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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.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 27, 2018 8:39 PM.

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