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Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Rules Agreed Upon To Implement Paris Accord

Negotiators from around the world agreed to rules on how to implement the Paris Agreement and keep the accord intact in the face of mounting geopolitical conflict. The U.S., which remains in talks until it can officially withdraw from the accord in 2020, held an event promoting fossil fuels where it argued that the country was injecting a dose of "reality" in the face of "alarmism" around climate change.


Jim Mattis Resigns

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his retirement purportedly out of protest to President Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria and halve the number of troops in Afghanistan.



Senate Approves Criminal Justice System Overhaul

The Senate passed a sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system after a remarkable political shift from Republicans who voted in large numbers to save money by reducing prison sentences.


Senate Votes to Make Lynching Federal Crime

The Senate voted to make lynching a federal crime, passing the bill by unanimous consent. The measure ensures that lynching would have an enhanced sentence like other federal hate crimes, including life in prison. Congress had previously tried to pass anti-lynching legislation over 200 times, but Southern senators blocked those bills.


Ryan Zinke Resigns From Interior Department

Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after facing pressure to step down because of multiple probes tied to his real estate dealings and conduct while in office. The White House had been pushing Zinke to resign for weeks.


Trump Charity Closed

President Trump agreed to shut down his personal charity and donate its assets under an agreement with the New York attorney general, following allegations that the charity squandered funds on political and business purposes.


Flynn Sentencing Delayed

Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan postponed former national security advisor Michael Flynn's sentencing for lying to the FBI after a blistering retort of Flynn's action, including suggesting that Flynn committed a crime for which he was neither accused of nor for which he was prosecuted. The prosecution askedg for no jail time. The FBI has been highly criticized for its interviewing tactics of Flynn, with some even suggesting there was entrapment.


New Jersey Democrats Reverse Course on Redistricting

Legislative leaders in New Jersey will not move forward with a proposal to redraw legislative districts that would have essentially written gerrymandering into the State Constitution. Senate president Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin released statements announcing that they would not put the proposal up for a vote.


Arizona Governor Taps Martha McSally to Fill McCain's Seat

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed fellow Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate to fill the seat John McCain once held. McSally, who lost a close race for Arizona's other Senate seat this year, will succeed Sen. Jon Kyl, who will step down at the end of the year.


DeBlasio Backs Legal Marijuana

Despite having no bearing on the decision on whether to legalize marijuana in the state, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he backs the legalization, but insisted he won't allow it to be dominated by corporate interests.


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


"Fresh Prince's" Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite Over Use of Signature Dance

Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton on the hit television show "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" filed lawsuits against Fortnite's developers Epic Games Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. for unfairly profiting from his likeness and exploiting his "protective creative expression" by using his signature dance used in the 1990's sitcom.


Putin's War on Rap

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that rap music was part of the Russian culture and therefore it was necessary for the government to manage and guide the industry. The Russian government had been trying to crack down on rap artists. Putin, responding to concerns over freedom of expression, said: "If it is impossible to stop, then it is necessary to navigate and guide accordingly."



"Hakuna Matata" Trademark Irks Many

Disney's decision to trademark the Swahili phrase "Hakuna Matata", made famous in its hit movie "The Lion King", has caused backlash with some 150,000 people signing a petition asking the company to drop it. A Disney spokesperson said that the trademark only applies to T-shirts and only under the context of Disney's "Lion King" franchise.


American Airlines Finally Gets Approval to Copyright Logo

After three rejections from the U.S. Copyright Office, American Airlines was finally given approval to copyright its 2013 logo redesign. The Copyright Office previously rejected the logo, saying that it represented nothing more than a collection of geometric shapes, lacking the creativity the office demands for copyright protection.



The Women's Tennis Association Changes Pregnancy Rule

The Women's Tennis Association will no longer treat pregnancy like an injury or illness and mothers returning from maternity leave will receive more consideration. A returning mother will now have up to three years after the birth of her child to be eligible for a special ranking to gain entry into tournaments. Players returning from childbirth who are out of competition for 52 weeks or longer can also use that special ranking for 12 tournaments instead of eight. New mothers can also wear modified clothing. The topic of special seedings and clothing received attention after Serena Williams returned to the tour six months after giving birth to her daughter.



Moonves Denied $120M Severance

Former CBS CEO Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the company's board accused him of not fully cooperating with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. Moonves was fired in September after allegations from women who said that he subjected them to mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping, and retaliation if they resisted. A statement from the board cited Moonves' "willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of his contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the company's investigation."


Senate Reports Say Russia Likes Trump

The Senate released a pair of reports claiming that Russia engaged in an all-out social media campaign to help Donald Trump. In the reports, Google, Twitter, and Facebook were described by researchers as having "evaded" and "misrepresented" themselves and the extent of Russian activity on their sites. The companies were also criticized for not turning over complete sets of data about Russian manipulation to the Senate.


BuzzFeed Wins Defamation Suit Over Trump Dossier

BuzzFeed News won a court challenge over its publication of the Russia dossier. A federal judge essentially ruled that the dossier was newsworthy.


Tucker Carlson Remains Defiant

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said about immigrants: "We have a moral obligation to admit the world's poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided." After he made the comments, critics called for advertisers to pull their ads. Carlson stands by his comments. Some advertisers have pulled their support.


D.C. Sues Facebook

The District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users. The complaint alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed for years to properly monitor third-party apps.


German Journalist Made Up Stories For Years

Germany's Der Spiegel, a top European news magazine, fired one of its star journalists after discovering that he had fabricated facts and sources in more than a dozen articles over a seven-year period. The magazine published an article saying "Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues."


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