damage control.


New York State's Lawsuit Against Trump Foundation Can Proceed, Judge Rules

Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that New York State courts do have jurisdiction over President Trump and the Trump Foundation, and that a lawsuit by the Attorney General alleging misused charitable assets, self-dealing, and campaign finance violations during the 2016 presidential campaign could proceed.


U.S.-China Clash at Asian Summit Was Over More Than Words

At a major international gathering in Papua New Guinea, Chinese officials barged uninvited into the office of the New Guinean foreign minister, demanding changes in the official statement that was to be one of agreement and cooperation, marking a striking break with diplomatic decorum among countries that ring the Pacific Ocean. The dispute meant that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum attended by Vice President Mike Pence and China's leader, Xi Jinping, failed to issue a joint document for the first time since 1989.


'Like a Terror Movie': How Climate Change Will Cause More Simultaneous Disasters

Global warming involving so many types of phenomena, is posing such wide-ranging risks to humanity, that by the end of this century some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related crises at the same time. A paper published in a respected academic journal shows the effects of climate change across a broad spectrum of problems, including heat waves, wildfires, sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, droughts, and shortages of clean water. Such problems are already coming in combination, as has been seen recently in Florida and California.


U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy

If significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the consequences of climate change damage will knock as much as 10% off the American economy by century's end. The report from 13 federal agencies, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump's agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth. In direct language, the assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health, and environment.


Democrats to Investigate Ivanka Trump's Private Email Use for Work

A Congressional committee will investigate Ivanka Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and a White House adviser, following reports that she repeatedly used a personal email account for government work. A White House review of Ivanka Trump's email found that she used her personal account up to 100 times last year to contact other Trump administration officials. Use of a personal account for government business potentially violates a law requiring preservation of all presidential records.


Federal Ban on Female Genital Mutilation Ruled Unconstitutional by Judge

Judge Bernard Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan considering the first legal challenge to a 1996 statute criminalizing and outlawing female genital mutilation - an ancient practice that 200 women and girls around the world have undergone - found the law unconstitutional, greatly diminishing the chances of it being used by federal prosecutors around the country. Judge Friedman ruled that Congress did not have the authority to pass the law.


Trump Wanted to Order Justice Department to Prosecute Comey and Clinton

President Trump told Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey. McGahn told the president that he had no authority to order a prosecution which could prompt accusations of abuse of power. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.


Below are stories this week regarding Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and the Media:


Satanic Temple Settles Lawsuit Over Goat-Headed Statue in 'Sabrina'

The Satanic Temple announced a settlement in its federal lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and injury to the temple's reputation, accusing Warner Bros. and Netflix of copying the temple's goat-headed statue in their new "Sabrina" series. The temple will be acknowledged in the credits for episodes of "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" that have already been filmed. The rest of the settlement, including any possible financial details, is confidential, according to the temple's lawyer.


Rapper 6ix9ine Was Part of a Violent Street Gang, Prosecutors Say

The Brooklyn-based rapper and Instagram star known as 6ix9ine was part of a violent gang that sold drugs, robbed rivals, and shot at people who crossed them, according to a federal indictment. The rapper, whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez, was charged along with five other men, some of whom were once part of his management team, including Kifano Jordan, known as Shottie. Hernandez and Jordan were part of a gang known as the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, who committed a series of violent crimes and drug-trafficking offenses, including attempted murder and armed robbery. Gang members robbed a man at gunpoint in Times Square in April, in an attack that prosecutors said was directed, and filmed, by
Hernandez himself.


Taylor Swift Announces New Record Deal With Universal Music

The pop star Taylor Swift became a free agent and after more than 12 years, six albums, and 10 Grammy Awards as the star of the Nashville-based Big Machine Records, has signed a multi-year, multi-album deal with Universal Music Group's Republic Records. As part of the deal, Swift will own her master recordings moving forward, and if the company sells any of its equity in the streaming service Spotify, which went public earlier this year, the money would be distributed to artists. "It's really important to me to see eye to eye with a label regarding the future of our industry," Swift said.


Jamaica Seeks to Add Reggae to a Unesco Cultural Heritage List

Jamaica has applied to put reggae on the Unesco list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The musical style, which gave a voice to the oppressed and the hopeful, was born in Jamaica. Unesco will announce its decision whether or not to add reggae to its list this week.



How to Crush an Outlaw Biker Club: Seize Its ... Logo?

After a decade of trying to take down the Mongols, a biker group federal law enforcement authorities consider one of the most dangerous criminal enterprises in the country, they have failed to seize control of the Mongols' trademarked logo, a drawing of a brawny Genghis Khan-like figure sporting a queue and sunglasses, riding a chopper while brandishing a sword. Now, in a racketeering trial underway in Orange County, California, federal prosecutors believe they have a good chance to take the Mongols' intellectual property under asset forfeiture law, which allows the seizure of goods used in the commission of crimes.


Rich, Ancient City Is Unearthed in Greece

Archaeologists exploring Tenea, which is thought to have been founded by the Trojans, have discovered tombs, coins, and urns, among other items, in and around the site. An archaeological team working under Dr. Elena Korka, director of the Office for Supervision of Antiquaries and Private Archaeological Collections in Greece's Ministry of Culture, has found the ancient city of Tenea, allegedly built by the Trojans after the end of the Trojan War. In an area of 733 yards the team found a dense, organized residential space of marble, stone and clay floors in good condition. The discovery of the tombs of two babies, and a storage space with amphoras (tall jugs), indicated that this was a city, as babies were only buried in residential areas, and not in graveyards outside cities.


A Stolen Picasso Buried in the Woods? Not So Fast

Six years after thieves made off with seven celebrated works of art from a Dutch museum, a Dutch-Romanian author who wrote a book about the theft said she received an anonymous tip that one of the stolen paintings, a Picasso, was buried under a rock in Romania. The author, Mira Feticu, a Dutch-Romanian based in the Netherlands, informed the Dutch police about the letter she received on November 6th, pointing to the location of Picasso's "Tête d'Arlequin" ("Harlequin Head"). She said then when she did not hear back from the letter writer, she and a colleague flew to Romania to find out if the letter's claim was genuine.


Suit Accuses Dutch Museums of Holding On to Nazi-Tainted Art

Dutch art dealers Benjamin and Nathan Katz sold art they owned, including works by Rembrandt and Jan Steen, to Nazi officials throughout World War II, in one case in exchange for exit visas that enabled 25 Jewish relatives to escape the German-occupied Netherlands. Three generations of Katzes have fought for decades to regain possession of scores of works transferred during the war, which they claim were sold under duress. They say more than 140 of the works are held by the Dutch government to whom the Allies returned them after seizing them back from the Nazis. Now an American heir of Benjamin Katz has brought the dispute to the U.S. court system with a lawsuit that demands the Dutch government and museums return 143 works.


A Popular Sight at Tate Modern: The Neighbors' Apartments

Tate Modern's viewing terrace is about 60 feet away from its nearest neighbor, and museum-goers can often see into the apartments across the way. The terrace offers one of London's best views, taking in St. Paul's Cathedral; the Leadenhall Building, a skyscraper known for its distinctive appearance as the Cheesegrater; the Houses of Parliament; and a swath of South London.


Museums in France Should Return African Treasures, Report Says

The Quai Branly Museum in Paris has some 70,000 objects from sub-Saharan Africa in its collection, including statues from present-day Benin and delicate paintings that once decorated church walls in Ethiopia, but those treasures may be returned to their countries of origin, following publication of an academic report proposing restitution of pieces of African cultural heritage. The report was ordered by French President Macron. The academics, Bénédicte Savoy of France and Felwine Sarr of Senegal, recommend that objects that were removed and sent to mainland France without the consent of their countries of origin be permanently returned -- if the country of origin asks for them. This restitution should be part of a collaborative process of information gathering, research, scientific exchange, and training in the next five years.



Vijay Singh and PGA Tour Settle Suit Over Deer Antler Spray

Vijay Singh was about to turn 50 when he said in a Sports Illustrated article at the start of 2013 that he used deer antler spray, which was said to include an insulin-growth factor that was on the PGA tour's list of banned substances. Singh has finally settled his lawsuit against the PGA over how it investigated his use of the spray, ending more than five years of litigation less than a week before the case was to go to trial in New York. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and are covered by a confidentiality agreement.


U.S.A. Gymnastics Won't Willingly Give Up Status as a Governing Body

The United States Olympic Committee says that U.S.A. Gymnastics will face a hearing that could lead to the organization's demise after it decided against surrendering its status as the sport's national governing body. The Olympic committee filed a complaint seeking to remove U.S.A. Gymnastics' recognition as a national body after the sexual abuse of hundreds of female athletes by Lawrence G. Nassar, a former national team doctor.


Boxing Federation Controversy Puts Sport At Risk in the Next Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is moving toward expelling boxing's international federation, a step that could imperil one of the main events of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The boxing federation, which is known by the acronym A.I.B.A., has been the subject of controversy for years, including a financial scandal that pushed the group to the brink of bankruptcy. The latest blow was struck by the election of "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals" as the new president, replacing C.K. Wu, who was forced out in the financial crisis.



CNN's Jim Acosta Has Press Pass Restored by White House

The Trump administration ended its nearly two-week-long dispute over the removal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta's White House press credentials, formally restoring the journalist's badge. CNN in turn dropped its lawsuit. The administration used the occasion to set rules governing reporters' behavior at future White House news conferences, restricting the reporters to one question each with follow-ups at the discretion of the president or the White House official at the lectern. "Failure to abide," the administration warned, "may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist's hard pass."


On Thanksgiving Eve, Facebook Acknowledges Details of Times Investigation

On Thanksgiving eve, when it could be expected that traffic on the social media site would be relatively slow, Facebook took responsibility for hiring a Washington-based lobbying company, Definers Public Affairs, that pushed negative stories about Facebook's critics, including the philanthropist George Soros. Facebook's communications and policy chief, Elliot Schrage, said that he was responsible for hiring the group, and had done so to help protect the company's image and conduct research about high-profile individuals who spoke critically about the company.


The Website That Shows How a Free Press Can Die

Hungary's leading news website, Origo, was once an independent news outlet, exposing corruption among the country's leaders. Today it is a willing supporter of the prime minister, attacking migrants and George Soros and pouncing on the prime minister's political opponents. The about face of Origo is a cautionary tale for an age in which democratic norms and freedom of expression are being challenged globally.


In China, Dolce & Gabbana Draws Fire and Accusations of Racism on Social Media

Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian luxury brand, abruptly canceled a Shanghai fashion show it had been planning to hold as waves of online Chinese users accused Stefano Gabbana, one of the two designers of the fashion line, of being racist. They pointed to private Instagram messages from Mr. Gabbana's account that the recipient posted publicly. Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese actress best known in the West for the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," took the brand to task online. Two dozen models said they would pull out of the show. Dolce & Gabbana said its account and the account of Mr. Gabbana had been hacked and disavowed the messages.