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Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Trump Hopes to Ease Sentencing Laws

President Trump supported a substantial revision of the nation's prison and sentencing laws, potentially opening a path to enacting the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in a generation. The bipartisan legislative package would begin to unwind some of the tough-on-crime federal policies of the 1980s and 1990s.



U.S., Others Decline to Sign Cyberattack Declaration

The United States and many other countries declined to sign a vaguely worded, non-binding declaration to protect civilians against cyberattacks and discourage digital meddling in elections. The agreement was championed by France's Macron.


Satellite Images Reveal Hidden North Korea Bases

Commercial satellite images appear to show more than a dozen undeclared North Korean missile operating bases. The network of undeclared sites has long been known to American intelligence agencies, but has not been publicly acknowledged.


Democrats Vow To Block Whitaker From Russia Inquiry Interference

Top congressional Democrats demanded that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation, and vowed to use their newfound powers as the incoming House majority to block him from interfering with it.


Supreme Court Asked to Decide Legality of Whitaker Pick

The Supreme Court was asked on to decide whether President Trump lawfully appointed Matthew Whitaker to be acting attorney general. The
request came in the unusual context of a pending Second Amendment challenge to a federal law banning gun ownership by people convicted of felonies.


Dead, Missing Continue to Rise in California Wildfires

At least 80 people were killed and hundreds are still missing in one of the deadliest and destructive fires in California history. Nearly 12,000 homes and buildings have burned. Californians are also dealing with air quality issues.



Sinema Wins Open Senate Seat in Arizona

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally to win an open Arizona Senate seat. She is the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Arizona since 1988.


Amazon Picks New York, Virginia for New Headquarters

New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon's second and third headquarters. The company plans to spend $5 billion on the two new developments in Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia, and will receive more than $2 billion in tax credits and incentives.


Judge Scraps NYC Housing Settlement

Federal judge William H. Pauley III rejected a settlement agreement that would have appointed a monitor to oversee the New York City Housing Authority and required the City to pump at least $1.2 billion into repairs, suggesting that the federal government should take over the authority instead. Judge Pauley deplored the "breathtaking scope" of the squalid living conditions in NYC's public housing complexes and rebuked it for its mismanagement of the agency.


McCarthy Selected to Lead Republicans in House

Rep. Kevin McCarthy was elected House minority leader replacing Paul Ryan who is set to retire at the end of his term.


No Copyrighting Taste, EU Rules

An EU court ruled that taste cannot be copyrighted. In its ruling, which pitted two similarly tasting cheese spreads against each other, the court noted that "the taste of a food product will be identified essentially on the basis of taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable. They depend on, amongst other things, factors particular to the person tasting the product concerned, such as age, food preferences and consumption habits, as well as on the environment or context in which the product is consumed."


Prime Minister May Gets Backing for Brexit Plan

U.K. Prime Minister won backing for her Brexit plan and solidified support in her cabinet after reaching a tentative agreement with the EU over the U.K.'s exit from the union.


2 Khmer Rouge Leaders Convicted of Genocide

An international criminal tribunal convicted Nuon Chea, 92, and Khieu Samphan, 87, two former Khmer Rouge leaders, of genocide. The two defendants are among the last surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge. The regime decimated Cambodia from 1975-1979 in an effort to recreate a utopian agrarian society. An estimated 1.7 million people--or more than 20% of the population--died.


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


Another Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein

Actress Paz de la Huerta filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein accusing him of raping her in 2010 and trying to harm her career. The
lawsuit alleges that Weinstein raped de la Huerta twice in New York in December 2010, taunting her with phone calls between the two assaults. The New York Police Department said a year ago that it was investigating de la Huerta's allegations, but no charges have been filed.


Weinstein Police Commander Reassigned

The police commander who led the effort to arrest Harvey Weinstein was removed as the chief of New York City's special victims division. Deputy Chief Michael Osgood will take on a leadership role in Staten Island. Deputy Chief Judith Harrison takes over the special victims division. The case has been marred by allegations that a top detective had compromised it.



Diaz Stays on Pulitzer Board After Investigation Into Misconduct

Author Junot Díaz will stay on the Pulitzer Board after an investigation by a law firm "did not find evidence warranting removal." Diaz was accused by Los Angeles-based author and writer in residence at Occidental College Zinzi Clemmons of forcibly kissing her when she was a 26-year old graduate student. The investigation interviewed dozens of witnesses and looked at hundreds of pages of documents as well as audiotapes.


Artist Claims Man Extorted Him

Artist Ross Bleckner accused a man who worked for him of attempting to extort him. The man, Cody Gilman, allegedly threatened to portray their consensual sexual relationship as a case of sexual harassment.


Exiled Writer Appears at Hong Kong Literary Festival

Writer Ma Jian made an appearances at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival after his appearance had previously been canceled in what many saw as censorship. Ma's books have been banned in mainland China since 1987 and his new book, "China Dream", is a political allegory of the country's modern self. Ma, a British citizen, lives in exile in London.


Netherlands Renew Efforts to Identify WWII Stolen Art

During World War II, the Nazis set up an art clearing house in the Netherlands to sell the artworks it looted, mostly from its Jewish victims. Now the Netherlands is renewing efforts to identify those works. Researchers have so far discovered 172 artworks in Dutch museums with problematic histories.



U.S.A Gymnastics History of Failing Athletes

U.S.A. Gymnastics, the national governing body of the sport, has for years failed to protect its athletes and the leadership continues to let down its members. Damaged by its failure to protect its female athletes against Dr. Larry Nassar, the governing body then gave a powerful position to a defender of Nassar. The organization later appointed Mary Bono, a former congreswoman, as its chief executive, despite Bono's connections to a law firm that advised the organization to delay publicly revealing the reports of Nassar's abuse. U.S.A. Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer Ron Galimore resigned as well.



National Hockey League, Players Reach Concussion Settlement

The National Hockey League (NHL) and 300 retired players reached a tentative $18.9 million settlement agreement after the players sued the NHL and accused it of failing to protect them from head injuries or warning them of the risks involved with playing.


Calgary Says No To Winter Games

A majority of Calgarians votes against the city bidding for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. The non-binding vote most still be supported by the city council, who most likely kill the city's bid.



Facebook Failed to Monitor Its Partners

Facebook failed to closely monitor device makers after granting them access to the personal data of hundreds of millions of people. Details of those oversight practices were revealed in a letter Facebook sent to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. Facebook entered into dozens of data-sharing agreements with device makers but an external audit found "limited evidence" that the company monitored or checked the partner's compliance with its data use policies.


Judge Orders White House to Give Back Press Pass

CNN's Jim Acosta was given his White House press pass back after a court granted him a temporary restraining order. President Trump vowed to create "rules and regulations" for how White House reporters act and will strip the press pass from any reporter who fails to follow the rules.


U.S. Changes Stance on Assange

Reversing an Obama era view that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was a "journalist," the Trump administration now views Assange as a Russian agent and have been investigating his ties to Russia. This has culminated in the secret filing of charges in a federal court this summer.


Audio of Khashoggi Killing Given to U.S.

Turkey said that it gave the U.S. a recording of the last moments of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's life, as he was being killed inside the Saudi Consulate. The audio was also shared with Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, and Germany. The CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of Khashoggi, despite the government's denials.



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