« EASL Theater News for the Week of September 11, 2020 | Main | EASL Theater News for the Week of September 18th »

Week In Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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

Entertainment

Kevin Spacey Accused in New Lawsuit of Sex Offenses

In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, two men accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual assault in the 1980s when they were both teenagers. The lawsuit is being brought under the Child Victims Act, which extended New York's statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/movies/kevin-spacey-anthony-rapp-lawsuit.html

A Look at the Partnership Between Rapper Travis Scott and McDonald's

The collaboration consists of a limited-edition meal and a merchandise drop (including a $90 McNugget body pillow). For McDonalds, the co-branded merchandise is "a way to advertise to young people without all the burdens and potential misfires of actually advertising to young people," and for Scott, it is an opportunity to partner with a brand of magnitude and "slip his aesthetics into the global mainstream."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/arts/music/travis-scott-mcdonalds.html

Calls Grow to Boycott 'Mulan' Over China's Treatment of Uighur Muslims

Disney's live-action remake was filmed in Xinjiang, a region that is home to the Uighur minority. Criticism was quick after viewers noticed that the film credits offered thanks to eight government entities in a region where members of the Uighur community have been detained in indoctrination camps and subjected to abuse.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/world/asia/china-mulan-xinjiang.html

Aging Rockers Emerge to Lead Belarus Revolt

Unlike most of Europe's rock artists who rose to stardom after the fall of Communism, Belarusian rockers were pushed underground in the early 1990s when President Lukashenko established an authoritarian regime. Amidst widespread protests disputing Lukashenko's re-election, musicians are staging their own acts of resistance and hoping that a new political system "could redeem [their] decades of isolation," when the government required lyrics and posters to be cleared by censors and musicians to sing in Russian, one of the country's two official languages.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/world/europe/belarus-protests-music.html

Arts

Corbello v. Valli

The Ninth Circuit's decision affirmed the district court's finding a jury trial that the defendants' musical 'Jersey Boys' did not infringe the plaintiff's copyright in an autobiography of Tommy DeVito, a member of the band Four Seasons. The court found that the similarities were comprised of facts and other non-protected elements, and that any infringement of protected elements was fair use.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=edaa24804e&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-f:1677379436765544423&th=17473fb5e9f47fe7&view=att&disp=inline&realattid=17473faffe92d1e891e1

Schwartzwald v Oath

The Southern District of New York granted Huffpost's 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the complaint by the photographer of a photo of John Hamm that went viral. The court found that Huffpost's use of the photo, which added a black box with "Image Loading" over the actor's crotch, was transformative and thus constituted fair use.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=edaa24804e&attid=0.2&permmsgid=msg-f:1677633141322615470&th=174826741bf50aae&view=att&disp=inline&realattid=1748266d40459673c2
https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2019cv09938/525338/27/

Goldsmith v Andy Warhol Foundation

Oral argument before the Second Circuit in the Goldsmith v Andy Warhol Foundation copyright case is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15 at 10 a.m. The public can listen using the link below.

https://ww2.ca2.uscourts.gov/Court.html

On the Anniversary of 9/11, Lincoln Center Awakens with Hope

In the first large-scale performance since its closure in March, 28 Lincoln Center dancers brought 'Prologue' to the public via a livestream this year. 'Prologue' is an adaptation of 'Table of Silence," which has been presented at the theater every September 11 since the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/arts/table-of-silence-9-11.html

American Ballet Theater Promotes Dancers, Despite Pandemic Slump

American Ballet Theater announced promotions for six soloists who now become principal dancers. While the dancers will receive raises with their promotions, their earnings this year were reduced given the cancellation of the spring and fall seasons and planned tours.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/arts/dance/american-ballet-theater-promotions-pandemic.html?searchResultPosition=1

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Hires Its First Full-Time Native-American Curator

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has hired Patricia Marroquin Norby as associate curator of Native American art. Dr. Norby was previously senior executive and assistance director of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/arts/design/met-museum-native-american-curator.html

Backlog at Printers Wreaking Havoc on Book Industry

Limited printer capacity and a spike in sales for print books are causing backlogs in the publishing industry. The fall publishing season is also a crowded one because long-planned fall releases are being sent to print alongside books that were bumped from spring and summer. The backlog is being exacerbated by the fact that America's two largest printing companies are operating under capacity and are both up for sale - one declared bankruptcy in April after its sales fell dramatically and the other temporarily shut down its printers due to the pandemic.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/books/printing-companies-backlog-book-publishing.html

Pulitzer Board Changes Play Submission Rules

Cancelled plays and streamed productions will now be considered for the 2021 prize after the board changed eligibility rules for its annual drama honor.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/theater/pulitzer-prize-drama-coronavirus.html

Ayad Akhtar to Lead PEN America

Playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar will serve as the new president of PEN America, the non-profit literary and human rights organization that focuses on protecting open expression in the U.S. and globally.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/books/ayad-akhtar-pen-america-homeland-elegies.html

Global Gallery Sales Down 36%

According to a report published by Art Basel and UBS, modern and contemporary art sales at commercial galleries fell by 36% during the first half of 2020. The fall in sales was attributed to gallery closures and cancellations of major art fairs.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/arts/design/gallery-sales-art-market-virus.html

Dr. Anthony Fauci Says It Could Be a Year Before Theater Without Marks Feels Normal

Dr. Fauci estimates that it would not be until mid- to late 2021 that audiences can attend performances without masks and expect to return to pre-coronavirus comfort levels. The advice is contingent on a vaccine being released in early 2021 and a large number of people being vaccinated.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/theater/fauci-theater-reopen.html

Preaching Caution to the Choir - Safety Precautions at In-Person Choir Rehearsals

The article discusses measures adopted by choirs as they return to in-person rehearsals. They include shorter rehearsal sessions, physical distancing, and the use of the Singer's Mask, which protrudes from the face to make singing more comfortable.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/04/arts/music/choirs-coronavirus.html

Tiffany's $16 Billion Sale Falls Apart

Prospective buyer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton pulled out of the $16 billion deal, citing a request from the French government to delay the purchase beyond January of next year because of the threat of U.S. tariffs on French goods (in retaliation for French taxes on American technology companies). Tiffany filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery, arguing that "LVMH had breached its merger obligations by excluding the retailer from its discussions about the transaction with the French government."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/business/lvmh-tiffany-deal-lawsuit.html

T.S. Eliot's Estate Donates 'Cats' Royalties to Brontë Parsonage Museum

The gift of £20,000 will help sustain the museum, once the home of the Brontë sisters. The donation was made possible by royalties earned from the musical "Cats", which is based on Eliot's 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/arts/design/ts-eliot-cats-royalties-bronte-museum.html

Gucci Heir Alleges Child Sexual Abuse

Alexandra Zarini has a filed a lawsuit against three family members - her former stepfather, whom she accuses of sexual abuse, as well as her mother and her grandmother for covering up the abuse. Zarini is the granddaughter of Aldo Gucci, who turned the family-owned leather goods business into a global fashion house.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/style/gucci-family-lawsuit.html

The Two Men Buying Your Favorite Retailers

The article profiles Jamie Salter and David Simon, who are acquiring brands like Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers. Salter is a licensing expert and the founder and chief executive of Authentic Brands Group. Simon is head of the largest mall operator in the U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/business/retail-bankruptcy-authentic-brands.html

Retailer Century 21 is Closing

The discount retailer has filed for bankruptcy and will close all of its 13 locations. The company said it had failed to receive about $175 million from its insurers despite policies "to protect against losses stemming from business interruption such as that experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/business/century-21-bankruptcy-closing.html

Student Blockade Protests Victor Orban's Reach at a Top Arts University in Hungary

A student demonstration took place at the University for Theater and Film Arts in Budapest, protesting legislation that transferred ownership of the public university to a private foundation and installed a new board of trustees that students say will force the university's vision and operations to fall in line with the values of the government of the day.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/world/europe/hungary-students-blockade-orban.html

Sports

Canelo Alvarez Suing Golden Boy, DAZN Over Breach of Contract

In 2018, boxer Canelo Alvarez signed an 11-fight deal for $365 million with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. The promoter had a separate contract with DAZN, a sports streaming service. While Golden Boy promised to deliver DAZN a match between Alvarez and a "premier" opponent every year, Alvarez says he was not aware that DAZN had the right to reject his opponents and effectively freeze him out of future matches. If DAZN did have this right, then Alvarez argues that "Golden Boy breached its fiduciary duty and intentionally misled him on its own deal with DAZN." He is asking for over $280 million in damages (what is still owed to him under the contract plus lost sponsorship and gate revenue) and the ability to fight on shows promoted and broadcast by other entities.

https://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/canelo-alvarez-files-lawsuit-against-golden-boy-oscar-de-la-hoya-and-dazn-over-breach-of-contract/

National Football League Season Kicks Off with Team Protest

Opening night brought different reactions as the Houston Texans remained in their locker rooms during the national anthem, while most Kansas City Chiefs players linked arms. The Texans were met with a smattering of boos from fans when they ran onto the field.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/sports/nfl-anthem.html

Advertisers Flock to National Football League Broadcasts as a 'Safe Haven'

With some broadcast rights contracts expiring next year, the National Football League (NFL) is expected to command "gigantic increases for the upcoming cycle of new NFL contracts" as media partners look to extend their current deals. In determining their ad spend and placement, many companies are looking at the NFL as a "safe haven", in part because it was the first sport returning "in its regular time frame in its regular season", a significant achievement in the fact of such of uncertainty in sport.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/sports/football/nfl-tv-broadcast-ads.html

Kansas City Chiefs Fans Adjust to New Game Rituals

To address concerns over the use of Native American imagery, the team banned the wearing of headdresses and is discussing the future of its tomahawk chop celebration. As fans adjusted to a new reality, including masking and socially distanced crowds, many also expressed mixed opinions on whether game traditions involving Native American imagery should be allowed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/sports/football/nfl-chiefs-texans.html

Big 12 Decides Against Pursuing Outside Loans in Face of Pandemic Shortfall

As the Big 12 prepares for the start of its football season this week, its commissioner said the conference considered outside funding to offset financial losses due to the pandemic, but ultimately decided against taking on loans in favor of an approach that lets individual athletic departments consider mitigation measures. The Pac-12 Conference, which postponed all sports competitions for the rest of the year, reportedly investigated "a loan package that would approach" $1 billion.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/iowa-state/football/2020/09/07/big-12-football-league-explored-alternative-funding-
options-due-pandemic/5739747002/

Major League Baseball Set to Hold Postseason at Neutral Sites

Major League Baseball (MLB) plans to hold playoff games at four stadiums in Texas and California. The World Series is scheduled for October at the Texas Rangers' new stadium in Arlington, Texas. While the regular season was shortened to 60 games, MLB landed on the "bubble site" concept for its expanded playoff format.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/sports/baseball/mlb-postseason-neutral-sites.html

MLB Players Object to Postseason Quarantines, Protocol Changes

MLB players believe that the less restrictive health and safety protocols that applied to the regular season should be in place for the postseason. MLB, on the other hand, is "adamant that players quarantine separately from their families for seven days before entering bubbles" to avoid outbreaks that would place the postseason in jeopardy.

https://theathletic.com/2059127/2020/09/11/rosenthal-proposed-quarantines-remain-biggest-obstacle-for-playoff-bubbles/

National Basketball Association to Allow Coaches to Have Guests Inside Bubble

The policy change came after Denver Nuggets coach Malone decried the National Basketball League's current policy, which allowed players and referees to bring guests to the Disney campus but did not extend that same right to coaches. All guests are subject to a seven-day on-site quarantine. The amended policy takes effect at the start of the conference finals.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29836695/memo-nba-allow-team-staff-members-guest-bubble-starting-conference-finals

Why Was Novak Djokovic Disqualified from the U.S. Open?

Last weekend, the U.S. Open referee defaulted Djokovic from the 2020 tournament after he found Djokovic to have intentionally hit a ball "dangerously or recklessly within the court or ... with negligent disregard of the consequences." This explanation is based on the definition of "abuse of balls" in the sport's rulebook. The penalty came from the rule addressing "unsportsmanlike conduct." Under that rule, there is an escalating scale of penalties with clearly defined steps, ranging from a warning to a default. However, an official could opt for the most severe penalty (a default) instead of a point or game penalty, if the rule violation is egregious. What rendered the player's actions particularly egregious in the eyes of this particular referee was the fact that the line judge who was hit by the ball in the throat collapsed to the ground and stayed down for a prolonged period of time.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/sports/tennis/us-open-disqualification-defaulted-djkovic.html

Caster Semenya Loses Appeal at Swiss Supreme Court

Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya lost her appeal of a decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that upheld rules drafted by track and field's governing body that limit female runners' naturally high testosterone levels (runners with differences of sex development - SDS). The CAS decision found that the discrimination was "necessary, reasonable and proportionate" to maintain fairness in women's track. The ruling means that Semenya cannot compete at any top meets in distances from 400 meters to the mile unless she lowers her testosterone level through medication or surgery. The Swiss federal tribunal found that Semenya's "guarantee of human dignity" was not compromised because affected female athletes are free to refuse treatment.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/sports/olympics/caster-semenya-court-ruling.html

Iran Executes Wrestler Accused of Murder After Participating in Anti-Government Protests

Wrestler Navid Afkari was executed in Iran despite a high-profile international campaign for clemency. Afkari was accused of fatally stabbing a water-utility worker. Government critics suspect that the charges were false and Afkari was being used as an example to silence dissent.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/world/middleeast/iran-wrestler-navid-afkari.html

Japanese Soccer: Sitting in Silence With 5,000 Fans

The article describes the current state of affairs in Japanese soccer. Though spectators can now attend games, its orchestrated fans are prohibited from singing, chanting, and drumming.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/world/asia/japan-coronavirus-jleague-soccer.html

Media/Technology

No Evidence of Toxic Work Culture at Essence

Workplace investigations at Essence Communications, the media brand that includes Essence magazine, found no evidence of an abusive work culture or of sexual harassment at the company. In an essay published in June of this year, a group of Essence employees accused the company of systematically intimidating, harassing, and underpaying Black female employees.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/business/media/essence-magazine-harassment-investigations.html

Gaming: Video Game Star Returns to Twitch

Famous video gamer Tyler Blevins, known as Ninja, announced that he will livestream exclusively on the Amazon-owned platform Twitch. His return to Twitch comes after a short stint on Microsoft-owned Mixer, which announced that it is shutting down.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/business/ninja-stream-twitch.html

China Freezes Credentials for Journalists at U.S. Outlets

The Chinese government has stopped renewing press credentials of journalists working at American news organizations in China and has suggested that their work status will be determined by how Chinese media employees are treated in the U.S. In May of this year, the U.S. imposed 90-day limits on work visas and visa extensions for Chinese journalists working for non-American news outlets.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/us/politics/china-us-journalists-visas-expulsions.html

Fearing Detention, Two Australian Correspondents Flee China

The last two Australian correspondents working in China for Australian news organizations have left the country over fears that they would be detained after state security officers paid them unannounced visits. Their departure was yet another sign of souring relations between the two countries and came after China already detained a Chinese-born news anchor in August.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/world/australia/china-correspondents-bill-birtles-michael-smith.html

General News

Justice Department Intervenes in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit Against Trump

The White House requested that the Justice Department take over the case pursuant to the Westfall Act, arguing that Trump had acted in his official capacity as president when he denied author E. Jean Carroll's claim that he sexually assaulted her over 20 years ago. The move substitutes the government as the defendant.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/nyregion/donald-trump-jean-carroll-lawsuit-rape.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/politics/trump-e-jean-carroll-lawsuit.html

Court Rejects Trump Order to Exclude Undocumented Migrants from Census

A three-judge panel in Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that Trump lacked the authority to remove noncitizens from census
counts. The order would have impacted communities with large immigrant populations that would have lost House seats that are allocated based on the census.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/census-undocumented-trump.html

Federal Judge Orders U.S. Census Bureau to Stop Plan to Wind Down Its Operations

A federal judge in California issued a temporary restraining order against the department that oversees the Census Bureau. The order stops the agency from winding down operations until a court hearing determines whether the agency can follow its revised plan for finishing the census at the end of September. The Census Bureau adopted the revised plan after the Senate failed to take up its request to finish the census later in the year and turn in apportionment numbers in December.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/us/census-count.html

Franchise Workers Win Victory Over U.S. Effort to Curb Lawsuits

A federal judge struck down a Labor Department rule that made it more difficult for franchise workers to win judgments against the parent company if the restaurant violated minimum wage or overtime laws. Under the previous administration, a parent company was considered a "joint employer" and could be liable for violations committed by a contractor or franchisee. The new rule required evidence of control to render the parent company liable as a joint employer, which could be the ability to hire or fire the franchisee's employees, set their pay or dictate their schedules.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/business/economy/labor-joint-employers.html

Appeal Court Deals Blow to Felons' Voting Rights in Florida

The Court ruled that Floridians who have completed sentences for felonies must pay outstanding court fines and fees before they can register to vote. The Court was reviewing a Florida law passed in 2019, which imposed the requirement to pay outstanding debts. The law was passed after the 2018 constitutional amendment restored voting rights for people who had completed sentences for felonies other than murder or sex crimes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/us/florida-felon-voting-rights.html

Three Senators on President Trump's Supreme Court List

President Trump released a list of 20 potential nominees to the Court, which now includes senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley. Trump issued a similar list before the 2016 election to try to "persuade wary conservatives to support his unconventional candidacy."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/trump-supreme-court-list.html

Impasse on Recovery Package Persists: Republican Proposal Dead on Arrival

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans presented a scaled-back stimulus plan that was immediately rejected by Democrats and failed on a vote. The proposal was a fraction of the $1 trillion plan that Republicans had offered earlier in negotiations, an amount that was also rejected by Democrats. The prospect of lawmakers leaving Washington in October without passing a relief bill is becoming more likely.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/second-stimulus-check.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/us/politics/congress-coronavirus-stimulus.html?searchResultPosition=1

Trump and Biden Honor 9/11 Fallen

The presidential candidates honored those who died in New York City and Shanksville, Pennsylvania and travelled to both sites to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the attacks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/us/politics/shanksville-trump-biden.html

Postal Service to Hire Liaison in Effort to Ease Democrats' Concerns

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has hired Peter Pastre, a Republican lobbyist, "to act as a liaison for the agency with Congress and state and local governments" and ease concerns about the politicization of the U.S. Postal Service.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/postal-service-lobbyist.html?searchResultPosition=1

Safety Shapes Plan to Fortify Voting Stations

Despite the anticipated rise in mail voting, communities are still considering ways to re-configure polling sites and make in-person voting safer. One way of ensuring that is to hire younger poll workers who are less susceptible to serious virus-related outcomes. Other communities are looking to replace traditional polling places, like church basements and senior-living centers, with less cramped voting sites, and add additional check-in stations to reduce lines and wait times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/us/politics/vote-in-person-covid.html

Microsoft Warns That Russian Hackers Are Targeting Both Parties

A Microsoft report says that Russian intelligence hackers are targeting both Republican and Democratic officials, while China is mostly aiming at Biden campaign officials, academics, and the national security establishment.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/russian-hacking-microsoft-biden-trump.html

Department of Homeland Security Accused of Downplaying Threats from Russia and White Supremacists

In his whistleblower complaint, former Department of Homeland Securit (DHS) official Brian Murphy says that security chiefs downplayed threats from white supremacists and Russian election interference in order to boost Trump. He says that acting secretary Chad Wolf ordered him to stop producing assessments on those threats and told him not to disseminate a report on Russian disinformation campaign that called Joe Biden's mental health into question. Murphy says leadership is shaping "the agency's views around the president's language and political interests in ways that stretched the law and their authority."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/politics/homeland-security-russia-trump.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/us/politics/whistle-blower-homeland-security.html

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Ukrainian Over Election Interference

The sanctions target Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker with ties to Russia. The Treasury Department accused Derkach of "releasing edited audiotapes and unsubstantiated allegations" against American political figures, including Joe Biden.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/sanctions-russia-ukraine-election-interference.html

Bob Woodward's Latest Book Recounts Tense Moments Between President and Senior Leaders

According to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward, President Trump had tense relationships with members of the intelligence community and denigrated American generals in conversations with this trade adviser, saying they favored their relationships with allies over the country's economic interests and trade deals.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/politics/trump-generals-attacks.html

Citigroup Names Jane Fraser as Next Chief Executive Officer

Jane Fraser will become the first woman to lead a major financial institution in the U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/business/citigroup-ceo-jane-fraser.html

The Faces of Power in the United States

A review by The New York Times shows that over 80% of officials and executives in prominent positions in the U.S. are white. Even in categories where there have been diversity gains, that has not always translated to equal treatment.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/09/us/powerful-people-race-us.html

$14.5 Billion Budget Gap Brings Talk of Wealth Tax in New York

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers in New York are pushing for higher taxes on the wealthy, in opposition to budget cuts that would be one option to tackle the debt and reign in the deficit. Governor Cuomo has come out publicly against the idea and has asked congressional leaders for $59 billion to cover two years of projected state deficits.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/nyregion/wealth-tax-budget-billionaires.html

The New York City Fire Department Renames Its Highest Award After Fallen 9/11 Hero

The Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) acknowledged that the award was named after a man who held deeply racist beliefs. The James Gordon Bennett Medal will now be named after Chief Peter Ganci, who was killed in the September 11th attacks. Bennett was a newspaper publisher who pushed racist and segregationist views during the Civil War.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/nyregion/nyc-fire-department-bennett-medal.html

Rochester Police Chief Resigns

The city's police chief and other high-ranking officials resigned or were demoted in the aftermath of the death of a Black man following an encounter with police. When announcing the news, the city's mayor said the police chief acknowledged that things could have been handled differently, but that he had not tried to cover it up. Police had not publicly disclosed the man's death and body camera footage of the encounter was recently turned over to the family.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/nyregion/rochester-police-chief-resigns-prude.html

Wildfires Along the West Coast Consume Towns; Officials Prepare for Mass Deaths

Parts of California are under a blanket of smoke as wildfires burn from near the Mexico border to the Sierra Nevada in one of the state's worst wildfire seasons. 2.5 million acres have burned in the state, with communities in Oregon and Washington also impacted. The state is experiencing a disastrous wave of climate events, including rolling blackouts and triple-digit heat waves.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/us/ca-wildfires-heatwave.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/fires-washington-california-oregon-malden.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/climate-change-california-wildfires.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/us/fires-oregon-california-washington.html

Federal Report on Finances Warns of Financial Havoc from Climate Change

The report, commissioned by Trump's Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned about the impact of climate change on U.S. financial markets primarily because "the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/climate/climate-change-financial-markets.html?searchResultPosition=1

Trump Emerges as Inspiration for Germany's Far Right

Recent protests as well as online activity in Germany show that Trump's name is being invoked by far-right activists, conspiracy theorists, and people who, generally-speaking, are "quitting the mainstream ... [and] raging against the establishment." Far-right groups have also embraced Trump's policies by calling for a "Germany first" approach and believe in the existence of a "deep state" that is global in nature.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/world/europe/germany-trump-far-right.html

Saudi Court Orders Prison Terms for Eight Defendants in Killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Sentences for the eight men ranged from 10 to 20 years in prison. Saudi Arabia has not revealed the names of the men convicted of murdering Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-sentence.html

Myanmar Soldiers Confess Crimes Against Rohingya

Two soldiers have provided video testimony admitting their involvement in executions and mass burials, saying they obeyed orders in killing 30 members of the country's Rohingya Muslim minority. The International Criminal Court is examining whether military leaders committed large scale crimes against the Rohingya in Myanmar.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/world/asia/myanmar-rohingya-genocide.html

Boris Johnson Facing Revolt Over Northern Ireland Pact

The British Prime Minister announced his intention to legislate away terms of the UK's Brexit deal, which was ratified by all members of the European Union. Johnson plans to rewrite provisions on the treatment of Northern Ireland if Britain and the UK fail to strike a trade deal by the end of 2020. The Northern Ireland protocol was a central tenet of the Withdrawal Agreement. Under that agreement, "Northern Ireland would remain part of Britain's customs territory but would abide by European Union rules on issues ranging from safety standards to state subsidies to industry."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/world/europe/boris-johnson-brexit-northern-ireland.html?searchResultPosition=1

Arson Fire Destroys Most of Europe's Largest Refugee Camp

Thousands of asylum seekers were left without shelter after a fire at Greece's Moria refugee camp. There are also ongoing protests as refugees want to leave the encampment and reach Lesbos Island's port. Greek authorities have refused mass transfers off the island and into mainland Greece.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/world/europe/fire-refugee-camp-lesbos-moria.html

Rwanda Hints That Dissident Was Tricked into Returning

Rwanda's president said that government critic Paul Rusesabagina was not kidnapped from Dubai, but instead had been lured to Rwanda, where he now faces charges of murder and terrorism. It is not clear how the man was persuaded to board a plane from Dubai. Rusesabagina's charges stem from his leadership of an opposition movement whose armed wing is accused of carrying out attacks in Rwanda.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/world/africa/paul-rusesabagina-hotel-rwanda-arrest.html

Palestinian Authority Rejects Tax Transfers from Israel

The Palestinian Authority is refusing to accept tax transfers from Israel because Israel's annexation of the West Bank remains a possibility. While Israel suspended the annexation plan as part of its agreement to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates, it has refused to permanently drop the plan. In rejecting the transfers, the Palestinian Authority is foregoing over $100 million a month in import taxes that Israel collects on its behalf. Meanwhile, the fiscal situation is unsustainable, as Palestinians are suffering financial hardship and the Palestinian Authority is headed toward bankruptcy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/world/middleeast/annexation-israel-west-bank-palestinians.html

Bahrain Will Normalize Relations with Israel

The island kingdom became the second Arab nation to normalize relations with Israel and has already opened its airspace to new commercial passenger flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/world/middleeast/bahrain-israel-trump.html

Coronavirus Update

Trump Admits Downplaying the Virus in Interviews with Bob Woodward

In audio recordings with journalist Bob Woodward, President Trump acknowledged the dangers posed by the coronavirus and admitted to publicly dismissing or downplaying concerns so as not to create a state of panic.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/politics/woodward-trump-book-virus.html

The Senate Is on Vacation While Americans Starve

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, former chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, warns that without a coronavirus relief bill, "the overall economy could degrade from its current slow rebound in growth to no growth at all." The writers say that three forces are disproportionately affecting low-income people and persons of color: the acceleration of the spread of the virus; the end of supplemental federal unemployment benefits; and the end of eviction moratoriums. They call for Congress to act.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/24/opinion/coronavirus-federal-reserve.html

Health Officials Try to Reassure Public that Science Will Set Vaccine Approval Following Similar Pledge by Pharmaceutical Companies

The director of the National Institutes of Health reiterated that a coronavirus vaccine would not be made available to Americans unless it was safe and effective. Dr. Francis Collins' testimony at a Senate hearing this week followed a pledge issued by nine pharmaceutical companies that they would not release any vaccine that had not passed rigorous testing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/politics/coronavirus-vaccine-trump.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/health/9-drug-companies-pledge-coronavirus-vaccine.html

Food and Drug Administration Vows to Uphold Scientific Integrity

A group of career scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that their work would not succumb to political pressure and warned that if the agency's independence is jeopardized, people would not trust its safety warnings.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/fda-coronavirus-vaccine.html

AstraZeneca Pauses, Then Resumes Vaccine Trial

The company halted trials of its coronavirus vaccine after a U.K. participant suffered neurological symptoms consistent with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that can cause paralysis. The trial resumed in the U.K. after the regulator conducted a review of safety data and concluded that the trial was safe to resume.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/09/12/912281381/astrazeneca-resumes-its-covid-19-vaccine-trials-in-the-u-k

Justice Department Announces Dozens of Fraud Charges in Small-Business Aid Program

Fifty-seven people have been charged with trying to steal more than $175 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offered emergency loans to businesses. Among those accused are individuals or small groups who lied about having legitimate businesses and associated expenses; others were coordinated criminal rings. In related news, former New York Jet Joshua Bellamy is accused of fraudulently obtaining a $1.2 million loan and using the funds to buy luxury goods.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/ppp-fraud-coronavirus.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/Josh-Bellamy-New-York-Jets-Charges-PPP.html

Missouri Court Rules in Favor of Business Owners in COVID-19 Coverage Lawsuit

A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that businesses can sue their insurers for business interruption losses caused by the pandemic. The court found that the plaintiffs had satisfied the requirement of direct physical loss by showing that the virus' physical presence at their business premises (hair salon and restaurants) rendered the property unsafe and unusable.

https://www.workforcebulletin.com/2020/09/08/missouri-court-rules-in-favor-of-business-owners-in-covid-19-coverage-lawsuit/

New York City to Slowly Open Dining Indoors

Starting on September 30th, New York City restaurants can begin offering indoor service at 25% capacity. Governor Cuomo cited the city's infection rate, which is stable at under 1%, as one of the reasons for loosening some of the restrictions, even though Mayor de Blasio had favored a longer gap between the reopening of schools and the start of indoor dining.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/nyregion/indoor-dining-coronavirus.html

Manhattan's Office Buildings Remain Empty as Employees Continue Working from Home

Fewer than 10% of the city's office workers had returned to the office by August, and only a quarter of major employers expect to bring workers back by the end of the year. Demand for New York office space has slumped due to the pandemic and businesses are hesitant to commit to long-term leases. The slump is also expected to impact the city's finances, considering that property taxes from office buildings account for nearly 10% of the city's total annual tax revenue.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/business/economy/new-york-office-space-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=2

U.S. Campuses See Explosion of Virus Cases

A New York Times tracker shows there are more than 88,000 coronavirus cases linked to campus activity in close to 1,200 schools.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-college-cases-tracker.html

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.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2020 1:17 PM.

The previous post in this blog was EASL Theater News for the Week of September 11, 2020.

The next post in this blog is EASL Theater News for the Week of September 18th.

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