« A Warning About Derivative Rights and Digital Media | Main | Week In Review »

Week In Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

President George H. W. Bush Dies At 94

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, passed away on Friday at age 94. In his later years, he took good-will trips around the globe to raise funds for victims of the 2004 tsunami and of Hurricane Katrina. He was the second U.S. president after John Adams to be a father of another U.S. president, George W. Bush.


Touch Down On Mars

NASA's InSight lander has safely descended to Mars after a six-month journey. The spacecraft will now begin its study of the Martian underworld, to help would help scientists understand how Mars and other rocky planets formed.



US And China Call A Truce In Trade War

During the Group of 20 meeting, Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping struck a handshake deal that the U.S. will hold off new tariffs in exchange for China's pledge to purchase more American products.


New Emails Reveal That Federal Trade Commission Lawyer Was Surprised Last Year by Matthew Whitaker's Appointment As Chief Of Staff To Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Emails released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests for documents about Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) fraud investigation of World Patent Marketing, a Miami company, reveal that the FTC's lawyers expressed surprise over Whitaker's Justice Department appointment, considering that he was on the advisory board of the company under investigation.


Office Of Special Counsel Relaxes Warning Over Speech To Federal Employees

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent governmental agency, enforces the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity for or against partisan election campaigns while at work. Last week, the Office issued a guidance to over two million federal employees, cautioning against discussions of impeachment and resistance. This week, following criticism from legal specialists that such guidance went too far, it issued a clarification that casual discussion of impeachment remained acceptable as long as the federal employee does not advocate support or opposition to presidential candidates.


Floyd Mayweather And DJ Khaled Are Fined In Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer and rapper Khaled Khaled, known as DJ Khaled, will have to refund all money they received for promoting new digital tokens by the start-up Centra Tech and pay fines. This announcement came amid SEC increasing scrutiny of behavior in the virtual currency industry.


New Jersey Ties Legalizing Marijuana With Debate On Race And Criminal Justice Fairness

As the New Jersey Legislature considers whether to legalize recreational marijuana, it is also weighing a companion measure to clear the criminal records of many people with drug offenses. The debate is turning into a discussion about fairness in the criminal justice system and the role of race in drug convictions over the decades.


European Union And United Kingdom Agree On Brexit Terms

The other 27 European Union members approved the terms of Britain's formal exit from the bloc, and it is now up to the British Parliament to ratify the deal before beginning months of negotiations on trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, and other areas.


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


Jay-Z Wins A Diversity Victory In The Midst Of A Legal Battle

Jay-Z and his new clothing brand, Roc Nation, are embroiled in a legal dispute with Iconix, a brand management company, over alleged violation of the 2007 sale agreement of Jay-Z's former clothing brand, Rocawear. Last week, Jay-Z won a court battle to suspend arbitration proceedings on the grounds that there were not enough African-American arbitrators eligible to hear the case.


Weinstein Pushes For Dismissal Of Manhattan Case

Harvey Weinstein's legal team filed another motion in State Supreme Court, New York County, seeking to dismiss the indictment against him on the grounds that Weinstein's accuser's friend, who was allegedly asked to back up the rape allegation, informed the police that she was never told of any assault or rape. Weinstein's lawyers say that prosecutors did not share this evidence until now.


Neil deGrasse Tyson Embroiled In #MeToo Allegations

The renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused of sexual misconduct by three women. In a lengthy Facebook post, he denied the allegations of inappropriate behavior. Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the science program "Cosmos", and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, are investigating the accusations.


Art and Cultural Heritage

Collector Wins Damages In A Fake Art Case

A jury in Federal District Court in Concord, New Hampshire awarded $465,000 to Andrew J. Hall, a Wall Street titan and a prolific art collector, against Lorettann Gascard, a former college professor, and her son Nikolas Gascard, for selling him 24 fake paintings, allegedly by the modern artist Leon Golub. The artist's foundation had no record of the subject paintings in its database and found a number of discrepancies with the artist's style during in-person examinations of the paintings. At trial, Jon Bird, a Golub expert and a professor emeritus at Middlesex University in London, testified that the works sold to Hall demonstrated clear differences with Golub's style. It did not help the defendants' case when Nikolas Gascard admitted in a deposition to making up titles and dates for some of the paintings.


Five Countries Slow To Address Nazi-Looted Art, Per US Expert

Speaking last week at a major Berlin conference commemorating the 20th anniversary of Washington Conference Principles (Principles) on Nazi-Confiscated Art, Stuart E. Eizenstat, an adviser to the State Department, criticized Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Hungary for refusing to carry out the Principles. The Principles were endorsed by representatives of 44 countries, with the goal to complete the restitution by the end of the century. Twenty years later, there is still plenty of work to be done. Eizenstadt, however, described the current state of affairs as a glass "slightly more than half full."



African Officials Comment On France's Looted Art Report; Macron Calls For Conference

Last week, France issued a report, commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron, recommending that all objects removed without consent from Africa and sent to France be permanently returned if the countries of origin asked for them. Senegal's culture minister, Abdou Latif Coulibaly, was the first to respond, calling for the return of all Senegalese artwork held in French museums and institutions. Ivory Coast drew up a list of about 100 masterpieces that it wanted to have returned. France holds at least 90,000 sub-Saharan artifacts, of which 70,000 are in the Quai Branly Museum. French President Emmanuel Macron called for a Euro-African conference on the return of African artifacts to be held in Paris by next April.




The Whitney Museum Of Art's Staff Call For Resignation Of Board Vice Chair Whose Companies Produce Tear Gas

Staff at the Whitney Museum of American Art sent a letter to museum leadership, calling for resignation of the museum's board vice chair, Warren B. Kanders. Kanders reportedly owns the companies that produce the tear gas that was used against migrants attempting to enter the country last week.


The Great Pompeii Project Uncovers Another Extraordinary Fresco

Archaeologists uncovered an amazingly well preserved fresco depicting the mythological scene of Leda and the swan as part of the large-scale intervention to excavate and secure more than two miles of earth that border an unexcavated area of the ancient city of Pompeii, which have suffered structural damage due to heavy rains in recent years. This is only the latest among the discoveries made by the Great Pompeii Project this year. Last month, an elaborate shrine was uncovered in Pompeii, which was also well preserved despite the centuries of being buried under volcanic ash.




49ers Release Reuben Foster After Second Domestic Violence Arrest; Redskins Pick Him Up

The San Francisco 49ers announced that the team has released linebacker Reuben Foster following his second arrest a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence. The team previously made it clear that it would have a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence. The Washington Redskins claimed the player off waivers and the coach, Jay Gruden, defended Foster, citing his youth. Foster, who remains on the commissioner's exempt list, will play only if he is cleared.




Major League Baseball Asks Senator Hyde-Smith To Return Donation

Major League Baseball (MLB), which previously donated $5,000 to the campaign of Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, asked her to return the donation after her comments invoking public hangings made the news. The MLB has several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in its sport.


Todd Ewen Joins A Growing List Of Former National Hockey League Players With Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Posthumous analysis of Todd Ewen's brain tissue reportedly confirmed, years after Ewen's suicide, that he did have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative neurological disease. The new findings have been said to raise questions about how his symptoms, including brain lesions, were not recognized as telltale signs of the disease.


Chiefs Let Kareem Hunt Go After Video Showing Him Attacking A Woman

The Kansas City Chiefs' running back, Kareem Hunt, was cut by the Chiefs and suspended by the National Football League in response to the release of a video that showed Hunt knocking down and kicking a woman.


MLB Embraces Gambling After Years Of Being Averse To It

MLB announced that MGM Resorts is becoming baseball's official gambling industry partner. The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League also reached deals with MGM, since the recent SCOTUS decision effectively struck down a federal law that had served to ban sports betting in most states.



Daniel Hernandez, A/K/A 6ix9ine, Arrested On Federal Racketeering Charges

The Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine reportedly worked meticulously to build his reputation of a "super villain" on social media, his presence attracting drama and gun violence. To aid in his act, the artist partnered with a street gang, Nine Try Gangsta Bloods, according to the police. He was arrested on federal racketeering charges for participation in shootings and violent robberies - some of which he allegedly live-streamed on Instagram.


The Harvard Crimson Elects First Black Woman President

Kristine E. Guillaume was elected the Harvard Crimson newspaper's first black female president, making her the third black president and first black woman to helm the organization since its founding in 1873.


Sheryl Sandberg Ordered Research Into George Soros's Motivation Behind His Facebook Critique

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, asked staff to investigate whether billionaire philanthropist George Soros had financial motivations against Facebook when he called the service a "menace to society." Facebook's research into Soros set off a public relations debacle, in which it was accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic attacks.




News Media Outlets In Hungary Are Being Concentrated Under Control Of A State-Friendly Entity

The owners of several hundred private Hungarian news outlets simultaneously donated them to a central holding company reportedly run by people close to the far-right prime minister Viktor Orban.


Journalist Javier Valdez Slain In Mexico; His Colleagues Hacked

Javier Valdez, a prominent investigative reporter, was shot dead in Mexico. Days later, his colleagues received messages that his killers had been detained. The messages, however, were allegedly infected with a spyware known as Pegasus, which the Mexican government reportedly purchased from an Israeli cyber arms dealer called the NSO Group.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 3, 2018 5:29 PM.

The previous post in this blog was A Warning About Derivative Rights and Digital Media.

The next post in this blog is Week In Review.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.