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Week in Review

By Ben Natter

When Cultural Heritage is Caught in the Cross-hairs of War

As Russia expands its military footprint in Syria, experts warn of risks to archaeological treasures, including temples and an arch dating back thousands of years in the Palmyra region where Russia has constructed a military base. Historic sites in Syria are continuously being destroyed as warfare continues. The Syrian army often uses ancient structures as military bases making damage to these structures, including the Great Mosque of Aleppo, inevitable.


Kesha's Billboard Music Awards Show Performance Is Canceled

A performance by Kesha at the Billboard Awards was cancelled as the legal and public relations battle between Kesha and her producer, Dr. Luke, continues. Kesha accused Dr. Luke of sexual and emotional harassment, and filed claims in New York State court that also call for her contracts with Dr. Luke and his production company, Kemosabe Records, to be cancelled. The majority of Kesha's claims have been thrown out by the court. The producer filed countersuits for defamation and breach of contract.

Although Kesha agreed not to reference Dr. Luke in the scheduled performance, Kemosabe Records rescinded its approval of the performance after anonymous reports stated the Kesha would not honor the agreement. Given the necessity for of record label consent for a majority of new work and performances, Kesha's career has been mostly dormant since the controversy started several years ago.


I.O.C. President Says Russian Federations Could Be Barred

The president of the I.O.C., Thomas Bach, stated that if allegations of widespread and government sponsored Russian doping leading up to the Sochi games (also including Beijing and London games) proved to be true, then the entire Russian Sports Federation could potentially be barred from participating in the Rio Olympics. Mr. Bach indicated that the I.O.C. would wait for the results of the World Anti-Doping Agency investigation surrounding Russian doping at the Sochi games. The investigation will attempt to verify whether Russia's former antidoping lab director is being truthful in his account of wide-spread doping and tampering with samples.

He also claims to have been complicit with doping leading up to the Beijing and London games. The United States Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York is also looking into pursuing a criminal case against the Russian Sports Federation.



Six Concussion Suits Are Filed Against Colleges and the NCAA

A group of college football players filed class action lawsuits in connection with head injuries, naming their universities, conferences and the NCAA. Six cases were simultaneously filed on Tuesday, and all seek financial relief for mishandling of head injuries during the college football careers of these players. Among the defendants are Penn State, Vanderbilt, the Big Ten, the Southeastern Conference and the Pacific-12.

Previously, a proposed settlement with respect to another similar class action suit filed against the NCAA was approved that called for new safety measures and funds to be put toward prevention and treatment of concussions.


Keeping Hong Kong Protest Art Alive Means Not Mothballing It

After the 2014 Pro-Democracy protests ended in Hong Kong, groups such as Umbrella Movement Visual Archives and Research Collective stored many of the sculptures and posters created in connection with the protests. It was originally anticipated that the artwork would be displayed. There are many issues involving "protest artwork", including ownership (it is very difficult to identify the artists) and the opinion that these works, many of which display anti-government messages, should not be displayed and serve no purpose beyond use in connection with the protests.

A local museum in Hong Kong, M+, is actively building its collection of similar works and the MOMA and Victoria and Albert in London have displayed protest artwork. Experts attribute the issues and resistance to displaying the works in Hong Kong to "social mood" and its current cultural environment.


Itzhak Perlman Cancels Concert in North Carolina, Citing Bias Law

The violinist Itzhak Perlman, one of the biggest names in classical music, joined the list of musicians (including Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen) cancelling performances in North Carolina in response to a law that limits transgender bathroom access and preempts local governments from passing anti-discrimination ordinances.

Perlman contracted polio as a child and often performs in a wheelchair. He cited personal the importance of anti-discrimination laws in his statement to his fans.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2016 11:23 PM.

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