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February 2021 Archives

February 1, 2021

Week In Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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

Entertainment

Harvey Weinstein Accusers Agree to $17 Million Settlement

Around 40 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual abuse are expected to participate in the bankruptcy court agreement. Each of their claims will "be evaluated and paid out using a point system ... and offers different payment levels to women based on whether they want to release Weinstein from any future lawsuits." Those "who want to leave open the possibility of additional legal action against him would get 25 percent of their settlement share."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/movies/harvey-weinstein-settlement.html

Ticket Brokers to Pay in Scalping Settlement

Three New York ticket brokers will pay $3.7 million in civil penalties as part of a settlement agreement with federal officials. The payment will settle allegations that the brokers evaded ticket-purchasing limits, bought tens of thousands of event tickets, and resold them at inflated prices. They are among the first enforcement actions under the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, enacted in 2016.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/arts/music/ticket-scalping-bots.html

Lawmakers Push for "Selena" to be Added to National Film Registry

The lawmakers say the film's inclusion could help dismantle the exclusion of Latinos from the film industry and "from the full promise of America ... by preserving important cultural and artistic examples of America's Latino heritage."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/21/movies/selena-national-film-registry.html

Arts

Museum of Modern Art Leader is Facing Calls for His Ouster

Calls for Leon Black to step down gained momentum after it became public that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) chairman paid convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for advisory services between 2012 and 2017. Black already announced he would be stepping down as chief executive of Apollo Global Management.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/arts/design/leon-black-moma-epstein.html

Mellon Foundation to Fund Diversity Programs at Library of Congress

The $15 million grant will support an initiative called "Of the People: Widening the Path," which will "encourage diversity among future librarians and archivists" as well as raise awareness of the library's digital archives among minority groups. The goals will be achieved through outreach to universities, grants to cultural heritage institutions, and through the library's American Folklife Center.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/arts/library-of-congress-diversity.html

Slovenian Prime Minister Kicks Off a Culture War in Country's Museums

Populist leader Janez Jansa's government has replaced the directors of Slovenia's most important museums in what the article says is "an effort to control the museums and shift them in a more conservative and nationalist direction."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/arts/design/slovenia-Janez-Jansa-culture.html

Rare Violin Tests Germany's Commitment to Atone for Its Nazi Past

The case is expected to test Germany's system for restitution after the instrument's holders refuse to compensate the heirs of a Jewish music dealer. In 2016, a governmental commission determined that the violin was sold under duress or seized by the Nazis after the owner's death. The commission recommended that its current holder, a music education organization, pay $121,000 in compensation to the music dealer's grandsons. The organization refuses to pay, saying that new information has come to light that suggests the violin was likely sold as a retail product. In turn, the commission issued a public statement to pressure the organization to comply with its recommendation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/arts/music/violin-restitution-germany.html

Scholar's Daughter Returns Gifted Artifacts to Cambodia

Douglas Latchford's daughter is returning a collection of 125 artifacts to Cambodia. Latchford was the world's leading collector of Cambodian antiquities but was accused of having trafficked in looted artifacts, which he then bequeathed to his daughter. Valued at over $50 million, it will be housed in a new museum in Cambodia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/arts/design/cambodia-artifacts-douglas-latchford.html

Sports

Kim Ng Stands Alone Among Major League Baseball's Executives

Kim Ng, the general manager of the Miami Marlins, is the only woman and the only person of color in a group of about 13 people who have been hired to run baseball operations in the last two seasons. The article examines Major League Baseball's (MLB) various efforts to diversify its executive ranks and the ways in which its programs are falling short.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/sports/baseball/mlb-diversity-kim-ng.html

Steroid Era Strips Honor from Hall of Fame Voting for Some Writers

The Baseball Hall of Fame will not have any new players in the class of 2021. At least two of the players who were on the ballot this year, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, face suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use. A third player who will also have one more chance at election next year, Curt Schilling, has ostracized himself by making repeated offensive comments since his retirement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/24/sports/baseball/hall-of-fame-voting.html

Seahawks Lineman Chad Wheeler Charged with First-Degree Domestic Violence Assault

Wheeler was arrested after a violent assault of his girlfriend in his home. According to the charging papers, he allegedly chocked the woman until she lost consciousness twice. The National Football League (NFL) is investigating the case, which could result in a suspension or a fine if Wheeler is found to have violated its personal conduct policy. He was released by the Seahawks earlier last week.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/sports/football/chad-wheeler-nfl-domestic-violence.html

Jennifer King Becomes First Black Woman to Coach in the NFL

The Washington Football Team promoted King to assistant running back coach. King has played football and was a coaching intern with her current team as well as an intern with the Carolina Panthers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/sports/football/jennifer-king-nfl-coach-washington.html

Texans Hire David Culley as Head Coach

Culley is one of only two non-white NFL head coaches hired in this cycle. Under scrutiny for its lack of diversity among its coaching ranks, the NFL updated its recruiting process by increasing the minimum number of interviews that teams were required to conduct with external head coaching candidates from non-white backgrounds.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/sports/football/texans-coach-hire-david-culley.html

How a Horrifying Cycling Crash Set Up a Battle Over Safety

Cyclists are pressuring their governing body to take better steps to ensure their safety following a number of crashes in elite road racing. The list of suggested rules includes "improving safety in risky areas (especially barriers at the finish) and introducing a risk-assessment tool for race routes."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/sports/cycling/riders-crashes-uci-safety.html

Budweiser To Sit Out the Super Bowl

For the first time in 37 years, Budweiser will not be advertising its product during the Super Bowl, choosing instead to focus its marketing dollars on promoting vaccine awareness and distribution efforts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/arts/music/violin-restitution-germany.html

Italy Staves Off Threat of Olympic Sanctions

Italy was able to avoid sanctions after the Italian government issued a decree restoring autonomy to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had raised concerns about government interference in Italian sport after a 2019 decree put CONI under state control.

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/government-decree-averts-ioc-sanctions-for-italy-at-tokyo-olympics/

How Russia Influenced Biathlon's Long-time President

The article examines Russia's efforts to bribe the president of biathlon's governing body, Anders Besseberg. Following a two-year investigation, the sport's new leadership issued a report that describes Russia's efforts to manipulate Besseberg into defending Russian athletes and undermining anti-doping efforts in the sport.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/sports/olympics/biathlon-russia-doping-besseberg.html

Media/Technology

A Changing of the Guard Among Newsroom Leaders

The article profiles some of the internal and external candidates being considered for top jobs at news organizations like Reuters, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, which are finding themselves in need of new leadership due to recent retirements and departures.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/business/media/post-reuters-los-angeles-editors.html

Facebook 'Court' to Decide Whether Trump Will Be Permitted to Return to Facebook

A panel of a 20-member Oversight Board, composed of representatives from 18 countries, will take on the question of whether Donald Trump will be permitted to return to Facebook. Facebook leadership "floated the notion of an independent content moderation body" in 2018 and "put $130 million into a legally independent trust." The panel's decision on whether to reinstate Trump's account is due before the end of April and is reviewable by the full 20-person board.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/24/business/media/trump-facebook-oversight-board.html

Twitter Troll Charged with Fooling 2016 Voters

Douglass Mackey of Florida was charged with spreading disinformation online in what seems to be the first criminal case involving voter suppression. He is accused of tricking 2016 Democratic voters into trying to cast their ballots by phone instead of going to the polls through a coordinated effort that including spreading memes that claimed Clinton supporters could send vote by text message.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/nyregion/douglass-mackey-arrested-far-right-twitter.html

Telegram Struggles Over New Fans from Far Right

The app has long been considered a "pro-democracy tool" for helping movements in Iran and Belarus, but it is now facing scrutiny over its popularity with right wing extremists and conspiracy theorists who have flocked to the app after crackdowns on Twitter and Facebook.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/world/europe/telegram-app-far-right.html

CBS Suspends Two Executives Accused of Racist and Sexist Conduct

Following a report in The Los Angeles Times, the network suspended Peter Dunn and David Friend as it investigates their alleged roles in creating a hostile work environment by making disparaging comments about female and Black employees.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/business/media/cbs-suspended-peter-dunn-david-friend.html

How to Keep Internet Trolls Out of Remote Workplaces

Work culture experts say the transition to a remote workplace has resulted in less filtered and more aggressive communications among colleagues. They suggest several strategies for keeping communications in check, including monitoring large chat groups and reminding employees of the formal nature of their work relationships.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/24/business/remote-work-culture-online.html

Top Pakistani Court Upholds Acquittal in 2002 Killing of American Writer

Pakistan's highest court ordered the release of Ahmed Omar Sheikh, who has long denied being involved in American journalist Daniel Pearl's abduction and murder in 2002. Sheikh's murder conviction had been overturned but he did serve seven years for the abduction.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/world/asia/daniel-pearl-pakistan.html

General News

Supreme Court Dismisses Trump Emoluments Cases as Moot

The Supreme Court dismissed two lawsuits that had accused the former president of violating the Constitution's emoluments clauses by profiting off of his businesses while in office.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/emoluments-trump-supreme-court.html

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Sheldon Silver's Appeal

The former speaker of the New York Assembly was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being convicted of taking bribes from real estate developers. That conviction will now stand after the Supreme Court declined to take up the case. Silver's lawyers took issue with the fact that prosecutors did not prove that those who made the illicit payments had intended to influence particular government actions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/supreme-court-sheldon-silver.html

Federal Court Lifts Block on Trump Policy Expelling Migrant Children at the Border

The decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit effectively reinstates a Trump-era policy that relied on the coronavirus threat to expel asylum seekers without assessing their claims (instead of detaining them at ports of entry and risking an outbreak). The decision ramps up pressure on the Biden administration to restore the asylum process at the border.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/us/politics/biden-migrant-children-coronavirus.html

Federal Judge Blocks a 100-Day Pause on Deportations

A federal judge in Texas issued a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order that blocks the Biden administration's 100-day pause on deportations. Judge Tipton ruled that "the suspension of deportations would violate a provision of the immigration statute as well as another law that required agencies to provide a rational explanation for their policy decisions." The law requires people with final orders of removal to be deported within 90 days.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/biden-immigration-deportation.html

Dominion Voting Systems Files Defamation Suit Against Rudy Giuliani Over False Election Claims

The company accuses Giuliani of carrying out "a viral disinformation campaign" after suggesting that Dominion's voting machines were involved in rigged elections, contentions that were part of Giuliani's broader effort to overturn the election results in favor of Donald Trump. Dominion seeks damages of more than $1.3 billion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/rudy-giuliani-dominion-trump.html

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Executive Orders

Biden Moves to End Justice Contracts with Private Prisons and Curb Housing Discrimination

By way of two executive orders, the Biden administration signaled its push for racial equity by: 1) directing the Justice Department to end its contracts with private prisons; and 2) increasing enforcement of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that is meant to combat discrimination in the housing market. The first order would not apply to agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which contracts with private companies for its detention centers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/business/biden-private-prisons-justice-department.html

Biden Signs Executive Orders Aimed at Expanding Health Care

The executive action reopened enrollment in Affordable Care Act marketplaces to make health coverage available to those who have lost it during the pandemic. A separate order overturned restrictions on the use of federal money to fund clinics that counsel or refer patients to abortion services. The administration also restored funding for women's reproductive health programs in the developing world, marking the return of the U.S. as a major donor to the United Nations Population Fund.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/28/us/biden-trump-impeachment

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/world/asia/gag-rule-abortion.html

Biden Signs Executive Order Bolstering 'Buy American' Provisions

The order will strengthen "Buy American" provisions that encourage the federal government to purchase goods and services from U.S. companies. The order will reduce opportunities for waivers from the Buy American requirements.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/biden-buy-american.html

Biden Overturns Trump's Transgender Military Ban

The president signed an executive order restoring protections for transgender people wishing to serve in the armed forces. The new defense secretary also announced he was ordering a review of how the Pentagon handles sexual assault issues, signaling a renewed focus on social issues.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/biden-transgender-military.html
******************************************************************************************************************************************

General News Continued

Biden and Putin Agree to Extend Nuclear Treaty

Following the first call between the two leaders, the countries exchanged diplomatic notes to extend the New Start agreement, which limits the size of the countries' strategic nuclear arsenals and was to expire on February 5th.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/world/europe/biden-putin-nuclear-treaty.html

Antony Blinken Takes Over at State Department with a Review of Trump's Policies

The Senate confirmed Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Blinken is described as "a centrist with an interventionist streak" who has promised to take a harder line against Russia and to review the U.S. policy toward North Korea.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/blinken-state-department.html

Janet Yellen is Sworn in as Treasury Secretary

Yellen is the first woman to lead the institution in its 232-year history and is also the first woman to have also served as chair of the Federal Reserve and the Council of Economic Advisers, the top economic jobs in government. She is expected to be assume a central role in making the case for a stimulus package.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/janet-yellen-treasury.html

Justice Department Facing Inquiry Over Election Meddling

The department's inspector general will investigate whether a top department official, Jeffrey Clark, collaborated with Trump to promote false claims of voter fraud and attempted to have the results of the election overturned. Part of the alleged plan was to oust the acting attorney general, promote Clark to that position, and try to overturn Georgia's election results.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/justice-department-inspector-general-trump-voter-fraud.html?searchResultPosition=1

Biden Team Oust Trump Loyalists

Even though President Biden had named almost all of his cabinet secretaries and deputies before being sworn in, the administration is also consolidating power by ousting Trump appointees and filling high-level positions from the Pentagon to the Voice of America.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/us/politics/biden-government.html?searchResultPosition=1

McConnell Drops Demand that Filibuster Be Preserved

The Senate minority leader has, at least temporarily, dropped his demand for a formal promise from Democrats to preserve the filibuster. McConnell relied on the assurances of two centrist Democrats who oppose removing the procedural tool that effectively requires 60 votes to advance any measure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/senate-filibuster.html

After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make it Harder to Vote

The Brennan Center for Justice is reporting that Republican state legislators have filed 106 bills to tighten election rules, which would do one or more of the following: roll back no-excuse absentee voting, pare back automatic mailing of absentee ballots, require signatures on mail ballots to be notarized, or require ballots mailed to voters to be delivered by hand. On the other hand, 406 Democrat-backed bills in 35 states are aiming to increase access to voting, like giving former felons the right to vote or automatically registering votors at motor vehicle bureaus.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/us/republicans-voting-georgia-arizona.html

Trump Parts Ways with Five Lawyers Handling Impeachment Defense

The lead lawyer on Trump's impeachment defense team - South Carolina lawyer Butch Bowers, will no longer represent the former president. The departure was reportedly due to a difference of opinion on the direction of the case - Trump is pushing for a defense that relies on allegations of election fraud while the anticipated argument is that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/us/politics/trump-butch-bowers-impeachment.html

Republicans Waiver on Convicting Donald J. Trump

It is appearing increasingly unlikely that Republicans will convict Trump on charges of inciting a resurrection after the impeachment trial gets underway on February 9th. Of those who are opposed, most have process-based objections and point to the divisive nature of an impeachment trial. The number of Republicans who have signaled they were open to convicting the former president falls short of the 17 needed to secure a conviction.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/trump-republicans-impeachment-trial.html

Homeland Security Warns of Rising Threat from Extremists Emboldened by Capitol Attack

In a departure from its previous positions, the Department of Homeland Security is now both acknowledging the threat of violent homegrown terrorism and publishing intelligence reports that warn about the dangers posed by white supremacist groups and other extremist factions.
This is a significant development, given that Trump's insistence that radical left movements posed danger to the country had shifted federal law enforcement resources away from investigating right-wing extremists and had "stifled internal efforts to promote concerns about the far-right threat."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/us/politics/homeland-security-threat.html https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/us/politics/trump-right-wing-
domestic-terrorism.html

Republicans' Ties to Extremist Groups Under Scrutiny Following Capitol Riots

Calls for the resignation or expulsion of certain Republican lawmakers are growing over their ties to organizations that played a role in the Capitol riots. The article examines links between several members of Congress, including Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene, and organizations like the Oath Keepers, QAnon and the Proud Boys.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/us/republicans-trump-capitol-riot.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/us/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-republicans.html?searchResultPosition=1

Capitol Riot Investigation Scrutinize Role of Proud Boys

One of the goals of the ongoing investigation is to find out to what extent far-right nationalist groups communicated with each other to plan the Capitol assault in advance. There is currently no clear-cut evidence suggesting that there was a widespread conspiracy to attack the Capitol.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/proud-boys-capitol-riot.html

Capitol Police Detail Failures During Pro-Trump Assault

The acting chief of the Capitol Police says that the department was aware of a "strong potential for violence" targeting lawmakers, but was unprepared when the mob attacked. Testifying before members of the House Appropriations Committee, Chief Pittman said that "officers were outmanned, had poor communications, lacked sufficient supplies and struggled to carry out orders like locking down the building."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/capitol-riot-police.html

Federal Emergency Management Agency Play Would Free Up Billions for Preventing Climate Disasters

Under a new strategy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will free up as much as $10 billion to protect against climate disasters by building seawalls, elevating or relocating flood-prone homes and taking other steps to minimize the impact of climate change.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/climate/fema-climate-spending-biden.html

General Motors Phasing Out Cars and Trucks Using Gas by 2035

The company plans to stop selling new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, shifting its focus to battery-powered vehicles instead.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/business/gm-zero-emission-vehicles.html

Central Intelligence Agency Warns Former Officers About Working for Foreign Governments

The agency's counterintelligence chief warned retired officers that pursuing employment with foreign governments amounts to activity "that may undermine the agency's mission to the benefit of U.S. competitors and foreign adversaries." The broad warning acknowledged a "detrimental trend" toward this type of activity in recent years and was not prompted by any single incident or disclosure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/us/politics/intelligence-officers-foreign-governments.html

The GameStop Reckoning Was a Long Time Coming

GameStop became the most heavily traded stock in the world after individual investors used trading apps to execute a short squeeze, push up the stock price, and entrap hedge funds that had bet against it, causing billions of dollars in losses.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/technology/gamestop-stock.html?searchResultPosition=2

Legal Pressure Increases on Trump in Fraud Inquiry Cases

In an order issued last week, Justice Engoron of the New York Supreme Court rejected a bid from Trump's lawyers to shield records that they argued were protected by attorney-client privilege. The records relate to a Westchester County property that is being scrutinized as part of a civil inquiry into whether the Trump organization "misstated assets to get bank loans and tax benefits."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/nyregion/trump-fraud-investigation.html

In Queens, New District Attorney Confronts Her Office's Past Misconduct

District attorney Melinda Katz is leading a major culture shift in Queens - first, by acknowledging past misconduct that excluded women and people of color from juries, and secondly, by establishing a review unit for potential wrongful convictions. However, defense attorneys and community leaders are pushing for more change, especially in the area of attorney discipline, so that prosecutors do not slide back into their old ways.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/nyregion/melinda-katz-queens.html

Coronavirus Update

Negative Coronavirus Test Required for Travelers Entering U.S.

Starting January 26, 2021,international travelers had to show negative test results before boarding flights to the U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/14/travel/international-travel-covid-test.html?searchResultPosition=1

Biden Raises Daily Vaccination Target to 1.5 Million Shots a Day

The figure marks a 50% increase from his initial target of ONE million a day.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/us/politics/biden-coronavirus-vaccinations.html

Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine Offers Strong Protection

The one-dose vaccine is showing promise, but its efficacy rate dropped from 72% in the U.S. to 57% in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has taken hold.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/health/covid-vaccine-johnson-and-johnson-variants.html

Why Governments Sign Secret Vaccine Deals

The details of government contracts with pharmaceutical companies producing coronavirus vaccines have largely remained secret but recently examined documents indicate that drug companies demand "flexible delivery schedules, patent protection and immunity from liability if anything goes wrong."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/world/europe/vaccine-secret-contracts-prices.html

The Global Cost of Unequal Vaccination

The article discusses the humanitarian and economic impact of rich nations monopolizing the vaccine supply.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/business/coronavirus-vaccines-global-economy.html

Pentagon Suspends Plan to Vaccinate the 40 Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay

The initial decision had attracted criticism over whether the government was prioritizing terrorism suspects over U.S. citizens. It is also unclear how many of the approximately 1,500 troops who serve at the detention center have been vaccinated.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/30/us/politics/coronavirus-vaccine-guantanamo.html

New York State Undercounted Coronavirus Deaths in Nursing Homes

Following a report by the state attorney general that New York had undercounted coronavirus-related deaths in state nursing homes, the Health Department added another 3,800 deaths to its tally, which increased the total death toll related to those facilities by over 40%.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/nyregion/nursing-home-deaths-cuomo.html

February 5, 2021

Sports Issues for the Week of February 5th

By Bennett Liebman

Social Media Post Puts LeBron on Defense, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-media-post-puts-lebron-defense-lawsuit-filed-darren-heitner/

The Complexity Of EA Sports College Football Without Athlete Group Licensing In Place, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/02/the-complexity-of-ea-sports-college-football-without-athlete-group-licensing-in-place/

MURPHY, TRAHAN PROPOSE COLLEGE ATHLETE COMPENSATION LEGISLATION, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/chris-murphy-lori-trahan-nil-1234621976/

EA Sports Is Reviving Its College Football Game, https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbaker/2021/02/03/ea-sports-is-reviving-its-college-football-game-and-rekindling-debate-on-athletes-likenesses/?sh=55048ef94ef8

NCAA Brief to Supreme Court, https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-512/167853/20210201165312803_20-512%20ts.pdf">www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-512/167853/20210201165312803_20-512%20ts.pdf">www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-512/167853/20210201165312803_20-512%20ts.pdf

RYAN ZIMMERMAN AND RYAN HOWARD IMPLICATED IN AL JAZEERA COURT FILING, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/ryan-zimmerman-peds-al-jazeera-1234621570/

The Balancing Act Task Before The Court Of Arbitration For Sports And The Question Of Proportional Penalty, https://www.completesports.com/samson-siasia-the-balancing-act-task-before-the-court-of-arbitration-for-sports-and-the-question-of-proportional-penalty/

There's a Plan to Bring Sports Gambling to the Futures Market, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-02/there-s-a-plan-to-bring-sports-gambling-to-the-futures-market

Barstool and Penn, https://www.legalsportsreport.com/47848/barstool-sportsbook-next-state-launch-snowden/

An expert's guide to owning a European soccer club - part two: Due diligence, https://www.sportspromedia.com/analysis/football-club-owner-guide-investment-thesis-rocco-commisso-jordan-gardner?utm_content=153364231&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-28330466

Study: Gambling industry's US ad spend up 82% YoY, https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/gambling-sports-betting-advertising-spend-us-2020-nfl-draftkings?utm_content=153263752&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-28330466

Woman accusing Antonio Brown of rape wants to subpoena Bucs, https://theathletic.com/2365188/2021/02/03/antonio-brown-rape-subpoena-buccaneers-woman-accusing/?source=twitterhq

Piracy fears prompt IOC to urge US to consider "further appropriate steps" against Saudi Arabia, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1103854/ioc-letter-to-us-on-saudi-piracy

MCMAHON COUNTERSUES LUCK IN XFL BATTLE, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/vince-mcmahon-xfl-lawsuit-1234621679/

Super Bowl Reminds Lawyer of Game That Forever Changed His Life, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/super-bowl-reminds-lawyer-of-game-that-forever-changed-his-life

Here are 7 reasons why states are embracing in-stadium sports betting, https://theathletic.com/1031237/2019/06/17/here-are-7-reasons-why-states-are-embracing-in-stadium-sports-betting/

NFL's TV Future May Be Decided by 2024 Jury Trial, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/nfls-tv-future-may-be-decided-by-2024-jury-trial
How should student-athletes be compensated?
, https://www.aei.org/events/how-should-student-athletes-be-compensated/

EXPERT VIEW: A legal debrief on college sports, paid athletes and the risk of point shaving, https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/news/2021/02/04/college-sports-gambling-paid-athletes-ncaa-risks.html

LeBron James settling suit with photographer over misuse of photo on social media, https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/entertainment-celebrity/lebron-james-settling-suit-with-photographer-over-misuse-of-photo-on-social-media/ar-BB1doope

Theater News for the Week of February 5th

By Bennett Liebman

Actors' Equity Association Releases Statement Applauding the Introduction of the 'Protecting the Right to Organize' Act, https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Actors-Equity-Association-Releases-Statement-Applauding-the-Introduction-of-the-Protecting-the-Right-to-Organize-Act-20210204

National Endowment for the Arts Grants $27.5 Million in First Round of 2021 Funding, https://www.playbill.com/article/national-endowment-for-the-arts-grants-275-million-in-first-round-of-2021-funding

Center Theatre Group raises $700,000 on Zoom with RWQuarantunes party, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-02-04/zoom-covid-relief-center-theatre-group-quarantunes

'Color Purple' actress fired over homophobic posts sues theater, https://www.nydailynews.com/snyde/ny-color-purple-actress-homophobic-comments-sues-refuse-gay-role-20210203-cdicibih2fb63adqvsrfttg3qy-story.html

The Influence of Adrienne Kennedy, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-02-02/adrienne-kennedy-playwright-festival

Bringing Stages to Storefronts in a Theater-Hungry City, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/theater/miami-new-drama-seven-deadly-sins.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

Andrew Lloyd Webber urges the Government to trial 'game-changing' chemical spray, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/andrew-lloyd-webber-urges-government-trialgame-changing-chemical/

All the World's a Screen? They're Used to It, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/theater/video-screens-technology.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

Hal Holbrook was captivating as Mark Twain, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/hal-holbrook-appreciation/2021/02/02/c27db81e-6569-11eb-8c64-9595888caa15_story.html

Solo performers all owe a debt to Hal Halbrook, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-solo-shows-hal-holbrook-appreciation-20210204-owxgctfk2nhudbqy4wo2pntj5e-story.html

Come From Away to Be Filmed, https://deadline.com/2021/02/come-from-away-broadway-movie-eone-1234685571/

So What Could a 'New Federal Theatre Project' Actually Look Like?, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/02/03/so-what-could-a-new-federal-theatre-project-actually-look-like/

With Live Performances At Theaters Dark Due To Pandemic Restrictions, https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/02/03/broadway-on-demand-online-streaming-theater/

Actors' Equity seeks wages owed to Clay Aiken, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/04/actors-equity-seeks-wages-owed-to-clay-aiken-from-broadway-christmas-show/

SBA updates guidance and eligibility for Save Our Stages grants, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/01/sba-updates-guidance-and-eligibility-on-save-our-stages-grants/

Has the Pandemic Permanently Changed Live Theater? https://www.patheos.com/blogs/feminaferox/2021/02/has-the-pandemic-permanently-changed-live-theater/

The Conversation: Syracuse Stage presenting a virtual season, https://www.localsyr.com/community/the-conversation/the-conversation-syracuse-stage-presenting-a-virtual-season/

Philanthropic angels rescue some Colorado arts groups, https://coloradosun.com/2021/02/02/struggling-arts-organizations-colorado-coronavirus/

Bastrop Opera House continues live events as COVID-19 surges in Texas, https://www.statesman.com/story/news/local/bastrop/2021/02/03/bastrop-opera-house-continue-events-lisa-holcomb-covid-pandemic-surges/4321986001/

Theaters plan ahead to fill seats with in-person audiences, https://www.theridgefieldpress.com/arts-leisure/article/Curtain-Call-Theaters-plan-ahead-to-fill-seats-15918566.php


February 12, 2021

Theater News for the Week of February 12th

By Bennett Liebman

Theatrical unions unveil diversity, equity and inclusion agenda, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/11/theatrical-unions-lay-out-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-agenda/

100 Broadway People to Follow on Twitter, https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BroadwayWorlds-100-People-To-Follow-on-Twitter-in-2021-20210210

'Within a matter of hours, your entire industry is gone, https://finance.yahoo.com/video/within-matter-hours-entire-industry-201401565.html

An innovative Georgetown lab looks to theater to quell political fires, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/georgetown-lab-empathy-theater/2021/02/11/ddd67580-6a44-11eb-9f80-3d7646ce1bc0_story.html

Broadway's Rocky Road to Recovery, http://www.ourtownny.com/city-arts/broadway-s-rocky-road-to-recovery-BY1504300

New Broadway League Chair Lauren Reid on the work ahead, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/08/new-broadway-league-chair-lauren-reid-on-the-work-ahead/

Andrew Cuomo Sets Tentative Summer Return for Some Theaters, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/cuomo-sets-tentative-summer-2021-return-for-some-theaters-72641/

New York arts initiative 'NY PopsUp' begins Feb. 20, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/arts-recovery-new-york/2021/02/08/a5cb45de-6a22-11eb-ba56-d7e2c8defa31_story.html

5 things Chicago needs to learn from NY PopsUp, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-new-york-popsup-chicago-learns-jones-0214-20210211-2ovvol77bjdcvbylabt3ok2kuu-story.html

NY to host 'pop-up' shows to boost arts industry amid COVID, https://nypost.com/2021/02/08/ny-to-host-pop-up-shows-to-boost-arts-industry-amid-covid/

Amber Ruffin Joins Broadway-Bound 'Some Like It Hot' As Co-Writer, https://deadline.com/2021/02/amber-ruffin-some-like-it-hot-broadway-musical-cowriter-marc-shaiman-scott-wittman-1234691149/

What it's like for Seattle theaters to transition leadership, https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/theater/what-its-like-taking-over-a-seattle-theater-during-a-pandemic/

Joe Allen, 'He Missed Nothing': Nathan Lane, Chita Rivera and Others on Joe Allen, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/theater/Broadway-memories-joe-allen.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

More Joe Allen, Joe Allen Dies: Legendary Restaurateur To Broadway Theater Folk And The Fans Who Loved Them Was 87, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/joe-allen-dies-legendary-restaurateur-152129011.html

Actor's homophobia made her commercially toxic, Actor's homophobia made her commercially toxic, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/feb/08/actors-homophobia-made-her-commercially-toxic-tribunal-told

LaGuardia High School Celebrates Forty Years of 'Fame', https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2021/02/10/laguardia-high-school-celebrates-forty-years-of--fame-?cid=share_twitter

Broadway ensembles are shrinking, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/broadway-ensembles-shrinking-dance-72625/

The Trump impeachment trial: What Shakespeare would have seen, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-02-09/trump-impeachment-trial-hamlet-shakespeare-insurrection

Anna Deavere Smith on Forging Black Identity, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/03/the-last-of-the-nice-negro-girls/617786/

Theatres plot open-air comeback for summer, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/feb/09/outdoor-theatre-reopening-stages-coronavirus-arcola-london

Inside the Broadway Community Project, https://www.playbill.com/article/inside-the-broadway-community-project-making-merchandise-not-just-swag-but-a-piece-of-theatre-magic

Kirill Serebrennikov Is Fired as Director of Gogol Center, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/theater/kirill-serebrennikov-gogol-fired.html


Sports News for the Week of February 12th

By Bennett Liebman

NHL Drafts Amazon for Data Upgrades as Sports Go High Tech, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/tech-and-telecom-law/nhl-drafts-amazon-for-data-upgrades-as-sports-go-high-tech-1

Canada: Is Single-Game Sports Betting Gaining Legal Traction In Canada?, https://www.mondaq.com/canada/gaming/1035622/is-single-game-sports-betting-gaining-legal-traction-in-canada

Q&A: Legal expert on the Brown Act case against Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/02/10/qa-legal-expert-on-the-brown-act-case-against-santa-clara-valley-athletic-league/

Why College Athletes Must Prepare For The Name, Image, And Likeness Era, https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelrueda/2021/02/11/why-college-athletes-must-prepare-for-the-name-image-and-likeness-era/?sh=62a127632634

If bill passes, Iowa's college athletes could soon earn money from name, image and likeness, https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/10/iowa-legislators-again-propose-name-image-likeness-bill-college-athletes/4460039001/

NIL Update: The NCAA Delays NIL Rule While Congress and States Continue with Divergent Goals and the U.S. Supreme Court Buzzes In, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/nil-update-the-ncaa-delays-nil-rule-7121989/

10 Ways The NCAA Violates Core Values Of Higher Education, https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2021/02/09/10-ways-the-ncaa-violates-core-values-of-higher-education/?sh=48d396b15d11

EA Sports Announces College Football Video Game Revival and Another Collegiate Athlete Persona Rights Piece of Legislation is Proposed in Congress, https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=687229ee-10e7-4ec1-ad77-75aac5207386

Paying College Athletes, https://www.theregreview.org/2021/02/06/saturday-seminar-paying-college-athletes

TRUMP TAX REFORM ON COACHES' PAY LEAVES TOUGH CHOICES FOR SCHOOLS, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/coaches-tax-irs-1234622542/

Loss-of-Value Insurance Market for College Athletes Sees Hard Times, https://www.sportico.com/business/commerce/2021/loss-of-value-insurance-hard-times-1234621989/

GENIUS SPORTS SUES SPORTRADAR, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/genius-sports-lawsuit-1234622177/

Putting To Rest The Claim That NIL Isn't For All College Athletes, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/02/putting-to-rest-the-claim-that-nil-isnt-for-all-college-athletes/?rf=1

A Couple Of Companies Get Popped For Infringing On This Football Brand's Trademarks, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/02/a-couple-of-companies-get-popped-for-infringing-on-this-football-brands-trademarks/

NHL DEEPENS LEGAL SPORTSBOOK TIES WITH POINTSBET EQUITY STAKE, https://www.legalsportsreport.com/48115/nhl-pointsbet-equity-stake/

MLS forecasting another 'US1bn' loss in 2021, https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/mls-2021-season-losses-one-billion-dollars-don-garber-covid-19-cba?utm_content=154085812&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-28330466

WE League chair 'grateful' for Yoshiro Mori's sexist remarks, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2021/02/12/soccer/we-league-chair-yoshiro-mori-sexist-remarks/

Mori is gone but gender issues remain for Tokyo Olympics, https://kwwl.com/2021/02/12/mori-is-gone-but-gender-issues-remain-for-tokyo-olympics/

February 15, 2021

Week In Review

By La-Vaughnda A. Taylor
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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

Entertainment

'Chappelle's Show' Returns to Netflix After Its Star Gets Paid

Just over two months after it was pulled at his request, Dave Chappell has agreed to license and return the show to Netflix after being paid millions of dollars, for which he fought.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chappelles-show-returns-to-netflix-with-dave-chappelles-blessing

Nashville Urged to Address Racism Within Its Ranks

Following country star Morgan Wallen's use of a racial slur, other mainstream country artists have commented about the incident on social media, but many figured Nashville would do as it has almost always done when one of its stars is under fire: circle the wagons and shut up. However, following the incident, radio conglomerates iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Entercom, and others pulled Wallen's songs from rotation at hundreds of stations, and major streaming services removed him from playlists. CMT stopped running his videos. The Academy of Country Music declared him ineligible for its upcoming awards, while Wallen's second album topped the Billboard 200 chart for the third straight week. Female country artists like Mickey Guyton (the only Black woman signed to a major label), Maren Morris, Margo Price, and Amanda Shire,s amongst others, are pushing the country music business to begin confronting issues of racism and diversity that go beyond one artist's misdeeds.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/arts/music/country-music-racism-social-media.html

Springsteen Was Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in November & Jeep Pulls Ad After News of Charges

Bruce Springsteen was arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey on November 14th and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area. A source close to the musician is sharing more information and says that the actual details raise doubts about the seriousness of the situation. A spokesperson for Jeep told CNN that the company would pause running its ad including Springsteen, which first debuted during the Super Bowl, in light of the charges. Springsteen is expected to have his first hearing on DWI charges "towards the end of February."

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/11/entertainment/springsteen-arrest-new-details/index.html

Arts

Metropolitan Museum Considers Selling Art to Pay Its Bills

Facing a potential shortfall of $150 million because of the pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) has begun conversations with auction houses and its curators about selling some artworks to help pay for care of the collection. In the past, museums were permitted to use such funds only for future art purchases. Like many institutions, the Met is looking to take advantage of a two-year window in which the Association of Art Museum Directors -- a professional organization that guides its members' best practices -- has relaxed the guidelines that govern how proceeds from sales of works in a collection (known as deaccessioning) can be directed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/05/arts/design/met-museum-considers-selling-art.html

Publishers Steer Clear of MAGA

The Big Five publishing companies in New York, and even their dedicated conservative imprints, have become squeamish about the genre known as MAGA books, with its divisive politics and relaxed approach to facts. For example, Kate Harrison, the editorial director of the conservative Center Street imprint, was the one mainstream editor who would buy what no one else would -- and make a tidy profit for her employer. However, last month Hachette, who like other media companies had been torn in recent years between the politics of its staff and its historic commitment to publishing conservative speech, fired her. Hachette is hardly the only mainstream publisher steering away from MAGA books. Simon & Schuster invoked its "morals" clause to cancel the publication of a book by Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, after he objected to the results the November election and cheered the protests right before the violence broke out. Simon & Schuster will also stop publishing the right-wing activist Candace Owens. These tension are in part about free speech.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/07/business/media/hachette-book-group-trump.html

Fashion Adapts. Algorithms Lag.

The automated intelligence systems of Instagram and Facebook have repeatedly denied ads placed by small businesses that make stylish clothing for people with disabilities. Many times, these ads are rejected for violating policy -- specifically, the promotion of "medical and health care products and services including medical devices," even though they include no such products. This is a pattern that has been going on for at least two years: the algorithms that are the gatekeepers to the commercial side of Facebook and Instagram routinely misidentify adaptive fashion products and block them from their platforms. At least 7 brands have experience this problem -- one has been dealing with the issues on a weekly basis; another has had hundreds of products rejected. In each instance, the company has had to appeal on an item-by-item basis. The adaptive fashion struggle reflects a bigger issue: the implicit biases embedded in machine learning, and the way they impact marginalized communities.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/style/disabled-fashion-facebook-discrimination.html

With Suit, Poland Seeks to Push Its Version of Holocaust History

A Polish court has ordered two Holocaust historians to apologize to the niece of a dead village mayor, for having accused the deceased mayor of collaborating with the Nazis in WWII. Despite finding them guilty of defamation in a book, the Warsaw court did not order them to pay damages. The World Holocaust Remember Centre has called the case "a serious attack on free and open research." The two professors can appeal the civil case brought against them by 80-year old Filomena Leszcynska. Some 90% of Poland's pre-war Jewish community were killed. The book, Night Without End, quoted testimony from a Holocaust survivor who said the mayor, Edward Malinowski, had betrayed the whereabouts of a group of 22 Jews to German soldiers. The group was subsequently executed. Leszczynska said that the authors had omitted to say that a post-war trial had acquitted her uncle of the charge of collaboration with the Nazis. A controversial 2018 law in Poland makes it an offense to link the Polish nation to Nazi crimes. It was not invoked in this case, however.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55996291
Sports

Stonehenge May Have Moved to England from a Welsh Site

A team of archaeologists, led by Mike Parker Pearson of University College London, has unearthed Britain's third-largest stone circle in the Preseli Hills of western Wales that they believe was dismantled, moved 175 miles to England's Salisbury Plain and rebuilt as Stonehenge. Scholars have known for decades that most of Stonehenge's bluestones were carried, dragged or rolled to Salisbury Plain from the Preseli Hills.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/stonehenge-rebuilt-welsh-stone-circle-research-shows/story?id=75802690

Sports

10 Ways the NCAA Violates Core Values of Higher Education

In an amicus brief filed last week, eight states, including Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the NCAA's restraints of trade that prevent college athletes from earning compensation, arguing that the current system of college sports will "prepare student-athletes for success in all areas of life." While these eight states argue that college sports should be left to reform itself, the NCAA system, in earnest, is not about to reform without Court intervention. The NCAA and its college sports system represent the very antithesis of the reform-minded values that otherwise underlie higher education. Throughout the years, the college sports system, operating under the auspices of the NCAA, conflicts with the longstanding, progressive values that are preached throughout most other aspects of the higher education industry.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2021/02/09/10-ways-the-ncaa-violates-core-values-of-higher-education/?sh=121170395d11

In the National Basketball Association, Money Speaks Louder Than Stars

With tens of millions of dollars at stake, the All-Star Game is unlikely to be derailed by pushback from the National Basketball Association's (NBA) biggest stars about the health risks or the need for a break. Lebron James, the NBA's biggest star, has blamed its plan to stuff three days' worth of All-Star events into a one-shot Turner Sports extravaganza on March 7th. League and players' union officials are nonetheless expected to soon announce that those plans have been scheduled. It is reminiscent of how the season started -- and another illustration of the louder-than-ever say held by the NBA's broadcast partners at such challenging financial times for the sport's various stakeholders.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/sports/basketball/nba-all-star-game.html

NBA Says Its Teams Must Play the Anthem

The Dallas Mavericks have not been playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before home games all season, but said that it would, going forward after the NBA declared that all teams were required to play the national anthem. The NBA's rules have required players to stand during the anthem, however NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has not enforced that rule in recent years, as players chose to kneel during the anthem in protests of police brutality and social injustice. The pregame national anthem is a staple of American sports at both the professional and collegiate level, but is far less commonplace at professional sporting events in other countries.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/dallas-mavericks-stop-playing-national-anthem-home-games-direction-owner-n1257259

New York Will Permit Fans, But Not Many

In a bit of a surprise, New York State will permit a limited number of fans in stands at arenas and stadiums with 10,000 or more seats starting on February 23rd. This includes sports franchises like the Nets, Knicks, Rangers, Sabres, and Islanders, provided that seating is limited to 10% of each venue's capacity. In addition to limits on attendance, the state announced other restrictions, including negative tests for COVID-19 within 72 hours of a game and the state's Department of Health will have to approve each venue. Fans will also be required to remain socially distanced and wear face coverings at games.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/sports/ny-stadiums-arenas-open-for-fans.html

Investigators Fault Pilot in Crash that Killed Bryant

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that pilot Ara Zobayan's poor decision-making is the likely cause of the helicopter crash that killed NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others last year. The NTSB found that Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules, which means he had to be able to see where he was going, but decided to fly into thick clouds, where he became spatially disoriented. Investigators also attributed fault to the company that operated the flight, Island Express Helicopters, citing its "inadequate review and oversight of its safety management process." It noted, however, that the company's safety protocols -- while flawed -- were legal under current Federal Aviation Administration rules. The NTSB also said the air traffic controllers on duty that day did not contribute in any way to the crash. Those issues had become significant in federal and state courts, where the victims' families have filed a series of lawsuits against the helicopter company and, in some cases, Zobayan's estate. The helicopter company later countersued the air traffic controllers in what experts believe is an effort to spread liability.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2021/02/09/kobe-bryant-crash-pilot-violated-standards-disoriented-ntsb-says/4443520001/

In Japan, a Sexist Remark (Initially) Did Not Unseat Olympics Chief

Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori apologized for making sexist remarks about women, saying he retracted the comments and would not resign, despite calls for him to step down on social media. The hashtag "Mori, please resign" was trending on Twitter in Japan and some users on the platform were calling on sponsors to pressure the Tokyo organizing committee into dropping Mori from the top post. Japan persistently trails its peers on promoting gender equality, ranking 121 out of 153 nations surveyed in the 2020 global gender gap report of the World Economic Forum. Since his outburst, more than half of the Japanese public agreed in a poll that he was "not qualified" to lead. Editorials in two of the country's largest newspapers called for him to resign. His imperviousness to the firestorm over his sexist remarks appeared to reflect the support of a Japanese power structure that is largely unaccountable to the public, works to preserve the old guard, and freezes out the critical voices of younger people. Mori finally resigned on Friday, following the backlash over his comments.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/world/asia/japan-olympics-yoshiro-mori.html

https://abcnews.go.com/International/tokyo-olympics-president-yoshiro-mori-resigns-sexist-comments/story?id=75845979

A Culture of Abuse Has Deep Roots

Soccer leagues and teams have urged Twitter and Facebook to address the unfiltered hatred spewed on their platforms. Yet the game indulges, and sometimes even directs, that same outrage. The incidents keep coming and it is abundant proof that following the same playbook is no longer enough. All of the club statements and official condemnations and well-meaning hashtags do nothing whatsoever to stanch the flow of abuse. A sense of soccer's powerlessness is slowly dawning on the sport. The game's authorities in England -- and across Europe -- have launched and relaunched various campaigns in recent months, in an attempt to demonstrate that this is an issue they are taking seriously. However, racism is not a social media problem, it is a societal one.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/sports/soccer/racial-abuse-britain.html

Coach Resigns From Jaguars After Outcry Over His Past

Chis Doyle's tenure as the Director of Sports Performance of the Jacksonville Jaguars lasted about 35 hours. The former Iowa strength and conditioning coach resigned from his post in Jacksonville a day after his hiring, which triggered an outcry due to his past behaviors at Iowa. Once the nation's highest-paid strength coach, Doyle came under fire after numerous Hawkeyes players singled him out for allegedly racist comments and other negative experiences while they were with the program. Doyle eventually parted ways with Iowa, receiving more than $1 million as part of a separation agreement. While accusations of racism and player hospitalizations would theoretically be a significant obstacle for landing an National Football League job, Doyle only had to wait months before Meyer and the Jaguars came calling. After announcing his hiring, Meyer vociferously defended the move, claiming that the Jaguars thoroughly vetted the coach before bringing him aboard.

https://news.yahoo.com/chris-doyle-resigns-jaguars-iowa-strength-coach-outcry-over-hiring-044540502.html

Media/Technology

Right-Wing Outlets Flinch as Lawsuits Roll Out

In just a few weeks, lawsuits and legal threats from a pair of election technology companies achieved what years of advertising boycotts, public pressure campaigns, and liberal outrage could not: Curbing the flow of misinformation in right-wing media. Fox Business canceled "Lou Dobbs Tonight", the networks' highest rated show, after its host was sued as part of a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit. Fox News, which seldom bows to critics, also ran fact-checking segments to debunk its own anchors' false claims about electoral fraud. Conservatives outlets have rarely faced this level of direct assault on their economic lifeblood. Litigation represents a new front in the war against misinformation, a scourge that has reshaped American politics, deprived citizens of common facts, and paved the way for the deadly January 6th attack on the Capitol. The use of defamation suits also raised uneasy questions about how to police a news media that counts on First Amendment protections -- even as some conservative outlets advanced Trump's lies and eroded public faith in the democratic process.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/06/business/media/conservative-media-defamation-lawsuits.html

Fox Seeks to Dismiss Election Lawsuit

Fox News is seeking a dismissal of Smartmatic's $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit, arguing that it was providing First Amendment protected newsworthy information in featuring Trump's surrogates and their false claims that the voting systems company was involved in election fraud. The network argued in a motion to dismiss that Smartmatic may have a defamation case against Trump's surrogates if they "fabricated evidence or told lies with actual malice," but not against "the media that covered their allegations and allowed them to try to substantiate them." The motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of Fox Corp. and Fox News, but not the other defendants named in the lawsuit. They include three Fox News Media personalities, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, and two Trump surrogates who were guests on their shows, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

https://deadline.com/2021/02/fox-news-seeks-dismissal-of-smartmatic-lawsuit-claiming-first-amendment-protection-1234690065/

Fox Anchors File Motions to Dismiss Lawsuit

Attorneys for Fox News filed individual motions last week to dismiss Smartmatic's defamation lawsuit on behalf of Lou Dobbs, Mario Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, three anchors who were named in the matter in which the voting technology company is seeking a whopping $2.7 billion.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/featured/sns-fox-news-dobbs-bartiromo-pirro-smartmatic-defamation-lawsuit-20210212-zpnqoffhxfbilfuvtcqkjx2i24-story.html

Before the Riot, Anger Crackled On Talk Radio

Talk radio is perhaps the most influential and under-chronicled part of right-wing media, where the voices of Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and other star hosts waft through the homes, workplaces, and commutes of tens of millions of listeners. Before the riot, they offered unrestrained forums for claims of rigged voting machines and a liberal conspiracy to steal the presidency for Biden. There is an often unguarded nature of talk radio, where hosts indulge in edgier fare than on TV networks, like Fox News, and listeners call in to say what they really think, insulated from the scrutiny of people with whom they disagree. The result is something of an id of American conservative thought. Hosts' intemperate remarks on race, immigration, and other subjects lend the shows a renegade feel and keep listeners loyal and emotionally invested. As Trump echoed the blunt language of talk radio, its hosts defended the president's acidic language and frequent falsehoods -- even when he claimed, without evidence, that the election had been stolen.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/business/media/conservative-talk-radio-capitol-riots.html

Facebook Dials Down the Politics for Users

After inflaming political discourse around the globe, Facebook is trying to turn down the temperature. The social network announced that it had started changing its algorithm to reduce the political feed. This will first be tested on a fraction of Facebook's users in Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia and will be expanded to the U.S. in the coming weeks. Political stories won't disappear form users' feeds altogether; content from official government agencies and services will be exempt form the algorithm change, as will information about COVID-19 from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Users would also still be able to discuss politics inside private groups. Facebook has been under fire from lawmakers from both parties.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/facebook-dials-down-the-politics-for-users/articleshow/80794176.cms

Twitter Blocks Accounts in India as Modi Pressures Social Media

Twitter said that it has permanently blocked over 500 accounts and moved an unspecified number of others from view within India after the government accused the users of making inflammatory remarks about Narendra Modi, the country's prime minister. Twitter said it had acted after the government issued a notice of noncompliance, a move that experts said could put the company's local employees in danger of spending up to seven years in custody. Twitter said that it was not taking any action on accounts that belonged to media organizations, journalists, activists or politicians, saying it did not believe the orders to block them "are consistent with Indian law."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/technology/india-twitter.html

Ruling Favors Prince Harry and Meghan Over Tabloid

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has won a victory in her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, the parent company of the Mail, with High Court Judge Mark Warby ruling that the newspaper did in fact breach her privacy and copyright when it published the letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, before her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. She has been granted summary judgement for breach of privacy and breach of copyright, which means the case has been struck out and will not go to a full trial in October.

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/02/meghan-markle-tabloid-lawsuit-privacy-summary-judgment

Civil-Liberties Groups Ask U.S. to Drop Assange Case

A coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups urged the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain and prosecute him, calling the Trump-era case against him "a grave threat to press freedom." The coalition sent a letter urging a change in course before a Friday deadline for the Justice Department to file a brief in a London court. American prosecutors are due to explain in detail their decision -- formally lodged on January 19th, the last full day of the Trump administration -- to appeal a ruling blocking their request to extradite Assange. The litigation deadline may force the new administration to confront a decision: whether to press on with the Trump-era approach or to instead drop the matter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment.html

China Arrests Australian Journalist on Spy Charge

China has formally arrested a Chinese-born Australian journalist for CGTN, the English-language channel of China Central Television, on suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas. The arrest of Cheng Lei starts an official criminal investigation and comes six months after she was detained. The Australian government has raised serious concerns about her detention, while China's Foreign Ministry confirmed Cheng's arrest and said her legal rights were being "fully guaranteed". The charges could result in a penalty of life in prison or even death, but are highly unusual for an employee of a media outlet tightly controlled by China's ruling Communist Party. The British media watchdog Ofcom last week stripped CGTN of its U.K. broadcasting license because of a lack of editorial control and is investigating complaints that it ran forced confessions by a suspect involved in political cases.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2021/02/08/cheng-lei-cgtn-china-arrests-australian-journalist-spying-charge/4432766001/

Myanmar Proposes Crackdown on Free Speech in Effort to Stifle Protests

The military government in Myanmar has increasingly used nighttime arrests, legal threats, a curfew and a ban on large gatherings to tame weeklong anti-coup protests that have spread from the cities to the countryside. Now, civil society groups fear that the military is preparing a new law that would further restrict online expression and limit the privacy rights of citizens. A coalition of 158 civil society organizations signed a statement raising concerns that the potential law would lead to the widespread arrest of government critics. Myanmar already has harsh laws restricting online speech, but opponents of the military say that the proposed law is so broad, it would allow the authorities to arrest anyone who criticized the government online and imprison the person for up to three years. Critics also said the proposed law would require telecommunications companies to cooperate with the government and provide information about their customers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/world/asia/myanmar-military-protest.html

General News

Senate Acquits Trump in Capitol Riot: 7 Republicans Join in Vote to Convict

The Senate voted to acquit former President Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection despite significant Republican support for conviction, bringing an end to the fourth impeachment trial in U.S. history and the second for Trump. Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump for allegedly inciting the deadly January 6th riot at the Capitol, when a mob of pro-Trump supporters tried to disrupt the electoral vote count formalizing Biden's election win before a joint session of Congress. That is by far the most bipartisan support for conviction in impeachment history. The final vote was 57 to 43, 10 short of the 67 votes needed to secure a conviction. The vote means that the Senate cannot bar Trump from holding future federal offices.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-acquitted-impeachment-trial-7-gop-senators-vote-democrats-convict-n1257876

Democrats Painted Trump as Danger in Years to Come

House impeachment managers wrapped up their emotionally charged incitement case against former President Trump by warning that he remains a clear and present danger to American democracy and could foment still more violence if not barred from running for office again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/politics/trump-impeachment-trial.html

Oath Keepers Plotting Before Rampage Awaited 'Direction' From Trump

The Justice Department is now making clear that a leader among the Oath Keepers paramilitary group -- who planned and led others in the U.S. Capitol siege -- believed that she was responding to the call from then-President Trump himself. This is the most direct language yet form federal prosecutors linking Trump's requests for support in Washington, D.C., to the most militant aspects of the insurrection. Previously, the Justice Department has somewhat held back on linking Trump's words so closely to the extremist group's actions during the riot. At least four defendants argued in court that they followed Trump's direction to go to the Capitol building on January 6th.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/11/politics/oath-keeper-justice-trump-capitol/index.html

For Capitol Rioters Facing Charges, Will a 'Trump Made Me Do It' Defense Work?

The acquittal of Trump at his second impeachment trial will hardly be the last or decisive word on his level of culpability in the assault on the Capitol last month. Case files in the investigation have offered signs that many of the rioters believed, as impeachment managers have said, that they were answering Trump's call on January 6th. The inquiry has also offered evidence that some pro-Trump extremist groups, concerned about fraud in the election, may have conspired together to plan the insurrection. As the sprawling investigation goes on -- quite likely for months or even years -- and newly unearthed evidence brings continual reminders of the riot, Trump may suffer further harm to his battered reputation, complicating any post-presidential ventures. Already, about a dozen suspects have explicitly blamed him for their part in the rampage -- a number that will most likely rise as more arrests are made and legal strategies develop. Legal scholars have questioned the viability of faulting Trump in cases connected to the Capitol attack, nothing that defendants would have to prove not only that they believed he authorized their actions, but also that such a belief was reasonable. Yet even if trying to offload responsibility onto Trump may prove ineffective at a trial, legal experts have acknowledged it might ultimately help mitigate the punishment for some people convicted of a crime at the Capitol.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/13/us/politics/donald-trump-capitol-riot.html

New Inquiry Over Trump Emerges in Georgia

The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has started investigating former President Trump's attempts to overturn the state's election results, including a phone call that Trump made to Raffensperger. During the call, Trump pushed Raffensperger to "find" votes to overturn the election results after his loss to then-President-elect Biden. Raffensperger was adamant in defending the results of the presidential election as well as the integrity of the state's voting system.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/08/politics/georgia-secretary-of-state-trump-investigation/index.html

Justice Dept. Directs Trump Appointed U.S. Attorneys to Step Down This Month

The Justice Department asked U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Trump to submit their resignations, a turnover that spares two top prosecutors in Delaware and Connecticut from overseeing two sensitive Trump-era investigations. The resignations will be in effect on February 28th. A number of acting U.S. attorneys who aren't Senate confirmed or who were appointed by the courts are expected to remain in their posts until Biden appointees are approved by the Senate.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/08/politics/leftover-trump-us-attorneys/index.html

Justice Dept. Stalled on Giuliani Search Warrant in 2020

New York federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani's activities in Ukraine raised the prospect of seeking a search warrant late last year for the lawyer's communications, but were met with resistance from Justice Department officials in Washington over the strength of their evidence. Justice Dept. officials in Washington said that a search warrant would be an extraordinary step to take against a lawyer (and also a Trump adviser) -- in an investigation into the possible violation of foreign lobbying laws. The matter remains open, and any decision rests with the Biden administration.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/10/politics/search-warrant-rudy-giuliani/index.html

New York Prosecution of Manafort Derailed

Paul Manafort, Trump's 2016 campaign chairman, will not face mortgage fraud charges in New York, after the state's highest court declined to revisit lower court decisions that barred prosecuting Manafort on double jeopardy grounds. The New York Court of Appeals decision closed the door on charges against Manafort in the matter and came less than two months after Trump pardoned him in a similar federal case. The decision of the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to charge Manafort was widely seen as a hedge against the possibility Trump would pardon him for federal crimes. Trump's pardon does not cover state offenses.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/08/paul-manafort-mortgage-fraud-charges-new-york-double-jeopardy

Cuomo Faces New Scrutiny of Death Data

Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide says that Cuomo's administration delayed the release of data on Covid-19 deaths of long-term care facility residents because of concerns about a potential federal investigation. The now public data revealed thousands more confirmed and presumed Covid-19 deaths of long-term care facility residents than previously disclosed. A report released in late January from state Attorney General Letitia James found that the NYS Department of Health undercounted Covid-19 deaths among residents of nursing homes by approximately 50%.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/12/us/new-york-aide-apology-covid-deaths-facilities/index.html

Aunt Jemima's Makeover

PepsiCo, which owns the Quaker Oats brand, has announced the debut of Pearl Milling Company, the new name of the pancake mix and syrup varieties previously found under the Aunt Jemima brand. The new Pearl Milling Company-branded pancake mixes, syrups, cornmeal, flour, and grits will start landing on shelves in June 2021 and will have the same familiar red packaging previously found under the Aunt Jemima brand.

https://www.chewboom.com/2021/02/09/aunt-jemima-becomes-pearl-milling-company-after-brand-makeover/

Glaciers' Rapid Shrinking Imperils Mountainous Areas

Shrinking and thinning of glaciers is one of the most documented signs of the effects of global warming caused by emissions of greenhouse gases, scientists say. Glacial retreat in mountains around the world has been measured, sometimes at a rate of 100 feet or more each year. In the Himalayas, the most glaciated mountain range and home to about 600 billion tons of ice, the rate of retreat has accelerated over the past four decades. Over the long term, there are concerns about what the loss of glaciers will mean for billions of people around the world who rely on them at least in part for water for drinking, industry and agriculture. The more acute fear is for the safety of the people who live near them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/climate/climate-change-flash-flood-india.html

COVID

Tighten Masks or Double Up, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Warns

Federal health officials have urged American to keep their masks on and take steps to make them fit more snugly -- or even to layer a cloth covering over a surgical mask -- saying that new research had shown that masks greatly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Recent laboratory experiments found that viral transmission could be reduced by 96.5% if Americans wore snug surgical masks or cloth-and-surgical mask combination. Masking is now mandatory on federal property and on domestic and international transportation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/health/coronavirus-masks-cdc.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Offers Path to Reopening Nation's Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged that K-12 schools be reopened as soon as possible, and it offered a step-by-step plan to get students back in classrooms and to resolve a debate dividing communities across the nation. The guidelines highlight growing evidence that schools can open safely if they use measures designed to slow the coronavirus's spread. The agency said that even in communities with high transmission rates, elementary-school students may receive at least some in-person instruction safely. Middle and high school students may attend in-person classes safely when the virus is less prevalent, but may need to switch to hybrid or remote learning in communities experiencing intense outbreaks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/health/school-reopenings-cdc.html

The Food and Drug Administration Lets Moderna Put More Vaccine in Its Vials

The Food and Drug Administration has informed the drugmaker Moderna that it can put up to 40% more coronavirus vaccine into each of its vials, a simple and potentially rapid way to bolster strained supplies.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/us/politics/moderna-coronavirus-vaccine-supply.html

Amazon Files Suit to Block Charges Over Virus Safety

The company said that New York Attorney General Letitia James had overstepped her authority in investigating workplace safety. Amazon sued New York's attorney general in an attempt to stop her from bringing charges against the company over safety concerns at two of its warehouses in NYC. The company also asked the court to force James to declare that she does not have authority to regulate workplace safety during the Covid-19 pandemic or to investigate allegations of retaliation against employees who protest their working conditions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/technology/amazon-letitia-james-coronavirus.html

February 19, 2021

Sports News for the Week of February 19th

By Bennett Liebman

Inter vs. Inter Is the Soccer Rivalry Trademark Lawyers Can Love, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/sports/soccer/inter-milan-inter-miami.html

IOC criticism forces IWF into weightlifting doping rules U-turn, https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1104452/ioc-criticism-forces-iwf-into-u-turn

Barred from travel by husband, Iran ski coach works remotely, https://www.startribune.com/barred-from-travel-by-husband-iran-ski-coach-works-remotely/600024441/

Max Chang: Ban on transgender girls is based on fear and prejudice, https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2021/02/18/max-chang-ban-transgender/

Ex-Marlins owner Loria to reimburse government $5.5M for stadium cost, https://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/article/ex-marlins-owner-loria-reimburse-government-5-5m-stadium-cost/

TATIS JR. CONTRACT PROJECTS TO OWE NEARLY $200 MILLION IN INCOME TAXES, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/fernando-tatis-jr-contract-taxes-1234622958/

Dysfunction in the desert: Finger-pointing, fear and financial woes roil the Coyotes organization, https://theathletic.com/2390146/2021/02/16/arizona-coyotes-investigation-toxic/

Athletics Integrity Unit Charges Russian Athletics Federation With Obstructing An Investigation, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/news/item/athletics-integrity-unit-charges-russian-athletics-federation-with-obstructing-an-investigation-and-provisionally-suspends-several-senior-federation-officials-for-tampering-and-complicity

Athletics Federation With Obstructing An Investigation And Provisionally Suspends Several Senior Federation Officials For Tampering And Complicity, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/news/item/athletics-integrity-unit-charges-russian-athletics-federation-with-obstructing-an-investigation-and-provisionally-suspends-several-senior-federation-officials-for-tampering-and-complicity

Why BofA Sees $2B Opportunity In Canadian Sports Betting, https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/why-bofa-sees-2b-opportunity-in-canadian-sports-betting-1030098852

'European super league less valuable to broadcasters': BT Sport's Simon Green, https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/european-super-league-tv-rights-value-bt-sport-simon-green?utm_content=154742320&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-28330466

Calculating an NHL team's finances and plan for expanding revenue, https://theathletic.com/2387507/2021/02/15/inside-an-nhl-teams-finances-and-plan-for-expanding-revenue/

Vicis football helmet designed just for line arrives at NFL, https://theathletic.com/2393069/2021/02/17/vicis-trench-helmet-nfl/?source=emp_shared_article

St. Louis seeking billions from Rams, NFL over LA relocation, https://theathletic.com/2384880/2021/02/12/st-louis-rams-nfl-los-angeles-billions-relocation/?source=emp_shared_article

How Low Do Federations Sink Before the IOC Steps In, http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__102545/Title__OpEd-How-Low-Do-Federations-Sink-Before-the-IOC-Steps-In/292/Articles

Swiss prosecutors to appeal acquittal of Al-Khelaifi in FIFA case, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1104448/prosecutors-to-appeal-al-khelaifi-case

Charlotte FC Becomes the First MLS Franchise to Sell PSLs, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/soccer/2021/charlotte-fc-psl-1234622668/

"Brexit will be a problem for Bale and Real Madrid", https://www.explica.co/brexit-will-be-a-problem-for-bale-and-real-madrid/

Title IX Lawsuit Against UI To Continue, Despite Move To Reinstate Women's Swimming And Diving, https://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-news/2021-02-16/title-ix-lawsuit-against-ui-to-continue-despite-move-to-reinstate-womens-swimming-and-diving

Deeper Title IX Learning: Are Respondent Admissions Inadmissible if the Respondent Refuses to Testify?, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/deeper-title-ix-learning-are-respondent-6111707/

Maguire - Reds fought sports law genius in Elliott tribunal, https://www.footballinsider247.com/liverpool-news-maguire-reds-fought-sports-law-genius-in-elliott-tribunal/

Theater News for the Week of February 19th

By, Bennett Liebman

Australia, with low covid rates, is open for theater business again, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/australia-theaters-reopening-covid/2021/02/18/568f08a2-7062-11eb-85fa-e0ccb3660358_story.html

Broadway stars in 2021 Time 100 Next List, https://www.newyorktheatreguide.com/news-features/broadway-stars-acknowledged-in-2021-time-100-next-list

New York City cultural institutions like Broadway and theaters fear being left out of Andrew Cuomo reopening, https://www.crainsnewyork.com/hospitality-tourism/cultural-institutions-fear-being-left-out-cuomos-reopening

What We Talk About When We Talk About Reopening, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/02/17/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-reopening/

Broadway: Broken or Business as Usual? https://www.forbes.com/sites/legalentertainment/2021/02/16/broadway-broken-or-business-as-usual/?sh=15dcce272111

How to Continue Helping Arts Workers During an Unprecedented Era of Theatre, https://www.playbill.com/article/how-to-continue-helping-arts-workers-during-an-unprecedented-era-of-theatre

Pandemic Starves Entertainment of Billions in Sponsorship Dollars, But Will They Return?, https://adage.com/article/agencies/pandemic-starves-entertainment-billions-sponsorship-dollars-will-they-return/2314726

Broadway Across America raises the curtain on national tours, https://culturess.com/2021/02/18/broadway-across-america-national-tours/

Chris Jones: On Second City, private equity and the sad lack of a Chicago comedy savior, http://www.hastingstribune.com/ap/entertainment/chris-jones-on-second-city-private-equity-and-the-sad-lack-of-a-chicago-comedy/article_5145f567-d99b-50cd-aa21-76af8e784cdc.html

Second City Is Sold to Private Equity Group, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/arts/second-city-sold.html

West End will bounce back quicker than Broadway, https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/theatre/west-end-broadway-kevin-mccollum-theatre-recovery-b919598.html

What we can learn from the Dr. Phillips Center about reopening safely, https://matthew-zarracina.medium.com/what-we-can-learn-from-the-dr-phillips-center-about-reopening-safely-bacb97e0d756

Curtain Up beer boosts Broadway, https://www.app.com/story/entertainment/2021/02/18/curtain-up-ipa-beer-happy-hour-guys-nj-breweries-covid/6757684002/

Broadway leaders look to fall reopening, https://www.amny.com/news/ambroadway/

Berkshire cultural workers seek to pull back curtain on pay, https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/berkshire-cultural-workers-seek-to-pull-back-curtain-on-pay-equity-gaps-with-anonymous-social/article_0acffeb2-6fb8-11eb-aff7-433975c4cd8d.html

National Theatre to halt Europe tours over Brexit rules, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/feb/17/national-theatre-to-halt-europe-tours-over-brexit-rules

Community theaters deemed eligible for Save Our Stages funding, https://www.courant.com/ctnow/arts-theater/hc-ctnow-community-theaters-added-to-save-our-stages-20210218-bnoauafa3neafewjwaeqq3a4pi-story.html

Actor loses tribunal claim over loss of Color Purple role after homophobic comments, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/feb/17/actor-loses-tribunal-claim-over-loss-of-lgbt-color-purple-role

'"We See You, White American Theater'", https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/We-See-You-White-American-Theater-Publishes-Accountability-Report-Highlighting-Theatres-Taking-Action-20210217

Cicely Tyson: Grace, Poise, Mischief, and Always Truth, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/02/17/cicely-tyson-grace-poise-mischief-and-always-truth/

'Theater In Quarantine': All The World's A Stage, Including This Closet, https://www.npr.org/2021/02/18/969151120/theater-in-quarantine-all-the-worlds-a-stage-including-this-closet

February 22, 2021

Week In Review

By Travis Marmara
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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

Entertainment

Morgan Wallen Holds No. 1 Slot Again Following Use of Racial Slur

Earlier this month, Morgan Wallen was shown on camera casually yelling an anti-Black slur after a night of drinking with friends. While the country artist has since apologized and donated proceeds to the NAACP, sales have subsequently increased in the wake of this controversy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/arts/music/wallen-dangerous-billboard.html?searchResultPosition=1

Second City Is Sold to Private Equity Group

Second City, the famous comedy theater company, which opened in 1959 and helped launch the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Keegan Michael-Key, was sold to a private equity group, ZMC. The sale price, though not formally disclosed, is rumored to be roughly $50 million. The sale marks the first change in ownership since the 1980's and comes amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has limited shows, tours, and other
in-person events. The new owner is committed to continuing to make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion restructuring changes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/arts/second-city-sold.html?searchResultPosition=1

In Canada, Did a Comedian's Joke Go Too Far?

In Canada, the highest court is addressing the question of whether a comedian has the constitutional right to offend another person in a case that pits harmful speech against the freedom of expression. The case stems from a comedy routine by Mike Ward, who joked about Jérémy Gabriel, a well-known disabled teenage singer, calling him "ugly" and his singing off-key, while also making fun of his hearing aid. Defenders of Ward say his speech is protected under the Constitution and ruling otherwise would have a chilling effect on expression. Advocates for Gabriel state, however, that "bullying a disabled teenager is discriminatory and violates the right to dignity, which is protected under Quebec law."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/world/canada/canada-comedian-speech.html?searchResultPosition=1

Arts

Guggenheim Museum Reaches Agreement With New Union

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has agreed to a collective bargaining agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30, which covers the museums facilities, maintenance, and art handling staffs. The three-year agreement provides for nearly a 10% increase in salary over that span of time, wherein the employees will provide contributions to health insurance premiums. The agreement concludes negotiations that began in 2019.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/arts/design/guggenheim-union-reach-agreement.html?searchResultPosition=1

Indianapolis Museum of Art Apologizes for Insensitive Job Posting

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields recently posted a position for a director who would work not only to "attract a more diverse audience but to maintain its 'traditional, core, white art audience.'" The museum has since adjusted the posting an apologized for the incident. This comes amongst the backdrop of previous artists of color who have expressed disappointment with the museum's lack of support for nonwhite artists. In the wake of the controversy, Charles Venable, head of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, has since resigned.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/13/arts/design/indianapolis-museum-job-posting.html?searchResultPosition=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/arts/design/charles-venable-resigning-indianapolis-museum.html?searchResultPosition=1

Chicago Lists Lincoln Statues Among Monuments to Review

In response to last summer's protests, the city of Chicago has created a committee in an effort to reexamine statues and monuments in the community. The committee said that it had reviewed "500 monumental sculptures, commemorative plaques and other pieces of public art in the city, almost all of which were created between 1893 and the 1930s." Among those pieces, 41 were chosen for "public discussion," the committee said, for reasons that included '"promoting narratives of white supremacy"'; the presentation of '"inaccurate or demeaning characterizations of American Indians"'; and memorializing historical figures with connections to racist acts, slavery and genocide." Some prominent historical figures whose public pieces are being reviewed include "Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and several monuments to Indigenous people."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/us/chicago-statues-abraham-lincoln.html?searchResultPosition=1

French Mayor Opens Museums, Defying Coronavirus Orders

Amidst the curfews, lockdown orders, and rising coronavirus cases in France, the southern French town of Perpignan has since defied government orders and opened the city's four museums to the public. Louis Aliot, Perpignan's mayor, "is a member of National Rally, the far-right political party associated more with a hard line on immigration than with support for the arts," and became an unlikely champion of the arts as a result.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/arts/design/french-museums-perpignan-reopening.html?searchResultPosition=1

Accusations of Sexual Harassment Rock Greek Arts World

Nearly a month after the first high-profile accusation of abuse and sexual assault by Sofia Bekatorou, a prolific Greek sailor and 2004 Olympic champion, many public figures in the Greek arts scene have also come under scrutiny for actions taken against their victims in decades past. Greece is notoriously seen as one of the most conservative countries, where cases of sexual abuse and assault are rarely prosecuted, or even discussed. Such cases, however, remain prevelent. For example, "studies suggest, up to nine in 10 women face unwelcome advances in media, sports, politics and other male-dominated sectors." Consequently, Greece's culture ministry said it was "overseeing an initiative to create a code of conduct for state-owned cultural institutions."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/world/europe/greece-sexual-abuse-metoo.html?searchResultPosition=1

Sports

Former Chief Operating Officer of Global Premier Soccer Charged in Visa Fraud Scheme

Justin Capell, the former Chief Operating Officer of Global Premier Soccer (GPS), a former youth soccer organization, was charged for visa fraud conspiracy. Among the charges includes "fil[ing] fraudulent visa petitions on behalf of at least seven professional soccer teams in order to secure visas for GPS's foreign coaching staff." The co-conspirators face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-chief-operating-officer-global-premier-soccer-charged-visa-fraud-scheme

The Mets Quietly Fired a Second Employee for Sexual Harassment

Ryan Ellis, a minor league hitting coordinator who was elevated to the New York Mets this year, was fired over allegations of sexual assault. The case marks the third instance of sexual assault of current and former employees this year. Subsequent to the firing of Jared Porter, who was hired in January of this year to be the team's general manager and fired quickly thereafter for sending over 60 text messages with unwanted advances, it was revealed that Mickey Callaway, the former manager of the Mets, is under investigation for harassment of female reporters when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets. Complaints to Human Resources prompted an initial investigation of Ellis, where he was placed on probation and sent to counseling, but remained with the team. In the wake of the Porter and Callaway cases, a second investigation was opened that revealed new information, leading the team to fire Ellis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/sports/baseball/mets-sexual-harassment-ryan-ellis.html?searchResultPosition=1

Vincent Jackson's Brain Will Be Donated to CTE Study

Vincent Jackson, a former all-Pro wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead in a Florida hotel room, where he had been living since January 11th. Respected for his community service efforts, Jackson was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award four years in a row with the Buccaneers, an award that recognizes a player's off-the-field engagement with the local community. While the circumstances surrounding his death have yet to be determined, his family will be donating his brain to Boston University. The school has the largest repository of brains dedicated to the study of chromic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head that has plagued National Football League and other athletes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/sports/football/vincent-jackson-death.html?searchResultPosition=1

After Leader's Sexist Remark, Tokyo Olympics Makes Symbolic Shift

Yoshiro Mori, a former Prime Minister of Japan, recently resigned as leader of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee after stating that "women talked too much in meetings." After public pressure, the committee selected Seiko Hashimoto, a former Olympic medalist in speed skating nearly 30 years Mori's junior. Prior to selecting Hashimoto, Mori originally selected his successor, Saburo Kawabuchi, an 84-year old male and former leader of Japanese soccer. Hashimoto's appointment marks a welcome change for Japan, which "ranks 121st out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum's global gender gap index." Hashimoto has been a strident voice for gender equality, pushing to make "the morning-after birth control pill available as an over-the-counter drug at pharmacies, helping establish one-stop centers for victims of sexual violence and advocating that women be allowed to keep their surnames after marriage."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/world/asia/yoshiro-mori-tokyo-olympics-seiko-hashimoto.html?searchResultPosition=1

China Is Preparing for Another Olympics in Beijing, Like It or Not

As host of the 2022 Winter Games in February, Beijing is facing public pressure to address human rights abuses. Some countries have contemplated boycotting the Olympics in the city due to the country's rights abuses, which include stripping Hong Kong of its promised democratic freedoms and the mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. Beijing was put in a similar position in 2008 when it hosted the summer games and capitulated to public demands, promising to make changes to better address democratic inadequacies. However, much has changed since 2008. For example, "Xi Jinping, is far more confident, neither inclined nor compelled to compromise. And China itself is no longer an emerging capitalistic power but the world's second-largest economy." In response, China is promising to retaliate if countries decide to boycott.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/asia/china-olympics-boycott.html?searchResultPosition=1

International Court Accuses Two Central African Militia Leaders of Attacks on Muslims

Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, a former a senior official at the Confederation of African Football, and Alfred Yékatom, a former legislator, recently faced charges in the International Criminal Court for playing a part in a civil war that has racked the Central African Republic. The civil war, which started in 2013 and is still ongoing, has pitted Christian militias, to which the accused hold associations, also known as the "anti-balaka," against the Muslim minority. The two men faces charges of "murder, torture, persecution, cruel treatment, mutilation, and recruiting child soldiers."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/world/africa/central-african-militia-leaders-appear-at-international-criminal-court.html?searchResultPosition=1

Technology/Media

Big Tech's Next Big Problem Could Come From People Like 'Mr. Sweepy'

Already facing more than 10 competition lawsuits by federal and state governments, Google and Facebook are now defending against a growing type of case: private antitrust lawsuits by publishers, advertisers, and users who claim that Google and Facebook's dominance in the advertising space has forced them to agree to their arbitrary rules and procedures. Such suits have the benefit of using evidence garnered in government investigations for use in private suits, which normally can only be obtained by filing a lawsuit. If successful, "private lawsuits could be costly for Facebook and Google. The companies work with millions of advertisers and publishers every year, and Google hosts apps from scores of developers, meaning there are many potential litigants."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/technology/google-facebook-private-antitrust.html

TikTok Stars and Social Media Creators Can Now Join Hollywood's Top Union

"The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has approved an 'influencer agreement' that expands coverage and membership options to online content creators." The agreement marks the latest bellwether of where the industry is going and who it sees on the rise. Casting agents and producers have used social media to scout for new talent. More traditional talent have also gone to these platforms to increase their brand awareness. Creators and the branded content they create are also seen as a new revenue steam for the entertainment industry. For example, "brands are poised to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, up from $8 billion in 2019." In turn, the guild, which represents about 160,000 professionals in film, television and radio. has provided legitimization to an industry that many had brushed aside, providing essential services, like healthcare and pension plans to these workers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/style/influencer-union-hollywood-SAG-AFTRA.html?searchResultPosition=1

Parler, a Social Network That Attracted Trump Fans, Returns Online

Removed by web-hosting services as a result of helping to incite violence that led to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, Parler, a hub for right-wing conversation, has worked behind the scenes to get back online. Through the aid of a small provider near Los Angeles called SkySilk and other companies with ties to Russia and neo-Nazism, the site similar to Twitter for conservative voices is functioning once again, despite its connections to the insurrection.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/technology/parler-back-online.html?searchResultPosition=1

Obscure Musicology Journal Sparks Battles Over Race and Free Speech

In the fall of 2019, Philip Ewell, a black music theory professor at Hunter College gave a rousing speech at the Society for Music Theory in Columbus, Ohio, ascribing music theory as a profession dominated by white males and plagued by racism. As an example, Professor Ewell cited the often studied music theorist, Heinrich Schenker, who is described as a "virulent racist" who wrote of "primitive" and "inferior" races as being propped up in the profession. Meanwhile, at the University of North Texas, Professor Timothy Jackson, a white music theorist, who has devoted himself to the study of Schenker and oversaw the Journal of Schenkerian Studies, took offense, citing Schenker as being Jewish in prewar Germany and whose work was destroyed by the Nazis. Beyond a disagreement about Schenker, Professor Jackson started making racist remarks against Black musicians. Later on, the Journal of Schenkerian Studies published "anti-Black statements and personal ad hominem attacks." The University of North Texas has since concluded an investigation, which found that Professor Jackson failed to "hew to best practices" and had "too much power over the journal's graduate student editor." He was subsequently barred from the magazine, and money for the Schenker Center was suspended.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/14/arts/musicology-journal-race-free-speech.html?searchResultPosition=1

As Fox News Struggles at Home, Murdoch Brings Its Playbook to the U.K.

Rupert Murdoch is leading a group of investors to create a right-wing news service meant to challenge left-of-center leaning BBC. The decision comes in the wake of the January 6th riot at the Capitol, where constant misinformation of election fraud and corrupt voting machines helped fuel the insurrection. Murdoch's venture, known as UK TV, is seeking to exploit what it sees as a gap in news media for "edgy commentary and personality-driven programs" in the U.K. market. This, however, is not Murdoch's first foray into the British media space. In 2017, the broadcasting regulator censured Fox News "for violating impartiality standards: Sean Hannity's coverage of Mr. Trump's ban on people from majority-Muslim countries and Tucker Carlson's coverage of a terrorist attack in Manchester." Instead of a traditional format, UK TV will function as a streaming service, tapping into the ever-growing market.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/world/europe/murdoch-uk-news-channel.html?searchResultPosition=1

Facebook Blocks News in Australia, Diverging With Google on Proposed Law

Under a proposed law from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, "both Google and Facebook would be required to negotiate with media publishers and compensate them for the content that appears on their sites." While the two companies initially were in lockstep in trying to prevent the legislation, they have since taken different approaches. Google entered into a "three-year global agreement with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to pay for the publisher's news content, one of several such deals it has announced recently where it appears to be effectively capitulating to publishers' demands." Facebook--which does not see itself as a news platform, but rather a community of users who share pictures, political views, and sometimes news articles--dug in further, and said that it would "restrict people and publishers from sharing or viewing news links in Australia." In the wake of Facebook's decision, however, many vital points of information, such as pages for the state health departments, emergency services, and the Bureau of Meteorology were removed, while conspiracy pages for aliens, vaccines, and 5G remained.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/technology/facebook-google-australia-news.html?searchResultPosition=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/business/media/facebook-australia-news.html?searchResultPosition=1

Five Reader Comments Just Cost a News Website $124,000

An appeals court in Malaysia found Malaysiakini, an independent Malaysian newspaper, guilty of contempt of court and ordered it to pay a fine of nearly $124,000 for five comments left by readers on a story criticizing the country's judiciary. The comments were removed later, but not in time to avoid prosecutions. The court reasoned that "Malaysiakini should have vetted the comments and refrained from posting those that constituted contempt of court." Critics of the decision note the chilling effect the decision would have for free speech in a country of 33 million people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/asia/malaysia-press-freedom-guilty.html?searchResultPosition=1

French TV Presenter Investigated Over Rape Accusations

An investigation has been opened regarding sexual assault allegations made against French news anchor Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, a presenter of prime-time evening news for over two decades. The complaints were filed by 37-year-old writer and YouTuber, Florence Porcel, who states that in 2004, when she was 21, "Mr. Poivre d'Arvor invited her to come and watch his news show after she wrote to him. After the show, he took her to his office and sexually assaulted her." In response, Poivre d'Arvor denied the allegations and said he would file two complaints against Porcel for making false accusations and defamation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/europe/french-tv-presenter-investigated-over-rape-accusations.html?searchResultPosition=1

Hong Kong's Move to Overhaul Broadcaster Fans Fears of Media Crackdown

The Hong Kong Government issued a report stating that Radio Television Hong Kong, a news outlet that is frequently critical of the government, lacked transparency and objectivity and called for greater supervision over the news outlet. Radio Television Hong Kong is publically funded but is operated independently. Pro-democracy advocates say this is the latest attempt by the government to limit freedom of the press in the country.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/asia/hong-kong-rthk-crackdown.html?searchResultPosition=1


Indian Court Clears Journalist of Defamation Claim in #MeToo Case

In October 2017, journalist Priya Ramani wrote an article for Vogue India that described "an uncomfortable hotel room encounter with a senior editor during a job interview more than 20 years earlier." By the end of the month, scores of other women also accused the same man in similar encounters. The accused, M.J. Akbar, a former prominent minister and newspaper editor, subsequently resigned and filed a defamation suit against Ramani the day after. After a years-long legal battle, a New Delhi court recently acquitted Ramani of defamation against Akbar, stating that the "right of reputation can't be protected at the cost of right to dignity." The ruling is seen as a victory for the #MeToo movement in a country that only recently codified the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act in 2013, an act that requires employers to set up committees to investigate sexual harassment violations.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/world/asia/india-mj-akbar-metoo.html?searchResultPosition=1

General News

Biden Takes Center Stage With Ambitious Agenda as Trump's Trial Ends

Now that the impeachment trial of former President Trump has concluded, President Biden is shifting his full focus on his agenda items, namely the passage of a coronavirus relief package, before transitioning to other policy matters, including "infrastructure, immigration, criminal justice reform, climate change and health care." While Biden has already instituted a variety of executive orders addressing these policy agendas, he faces razor thin majorities in Congress in trying to pass meaningful legislation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/14/us/politics/biden-agenda-impeachment-trump.html?searchResultPosition=1

Merrick Garland Faces Resurgent Peril After Years Fighting Extremism

Senate hearings will begin today to confirm Merrick Garland for the position of Attorney General. Garland is most recently known for being nominated to the Supreme Court in 2016, which was ultimately thwarted when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held up the nomination for eight months prior to the election, stating that the next president should decide who should be appointed. If confirmed, Judge Garland will oversee a sprawling and complex Department of Justice investigation into the riot at the Capitol, which, to date, has led to 230 arrests and investigations of 500 people. One past experience that may help guide the Department of Justice case that addresses extremism and domestic terrorism is his prior role in the Justice Department, where he oversaw the case against notorious domestic terrorist Timothy J. McVeigh, who detonated a bomb in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people, including 19 children.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/us/merrick-garland-attorney-general.html?searchResultPosition=1

The White House Is Taking Women's Issues Seriously. Really.

The Biden administration will be creating a Gender Policy Council that will have representation across different agencies and will work on "all of the issues that touch American lives, most notably women's lives, such as national security, health care and economics." Julissa Reynoso, who previously served as ambassador to Uruguay, and Jennifer Klein, a former senior adviser to then-first lady, Hillary Clinton, will serve as co-chairs of the council and will be in charge of "ensuring that gender equity underscores the work of all branches of government."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/us/gender-council-biden-administration.html?searchResultPosition=1

NAACP Sues Trump and Giuliani Over Election Fight and January 6th Riot

The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, on behalf of Mississippi Representative, Bennie Thompson, claiming that they violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, legislation from 1871 that "includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfere[] with Congress's constitutional duties." The suit asserts that Trump, Giuliani, and far-right extremist groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, conspired to "incite a violent riot at the Capitol, with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying the election." The actions of the mob led lawmakers like Thompson and other black legislative aides, who make up only 5% of staffers, to fear for their lives, as they represent some of the most vocal critics of the Trump movement. These sentiments were reaffirmed after court documents "detailed plans by individuals in the pro-Trump mob to kill specific members of Congress."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/us/politics/naacp-sues-trump-giuliani-proud-boys-capitol.html?searchResultPosition=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/us/politics/black-staff-capitol-attack.html?searchResultPosition=1

More Oath Keeper Suspects Charged in Capitol Riot Plot

The Justice Department charged six suspected members of the Oath Keepers, a radical right-wing militia group, for their role in organizing the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. One of the accused members is Kelly Meggs, the self-described leader of the Oath Keepers' Florida chapter. The indictment states that the six individuals worked with three other Ohio Oath Keepers members, who were charged last month, to break into the Capitol. According to previous court filings, "the Oath Keepers began working to undermine Mr. Biden's win within a week of Election Day in November, setting up training sessions for 'urban warfare' and 'riot control,' and discussing a plot to ferry heavy weapons into Washington on a boat across the Potomac River."

In an accompanying inquiry, the FBI is looking into communications between Roger Stone, a former "fixer" for President Trump, and right-wing militia groups to determine whether he had advanced knowledge of the insurrection at the Capitol. Stone was provided voluntary security by the Oath Keepers in and around the time in question. New evidence also indicates that "in the days leading to and including the day of the assault, Mr. Stone associated with men who eventually stormed the building," which may provide an opportunity to launch a full investigation into Stone.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/us/politics/oath-keepers-capitol-riot-plot.html?searchResultPosition=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/us/politics/justice-dept-roger-stone-capitol-riot.html?searchResultPosition=1

Promotions for Female Generals Were Delayed Over Fears of Trump's Reaction

In the period between the November election and the inauguration of President Biden, Pentagon officials agreed that General Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of the Air Force and Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson of the Army should be promoted to four-star commands. What was unusual was that the Pentagon held back their recommendations in hopes that Joe Biden would win the presidency. The fear was that if the candidates were nominated, Trump would replace them before he left office. Instead, the Pentagon took a chance and waited for the incoming administration, which would be more supportive of the female leaders before submitting the picks to the White House. The two leaders now face a much clearer path to confirmation by the Senate.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/us/politics/women-generals-promotions-trump.html?searchResultPosition=1

Biden Tells Allies 'America Is Back,' but Macron and Merkel Push Back

In an address to the Munich Security Conference, President Biden voiced his confidence that the United States was "wiping out the traces of Trumpism in the United States' approach to the world," a message that was well received by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with whom President Biden has close relationships with from his time as Senator and Vice President. President Biden also discussed the importance of strengthening existing NATO relationships, which received pushback from Macron, who believes that NATO decision making should be equally weighted and not dominated by the United States. President Biden also opined on the importance of limiting reliance on the Chinese marketplace, which was met with ambivalence by Merkel, whose country is a major exporter of high-end automobiles and other products to China.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/us/politics/biden-munich-conference.html?searchResultPosition=1

Perseverance's Pictures From Mars Show NASA Rover's New Home

NASA landed its newest rover, Perseverance, on Mars, joining the 2012 rover, Curiosity, on the red planet. Perseverance will build upon Curiosity's findings, which located evidence of past water, an essential for life on other planets, and will be tasked with searching the locations where water once existed for "biosignatures", such as fossils or any other evidence of once-living organisms. Additionally, Perseverance will study the rocks in Jezero Crater to determine whether they are volcanic basalt--which would allow geologists to calculate their ages--or sedimentary--which would give clues as to whether the area was once inhabitable.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/science/mars-nasa-landing-pictures.html?searchResultPosition=1

House Democrats and White House Split Over Lawsuit for Ex-Trump Aide's Testimony

A sign of intra-party fighting between House Democrats and the executive branch, the two are in conflict over whether Donald F. McGahn, a former White House Counsel to former President Donald Trump, should be compelled to testify as a witness for his role is efforts by Trump to impede the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller II into Russian interference with the 2016 election. The House Judiciary Committee previously subpoenaed McGahn to testify at an oversight hearing, but he refused. The case poses novel legal questions that touch on issues of absolute immunity and its scope when it involves a subpoena to testify during a time period where administrations change hands. Ultimately, the executive branch is reluctant to establish a precedent whereby future Republicans will force testimony about internal matters.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/us/politics/mcgahn-lawsuit-democrats.html?searchResultPosition=1

Harry Dunn's Family Can Sue for Damages in U.S., Judge Rules

In 2019, Anna Sacoolas, a State Department employee, struck and killed 19-year-old British motorcyclist, Harry Dunn, after she drove on the wrong side of the road. Dunn's family subsequently filed a civil suit in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging wrongful death. Sacoolas asserted diplomatic immunity and argued that Britain would be the more convenient forum, but has refused to return back to England to face criminal prosecution. The refusal led to a standoff where the British and the Dunns argued that there was a denial of justice as a result of the United States failing to extradite Sacoolas. The Virginia court, however, noted Sacoolas's inconsistencies in her argument, and allowed the family to proceed with litigation in the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/world/europe/anne-sacoolas-us-harry-dunn.html?searchResultPosition=1

Erik Prince, Trump Ally, Violated Libya Arms Embargo, United Nations Report Says

According to a report by United Nations (UN) investigators, Erik Prince, the former head of the security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, prominent supporter and financial donor to Trump, and brother to former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, violated a UN arms embargo on Libya when, in 2019, he sent weapons to militia commander, Khalifa Hifter, who was attempting to overthrow the internationally backed government. The report also states that, "as part of the operation, which the report said cost $80 million, the mercenaries also planned to form a hit squad that could track down and kill selected Libyan commanders." Possible repercussions for Prince could consist of "U.N. sanctions, including a travel ban and a freeze on his bank accounts and other assets."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/world/middleeast/erik-prince-libya-embargo.html?searchResultPosition=1

Texas Storms, California Heat Waves and 'Vulnerable' Utilities

The states of California and Texas have taken radically different approaches for governing energy needs of its citizens. Yet California, which opted for environmental regulations that call for energy companies to produce excess for reserve in times of emergency, and Texas, which favored deregulation and market-driven forces to control supply and demand, are both currently off the energy grid, where extreme heat in California and frigid temperatures in Texas have caused blackouts. The situations in the two states encapsulate how extreme fluctuations in temperature and natural disasters rooted in climate change can affect everyone. Many have argued that public utilities have long needed an overhaul for systems that do not function in extreme temperatures, and that climate change has exposed and exacerbated existing issues of electric grids, which operate regionally and not nationally.

Beyond the immediate effects of climate change being experienced by residents in these states, the Federal Reserve has also opined on the long-term effects of climate change and the issues they present from a financial perspective. It noted that "banks and other lenders need to prepare themselves for the realities of a world racked by climate change, and regulators must play a key role in ensuring that they do." Preparation to avoid devaluation of climate-sensitive assets is seen as key to prevent outsized losses and disruptions in the larger economy. Such disruptions "pose risks to insurers, can disrupt the payment system and make otherwise reasonable financial bets dicey," leading to a destabilized financial market.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/business/energy-environment/california-texas-blackouts-utilities.html?searchResultPosition=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/business/economy/federal-reserve-climate-change-banks.html?searchResultPosition=1

Pennsylvania G.O.P.'s Push for More Power Over Judiciary Raises Alarms

Conservative legislators in the state of Pennsylvania are proposing to replace the current system of statewide elections for judges with judicial districts drawn by the legislature. The proposed legislation, which already passed the State House, would be an amendment to the state's constitution and would allow a partisan legislature to redraw districts every 10 years. Opponents say that the proposition is simply a form of gerrymandering extended to the courts, meant to disenfranchise People of Color. Proponents say that similar legislation already exists in other states, including Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Illinois.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/us/politics/pennsylvania-republicans.html?searchResultPosition=1

Three Detectives Obtained a False Murder Confession. Was It One of Dozens?

The Bronx District Attorney's Office opened an inquiry addressing whether tactics used by three detectives had tainted guilty verdicts in 31 homicide cases that relied on confessions. The examination comes after the emergence of hundreds of cases across the country in which people were sent to prison only to be exonerated later through the use of DNA or the discovery of new evidence. The National Registry of Exonerations found that "official misconduct played a role in the criminal convictions of more than half of 2,400 Americans who were exonerated between 1989 and 2019. For Black men wrongly convicted of murder, the proportion was 78 percent."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/nyregion/3-detectives-obtained-a-false-murder-confession-was-it-one-of-dozens.html

Heating Up Culture Wars, France to Scour Universities for Ideas That 'Corrupt Society'

The French government announced that The National Center for Scientific Research, the state organization that the minister ordered to oversee the investigation, would launch an inquiry into academic research that it says feeds "Islamo-leftist" tendencies that "corrupt society.'' "Islamo-leftism,'' a term adopted by leaders of the President Emmanuel Macron administration, blames "left-leaning intellectuals of justifying Islamism and even terrorism." Among the most outspoken critics have been university presidents and scholars, who are concerned that such an investigation will stifle academic freedom and discussions of "race, gender, post-colonial studies and other fields that the French government says have been imported from American universities and contribute to undermining French society."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/world/europe/france-universities-culture-wars.html?searchResultPosition=1

Coronavirus

A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000

Approximately one year has passed since the first known death due to coronavirus. In that timespan, 500,000 Americans have died from the disease, which accounts for more deaths than "the battlefields of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined." Despite the grim news and concern over new variants of the disease, many believe that the country has turned the corner. Reports indicate that new cases are down significantly, the number of deaths is slowing, and vaccines are being administered at a consistent pace. Nonetheless, the number of deaths is staggering and has affected all swaths of the population. Recent figures show that "one in 670 Americans has died" of coronavirus. "In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died of the virus -- or one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, which has lost nearly 20,000 people to Covid-19, about one in 500 people has died of the virus. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13,000 people live scattered on a sprawling expanse of 1,000 square miles, one in 163 people has died of the virus."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/us/coronavirus-deaths-us-half-a-million.html?searchResultPosition=1

2.5 Million Women Left the Work Force During the Pandemic. Harris Sees a 'National Emergency.'

According to data issued by the Labor Department, the pandemic has affected women more than men. Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly one year ago, 1.8 million men have left the work force. In comparison, 2.5 million women have left the workforce, an issue Vice President Kamala Harris calls a "national emergency" that should be covered by the coronavirus stimulus package. Further, Vice President Harris said "the pandemic has put decades of the progress we have collectively made for women workers at risk." Citing the demands of child care, along with furloughs and layoffs pushing many women out, the Biden administration has proposed in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan "$3,000 in tax credits issued to families for each child, a $40 billion investment in child care assistance and an extension of unemployment benefits."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/us/politics/women-pandemic-harris.html?searchResultPosition=1

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Announces $200 Million 'Down Payment' to Track Virus Variants

The Biden administration recently directed nearly $200 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better identify the emerging variants of Coronavirus. The aim is to use the money to increase the number of positive virus samples that a lab can sequence, with the ultimate goal of sequencing 25,000 genomes per week. The news comes amidst the backdrop of new British and South African strains of the virus coming to the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/health/coronavirus-variant-sequencing.html?searchResultPosition=1

People Who Have Had Covid Should Get Single Vaccine Dose, Studies Suggest

New research shows even those who contracted coronavirus should get the vaccine, which works to amplify the effectiveness of the antibodies present in those who survived. This is especially important for those who only experienced mild symptoms or no symptoms and whose experience produced few antibodies. A separate study by New York University confirmed these results, finding that "most people [who] had been infected with the coronavirus eight or nine months earlier . . . saw their antibodies increase by a hundredfold to a thousandfold when given the first dose of a vaccine."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/health/covid-vaccine-single-dose.html?searchResultPosition=1

Cuomo Faces Revolt as Legislators Move to Strip Him of Pandemic Powers

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently admitted to intentionally withholding vital information detailing deaths in nursing homes to the state legislature. In response, Democratic state senators will vote on a bill to strip Governor Cuomo of his unilateral emergency power. The action comes after the FBI and U.S. Attorney General's Office for the Eastern District of New York announced that they will be investigating the Cuomo administration for its handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. The decision to remove emergency powers was contemplated earlier this year but has gained momentum recently in the wake of these controversies. The news also acts to support the legislature's goal of returning to co-equal branches in making decisions related to the pandemic. Ultimately, the bill intends to "limit the governor's ability to supersede state laws to combat the pandemic and would establish a 10-person commission, made up of members of the Assembly and Senate, to evaluate any future pandemic-related directives by Mr. Cuomo, as well as suspensions of laws."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/nyregion/cuomo-nursing-homes-deaths.html?searchResultPosition=1

February 26, 2021

Theater News for the Week of February 26th

By Bennett Liebman

Lincoln Center to create outdoor performance spaces this spring, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/25/lincoln-center-to-create-outdoor-performance-spaces-this-spring/

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation in New York City, https://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/osdc/arts-entertainment-and-recreation-new-york-city-recent-trends-and-impact-covid-19

New York City's Arts and Recreation Employment Down 66%, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/arts/nyc-arts-recreation-employment.html

California Lost 175,000 'Creative Economy' Jobs, Study Finds, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/25/arts/california-arts-funding.html

Milwaukee Rep announces reopening for live theater in April, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-milwaukee-rep-reopening-0227-20210225-a7m6xv4bdjdlnbb4j754ygflqe-story.html

Broadway unions lobby New York state for COBRA subsidy renewal, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/02/24/broadway-unions-lobby-new-york-state-for-cobra-subsidy-renewal/

Broadway's Dark Year, https://www.city-journal.org/live-theater-hit-hard-by-pandemic

The Birth of 'Rent,' Its Creator's Death and the 25 Years Since, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/25/theater/rent-anniversary.html

Meryl Streep Michael Cristofer Places, Please Movie Broadway love letter, https://deadline.com/2021/02/meryl-streep-michael-cristofer-places-please-movie-broadway-homage-how-to-save-theater-pandemic-1234700906/

You're New Here, Aren't You? Digital Theater's Unexpected Upside, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/theater/streaming-audience-numbers.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

Union battle hangs over the Met, Broadway stars coming to 'Muppets' and more, amBroadway, https://www.amny.com/news/ambroadway-union-battle-hangs-over-the-met-broadway-stars-coming-to-muppets-and-more/

Cultural Solidarity Fund to Give $500 Grants to NYC Theater Artists, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/cultural-solidarity-fund-grants-for-nyc-theater-artists-72682/

Black Broadway Community Members Call for Equity and Access, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/black-history-month-2021/2021/02/19/black-members-of-broadway-community-want-to-see-change-when-curtain-rises-again

COVID-19 interrupted a generation of theater artists, https://www.gazettextra.com/entertainment/covid-19-interrupted-a-generation-of-theater-artists-now-they-wonder-whats-next/article_3248090f-5e1c-5d4c-a95b-121a44631648.html

Douglas Turner Ward: A Lens on 'Questions That the Country Wasn't Asking', https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/theater/douglas-turner-ward-memories.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

"Hamilton will be coming back!", https://www.wkbw.com/rebound/hamilton-will-be-coming-back-sheas-president-talks-future-of-the-theater-and-when-it-could-bring-shows-back-to-town

UK government to conduct review of vaccine passports, https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/uk-government-venues-vaccine-passports-review_53434.html

Thoughts of a Colored Man Lands Broadway Theatre, https://www.playbill.com/article/thoughts-of-a-colored-man-lands-broadway-theatre

S.F. Mayor London Breed proposes arts funding, https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/s-f-mayor-london-breed-proposes-arts-funding-to-make-up-for-hotel-tax-shortfall

Devastating, unviable, admin overload, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/feb/24/uk-stage-companies-brexit-europe?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0xOckCJE-rjY_Z7eRLudJyozPUaZrQxs-VEnFZzSjKB7e5pIdJppABHDQ

The magic returns after 49 weeks, https://aussietheatre.com.au/news/the-magic-returns-after-49-weeks

'Van Gogh' shows Chicagoans will flock back to live shows, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-van-gogh-live-shows-jones-0228-20210225-dcsooi4bkbgfzkvsl2ptbylpom-story.html

In world first, Israeli theater reopens for vaccinated audiences, https://www.haaretz.com/life/.premium-vaccinated-israelis-return-to-the-theater-where-only-the-laughter-is-infectious-1.9566134

February 28, 2021

Sports News for the Week of February 26th

By Bennett Liebman

Puma Sued For Declaring War On Olympics Trademarks, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/02/puma-sued-for-declaring-war-on-olympics-trademarks/

Bill introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran would allow college athlete endorsement deals, https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/30957361/bill-introduced-sen-jerry-moran-allow-athlete-endorsement-deals

New California College Sports Bill Would Actually Hurt Schools In The State, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/02/new-california-college-sports-bill-would-actually-hurt-schools-in-the-state/

Patriots Trade Secrets At Issue in Bielema, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/patriots-trade-secrets-1234623485/

Artemi Panarin Accusation Leave NHL Security and Legal Considerations, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/artemi-panarin-accusation-1234623420/

Details cast doubt on allegations against NY Rangers' Artemi Panarin, https://www.lohud.com/story/sports/nhl/rangers/2021/02/24/details-cast-doubt-allegations-against-ny-rangers-artemi-panarin/6804914002/

Oliver Luck Lawsuit XFL Vince McMahon, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/oliver-luck-xfl-lawsuit-1234623187/

Seattle Mariners CEO Resigns After 'Inappropriate' Comments, https://www.wsj.com/articles/seattle-mariners-ceo-resigns-after-inappropriate-comments-11614032894?mod=e2tws

Patriots seek to keep Robert Kraft-Bill Belichick emails sealed in court case, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/oliver-luck-xfl-lawsuit-1234623187/

Ex-NFL player Richard Dent's painkillers lawsuit nears trial, https://www.wsj.com/articles/seattle-mariners-ceo-resigns-after-inappropriate-comments-11614032894?mod=e2tws

Ethics Committee rules Beckenbauer and other officials cannot be prosecuted, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1104719/fifa-time-to-charge-officials-expires

IOC lists failings of IWF Board in letter to member federations, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1104718/ioc-letter-lists-iwf-board-failings

The Equine Industry Boom & Related Legal Issues, https://www.natlawreview.com/article/equine-industry-finding-home-sports-law-ranks

John Geddert Confirmed Dead by Suicide, https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/usa-gymnastics-coach-john-geddert-faces-24-charges-from-human-trafficking-to-sexual-assault-in-case-linked-to-larry-nassar/

Caster Semenya appeals to European Court of Human Rights over 'discriminatory' testosterone limit, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/26/sport/caster-semenya-appeal-scli-intl-spt/index.html

FanDuel, DraftKings Bet on Big Law Amid Sports Gambling Surge, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/fanduel-draftkings-bet-on-big-law-amid-sports-gambling-surge

Inside the dual legacies of NFL players' union boss DeMaurice Smith, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30930834/inside-dual-legacies-nfl-players-union-boss-demaurice-smith

Title IX & Continuing Fight for Gender Equity In Athletics, https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/title-ix-continuing-fight-gender-equity-athletics-phillips-nizer-family-law-partner-looks-title-ix-unfulfilled-promise/

British Gymnastics faces legal action over alleged 'systemic physical and psychological abuse', https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/26/sport/british-gymnastics-faces-lawsuit-for-abuse-spt-intl/index.html?cid=sportsticker

Les Miles reached a secret settlement with an LSU student, https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_596f5cfe-7646-11eb-8cb0-733b53e58af8.html

Golden Knights, UpickTrade deal causes concern in betting industry, https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Daily/Issues/2021/02/26/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/VGK-Upick.aspx

About February 2021

This page contains all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in February 2021. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2021 is the previous archive.

March 2021 is the next archive.

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