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Week In Review

By Eric Lanter
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Kavanaugh Hearings Draw Controversy

President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has faced pointed questions regarding the power of presidents to obstruct investigations and the issue of a president being indicted or being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller. The opening of his confirmation hearing was disrupted by several protesters shouting, each of which was arrested and removed from the hearing room. Throughout the questioning, he declined to answer "hypothetical questions", as he claimed that it would be inappropriate to offer public views on cases that may come before the Supreme Court if he were approved.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-confirmation-hearings.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-hearing.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/us/politics/kavanaugh-confirmation-hearings.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-confirmation-hearings.html

Trump's Justice Department Redefines Whose Civil Rights to Protect

The Justice Department's civil rights division has focused on protecting classes of people often the subject of discrimination or mistreatment: immigrants, African-Americans, and the LGBTQ communities. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department has switched its focus to supporting state laws that remove thousands of people from voter rolls and eased its supervision of police departments that have a record of violating citizens' rights. The Trump administration has framed this shift as part of the changing notion of equality and protection of civil rights.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/us/politics/civil-rights-justice-department.html

In Immigration Courts, It is Judges vs. Justice Department

The Trump administration has found an unexpected opponent in its policy on immigration: immigration judges. Immigration judges have objected to the changes that have come from the Justice Department as the backlog of cases has exponentially grown, since the Trump administration began implementing its hard-line policies on immigration. While sitting judges are prohibited from speaking about political issues, retired judges are not, and retired immigration judges have come out against the Trump administration's policies as not being "outcome-oriented."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/nyregion/nyc-immigration-judges-courts.html

Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans with Rebel Venezuelan Officers

According to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander, the Trump administration held secret talks with military officers who were planning to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government. For many countries in Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, and Cuba included), the actions by the Trump administration fit into a long history of American intervention in the region. The White House declined to answer detailed questions about the talks with the rebels, but did disclose that it is important to engage in "dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy" and it wants to "bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/americas/donald-trump-venezuela-military-coup.html

Stirred by Sexual Abuse Report, States Take On Catholic Church

Attorneys general throughout the country are beginning to open inquiries into Catholic dioceses in the wake of the grand jury report in Pennsylvania detailing abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests over the course of decades. Catholics are demanding more transparency from the church, and attorneys general in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and New Mexico have announced that they will investigate sex abuse by Catholic priests in their states and have already began asking dioceses for records. These actions come as Pope Francis is dealing with a crisis playing out around the world of abuse by priests.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/nyregion/catholic-sex-abuse.html

DeVos Punts to Congress on Federally Funded Guns for Schools

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has punted to Congress the issue of whether states may use federal funds to purchase firearms for schools. Conservatives applauded the decision, as it allows local school districts to make the determination, but Democrats have come out against the decision and characterized it as an "abdication of the department's core function to help districts navigate the federal bureaucracy." It is expected that the budget negotiations in Congress will have an amendment dealing with the funds for firearms.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/us/politics/devos-schools-guns.html

Trump Blasts Sessions for Charging GOP Members Before Midterms

On Twitter, President Trump has chastised Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the Justice Department indicted two Republican congressmen, as the indictments may endanger the Republicans' chances of holding the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections. Some analysts and Republicans have found the tweet by Trump to be not commentary, but an order, and one that may become part of an impeachment proceeding against the president.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/us/politics/trump-sessions-midterms.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/politics/trump-sessions-republicans.html

Democrats, Eyeing a Majority, Prepare an Investigative Onslaught

Senior Democrats, rather than posture toward impeaching President Trump, have sought to pursue investigations into the Trump administration, including the potential of collusion with Russia, obstruction of justice, and what role Trump may have played in silencing two women that accused him of affairs. Congressional Republicans are fearful that the results may lead to impeachment of Trump or a referendum on Trump's policies and a Democratic wave in Congress in the midterm elections in November.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/us/politics/democrats-trump-impeachment.html

Mueller Will Accept Some Written Answers From Trump as Roger Stone Associate Subpoenaed

A political commentator and conspiracy theorist, Jerome Corsi, has received a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller. It is expected that Corsi will be questioned regarding his discussions with Roger Stone relating to the publication in 2016 from WikiLeaks of material damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Mueller's team has announced this week that they will accept some written answers from President Trump's team relating to the issue of collusion with Russia. It remains unclear whether or when Trump may sit with Mueller's team for an interview.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/politics/mueller-trump-russia-investigation.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/us/politics/jerome-corsi-subpoena-mueller-investigation.html

In 'Fear,' Bob Woodward Pulls Back the Curtain on the White House

Noted journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," is set to be released tomorrow. Extensive details in the book have already found their way to the pages of The New York Times and other major newspapers and magazines, and the details have been lurid. There have been reports of the back-stabbing among staffers and the unusual habits and statements of the President. Woodward's book delivers the background expected from one of the top journalists who is known for his extensive fact-checking.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/books/review-fear-trump-in-white-house-bob-woodward.html

Trump Lashes Out After Reports of 'Quiet Resistance' By Staff

Following a bombshell Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, President Trump has lashed out and vowed to find the person who sent it. The author of the Op-Ed stated that he or she is a senior Trump administration official, is part of a "quiet resistance" to the President's more dangerous policies, and is actively taking steps to stop the President from effectuating his agenda. Several top officials in Trump's cabinet have denied authoring the Op-Ed, including Vice President Mike Pence, who some suspected given his previous use of the word "lodestar," which appeared in the Op-Ed piece.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/us/politics/trump-new-york-times-anonymous-editorial.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/us/politics/trump-investigation-times-op-ed.html

Ex-Trump Campaign Advisor Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison

A former Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos, has been sentenced to 14 days in prison on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians throughout the campaign. During his sentencing, he said he was "deeply embarrassed and ashamed" of his actions, but vowed that he is "a good man who is eager for redemption." Prosecutors sought a maximum sentence of six months, but the 14 days is more than probation, which was the sentence Papadopoulos and his attorneys sought.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/09/08/us/politics/ap-us-trump-russia-probe-papadopoulos.html

Michael Cohen Offers to Rip Up Deal for Stormy Daniels' Silence on Trump

Late Friday night, Michael Cohen made an offer to tear up a nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels. This would free her from the contract and allow her to speak about the affair without fear of financial penalty, but it would also free President Trump from having to testify at a deposition about it. Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels, accused Cohen of "playing games and trying to protect Donald Trump."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/nyregion/michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-nda.html

Court Says No Time to Redraw North Carolina Maps Before Election

A court has ruled that there is insufficient time to redraw North Carolina's congressional maps ahead of the November midterm elections, even though the districts as currently drawn are illegal. The district lines were drawn by Republicans following the 2010 census. The court's ruling comes at a time when Democrats are campaigning throughout the country to pick up at least 23 seats in the House of Representatives and gain a majority in that chamber of Congress. The three-judge panel ruled that imposing a schedule for redrawing the districts would "unduly interfere with the State's electoral machinery and likely confuse voters and depress turnout."

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/09/05/us/politics/05reuters-north-carolina-districts-court.html

California Supreme Court Holds That Conflict Invalidates Firm's Engagement Letter But Not Ability to Get Paid

The Supreme Court of California has voided an attorney's retainer agreement that contained a conflict waiver and an arbitration clause but opted not to disgorge the attorney of the fees earned through representing the client, J-M Manufacturing Company. The attorney Sheppard Mullin entered into an attorney-client relationship with J-M Manufacturing Company and put in a waiver of conflicts provision in the retainer agreement. While representing his client in a qui tam action, a company, South Tahoe, reported that Mullin had a conflict of interest and demanded his withdrawal from the case. Litigation ensued, and the Supreme Court of California has remanded the matter to the trial court for a determination of the appropriate amount of attorneys' fees that Mullin earned in his representation of J-M Manufacturing Company.

http://fkks.com/news/california-supreme-court-holds-that-conflict-invalidates-firms-engagement-letter-but-says-firm-still-may-be-able-to-get-paid

Lawyers Say They Face Persistent Racial and Gender Bias at Work

On Thursday, the American Bar Association released the results of a study showing that women and people of color continue to face barriers in the legal profession when it comes to being hired, promoted, and compensated. Women of color in particular reported the highest levels of bias and that they were not given equal access to the "high-quality" assignments that white men received. Women of all races reported having to "walk a tightrope" in their behavior, as they faced pressure to act a certain way and to do more of the "office housework", such as taking notes during meetings and ordering lunch for colleagues; hours that are not billable.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/us/lawyers-bias-racial-gender.html

Amazon's Antitrust Antagonist Has Breakthrough Idea

Lina Khan may be one of Amazon's greatest menaces. She had an article published in the Yale Law Journal last year focusing on the antitrust aspects to Amazon's business. Khan wrote that Amazon is amassing power in numerous industries, increasing control over the economy, and is allowed to by antitrust standards of the 1970s, which valued prices and consumer happiness above all else. Khan's article became renowned for its new take on antitrust law and has spawned a flurry of articles in response. Whether antitrust laws will change remains to be seen, particularly as Amazon and other technology companies have extraordinary influence in Congress and lobbyist circles.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/technology/monopoly-antitrust-lina-khan-amazon.html

Bloomberg Forum in Beijing is Cancelled

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media executive and former New York City mayor, has cancelled an event that was set to be held in Beijing in November. The event has apparently moved to Singapore because of the trade dispute between China and the United States, but the China Center for International Economic Exchanges chalked up the move to a conflict with "a number of large-scale events." The Trump administration is still considering enacting another round of tariffs this week.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/world/asia/beijing-forum-economic-bloomberg.html

Two Russians Named in Spy Poisoning

British detectives have announced that they identified two Russians who came into England under fake names and appear to have been involved in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Britain has one of the most extensive surveillance networks in the world, and detectives with the help of "super-recognizers," humans with a gift for recognition, reviewed hour after hour of surveillance footage to find the two suspects. The men are believed to have returned to Russia after the poisoning.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/world/europe/salisbury-novichok-poisoning.html

Greek Court Rules for Russia in Fight Over Cybercrime Suspect

The Greek Supreme Court has ruled that Aleksandr Vinnik, a Russian, may return to Russia rather than be extradited to the United States as a potential witness in the investigation into Russian hacking in the 2016 presidential election. The federal government has accused him of running a Bitcoin exchange that laundered potentially as much as $4 billion in illegal funds. He has been in a Greek jail since July 2017 after having being arrested while on vacation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/world/europe/vinnik-greece-russia-extradition.html

India Gay Sex Ban is Struck Down

On Thursday, India's Supreme Court struck down a colonial-era law banning consensual gay sex. The eloquent, far-reaching decision is a monumental victory for gay rights, as the Justices of the Court went further than to decriminalize gay sex: they ruled that gay Indians must be accorded all the protections in India's Constitution. While swaths of India's population are extremely conservative, activists hope that this victory will lead to more progress.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/world/asia/india-gay-sex-377.html

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

Entertainment

U.S. Accuses North Korea of Plot to Hurt Economy as Spy Is Charged In Sony Hack

The Justice Department has charged one North Korean, Park Jin-hyok, for computer fraud and wire fraud in relation to the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. While the charges were just unsealed, they were filed under seal in the days leading up to Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un in June. While he was the only one charged in the hacking, the complaint described a team of hackers that are part of North Korea's intelligence agency and may have operated out of China or other Asian countries to hack into Sony, Britain's health care system, and Bangladesh's central bank to steal $81 million.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/us/politics/north-korea-sony-hack-wannacry-indictment.html

Showbiz Lawyers Question 'Handshake' Contracts

Gentlemen's agreements pervade Hollywood, and talent lawyers are known by those agreements to receive 5% of their clients' pay. Johnny Depp won a recent court battle against his former attorney, Jake Bloom, by having a judge rule that he may void the oral agreement with his Bloom. Now, Depp is seeking a full refund of the approximately $30 million he paid Bloom since 1999. This development is leading many lawyers in the industry to question whether they should seek a retroactive written agreement from clients despite the industry norm. It is likely that the matter between Depp and Bloom will go to trial next year and that Bloom will be able to recover, according to quantum meruit, a reasonable fee for his services.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/johnny-depps-court-win-lawyers-question-handshake-contracts-1139459

Les Moonves Said to Be Negotiating Possible Exit From CBS

The chief executive of CBS, Les Moonves, is exiting the corporation and may be getting a payout while going out the door. There have been multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him, many of which were recounted in detail in the New Yorker magazine through reporting by Ronan Farrow. His departure is likely to change the face of the CBS Corporation, as he was also part of a boardroom battle over the control of CBS. With his departure, it is unclear who will take his place and how merger discussions may be affected.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/business/media/les-moonves-cbs-exit.html

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers Were Stolen 13 Years Ago and Have Been Found

The FBI announced on Tuesday that it recovered a pair of stolen ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in "The Wizard of Oz" 13 years after the slippers were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum. A private donor offered a $1 million reward for locating the slippers, and leads came pouring into the FBI regarding the whereabouts of the slippers, but they were recovered in a sting operation in Minneapolis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/dorothys-ruby-slippers-stolen.html

Prosecutors Decline to Charge Kevin Spacey and Steven Seagal in Sex Abuse Cases

Prosecutors at the Los Angeles County district attorney's office have announced that they will not file criminal charges against actors Kevin Spacey, Steven Seagal, and Anthony Anderson after sexual abuse allegations arose separately for the three actors. The office has declined to file charges against the three based on the statute of limitations. While California has removed the statute of limitations for some sex crimes, it is not retroactive and only applies after January 1, 2017.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/charges-kevin-spacey-seagal-anderson.html

New Spotify Initiative Makes the Big Record Labels Nervous

Spotify has begun experimenting with a novel arrangement with artists: direct licensing deals that give the artists a way onto the platform without having to go to a major label. Thus far, the deals have been mostly with less famous artists, but big record labels are concerned, as it may lead to a change in an industry that they have dominated for decades. Spotify would offer artists a bigger financial cut, ownership of their recordings, and allow them to license their songs to other streaming companies.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/business/media/spotify-music-industry-record-labels.html

WarnerMedia Unveils New Diversity Protocols for Movies and Shows

With AT&T as its new parent company, WarnerMedia has pledged that all divisions of the company would use their "best efforts to ensure that diverse actors and crew members are considered for film, television and other projects, and to work with directors and producers who also seek to promote greater diversity and inclusion." The policy does not require Warner filmmakers and show runners to meet diversity benchmarks with cast and crew, which advocates had encouraged, but the policy is meaningful, as it is a commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in an industry that has been slow to embrace those principles.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/business/media/warnermedia-diversity-movies-tv.html

Roy Moore Sues Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime Seeking $95 Million

Following Roy Moore's appearance on the Showtime show, "Who is America?" starring Sacha Baron Cohen, he has filed suit against the network and actor for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud. He accused Cohen, CBS, and Showtime of leading him to be interviewed and be "falsely painted, portrayed, mocked and with malice defamed . . . as a sex offender, which he is not." However, he conceded in the complaint that he did sign a release to his rights in being interviewed but that the release was obtained through fraud and was void and inoperative.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/arts/television/roy-moore-sacha-baron-cohen.html

Dolores O'Riordan of Cranberries Died Accidentally

The lead singer of the group The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan, died from drowning after heavy drinking. She was found with no evidence of self-harm or injuries, but her blood alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit for driving in Britain, according to a London coroner.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/arts/music/dolores-oriordan-cranberries-death-drowning.html

Modeling in the #TimesUp Era

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, ahead of New York Fashion Week, released a pre-show missive calling for models to be protected in the #TimesUp era as never before. The missive calls for private changing areas to prevent predators from approaching models while they are changing or naked. There have been multiple scandals involving sexual assault and harassment in the fashion industry from photographers to stylists, and the #TimesUp movement has sought to protect models.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/fashion/models-me-too-times-up.html

'Crazy Rich Asians' May Not Fly in China

As the first major Hollywood release in 25 years with an all-Asian cast, "Crazy Rich Asians" was a hit in the United States and topped the box office in North America for three consecutive weekends. It is unclear whether it will become a hit in China, however: China's strict quota system permits only a limited number of foreign films to be imported each year. Given China's "core socialist values," some analysts expect that the government will not permit the film to be imported because it depicts "profligate spending and vast wealth inequality."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/world/asia/crazy-rich-asians-china.html

Arts

Double Blow to Brazil Museum: Neglect, Then Flames

Many Brazilians had feared that the worst would happen one day, given the flammable plastic on the room, the uncovered wires, and the evidence of jury-rigged wiring. On Tuesday, a fire broke out at the National Museum of Brazil and destroyed the 200-year-old institution, leaving little left of the 20-million-item collection and serving as a symbol of a nation in disrepair. As recently as in July, citizens filed a complaint with the federal prosecutor's office noting the disrepair of the building, but what steps the museum took, if any, are not known. Prosecutors had warned the museum and two different federal government agencies of the risk of fire a month before the fire broke out, but there was no immediate action.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/world/americas/brazil-museum-fire.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/world/americas/brazil-museum-fire.html

City Ballet and Chase Finlay Sued by Woman Who Says Nude Photos Were Shared

Alexandra Waterbury filed a suit in New York State Supreme Court against the New York City Ballet and her ex-boyfriend Chase Finlay for sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of her taken without her knowledge or consent. Finlay resigned when the company began questioning him regarding Waterbury's allegations. Her lawsuit also claims that she was not alone in being victimized: other female dancers were the subject of text exchanges that included lewd and misogynistic language among members of the company and a least one patron.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/arts/dance/nyc-ballet-alexandra-waterbury.html

Gallerist Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns

Mary Boone, a veteran gallerist in the New York art world, pleaded guilty to filing false federal income tax returns, according to law enforcement officials. She used business funds to pay for personal expenses, including remodeling her apartment, and then claimed those personal expenses as business deductions, making her profit of $3.7 million appear to be a mere $52,000 profit in 2011. The United States Attorney called it a shell game "with bank accounts to hide her true assets." She agreed to pay restitution and is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/arts/design/gallerist-mary-boone-pleads-guilty-to-filing-false-tax-returns.html

Contractor Sues Glenstone Museum Foundation for $24 Million

One month before the unveiling of the revamped Glenstone Museum, a contractor has sued the foundation that runs the institution and is seeking over $24 million in damages. The contractor has accused the foundation of breach of contract and mismanagement, as it added a "torrent of changes" causing disruptions and delays for the work. The museum is set to open on October 4th, and the foundation has not commented on the pending litigation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/arts/design/contractor-sues-glenstone-museum-foundation-for-24-million.html

The Paul Taylor Company Without Paul Taylor

The modern dance visionary Paul Taylor has died, but he had meticulously planned how his company would proceed after his death. The organization now is comprised of two dance companies, an archive, and a school, and Michael Novak is at the head of the foundation. In May, Taylor began training Novak to head the foundation in his stead. This differs from the approach of others, such as Merce Cunningham, who made plans to dissolve the dance company after a final, two-year tour, and Martha Graham, whose legacy ended up in litigation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/arts/dance/paul-taylor-company-future-michael-novak.html

Frank Lloyd Wright House for Sale

A Frank Lloyd Wright home in Phoenix is now for sale for nearly $13 million after being saved from demolition and a promise to become an architectural school. The plans fell through for the conversion into an architectural school based on fund-raising concerns, but neighbors had expressed concerns about having a nonresidential use of the property in a neighborhood.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/arts/design/frank-lloyd-wright-house-for-sale.html

New 'Popular' Oscar Scrapped by Film Academy for 2019

A recent decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been reversed. There will not be a category for achievement in "popular" films, but the Academy is likely to explore other options for how to "honor excellence across a wider scope of films" than is currently happening with the awards. When the decision was initially announced, it prompted backlash, as there was no detail as to what would constitute a "popular" film.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/business/media/academy-awards-popular-film.html

Burberry to Stop Burning Clothing and Other Goods It Cannot Sell

This summer, Burberry disclosed that it had burned tens of millions of dollars of unsold goods to maintain "brand value." On Thursday, it announced that it would no longer burn unsold goods. This is despite the fact that burning unwanted items is widespread in the retail and consumer industry to preserve high-end prices. Burberry's actions may be to meant to impress its younger shoppers, as they tend more than older generations to make purchasing decisions based on ethical and environmental concerns.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/business/burberry-burning-unsold-stock.html

Church Statues Get an Eye-Popping Paint Job

In the Asturias region of Spain, a recent repainting of figures has drawn unwanted attention. A local shopkeeper obtained permission from the clergy to repaint several figures from the 15th Century in a chapel, and the result: St. Anne has fuchsia lips, black eyeliners, and a bright dress. The Virgin Mary has turquoise hair, and baby Jesus looks akin to a Playmobil figure. It is not yet known whether the new paint can be removed and the original paint recovered.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/europe/spain-church-statues-botched-restoration.html

Sports

USA Gymnastics Chief Forced Out

The head of USA Gymnastics, Kerry Perry, was forced to resign over the weekend by the United States Olympic Committee after holding the job for less than a year and after having dealt with the recent sexual abuse scandal. Senator Richard Blumenthal released a statement, admonishing Perry for her "willful and heartless blindness to the concerns of survivors who were abused by Larry Nassar." USA Gymnastics is expected to find an interim chief executive while a search committee looks for a permanent replacement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/sports/usa-gymnastics-kerry-perry.html

The National Football League Struggles to Handle Issue of Tackling

The National Football League (NFL), in an effort to reduce concussions, adopted a new rule prohibiting any player from lowering his head to make contact with an opponent. Violation of the rule may lead to a 15-yard penalty, an ejection, a fine, or a suspension. The new rule comes as the NFL struggles to deal with the fact that players crashing into each other is both a reason many enjoy watching the sport and apparently a proximate cause of the brain disease known as CTE that has led to the death of several players.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/sports/nfl-week-1-tackling-rule.html

Nike Returns to Familiar Strategy With Kaepernick Ad Campaign

Nike has long relied on controversy in keeping an image of "edgy youthfulness," and that has continued with the revealing of its new ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the polarizing former NFL quarterback. The controversy surrounding Kaepernick began in 2016, when he began kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest "racism, police brutality and social injustice." The latest ad campaign has prompted some to burn or discard their Nike equipment, presenting a problem for the NFL, as it is a major partner of Nike's and is being sued by Kaepernick for colluding not to give him a contract because of his actions during the national anthem.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/sports/nike-colin-kaepernick.html

Media

New Yorker Festival Pulls Steve Bannon as Headliner Following High-Profile Dropouts

President Trump's former strategist Stephen Bannon will not appear at this year's New Yorker Festival. The magazine announced this change to its staff by email last week after several high-profile headliners vowed not to appear if Bannon was going to be invited, including John Mulaney, Judd Apatow, Jack Antonoff, and Jim Carrey.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/arts/bannon-new-yorker-festival-remnick.html

NBC News and Ronan Farrow Trade Jabs Over Weinstein Reporting

NBC News and Ronan Farrow, the reporter who broke the Harvey Weinstein story in The New Yorker magazine, traded jabs last week. Farrow accused the news network of impeding the reporting of the story, which caused him to go to The New Yorker magazine for publication of an award-winning series centered on Weinstein's decades of sexual abuse and harassment in the industry. Farrow called NBC's handling of the matter "a massive breach of journalistic ethics", as he claims it attempted to kill the investigation into Weinstein.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/business/media/nbc-farrow-weinstein-andrew-lack.html

'Five Eyes' Nations Quietly Demand Government Access to Encrypted Data

The Trump administration has warned technology firms that it and Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (the "Five Eyes" nations) will demand "lawful access" to "encrypted emails, text messages and voice communications," and even threatened to compel compliance if the technology companies refuse to provide access. The issue has been a carry-over from the Obama administration, as criminals have taken to communicating in encrypted formats that are not easily accessed by intelligence agencies. On this issue, Congress has not shown that it is ready to take on technology companies and legislate on the issue of whether companies, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, should be required to provide government investigators to all communications in their products and services.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/politics/government-access-encrypted-data.html

Facebook's Private Groups Offer Refuge to Fringe Figures

Alex Jones, the founder of InfoWars and someone who obtained fame through spreading conspiracy theories has not been banned from Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Facebook. Facebook groups have allowed fans of his and others who operate on the fringes of political discourse to gather. The groups, which are private, are safer for them to communicate, as the private groups' conversations do not disseminate into the broader Twittersphere, where it could be violating the company's policies, as happened with Twitter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/technology/facebook-private-groups-alex-jones.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/technology/twitter-alex-jones-infowars.html

A Facebook War: Libyans Battle on Streets and Screens

Facebook has become one of the strongest tools in the arsenal of Libya's fighters. It has served as a platform for fighters to post maps and suggestions for battle plans. In July, Facebook began removing misinformation from its pages in relation to events happening in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India as online rumors were leading to violence against ethnic minorities. Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, has defended Facebook's efforts to limit disinformation and hate speech, and it has a team of Arabic-speaking content reviewers that review posts and remove prohibited content.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/world/middleeast/libya-facebook.html

What Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg Taught Congress and Vice Versa

When Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, testified before the House and Senate, they touched on some of the "deepest tech policy issues" rather than delve into apologies like some analysts feared. Their testimony highlighted the difficulty that legislators have had in dealing with the tech issues that have arisen in the past several years with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media having an outsized influence on American lives. Dorsey's testimony earned plaudits for his candor, by not appearing for the hearing appeared to be tone-deaf on the debate of how and why tech companies should be regulated.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/technology/jack-dorsey-sheryl-sandberg-congress-hearings.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/technology/lawmakers-facebook-twitter-foreign-influence-hearing.html

Myanmar Sentences Reuters Journalists to Seven Years in Prison

Myanmar has sentenced Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for documenting the genocide of the Rohingya minority. The International Criminal Court ruled that it was empowered to exercise jurisdiction to investigate the deportation of the Rohingya Muslims as a crime against humanity. The United Nations has estimated 10,000 deaths, gang rapes, and widespread destruction in the 700,000 Rohingya men, women, and children traveling from Myanmar into Bangladesh beginning in 2017. Myanmar's de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has not held the nation's military leaders accountable for their role in deporting the Rohingya.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/world/asia/myanmar-reuters-journalists-sentenced-trial.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/world/asia/pence-myanmar-reuters-reporters.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/world/asia/rohingya-myanmar-international-criminal-court.html

As Germans Seek News, YouTube Delivers Far-Right Tirades

In more conservative parts of Germany, such as Saxony, a far-right fringe group has been growing in numbers, and many have taken to going on social media to get their news and correspond with like-minded people. YouTube has been an unexpected place for them to gather, as the platform has a recommendation system that allows it to get people to watch more videos and thus increase the company's advertisement revenues, but also brings those on the far-right together in a way that other social media platforms do not. Users looking for news may be drawn to a far-right video and be "sent down a rabbit hole of misinformation and hate," which was shown when in Germany false reports emerged that a man died trying to stop asylum seekers from molesting a local woman.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/world/europe/youtube-far-right-extremism.html

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 10, 2018 4:40 PM.

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