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Week In Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited By Elissa D. Hecker

European Union Takes Steps Towards Copyright Reform

The European Parliament approved a measure updating European Union (EU) copyright law and voted to begin negotiations with the European Commission and the Council.


Kavanaugh's Accuser Set To Testify Before Congress; President Takes To Twitter To Express His Doubts

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, is set to testify before Congress. President Trump appeared to express in a Tweet that he doubts her story.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/22/us/politics/kavanaugh-senate-blasey-ford-testify.html; https://gulfnews.com/news/americas/usa/in-tweet-trump-shows-he-doubts-accuser-s-story-1.2281653


White House Moves To Declassify Russia Investigation Records, Then Reverses Course

The Trump aAdministration ordered law enforcement and intelligence officials to declassify documents related to the Russia investigation, further alienating federal law enforcement officials. President Trump then reversed course and stated that the will not require immediate declassification, stating that the Justice Department will review the documents first.



U.S. Loosens Regulations On Ordering Cyberattacks

President Trump issued classified orders that appear to give United States Cyber Command significantly more latitude to act with minimal consultation from other government agencies to conduct offensive cyberattacks.


Jeff Sessions Vows To Protect Free Speech On Campuses

The Attorney General stated that the Justice Department would oppose university officials around the country that try to stifle free speech on campus, including speech by conservatives.


Tesla's Leader Is Being Sued For Defamation

The British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth is suing Elon Musk over a Twitter fight, during which Musk allegedly implied that Unsworth was a sexual predator. The two men participated in a rescue of children trapped in a cave in Thailand this past summer.


Brooklyn Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Case

The Diocese of Brooklyn and a local after-school program reached a $27.5 million settlement with four men who alleged that they were repeatedly sexually abused as children by a religion teacher at a local Roman Catholic church.


Poland's Judiciary Reform Draws Criticism From The EU

As Poland's government is transforming its judicial system, including mandatory judicial retirements at 65 years of age, the EU has moved to invoke Article 7 of its treaty for a potential breach of obligations as a member of the bloc, meaning that Poland could potentially lose its voting rights in the EU and millions of euros in EU subsidies. American diplomats have remained largely silent on the issue.


German Doctors Say That Pussy Riot Activist Was Possibly Poisoned In Moscow

German doctors treating Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot activist, say that it was "highly plausible" he had been poisoned, considering that he was not suffering from any long-term illness. Verzilov lost his speech, sight, and mobility after attending a court hearing in Moscow. He was flown to Germany for emergency treatment. Pussy Riot is known for its demonstrations against the Russian government, including when its members ran onto the field during the World Cup final.


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


Bill Cosby To Be Sentenced Next Week; Judge Refuses To Recuse Himself

When Bill Cosby appears in court to be sentenced for sexual assault after the guilty verdict this past Spring, prosecutors will seek a maximum sentence of 30 years. In the past five years, Pennsylvania courts typically sentenced sex offenders to two to five years in prison for similar crimes. Judge Stephen T. O'Neill denied as untimely and lacking merit the motion by Cosby's defense team that he rescue himself after an alleged quarrel with a key witness on the case.



The U.K. Investigates Eleventh Case Against Harvey Weinstein; His U.S. Lawyers Meanwhile Soldier On

British police are investigating a new sexual assault allegation against Harvey Weinstein, the American movie producer, who was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women. This is the eleventh case against Weinstein in the U.K. Meanwhile, in the U.S., his lawyers plan to argue in his defense that prosecutors withheld evidence from the grand jury and that the relationships were consensual, among other defenses.



Editor Leaves His Post Following Controversial #MeToo Essay

New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma exited his post this past week after publishing an essay by Canadian ex-radio host Jian Ghomeshi, the latter of whom was accused of sexually mistreating women.


Suge Knight Faces 28-Year Jail Sentence

Marion "Suge" Knight, co-founder of rap label Death Row Records, faces 28 years in prison after he agreed to a plea deal that includes one count of voluntary manslaughter after allegedly running over a man and killing him in a restaurant parking lot three years ago.


Arts and Cultural Heritage

New York City Ballet Fires Dancers Accused Of Sexting

New York City Ballet dismissed two principal male dancers who were recently named in a lawsuit involving allegations of sharing sexually explicit photograph via text messaging applications. The American Guild of Musical Artists reportedly is planning to challenge the firings.


New Work Philharmonic Fired Two People

The New York Philharmonic fired two key players for unspecified misconduct. It was not reported whether the alleged misconduct was as part of the players' professional or private lives or whether sexual misconduct was involved. The musicians' union is reviewing the matter.


Did Robert Indiana Really Sign Off On the Bratwurst Artwork?

Amid the ongoing lawsuit that accuses two of the deceased artist's associates of exploiting Indiana's advanced age to sell fake artworks that they attributed to him, the focal point of which is the "BRAT" sculpture in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, a publicist who worked for Indiana, Kathleen Rogers, has come forward with some potentially damning evidence of a possibly doctored photograph showing the artist with a drawing of the artwork on question.


5Pointz' Artists Find A New Home At The Museum Of Street Art, Which Is Set To Open In October

Hotel CitizenM New York Bowery commissioned 20 aerosol artists who had painted at 5Pointz (Long Island City, Queens) to create artworks for a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Street Art. Starting next month, visitors will be able to take an elevator to the 20th floor of the hotel and walk down the stairs to see the artworks. Meanwhile, the 5Pointz artists' case against the developer who whitewashed their artworks remains on appeal.


Frick To Take Over The Breuer Building

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York and the Frick Collection announced last Friday that the Met will vacate the Breuer building on Madison Avenue in 2020 and make way for the Frick Collection while the latter's mansion undergoes a renovation. The Met has been leasing the Breuer building from the Whitney Museum of American Art since 2015.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/arts/design/met-breuer-frick-collection.html; https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/met-to-leave-breuer-building-making-way-for-the-frick

Trump Slaps New Tariffs On China But Art Is Spared ... For Now

Chinese art and antiques are not included in the latest round of tariffs imposed by the U.S. Administration on Chinese goods. It remains unclear whether art and antiques will be targeted in the future.

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/china-tariffs-1351112; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/us/politics/trump-china-trade-war.html

Gurlitt Task Force Discovers A New Trove Of Nazi Looted Art

A group of German researchers known as the Gurlitt Task Force, which was formed by the German government to research the provenance of the art confiscated from Cornelius Gurlitt, heir to an art dealer who worked with the Nazis, discovered a new trove of looted art and assisted with restitution of four of the artworks.


German Court Orders Art Restorer To Pay Damages After Details Of Paintings Were Removed During Cleaning

German art dealer Andreas Baumgartl won €26,000 in a court case against an art restorer, who was found to have damaged four oil paintings sent to him for cleaning. While the restorer claimed that the paintings were already in poor condition, the court relied on comparisons with high-resolution digital photographs to establish that the cleaning had removed detail from the paintings. The court noted that the restorer should have tested smaller quantities of the solvent on a tiny area of the paintings rather that doing a rush job.


Brazil Loses Part of Its National Story In Museum Fire

In the fire two weeks ago, Brazil's National Museum lost over 90% of its collection. Aside from priceless artworks, the museum lost documentation of indigenous languages for which there are no longer any living native speakers, literally destroying the last remnants of bygone civilizations.


Gulag Museum Is Being Shut Down By Russian Authorities

The Memorial National Museum of Gulag History in the city of Yoshkar-Ola, presently housed in the former headquarters and torture chamber of the OGPU state security police, is being forced to shut down by regional authorities. While the activists running the museum blame the changing political climate in Russia, the regional administration and some Moscow museum officials suggest that the museum's building requires reconstruction and the museum's collection is in serious need of professional attribution and conservation.


Eighteenth Century Secrétaire Restituted To Italy

A private Swiss collector restituted a secrétaire (cabinet/writing desk), created by the 18th-century Italian cabinet maker Pietro Piffetti, to Italian government. The piece was allegedly illegally exported in 1976. Interestingly, because the piece only had two front legs due to having been originally built into an alcove at Palazzo Chiablese, it is considered a fixture, not a chattel, under Italian law. This makes it inalienable state property pursuant to the division of royal possessions between the Italian state and the House of Savoy after the abolition of the monarchy in 1946.


Elon Musk Plans To Send Artists To The Moon

Elon Musk's space travel company, SpaceX, announced that it will launch Japanese billionaire art collector Yusaku Maezawa into space. Maezawa will be accompanied by a team of six to eight artists, including painters, sculptors, film directors, architects, and fashion designers, who will be asked to create new artworks based on their experiences once they return to Earth.



Mark Cuban To Donate $10 Million To Domestic Violence Organizations After Being Sanctioned By National Basketball Association Over Handling Of Sexual Harassment

The Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban pledged to donate $10 million to women's and domestic violence organizations after an agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA) following a report detailing alleged widespread sexual misconduct within the Dallas Mavericks organization for over 20 years.


Adam Silver Encourages NBA Teams To Hire More Women

Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, asked teams to adopt some of the mandates given to the Dallas Mavericks after an investigation into their handling of sexual harassment claims. The proposed mandates include increasing the number of female employees, including in leadership and supervisory positions.


Hall Of Famers Will Boycott Induction Ceremony Unless Health Insurance and Annual Salary is Offered

A group of Professional Football Hall of Famers said they would not attend the annual induction ceremony until Hall of Famers receive health insurance and an annual salary that includes a share of National Football League revenue.



Russia Reinstated By World Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) voted to allow Russia to resume testing of athletes for doping, despite many claiming that Russia has not done enough to eradicate the alleged state-wide corruption and cheating in sporting events. This decision paves the way for Russia to return to the Olympics.


Charges of Racism Plague German Soccer Federation

As Germany seeks to host the European Championship in 2024, its soccer federation, known as the D.F.B., has to answer accusations of racism and discrimination following the departure this Summer of the celebrated German footballer of Turkish descent, Mesut Özil. "I'm a German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose," Özil wrote a week after the end of the 2018 World Cup, in which Germany performed exceptionally poorly. Germany's contester in hosting the 2024 Euro is Turkey.



First Fair Use Case In Two Decades Is Possibly Headed For The Supreme Court

Fox News previously prevailed, at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals level, in its copyright claims against TVEyes, which indexes television content from over 1,000 television channels and makes the content searchable. TVEyes has filed a petition with the Supreme Court, arguing that the fair use factors of the purpose and character of the use and the effect of the use upon the potential market weigh in their favor.



Female Job Seekers Accuse Facebook Of Bias Against Female Candidates

A group of job seekers, in collaboration with the Communications Workers of America and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed charges against Facebook with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that Facebook's targeting technology excludes women from the users that receive various employers' advertisements for job openings for positions such as truck driver and window installer.


Moonves Faces Sexual Assault Allegations and His Wife Leaves CBS Show

As Leslie Moonves, the former head of CBS network, continues to combat sexual misconduct allegations asserted against him, his spouse, Julie Chen, announced that she will leave the award-winning CBS show "The Talk", which she co-hosted for more than a decade. Moonves may still collect $120 million in severance pay, unless it is determined that he was fired "for cause."


Los Angeles Times's Chief Of Beijing Bureau Resigns Amid Misconduct Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct

Jonathan Kaiman resigned this past week from his position of the Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. He was suspended in May after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.


Google Under Scrutiny Over Targeting Children For Advertising

Google's chief executive, Sundar Pichai, was sent a letter from two congressmen expressing concern that YouTube, a Google subsidiary, may not be in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Meanwhile, Google was also named as a defendant by the New Mexico Attorney General in a lawsuit over how Google may be collecting children's location data and sharing it without their parents' permission.


Preparing For A Referendum On Changing Its Official Name, Macedonia Is Battling a Social Media Disinformation Campaign

Macedonia is scheduled to hold a referendum on September 30th, seeking its voters' opinion as to whether the country should rename itself North Macedonia. The change of name is sought to ease Greece's objections to introducing Macedonia into the Western fold. Russia, which has historically opposed Western geopolitical interests, is allegedly spearheading a social media disinformation campaign. Russian officials deny involvement.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 24, 2018 11:18 AM.

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