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August 5, 2018

Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Dow Chemical's "Dioxin Lawyer" Tapped to Take Over Superfund Program

The lawyer tapped by the Trump administration to run the Superfund toxic cleanup program spent 19 years leading Dow Chemical's strategy for such sites. Peter C. Wright, the self-described "dioxin lawyer", negotiated cleanups on behalf of the chemical company but has been criticized for delays, testing lapses, and other issues during those negotiations. Wright currently works as an advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the program.


Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Former FEMA Personnel Chief Sent to Inspector General

Allegations against former FEMA chief of personnel have been referred to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. In a statement, FEMA's Administrator said the allegations of sexual misconduct against ex-Chief Component Human Capital Officer Corey Coleman "are deeply disturbing and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at FEMA." Coleman was appointed to the agency in 2011.


Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller

Despite their objections, President Trump continues to push his lawyers to reach an agreement with the special counsel's office about sitting for an interview.


Mueller Refers Three People to N.Y. Prosecutors Over Foreign Lobbying

Robert Mueller has referred at least three cases to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York over whether several American lobbyists and others failed to register as foreign agents. Those referred include Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig. There is no indication whether any criminal charges will be brought.


States to Fight Auto Emission Rollback

Nineteen states vowed to fight President Trump's proposal to weaken fuel efficiency standards. The administration claims that the proposed rollback of President Obama's fuel efficiency standards would help car companies and lower vehicle prices. Critics claim that it would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices. The proposal would also strip California of its authority to set its own strict vehicle emissions standards.


Democratic Sen. Manchin Met With Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia was the first Democrat to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Manchin, a vulnerable candidate in the midterm elections, met the candidate for two hours and called the meeting "very productive."


Apple is the First Public Company to Hit $1 Trillion Valuation

Apple became the first public company to hit a $1 trillion market cap.


Australian Senator Sues Over Senate Floor Remarks

A female Australian senator sued a fellow senator for defamation over comments made about her on the floor of the Senate during a debate about violence against women. Senator David Leyonhjelm told Sarah Hanson-Young to "stop shagging men" during a debate on relaxing restrictions on the import of pepper spray. Senator Leyonhjelm later told media outlets: "That Senator Hanson-Young took offense from my comments is an issue for her, not me. However, I am prepared to rephrase my comments. I strongly urge Senator Hanson-Young to continue shagging men as she pleases."


Cambodians Protest Election With Inadmissible Ballots

Cambodian voters protested what most Western governments called a sham general election by defacing or otherwise invalidating their ballots. Rather than vote for the Cambodian People's Party, the party of the longtime prime minister, over 600,000 voters (8.6%) cast inadmissible ballots. This is in contrast to only 180,000 inadmissible ballots cast in the last general election. The Cambodian government outlawed the main opposition party in the election.


India Excludes Millions from Citizenship List

Indian authorities left 4 million people off a citizen registry list in the northeast border state of Assam. Assam shares a porous border with Bangladesh and there is growing anger over illegal immigration in the state. Proponents of the registry say that it will help root out illegal immigrants, but has prompted fears of possible deportation of Muslims.


No Conclusion On Disappearance of Flight 370

The Malaysian government released a nearly 500 page report on the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which offered no conclusion as to what happened to the flight or what caused it to go off course, cease radio contact, and vanish with all 239 people on board.


Mnangagwa Declared Victor in Zimbabwe's Presidential Election

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who received 51% of the vote, was declared the winner of Zimbabwe's presidential election. Opposition party members were escorted out of the electoral commission room before the final vote was announced amid claims of vote-rigging. Protest and violence broke out in the capital of Harare after Mnangagwa was declared the winner.


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


Billboard Looks to Improve Internal Culture

Months after Billboard's top executive John Amato left the company over allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate comments, management at the company is trying to reinforce and reiterate its corporate values and assure employees that it will improve the office culture. At a recent employee meeting, management answered questions about executive behavior and women's role in the company, among others.



Temporary Restraining Order Issued to Halt 3-D Guns

A federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked a Texas based company from publishing 3D blueprints for plastic guns. The guns, which are untraceable, can be made by a 3D printer. Defense Distributed had previously settled with the U.S. State Department in June, thereby allowing it to provide online tutorials about how to make the guns. The company has already released some blueprints on the internet.


Thieves Steal Sweden's Royal Jewels

Thieves stole a priceless gold crown and orb dating back to 1611 from a Swedish cathedral in a brazen smash and grab heist. The thieves used stolen bicycles and a high-powered boat or jet-skis to get away. Police say the stolen pieces are "impossible to sell" because they are so unique.



National Football League Concussion Claims Reach $500M

The National Football League (NFL) has approved more than $500 million in claims related to a concussion settlement. The settlement, reached in January 2017, resolved thousands of lawsuits accusing the NFL of hiding the risks associated with repeated concussion and covered players who develop Lou Gehrig's disease, dementia, and other neurological problems. The NFL had originally estimated that $400M in claims would be paid in the first decade.


Ohio State Places Meyer on Administrative Leave

Ohio State University put head football coach Urban Meyer on administrative leave after allegations surfaced that he knew about a 2015 domestic violence incident involving one of his coaches. The former coach, Zach Smith, was arrested in 2015 for felonious assault and domestic violence of his then-wife. Meyer previously denied knowing anything about the incident, but text messages revealed that his wife and others knew about the abuse. Smith was fired by Ohio State in July after reports of the 2015 incident surfaced.


Wrestlers Inspired by the #Metoo Movement Come Forward With Their Own Abuse Stories

Over 100 men have come forward to say they were molested by an Ohio State University team doctor between the 1970s and 1990s. Some of the wrestlers and other victims say the #Metoo movement helped inspire them to come speak about their abuse. The doctor, Richard Strauss, committed suicide in 2005. Three lawsuits have been filed against Ohio State, accusing it of enabling a sexual predator.



Judge Tosses Seth Rich Lawsuits

A federal judge dismissed two defamation lawsuits related to the murder of Democratic aide Seth Rich. One of the lawsuits filed by Rich's parents alleged that Fox News caused emotional distress and engaged in "extreme and outrageous conduct" when it published a later-redacted story about Rich being the source of Democratic National Committee email leaks. The judge dismissed the suit, saying that the parents had not been defamed by the story. Another suit brought by investigator and TV commentator Rod Wheeler against Fox News and others claiming defamation for a story in which Wheeler was quoted as saying he had information linking Rich to Wikileaks was also dismissed. The judge said that Wheeler had not proved that he had been misquoted and had also given his consent to the article's publication.


New York Times Publisher and President Clash Over Journalism

President Trump and the New York Times (NYT) Publisher A. G. Sulzberger publicly clashed over Trump's threats against journalism. President Trump has repeatedly accused the NYT and other papers of putting lives at risk with irresponsible reporting. President Trump said on Twitter that he and Sulzberger had discussed "the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!." However, Sulzberger said in a statement that he "told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous."


Facebook Identifies Political Influence Campaign Ahead of November Elections

Facebook said that it identified a political influence campaign aimed at disrupting the midterm elections. The social media company deleted 32 fake accounts and said some of the tools and techniques used by the deleted accounts were similar to those used a Kremlin linked group at the center of the 2016 presidential election. This comes as the Trump administration acknowledged a "real" threat of "pervasive" and ongoing efforts by the Russians to divide the American public.




Conspiracy Theorist Argues That Judge Should Toss Defamation Suit

The lawyer for conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones asked a judge in Texas to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Jones told his follows through his website InfoWars that the shooting was "staged" in an effort to tighten restrictions over firearms. The parents of one of the victims filed the suit, claiming that they have been harassed and subjected to death threats by Jones' followers.



Condé Nast Plans to Sell Three Magazines

Struggling magazine publisher Condé Nast has put three of its magazines up for sale as it struggles to compete in the age of digital media. Brides, Golf Digest, and W magazines have all been put up for sale by the company in a cost-saving measure. The company will also lease six of its 23 floors at 1 World Trade Center.


U.K. Parliament Report Slams Facebook, Social Media

The U.K. Parliament called for increased oversight of social media companies and election campaigns. The committee report claims that social media and its data collection have created a crisis for democracies. The committee examined Facebook's use and flow of users' data and slammed CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company for "a continual reluctance...to conduct its own research on whether its organization has been used by Russia to influence others."


August 7, 2018

Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo Seeking Associate

Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, a top-ranking boutique entertainment law firm located in New York City, is seeking an associate with 2-5 years of experience and a superior academic background.

The ideal candidate will have meaningful corporate, entertainment, intellectual property and/or media law experience, in addition to excellent drafting and analytical skills, meticulous attention to detail, strong verbal and interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle a varied and high volume workload. Candidates without significant entertainment law experience but who otherwise have a substantial transactional background and a strong, long-term interest in entertainment may also be considered.

Candidates must be passionate about working in the entertainment business and be admitted to the New York Bar. Contact: mlonner@fwrv.com.

Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo has over 50 years of experience representing clients in the entertainment industry with a diverse practice ranging from the core entertainment areas of film, television, music, theater and literary publishing, to cutting edge developments in branded entertainment and digital media.

August 13, 2018

Week in Review

By Leslie Berman
Edited By Elissa Hecker


DeVos Ends Obama-Era Safeguards Aimed at Abuses by For-Profit Colleges

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos eliminated an Obama-era regulation that required for-profit colleges to prove that their students would be able to find competitive employment at reasonable wages. The "gainful employment" rule was to hold for-profit and career college programs accountable if they graduated unprepared students leaving them with poor job prospects and overwhelming debt, by revoking federal funding and access to financial aid.


U.S. to Issue New Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals' Poisoning

The Trump administration said it would soon impose new sanctions against Russia in response to the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy and his daughter who were living in England. The new sanctions would automatically deny any attempts by U.S. companies to obtain export licenses for anything with a potential national security purpose, such as gas turbine engines, electronics, integrated circuits, and testing and calibration equipment. Outside experts say that the actual amount of exports involved is fairly small, because the Obama administration had already banned exports of materials and equipment that could be used for military purposes.


Trump Says His Son Sought Information on Clinton From Russians in 2016

President Trump tweeted that Donald Trump Jr. had indeed met with Russians in 2016 to obtain information about Hillary Clinton, and said that it was "totally legal" and "done all the time in politics." The President had previously insisted that the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by Americans. President Trump also denied reports that he was concerned that his eldest son could be in legal trouble because of the meeting with the Russians, including a lawyer with Kremlin ties, repeating that he had not known about the meeting in advance. People close to the president believe that he may be increasing his legal jeopardy by continuing to speak publicly about sensitive matters, even as his campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia, and he himself is under scrutiny for possible obstruction of justice.



Steel Giants With Ties to Trump Officials Block Tariff Relief for Hundreds of Firms

Nucor and United States Steel, two of the U.S.'s largest steel manufacturers, have successfully objected to more than 1,600 tariff exemption requests by American companies that buy foreign steel. The steel giants with close ties to the administration have argued that the imported products are readily available from American steel manufacturers. To date, their efforts have resulted in denials for exemptions from companies that are based in the U.S. but rely on imported pipes, screws, wire, and other foreign steel products for their supply chains.


Judge Orders Migrants Returned to U.S. in Midst of Deportation Flight

Washington D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered an immigrant mother and daughter - two of 12 plaintiffs in a lawsuit by the ACLU challenging changes in asylum policies ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions - be brought back to the United States, after learning during a hearing to stay their deportation that they were already on a flight to El Salvador. Upon hearing of the deportation, Judge Sullivan ordered their flight returned and suggested that Sessions could be held in contempt of court. The lawsuit's plaintiffs had been fast tracked for deportation under a directive by Sessions that eliminated the fear of gangs and domestic violence as acceptable bases for seeking asylum. Removing these routes to asylum will have a disproportionate effect on tens of thousands of Central American women.



Judge Upholds Order for Trump Administration to Restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Judge John D. Bates of the D.C. Federal District Court upheld his previous order to revive the Obama-era program known as the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which shields 700,000 young immigrants from deportation, because the Trump administration had failed to justify ending the program within the 90-day window Judge Bates had ordered. The government was given 20 days to appeal this current decision. Another case to be decided soon in Texas may conflict with this ruling. Two other federal district judges, in Brooklyn and San Francisco, previously issued injunctions ordering the government to keep the program, however neither ruling required acceptance of new applications, as Judge Bates' ruling does. The earlier decisions are pending before appeals courts.


Some Separated Children Will Go Home, Despite Government's Failure to Act

Eight Guatemalan children were deported to join their parents who were deported without them, after the parents and children were separated by the Trump administration at the southern border. Their flight was arranged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the reunion effort has fallen to volunteers, activists, and lawyers around the country. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw had ordered the government to reunite more than 2,500 children with their families by July 26th, after the ACLU sued on behalf of separated parents. Nearly 400 of those children have been separated from parents already deported. The government did not meet that target date or come up with a reunification plan, but instead told the ACLU to come up with its own plan.


Trump Hits Turkey When It Is Down, Doubling Tariffs

President Trump announced that he would double the rate of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, inflicting additional pain on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is in the midst of an economic crisis. The President's abrupt and unilateral action came amid worsening relations with Turkey, which continues to detain an American pastor on espionage charges despite the U.S.'s insistence that he be released. The President's hostile tweet set off a flight of money from emerging markets.



Judge Rejects Drugmaker's Attempt to Block Nebraska Execution

A German pharmaceutical company brought suit attempting to block the execution in Nebraska of Carey Dean Moore, convicted in 1979 of killing two cabdrivers. Federal Judge Richard G. Kopf refused to block Nebraska's first execution since 1997, and its first execution by lethal injection, saying that to do so would thwart the will of the voters who brought back the death penalty in 2016. Fresenius Kabi, the pharmaceutical company, claimed that Nebraska had illegally obtained its drugs, which are to be used to execute Moore, contravening the company's contract with distributors that bans sales to prisons for executions.



Melania Trump's Parents Become U.S. Citizens, Using 'Chain Migration' Trump Hates

President Trump has repeatedly and vehemently denounced what he calls "chain migration," in which adult American citizens can obtain residency for their relatives. However, his Slovenian in-laws, Melania Trump's parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became United States citizens in a private ceremony by taking advantage of that same family-based immigration program.


Trump's Lawyers Counter Mueller's Interview Offer, Seeking a Narrower Scope

President Trump's lawyers and those from the office of the Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III have been negotiating for eight months about the terms of an interview with the President in the Russia investigation, and have once again rejected the Special Counsel's requested scope of the interview. The president's team countered with an offer that suggests a narrow path for answering questions. The president's lead lawyer in the case, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said, "We're restating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay."


Congressman Collins, Son Charged With Insider Trading

Republican Congressman Christopher Collins, one of President Trump's earliest supporters, was indicted on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and other crimes involving an Australian biotechnology company on whose board he served. Representative Collins was seeking a fourth two-year term in November's elections. At first he claimed that the charges were baseless and stated that he would run for re-election in November in his upstate New York district. A few days later he reversed his position and stated that he would withdraw from the race, and finish the rest of his term.



Before 'Unite the Right' Rally, Trump Does Not Condemn Supremacists

As white nationalists planned to mark the anniversary of last year's march in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counter-protestor, President Trump reprised the message he had posted then, by tweeting that he condemns all types of racism, but not specifically white supremacists. Just as last year, when President Trump blamed both right and left protesters for the violent actions that jarred most of the country, the president has proved reluctant to condemn specifically the acts of white supremacists, who were supportive of his candidacy.


'Unite the Right' Rally Planned Near White House; Hundreds Denounce Racism in Charlottesville

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered to denounce racism and hate groups in a park in Charlottesville, Virginia, to remember last year's counterdemonstration at a violent rally there at which a young woman was killed by a white supremacist, just hours before a planned white nationalist rally in front of the White House.


Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Rick Gates was the prosecution's star witness in Paul Manafort's trial on tax and bank fraud charges stemming from work they did together for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine. Gates, who was Manafort's protégé, turned against his mentor and agreed to a plea deal, which allowed him to divulge all the lurid details of his own and their joint criminal activity in a multiyear tax and bank fraud scheme. Gates testified that Manafort invented the scheme and that he, Gates, helped organize the paperwork for secret foreign bank accounts in the names of 15 shell companies, which he helped conceal "at Mr. Manafort's direction."


Manafort Lawyer Press Gates on 'Lies'

A lawyer for Paul Manafort cross-examined Gates, and said that Gates had told so many lies that he can't remember them all. The attorney focused on Gates' lies to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, as well as about an extramarital affair and hundreds of thousands of dollars he admitted to embezzling from his former boss.


Top Trump Campaign Aides Are Portrayed as Corrupt at Manafort Trial

The Manafort trial turned into a referendum on the character of two of President Trump's top campaign aides, as prosecutors cast Manafort as the architect of a sprawling swindle, and defense lawyers portrayed the prosecution's star witness as a thief, adulterer and liar. The testimony managed to further sully the reputations of both Manafort, Mr. Trump's campaign chairman for three months in mid-2016, and the witness, Gates, who was the deputy campaign chairman and later the executive director of Trump's inaugural committee.


Manafort Leaned on Ties to Trump to Win Loans, a Bank Official Testifies

Manafort sought millions of dollars of loans from Federal Savings Bank, a small Chicago bank. Federal Savings Bank's chairman, Stephen M. Calk, hoped to further his political ambitions and pushed the bank to loan Manafort $16 million, over the bank's top deputy's qualms about Manafort's ability to repay the loan.


When a Female C.E.O. Leaves, the Glass Ceiling Is Restored

Indra Nooyi's announced departure as chief executive of PepsiCo will leave only 24 women as chief executives of the top publicly traded companies in Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, accounting for just 4.8% of its leaders. Two other female chief executives, Denise M. Morrison of Campbell Soup and Irene Rosenfeld of the snack food maker Mondelez International, also recently resigned, and neither is being replaced by a woman. The numbers of women holding down top jobs are declining, even while attention has been focusing on gender diversity.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Bemoans a 'Divisive' Term, but Vows to Stick Around

For the last six years, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has given a State of the Supreme Court message. She delivered this year's message at a Duke Law School summer program in Washington, saying that the Court had fallen woefully short in its quest for consensus. The number of closely divided rulings had skyrocketed, she said, making up more than a third of the Court's signed decisions in argued cases. Justice Ginsburg also made clear that she plans to stick around. "Justice Stevens stepped down when he was 90," she said. "If I aspired to that same tenure, I'd have five more years to go."


Phone Calls From New York City Jails Will Soon Be Free

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a bill into law that will eliminate the phone call charges for those jailed in the New York City. The City had been collecting about $5 million per year from calls made by incarcerated people and their families. The Corrections Accountability Project, which advocated for the bill, noted that the Department of Corrections already provides free phone calls in certain circumstances: Indigent people could make three free phone calls per week, and sentenced inmates could make two per week. Now calls by all inmates will be free.


Elon Musk Says That Tesla May Go Private, and Its Stock Soars

After fluctuations in its stock's price became "distracting," Elon Musk tweeted that he is planning to take Tesla private, as the stock market that made his company worth more than $60 billion isn't worth the hassle. The buyout deal purportedly worth $72 billion might not succeed, and that would likely expose Musk and Tesla to class-action lawsuits from shareholders and potential legal trouble from the Securities and Exchange Commission.



Trump's Border Wall Could Waste Billions of Dollars, Report Says

The Government Accountability Office has published a report saying the Trump administration could waste billions of dollars on a border wall because it has failed to fully account for factors like varying terrain and land ownership along the Southwest border.


Trump Inaccurately Claims That California Is Wasting Water as Fires Burn

President Trump blamed California's wildfires on the state's environmental policies, and tweeted, inaccurately, that water that could be used to fight fires was being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. State officials and firefighting experts dismissed the president's comments. President Trump appeared to have confused the perennial dispute between farmers and environmentalists over how water should be allocated among irrigating crops and retaining rivers to protect fish stocks.



Iran and Its Leaders Brace for Impact of New U.S. Sanctions

Iranian citizens who can afford to, are buying gold to help ride out the economic drought that will come with the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions. The Iranian government has been preparing for the sanctions by hoarding foreign currency and cutting off unnecessary imports, while stocking up on others, such as the five 70-seat turboprop passenger planes built by an Italian and French consortium that landed at the capital's airport before the cutoff date. These new sanctions are a result of President's Trump's decision to withdraw from an international deal to limit Iran's nuclear program.



Canada Defiant After Saudi Arabia Freezes New Trade Over Human Rights Call

Canada denounced Saudi Arabia's arrests of more than a dozen high-profile campaigners for women's rights, and called for the release of civil society activists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis objected to what they called Canada's interference in their country's domestic issues, and retaliated by freezing new trade and investment and expelling the Canadian ambassador on 24-hours' notice. Riyadh also recalled its own ambassador from Canada. It was not clear whether the new trade ban would affect existing annual Saudi-Canadian trade of nearly $4 billion and a $13 billion defense contract. The Saudis also threatened to break off trade with other Western countries if they spoke out about political repression in Saudi Arabia.



Michelle Bachelet, Ex-President of Chile, Picked As Next United Nations Rights Chief

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has replaced the United Nations's outgoing Human Rights chief, Jordan's Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, with Michelle Bachelet, a prominent women's rights advocate and Chile's first woman president. Prince Zeid became one of the most forthright critics of abuses by governments in many countries, including the United States, during his four years as the high commissioner for human rights. Bachelet, who was imprisoned and tortured during Chile's right-wing dictatorship, became a pediatrician and politician.



For your convenience, the following stories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


Russian Authorities Stop Pussy Riot Member From Travelling to Edinburgh's Fringe Festival

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was blocked by the Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) from leaving Russia last week when she was on her way to Edinburgh's Fringe Festival to perform from her book Riot Days. In a tweet from Moscow's Domodedovo airport, she wrote that "the guys from the FSB border service told me that I am barred from leaving the country." Alyokhina and her Pussy Riot comrade Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison after being arrested and convicted of of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for their "punk prayer" against Vladimir Putin at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. The pair have since become activists for prisoners' rights, starting a news website called MediaZona that documents trials and abuses, and staging protests and performances against torture.



Ex-Nike Employees Sue Company, Alleging Unequal Compensation

Four women who worked for Nike filed a federal lawsuit in Portland, Oregon, alleging that the company violated state and U.S. equal-pay laws and fostered a work environment that allowed sexual harassment. Nike responded to earlier complaints about bad managers and unequal pay scales by ousting at least 11 executives, but the good old boys' culture in which women enter the company with lower pay and receive smaller raises and bonuses alledgedly continues.


Metropolitan Opera Reaches Deals With Unions for Singers, Musicians

The Metropolitan Opera (Met) has reached tentative labor agreements with the American Guild of Variety Artists, which represents principal singers, choristers, and production personnel, and with Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents the orchestra. Those deals must be ratified by the unions' members to remove the threat of a work stoppage. It is not known whether the agreements would allow for Sunday performances, which Met general manager Peter Gelb has repeatedly sought, as he believes that Sundays would draw better than weeknights. The Met has been struggling with its bottom line in recent years, and Moody's downgraded its credit rating in May.



How Robert Indiana's Caretaker Came to Control His Artistic Legacy

In a lawsuit filed one day before the pop artist's death in May, a business agent for Robert Indiana, famous for his oversize stacked letters sculptures LOVE and HOPE, claimed that Jamie L. Thomas, Indiana's caretaker, had purposely isolated the artist to enable a scheme by an art publisher, Michael McKenzie, to forge and sell multiple works falsely attributed to Indiana. Thomas, who held a variety of jobs on the island in Maine where Indiana had retreated decades ago, had ended up as Indiana's caretaker. Indiana's will named Thomas as executive director of a foundation that will control Indiana's art and his house, which is to be converted into a museum.


As Brexit Looms, Musicians Brace For the Worst

British and European classical musicians anticipate that Brexit will severely harm their industry, which relies on multinational touring and other benefits that flowed from European Union membership. The composer Howard Goodall posted comments to that effect on Twitter, and received at least 1.6 million views, about 8,500 retweets, and nearly 19,000 likes. In July, the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament, warned that the government's plans for life outside the European Union are worryingly vague, especially about immigration, saying that there could be grave repercussions for the cultural sector if it became harder for performers and creative artists to enter Britain. The European Union Youth Orchestra had long since announced that its administrative team would be leaving London for a new home in Ferrara, Italy. "You can't ask for E.U. funding and then not be in the E.U.," its chief executive, Marshall Marcus, said.


A Museum Held a Show of Protest Art. Then the Artists Protested the Museum.

A group of about 20 artists arrived at the Design Museum in London to remove their art from the exhibition "Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18," a show that traces the recent history of activist art and design, starting with Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster from Barack Obama's first presidential election campaign, through to a "Make America Great Again" baseball cap. The artists were upset that the Design Museum had rented its atrium to Leonardo, one of the world's largest aerospace and defense companies, for a drinks reception in July. Many of the artists in "Hope to Nope," including Fairey and Milton Glaser, the designer behind the "I ♥ NY" logo, expressed shock when they learned about the reception, and asked that their works to be removed from the museum.


With New Urgency, Museums Cultivate Curators of Color

The country's demographics are changing, and mainstream art museums that have excluded people of color from artist shows and curatorships are now eager to include them, to attract new audiences with diversity programming. In New York, a growing number of museums are addressing diversity with new urgency, as the City has linked funding to inclusion. More minority staff members are being hired in museums around the country, and they are offering paid internships and teaming with foundations and universities that fund curatorial jobs, to ensure that the next generation of leaders of color enter the pipeline.


A U.S. Collector Returned 12 Ancient Treasures to Thailand as Part of a Crackdown on Looted Artifacts

A dozen looted ancient artifacts believed to be between 1,800 and 4,300 years old, including decorated pottery and bronze jewelry, have been returned to Thailand, which has been campaigning in recent years for the return of smuggled treasures. The objects are believed to have been made by an ancient civilization in Ban Chiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northeast Thailand. The Thai government is currently investigating objects at several U.S. museums that are said to have been taken illegally from the country. The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has also removed two ancient lintels from display after finding evidence that they were stolen from temples in northeastern Thailand.


Malaysia Orders Pictures of LGBT Activists Removed From Exhibit

A Malaysian minister of Islamic Affairs, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, ordered the removal of portraits of two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from a public photography exhibition, as they "promoted" LGBT activities. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is routinely persecuted in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where sodomy is a crime and seen as a threat to the government and conservative values.


Petitions and Protests As Art World Rallies to Free Imprisoned Photographer Shahidul Alam

Artists, curators and writers have expressed their support for the Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, who has been detained and charged by police in Dhaka for criticizing the government's handling of road safety demonstrations that engulfed Dhaka. The Art Newspaper understands that a high court judge ordered the Bangladeshi government to take Alam--who says that he has been tortured in prison--to the hospital. He has since been returned to custody. The Kochi Biennale Foundation in India is urging supporters of the arts to sign a petition demanding that Alam be freed.



Hall of Famer Jim Brown Says That He Would Never Kneel During Anthem

Jim Brown, who has spent much of his post-National Football League (NFL) career fighting for social justice and change, says that he would never kneel during the national anthem. Brown championed civil rights during his playing career and became an activist in retirement. Nevertheless, the Hall of Famer said that while he respects players' rights to do as they choose, his preference is that they would stand during singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner".


Trump Blasts NFL Players as Protests Resume During Anthem

A handful of NFL players renewed their protests against social inequality and police brutality by raising fists or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem last week, and President Trump renewed his criticism of their actions.


Donald Trump and the Black Athlete

President Trump responded to National Basketball Association star LeBron James's measured criticisms with the tweet: "LeBron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made LeBron look smart, which isn't easy to do. I like Mike!" James' interview had been about his foundation that benefits at-risk youth by funding a non-charter school and provides college scholarships for Akron, Ohio public school graduates. In response to the tweet, Michael Jordan publicly stated that he supports James's efforts.


Urban Meyer Says That He Followed Protocols on Abuse Claim, Contradicting Earlier Denial

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer said that he had "followed proper reporting protocols and procedures" after learning of a 2015 incident in which a longtime assistant, Zach Smith, was accused of domestic abuse. However, in an eight-paragraph statement released on Twitter two days after Ohio State placed him on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, Meyer also said he had failed to be "clear, compassionate and, most of all, completely accurate" when he said last week that he had just become aware of the incident.



'It Can Happen Even to Guys': Ohio State Wrestlers Detail Abuse, Saying #UsToo

After Nick Nutter, an All-American heavyweight wrestler at Ohio State turned professional martial arts fighter, watched the young women, former gymnasts and Olympians, who took the stand in a Michigan courtroom to detail how their team doctor, Lawrence G. Nassar, had used his power to sexually abuse them, he could no longer bury the memories of his college team doctor's persistent abuse during medical examinations. Nutter called his former college teammates to ask, "Are you watching this stuff?'"


Maryland Suspends Football Coach D.J. Durkin After Report of Abuse

University of Maryland football coach, D.J. Durkin, has been placed on administrative leave while the university investigates accusations about mistreatment of players that surfaced after offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed during a May workout and died weeks later. The suspension followed an article by ESPN detailing a culture of fear, according to current and former players and staff members, who said that coaches and trainers commonly embarrassed and humiliated players. The sources of the accusations were anonymous.


Jets Linebacker Pleads Guilty to Drunken Driving in Crash

New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue pleaded guilty in Weehawken Municipal Court to DWI charges in connection with a wrong-way crash in the Lincoln Tunnel in which four people were injured. Three other charges were dismissed as part of his plea deal.


NASCAR Chairman France Takes Leave After DWI, Drug Arrest

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France announced that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following his arrest in the Hamptons on charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of Oxycodone. His arrest places NASCAR at a crossroads - the family-owned stock-car racing business has had declining television ratings and opaque finances that put off potential investors. France's leave of absence adds leadership instability to the business's woes. In May, Reuters reported that the France family was quietly exploring the possibility of selling NASCAR. No such news has been announced since then. France's uncle Jim France, a sizeable shareholder in the company, has taken over France's responsibilities.



Wake Forest Coach Is Arrested After Punch Leads to Man's Death in Queens

Jamill Jones, a Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach, was arrested in New York City after a Queens man whom the police say he punched died of his injuries. Wake Forest placed Jones on leave.



NCAA Alters Rules for Agents and Draft in Wake of Basketball Corruption Scandal

As the NCAA continues to grapple with the fallout from federal indictments that suggested extensive corruption in the recruiting process, the body has decided to allow college basketball players who declare for the NBA draft to hire agents, a move directly counter to the sports' longtime ban on agents. This change may also apply to certain high school athletes.


Star Athlete Is Injured in Egg Attack, and Italy Debates 'a Racism Emergency'

Daisy Osakue, a Nigerian immigrant and Italian track and field athlete, was attacked outside her apartment complex by young Italian men who threw eggs at her, including one that cut her cornea. Osakue is the most recent casualty in Italy's explosive debate over whether the country is becoming more racist under its new populist anti-immigrant government, or whether politically motivated liberals and a sensationalist media are unfairly sounding the alarm. After the assault, Osakue leveled accusations of racism on television, and her bandaged left eye was emblazoned across the cover of the national newspapers.


Checkmate Averted: U.K. Reversal Opens Door for Chess Prodigy, 9, to Stay Put

British authorities appear to have reversed their decision to deport a 9-year-old Chess prodigy, Shreyas Roya, and his family. Shreya's father's five-year work visa had expired, and he was told that it could not be extended once it expired in September. Britain's Home Office was not going to grant an exception, but then it informed the family that it could apply for a new visa based on Shreya's exceptional talent, waiving the requirement that such visas must be applied for from outside of Britain. Immigration law in Britain allows for visas to be granted to those with "exceptional talent" or in "certain areas of sport". Chess mastery apparently did not qualify as an exceptional talent in a sport.



Judge in AT&T Case Ignored 'Economics and Common Sense,' Says Government

The Justice Department criticized a judge for "erroneously ignoring fundamental principles of economics and common sense" in an argument made to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The government is making a second attempt to stop the $85.4 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. The central antitrust arguments presented by the Justice Department in the appeal were unchanged from the trial. The antitrust regulators say that the combination of a major distributor of entertainment with a creator of video content will harm competitors. It was argued that AT&T could threaten to withhold Time Warner content or charge higher prices from competitors, like Dish Network and Comcast, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in higher cable bills for consumers.


Free Speech Scholars to Alex Jones: You're Not Protected

Apple, Facebook, and Google removed the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his far-right news site Infowars from their various online platforms. Jones, among other conspiracy theories, has advanced the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was a performance by "crisis actors". Then Jones and his allies complained that he had been deprived of his First Amendment rights to free speech. The removal of Jones and Infowars came after months of mounting pressure on technology companies to tackle the spread of misinformation online. Scholars of free speech had already concluded that many of the things Jones has said online were not in fact protected by the First Amendment. However, having banned Jones and Infowars, following an outpouring of complaints that he was perpetrating hate speech, Facebook is in a quandary: Did Jones become popular through Facebook's algorithmic feeds and recommendation engines? If so, how could the platform be redesigned so that the next Jones remains on the ideological fringe?



With Alex Jones, Facebook's Worst Demons Abroad Begin to Come Home

Before there was Jones, there was Amith Weerasinghe, the Sri Lankan extremist who used Facebook as his personal broadcast station, to spread paranoia and hatred of the country's Muslim minority. Before Weerasinghe, there was Ashin Wirathu, the Myanmar extremist, whose Facebook hoaxes incited riots in 2014. Three years later, Wirathu would contribute to a wave of Facebook-based rumors and hate speech that helped inspire widespread violence against Myanmar's Rohingya minority. "Facebook doesn't seem to get that they're the largest news agency in the world," Harindra Dissanayake, a Sri Lankan official, said a few days after Weerasinghe's arrest.


Inside Twitter's Struggle Over What Gets Banned

At one of the social media company's policy meetings, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey gathered with 18 colleagues, including the safety team, to debate ways to make the social media service safer for its users. The discussion quickly turned to how to rid the site of "dehumanizing" speech, even if it did not violate Twitter's rules, which forbid direct threats of violence and some forms of hate speech but do not prohibit deception or misinformation.


Cybersecurity Firm Finds Way to Alter WhatsApp Messages

A cybersecurity company said that it had discovered a flaw in WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service with 1.5 billion users, which allows scammers to alter the content or change the identity of the sender of a previously delivered message. WhatsApp acknowledged that someone could manipulate its quote feature that allows people within a chat to display a past message and reply to it, but disagreed that this was a flaw. The company said that it was working as intended.


Cuomo Attacked New York's Largest Cable Company. Its Channels Ignored the News.

When Governor Cuomo was questioned by a veteran NY1 news reporter about possible straw donors to his gubernatorial campaign, the Governor lashed out at the reporter and Charter Spectrum, the news station's parent company. Neither the Governor's outburst nor his later explanation made privately to NY1 were aired on the cable news channel.


Democrat Accuses Charter Spectrum of Censoring Political Ad

Anthony Brindisi, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Central New York, accused cable company Charter Spectrum of trying to "censor" his campaign by refusing to air a television ad that criticizes his Republican opponent, as well as the cable company's record. "If you're watching this ad on Spectrum cable, you're getting ripped off," Brindisi, a state assemblyman, says to the camera at the start of the ad. Spectrum has refused to air the campaign commercial, Brindisi said in an interview.


The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

Inflating the number of views a video has received violates YouTube's terms of service. Yet Google searches for buying views turn up hundreds of sites offering "fast" and "easy" ways to increase a video's count by 500, 5,000 or even five million views. The sites, offering views for just pennies each, also appear in Google search ads. In addition, other online platforms have been plagued by inflated and faked views.


Facebook Is Asked to Change Rules for Journalists and Scholars

How does the First Amendment apply to the social media era? While Facebook has been grappling with stringent enforcement of its user rules in order to respond to public scrutiny of its failure to stop Russia's use of fake accounts to manipulate the 2016 election, the online platform has also been asked to change rules restricting how journalists and scholars conduct research on the site, including to alter the user agreement, to create a news-gathering exception to its bans on creating accounts in pseudonymous names, and to allow researchers and journalists to use automated tools to sift public data for large-scale analyses of information.


August 20, 2018

Week in Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


President Trump Revokes Ex-Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan's Security Clearance

The White House announced that John Brennan's clearance was being revoked due to his "erratic behavior" that "far exceeded the limits and far exceeded any professional courtesy that may have been due to him." High-level intelligence officials typically keep their clearances after they leave their agencies so that they can advise their successors.

Brennan described Trump's decision as an attempt to scare and silence his critics. Civil rights lawyers saw the move in a similar light, arguing that it was an abuse of presidential power to punish someone for publicly criticizing an elected official. Other clearances are also under review. Reports have Trump reaching into the bureaucracy to review the clearance of a midlevel Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, whom he believes helped start the investigation into Russian election interference.




Trump Signs Defense Spending Bill and Identifies Provisions That He Has Authority to Override

In a signing statement released after the public signing of the bill, Trump deemed about 50 of its statutes to be unconstitutional intrusions on his presidential power. Among them was a ban on spending military funds on any activity that recognizes Russian sovereignty over Crimea. Signing statements are meant to lay out the president's interpretation of new laws. The practice became controversial under President George W. Bush, who challenged more provisions of new laws than all previous presidents had combined. In 2006, the American Bar Association took the position that presidents should not use signing statements, but should instead veto legislation if it has constitutional defects. That would give Congress the opportunity to override that veto if lawmakers disagreed.


The Federal Bureau of Investigations Fires Senior Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok

The Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) ordered Peter Strzok fired, even though the FBI's disciplinary office decided that he should be suspended for 60 days and demoted. Strzok was removed from the FBIs investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after his anti-Trump texts surfaced. His texts became emblematic of President Trump's assertion that an alleged deep state of bureaucrats opposed to him was undermining his presidency. Along with the texts, Strzok was also accused of sending a highly sensitive search warrant to his personal email account.


Mueller Team Wants Jail Time for Trump Advisor Papadopoulos

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is seeking a six-month jail sentence for Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. He is arguing that Papadopoulos misled investigators about the "timing, extent and nature" of his meetings with Russian operatives, which in turn caused damage to the government's inquiry.


White House Counsel, Don McGahn, Said to Be Cooperating Extensively with Mueller Probe

McGahn is cooperating extensively with Mueller's obstruction of justice inquiry, giving at least three voluntary interviews totalling 30 hours. He's discussed the president's decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, the ouster of national security advisor Michael Flynn, and Trump's attempts to fire the special counsel himself. McGahn's cooperation was part of the strategy of Trump's first team of criminal lawyers, and reportedly continued due to a suspicion that he was being set up to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction.


President Trump Directs Securities and Exchange Commission to Study Quarterly Earnings Requirements for Public Firms

President Trump has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to consider eliminating requirements that publicly traded companies post quarterly earnings reports, directing the regulator to study moving corporate America to reporting earnings twice a year. The disclosures are required under federal securities law and keep investors informed about the financial health of publicly traded companies. Globally, European regulators abolished requirements that companies file quarterly reports in 2013, while Japan moved closer to current American rules, requiring quarterly reporting starting in 2008.


Federal Securities Regulators Subpoena Tesla Following Musk's Tweet

The SEC served Tesla with a subpoena days after regulators began inquiring about a Twitter post by Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk. Musk tweeted that he is considering converting Tesla to a private company and that the financing for this transaction had been "secured." Tesla shares soared after the news, but it soon became clear that neither Tesla nor Musk had lined up the necessary financing. The serving of a subpoena indicates that an inquiry has advanced to a more formal, serious stage, but the scope of the SEC's investigation remains unclear.


Justice Kavanaugh's Record Suggests That He Would Favor Religious Interests in School Debates and Unlock Funding for Religious Education

School voucher champions see Judge Kavanaugh as a critical vote in overturning longstanding constitutional prohibitions, often called Blaine amendments, that outlaw government funding of religious institutions in more than three dozen states. The amendments have been used to challenge programs that allow taxpayer funding to follow children to private and parochial schools. There are currently 26 states with voucher systems that provide a certificate of government funding for a student at a school chosen by the student or the student's parents. Kavanaugh's record suggests that he is supportive of school choice and of including religious schools in voucher programs. Over his career, Kavanaugh has argued in favor of breaking down barriers between church and state and has filed amicus briefs to support the right of religious groups to gain access to public school facilities.


Judge Bars Statements Made by Guantanamo Detainees During FBI Interrogations

A military commission judge ruled that prosecutors cannot use statements made by five Guantanamo detainees accused of aiding the September 11th attacks. The statements were made to FBI interrogators shortly after their transfer out of a "black site" prison. The FBI had sent in a "clean team", whose agents did not know what the detainees had previously said, to start over with questioning them and to get the statements in question. The detainees' defense lawyers argued that the lingering effects of their clients' previous torture also tainted those subsequent interrogation sessions conducted by "clean teams" and, as such, the government is not allowed to introduce any of the clean team statements.


Justice Department is Increasingly Filing Briefs in Support of States with Voter ID Laws

The Justice Department has not launched any efforts challenging state voter ID laws and has instead supported states that advocate for tighter restrictions on voter registration. According to critics of these laws, and of the government position vis-à-vis these laws, there is no evidence of widespread impropriety during elections to justify these restrictions. Instead, the aim of laws adding requirements like photo IDs is to discourage certain voters and empower the Republican party.


Four U.S. Agencies Deny Responsibility for Unaccompanied Children Released from Custody to Sponsors in the U.S.

Speaking before a Senate subcommittee, administration officials acknowledged that they have no system for tracking the tens of thousands of migrant children who are released from federal custody and handed over to sponsors. They said they have neither the authority nor the funding to exercise that degree of oversight. The director of the federal immigration courts testified that unaccompanied minors were about twice as likely as other migrants to fail to appear in court and are ordered deported in abstentia, although most remain the country illegally.


U.S. and China Started Mid-Level Trade Talks

Chinese and U.S. negotiators are reportedly working on a plan to hold talks to end the trade dispute at a summit where President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to meet. Beyond tariffs, currency concerns have also resurfaced. The Treasury Department will seek to pressure the Chinese to lift the value of their currency. The Chinese government sets a baseline for the currency and only allows it to fluctuate within a narrow band. Since April, China's currency has fallen about 10% against the dollar, making Chinese products cheaper for foreigners to purchase and helping offset the impact of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products.


The Trump Administration is Sanctioning Companies Helping North Korea

The Treasury Department announced new sanctions against three organizations based in China, Singapore, and Russia for facilitating illicit shipments to North Korea. The shipments violated both U.S. and United Nations sanctions, and included exports of alcohol, tobacco, and refined oil products.


U.S. is Reluctant to Agree to a Peace Declaration Between North and South Koreas

So far, American officials have refused to embrace a formal peace declaration to end the decades-long Korean War. North Korea insists on securing it before moving forward with denuclearization, while the Trump administration wants North Korea to first halt its nuclear weapons program. Officials also worry that a peace declaration could dilute the U.S. military footprint in Asia, and that the president of South Korea might push for a lesser American military presence after an end-of-war declaration.


U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Myanmar Military Over Rohingya Atrocities

The Treasury Department announced that it imposed economic sanctions on Burmese security forces and military commanders for what American officials said was their role in ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims and widespread human rights abuses against other ethnic minority groups.


State Department Effectively Cancels Grant Intended to Support Independent Media Outlets in Hungary, Inviting Speculation that Trump will Engage with Hungary

The State Department failed to select a recipient and recently announced that the $700,000 grant may now be used in other parts of Europe. The grant was offered to help nurture independent media outlets in Hungary, where President Orban's allies control many of the major regional newspapers that support his administration and anti-immigrant agenda. The move might be part of a larger pivot by the Trump administration that signals a new engagement with Hungary. To some European diplomats, Trump's pivot in Hungary deepens their belief that the administration is trying to divide the European Union by supporting a Europe-wide alliance of far-right politicians.


Trump Administration to Pull Back Funding for Syria Reconstruction Efforts

The State Department will pull back the $230 million in funding it had allocated to rebuild parts of Syria once held by the Islamic State, areas that were largely destroyed by U.S. airstrikes and proxy combat on the ground. The repairs were seen as vital to persuading Syrian refugees to return home. The announcement comes as Syria's dual wars - the civil conflict to overthrow President Assad and the fight against the Islamic State - have increasingly overlapped.


Citing Costs, President Trump Cancels Massive Military Parade in the Capital

Several administration officials described a "sticker shock" after seeing a Pentagon estimate of $92 million to pay for the parade. Trump sought to blame local government officials in Washington for inflating the price of the parade, a charge that they swiftly denied.


Grand Jury Report Finds Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court released a grand-jury report on sexual abuse in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church, detailing decades of alleged abuse, sexual assault, and attempted cover-ups. Following an 18-month investigation into six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses, the report lists more than 300 "predator priests" accused of preying on more than 1,000 victims. Attorney General Shapiro said the systematic cover-up served a legal purpose - the longer the church covered it up, the less chance that law enforcement could prosecute the priests.


Overdose Deaths Hit a Record 72,000 in 2017

Drug overdoses led to 72,000 deaths in 2017, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10%. Analysts pointed to two major reasons for the increase: a growing number of Americans are using opioids and drugs becoming deadlier. Preliminary 2018 numbers in some states suggest that the number of overdoses and the death rate has begun to fall. States began tapping a $1 billion grant program to help fight the problem after the president declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in 2017.


Puerto Rico Residents Finally Have Power Restored After 11 Months in the Dark

Most residents in Puerto Rico have now had power restored, but the new head of the electric utility estimates that a quarter of the work done after the storm will have to be redone and billions more must be spent to reconstruct the grid.


New York Officials Estimate That President Trump's Plan For Immigrants on Welfare Could Hurt One Million New Yorkers

The proposed rule would make it difficult for immigrants who use any welfare benefits to obtain green cards, as their reliance on benefits could indicate they would be a burden on government resources. New York City officials warn that the children of immigrants seeking green cards would be the most vulnerable. The administration's plan is based on the more than 100-year-old law of "public charge" - a person who is very likely to become "primarily dependent" on government services cannot become a legal permanent resident. The proposal is now set to include children's health insurance, supplemental nutritional plans, tax credits for low- to moderate-income families, and housing and transit subsidies. Any applicant or dependent who has used such benefits in the past 36 months could be ineligible.


Manafort Jurors Ask for Clarification on Meaning of 'Reasonable Doubt'

The jury in Paul Manafort's bank and tax fraud trial posed questions about 'reasonable doubt" and sought clarification on financial laws at the close of their first day of deliberations. Jurors also asked about the requirements to disclose foreign bank accounts, and whether it was possible to match the government's 388 exhibits to the 18 counts in the indictment, after which they were told that they needed to rely on their own memories to do.


Trump Campaign Files Arbitration Case Against Omarosa Manigault Newman for Breach of Confidentiality Agreement

The claim was filed in New York City for breach of a confidentiality agreement Manigault Newman had signed with the Trump campaign in 2016. The suit followed the release of Manigault Newman's book, in which she says the president harbors bigoted views. Candidate Trump had aides on the campaign sign nondisclosure agreements that say that no confidential information is to be released during the term of service or anytime thereafter.


West Virginia House of Delegates Votes to Impeach Entire State Supreme Court

In a series of votes, lawmakers approved 11 articles of impeachment against the four sitting justices, sending the process on to the State Senate. The vote was prompted by reports of extravagant spending on office renovations. The chief justice is already facing a charge of "unnecessary and lavish spending" in addition to a 23-count federal indictment on charges of fraud and false statements. The court as a whole was impeached for not creating policies to rein in the wasteful spending.


GOP Candidate Admits to Lying About her Degree, Drops Out of Race

Melissa Howard, the Republican candidate for the Florida House, admitted that she lied about having a college degree and has now withdrawn from the race. She initially disputed the reports, posing with a framed degree, and providing the media with what she claimed to be a college transcript.


New York University Medical School Makes Tuition Free for Medical Students

New York University's School of Medicine announced that it will offer full scholarships to all current and future students in its Doctor of Medicine program. The move is meant to encourage students to pursue careers in primary care without amassing a lifetime of student debt.


Canada Appears to Be on the Sidelines as U.S. and Mexico Near an Agreement on NAFTA

The United States and Mexico appear close to agreeing on a NAFTA deal. President Trump confirmed that Canada has not been a party to the latest round of talks, citing Canada's high tariffs. Negotiators from all three sides have said that bilateral talks are being held for the U.S. and Mexico to work out specific differences, especially as they pertain to the agriculture and automobile industries. Others view the move as a way to pressure Canada to move more quickly and offer more concessions.


Emerging Markets Contagion? Turkey's Financial Meltdown Matters Globally

Turkey's currency collapsed by more than 20% in a week and President Erdogan is feuding publicly with President Trump, leading to trade sanctions that are hurting its economy. Some analysts also worry that its problems could soon morph into a debt repayment crisis and that Turkey's financial problems could spread to other fast-growing but risky countries. Turkey plays a key geopolitical role as a NATO member that makes any threats to its stability concerning to its neighbors.


Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dies at 80

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from 1997 to 2006, died in Switzerland at the age of 80. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, Annan was the first black African to head the United Nations. He was credited with revitalizing the UN's institutions, shaping what he called a new "norm of humanitarian intervention." His leadership of the UN peacekeeping operations from 1993 to 1997 was not without its critics, after UN forces were outgunned and showed little resolve in both Rwanda and Bosnia.


Ouster of Zuma Loyalists Bolsters South Africa's Corruption Fight

South African's Constitutional Court ordered the country's chief prosecutor to step down immediately in what many viewed as an important step toward restoring a more independent justice system. The judgement addressed political interference in prosecutorial decisions, especially as they related to officials linked to allegations of state capture, where a small number of business families were shaping government policy to their advantage.



Aretha Franklin Dies at 76; How Her Single 'Respect' Became a Battle Cry for Musicians Seeking Royalties

The Queen of Soul's No. 1 hit, "Respect", played a symbolic role in a long fight over copyright issues that have deprived artists of royalty payments. Franklin did not earn any royalties from the millions of times the song played on the radio because under copyright law, American radio stations pay only the writers and publishers of a song, and not the performer. The song was held up as Exhibit A in every effort to change the law.

"Respect" has also become a battle song in the fight over digital rights. Laws passed in the 1990s let performing artists collect royalties from internet and satellite radio, but songs were exempt if they were recorded before 1972. A 2014 bill to change that was named the Respect Act in honor of the song she recorded in 1967. That fight continues through a current bill in Congress, the Music Modernization Act, that would force digital radio services to pay royalties for songs recorded before 1972.


U.S. Judge Blocks Programs Letting "Grand Theft Auto" Players Cheat

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District of New York granted a preliminary injunction against the creator of unauthorized software programs "for cheating in and manipulating" the plaintiff's "Grand Theft Auto" products. Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of the game, accused David Zipperer of selling computer programs that let users cheat by altering the game for their own benefit, or "griefing" other players by altering their game without permission.

Giving effect to the forum-selection clause in the online "license agreement" agreed to by the defendant to play the game, the court found that the defendant consented to jurisdiction in New York. The opinion upheld the complaint's cause of action for "intentional interference with a contract" but found that the claim for "unfair competition" was pre-empted. It then granted a preliminary injunction on the plaintiff's copyright claims. The case is Take-Two Interactive Software Inc v Zipperer, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-02608.


Judge Allows Sex-Trafficking Suit Against Weinstein, Citing History of the Casting Couch

U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet ruled that an aspiring actress can sue Weinstein for violating sex-trafficking laws because the proverbial casting couch, in which women are asked to trade sex for Hollywood opportunities, could be considered a "commercial sex act". He also stated that sex-trafficking laws had an "expansive" definition of what could be considered a commercial sex act. In addition, the judge rejected the argument that nothing of value was exchanged, saying that even if the prospect of a film role or continued professional relationship with Weinstein were not enough to constitute "things of value," then the actress's reasonable expectation of receiving those things in the future, based on Wienstein's representations that she would, was sufficient.


Director with a History of Domestic Violence Record Steps Away from Movie "Eve"

Matthew Newton stepped down as director of the movie "Eve" following an online petition and a torrent of criticism surrounding his history of domestic violence.



U.S. Authorities Seize Half a Billion Dollars Worth of Fake Luxury Goods Shipped from China

New York's special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York said this was the largest investigation that the agency had had in terms of the number of counterfeit items. The government charged 33 individuals with conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and trademark counterfeiting. The goods were part of a scheme originating in China that stretched to warehouses in Queens.


Colorado Baker Sues the State Over New Discrimination Allegation

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who won a Supreme Court case after refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, is now suing Colorado, this time for investigating his refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition. The ruling was specific to Phillips' case. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission argued that the transgender client was denied "equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation," while Phillips' lawyers argue that he is being targeted by potential customers eager to test the limit of the law.


British Museum Will Return Looted Artifacts to Iraq

The artifacts were stolen from the site of a Sumerian city in Southern Iraq and were handed over to Iraqi officials during a ceremony in London. The objects were held unclaimed by the London police for more than a decade and were passed to the British Museum for analysis this year. Among the eight restituted objects were three fired-clay cones, around 4,000 years old, featuring Sumerian script. They were identical to others found during a British-led excavation in Tello, Iraq.


Chile Will Ask For the Return of a Statue From the British Museum on Behalf of Easter Island's Indigenous People

The Chilean government plans to form a committee to try to recover a 1,000-year-old statue for the Rapa Nui, the indigenous people of Easter Island, arguing that it is a tangible link to the island's history. Chile annexed the island in 1888. If Chile makes a formal request for its return, it will add to the growing pressure European museums are facing to repatriate objects to their countries of origin.



University of Maryland Accepts Legal and Moral Responsibility For Events That Led to Football Player Jordan McNair's Death

University of Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans acknowledged that the university's "mistakes" and "misdiagnoses" led to the 19-year-old's death. Two weeks before his death, McNair experienced a heatstroke in the aftermath of practice that was not addressed promptly.

The family is well-positioned to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Maryland and potentially other parties, including the NCAA and Big Ten Conference. While Maryland law caps pain and suffering damages for wrongful death to approximately $2 million, the state's law does not cap damages for economic loss, which is significant because McNair died relatively young and his career was on an upward trajectory. If a settlement is reached, it will likely include a substantial monetary payment in exchange for the family relinquishing any legal claims it may have against the school.


Education Department Opens Civil Rights Inquiry Into Abuse at Ohio State

The investigation will look into how Ohio State University officials handled reports of sexual misconduct by a former team doctor, Richard Strauss, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. It is another in the list of high-profile sexual abuses cases at state universities, even as the Education Department issued guidance intended to scale back investigations of civil rights violations at public schools.


Gymnasts Describe Emotional and Physical Abuse By a Prominent Coach

Several gymnasts described patterns of emotional and physical abuse by coach Qi Han at Everest Gymnastics, one of gymnastics' top training facilities in North Carolina. Monica Avery, a gymnastics coach in the state, said she filed a complaint against Han after she witnessed him kicking an injured gymnast. Complaints to USA Gymnastics were forwarded to SafeSport, which is responsible for investigating abuse claims in Olympic sports.


ESPN Will No Longer Show National Anthem Before Monday Night Football Games

ESPN announced that it would not show the national anthem before the "Monday Night Football" games it broadcasts this season. ESPN's president told reporters the National Football League (NFL) did not pressure the network. Under its recent policy, the NFL made it mandatory for players to stand for the anthem, but later decided to freeze the new policy and seek ways to modify it in negotiations with the NFL Players Association, which had already filed a grievance against the NFL for unilaterally changing its policy.


John Elway's Public Comments on Colin Kaepernick

The Broncos GM stated that the Broncos had offered Kaepernick a contract that he rejected. His comments come as an NFL-appointed arbitrator weighs a motion by the NFL to throw out the grievance brought by Kaepernick, accusing the former and team executives of shunning him because of his protests during the national anthem. Elway did not mention, however, that the offer came before the 2016 season, when Kaepernick had not yet begun protesting. The comments also appeared to be in breach of the confidentiality order in the collusion case.


First Month of Sports Betting in New Jersey Nets Nearly $4 Million in Revenue

New Jersey sports books produced $3.8 million in gross revenue from $40.7 million in wagers during July, the first full month of gambling on sporting events in the state. Monmouth Park Sports Book's numbers tumbled dramatically in July after becoming the first sports book to accept wagers in June. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands Racetrack generated a state-best $1,357,477 in gross revenues, producing average daily revenues of $75,415.


National Hockey League's Signing Bonuses Are Creating a Rift Between Teams and the League

Signing bonuses will be an interesting issue to monitor as the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players Association gear up for the next round of collective bargaining negotiations. Signing bonuses have become a popular stipulation for players under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and offer myriad benefits to the players. First, signing bonuses are taxed at a substantially lower tax rate. They have also become "lockout protection" because, unlike straight salary, they must be paid if the NHL decides to shut its doors. Reports indicate that the NHL has asked teams to stop handing them out, and they could very well be a point of contention in the next round of talks.



Sandy Hook Father is Combating Blogging Platform Over Conspiracy Theories

The father of one of the victims in the Sandy Hook school shooting is launching a challenge against WordPress.com, one of the internet's biggest blogging platforms, over posts that call the shooting a hoax and label his son a "crisis actor". In the absence of uniform online policies about hoaxes, Leonard Pozner has been filing copyright claims on images of his son. Automattic, the company that operates WordPress, has made it a corporate cause to fight copyright claims and adopt policies that it says prevent these claims from being used to censor criticism and journalism on its platform.


Twitter Suspends Infowars and Its Founder, Alex Jones, For One Week

Twitter suspended the accounts of the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his media website Inforwars for a week, for violating the Twitter's rules against inciting violence. Both accounts had posted a video calling for supporters to get their "battle rifles" ready against media and others. Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify had already taken steps to ban Jones and Infowars from their platforms because of hate speech.


New Calls For Facebook to Ban Holocaust Denials

Pressure is mounting on the tech giant from inside and outside the Jewish community to ban Holocaust denials on its platform. Facebook's recent move to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars website is helping to fuel the effort. Mark Zuckerberg recently defended the right of Holocaust deniers to use the platform, on the grounds that while Holocaust denial is offensive, deniers may be sincere in their beliefs. However, many see a similarity between Alex Jones and Holocaust deniers, as both parties pursue an agenda of hate and incitement to hate.


The Justice Department Backs Suit Accusing Facebook of Violating Fair Housing Act

The United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York filed a 'statement of interest' this week that sides with housing groups who claim that Facebook's advertising platform violates fair housing laws. Facebook is being accused of creating and harvesting user data to develop profiles for each user. It could be held liable if housing providers used the site's targeting tools to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers in advertising their properties.


Google Employees Protest Secret Work on Censored Search Engine for China

Google has been secretly planning a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese government that will edit out content about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest. In response to the news, about 1,400 Google employees have reportedly signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work. Google previously withdrew from China in protest of censorship and government hacking, and may be considering a return there.


Qatar's beIN Sports Network Says That It Can Link a Pirate Network to Saudi Arabia

The crisis between a Qatari media network and Saudi Arabia is entering its second year, with the Qatari beIN Media Group now saying that it has irrefutable proof that Saudi Arabia is pirating and illegally broadcasting its content on the Arab-language channel beoutQ. BeIN Media Group says that it has carried out tests that provide irrefutable proof of its long-held position linking the beoutQ signal to a Riyadh-based company in which Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor.

It has taken months for beIN to persuade many of the sporting organizations to speak out publicly about this, including FIFA and UEFA. The French professional soccer league, which enjoys enormous Qatari investment, has called on Europe's top trade body to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to shut down the pirate channel.


Protesters in Russia Accuse Government of Entrapping Young Critics Online

Demonstrators protested a growing number of arrests of young Russians on extremism charges for material shared or stored on social media sites, as part of what they say is an online entrapment campaign by security agencies. The immediate cause of the protest was the arrest of two teenage girls who were steered by an older man in a chat room into renting an office and drafting an anti-government manifesto as members of the "New Greatness" group. They were charged under the anti-extremism law of 2003, which criminalized online content in 2014, in what many view as a government effort to fight dissent.


Cuba Opens Nine-Hour Internet Window, Plans to Sell Mobile Phone Plans that Include Internet Service

The Cuban government recently tested wireless internet directly on mobile phones nationwide for nine hours. Customers were not alerted about the free trial but found out through word of mouth and social media. Etesca, Cuba's state-run telecommunications company, plans to sell mobile phone plans that include internet service. Until then, Cubans will have to continue to buy internet access cards from Etesca for use at a public hotspot.


August 23, 2018

NYC Employers Must Post Sexual Harassment Poster and Provide Fact Sheet to New Hires by September 6th

By Kristine A. Sova

Earlier this year, the Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act went into effect. One of the law's requirements is that NYC employers must post and display a sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster and provide a fact sheet to new hires by September 6, 2018. This month, the New York City Commission on Human Rights published both the model poster and fact sheet. The model poster is available at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Notice-8.5x14.pdf, and the fact sheet is available https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Factsheet.pdf.

August 27, 2018

Week In Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

John S. McCain Passes Away At 81

Vietnam War hero John S. McCain served two terms in the House of Representatives, and six in the Senate, and was a two-time contender for the presidency. A staunch supporter of the First Amendment, Mr. McCain strongly disagreed with the recent claims that news media was "the enemy of the American people," noting that "the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press."


SEC Will Rehear Cases After SCOTUS Ruling

After the Supreme Court's ruling this past June that the Securities and Exchange Commission had failed to properly appoint administrative law judges it uses in cases where it has identified misconduct by someone involved in securities markets, the SEC announced this week that it reaffirmed appointments of five judges but that pending cases would be reheard by different in-house judges.


Federal Student Support Program May Potentially Be Used To Fund Guns For Schools

Following inquiries from the States of Texas and Oklahoma, the Education Department is considering allowing the use of federal funding that is part of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to purchase guns for educators. The student support program's stated purpose is to provide academic and enrichment opportunities in the country's poorest schools, including improving the use of technology for digital literacy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/22/us/politics/betsy-devos-guns.html; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/08/23/betsy-devos-considers-allowing-schools-to-use-federal-funds-to-buy-guns/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.87ac97b60c33

National Inquirer's Chief Granted Immunity in Cohen Case; So Was Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer

David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, Inc. and publisher of the National Enquirer, received immunity in exchange for meeting with the prosecutors and allegedly sharing details about helping Michael Cohen bury negative stories in 2016. Allen Weisselberg, who has served as chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, reportedly received a similar deal. Weisselberg allegedly helped reimburse Cohen through the Trump Organization and the President's personal trust for the payment to Stormy Daniels for staying silent over her alleged affair with Donald Trump.



Lawyer's Remarks To The Media Result in Subpoena From New York's Tax Authorities

Lanny J. Davis, Michael Cohen's counsel, told CNN and NBC News this week that he believes that Cohen has information that would be "of interest" both in Washington and New York State, referring to the New York State's investigation into the Trump Foundation into possible tax law violations. New York State's Department of Taxation and Finance promptly followed with a subpoena for relevant information.


Elon Musk Will Not Be Taking Tesla Private

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, announced that Tesla will not become a privately held company after all, claiming that the process of going private is more involved than anticipated and it would be a time-consuming distraction.


Presidential Tweet On South Africa Land Seizures Causes Controversy

President Trump announced on Twitter this week that he was directing the U.S. Secretary of State to scrutinize what he said was the targeting of white farmers for land seizures and "large-scale killing" in South Africa. This tweet appeared to embrace a common talking point among white supremacists and thus drew sharp rebukes.


Reality Winner Gets Five Years In Federal Prison

Reality Winner, a former Air Force translator and intelligence contractor, was sentenced this week to five years and three months in federal prison for the unauthorized release of government information to the media. She is reportedly the first person to be sentenced under the Espionage Act since President Trump took office.


Female Activist In Saudi Arabia Is Facing Death Penalty

Israa al-Ghomgham, a 29-year-old female activist, is accused of encouraging demonstrations in the Qatif area of Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia for greater rights for the Shiite Muslim minority. The Saudi authorities are reportedly seeking capital punishment for her, which is highly unusual in cases of nonviolent political crime.


"Crazy Rich Asians" Author Is Wanted In Singapore For Defaulting On Military Service

Kevin Kwan, the author of the book Crazy Rich Asians, is wanted in Singapore for defaulting on his military service, according to the country's defense ministry. Kwan left Singapore at age 11 and has lived in the United States since. He had tried to renounce his Singapore citizenship in 1994, but his application was denied. Singapore makes it illegal for men to give up citizenship without having completed their military service of about two years.


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


The Queen of Soul Dies Intestate, Which May Lead To Potential Family Disputes

According to documents filed this week in a Michigan court by Aretha Franklin's four sons, she died without a will. High-profile probate proceedings may last years and cause familial infighting, and are especially complicated when music rights are involved.



Weinstein's Accuser Settled A Sexual Assault Claim Of Her Own

Asia Argento, an Italian actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape last October, settled a claim by actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, who reportedly claimed she sexually assaulted him when he was 17.


Can Sacha Baron Cohen Be Held Liable For His Pranks?

Embarrassed victims of Sacha Baron Cohen's pranks consider lawsuits against the comedian and producer, but will they win? Entertainment lawyers who weighed in on the issue pointed out that prospective prank victims signed releases designed to protect Cohen and his producers from liability.


Renowned Countertenor David Daniels Is Accused Of Rape

David Daniels will take a leave of absence from his position as a music professor at the University of Michigan following allegations that he and his now-husband drugged and raped a young singer in 2010 after a performance in Houston. The allegations are reportedly under investigation.



Art and Cultural Heritage

Italy Seeks Repatriation of A Painting From The Frick

Italy is seeking repatriation of the portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese by the French painter François Gérard, which the Frick Collection acquired last year. Italy has revoked the export license for the piece, claiming that the application for the license was incomplete and did not specify that the subject of the portrait was Napoleon's brother-in-law, and that the painting is a "rare and significant document of the Napoleonic era in Italy".


Protesters Topple Confederate Statue

Protesters who gathered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this week to oppose possible sanctions against a student who splashed red ink on the "Silent Sam" monument in April of this year toppled the confederate statue and tried to bury its head. University officials intervened and removed the monument to a Confederate soldier.


Monuments Of Civil War Will Remain, With Update

North Carolina's Historical Commission voted to reject a request to remove three Confederate monuments from the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh. Instead, the Commission voted to add information providing more context about slavery and the civil rights movement to the displays and urged the addition of a monument honoring the contributions of African-Americans.



Texans' Cheerleader Director Steps Down As Several More Cheerleaders File Suit

Altovise Gary, the director of the Houston Texans cheerleaders, is named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that she failed to protect her staff from harassment and intimidation. She resigned this week, citing personal reasons. Meanwhile, several more teams were recently accused of mistreating cheerleaders, including the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins, and the Washington Redskins, as the National Football League (NFL) works to counter the perception that it does little to promote women.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/22/sports/houston-texans-cheerleaders.html; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/sports/nfl-cheerleaders-lawsuit-.html

Ex-Coach Charged With Lying About Nassar

Kathie Klages, the former women's gymnastics coach at Michigan State University, was charged with lying to investigators in connection with the sex abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar.


Urban Meyer Suspended For Three Games For Mishandling Abuse Allegations

Ohio State University suspended Urban Meyer, one of the nation's most successful football coaches, after an investigation concluded that he had mishandled domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach and waited too long to report them to the University.



FIFA Ousts Top Lawyer

Marco Villiger, who was the head of FIFA's legal department under Sepp Blatter, left the organization this week. Blatter was reportedly forced out in 2015 after a U.S. Department of Justice indictment revealed a corruption scandal that devastated the organization's top leadership and its reputation. Villiger was the last senior official remaining from the Blatter era.


Fisher Remains Confident In Face of Allegations Of NCAA Violations

Following this week's allegations by former Aggies linebacker Santino Marchiol of possible NCAA violations, New Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher expressed his confidence that things have been handled properly since he arrived from Florida State, stating that he is open to inquiries.


NFL Will Not Revise Its New Helmet Rule, Despite Criticism

The NFL reaffirmed this week that it will not change its recently-reworked rule for use of a helmet to initiate contact. The rule in question forbids players from intentionally lowering their heads before contact with others. Critics of the rule, including players and coaches, pointed out that even in a perfect form tackle, the body is led by the head.


Head Of Palestinian Federation Banned By FIFA For A Year

FIFA banned the head of the Palestinian Football Association from attending soccer games for a year for allegedly inciting hatred and violence toward star player Lionel Messi to stop Argentina's national team from playing in Israel.


Peru's Guerrero Is Blocked From Playing

After being cleared to play at the World Cup by Switzerland's Supreme Court, Peruvian footballer Paolo Guerrero is banned from playing again after the Swiss Federal Tribunal ended the freeze on his 14-month doping ban. Guerrero reportedly tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifying game against Argentina last Fall. He claims that the detected cocaine was not performance enhancing and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea.


Unified Korean Team Somewhat Eases Tensions Between North and South Korea, But Not Quite

A unified Korean women's basketball team is doing well at the Asian Games in Indonesia, but it is perhaps less successful at alleviating fears of war on the Korean Peninsula. While Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, is trying to soften the image of his regime through sports diplomacy, many in South Korea remain skeptical as they have not yet seen North Korea truly cease hostilities and threats toward the South.



Further Russian Hacking Attempts; Lawmakers To Seek Further Sanctions

Microsoft Corporation disclosed that it detected and seized websites created in recent weeks by hackers allegedly linked to a Russian military intelligence unit that sought to interfere with conservative American think tanks that supported continued sanctions against Russia. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle expressed an intent to seek further sanctions to cripple Russia's struggling economy.



New Research Shows That Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany

Researchers at the University of Warwick (England) scrutinized over 3,000 attacks on refugees in Germany over a period of two years. They concluded that in towns where Facebook use was higher than average, attacks on refugees increased measurably.


Turkey Lifts Travel Ban For German Journalist Facing Trial

A Turkish court has allowed Mesale Tolu, a German journalist of Turkish ancestry, to travel prior to her trial. Tolu, who was working in Istanbul, was arrested last year on charges of spreading propaganda for terrorist organizations. Germany's foreign minister welcomed the move as "a step toward improving our relations with Turkey," but noted that at least seven other German citizens are jailed in Turkey for alleged political reasons.


Google Deletes YouTube Channels Tied To Iran

Google terminated 39 YouTube channels, 6 blogs on its Blogger service and 13 Google+ accounts that it determined were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and were running an influence campaign since January 2017.


About August 2018

This page contains all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in August 2018. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2018 is the previous archive.

September 2018 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.