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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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/28/climate/dow-epa-superfund.html

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.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/deeply-disturbing-allegations-against-ex-fema-personnel-chief-sent-inspector-n895971

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/us/politics/trump-mueller-investigation-interview.html

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.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/31/politics/mueller-investigation-foreign-agent-referrals-new-york/index.html

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.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions/us-states-vow-to-fight-trump-rollback-on-auto-emissions-idUSKBN1KN1AD

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."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/us/politics/joe-manchin-kavanaugh-documents.html

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

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

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/02/apple-hits-1-trillion-in-market-value.html

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."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/world/australia/sarah-hanson-young-shagging-lawsuit.html

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/world/asia/cambodia-election-ballots.html

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.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/30/asia/india-citizen-survey-intl/index.html

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-flight-370-report.html

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.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/02/africa/zimbabwe-election-results/index.html

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

Entertainment

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/business/media/billboard-john-amato.html

Arts

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.

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/31/634442458/judge-issues-temporary-restraining-order-blocking-3d-printer-guns

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.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/royal-regalia-including-jewels-stolen-from-swedish-cathedral/2018/08/01/4906bfc0-956a-11e8-818b-e9b7348cd87d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ad3438131a27

Sports

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.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/article/NFL-concussion-settlements-reach-500M-13118085.php

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.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ohio-state-places-coach-urban-meyer-on-administrative-leave-pending-investigation/

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/us/politics/ohio-state-wrestlers-abuse-me-too.html

Media

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/nyregion/seth-rich-fox-news-lawsuits.html

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."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/us/politics/trump-new-york-times-sulzberger.html

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/us/politics/facebook-political-campaign-midterms.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/technology/facebook-fake-accounts.html

https://www.ft.com/content/a6149324-967b-11e8-b67b-b8205561c3fe

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.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alex-jones-attorney-argues-sandy-hook-defamation-suit-should-be-n896651

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/us/politics/infowars-sandy-hook-alex-jones.html

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/business/media/conde-nast-vogue-magazines.html

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."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/parliament-issues-rebuke-of-facebook-data-use-by-brexit-trump-campaigns/

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 5, 2018 5:25 PM.

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