« Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo Seeking Associate | Main | Week in Review »

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.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 13, 2018 8:58 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo Seeking Associate.

The next post in this blog is Week in Review.

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