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Week in Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

U.S. and Britain Issue Russian Cyberattack Warning

The U.S. and British government issued a joint warning about Russian cyberattacks against government and private organizations and individual homes and offices. The warning said that the Russians were seeking to exploit internet connected devices around homes and businesses to support espionage, extract intellectual property, and lay the foundation for future offensive operations.


CIA Director Pompeo Secretly Met With Kim Jong-un In North Korea

President Trump sent CIA Director Mike Pompeo to North Korea to lay the groundwork for upcoming meetings with the reclusive countries leader Kim Jong-un. Pompeo has been dealing with North Korea through back-channels ever since Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un last month.


Independent-Minded New York Prosecutors Pose Risk For President Trump

Career prosecutors in the Southern District of New York's public corruption unit pose a risk for President Trump in the investigation of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen. The Southern District, which has a reputation for being independent, poses a greater threat to Trump than others. The unit, which has a track record of convicting politicians on both sides of the aisle, is even more unrestrained in its investigation as the Attorney General for the Southern District, Geoffrey Berman, recused himself from it.


Cohen Judge Yet to Decide Who Can View Raided Documents

The judge overseeing the battle over what to do with the documents seized from attorney Michael Cohen's office has not decided on who will get access to the documents and when. Judge Kimba Wood did not grant President's Trump attorney's request to review the documents, but has also not given access to the prosecutors.


Lawyer Apologizes for Leaving the World Early Then Set Himself on Fire

Nationally known civil rights lawyer David Buckel, who killed himself in Prospect Park, sent text messages and emails to friends and family apologizing for leaving the world early and leaving big challenges to tackle for those who remained. Buckel said in his suicide letter that he set himself on fire to make a statement about people protecting the environment.


Trump Declines Further Russian Sanctions

President Trump rejected any further sanctions on Russia for its involved with the chemical weapons program in Syria. The decision came after United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley announced that the U.S. would place sanctions on Russian companies helping with Syria's weapons program.


Sean Hannity Named as Michael Cohen's Client

Michael Cohen, President Trump's lawyer, named Fox News host Sean Hannity as one of his clients in a court hearing regarding an FBI raid on Cohen's office. Hannity was put on the defensive after this revelation because of his ardent support for Trump. Some critics of Hannity and media watchdogs believe that he should have been open with his viewers and disclosed his relationship with Cohen.


Chemical Weapons Inspectors Block from Syrian Site

Chemical weapons inspectors sent to the site of Syria's alleged chemical weapons attack were blocked from entering the site by the Syrian government, raising suspicions that the Syrians and Russians were cleaning the area of any evidence of an attack.


Tech Companies Set Principles For Cyberattacks

Major technology companies, including Microsoft and Facebook, announced a set of principles that the companies would follow in the event of a cyberattack on a country or its individuals. The principles include not helping any government mount a cyberattack against innocent civilians and enterprises and a commitment to come to the aid of any nation being attacked, whether the motive is criminal or geopolitical. Google, Apple, and Amazon have not signed the principles, and none of the signatories come from countries most responsible for cyberattacks, like Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China.


New York A.G. Seeks Power to Punish Those Pardoned By President

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders to close a loophole in New York's double jeopardy law that shields recipients of a presidential pardon from state prosecution. Schneiderman claims that New York's current law allows defendants pardoned for serious federal crimes to be free from all accountability under state criminal law.


Supreme Court Divided on Online Sales Taxes

It is unclear whether the Supreme Court will reach the five votes necessary to overturn a 1992 decision Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, which barred states from collecting sales taxes from companies that do not have a substantial connection to the state. The Court is considering a case that challenges the ban on sales tax collection.


U.S. Limit Chinese Tech Firms

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on a rule that would prevent federally subsidized telecommunications carriers from using suppliers deemed to pose a risk to American national security. The decision takes direct aim at Chinese tech companies and intensifies the already testy relationship between China and the U.S.


Guiliani Joins Trump Legal Team

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani will join President Trump's personal legal team. Trump has had problems recruiting and keeping top legal talent to help defend him in the Mueller investigation.


Men Arrested at Starbucks Hope to Ignite Race Discussion

The two black men arrested for sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks hope to ensure that the situation doesn't happen again. Donte Robison and Rashon Nelson told ABC's Good Morning America that they hope that the incident would spur dialogue about race.


AT&T Chief Attacks Justice Department's Lawsuit Blocking Time Warner Merger

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson attacked the Justice Department's lawsuit seeking to block the company's merger with Time Warner, saying that the
merger was a "vision deal" that the company needed to compete against tech companies.


Baby Makes History on Senate Floor

10-day old Maile Pearl Bowlsbey become the first infant to ever be brought onto the Senate floor, when her mother, Senator Tammy Duckworth, brought her to work. The Senate voted unanimously to change its rules to allow both male and female senators to bring babies up to one year old onto the Senate floor.


Audit Firm Approved Facebook's Policy

Auditing firm PWC, which was put in charge of monitoring Facebook's privacy protections for federal regulators, told the FCC that the company had sufficient privacy protections in place, ever after the firm lost control of a huge amount of user data to firm Cambridge Analytica. The report effectively gave Facebook approval for its policies.


Justice Department Refers Former FBI Director to Federal Prosecutors

The Justice Department's inspector general asked federal prosecutors to review finding that former FBI deputy directors Andrew McCabe misled investigators about his role in providing information to the media before the 2016 election.


Hundreds of Children Taken From Parents at U.S. Border

A New York Times report claims that more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents at the U.S. border. Homeland security officials said that they separate the children from the adults to "protect the best interests of minor children...if we cannot ascertain the parental relationship."


Wells Fargo Settles with Feds for $1 Billion

Wells Fargo will pay federal regulators $1 billion to settle investigations into its mortgage and auto-lending practices. The bank was accused of forcing customers into buying products and paying fees that were either unnecessary or caused by the banks own failures.


Justice Department Investigating Wireless Collusion Claim

The Justice Department is investigating AT&T and Verizon to determine whether they colluded to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.


Russia and China Are Threats Says U.S. State Department

The State Department labeled Russia and China threats to global stability for their poor human rights records. The label comes in a mandated report cataloging human rights problems around the world.


The Democratic National Party Sues Russia, Trump, and Wikileaks

The Democratic National Party sued the Russian government, Trump campaign, and Wikileaks alleging far-reaching conspiracy theories to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign. The complaint alleges that top Trump officials conspired with Russia to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.


North Korea to Stop Nuclear Tests and Scrap Test Sites

The North Korean government said that it would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site and pursue economic growth and peace ahead of summits with South Korea and the United States.


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


Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer

Rapper Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album "Damn". Lamar is the first rapper to win the Pulitzer, and "Damn" is the first non-jazz or classical work to win the award. The Pulitzer committee called the album "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life."


Judge Allows Quaalude Testimony in Cosby Trial

The judge in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial will allow jurors to hear Cosby's previous statements about obtaining Quaaludes as part of his efforts to have sex with women. Cosby is accused of molesting Andrea Constand in 2004, and made the statement in a deposition related to the 2005 civil suit filed by Constand. Cosby's lawyers unsuccessfully argued that his statement that he used Quaaludes in the 1970's doesn't have any relevance to an incident that occurred in 2004.


Cosby Witness Testifies That Accuser Discussed Plans to Frame a Celebrity

A star witness for Bill Cosby testified that Cosby accuser Constand once remarked about how easy it would be to fabricate charges against a celebrity to get money. Marguerite Jackson, who was once the director of operations for Temple University's women's basketball team, said Constand made the comments while they were watching television in a hotel room on a road trip. Two toxicologists also offered competing testimony as to whether Constand was given Benadryl by Cosby, as is claimed. The defense also showed the jury documents claiming that Cosby was traveling at the time of the alleged assault.




Meek Mill Gets Prosecutors Support

The Philadelphia district attorney's office supported Imprisoned rapper Meek Mill's request for a new trial. The DA's office said that Mill's 2008 conviction on drug and weapons charges should be vacated because the arresting officer's credibility was in question. Mill is serving two to four years in prison for violating his parole, which included an arrest for reckless driving in New York City.


No Charges in Prince's Death

Prosecutors declined to file any criminal charges in Prince's overdose death cause by the drug fentanyl, saying that there was no evidence showing how Prince obtained the counterfeit pills found in his system.


"Smallville" Actress Charged with Sex Trafficking

Actress Allison Mack was arrested and charged with recruiting women into a secret society in which they were forced to have sex with self-help guru Keith Raniere. Mack allegedly recruited the women by saying they were joining a female mentorship group, which turned out to be a secret society run by Raniere, where the women were required to provide information about family and friends, nude photos, and rights to their assets as collateral in case they left the group.


Germany Rap Due with Anti-Jewish Lyrics Causes Fury After Winning Award

Popular German rap due Farid Bang and Kollegah's receipt of Germany's Echo Music Award has caused an uproar in Germany because of the duo's anti-Jewish lyrics. The rapper's lyrics include boasting about how their bodies are "more defined than Auschwitz prisoners" and vowing to "make another Holocaust, show up with a Molotov."


Video Music Awards Returning to New York

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration reached an agreement with MTV to bring its Video Music Awards (VMAs) back to New York City this summer. The last time the VMA's were staged in New York was 2016, after being held in Los Angeles.



Contested Mockingbird Producer Offers to Stage Performance for the Judge

Scott Rudin, the producer of Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird", offered to stage a single performance for the judge hearing the case that pits novelist Harper Lee's estate against Sorkin. Lee's estate claims that Sorkin's version of the play deviates too much from the original novel. Rudin filed a $10 million counter suit claiming that Lee's estate has damaged his ability to produce the show and questions the conduct, qualifications, and motivations of the executor of the estate, Tonja B. Carter.


rudinplay memo.pdf

Top Art Collector Sues Over Failed Delivery of Sculptors

Steven Tananbaum sued art star Jeff Koons and his dealer Gagosian Gallery for improper business practice in New York for their failure to deliver three sculptures, even after Tananbaum paid millions of dollars. Koons's work takes years to create, so he takes money up front from collectors. The suit claims that this practice is unethical and littered with corruption.


"Fearless Girl" Statue Being Moved to Stock Exchange

The popular statue of a little girl staring down the iconic "Charging Bull" statue in downtown Manhattan will be moved to the front of the New York Stock Exchange. The "Fearless Girl" statue by sculptor Kristen Visbal and commissioned by State Street Global Advisors was installed in front of the Bull in 2017 on the eve of International Women's Day, and was accompanied by calls for companies to increase the number of women on corporate boards. The artist behind the "Charging Bull" statue complained that it infringed on his work.


Noble Panel Found Unacceptable Behavior By Panelist But No Illegal Conduct

The panel for the Noble Prize found "unacceptable behavior" by one of its panelists, but nothing illegal. Photographer and married member of the academy Jean-Claude Arnault was accused of sexual assault and harassment.


Sims Statue Removed From Central Park

The statue of Dr. James Sims, a pioneer in the practice of gynecology, has been removed from Central Park. The decision to remove the statue came from the city's Public Design Commission, which was created to review all public monuments in the city following protests across the country over Confederate statues. Sims was a 19th century surgeon who conducted experiments on women, usually enslaved women of color.


New Washington D.C. Police Training Requires Tours of African American Museum

The Washington D.C. Police Department is requiring all officers to spend a day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, hoping to educate police officers about black history, and teach them about historical interactions between law enforcement and communities of color.


Chinese Antiquities Stolen From Bath Museum

Four masked men broke into the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, England, and stole precious jade and gold artifacts, as well as many other items. The men smashed a first-floor window and broke into display cases and removed the objects. The break in comes six years after three men tried to steal items while visiting the museum.


Landmarks Chairwoman Steps Down

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan announced that she would resign after nearly four years at the post. Srinivasan had faced opposition to her proposed rule changes, including removing some landmark decisions from public view, that critics said would weaken protections for historic buildings.


German and French Culture Ministers Meet to Discuss Common Projects, Concerns

The German and French culture ministers met to discuss common projects and concerns, including the collection of African art from the colonial era. Germany has been under increased pressure to display and recognize African art, after French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to put African art in French museums on display in African cities.


German Theater Offers Free Tickets for Swastika Wearing Audience Members

A German theater doing a satirical production of Hitler's Mein Kampf is giving away free tickets to audience members if they show up and wear clothing bearing a swastika for the entire productions. Paying members are encouraged to wear a Star of David. Author-director Serdar Somuncu said he wanted the performance to begin the moment tickets were purchased. About a dozen audience members have worn swastikas.



Fallout from Acquittal in Irish Rugby Rape Case Continues

The fallout from the March rape acquittal of two professional rugby players in Ireland continues. The players, Paddy Jackson and Ulster Olding had their rugby contracts canceled, thus ending their professional careers in Ireland. Supports of the players are adamant that the players should be allowed to continue to play since they were clear of the assault. Critics say the acquittal, and the evidence produced at trial, raised questions about the attitude of sex and consent among Irish men.


FIFA Charges Russia With Fan Racism

FIFA charged World Cup host Russia with fan racism, less than two months before the tournament starts, after monkey chants were aimed at black French players during a match last month in St. Petersburg. FIFA said disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Russian Football Union.


Armstrong Agrees to Settle Government Lawsuit

Lance Armstrong agree to pay $5 million to settle the government's civil fraud lawsuit against him. The government sought $100 million for his use of a banned substance when the United States Postal Service sponsored him.


Pair Pulls Off Upset In Boston Marathon

Desiree Linden became the first American female runner to win the Boston marathon in 33 years, and Yuki Kawauchi became the first Japanese man since 1987 to win the race. Both runners faced headwinds of about 10 miles per hour, cold temperatures, and rain to pull off the upset.


Famed Gymnastic Coaches Deny Knowing of Nassar Assaults

Bela and Martha Karolyi, who ran the Karolyi Ranch gymnastic training center where Larry Nassar abused young female gymnasts, both denied ever knowing what Nassar was doing. The Karolyis said on the "Today" show that if the parents of the girls, who were in the room at the time of the alleged assaults, didn't know what was going on, how could they.



Comey Launches All-Out War With Trump

In an interview with ABC News publicizing his new book, former F.B.I. director James Comey called President Trump a serial liar who treated women like meat and that he was "morally unfit to be president." Trump responded to Comey, tweeting that the latter was a "slimeball" and "the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!"


Former Playboy Model Allowed to Discuss Alleged Trump Affair

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an affair with President Trump, was freed to discuss her story after she was released from a contract she signed prohibiting her from talking about the affair. The National Enquirer paid McDougal $150,000 for her story in 2016, but never ran it. McDougal filed a lawsuit to invalidate the contract.


Chinese Residents Protest Gay-Themed Social Media Censoring

Chinese citizens protested Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, after it announced that it would "clean up" gay, pornographic, and violent content from the site. With hashtags like "I am gay, not a pervert," protesters were able to force Sina Weibo to change its decision to include gay content in its clean up.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 23, 2018 9:34 AM.

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