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Week In Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Below for your convenience are topics from Entertainment, Arts, Sports, Media, and General News

Entertainment

Copyright Suit Against Jerry Seinfeld is Dismissed

U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan ruled that the lawsuit against Jerry Seinfeld was barred under the 3-year statute of limitations for copyright infringement claims. Christian Charles, a writer and director on the pilot of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," claimed that he had come up with the idea for the Netflix series.

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2019/10/01/judge-tosses-copyright-suit-against-jerry-seinfeld-over-comedians-in-cars-series/

James Franco is Sued Over Sexual Exploitation Allegations at His Acting School

Two former students of an acting school that Franco helped found say the school operated as a way of providing Franco and his male collaborators with a pool of young female performers who were pressured into sexually exploitative auditions and promised roles in his projects, which never materialized.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/movies/james-franco-nudity-lawsuit.html

Placido Domingo Resigns as General Director of Los Angeles Opera

The announcement comes after Domingo already withdrew from a run of performances at the Metropolitan Opera amid allegation of sexual harassment by multiple women.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/arts/music/placido-domingo-la-opera-sexual-harassment.html

The "Joker" Movie, a Calculated Risk by Warner Brothers

Though it has proven to be a financial and critical success, the movie is reigniting the debate over Hollywood accountability given the empathetic depiction of the lead character in a violent, hyper-realistic movie.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/movies/joker-movie.html

Tekashi69's Testimony Leads to Convictions

Two members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods were convicted of racketeering conspiracy and other offenses based on the rapper's testimony about the gang's structure, operations, and violence against other gangs in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/nyregion/tekashi-69-guilty.html

Arts

Annie Leibovitz Sues Univision for Copyright Infringement

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has filed a complaint against Univision, alleging that it used her photos of Caitlyn Jenner without permission.
The photos in dispute are those shown in a 2015 issue of Vanity Fair and depict Jenner in her first magazine photo spread after coming out as a transgender woman.

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/ip-law/annie-leibovitz-sues-univision-for-posting-caitlyn-jenner-photos

The Same Wealth That Galvanizes Artists' Protests Also Keeps Museums Alive

The article looks at several recent high-profile departures at museum boards and examines the impact of ousting board members on the financial well-being of cultural institutions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/arts/design/whitney-art-museums-trustees.html

Jeff Koons (Finally) Unveils Tulip Sculpture in Paris

The sculpture, titled "Bouquet of Tulips," was unveiled in the gardens of the Champs Élysées. The artist dedicated the sculpture to friendship between France and the United States, and as a tribute to the victims of the 2015 terrorist attacks in France.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/arts/jeff-koons-tulips-paris.html

Looted Ethiopian Crown Resurfaces in the Netherlands

A Dutch civil servant kept an Ethiopian crown hidden in his home for over 20 years after he noticed it in the suitcase of a guest who was staying in his home. He "confiscated" it but did not alert Ethiopian authorities, suspecting that they may have enabled the theft and that it would be stolen again. He also did not alert Dutch authorities, fearing that it would be kept in a museum rather than returned home. He waited for a change in government to report it and now says that he would like to see the liturgical crown given to the National Museum of Ethiopia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/arts/design/ethiopian-crown.html

Sports

California Governor Signs Fair Pay Bill

The NCAA urged California to hold off on the bill to give a working group formed earlier this year more time to examine "the name, image and likeness issue." The bill will allow college athletes in the state to profit off their names, images, and likenesses.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/sports/college-athletes-paid-california.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/sports/california-college-athletes-paid-ncaa.html

National Basketball Association Rules Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie is Not Permitted to Sell Shares in His Contract

The Brooklyn Nets guard wanted to enable investors to essentially buy into his 3-year, $34.4 million contract, allowing them to bet on whether he would be able to play well enough to earn a more lucrative contract after the second year of his deal. He planned to guarantee investors a few percentage points in interest over the 3 years. The National Basketball Association took the position that the arrangement is prohibited by the collective bargaining agreement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/sports/basketball/spencer-dinwiddie-nets-invest.html

Major League Baseball and Players Association Considering Adding Opioid Testing and Easing Marijuana Restrictions

On the issue of easing marijuana penalties, the 2 sides are reportedly considering it as part of the annual review of the drug policy and
expected to solicit input from the medical community on the effects and effectiveness of marijuana.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2019-10-02/opioids-marijuana-testing-major-league-baseball-tyler-skaggs-kyle-blanks

Washington's Capital One Arena to Offer Sports Betting

It will be the first major team sports facility in the U.S. (home to the Wizards and Capitals) to have a betting parlor. William Hill will run the facility, though it isn't clear when it will start operating or whether it will shut down for collegiate games.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/sports/capital-one-arena-sports-betting.html

Coach of Nike Oregon Project Gets 4-Year Doping Ban

The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced a 4 year ban for Salazar, 61. He was found to have administered banned substances and tampered with antidrug controls. Track and field's world governing body revoked Salazar's coaching authorization and banned him from being trackside or communicating with his athletes at the Nike-sponsored Oregon project.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/sports/alberto-salazar-doping-ban.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/sports/alberto-salazar-doping-track.html

Prosecutors in Robert Kraft Case Appeal Lower Court's Decision to Exclude Video Evidence

Florida prosecutors have appealed the lower court's decision to exclude video evidence in the case, arguing that police followed established procedures for obtaining a warrant to install the cameras at the day spa.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/sports/football/robert-kraft-appeal-case.html

USA Swimming Under Federal Investigation

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating USA Swimming, including allegations that the governing body stifled athlete sexual abuse claims. They are also probing its business practices, including possible misstatements in tax filings and whether its relationship with the in-house insurance company was a potential avenue for self-dealing.

https://www.si.com/olympics/2019/10/02/usa-swimming-federal-investigation

Another Horse Dies on Opening Weekend at Santa Anita Park

Despite a number of personnel changes and new safety measures, another horse has died at the Santa Anita racetrack, this time a 3-year-old colt that collapsed with both of his front legs broken. Thirty horses died at the racetrack in a 6-month stretch that ended in June. A review is underway to determine what factors contributed to the colt's injury. The horse had a history of physical problems, was placed on a list for observation by state veterinarians, and recently passed the required workout and was removed from that list.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/sports/horse-racing/santa-anita.html

AdvoCare Agrees to $150 Million Settlement with Federal Trade Commission

The nutritional supplement provider forged ties with professional athletes and major sports leagues. However, the Federal Trade Commission has found that AdvoCare's multilevel marketing business operated like a pyramid scheme that deceived customers into thinking they could earn significant income as distributors of its products. In reality, participants were pushed to recruit distributors rather than sell products, and 72% of its distributors did not earn any compensation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/business/advocare-pyramid-scheme-ftc.html

Media

Lawsuit Against Bloomberg Dismissed

A federal judge in the District of Columbia dismissed a suit for copyright infringement against Bloomberg L.P. The suit claimed that Bloomberg LP was "free riding" on a D.C. public policy newsletter's "hot news" by republishing those summaries on its own subscription news services. DBW Partners claimed that republishing those summaries, often using direct quotations, weakened the value of its reports and drove away subscribers. The order issued in the case dismissed the suit, with reasons to follow.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bloomberg-beats-lawsuit-allegedly-ripping-hot-news-1244514

Disney Bars Netflix TV Ads from Almost All of Its TV Channels

Disney is banning advertising from Netflix across its entertainment TV networks, except for ESPN. The company is expected to launch its own streaming service, Disney Plus, in November, and says it has updated its policy on accepting ads from rival streaming services.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/business/media/disney-netflix-advertising.html

CNN Rejects Two Trump Campaign Ads

CNN declined the 30-second spot criticizing the impeachment inquiry due to what it said were inaccuracies and unfair attacks on the network's journalists. Though unusual for television networks to reject political advertisements, especially in the very early stages of a campaign, the move is not unprecedented.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/business/media/cnn-trump-campaign-ad.html

Massive Layoffs Hit Sports Illustrated

The publishing company behind Sports Illustrated laid off 35 to 40% of the magazine's editorial staff. It is reported that about 30 former employees on the print side will receive severance protection guaranteed through Sports Illustrated's collective bargaining agreement with the NewsGuild of New York.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/10/03/sports-illustrated-shaken-by-major-layoffs-massive-reorganization/

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Sue British Newspapers

Markle's lawsuit was reportedly filed over The Mail's publication of a private letter Markle wrote to her estranged father. Prince Harry publicly accused the publishers of purposely misleading readers "by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words." He also filed claims against two British newspapers for intercepting voicemail messages.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/world/europe/meghan-markle-harry-lawsuit.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/world/europe/prince-harry-sues-sun-daily-mirror.html

BBC Reverses Reprimand Ruling for News Anchor Who Criticized Trump

Naga Munchetty was found to have breached editorial standards after saying that President Trump's remarks about 4 female lawmakers, telling them to return to the places they came from, were embedded in racism. The BBC is now reversing the sanction, saying that her statements breached its impartiality guidelines in a very limited way and were not enough to uphold the decision.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/world/europe/bbc-naga-munchetty.html

Former Italian Prime Minister is Suing Trump Aide for Slander

Matteo Renzi is suing 2016 campaign aide to President Trump, George Papadopoulos, for slander. The former prime minister alleges that Papadopoulos told an Italian right-wing newspaper that Renzi had tried to derail Trump's candidacy under the orders of President Obama by planning a spy in a university in Rome.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/world/europe/italy-renzi-trump-obama.html

Moroccan Journalist Sentenced to Prison for Abortion and Premarital Sex

The journalist and her fiancé were sentenced to one year in jail for having an illegal abortion and premarital sex. The journalist says the charges were fabricated because the abortion never took place. Trial observers say that the arrest and conviction were a state-led effort to intimidate the press and suppress criticism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/world/africa/morocco-abortion-sex-hajar-raissouni.html

China's Social Media Propaganda

The article describes how China has made displays of patriotism ever more common on social media by relying on popular artists and some of the country's most experienced media companies.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/technology/china-propaganda-patriotism.html

U.S. Sanctions 7 Russians Over Election Meddling

The U.S. issued economic sanctions against 7 Russians as a warning to foreigners who interfere in American elections. The Russians were linked to an "internet troll factory," financing or working at an agency that launched disinformation campaigns on social media in 2016.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/politics/us-russia-sanctions-election-meddling.html

Microsoft Reports that Iranian Hackers Are Targeting 2020 Campaigns

Microsoft says that government-backed Iranian hackers have made more than 2,700 attempts to identify emails accounts of current and former U.S. government officials, as well as journalists and others associated with presidential campaigns. Though Microsoft's report did not identify the targets, it said there was evidence they had successfully infiltrated email inboxes in four cases, none of which belonged to a presidential campaign.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/technology/iranian-campaign-hackers-microsoft.html

Egyptian Government Relying on Cyberattacks to Track Activists

A recent report of Cybersecurity company Check Point says that cyberattacks targeting Egyptian journalists, lawyers, opposition politicians, and activists have been traced to Egyptian government offices. Software was installed on targets' phones that enabled government officials to read files and emails, track their locations, and identify with whom they were in contact.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/world/middleeast/egypt-cyber-attack-phones.html

General News

Supreme Court to Hear Louisiana Abortion Case

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Louisiana law that, if upheld, would likely "leave the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions." The law requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. So far, only one doctor in the state meets that requirement. It will be the first abortion case for the Supreme Court since President Trump's appointment of 2 Justices. The ruling is expected in June 2020.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/supreme-court-abortion-louisiana.html

Agriculture Department Announced More Cuts to the Food Stamp Program

Proposed changes would cut $4.5 billion from the program over 5 years. The cut is expected to lower monthly benefits by as much as $75 for 1 in 5 families on nutrition assistance, and almost 8,000 households would lose benefits entirely. The public comment period for this rule change will end on December 2nd.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/trump-food-stamp-cuts.html

Federal Government Plans to Collect DNA from Detained Immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security announced it will begin collecting DNA samples from immigrants in federal detention facilities and entering those results into a national criminal database. In 2005, Congress passed a law authorizing a broad collection of DNA data, but an exemption was put in place to protect immigrants. The ACLU criticized the proposed practice, noting that "mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation" to "population surveillance," adding that because genetic material carries family connections, the practice will have implications not only for those in custody but also their family members who may be U.S. citizens or legal residents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/dna-testing-immigrants.html

Visa Applicants Must Prove They Have Financial Means to Pay for Medical Costs

President Trump is expected to sign a proclamation that will require immigrants applying for visas to prove they have insurance or the financial resources to afford medical care. It will apply to those who already have family members in the U.S. and will not apply to refugees or those granted asylum.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/immigrant-visas-health-care.html

Homeland Security Acknowledges That White Supremacist Terrorism is a Primary Security Threat

The Department of Homeland Security is acknowledging domestic terrorism both in recent appearances by the acting secretary and in a strategy document published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats. The Department's mission report also highlights recent attacks committed by white supremacists, including mass shootings. It remains to be seen how it will translate its recognition of the threat into action.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/politics/white-supremacy-homeland-security.html

President Trump Denies Reports of His Latest Border Proposals

The New York Times reported on a number of President Trump's proposals on how to address the border crisis. They included a suggestion to create a moat filled with snakes and alligators, U.S. forces could open fire on migrants, or that they carry bayonets at the border.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/politics/trump-border-wars.html

House Democrats Announce Plans to Subpoena the White House

The move will try to compel the White House to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry, especially if the White House does not comply with requests for documents related to President Trump's interactions with Ukraine. Vice-president Pence has until October 15th to comply with the request for documents related to Trump's efforts to press Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son. The House has also subpoenaed the president's private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani's files, over the Ukraine call.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/politics/impeachment-white-house-subpoena.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/politics/impeach-giuliani-subpoena.html

Correspondence Suggests Special Envoy to Ukraine Knew U.S. Aid Was Contingent on Ukraine Investigating Biden

The New York Times reports that messages exchanged among senior diplomats posted in Ukraine suggest that they suspected that unfreezing $391 million in American aid was contingent on Ukraine investigating the president's political opponents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/quid-pro-quo-trump.html

Second Potential Whistleblower on Ukraine

The official is a member of the intelligence community and has reportedly been interviewed by the inspector general to corroborate the original whistleblower's account, though sources say he is considering filing his own complaint.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/second-trump-whistleblower.html

Trump Publicly Urges China to Investigate the Bidens

The public request echoed what President Trump had asked of Ukraine in a private call that prompted the impeachment inquiry. Some see it as an effort to reaffirm Trump's position that there is nothing wrong with seeking foreign help to fight corruption, in response to critics who see these requests as an outrageous violation of norms by asking a foreign country to discredit one's political opponents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/politics/trump-china-bidens.html

Trump's First Homeland Security Adviser Says President Was Told There Was No Truth to Ukraine Conspiracy Theory

Thomas Bossert said he told the president that there was no basis to the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections, and that it did so on behalf of Democrats. He says the president was told of this long before he pressed Ukraine this summer to investigate his political rivals.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/us/politics/tom-bossert-trump-ukraine.html

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Origins of Mueller's Inquiry

The New York Times is reporting on another call where the president allegedly pushed the Australian prime minister to help Attorney General Barr gather information on a Justice Department inquiry that the president hoped will discredit the Mueller investigation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/politics/trump-australia-barr-mueller.html

Whistleblower Alleges That Treasury Officials Pressured IRS on Trump Tax Audit; Inspector General to Investigate

The whistleblower's complaint alleges that political appointees in the Treasury Department have improperly influenced the mandatory audit program that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) undertakes to examine presidential returns. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has refused congressional requests to release the president's tax returns, arguing that the request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose. The Treasury's Inspector General will now open an investigation into how the department handled the Congressional request for Trump's tax returns.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/politics/trump-taxes-whistleblower.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/treasury-trump-taxes.html

Justice Department Asks Judge to Block Subpoena of President's Tax Returns

The Manhattan district attorney's office subpoenaed President Trump's personal and corporate tax returns as part of its investigation into payments made to Stormy Daniels during the presidential campaign. While the Justice Department is not part of the case, its lawyers said they wanted to weigh in on the issue because of the constitutional questions that the subpoena raises. They argue that the president would suffer irreparable harm if he had to comply with the demand to turn over his tax returns and other financial information. Meanwhile, the Manhattan D.A.'s office says that the federal lawsuit challenging its subpoena is a delay tactic that could drag out the case until the statute of limitations expires on any possible crimes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/nyregion/trump-taxes-lawsuit.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/nyregion/trump-tax-returns-new-york.html

Judges Urges Federal Prosecutors to Decide on Potential Prosecution of Andrew McCabe

The judge presiding over a lawsuit about FBI documents related to Andrew McCabe's firing said he will start ordering the release of information if prosecutors do not announce whether they intend to bring charges against McCabe. The Justice Department has wanted to keep those documents confidential as it investigates whether McCabe lied to internal investigators about dealings with the news media.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/politics/andrew-mccabe-judge-prosecutors.html

Bernie Sanders Treated for Heart Attack

The Democratic nominee's campaign said he will participate in the October 15th debate and that he is recovering well after undergoing surgery. The candidate's health is likely to raise questions over age, given that the top Democratic primary candidates are all in their 70s.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/politics/bernie-sanders-health.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/bernie-sanders-hospital.html

Prosecutors Are Adopting Troubling Strategies in Wrongful Conviction Cases

In order to bring a civil rights claim following an overturned conviction, defendants must have a "favorable termination of their criminal case." This means that each one needs an affirmative finding of innocence - which can be obtained when he/she/they is/are granted a new trial and found not guilty, or when the prosecutor drops the case and that serves as a de facto acknowledgement that the defendant probably did not commit the crime. There is now an emerging strategy in wrongful conviction cases, especially in jurisdictions that cannot afford to pay exoneree compensation. In some recent cases, prosecutors are offering deals requiring defendants to forgo seeking civil damages. The alternative is incarceration.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/wrongful-convictions-civil-lawsuits.html

Federal Judge Rules in Harvard's Favor in Asian-American Discrimination Case

An advocacy group opposed to affirmative action accused Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American applicants by forcing them to meet a higher standard to gain entry. It also alleged that the school used race as a predominant factor in admissions decisions, that it racially balanced its classes, and that it had considered race before exhausting all other race-neutral alternatives to create diversity. A Federal District Court judge rejected the arguments, and in her discussion of her benefits of diversity, said it is not yet time to look beyond race in college admissions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/harvard-admissions-lawsuit.html

Justice Department Loses Challenge to Supervised Injection Sites

A federal ruling in response to a lawsuit challenging the legality of supervised injection sites has sided with a Philadelphia non-profit, stating that the goal of safe injection sites is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it. Therefore, it found no violation of the Controlled Substance Act, a federal law intended on crack down on "drug-involved premises."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/injection-safehouse-philadelphia-ruling.html

Bipartisan Discussions Continue on a National Privacy Law

Lawmakers continue to disagree on parts of a bill to regulate consumer data, making it unlikely for Congress to pass a national privacy law this year. There is disagreement about how to enforce the law, whether to give the Federal Trade Commission more authority to make rules on privacy, and whether consumers should have a right of action against companies that violate the law if regulatory agencies fail to take action.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/technology/national-privacy-law.html

Attorney General Barr Pushes Facebook for Access to Encrypted Messages

The Justice Department continues to argue that access to encrypted communications is a vital crime-fighting tool. In a recent letter to Facebook, Attorney General Barr pressed the company to allow lawful access to encrypted messages to fight terrorism, organized crime, and child pornography.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/politics/barr-whatsapp-facebook-encryption.html

Facebook Falls Short on Plan to Share Data on Disinformation

In 2018, Facebook committed to sharing posts and other user data with researchers in an effort to study and identify disinformation on the site. It is being reported that much of the data remains unavailable and what will become available is expected to be less comprehensive. Meanwhile, researchers continue to find that Facebook remains the number 1 platform for political disinformation campaigns.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/technology/facebook-disinformation.html

Parents in Admissions Scandal Are Hiring Experts for Their Sentencing Hearings

Parents convicted in the college admissions scandal are turning to experts to shorten their sentences or avoid prison time altogether. One father submitted an expert report from a criminologist detailing how his difficult childhood made him susceptible to being manipulated into joining the scheme. Another parent submitted a proposal for a community service project, and yet another recounted his past charitable work. Anticipating that other parents might follow suit, the sentencing judge was clear that she did not require expert reports to rule.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/college-admissions-scandal-consultants.html

Boeing Executives Reportedly Rejected a Safety System for the 737 Max

In an internal ethics complaint filed this year, a Boeing engineer says the company rejected a safety system during the development of the 737 Max jet, equipment that he believes could have reduced risks that contributed to two fatal crashes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/business/boeing-737-max-crashes.html

Jeffrey Epstein's Start-Up Made $200 Million After Guilty Plea

Previously unreported filings show that Epstein's "DNA data-mining service" Southern Trust, started in the Virgin Islands a few years after his 2008 guilty plea, brought in over $200 million from 2012-2017.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/business/jeffrey-epstein-southern-trust.html

NASA Says That First All-Female Spacewalk is Scheduled for Late October

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will pair up for a spacewalk to plug in new, upgraded batteries for the solar power system at the International Space Station. The spacewalk was cancelled in the spring as there was not enough time to get a second women's medium-size spacesuit ready.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/science/NASA-female-spacewalk.html

Federal Judge in Kansas City is Reprimanded for Sexual Harassment

Judge Carlos Murguia was reprimanded for sexually harassing female employees, having an affair with a felon that made him "susceptible to extortion," and for being habitually late for court meetings. Earlier this year, the federal judiciary revised its code of conduct for judges and judicial employees to more clearly define inappropriate workplace behavior and to emphasize judicial responsibility to report misconduct.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/judge-carlos-murguia-sexual-harassment.html

Cap on Deductions for State and Local Taxes is Upheld

Four states, including New York, sued the federal government over changes introduced in the 2017 federal tax law. A Federal District Court judge in Manhattan has now ruled that the cap on state and local taxes deductions, known as SALT, was within the federal government's broad taxation powers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/business/economy/state-local-tax.html

Questions Over Hospital Donations to New York Democrats and the Subsequent Increase in Medicaid Payments to Hospitals

The article reports that the Greater New York Hospital Association donated over $1 million to the state Democratic Party in 2018. It questions whether a subsequent increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates to state hospitals and nursing homes could be attributed to the donation. The across-the-board increase, the first since 2008, will cost New York about $140 million a year.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/nyregion/medicaid-donation-hospitals-cuomo.html

Former New York Congressman Chris Collins Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

Representative Chris Collins resigned his seat and a day later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to federal investigators, after admitting passing private information about Australian drug company Innate to his son to help the latter avoid financial losses. As shareholder and member of its board, Collins became aware that Innate had failed a critical trial for a multiple sclerosis drug and encouraged his son to sell his shares before the test results became public.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/nyregion/chris-collins-guilty-congress.html

New York State Says End of AIDS Epidemic is Near

Governor Cuomo declared that New York is on track to meet its goal to end the AIDS epidemic in the state by 2020. In 2018, the state had 2,481 new diagnoses, 11% fewer than the previous year. One of the state's latest initiatives is the rapid initiation of antiretroviral drugs, with clinical guidelines saying that patients should be started on treatment on the same day of a confirmed HIV diagnosis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/nyregion/aids-hiv-epidemic-ny.html

Atlanta Officials Looking into Google's Practices

Following a report by the New York Daily News, city officials are inquiring about whether Google sent contractors to various cities to scan the faces of black homeless individuals to improve their facial recognition technology. Former employees say homeless people were targeted because they were less likely to speak to the media and would be attracted to the $5 gift cards received in exchange for their facial scans.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/technology/google-facial-recognition-atlanta-homeless.html

Johnson & Johnson Reaches $20.4 Million Settlement with Ohio Counties in Opioids Case

The agreement settled opioid claims brought by two Ohio counties against Johnson & Johnson, whose division, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, made a fentanyl patch and an opioid tablet. It is being reported that drug manufacturers are more inclined to settlement negotiations than other groups of defendants, like drug distributors and retail pharmacy chains, in the 2,300 cases that have been filed by cities and counties nationwide and were consolidated in federal court.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/health/opioids-settlement-johnson.html

Former Police Chief in New Jersey on Trial on a Federal Hate-Crime Charge

Franc Nucera Jr. is charged with a hate crime, depriving a suspect's rights and making false statements to the FBI, all stemming from an incident in which he allegedly slammed a black teenager's head into a doorjamb. Prosecutors are arguing that Nucera's actions were motivated by intense racial animus, and played a recording in court in which Nucera is heard describing Trump as the last hope for white people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/nyregion/nj-police-chief-trump.html

Texas Stays Execution of Jewish Man After Judge is Accused of Anti-Semitism

Lawyers for Randy Halprin pointed to comments made by the judge who oversaw their client's murder trial, and were successful in staying his execution. The judge was quoted as saying that he would "reward his children if they married a white, Christian person of the opposite sex." A trial court will decide if the judge's language warrants a new trial for Halprin, who has served over 15 years on death row.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/us/texas-execution-randy-halprin.html

Former Dallas Police Officer Sentenced to 10 Years for Neighbor's Murder

A former Dallas police officer convicted of murdering her black neighbor, Botham Jean, after confusing his apartment for her own, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/amber-guyger-sentencing.html

New Yorkers Preyed on Chicago Cab Drivers

The article traces how New York taxi industry leaders seized control of Chicago's medallion market.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/nyregion/taxi-medallions-chicago.html

Las Vegas Massacre Survivors, Families Reach $735 Million Settlement

The settlement will resolve claims that MGM was negligent in allowing the mass shooter to stockpile weapons and ammunition at his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 and wounding hundreds of others.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/mgm-las-vegas-shooting-settlement.html

European Union's Top Court Rules That Facebook Can Be Forced to Delete Content Worldwide

The European Court of Justice's decision means that individual countries can now order Facebook to take down posts globally if the content is defamatory or otherwise illegal. The case originated from a request of the leader of Austria's Green Party to have disparaging remarks about her removed from the site.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/technology/facebook-europe.html

U.S. to Impose Tariffs on European Aircraft and Agricultural Goods

The World Trade Organization's ruling granted the United States permission to impose tariffs on as much as $7.5 billion of European exports annually after previously ruling that Europe illegally subsidized several Airbus models.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/politics/airbus-tariffs-wto.html

Protests Erupt in Indonesia Over Proposed Criminal Reform

Hundreds were arrested in Indonesia following protests against proposed amendments to the penal code, including proposals to ban extramarital and gay sex and reforms that weaken the powers of anti-corruption officials.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/world/asia/indonesia-protests-joko-widodo.html

Gandhi's Memorial Was Defaced on His 150th Birthday

Gandhi's portrait was defaced with the word "traitor" and an urn containing some of his ashes was allegedly stolen from the site.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/world/asia/gandhi-memorial-ashes.html

Mass Arrests in Egypt Following Anti-Government Protests

Following a brief period of protests against President el-Sisi, the government has cracked down on protesters by arresting nearly 2,000 people, including many who had no apparent link to the demonstrations. Others are well-known dissidents. In his recent trip to the U.N. General Assembly, the Egyptian leader blamed "political Islam" for the protests, suggesting that the banned Muslim Brotherhood group was behind the unrest.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/world/middleeast/egypt-protest-sisi-arrests.html

Taliban Destroys Cell Towers to Delay Afghan Election Results

The Taliban first suppressed turnout (20%, according to preliminary counts). It is now being reported that militants also attacked communication towers to take down mobile phone networks. The attacks cut off about 1,000 polling stations from their headquarters in Kabul, preventing voting officials from communicating with election workers in the country, thereby delaying vote counts and election results.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-cell-towers.html

Antarctica Sheds Massive Iceberg

A 610-square-mile iceberg has separated from an ice shelf in Eastern Antarctica. Experts say there will be no impact on sea level, as the ice has been afloat for decades.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/climate/antarctica-iceberg-d28.html

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 7, 2019 10:13 AM.

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