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Week in Review

By Ben Natter

Russian Court Frees Artist Known for Needling Putin Government

A Russian court this week freed Pytor Pavlensky, an artist known for blurring the lines between artistic expression and protest of the Russian government. On November 9th of this past year, Mr. Pavlensky set fire to the front door of Russia's principal intelligence agency. He was held in detention since that time, with prosecutors asking for fines far exceeding the cost of replacing the oak door. A judge ruled that Mr. Pavlensky should only be fined slightly more than the cost of replacing the door. Mr. Pavlensky is best known for nailing his scrotum to crack in a cobblestone in the Red Square as an act of protest and artistic expression.


Expelled Basketball Player Sues Yale

Jack Montague, the basketball player who was expelled from Yale in February after being found guilty of rape by a university committee, filed suit against Yale for defamation. The lawsuit alleges that Yale intended to make an example of the high profile athlete and lists both it and two Title IX representatives as defendants.

Montague's expulsion gained media attention after his teammates supported him when it was initially announced that the then captain of the basketball team had "departed" from the team.


Hamilton raises ticket prices, doubles lottery seats

The producers of Hamilton raised the price of premium seats to a staggering $849 per seat, but doubled the amount of lottery seats available for $10. The move was made to deter the skyrocketing resale market and steep markups. The box office price for premium seats has set a new Broadway record. A New York Times analysis estimated ticket resellers were making approximately $60 million in revenue.


Sepp Blatter and Deputies Arranged Huge Payouts After Indictments, FIFA Says

On Friday, lawyers for FIFA published some findings from their investigation of Sepp Blatter and other former FIFA officials. The report shows millions of dollars in self-approved bonuses for Blatter (some issued after the recent indictments) and salary increases totaling tens of millions of dollars, all approved by Blatter.


Maria Sharapova is Suspended From Tennis for Two Years

An International Tennis Federation Tribunal ruled on Wednesday that Maria Sharapova unintentionally violated doping rules and will be suspended from tennis for a period of two years. Sharapova faced a suspension of up to four years, which could have been career-ending. Sharapova plans to appeal the suspension.


Russian Officials Say Retests Are Flawed

Russian officials are disputing the findings of the IOC's retesting of the samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games that included 55 positive results. Of the 55 positives, 22 are from Russian athletes. Russian officials claim that two of the athletes were cleared when a second set of samples were tested.


Spotify Hires Troy Carter as Liaison with Artists

Troy Carter joined Spotify as its global head of creator services. Carter was previously the manager of Lady Gaga, and is expected to take on a role being the central contact for high profile artists. Spotify has roughly 89 million users around the world. Carter also previously worked with Puff Daddy and Will Smith.


Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven to Be Scrutinized in Court

A trial scheduled to begin next week in California will determine whether or not parts of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" were copied from the band Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus". The case focuses on the opening of "Stairway to Heaven", in which an acoustic guitar chords in a descending pattern. The suit argues that the members of Led Zepellin heard Spirit's song early in their careers, and copied the tune. The band members of Led Zepellin claims that they never heard the song.


Vikings Fight Back Against Wells Fargo

The Vikings' new U.S. Bank Stadium will open this summer. However, across the street and visible from the stadium, are two giant Wells Fargo logos placed on the outside of a mixed use building developed by the bank. Vikings lawyers have called the logos photo bombs, and filed suit in federal court. A federal judge hearing the Minessota Vikings case against Wells Fargo said he will rule by June 24th with respect to whether or not the case can proceed to trial.


Committee in Albany Reaches Deal to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports

The Chairman of New York State's Gambling Committee said that the legislature made a decision that Fantasy Sports were games of skill and not chance and would be legalized in New York State. Companies like FanDuel and Draftkings will pay a $150,000 fee to operate in New York State, and turn over 15 % of revenues awarded to State residents.


Senate Bill Would Help Recover Art Stolen by Nazis

A bipartisan Senate group proposed a bill that would lengthen the statue of limitations to six years to prove ownership of works that were looted by the Nazis. The bill was drafted to avoid situations where reclaiming stolen art is barred by legal technicalities and the claims are not decided on the merits.


Sports Arbitration Court Ruling Against German Speedskater Claudia Pechstein is Upheld

Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled that Claudia Pechstein, Germany's most decorated Winter Olympian, received a fair hearing by the arbitration court in 2009 when her blood levels showed an abnormal amount of red blood cells, and she was suspended from speed skating for two years. Olympic Federations require athletes to sign arbitration clauses limiting any claims and punishments to arbitration hearings. Ms. Pechstein's appeals bounced around both Swiss and German courts before the German Federal Court agreed to hear the claim. She challenged the arbitration clauses and specialized sport courts. Ms. Pechstein has a remaining claim pending before the European Court of Human Rights.


Twitter Hoax National Football League Account

The National Football League (NFL) Twitter account was recently hacked, and the hackers announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell had died. Experts think that the hacked twitter account and other accounts that were hacked the same day may be linked to the LinkedIn security breach. The hackers followed up with responses on the NFL account, and Roger Goodell seemed to take the hoax in stride, posting a humorous response.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 11, 2016 1:27 PM.

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