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Week in Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

President Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh For The Supreme Court

Judge Kavanaugh, 53, is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, former aide to President George W. Bush, and onetime investigator of President Bill Clinton. Democrats, who view Judge Kavanaugh as an archconservative, who would roll back abortion rights, undo health care protections, ease gun restrictions, and protect President Trump against the threat of indictment, have begun to mount their battle to defeat the nomination.




Special Counsel Indicts 12 Russian Agents

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein issued a 29-page indictment against 12 Russian military officers accused of interfering with the 2016 presidential election days before President Trump's scheduled meeting with President Putin of Russia.


President Trump's Visit To Britain

During his visit to Britain, President Trump gave an interview to The Sun, in which he undercut Prime Minister Theresa May for her handling of the issue of how Britain should cut ties to the European Union; implied unwillingness to negotiate a new trade deal between Britain and the U.S., and praised May's political rival, Boris Johnson, as a potentially great prime minister. The following day, Trump said that May was doing a "fantastic job" and blamed the news media for the scandal.



Dan Coats States That U.S. Digital Infrastructure Is Under Attack Daily

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats stated that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state, and local government agencies, and U.S. businesses. He compared the warning signs to those U.S. faced before the September 11th terrorist attacks.


U.S. Government Settles Suit With Downloadable Gun Creator

The US government settled a lawsuit with a Texas man, who created online instruction manuals for an untraceable, unregistered firearm without a serial number that can be made by anyone with a 3-D printer. Pro-gun-control activists are alarmed at the implications.


Papa John's Founder Pulled From Company's Marketing Materials After a Racial Slur

Papa John's founder, John Schnatter, was removed as the face of the company in marketing materials and is no longer the company's board chairman after accusations that he made a racial slur in a comment about black people during a conference call in May. Schnatter also issued an apology for his comment.



In China, Has Facial Recognition Turned Into Big-Brother-esque Mass Surveillance?

China's police and security state have been enthusiastic about embracing facial recognition and artificial intelligence technology. A pilot project is underway to connect the security cameras that already scan roads, shopping malls and transport hubs with private cameras on compounds and buildings, with a goal to spot suspicious behaviors and even predict crime. Private companies are encouraging staff to use their technology and are tracking the comings and goings of their employees.



Chinese Engineer Caught Stealing Apple's Intellectual Property

Former Apple hardware engineer, Xiaolang Zhang, downloaded the company's secret plans for a self-driving car and attempted to flee to his native China.


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


Weinstein Released on Bail; Meanwhile, His Brother Leaves Weinstein Company

Harvey Weinstein was released on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty in New York State Supreme Court on sexual assault charges. Justice James Burke denied the prosecution's request to order him held under house arrest despite evidence that Weinstein sold his home in Connecticut without telling the prosecutors. Bob Weinstein, chairman of the bankrupt film and television studio, stepped down from the board of the Weinstein Company in a planned exit as the company tries to rebuild.



New Rape Accusations Against Russell Simmons

Alexia Norton Jones accused hip-hop mogul and co-founder of Def Jam Russell Simmons of raping her in his Manhattan apartment after a date in November 1990. Mr. Simmons denied Ms. Norton Jones' allegations and his representative released a statement from the mogul's driver, who claimed he drove the pair on 10 to 12 dates in or about 1990. More than a dozen women have reportedly previously accused Mr. Simmons of sexual misconduct, harassment and rape.


XXXTentacion Signed Album Deal Before His Death

20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed last month, signed an album deal worth about $10 Million with Empire, an independent music company, a few weeks before his death. The artist also apparently had finished a significant amount of material. Meanwhile, Florida police arrested Michael Boatwright, 22, who is the second of two armed suspects who confronted XXXTentacion in his car the afternoon of his death in Deerfield Beach, Florida, attempting to rob him.



Johansson Withdraws From Playing A Transgender Role Following Backlash

Actress Scarlett Johansson withdrew from the role of transgender male Dante Tex Gill in an upcoming film about his life, "Rub & Tug", following backlash over a cisgender woman playing a transgender man.


First Transgender Woman To Compete At Miss Universe

Ángela Ponce, winner of Spain's national beauty contest, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. By competing, she seeks to challenge traditional concepts of gender and beauty.


Beauty Contestant Returns Crown After Hearing A #MeToo Joke On Stage at Miss Massachusetts Competition

Maude Gorman resigned from her title of Miss Plymouth County 2018 after hearing a controversial skit onstage at the final Miss Massachusetts competition, which made light of the #MeToo movement. The Miss Massachusetts Board of Directors offered an apology and stated that the skit was not in the script.


The "Slav" Show Will Go On Despite Backlash

Quebec theaters will not cancel "Slav", a "theatrical odyssey based on slave songs," performed by white actors, despite accusations of racial myopia.



Art and Cultural Heritage

Ninth Circuit Rules On California Resale Royalties Act

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the majority of the provisions of the California Resale Royalties Act, which purported to give artists a 5% royalty for secondary market sales of their artwork, finding that the Act conflicted with the federal Copyright Act. The federal bill to grant artists resale rights in the U.S. has not gained much traction so far.


"Distress" Flag Mural Under Review

The upside-down flag was painted on the Tijuana side of the U.S.-Mexico border fence by a group of deported military veterans to raise awareness of their struggle to receive benefits and return to the U.S. The practice of displaying a flag upside-down is a signal of distress "in instances of extreme danger to life or property". U.S. Customs and Border Protection are evaluating whether to remove the mural amid the national debate over this administration's immigration policy.



Dali Foundation Sues California Museum Over Use Of Artist's Name And Image

The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, which controls the artist's intellectual property rights for the Kingdom of Spain, sued the museum Dalí17 in Monterey, California, over the use of Dali's likeness in the museum's logo and the alleged unauthorized use of Dali's work on the museum's website, merchandise and on social media.


Leading Art World Figures Speak Out Against President Trump's Policies As He Visits The UK

Norman Rosenthal, former exhibitions secretary at London's Royal Academy of Arts, stated that past shows at Blenheim Palace by politically prominent artists Ai Weiwei and Jenny Holzer were "severely compromised" by Trump's banquet at the venue. Other British art world figures also expressed their discontent for Trump's policies. The activist behind the inflatable Trump Baby that was flown above Parliament during the Trump's visit announced that the blimp will go on a world tour.


Canadian Museum Changes The Conversation Over Native Art

Art Gallery of Ontario has decided to remove the word "Indian" from artworks and devote nearly one third of the museum space to indigenous artists. It recently renamed Emily Carr's painting, originally titled "Indian Church," on the grounds that the old terminology ''denigrates and discriminates.'' The museum's J.S. McLean Center for Indigenous and Canadian Art rendered wall texts for all the works first in Anishinaabe, one of the oldest North American languages.


Sales of Banksy's Works Approach Record Highs As The Artist's Exhibition Opens In London

Within hours of the opening of Banksy's "greatest hits" exhibition in London, three works were sold for between £500,000 and £1.5 million. Banksy's most expensive work previously sold is a spot painting by Damien Hirst that Banksy stenciled over; it sold for $1.9 million (£970,000) at Sotheby's New York in 2008.


Art Basel Owner To Launch A Fair In Singapore Next Year

MCH Group, owner of the Art Basel franchise, is launching an art event ART SG in Singapore next Fall in a joint venture with Sandy Angus of
Angus Montgomery Arts and the events organizer Tim Etchells.


Art Exhibit Gets Results

Beijing's artist and activist Brother Nut filled thousands of Nongfu Spring water bottles with filthy groundwater from Xiaohaotu, a village in central China, and put them on display at an art gallery in Beijing's popular 798 Art District to draw attention to the village's pollution problem. The authorities in Shaanxi, the province in which the village is situated, opened an investigation into the water quality.



Possible Match-Fixing At Wimbledon

In Wimbledon, the first-round men's doubles match involving David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco losing to João Sousa and Leonardo Mayer was flagged for suspicious activity when a series of bets were made within an hour before the start of the match and from accounts with a history of betting on suspicious matches. With sports betting recently allowed in the U.S., some wonder if American sports are now facing the risk of match-fixing that has been plaguing European sports.



Baylor University Settles Alleged Gang Rape Suit

Baylor University settled the federal Title IX lawsuit brought by a former volleyball player, who claimed that she was drugged and gang raped by up to 8 Bears' football players in 2012, and that the school mishandled her complaint and allowed a "rape culture" to persist.



National Football Players' Union Files Grievance Over National Anthem Policy

The union filed a grievance against the National Football League (NFL), claiming that the NFL imposed its national anthem policy without consultation with the NFL Players' Association, the policy is inconsistent with the collective league's bargaining agreement and infringes on players' rights. The policy, adopted in May 2018, allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room, but not by sitting or taking a knee on the field or on the sidelines.


Union Director Suggests That National Basketball Association, and Not the Players, Are To Blame For Imbalance

Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) players' union, commented that the spike in salary cap, allowing teams salary cap space to sign free agents, is not to blame for the recent claims that the NBA is becoming lopsided. She pointed out that there have always been dominant teams in the NBA, and they come in cycles.


Brandon Browner Charged With Attempted Murder

Former Patriots' cornerback Brandon Browner was charged with attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend after he allegedly broke into her home in La Verne, California.


LeSean McCoy Denies Accusations Of Assault On Women

The Buffalo Bills' running back denied accusations of abuse made against him on social media after a purported photograph of his former girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, with a bloodied face, was posted on Instagram.



Charles Oakley Arrested For Gambling Fraud

Former NBA player Charles Oakley was arrested by Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Agents at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on suspicion of adding to or reducing his wager on a gambling game after the outcome was known.


Kellen Winslow Jr. Is Charged With Another Rape

Former Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was charged with rape of an unconscious 17-year-old female in a San Diego home in 2003. Winslow will also stand trial for alleged kidnapping and rape of two women in their 50s.




Federal Government Mounts A New Effort To Unravel AT&T-Time Warner Deal

The Department of Justice filed its notice of appeal of the federal court's decision, which rejected the government's argument that AT&T's $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner would harm competition and consumers.


Twitter Deletes Accounts Of Fake Followers

Twitter is purging its platform of fake accounts in an effort to restore the trust in its platform and the power of influence. As a result, some celebrities/influencers lost over a million followers.


Billboard's Top Executive Resigns After Claims Of Suppression Of Coverage Of Harassment Allegations Against Charlie Walk

John Amato, the CEO of Billboard, resigned in light of an investigation into handling the coverage of harassment allegations in the music industry. In May, the Daily Beast reported claims that Billboard's CEO suppressed articles critical of Charlie Walk, a record executive accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.


Facebook Faces £500,000 Fine In the UK For Misuse Of Data

The British Information Commissioner's Office, an independent government agency that enforces the country's data-protection laws, levied the maximum possible fine of £500,000, or about $660,000, against Facebook for allowing the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the information of millions of people without their consent.



Two Reuters Reporters Will Be Tried In Myanmar

Reuters reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, will stand trial in Myanmar for allegedly violating state secrets when they reported on a massacre of members of Rohingya Muslim minority. The matter is being condemned as an attempt by Myanmar to stifle free press in the country.


Iranian Teenager Arrested For Dancing On Instagram

Maedeh Hojabri, a teenager from Iran, was arrested for dancing in an Instagram video to western pop and rap music without wearing a hijab, which is required in public.


BBC Works To Close the Gender Pay Gap But Top Earners Are Still Mostly Men

Last week, the BBC released a list detailing the pay of its top talent. The top highest paid presenters are men. Only two women ranked in the top 20. While the BBC has committed to closing the gender pay gap, some comment that the speed of change is glacial.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 16, 2018 10:23 AM.

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