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Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Haley Resigns Post as U.N. Ambassador

Nikki Haley will step down as U.N. Ambassador at the end of the year. No reason was given for her resignation.


Interpol President Resigns Amid Bribery Allegations

Interpol's President Meng Hongwei resigned days after he was reported missing in China. Hongwei was detained by Chinese authorities who accuse him of corruption. China said Meng Hongwei is being investigated for allegations of bribery. Meng maintained his role as China's vice minister of public security while serving as Interpol's president.


The World Health Organization Struggles to Define Dangers of E-Cigs

The World Health Organization's (W.H.O.) tobacco treaty negotiations at its regular biannual session to update its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control tackled the question of what to do with the explosive growth of e-cigarettes and other no-burn devices. The W.H.O. maintains that the treaty's current wording covers all forms of tobacco, including non-traditional cigarettes, but the treaty does not officially cover e-cigarettes because they are not defined as tobacco products yet.


Tech Workers Want Say In Where Their Work Is Used

Employees at technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they are paid to build. Engineers and technologists are asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or by the U.S. or other militaries.


U.S. Spies Stop Russian Attempt to Subvert Balkans Vote

U.S. officials intercepted communications in June showing Russian attempts to undermine an agreement between Greece and Macedonia that would have paved the way for Macedonia to join NATO, which Greece has long objected. American officials turned over the intercepts to the left-leaning Greek government in attempt to undermine Russian attempts. The Greek government responded by expelling two Russian diplomats from Athens and barring the entry of two more.


More Women, People of Color Running For Office

More women and people of color are running for political office than ever before. Since 2012, women of color candidates for Congress have increased by 75%, and white women candidates by 36%. The number of men of color running has increased 8%.


Supreme Court Through the Years

114 justices have been appointed to the Supreme Court since it was established in 1789. All but six were white men. It took 178 years before a person of color joined the Court and 192 years for a woman to be seated. The first Catholic Justice joined the Court in 1836 and the first Jewish Justice was seated in 1916. A majority of justices have been Protestant, but the Court has had a Catholic majority since 2006.


Entire Communities Destroyed By Hurricane Michael

Entire communities in the Florida Panhandle were wiped off the map and an Air Force base suffered "catastrophic" damage by Hurricane Michael, which now ranks as one of the four most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Mexico Beach, Florida, a town of about 1,000 residents, was almost completely destroyed by the 155 mph winds.


Rosenstein Faces Congressional Investigators

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to talk to Congressional investigators about a 2017 episode where he suggested using a wiretap to record President Trump's communications. Rosenstein told then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe that he wanted to secretly record the president to help explore whether he had obstructed justice.


UK Supreme Court Backs Bakery Refusing to Make Gay-Themed Cake

The United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled that a Belfast bakery run by evangelical Christians was not obliged to make a cake emblazoned with the message "support gay marriage." The unanimous decision was greeted as a victory for free speech but condemned by gay rights groups and the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland as a backward step in combating discrimination. The baker refused to produce the cake, featuring the Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie, for a patron who supported the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.


Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans

Rick Gates, a top Trump campaign official, allegedly requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton. The campaign's interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their efforts to influence the election.


U.S. Economists Win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Two U.S. economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, received the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for "significantly broaden[ing] the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge." Nordhaus of Yale University developed two computer simulations that weigh the costs and benefits of taking various steps to slow global warming and argued for taxes on the carbon content of fuels to get businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Romer of New York University argued that government policies, such as funding for research and development, can stimulate technological advances and the presence or absence of such policies helps to explain national differences in wealth and economic growth.


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


Judge Drops Weinstein Charge

A Manhattan judge dropped one of the criminal counts against Harvey Weinstein after new information was revealed by the prosecutors that contradicts claims by one alleged victim who said that Weinstein sexually assault her. The new information also suggests that the New York Police Department withheld the contradictory information from the prosecutor.


Cosby's Legal Battle Shifts to Civil Court

10 women who claimed that Bill Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted them sued the comedian in civil court. The civil suits were on hold while Cosby's criminal trial played out.


Fyre Festival Organizer Sentenced to Prison

The organizer of last year's Fyre Festival was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty in March to two counts of wire and bank fraud. William McFarland defrauded festival investors and ticket vendors out of about $26 million using a "sham ticket scheme", in which he sold bogus tickets to fashion, music, and sporting events.


Bollywood Has Its Own #MeToo Moment

The #MeToo movement has reached Bollywood with a decades old sexual misconduct allegation against popular Bollywood actor Nana Patekar being reported to police and a Netflix partnership dissolved amid allegations against a founder. This has sparked a flood of Twitter allegations of inappropriate behavior by prominent men in India.



Banksy Painting Worth More After Shredding

A picture by street artist Banksy of a girl reaching out for a red balloon that sold at a Sotheby's auction for $1.4M and was immediately shredded by a shredder built into its picture frame may be worth more now than the auction price. The stunt, of which Sotheby's denies involvement, may cause the price to soar. The winning bidder says that she will keep the painting.



Meier Steps Away From Firm

Six months after a New York Times exposé detailed how architect Richard Meier allegedly sexually harassed five women, Meier is stepping away from day-to-day operations of the firm he founded, Richard Meier & Partners.


Opera Orchestra Goes on Strike in Chicago

The Lyric Opera Orchestra went on strike in front of the Chicago Civic Opera House amid shrinking audiences and declining revenue. Management wants to cut 5 positions in the orchestra to reduce costs and pursue other cost cutting measures.


Artists Join Effort to Swing U.S. Elections

The artist and activist organization "For Freedoms" started a 50 state initiative aimed at producing public art programs centered around civic engagement in a lead-up to the November midterm elections. More than 200 institutions and 400 artists have joined the effort.


Accusations Filed in "The Satanic Verses" Shooting

Norwegian police filed accusations against several suspects in the 1993 shooting of author Salman Rushdie's Norwegian publisher, in what was a procedural move to keep the case active before a statute of limitations ban comes into force on the shooting's 25th anniversary. Iran's then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa in 1989 calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie and others associated with his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie's publisher William Nygaard was subsequently severely wounded in an attack outside his home in Oslo by foreign citizens now living abroad.


Non-Profits Question Ties to Saudi Arabia

Nonprofits, like museums and major universities, have been strengthening their ties with Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Middle Eastern countries as a way to broaden their offerings, foster cross-cultural dialogue, and obtain access to their considerable wealth. However, some are questioning whether the possible murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a reason to shun Saudi Arabia, or if the country is simply too wealthy and important to ignore.


Shrine Found at Pompeii

A perfectly preserved ancient shrine 'frozen in time' in volcanic ash for 2,000 years was found in the ruined city of Pompeii. Archaeologists described the altar space, known as a lararium, as 'marvelous and enigmatic.'


Maryse Conde Wins Literature Prize

Maryse Conde from the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe won the New Academy Prize in Literature. The New Academy said that Conde's work "describes the ravages of colonialism, and the post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming."



Protesters Disrupt Advertising on Sydney Opera House

Protesters put a sea of light on the Sydney Opera House to disrupt a controversial advertisement projected on the famous Opera House. The UNESCO World Heritage site displayed an advertisement for the Everest Cup horse race on the side of the building and sparked a fierce divide among the city residents.



Social Media Fights Domestic Misinformation

Both the left and right are flooding social media with domestic disinformation. Since Facebook and other social media companies have adopted measures to hunt for and remove foreign interference on their sites, domestic sites have gained traction. The shift toward domestic disinformation raises potential free speech issues when these social media sites find and curtail such accounts.


Deadly Year for Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least 43 journalists have been killed around the world as a result of their work, outpacing last year, and does not include 17 other deaths in which the motives have not been confirmed. Reporters Without Borders puts the figures for 2018 at slightly higher number, and says that more journalists have been killed in connection to their work this year than in all of 2017.


Facebook Breach Smaller Than Expected

Facebook said that hackers accessed 29 million accounts as part of a security breach disclosed two weeks ago, which is fedwer than the 50 million initially believed. The hackers accessed names, email addresses or phone numbers from the 29 million accounts, according to Facebook. Hackers obtained even more data from 14 million of them, such as hometowns, birthdates, the last 10 places they checked into, or the 15 most recent searches.


Possible Evidence of Journalist Killed Inside Saudi Consulate

Turkish authorities claim to have audio and visual evidence showing that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The supposed evidence shows that there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate along with evidence that Khashoggi was killed. Foreign intelligence service who have seen the evidence say that it is "shocking and disgusting." Washington Post columnist Khashoggi was last seen going into the consulate a week age to get paperwork allowing him to marry his Turkish fiancée, but has not been seen since.


China Denial of Visa to Journalist Sends a "Chilling Message"

The Financial Times said that China was sending a "chilling message" to the people of Hong Kong by denying a visa to one of its journalists. Victor Mallet was told that that his visa renewal was denied weeks after he hosted a pro-independence activist in his role as vice president of the city's Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC). The editorial board of the The Financial Times said: "No criticism has been offered of his work as a journalist. In the absence of any proper explanation for the decision, it is therefore hard to resist the conclusion that it amounts to retribution for his role as (FCC vice president)."


Suspect Arrested in Rape and Killing of Bulgarian Journalist

German police arrested a suspect in connection with the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova whose slaying elicited global condemnation and accusations that she was targeted for her investigative journalism. However, Bulgarian prosecutors said the motive was likely sexual assault and not related to her professional activities. A 21-year-old man with an extensive criminal record has been charged in absentia.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 15, 2018 4:29 PM.

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