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April 5, 2021

Week In Review

By Audrey Glover-Dichter
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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


Actors Equity Association COVID Protocols Require All to be COVID Vaccinated

In anticipation to reopening Broadway, Actors Equity posted safety guidelines for employers on collective bargaining agreements.


Theater Think Tank Discusses How to Open Theaters Nationwide

The think tank addresses the need to keep open communication among theatres, health officials, and unions for a cohesive application of policy as theatres open.


Broadway Reopened for 36 minutes!

These short performances were used as at test run on opening Broadway safely.


The premiere of Soul Train on Broadway is Announced

"The arts are essential to our recovery as a community for many reasons - ranging from the positive impact on social cohesion to the economic impact on individuals and related businesses...."


Using Influencers to Influence COVID Vaccinations

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Obama, and Dr. Fauci, among others are collaborating in a special public service event, Roll Up Your Sleeves, to educate and encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID.


Mispronouncing an Asian Actor's Name Leads to the Revocation of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance's Membership to the Theater Companies' Alliance

During an award show, not only was the name mispronounced, but the wrong photo shown as well.


What does Paul Simon have in common with other song writers like Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, and Neil Young?

The importance of such sales is having the music available for streaming, since concerts have been canceled due to COVID.


Brands and Hollywood are Collaborating in New Ways Digitally

Brands are creating short film types of advertising posting that are uninterrupted advertisements. Brands are turning to some Hollywood production studios to create such films.



Many Fashion Brands Took a Stand against the Alleged Use of Forced Labor to Produce Cotton in China

Such brands are now facing boycotts in China and brands like H&M and Nike are being targeted on social media and other outlets.


Dubai Holds its Annual Art Fair, Featuring 31 Countries in 50 Galleries

Art Dubai is being held outside because of COVID. It is known as the largest art fair in the Middle East and 2020 was the first time when it was cancelled.


Cairo Held a Parade of Mummies

22 mummies were transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The mummies were transported in order of their reigns and included 18 kings and 4 queens.



SCOTUS To Hear Arguments Addressing the Definition of Student Athletes

The case focuses on compensation of collegiate athletes.


Major League Baseball Will Move the All-Star Game in Response to Georgia's New Voting Law

Not opposing the bill before it passed, Major League Baseball is seeking to make a statement after the fact. Reactions are mixed.


Women's Basketball President Addresses the Differences Between Men's and Women's Tournaments

Mark Emmert claims that women's basketball is treated as second-class.


Nike Wins TRO Against Stan Shoes

According to the complaint filed by Nike, the Satan Shoes are Nike Air Max 97 that have been changed using the satanic theme.


COVID Shrinks Tennis Players' Winnings

Players are adjusting to earning less money since prize money has fallen. This year's grand prize at the Miami Open was $6.7 million, down from $16.7 million in 2019.



Google Wins Long Copyright Legal Battle With Oracle

SCOTUS, in a 6-2 decision, held that Google's use of the code in question was "Fair Use", without deciding copyrightability.

The decision is available here: Google v Oracle.pdf


SCOTUS Unanimously Upholds Federal Communications Commission's Deregulation of Media Ownership

In its decision, the Court relied on the Federal Communications Commission's reasoning based on data collected that such changes will not likely hurt minority ownership.


Facebook wins case at Supreme Court

The Court based its decision about Facebook's predictive dialing technology on a narrow reading of the federal ban on robocalls and robtexts to cell phones.


President Biden proposes to Spend $100 Million Making Fast Internet Access to All Americans

This proposal is part of the infrastructure plan, which aims to provide equal access throughout the country.


Biden Introduced His Plan to Upgrade the Country's Infrastructure

The plan includes Cybersecurity provisions as well; it looks to secure power grids, supply chain venues, and to support research and development for Artificial Intelligence and quantum computing.


The Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act is the Latest Congressional Attempt at a National Privacy Law

If this legislation passes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would have rule making authority. Most importantly, it may provide a federal framework rather than the conflicting state privacy laws.


The FTC is Set to Increase Enforcement of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

The FTC wants to increase enforcement and mandate that parental consent be verifiable.


What Does it Take to Have Standing in a Data Breach?

According to the Eleventh Circuit, accessing credit cards only is not enough. A plaintiff must show how such breach caused harm in order to have standing.


Another Week, Another Breach of Personal Data

More than 500 million Facebook users' information was leaked online, including phone numbers, emails, and other personal data from 106 countries.


Parler's previous CEO, John Matze, Sues Parler and Fox Personality Rebekah Mercer

Matze was let go for his opinions on needing more content filtering. Matze claims to have been cheated out of his 40% stake in the company.


Chinese Government Threatened BBC Journalist

THe journalist and his family left the China for his safety. His reports of China'a alleged abuse of minorities triggered months of targeted abuse.


Maduro's Misinformation About COVID Leads Facebook to Freeze His Page

Maduro's claim that there is a cure made from thyme has no scientific support.


General News

Biden Nominated the First Group of Judicial Nominations

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, among this first round of nominations, is also being considered as a potential SCOTUS nomination as well.



Biden's Infrastructure Plan Focuses on Racial Equity

The plan looks to create jobs while rebuilding the infrastructure as well as universal high speed internet.


U.S. Economy Seems to be Recovering

The economy added 916,000 jobs in March, which were more than the expected 675,000 jobs. The numbers show that the economy seems to be rebounding from COVID.


International Criminal Court Sanctions Lifted by U.S.

The Trump administration placed the sanctions that were lifted by the Biden administration.


Biden Reverses Trump Administration's Attack on Reproductive Freedom

In a State Department human rights report, the Biden administration evaluates reproductive rights worldwide.


NCAAP, Along with Other Organizations, Sue Georgia for its Restrictive New Voting Law

The lawsuit claims that Georgia violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.


Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines Criticize Georgia

Georgia-based companies are under pressure to speak out against such restrictive laws.


Texas Legislation Proposal to Restrict Voting Criticized by Dell and American Airlines' CEOs

Both companies are based in Texas. The proposed law prohibits mail-in ballots, among other restrictions.


New Jersey Expands Voting Rights

The new law lets residents vote 10 days before election day for general elections, known as early voting. Votes can be cast by mail or in person.


Recreational Marijuana is Legal in New York

Buyers must be at least 21 years old. The law also expunges convictions for marijuana.


Kneeling on George Floyd's Neck While He Was Handcuffed and Lying on His Stomach was "Totally Unnecessary"

The head of the Minneapolis Police Department's homicide division testified as to this on Friday, breaking the "blue wall".


At least 55 of the U.S.'s Largest Companies Did Not Pay Federal Income Tax in 2020

Although companies in this group allegedly reported combined income of $40.5 billion, some have not paid federal taxes in 3 years.


New York City Lost Its Global Warming Case

The City lost its federal appeal case addressing who should pay for the cost of global warming.


Another Attack on the Capitol

An officer was killed and another was seriously injured. The 25 year old was apparently delusional, and suffering from paranoia and suicidal thoughts. The attacker was shot and he died at the hospital.


Trump Organization Duped Supporters into Making Recurring and Automatic Financial Contributions

Such acts caused rent checks to bounce, utilities shut down, etc.


More Bank Records Are Subpoenaed in New York Prosecutors' Investigation of the Trump Organization

This time, prosecutors subpoenaed the private bank records of the CFO of the Trump Organization.


Cargo Ship Is No Longer Blocking the Suez Canal

The initial backlog has been cleared and about 85 ships passed through the Canal on Saturday.



COVID Related Hate Crimes Target Asian-Americans

About 2,800 hate crimes were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group. The FBI has not yet released 2020 numbers.


The Food and Drug Administration Allows Moderna to Increase the Vaccine Doses' Availability

The goal is to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.


Please Keep Wearing Masks


Americans Are Traveling Again

Apparently, the increase in travel is attributed to the increase in vaccinations.


15 Million Doses of COVID Vaccine Ruined by Plant Mix-up

Johnson & Johnson was asked by the Biden administration to take over the plant in Baltimore, replacing the previous contractor.


Per the CDC, Fully Vaccinated Travelers No Longer Need to Test and/or Quarantine at Their Destinations


All New York State Prisoners Must Be Vaccinated


April 12, 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/Coronavirus:


Weinstein Files Appeal of Conviction in Sex Case

Lawyers for disgraced U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein have launched an appeal against his conviction for rape and sexual assault. Weinstein, 69, was convicted in NYC in February 2020 and later sentenced to 23 years in prison. He has vowed to clear his name and the long-anticipated appeal signals the start of what is expected to be a lengthy attempt to have his conviction quashed. His lawyers argued that the judge made several errors that denied Weinstein's right to a fair trial.


LA Stage Alliance Disbands After Award-Show Blunder

The organization that runs the annual competition honoring theater works in Los Angeles imploded after it misidentified an Asian-American actor. The awards ceremony, streamed online last week, showed a picture of a different Asian-American actress when announcing her category and mispronounced her name. The reaction was swift and furious, as long-simmering frustrations over the function of the LA Stage Alliance, which administers the awards, combusted with the pain and anger of an Asian-American community devastated by a wave of anti-Asian violence. 46 theaters resigned from the LA Stage Alliance -- about a third of its members. The organization, which for nearly a half-century had been the main coalition for a sprawling theatrical ecosystem int eh nation's second largest city, then announced that it was disbanding.


First Union Contracts for Spotify Podcasters

Unions representing employees at 2 prominent podcasting companies owned by Spotify, the audio streaming giant, announced that they had ratified their first labor contracts. The larger of the 2 unions, with 65 employees, is at The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website with a podcasting network. The second union, at the podcast production company Gimlet Media, has just under 50 employees. The groups were among the first in the podcasting industry to unionize, and both were represented by the Writers Guild of America, East.


A Time to Open the Theater Doors

Theaters, comedy clubs, and other arts venues can now open at 33% capacity in New York City, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors -- live performing arts are returning, but not all at once. In addition to Broadway theaters and large concert halls that see the one-third capacity rule as prohibitive; smaller venues, including some of the city's foremost jazz and rock clubs, do so as well. Although theater and club owners have spent the pandemic yearning for the green light from the governor, the level of activity that will be allowed to start is not sufficient to warrant opening many of their doors. Some politicians have been reticent about the loosening of restrictions.


Venues Seek Federal Aid: System Has Other Ideas

On the first day when nightclubs, movie theaters, and other arts organizations hurt by the pandemic could apply for $16 billion in federal aid, the system malfunctioned. No applications went through. Shortly after, the Small Business Administration (SBA) -- which runs the initiative, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program -- abandoned its effort to salvage the broken system and shut it down for the day. After discussion with the vendors that built the system, the SBA decided "to shut down the portal to ensure fair and equal access once reopened, since this is first-come, first-serve." The meltdown echoed problems the SBA had last year in taking applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, which it also oversees. The aid was authorized by Congress late last year after months of lobbying by an ad hoc coalition of music venues and other groups that warned of the loss of an entire sector of the arts economy. Even before the fiasco, the opening of the shuttered venue program was riddled with complexity and confusion. The application process is extensive. Successful applicants will receive a grant equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue from 2019, up to $10 million. Those who lost 90% of their revenue (compared to the prior year) after the coronavirus pandemic took hold will have a 14-day priority window for receiving the money, followed by another 14-day period for those who lost 70% or more. Vneues owned by large corporations, like Live Nation or AEG, are not eligible.


Will People of Color Win All 4 Acting Oscars?

5 years after back-to-back bouts of #OscarsSoWhite put a spotlight on award-season diversity, could the Academy Awards be on the verge of a major breakthrough where people of color win every single acting trophy? Academy Awards history could be made at this year's ceremony, especially if the SAG Award winners repeat. If so, it will be the first year in Oscar history that actors of color will have triumphed in all 4 acting races. Yet even if that record doesn't fall, plenty more are poised to do so. The lineup of acting nominees is the most diverse ever, and 70 women were nominated across 23 categories, a record. This year's eclectic mix of newcomers and veterans practically ensures that Oscar history will be made when the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is broadcast on April 25th.


With a Musical, China Tries to Rewrite Its Oppression of Uyghurs

The movie is part of Beijing's wide-ranging new propaganda campaign to push back on sanctions and criticism of its oppression of the Uyghurs. "The Wings of Songs" is a state-backed musical that is the latest addition to China's propaganda campaign to defends its policies in Xinjiang. The campaign has intensified in recent weeks as Western politicians and rights groups have accused Beijing of subjecting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang to forced labor and genocide. The film debuted in Chinese cinemas las week and offers a glimpse of the alternate vision of Xinjiang that China's ruling Communist Party is pushing to audiences at home and abroad.



Artistic Appropriation vs. Copyright Law

An appeals court ruled that Andy Warhol violated photographer Lynn Goldsmith's copyright by appropriating her image of Prince for a silk-screen he did in 1984. The Second Circuit insisted that for reuse to be "fair," the transformation can't be so minor that the re-user's work "remains both recognizably deriving from, and retaining the essential elements of, its source material." The concept of "transformation" has been driving lawyers and judges crazy since the Supreme Court first introduced it in a 1993 case.

2021.03.26 Second Circuit Opinion.pdf

http:// href="http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/2021/03/second_circuit_reverses_fair_u.html">nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/2021/03/second_circuit_reverses_fair_u.html


Some Cities Try to Give Artists Steady Income

San Francisco and other cities are trying to give artists steady income. San Francisco's mayor's office recently unveiled the initiative, city payments that were approved by the arts commission, which will provide a guaranteed monthly income of $1,000 over 6 months to 130 eligible artists, testing the universal basic income. Thought pilot programs, cities are giving checks to artist in hopes of allowing them to focus on their creative output instead of having a second job.


Richard Lippold's 'Orpheus and Apollo,' Once at Lincoln Center, Finds a Home at The Airport

Richard Lippold's soaring sculpture "Orpheus and Apollo", which had been removed from Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall (now David Geffen Hall) in 2014, will be suspended in flight once again: as the centerpiece of La Guardia Airport's Central Hall. The relocation agreement between Lincoln Center, which could not accommodate the sculpture in its renovation plans for Geffen Hall, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey overseeing the airport's $8 billion transformation, was brokered by Goldberger, an adviser on both projects. Central Hall, which will be accessible pre-security, is being developed as the living room of La Guardia around the sculpture, which consists of 190 bars of gleaming metal hanging on steel wires from the ceiling. It will be visible from many perspectives both inside and outside through the glass facade.


On Canal Street, Listening to Artists Again

The central section of Canal Street used to be a magnet for artists. A few still live nearby in lofts they've inhabited since the 1980s; for the rest, the area lost its main draw in 2014 when the art-supply Mecca Pearl Paint closed. For the city's powerful, central Canal Street is a problem to solve, and a redevelopment opportunity. This past year, the combination of the pandemic and windows being boarded up for fear of riots only deepened the anomie. For the last few months, the storefront at 327, a weathered 3-story building between Mercer and Greene, has gathered artists, street characters, neighbors, and passers-by in quirky communion, raising ghosts of Canal's past while planting new creative seeds as the temporary home of the Canal Street Research Association invented by the artist Alexandra Tatarsky and Ming Lin. The space is many things at once, such as art on view and books on economics, literature, and philosophy ,and wind projections of art films, amongst other things. The project has become a memory bank in a kind of haphazard sociology that blends real-estate insight, art-history factors, and talks of hangovers, tattoos, and other incidents.


Dutch Police Arrest Suspect in Art Thefts

Dutch authorities have linked a suspect to 2 major art thefts that took place during the early days of lockdown last spring. The police announced on Thursday that they had arrested a 58-year-old man on suspicion of stealing both Vincent Van Gogh's "The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring" (1884) and Frans Hals's "Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer" from 2 museums in the Netherlands. The suspect, who has not been named, was arrested at his home in the town of Baarn. Neither painting has been recovered.


Defacing a $400,000 Painting, All Because of a Mix-Up

The vandalism of a piece by the graffiti artist JonOne at a gallery in South Korea has prompted a debate about contemporary art. A couple saw brushes and paint can in front of a paint-splattered canvas at a gallery in a Seoul shopping mall. So they added a few brush strokes, assuming it was a participatory mural. However, the painting was actually a finished work by an American artist whose abstract aesthetic riffs on street art. The piece is worth more than $400,000, according to the organizers of the exhibition that featured the painting. Now on social media, South Koreans are debating what the vandalism illustrates about art, authorship, and authenticity.


Possible Caravaggio is Pulled From Auction

They call it a "sleeper": With a starting price of just $1,800, a potentially undervalued old master painting was pulled from auction and is now thought to be worth millions of dollars. A sale of art and antiques at the Madrid auction house Ansorena was scheduled to include a grimy oil on canvas of Christ being crowned with thorns, cataloged as from the "circle" of the 17th century Spanish painter José de Ribera. The suggested starting bid was set at 1,500 euros, or about $1,800. The Museo del Prado in Madrid, which had become aware that this painting might be a long-lost work by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the most celebrated of all Baroque artists, alerted Spain's culture ministry. The culture ministry then announced an export ban on the painting and it was withdrawn from the auction the following day.


Use of Cotton From Xinjiang Carries a Cost

Under pressure to renounce cotton harvested in a Chinese region marked by gruesome repression, global brands face backlash from nationalist Chinese consumers. Faced with accusations that it was profiting from the forced labor of Uyghur people in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang, the H&M Group -- the world's second-largest clothing retailer -- promised last year to stop buying cotton from the region. Last month, H&M confronted a new outcry, this time from Chinese consumers who seized on the company's renouncement of the cotton as an attack on China. Social media filled with angry demands for boycott, urged on by the government. Global brands like H&M risked alienating a country of 1.4 billion people.


As China Targets Nike and H&M, Local Brands See a Chance to Capitalize

Chinese rivals to Western names have improved their quality and marketing. Now the country's defiance could give them an edge with young patriots. Western fashion brands like H&M, Nike, and Adidas have come under pressure in China for refusing to use cotton produced in the Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government has waged a broad campaign of repression against ethnic minorities. Shoppers vowed to boycott the brands. Celebrities dropped their endorsement deals. Foreign brands also face increasing pressure from a new breed of Chinese competitors making high-quality products and selling them through savvy marketing to an increasingly patriotic group of young people. There's a term for it: "guochao," or Chinese fad.


Garment Workers Worldwide Still Awaiting Severance Pay

A new report says that millions of dollars in wages have been withheld from garment workers around the world by factories contracted by major fashion brands. In the last 12 months, jobs at Nike, Walmart, and Benetton around the world have disappeared, as major brands in the U.S. and Europe canceled or refused to pay for orders in the wake of the pandemic, and suppliers resorted to mass layoffs or closures. Most garment workers earn chronically low wages and few have any savings. This means that the only thing standing between them and dire poverty are legally mandated severance benefits that most garment workers are owed upon termination, wherever they are in the world. A study has identified 31 export garment factories in 9 countries, where a total of 37,637 fired workers were not paid the full severance pay they legally earned, a collective $39.8 million.



A Woman Proved That Discrimination Denied Her a FIFA Role, and No One Was Punished

One of soccer's 6 regional bodies had engaged in discriminatory behavior against a female official by hindering her chances of getting a seat on its board and a leadership position with the sport's global governing body, FIFA. The official, Mariyam Mohamed, also convinced judges at the sports' top court that an influential Kuwaiti sheikh had actively interfered in elections held by the Asian Football Confederation in 2019 to achieve his desired outcome. The full ruling has not yet been published. A panel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland concluded that the inaction by Asian soccer officials over several months amounted to a "denial of justice" for Mohamed. Yet 2 months since the decision was announced, the impact of what on paper appears to be a powerful enunciation of ethics breaches and a disregard for women's rights has had all the effect of a snowball hitting a tank. Nothing has happened. The trained elections will not be rerun, the men who offered Mohamed inducements to drop out have not been punished, and soccer's leaders have taken no action.


Study Finds Covid Spikes After Games with Fans

As the National Football League (NFL) makes plans to return to stadiums at full capacity this season, researchers published findings that "fan attendance at NFL games led to episodic spikes" in the number of Covid-19 cases. New research submitted to The Lancet, a scientific journal, in late March suggested that there was a link between the games that had large number of fans in the stands and an increase in the number of infections in locales near the stadiums. The study, which was submitted for peer review, is one of the most comprehensive attempts to address the potential impact of fans at NFL games.


Two of Watson's Accusers Take Their Claims Public

Over 20 women have filed civil assault lawsuits against the NFL quarterback anonymously, but 2 of the complainants have now given emotional statements describing sexual abuse. Last week, 2 of the women involved in those suits spoke out for the first time, making their identities public. In the suit, the plaintiffs are referred to as Jane Does. Ashley Solis, a massage therapist who filed suit against Watson, the Houston Texans' star quarterback, spoke at a news conference with her attorney. The Houston Police Department is investigating.


Judge Rules That Accusers Will be Named in Watson Case

Judges ruled that accusers of Texans' Deshaun Watson must disclose their identities. One judge ordered that the name of one of the 22 women who has filed lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment must be made public. A second judge made the same determination in the cases of 3 other women. According to reports, 9 women agreed to allow Buzbee to release their names as of this time. Judge Dedra Davis of the 270th district granted defense attorney Rusty Hardin's request and asked that Buzbee refile the case within 2 days.


Olympic Bobsledder Who Killed Himself Last Year Had C.T.E.

Pavle Jovanovic hanged himself in his family's metal works shop in central New Jersey in May 2020. He was 43. He is believed to be the first bobsledder and the first athlete in an Olympic sliding sport to be found with C.T.E., the disease caused by repeated brain traumas. Jovanovic represented the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics. The finding of C.T.E. in Jovanovic's brain is likely to send shock waves through a sport that is just beginning to understand the dangers of what participants refer to casually as "sled head". Athletes have long used the term to describe the exhausted fog, dizziness, and headaches that even a routine run can cause. Jovanovic was the third elite North American bobsledder to kill himself since 2013. In recent years, an increasing number of current and retired athletes in sliding sports, especially bobsled and skeleton, have said that they suffer chronically from many of the same symptoms that plague football players and other contact sport athletes.


National Basketball Association Back on Defensive With China

Lucrative endorsements deals with Chinese sports brands supporting Xinjiang cotton could pull the National Basketball League (NBA) and its athletes back into another geopolitical firestorm. U.S.-Chinese tensions, human rights, and business are once again meeting uncomfortably on the basketball court. In China, local brands are prospering from a consumer backlash against Nike, H&M, and other foreign brands over their refusal to use Chinese cotton made by forced labor. In the U.S., 2 of those same Chinese brands, Li-Ning and Anta, adorn the feet of NBA players -- and those players are being rewarded handsomely for it. Two players reached endorsement deals with Anta in February. Another signed on this week. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors already had a shoe deal with Anta that has been widely reported to be valued at up to $80 million. Dwayne Wade has a clothing line with Li-Ning that is so successful, he has recruited young players for the brand. Like the foreign brands in China, the NBA and its players could soon feel themselves squeezed between Washington and Beijing. Western companies are being pressured by American officials and lawmakers to respond to accusations of genocide in Xinjiang. However, they face a consumer-driven backlash in China, where celebrities have severed ties with brands like Burberry and patriotic citizens have burned their Nike shoes on social media.


Local Star, Violent Turn, and a Town Left Reeling

A small city that bills itself as Football City U.S.A. is grappling with the shooting deaths of members of a prominent local family by Phillip Adams who, many say, had been adrift after his NFL career ended. Phillip Adams was a journeyman cornerback during a 6-year career in the NFL. He struggled to find work and he had a child to support and little apparent direction in a life freighted with high expectations. His behavior was increasingly erratic. Then, for reasons no one yet knows for sure, Phillip Adams, a former NFL cornerback, went to the Rock Hill, S.C., home of a prominent doctor and shot everybody he saw before fatally turning the gun on himself. Now, the football-loving community of 65,000 is struggling to contend with Adams's suddenly violent turn and its aftermath. Before he killed 5 people and critically wounded a sixth person, Adams had seemed adrift since he last played NFL football almost 6 years ago. Family members are openly questioning whether football damaged his brain.



Supreme Court Rules for Google in Closely Watched Copyright Case

The Copyright Alliance, which represents content companies and creators, warned that the Supreme Court's decision in favor of Google "has the potential" to broaden the fair use doctrine, something that would open the door to greater unauthorized use of copyrighted material. There is the possibility that the decision could be "misinterpreted" by lower courts. The 6-2 decision was closely watched by entertainment industry legal teams, as the Motion Picture Association had warned that Google's interpretation of the law "would threaten the legitimate rights of copyright owners, to the ultimate detriment of the public. They warned that a broader interpretation of fair use could allow for unauthorized knockoffs of popular TV shows and movies.


Facebook Job Ads Vary by Gender, Study Finds

The Facebook algorithm shows gender bias in job ads, a USC study finds. Facebook is showing different job ads to women and men in a way that might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws. According to the study, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job ad to a female-heavy audience and a Domino's Pizza delivery job ad to a male-heavy viewership. In contrast, Microsoft Corp's LinkedIn showed the ads for delivery jobs at Domino's to about the same proportion of women as it did the Instacart advertisement. Amid lawsuits and regulatory probes on discrimination through advertisement targeting, Facebook has tightened controls to prevent clients from excluding some groups from seeing job, housing, and other ads. However, researchers remain concerned about bias in artificial intelligence (AI) software choosing which users see an advertisement. Facebook and LinkedIn both said they study their AI for what the tech industry calls "fairness'.


Who is Going to Save Newspapers?

One arena in which the billionaires can still win plaudits as civic-minded saviors is buying a metropolitan daily newspaper. The local business leader might not have seemed like such a salvation a quarter century ago, before Craigslist, Google, and Facebook began divvying up newspapers' fat ad revenues. Generally, the neighborhood billionaires are considered worth a careful look by the paper's investigative unit. Yet a lot of papers don't even have an investigative unit anymore, and the priority is survival. This media landscape nudged newspaper ownership from the vanity column toward the philanthropy side of the ledger. The latest example comes in the form of a $680 million bid by Hansjörg Wyss, a little-known Swiss billionaire, and Stewart W. Bainum Jr., a Maryland hotel magnate, for Tribune Publishing and its roster of storied broadsheets and tabloids, like The Chicago Tribune, The Daily News, and The Baltimore Sun.


Behind the Fox Throne, A Lawyer with Clout

Viet Dinh, the Fox Corporation's chief legal office and close friend of Fox's chief executive Lachlan Murdoch, has been seen internally as the company's power center since Murdoch moved his family to Sydney, Australia last month. Dinh's ascent caps an unlikely turn in his career that began when he met Lachlan Murdoch at an Aspen Institute event in 2003. The Murdoch heir later asked him to both fill a seat on the company's board and to be godfather to his son. Two former Fox employees and one current and one former Fox News employee familiar with his role painted him as the omnipresent and decisive right hand of a chief executive who is not particularly hands-on. While Dinh is not running day-to-day programming, he manages the political operation of a company that is the central pillar of Republican politics and he's a key voice on corporate strategy who has played a role in Fox's drive to acquire and partner its way into the global online gambling industry.


China Slaps Alibaba With $2.8 Billion Fine in a Warning to Big Tech

After China imposed a record antirust fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the e-commerce giant did an unusual thing: it thanked regulators. It's a sign of how odd China's crackdown on the power of big tech has been compared with the rest of the world. Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook would likely not express such public gratitude if the U.S. government were to hit Facebook Inc. or Apple Inc. with record antitrust fines. Yet almost everything about China's regulatory pushes out of the ordinary. For Alibaba, the $2.8 billion fine was less severe than many feared and helps lift a cloud of uncertainty hanging over founder Jack Ma's internet empire.


South Korean is Sentenced to 34 Years for Running Exploitative Chat Rooms

A South Korean man, 25-year-old Moon Hyeong-wook, was sentenced to 34 years in prison as part of the country's crackdown on an infamous network of online chat rooms that lured young women, including minors, with promises of high-paying jobs before forcing them into pornography. The man opened one of the first such sites in 2015. Moon operated a clandestine members-only chat room under the nickname "GodGod" on the Telegram messenger app, offering more than 3,700 clips of illicit pornography.


General News

Shifting Course, Justices Lift Limits on Home Prayer Meetings in 5-4 Vote

The Supreme Court, citing religious liberty has lifted another of California's COVID restrictions, holding that the state may not prevent people from gathering in homes for Bible study and prayer meetings. The Court issued a 5-4 order barring the enforcement of a state restriction that was due to expire. The Court's conservatives slammed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for what they called another "erroneous" decision in favor of the state. This is the fifth time the that the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit's analysis of California's COVID restrictions on religious exercise.


An Extraordinary Winning Streak for Religion at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has become far more likely to rule in favor of religious rights in recent years, according to a new study that considered 70 years of data. The study, to be published in The Supreme Court Review, documented a 35% point increase in the rate of rulings in favor of religion in orally argued cases, culminating in an 81% success rate in the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Plainly, the Roberts court has ruled in favor of religious organizations, including mainstream Christian organizations, more frequently than its predecessors. With the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett, this trend will not end soon and may accelerate. More broadly, one new study found, "the politicization of religious freedom has infiltrated every level fo the federal judiciary." The five most pro-religion justices all sit on the current court, the study found.


Biden Orders Panel's Review on Expanding Supreme Court

President Biden has ordered a 180-day study of adding seats to the Supreme Court, making good on a campaign-year promise to establish a bipartisan commission to examine the potentially explosive subjects of expanding the Court or setting term limits for justices. The president acted under pressure from activists pushing for more seats to alter the ideological balance of the Court after Trump appointed 3 justices, including one to a seat that Republicans had blocked his predecessor, Obama, from filling for almost a year. The result is a Court with a stronger conservative tilt, now 6 to 3, after the addition of Trump's choices. While Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asserted that the system of judicial nominations is "getting out of whack," he has declined to say whether he supports altering the size of the Court or making other changes -- like imposing term limits -- to the current system of lifetime appointments.


7 Women Nominated for the Court of Appeals

For the first time in New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination history, all 7 candidates to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Court of Appeals are women. The Commission's nominees to the governor are: Ellen Nachtigall Biben, Kathy Hirata Chin, Caitlin J. Halligan, Valerie Brathwaite, Erin M. Peradotto, Madeline Singas, and Shirley Troutman. By law, the governor is required to make his appointment from the list no sooner than April 23rd nor later than May 8th. The New York State Senate -- within 30 days after receipt of the governor's choice -- must confirm or reject the appointment. The applicant pool was diverse; of the 45 candidates, 26 (or 57%) were women and 14 (or 31%) were of diverse backgrounds.


Biden's First Spending Blueprint Puts Priority on Domestic Needs

The Biden administration unveiled a $1.5 trillion partial budget request for the next fiscal year, calling for increases across a range of domestic programs aimed at fighting poverty and climate change, while keeping defense spending relatively flat. The 41-page document lays out the White House's spending priorities, and while it's up to Congress to set exact spending levels and programs, the budget is expected to be received favorably by the Democratic majorities on Capitol Hill. The administration's first budget blueprint does not contain details of the president's $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, nor does it lay out projected spending on programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Details on those and the president's proposed tax increases are promised later this spring. The budget numbers would increase overall spending on discretionary programs by $118 billion, or 8.4% above last year's levels. Defense spending would remain essentially flat, with an increase of $12.3 billion, or 1.7%, while other domestic programs get a 15.9% boost.


Democrats Win Key Tool for Enacting Biden Plans

A surprise decision by a top Senate official gives Democrats multiple chances to skirt Republican opposition, but it could sap momentum for weakening the filibuster. They might not have the votes to gut the filibuster, but they were just handed the procedural keys to a backdoor assault on the Senate's famous obstruction tactic. With a ruling that Democrats can reuse this year's budget blueprint at least once to employ the fast-track reconciliation process, Democrats can now conceivably advance multiple spending and tax packages this year alone without a single Republican vote, as long as they hold their 50 members together. It is a means of weakening the filibuster without having to take the politically charged vote to do so. Democrats insist that they have made no decisions about how to use the tool.


How Businesses Led by Minorities Received Less Relief

A year after the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) started, studies show how its design hurt Black-and other minority-owned businesses. Congress created the PPP in March 2020 as an emergency stopgap for what lawmakers expected to be a few months of sharp economic disruption. However as the pandemic raged on, the program -- which made its first loans one year ago this past week -- has turned into the largest small-business support program in American history, sending $734 billion in forgivable loans to struggling companies. The program helped nearly 7 million businesses retain workers, but has also been plagued by complex, changing rules at every stage of its existence. One year in, it has become clear that the program's hasty rollout and design hurt some of themes vulnerable businesses. Analyses of dates and interviews with dozens of small businesses and bankers show that Black- and other minority-owned businesses were disproportionately underserved by the relief effort, often because they lacked the connections to get access to the aid or were rejected because of the program's rules.


U.S. and Iran Agree to Return to Nuclear Deal

After weeks of failed starts and back-channel exchanges, the countries will negotiate through intermediaries in Vienna to try to bring both back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Restoring the nuclear agreement would be a major step, nearly 3 years after President Trump scrapped it, and perhaps begin a thaw in the frozen hospitality between the 2 countries. Yet it is far from clear that the complex diplomatic choreography now under discussion -- in which American sanctions would be lifted as Iran cuts back on its production of nuclear fuel and allows international inspectors full access to its facilities -- could happen before the Iranian presidential election in June.


Government's 'No-Fly List' is Challenged in New Suit

A Michigan man challenged the constitutionality of the government's so-called no-fly list in a lawsuit, accusing the FBI of violating his due process rights by barring him from air travel and giving him no meaningful opportunity to challenge their decision. The case, developed by the American Civil Liberties Union, opens a new front in a still-unresolved clash between the scope of individual rights and collective security measures after the attacks of September 11, 2001: the government's practice of placing people on watch lists based on suspicions of links to terrorism.


Biden Moves to Curb Plague of Gun Crime

During a speech in the Rose Garden, President Biden announced several steps that the Justice Department will take to "curb the epidemic of gun violence," including a renewed push for "red flag" laws at the state level, requiring gun owners to report modifications to pistols and regulating the sale of so-called "ghost guns."


With No Address or ID, Missing Out on Stimulus

Many people living in homeless shelters and on the street have not received the federal stimulus checks they're entitled to, stymied by misinformation and bureaucracy. Just about anyone with a Social Security number who is not someone else's dependent and who earns less than $75,000 is entitled to the stimulus. However, some of the people who would benefit most form the money are having the hardest time getting their hands on it. Some homeless people mistakenly assumed they were ineligible for the stimulus. Others said that bureaucratic hurdles, complicated by limited phone or internet access, were insurmountable. Paradoxically, the very poor are probably the most likely people to pump stimulus money right back into deviated local economies, rather than sock it away in the bank or use it to play the stock market.


A Particle's Tiny Wobble Could Upend the Known Laws of Physics

Experiments with particles known as muons suggest that there are forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science. Evidence is mounting that a tiny subatomic particle seems to be disobeying the known laws of physics, scientists announced, a finding that would open a vast and tantalizing hole in our understanding of the universe. The result, the physicists say, suggest that there are forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science. The new work, they said, could eventually lead to breakthroughs more dramatic than the heralded discovery in 2012 of the Higgs boson, a particle that imbues other particles with mass.


Swelling Anti-Asian Violence: Who is Being Attacked Where

Over the last year, in an unrelenting series of episodes with clear racial animus, people of Asian descent have bene pushed, beaten, kicked, spat on, and called slurs. Homes and businesses have been vandalized. The violence has known no boundaries, spanning generations, income brackets and regions. Using media reports from across the country, the New York Times found more than 110 episodes since March 2020 in which there was clear evidence of race-based hate. There have been many more attacks on people of Asian descent in which hate is not a clear motivation the way it is when racial slurs are used. The incidents have unfolded in most every region, but they have been mostly in big cities along the coasts with large Asian populations, although findings also occurred in small towns as well.


New York Reaches Deal on $212 Billion Budget to Jump-Start Recovery

Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have agreed to raise taxes on the wealthy and give aid to renters, businesses, and undocumented immigrants in a $212 billion state budget. Many of the budget's key initiatives are aimed at jump-starting the recovery of a state that was the onetime epicenter of the pandemic. It includes $2.3 billion in federal funds to help tenants late on rent: $1 billion in grants and tax credits for small businesses that suffered for the economic downturn; and a $2.1 billion fund to provide one-time payments for undocumented workers who did not qualify for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits. All were proposals championed by Democratic leaders.


New York to Provide $2.1 Billion for Undocumented Immigrants

After a sweeping move by lawmakers this week, New York will now offer one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost work during the pandemic. The effort -- a $2.1 billion fund in the state budget -- is by far the biggest of its kind in the country and a sign of the state's shift toward policies championed by progressive Democrats. This fund dwarfs a similar relief program enacted in California, where officials set up $75 million cash assistance program last year that gave undocumented immigrants a $500 one-time payment on a first-come, first-served basis.


Aide Says Cuomo Groomed Her for Months Before Groping Her

A woman who has accused Cuomo of groping her in the Executive Mansion gave a fuller account in a published report, detailing how she believed that the governor had groomed her for months with a series of tight hugs and sexually suggestive comments. The groping incident followed later in 2020, said the woman, an administrative assistant who still works at the Capitol and who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


Georgia's Law Erodes Guardrails Against Subverting Elections

Trying to reverse an election result without credible evidence of widespread fraud is an act of a different magnitude than narrowing access. A successful effort to subvert an election would pose grave and fundamental risks to democracy, risking political violence and secessionism. Beyond any provisions on voting itself, the new Georgia election law risks making election subversion easier. It creates new avenues for partisan interference in election administration. This includes allowing the state elections board, now newly controlled by appointees of the Republican State Legislature, to appoint a single person to take control of typically bipartisan county election boards, which have important power over vote counting and voter eligibility. The law also gives the Legislature the authority to appoint the chair of the state election board and 2 more of its 5 voting members, allowing it to appoint a majority of the board. It strips the secretary of state of the chair and a vote. Even without this law, there would still be a risk of election subversion.


Governor of Arkansas, a Republican, Vetoes an Anti-Transgender Bill

Arkansas' Republican governor vetoed an anti-transgender health care bill that would have prohibited physicians in the state from providing gender-affirming "procedures" for trans people under the age 18. The governor told reporters that he killed HB 1570 because the bill "would be and is a vast government overreach" and because it would have created "new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people." The governor called the legalization "a product of the cultural war in America," adding that his veto comes even though he believed the bill was "well-intended." The governor predicted during his remarks that the state's Republican-controlled General Assembly "will likely override" his veto, noting that it takes only a simple majority to do so.



Texas Committee Approves Measure Adding New Rules to Restrict Voting

The Texas State Senate advanced a far-reaching elections bill earlier this month with several provisions placing new restrictions on the voting process, particularly for those living in densely populated counties. The vote on Senate Bill 7 was 18-13 after more than 7 hours of debate and several amendments to the legislation. The controversial measures included in the initial bill are changes to poll watchers, voting hours, disability verification, and the number of county polling locations. The bill would also ban drive-through voting and limit extended early voting hours.


Major Setback to Labor As Amazon Employees Reject Unionization Bid

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama handed the online retail giant a decisive victory when they voted against forming a union and cut off a path that labor activists had hoped would lead to similar efforts throughout the company and beyond. After months of aggressive campaigning from both sides, 1,798 warehouse workers ultimately rejected the union, while 738 voted in favor of it, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is overseeing the process. About 53% of the nearly 6,000 workers cast their ballots. The union said it would file an objection with the NLRB charging the company with illegally interfering with the union vote. The union push was the biggest in Amazon's 26-year history and only the second time that an organizing effort from within the company had come to a vote. However, Bessemer was always viewed as a long shot, since it pitted the country's second-largest employer against warehouse workers in a state with laws that don't favor unions.


Capitol Rioters Traveled from Towns Where Fear of Racial Change Prevails

Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic white population were the most likely to be homes to people who stormed the Capitol. Political scientist Robert Pape found that most of the people who took part in the assault came from places, his polling and demographic data showed, that were awash in fears that the rights of minorities and immigrants were crowding out the rights of white people in American politics and culture. If Pape's initial conclusions hold true, they would suggest that the Capitol attack has historical echoes reaching back to before the Civil War. In the shorter term, the study would appear to connect January 6th not only to the once-fringe right-wing theory called the Great Replacement, which holds that minorities and immigrants are seeking to take over the country, but also to events like the far-right rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017, where crowds of white men marched with torches chanting, "Jews will not replace us!"


Ex-Trump Official Fined for Violating Hatch Act

A former political appointee under the Trump administration has been disciplined for improperly using her official position in the Department of Housing and Urban Development *HUD) to support former President Trump's reelection campaign. Lynne Patton, who served as a regional administrator for HUD, was fined $1,000 and barred from federal employment for 4 years after admitting to violating the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits partisan activity by federal employees to ensure the government functions fairly.


Leader Kept National Rifle Association's Bankruptcy Filing Secret

Wayne LaPierre, the embattled chief executive of the National Rifle Association (NRA), said that he had kept his organization's recent bankruptcy filing secret from almost all of its senior officials, including its general counsel, chief financial officer, and top lobbyist. He also did not inform most of the NRA's board. LaPierre made the comments on the stand at trial in federal bankruptcy court in Dallas. Though the NRA is solvent, it filed for bankruptcy protection in January in an audacious bid to circumvent regulators in New York, where the NRA has been chartered for a century and a half. The state's attorney general, Letitia James, had sued the association in August, trying to shut it down amid claims of mismanagement and corruption. She is also seeking tens of millions of dollars in misspent funds from LaPierre and 3 other current or former NRA leaders. The nonprofit organization has been enmeshed in scandal for the last 2 years.


Distrct Attorney to Void Up to 90 Convictions Tied to Fired New York Detective

The District Attorney wants to dismiss 90 convictions tied to an ex-New York Police Department (NYPD) detective accused of perjury. "Knowingly and repeatedly framing innocent people obliterates the credibility of any police officer," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. Gonzalez announced last week that he is going to ask the court to vacate and dismiss 27 felony convictions and 63 misdemeanor convictions that were based on work conducted by former undercover NYPD detective Joseph Franco. Franco was indicted by a New York County grand jury in April 2019 on numerous charges, including official misconduct and 16 counts of first-degree perjury. Three months later, he was indicted on 10 additional counts of perjury. The indictments stem from 4 incidents in which he is accused of "framing numerous individuals for making narcotics transactions." He was fired by the NYPD in May and is currently awaiting trail on both indictments.


French Men are Finally Put on Notice as #MeToo Gains Ground

Since the start of the year, well-known men from diverse fields -- politics, sports, the news media, academia, and the arts -- have been accused of sexual abuse and placed under investigation. At the same time, confronted with these high-profile cases and a shift in public opinion, French lawmakers are hurrying to set 15 as the age of sexual consent -- only 3 years after rejecting such a law. The recent accusations have not only led to official investigations, the loss of positions for some men, and outright banishment from public life for others. They have also resulted in a rethinking of French masculinity and of the archetype of Frenchmen as irresistible seducers -- as part of a broader questioning of many aspects of French society and amid a conservative backlash against ideas on gender, race, and post colonialism supposedly imported from American universities.


Amid Sexual Abuse Uproar, Australia Plots 'Road Map for Respect'

After 2 months of sexual harassment and assault scandals, including a claim of a rape inside Parliament House, Australia's conservative government agreed to accept a series of recommendations that aim to prevent gender-based abuse and increase accountability for misbehavior in the workplace. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would accept 55 suggestions -- called a "roadmap for respect" -- from the country's human rights commissioner to tackle a problem that has been festering for years in politics. His plan includes more education in schools and the promise of new legislation to end exemptions for judges and members of Parliament from the country's sex discrimination law. It would also allow victims to file complaints for up to 2 years after an attack. Morrison's announcement comprises his most comprehensive effort so far to tackle a problem that has been festering for years in Australian politics, with women mistreated, demeaned or sexually harassed, usually without recourse.


Pakistan's Prime Minister Links Rape to 'Vulgarity' and How Women Dress

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has linked the rise in cases of rape and sexual violence in the country to how women dress. Jemima Goldsmith, his former spouse, reacted to the statement by saying that the 'onus is on men'. Khan said incidences of rape and sexual violence are spreading 'like cancer.'



Biden Moves Up Eligibility for Vaccine Eligibility

President Biden has announced that the deadline for adult eligibility for Covid-19 vaccines nationwide is being moved up to April 19th. Biden had previously called for states and territories to make all adults eligible for shots by May 1st. As of Tuesday, 36 states have opened eligibility for vaccinations to people ages 16 and older, while 12 more and the District of Columbia are already set to do so by April 19th. Most states were already on track to match the president's new April 19th deadline before he announced it. It is unclear how moving up a deadline set by the president actually changes the distribution of the vaccines or how quickly they're injected into Americans' arms. It was also not immediately clear if the new, earlier deadline also signals that vaccine supply is arriving faster or if there are new plans to more quickly vaccinate Americans waiting to get their shorts.


Highly Contagious Variant is Dominant in New Cases, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Warns

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant (B.1.1.7) first detected in the U.K. has now become the dominant strain circulating in the U.S. According to CDC data, over 16,000 cases of the variant have been documented in the U.S., though experts warn that is likely an undercount. Studies have suggested that the variant is more transmissible and likely more deadly. Florida reports the most cases of the variant at over 3,100. Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Colorado follow with the next highest numbers. Hospitals are also reporting seeing younger adults in their 30s and 40s suffering from severe Covid-19 effects.


Chance of Catching Covid From Surfaces is Low

The CDC acknowledged what scientists have been saying for months, that the risk of catching the coronavirus from surfaces is low. When the virus began to spread in the U.S. last spring, many experts warned of the danger posed by surfaces. American responded in kind, wiping down groceries, quarantining mail, and clearing drugstore shelves of Clorox wipes. The era of "hygiene theater" may have come to an unofficial end, as the CDC updated its surface cleaning guidelines, noting that the risk of contracting the virus form touching a contaminated surface was less than onw in 10,000.


Intelligence Report Warns Pandemic is Chipping Away at the World Order

U.S. intelligence officials have little comfort to offer a pandemic-weary planet about where the world is heading in the next 20 years; with a short answer: it looks pretty bleak. The National Intelligence Council, a center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that creates strategic forecasts and estimates, often based on material gathered by U.S. spy agencies, has recently released its quadrennial "Global Trends" report. Looking over the time horizon, it finds a world unsettled by the coronavirus pandemic, the ravages of climate change -- which will propel mass migration -- and a widening gap between what people demand from their leaders and what the leaders can actually deliver. The intelligence community has long warned policymakers and the public that pandemic disease could profoundly reshape global politics and U.S. national security. The Council has called it "the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II and "has reminded the world of its fragility" and "shaken long-held assumptions" about how well governments and institutions could respond to a catastrophe.


April 19, 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:


Karen Olivo Won't Return to 'Moulin Rouge!'

In a 5-minute Instagram video, Karen Olivo, star of "Moulin Rouge! The Musical", announced that she would not be returning to the cast when the play resumes. Citing a Hollywood Reporter story detailing the culture of abusive behavior to staffers by producer Scott Rudin, who was not a producer for "Moulin Rouge!", and the silence of the industry that implicitly condoned such behavior, Olivo stated that '"Broadway is not the place I want to be."'

In related news, Rudin apologized for '"troubling interactions with colleagues'" and said he would not have '"active participation"' in his ongoing shows, which include "The Book of Mormon", "To Kill a Mockingbird", and "West Side Story". Among the allegations against Rudin include throwing a baked potato at an assistant's head and smashing a computer monitor on the hand of a different assistant.



Did the Music Industry Change? A Race 'Report Card' Is on the Way

The Black Music Action Coalition, which comprises managers, lawyers, and others in the music industry, was created in the summer of 2020 with the purpose of accounting for how the industry as a whole is addressing social justice issues. In June, the coalition will issue a report that will indicate the "steps the companies have taken toward racial parity, and track whether and where promised donations have been made. It will also examine the number of Black executives at the leading music companies and the power they hold, and how many Black people sit on their boards."


The Healing Power of Music

Beyond aesthetic pleasure, researchers are finding that music has a profound clinical impact on treating patients with asthma, autism, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and strokes. In conjunction with other treatment, music has shown the ability to help patients "cope with their stress and mobilize their body's own capacity to heal." Further, a "review of 400 research papers .... in 2013 concluded that '"listening to music was more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety prior to surgery."' Similarly, reading and writing poetry has shown to have therapeutic effects, especially those suffering grief or anxiety due to the pandemic, and has enabled those to "process difficult feelings like loss, sadness, anger, [and] lack of hope."




Art Institute of Chicago Names Its Next Board Chief

Denise Gardner has been picked to be the chairwoman of the Art Institute of Chicago, becoming the first Black woman to hold the position. In her past, Gardner has supported Black artists and provided resources to underrepresented communities in the arts. Gardner also serves on the steering committee of the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums, which assists in making museums more diverse through the hiring of Black trustees, artists, and curators.


Nonfungible Tokens Are Shaking Up the Art World. They May Be Warming the Planet, Too

Nonfungible tokens, also known as "NFTs", are taking the art world by storm. An NFT is ultimately a piece of artwork "stamped with a unique string of code and stored on a virtual ledger called a blockchain." When an artist uploads the piece, it starts a process known as "mining," which involves mathematical calculations that requires lots of computing power and harnessing of energy. New light has been shed on the ecological toll of such actions. According to some estimates, "the creation of an average NFT has a stunning environmental footprint of over 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gasoline-powered car." This has led some to question the technology and even pull artwork that utilizes blockchain technology.


Book by Officer Who Shot Breonna Taylor Is a New Test for Publishers

Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, infamously known for his role in the shooting of Breonna Taylor, had agreed to book deal with small, independent publisher, Post Hill Press. Simon & Schuster was set to distribute the book, but after news of its release made its way onto the internet, Simon & Schuster quickly did an about face, announcing that it would not distribute the book. Distributors typically are not allowed to select which titles they ship, and it is exceedingly rare that they take such action.


His Fence Says 'Black Lives Matter.' His City Says Paint Over It

In West St. Paul, a small community outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota, a 75-foot fence was painted on depicting Kimetha Johnson, the city's first Black mayoral candidate, and "Black Lives Matter" written in large, bold print. Ryan Weyandt, who owned the fence and the house it borders, received a notice from West St. Paul officials in November informing him that he was violating the city's sign ordinance. The city cited the local ordinance, which bans signs '"painted, attached or in any other manner affixed to fences, roofs, trees, rocks or other similar natural surfaces."' While the city says that its restrictions are not based on the content of the mural, others in the town of 20,000, where only 5% are African-American, disagree. The news comes amidst the trial of Derick Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with killing George Floyd.


A Clash of Wills Keeps a Leonardo Masterpiece Hidden

In connection with a planned show commemorating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death, the Louvre planned to hang "Salvator Mundi," which fetched over $450 million at a recent auction. The anonymous bidder -- many of whom believe to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia -- withheld the painting from being shown. Some believe that the Saudis were never serious about including the painting in the French show, as they wanted the paining to hang next to the "Mona Lisa". In turn, the French never publicly acknowledged the authenticity of the "Salvator Mundi", leading some to question whether the paining was a da Vinci. As a result of the standoff, the painting remains out of sight for the planned exhibition.


Turkey Fights for Return of a Work It Says Was Looted

A dispute has arisen over the possession of famed art sculpture, "The Guennol Stargazer", which was carved roughly 6,000 years ago and depicts the female form abstractly. The Turkish government, citing the 1906 Ottoman Decree, claims broad ownership over antiquities found in the country. Christie's, which held an audition that fetched $14.4 million for the piece (before the buyer rescinded) has kept it in a vault. A civil trial in the Southern District of New York will now determine the rightful ownership of the piece.



NCAA Responds, Tentatively, to Transgender Athlete Bans

In at least 30 states, bills have emerged that would consider barring transgender athletes from competing in sports competitions. In response, the NCAA released a statement saying that it is '"committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them."' The statement, however, falls short of pulling championships from states considering such legislation, an action taken by the NCAA in 2016 after North Carolina passed a law restricting bathroom access for those who identify as transgender.


U.S. Women's Team Clears Hurdle to Reviving Equal Pay Fight

Judge R. Gary Klausner, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, approved a partial-settlement agreement
between U.S. Soccer and the Women's National team on working conditions that was reached last year. Rejecting the main argument of equal pay, Judge Klausner allowed the Women's National team to continue to argue claims over unequal working conditions regarding team flights, hotels, venue selection, and staffing. Now that issues over working conditions have been resolved, the team is pursuing its appeal of Judge Klausner's ruling that dismissed their demands for equal pay.


NCAA Fines U.S.C. Men's Basketball Over Bribery Case

In 2019, former associate head coach of the University of Southern California's men's basketball team, Tony Bland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery for his acceptance of a $4,100 bribe from a sports agent in exchange for directing future NBA eligible players to a Las Vegas management company. Last week, the NCAA disciplinary committee placed a 2-year probation on the basketball program and fined it $5,000, plus 1% of the program's budget, in response to Bland's actions. The NCAA's decision also prevents Bland from working in a college athletics program for 3 years.


Hideki Matsuyama Wins the Masters With a Groundbreaking Performance

THideki Matsuyama became the first Asian-born male golfer to win the Masters golf tournament. He finished 10 under par for the tournament and closed with a one shot lead over Will Zalatoris. Matsuyama's win comes at a time when violence against Asian-Americans has grown at an alarming pace.


Major League Baseball Pushes Incentives to Encourage Players to Get Vaccine

On March 29th, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players' union sent the players a 3-page memorandum discussing how the strict health and safety protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus would be relaxed for those who are vaccinated and for teams that reach an 85% threshold. Under the plan, vaccinated players can "gather on team planes, trains or buses again" and "virus testing can be reduced from every other day to twice a week." For teams, masks would no longer be required in the bullpen or dugout, and shared clubhouse activities, like card games and video games, could also return.


Topps is Releasing Official NFT Baseball Cards on April 20th

Topps, the collectible card company, announced that it will be auctioning off its products as NFTs. The market for NFTs exploded through the National Basketball Association's (NBA) version called "Moments", which are purchasable video clips that have sold for up to $200,000. The Topps cards will start selling on "April 20th, with 50,000 standard packs (containing six cards for $5) and around 24,000 premium packs (offering 45 cards for $100) set to be sold in the first wave."



'Master', 'Slave', and the Fight Over Offensive Terms in Computing

The Internet Engineering Task Force is attempting to address antiquated and racist terms within engineering language, such as "master", "slave", "whitelist", and "blacklist". The group, which is composed of roughly 7,000 volunteers around the world, is organized to solve the internet's trickiest engineering issues to ensure uniformity of the internet. Yet a consensus has not been reached by the volunteer group on what terms to use instead, if any. Without such guidance, internet companies have tackled the issue on their own, creating their own terms such as "source" and "replica" to replace the offensive terms.


Smartmatic Says Disinformation on Fox News About the Election Was 'No Accident'

A recent lawsuit filed by election technology company Smartmatic alleges that unfounded conspiracy theories pushed by Fox News and Fox hosts, including Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs, destroyed the company's reputation and business. In its motion to dismiss, Fox News argued that it covered the 2020 election in a responsible way and that mentions of Smarmatic were merely part of the overall story that then-President Trump was not conceding the election. In the coming weeks, the presiding judge will determine whether Smartmatic's case will proceed.


Mark Zuckerberg is Urged to Scrap Plans for an Instagram for Children

In response to Instagram's plan to develop an Instagram for children under the age of 13, an international group of 35 children's and consumer groups demanded that the company halt its plans. While the application's goal of targeting a younger demographic was to curb bullying, protect them from sexual deviants, and prevent them from using the main site, the coalition said that '"it will likely increase the use of Instagram by young children who are particularly vulnerable to the platform's manipulative and exploitative features."'


Feeding Hate With Video: A Former Alt-Right YouTuber Explains His Methods

Many around the globe, including regulators, tech companies, and users, are struggling to understand the breadth and power that social media companies have in sowing hate and violence.

For those individuals who had a part in creating an environment of such hate on the internet, some are realizing their roles and have taken efforts to detail the actions they took to gain notoriety on the internet for fringe movements. This includes make strategic edits to videos, showing aggressors as victims, and seeking confrontations to help attract millions of views on YouTube and similar platforms. Algorithms on social media platforms then recommend other similar videos that are even more extreme, creating an echo chamber of views.


Reuters Names a New Editor in Chief

Reuters announced that Alessandra Galloni will become Editor-in-Chief of the news publication. The news marks the first time a woman has been appointed to the top editorial position in its 170-year history. Galloni had been the global managing editor of the publication since 2015 and had previously worked for 13 years as a reporter and editor at the Wall Street Journal.


Former Condé Nast Editor Plans a Vanity Fair for the Substack Era

Heat Media, the creation of Jon Kelly, formerly of Vanity Fair, is creating a new publication platform that would provide writers with equity and a percentage of the subscription revenue they would generate. The new media company, which is yet to be named, has already received venture capital money and is alleged to include a daily newsletter, a website, and access to events in its $100 per year subscription. To allocate money to the writers, "the publication would rely on an algorithm to gauge how many readers bought a subscription because of a specific writer."


Hong Kong Court Sentences Jimmy Lai and Other Pro-Democracy Leaders to Prison

A Hong Kong court sentenced Jimmy Lai, head of a tabloid-style publication that is often critical of Chinese government, to 12 months in prison for his participation in a peaceful demonstration addressing China's intrusion into Hong Kong's territory. Supporters of Lai say that the sentence marks the latest signal of Beijing's influence in turning Hong Kong from a epicenter of free speech to one that punishes those who openly oppose China.


General News

Beyond Pandemic's Upheaval, a Racial Wealth Gap Endures

While President Biden's executive orders and pandemic relief bill have taken steps to address racial inequality in areas covering health care, education, and infrastructure, some have pointed out that such efforts have not done enough to address the wealth gap between white and Black Americans. It has been shown that "for every dollar a typical white household has, a Black one has 12 cents, a divide that has grown over the last half-century." Economists estimate that the wealth gap has cost the United States economy "$1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, or 4 to 6 percent of the projected gross domestic product in 2028." In response, Vice President Kamala Harris and several Democratic senators have supported proposals that target the racial wealth gap, including a program to increase Black homeownership and creating trust accounts for newborns called "baby bonds".


Democrats' Supreme Court Expansion Plan Draws Resistance

House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation that would expand the Supreme Court from 9 justices to 13. Democrats view the legislation as a way to restore neutrality on the Court, after Mitch McConnell refused to allow a vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland during the Obama administration and rammed through the vote on Justice Amy Comey Barrett just days before the 2020 election. The bill faces steep opposition in the Senate, where the filibuster remains, and amongst Republicans, who see the measure as trying to "pack" the Court to gain a partisan advantage. The size of the Court is not set by the Constitution, but rather through legislation, and has not been changed since 1869.


Biden Wavers on Restricting Refugee Entry

In contravention to earlier promises to allow more than 60,000 individuals fleeing war and persecution into the United States, the Biden administration announced that it would limit the number of refugees to the 15,000 limit set by the Trump administration. President Biden cited concerns that lifting the cap would overwhelm and create chaos in an already strained refugee-processing system. In response to outcries by Democrats and human rights activists, the White House reversed course again and said that it promised to announced an increased number by May 15th.


U.S. Imposes Stiff Sanctions on Russia, Blaming It for Major Hacking Operation

The Biden administration announced sanctions on 32 entities and individuals for their part in effectuating the Kremlin's directive to sow confusion and misinformation in the 2020 election. In addition, "ten Russian diplomats, most of them identified as intelligence operatives, were expelled from the Russian Embassy in Washington. And the administration banned American banks from purchasing newly issued Russian government debt." In response, Russia promised retaliation at a yet-to-be-determined time.


Defying Republicans, Big Companies Keep the Focus on Voting Rights

In the wake of the state of Georgia passing restrictive voting rights legislation that limits the use of early voting and the presence of drop boxes, amongst other restrictions, a group of prominent businesses, including Google, Netflix, BlackRock, Ford, PayPal, and Twilio have created a coalition which purpose is to use its clout to oppose voter suppression legislation in Georgia and other states. Similarly, MLB recently announced that it was moving its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver due to the passing of voter suppression laws. In addition, Apple's upcoming movie "Emancipation", starring Will Smith, who plays an enslaved man who emancipated himself from a Southern plantation and joined the Union Army, pulled out of filming in Georgia.



Biden to Withdraw All Combat Troops From Afghanistan by Sept. 11th

According to President Biden, the military will withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil. The move goes against the Pentagon's advice to remain in Afghanistan until Afghan security forces can hold their own against the Taliban. The conflict in Afghanistan has cost the lives of nearly 2,400 troops and roughly $2 trillion. President Biden's plan has drawn praise from Democrats and those in the military, who saw no end to the costly war. Republicans and others in the military, however, note that such a move would put troops in danger and would create fertile ground for terrorist organizations to plan future attacks against the United States.



House Panel Advances Bill to Study Reparations in Historic Vote

In a vote by the House Judiciary Committee, members voted "to recommend for the first time the creation of a commission to consider providing Black Americans with reparations for slavery in the United States and a '"national apology"' for centuries of discrimination." The bill, however, faces an uphill battle for passage, as some Democrats and unified Republicans argue that Black Americans do not need government assistance of crimes committed years ago. Polling indicates that support is growing for such a plan, but has not yet become mainstream.


A Capitol Police Lieutenant Won't Face Charges in the Jan. 6th Shooting Death of a Rioter.

After a 3-month investigation, the Justice Department announced that it will not be pursuing criminal charges against a Capitol Police lieutenant who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt after she entered the Capitol on January 6th. Along with others, Babbitt had tried to access the floor of the House through the Speaker's Lobby. After an analysis of videos posted on social media, evidence from the scene of the shooting, witness statements, and Babitt's autopsy, the Justice Department found insufficient evidence to lead to a criminal prosecution.


How the Capitol Riot Suspects Are Challenging the Charges

After the FBI opened a probe into the events that led up to and including the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, over 400 people have been charged with crimes among the several hundred investigations that have taken place. With no underlying precedent for the events that took place, prosecutors and defendants are using creating arguments to bolster their position or weaken their opponents'. For example, "one prosecutor made a novel legal argument last week, suggesting in court that a rioter had '"corralled"' a segment of the crowd into storming the Capitol and thus had turned the mob itself into a weapon." Defense attorneys, on the other hand, have argued that their clients cannot receive a fair trial, as the "city's liberal electorate was barraged by media accounts describing rioters . . . as '"white supremacists"' who had
launched a '"domestic terror attack."'


Oath Keeper Pleads Guilty and Will Cooperate in Jan. 6th Riot Inquiry

Jon Ryan Schaffer, an Oath Keeper member who was charge in connection with the riot at the Capitol, has pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding and entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon and has agreed to cooperate with the government, opening up the opportunity to identify others of the far-right group who had a part in the insurrection. Currently, 12 other members of the organization have been charged for their participation in the event.


Capitol Police Told to Hold Back on Riot Response on Jan. 6th, Report Finds

In an internal report issued by Inspector General, Michael A. Bolton of the Capitol Police, the 104-page document outlined that the Capitol Police had advanced notice that "Congress itself [was] the target" and police officers were instructed by top leadership not to use their most aggressive tactics to subdue the mob. Part of the explanation for not using such tactics as sting balls and stun grenades, which are often used for crowd control, was that the officers were not adequately trained to use the equipment, and senior officials were afraid they would be used to injure or even kill people. In the wake of the riot, "three top security officials in charge that day resigned in disgrace, and they have since deflected responsibility for the intelligence failures, blaming other agencies, each other and at one point even a subordinate."



Justice Dept. Restores Use of Consent Decrees for Police Abuses

Attorney General Merrick Garland is restoring the use of consent decrees as one of the department's most important tools in combating police abuses and creating future change. Consent decrees are "court-approved deals between the Justice Department and local governmental agencies that create a road map for changes to the way they operate." The announcement comes amidst the backdrop of the ongoing case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd. The policy change reverses the prior administration's restrictions on the use of consent decrees that were imposed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the end of his tenure.


Derek Chauvin Declines to Testify as His Defense Ends After 2 Days

Derek Chauvin, who is on trial for the infamous killing of George Floyd, which led to widespread, nationwide movements to raise awareness of social injustice initiatives, has declined to testify on his own behalf. The defense team for Chauvin has argued that Floyd's underlying health deficiencies and his use of drugs caused his death and that Chauvin's actions were reasonable considering Floyd's apparent resistance.


Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Daunte Wright Was Training Others

In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Duante Wright, a 20-year-old Black man was shot and killed in his car after body camera footage showed he was attempting to avoid arrest. Officer Kimberly Porter, who shouted "Taser!" after Wright managed his way back into his car after his arrest, instead shot Wright in the chest once, killing him instantly. Porter, a 26-year veteran of the police force was in the midst of training junior officers that day. The incident has led to daily protests in Brooklyn Center. Porter has since resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Force.

The incident, which involved a case of so-called "weapon confusion", however, is not entirely unique. What is consistent is that other cases of "weapon confusion" has infrequently led to prosecutions or arrests. In fact, "a New York Times review of 15 other cases of so-called weapon confusion over the past 20 years showed that only five of the officers were indicted. Only three, including the only two cases in which people were killed, were eventually found guilty." A difference to note is that in cases of "weapon confusion" qualified immunity rarely applies to the officer's actions, usually allowing cases to proceed.




Court Vindicates Black Officer Fired for Stopping Colleague's Chokehold

In 2006, a domestic dispute arose, leading to the arrest of a Black man. In response to a call by a colleague, Officer Kwiatkowski, who was asking for help, Officer Cariol Horne found Kwiatkowski in a rage and was repeatedly punching the arrestee in the face. After Kwiatkowski put the handcuffed man in a chokehold, who subsequently shouted that he could not breathe, Horne jumped on her colleague, forcibly removed him, and exchanged punches. Cariol was fired from her job, just one year shy of the 20 years needed to receive a pension, while Kwiatkowski received a promotion that same year. Fifteen years later, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the attention brought to chokeholds, and Cariol's law, named after Horne, which requires "officers to step in when one of their own used excessive force," a judge recently vacated an earlier ruling that affirmed her firing, allowing Horne to receive the back pay and benefits she had previously been denied.


Subpoenaing the Brookings Institution, Durham Focuses on Trump-Russia Dossier

Under the Trump administration, John H. Durham was appointed as special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia inquiry that was opened by the FBI. One of the key avenues Durham has focused on is the so called "Steele Dossier", which included political opposition research that was used to obtain a court warrant to wiretap former Trump associates. Additionally, Durham has subpoenaed Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher and former Bookings Institution staffer who helped gather rumors about Trump and Russia for the Steele Dossier, to provide documents. The Durham report was long heralded by the Trump administration to prove a deep-state conspiracy against him, but has not yet come to light, evoking sarcastic statements from Trump asking, "Where's Durham?", "Is he a living, breathing human being?", and "Will there ever be a Durham report?"


As New York Courts Seek to Root Out Racism, a Clerk Is Heard Using a Slur

At the end of a Family Court proceeding in Manhattan, a court clerk was overhead on Zoom calling a 15-year-old boy, who was being held in detention and who was subject of the proceeding, anti-Black slurs and epithets. The clerk has been suspended without pay and the court system's inspector general is opening an investigation into the matter. The incident comes after a report released last October that found that "court officers routinely used racial slurs without consequence, calling the fundamental fairness of the state's justice system into question."


Liberty University Sues Jerry Falwell Jr., Alleging Deception

Liberty University sued its former president, Jerry Falwell Jr., for more than $40 million, alleging breach of contract and fiduciary duty for withholding allegedly damaging information from the school's board of trustees. The charges stem from Falwell Jr. allegedly being blackmailed by a man who was having an affair with his wife. The complaint states that by keeping the extortion a secret from the school, Liberty's reputation was damaged. Falwell Jr. claims that the lawsuit is merely an attempt to defame him and is untruthful.



Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations Paused After Rare Clotting Cases Emerge

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 have developed rare blood-clotting disorders within 1 to 3 weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Over 7 million people in the United States have received the company's vaccine thus far and over 10 million doses have already been shipped out across the country. Out of an abundance of caution, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement recommending a nationwide pause in the vaccine's use to examine the rare, but significant complications associated with the company's vaccine.


As Covid Death Toll Passes 3 Million, a Weary World Takes Stock

On Saturday, the death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 3 million. The estimates exceed the populations of Berlin, Chicago, and Taipei. While industrialized nations have been successful in vaccinating its populations, hot spots have emerged in Eastern Europe and Latin America, where the virus is accelerating. Even in larger nations, such as France, which had its third national lockdown, there appears to be no end in sight, despite advances in vaccine distribution.


April 23, 2021

Sports Law News for the Week of April 23rd

By Bennett Liebman

PAY-TO-PLAY GETS MIXED VIEWS FROM PRO-NIL STATE LEGISLATORS, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/college-sports/2021/pay-to-play-gets-mixed-views-from-pro-nil-state-legislators-1234628027/

As Florida lawmakers took aim at transgender athletes, old wounds reopened, https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/04/23/as-florida-lawmakers-took-aim-at-transgender-athletes-old-wounds-reopened/

Peloton fights with CPSC over recalling its treadmills after child deaths, injuries, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/04/16/peloton-treadmill-injuries-death-cpsc/

NCAA athletes and the hidden industry of name, image, likeness, https://www.si.com/college/2021/04/22/ncaa-athletes-profit-nil-marketplace-july-1

NCAA says no to blanket name, image and likeness waiver, https://247sports.com/Article/NCAA-Mark-Emmert-name-image-likeness-waiver-Jordan-Bohannon-Iowa-164470619/

States Move Forward on Compensation for Student Athletes, https://www.governing.com/now/states-move-forward-on-compensation-for-student-athletes.html

JPMorgan Super League: Bank Vows to "Learn From" Soccer World Blowback JPMorgan Super League, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/soccer/2021/jpmorgan-super-league-bank-apology-1234628074/

LSU's Title IX Consultant Makes His Business Pitch, Amid Scandal, https://sports.yahoo.com/scandalized-lsu-title-ix-consultant-150054470.html

Oliver Luck Lawsuit: Vince McMahon, Lawyer Emails Could Hold Key Oliver Luck Lawsuit, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/oliver-luck-lawsuit-vince-mcmahon-1234627894/

Zed Run: NFT Horse Racing Game Draws Big Money Amid Crypto Boom, https://www.sportico.com/business/tech/2021/zed-run-nft-horse-racing-1234627668/

Deshaun Watson case: Lawyer requests plaintiffs' SSNs, https://www.si.com/nfl/2021/04/22/deshaun-watson-accused-deleting-texts-status-hearing

Soccer Fans Are Stakeholders Too, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/banking-law/matt-levines-money-stuff-soccer-fans-are-stakeholders-too

Super League Made Plans for the Next 23 Years. It Failed in 48 Hours, https://www.wsj.com/articles/super-league-collapse-premier-league-11619104094

The U.S. Sports Origins of Europe's Soccer Super League, https://www.wsj.com/articles/european-soccer-super-league-american-owners-nfl-11618939490?mod=e2tws

The Super League Protests Showed American Fans What's Worth Getting Mad About, https://defector.com/the-super-league-protests-showed-american-fans-something-worth-getting-mad-about/

7 Legal Thoughts About European Super League's Seemingly Quick Collapse, https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2021/04/20/7-legal-thoughts-about-european-super-leagues-seemingly-quick-collapse/?sh=7b1f9d4e3d47

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher Out As Caesars Completes Takeover, https://www.legalsportsreport.com/50915/william-hill-us-ceo-joe-asher-out/

NFL Sunday Ticket Case, Untouched by SCOTUS, Goes to Arbitration, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/class-action/nfl-sunday-ticket-case-untouched-by-scotus-goes-to-arbitration

Daniel Snyder accuses banker of destroying records in defamation case, https://theathletic.com/2537242/2021/04/22/daniel-snyder-accuses-banker-of-destroying-records-in-defamation-case-seeks-fine/?source=emp_shared_article

Antonio Brown settles with trainer in sexual assault charge, https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-antonio-brown-trainer-settlement-sexual-assault-allegation-20210422-msu3dzkehrdjvk7ym4mddq4bee-story.html

Tokyo spectator decision postponed, http://www.thesportsexaminer.com/the-ticker-tokyo-spectator-decision-postponed-a1-billion-for-brisbane-32-stadium-usopc-ticker-seller-sued-ioc-now-seriously-into-esports/

US Olympic Track Trials tickets refunded for fans, capacity TBD, https://www.si.com/olympics/2021/04/22/us-olympic-track-and-field-trials-2021-tickets-refunded-covid-19

Can men's college gymnastics be saved?, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/04/16/mens-college-gymnastic-cuts-minnesota/

French Tennis Federation bans Benoit Paire from Games, https://www.msn.com/en-in/sports/other/tokyo-olympics-2020-french-tennis-federation-bans-benoit-paire-from-games-due-to-deeply-ill-judged-behaviour/ar-BB1fYhi5?ocid=BingNewsSearch

NFL, Raiders Beat Oakland's Suit, https://www.law360.com/articles/1378007/nfl-raiders-beat-oakland-s-suit-over-move-to-las-vegas

Theater News for the Week of April 23th

By Bennett Liebman

Scott Rudin, As Told by His Assistants, https://www.vulture.com/2021/04/scott-rudin-as-told-by-his-assistants.html

Scott Rudin's Downfall Is an Opportunity to Change Hollywood, https://www.vulture.com/2021/04/scott-rudin-hollywood.html

Theater workers march to demand change on Broadway, https://nypost.com/2021/04/22/theatre-goers-and-broadway-stars-protest-scott-rudin-and-inequality/

Is a Scott Rudin apology enough?, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/04/23/theater-workers-march-to-demand-change-on-broadway/

Producers Guild Sets Anti-Bullying Training Amid Scott Rudin Scandal, https://deadline.com/2021/04/producers-guild-anti-bullying-training-scott-rudin-scandal-1234741795/

Peter Bart: Rudin Rebellion Shows That Civility Must Gain Equal Ground With Creative Zeall, https://consent.yahoo.com/v2/collectConsent?sessionId=1_cc-session_b316aae0-c852-4eec-a0e0-d0a060b55553

Scott Rudin: Is Hollywood's Wall of Silence Beginning to Crack?, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/is-hollywoods-wall-of-silence-on-scott-rudin-beginning-to-crack

SBA to reopen Shuttered Venue Operators grant portal on April 24, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/04/22/sba-to-reopen-shuttered-venue-operators-grant-portal-on-april-24/

London's West End readies for next act, https://www.inquirer.com/wires/ap/beyond-pandemic-londons-west-end-readies-next-act-20210423.html

Bradley Whitford Finds Inspiration, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/arts/television/bradley-whitford-handmaids-tale.html

Bay Area theater workers weren't getting vaccine appointments, https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/bay-area-theater-workers-werent-getting-vaccine-appointments-one-s-f-actor-decided-to-change-that

D.C. theaters look to future after year of hardships, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/dc-theater-pandemic-shutdown/2021/04/15/d2a28296-9c79-11eb-8005-bffc3a39f6d3_story.html

How Covid Transformed US Theater, https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/nonprofit-theater-covid-wpa/

Making a capitalist case for Broadway, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-case-for-capitalist-broadway-20210422-fr7tpsvohnavxfdfuedynzwkuu-story.html

Second City fires its night staff and looks to outsource, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-second-city-fires-bartenders-20210421-advhckr24zh33nhlouwi4rwnjy-story.html

New York Boosts Funding for Nonprofit Arts Groups, https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-boosts-funding-for-nonprofit-arts-groups-11619096423

New York State 2022 Budget: What it Means for Actors, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/new-york-state-budget-2022-73127/?utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=editorial%2Cindustry-news%2Clink%2CNY%2Cstock-misc%2Ctalent&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Chicago's Arts 77 plan has $60 million for arts recovery, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-arts-relief-funding-chicago-20210420-txvob6vjrzgctnhnilpi6j4an4-story.html

Connecticut Shakespeare theaters plan comedy, smaller summer performances, https://www.courant.com/ctnow/arts-theater/hc-ctnow-summer-shakespeare-2021-shows-20210423-6lnbwna42zgv7jbfuq7frflo5u-story.html

How a Multimedia Whiz Became the Go-To for Virtual Productions, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/theater/jared-mezzocchi-geffen-playhouse.html

Disney Tackling 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' Movie Musical, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-tackling-the-25th-annual-putnam-county-spelling-bee-movie-musical-exclusive

How Helen McCrory Shone, Even in a Haze of Mystery, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/17/theater/helen-mccrory-appraisal.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

'Plastic Bag Store' at CAP UCLA, Elevator Repair Service at REDCAT, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-04-22/redcat-cap-ucla-plastic-bag-store

April 26, 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:


Corbello v Valli

The case about whether the musical "Jersey Boys" infringed on the plaintiff's copyright of Tommy DeVito's biography might be heading to the Supreme Court after the plaintiff filed a certiorari petition. The Ninth Court previously found no infringement, finding that an author who
holds work out as nonfiction cannot later claim that the work was fictional for purposes of copyright protection.


Asian-American Artists, Now Activists, Push Back Against Hate

The rise of racist attacks on Asian-Americans has prompted a number of Asian artists to leverage different art forms and social media to raise awareness of issues impacting their community. The article describes that "today's wave of activism seems less concerned about representation ... than on larger issues like the surveillance of immigrant neighborhoods, income inequality, and criminalization of sex work."


Taylor Swift's Rerecorded 'Fearless' is the Year's Biggest Debut So Far

The album gave Swift the third No. 1 in 9 months and accomplished the goal she had set out to accomplish - bury the original "Fearless" by rerecording and selling songs from her first 6 albums, which were controlled and sold by her original record company.


Grant Program for Live-event Businesses Pushed Back

The Small Business Administration announced that it would reopen the application system on Monday, April 26th after the first attempt was foiled by technical glitches. The $16 billion federal grant program will support music club operators, theater owners, and others in the live-event market.



Looted Antiquities From Afghanistan Are Returned

The Manhattan district attorney's office and Department of Homeland Security handed over 33 objects to the Afghan ambassador at a ceremony in New York. The antiquities were illegally exported or stolen and are valued at $1.8 million. They were seized from a Manhattan art dealer who is currently jailed in India on smuggling and theft charges.


Museums Confront a Legacy of Slavery

Museums are reckoning with their holdings of African-American remains, especially those of enslaved individuals. One of these holdings is the Morton Cranial Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, a collection of 1,300 skulls whose "study" helped establish the discredited "race science". The Smithsonian Institution is said to be debating a statement on its own African-American remains, with repatriation being one of the options.


Allegations Against Biographer Halt Shipping of Philip Roth Book

Allegations against Blake Bailey have caused his publisher, W.W. Norton, to stop shipping and promoting his new best-selling book about Philip Roth. Two women alleged that Bailey sexually assaulted them. There are also questions surrounding his behavior toward middle school students as a teacher in the 1990s. Bailey has also been dropped by his literary agent.


Mike Pence's Publisher Refuses to Cancel Memoir After Staff Protest

Simon & Schuster says that the book deal with Mike Pence will go ahead, despite some of its employees calling for the contract to be cancelled and saying the publisher had "chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Pence."


Pandemic Buoys Older Books, Leaving Newer Authors in Limbo

Book sales over the last year have favored celebrities and best-selling authors, "while new and lesser known writers struggled." Publishers predict that if online shopping continues, readers will continue to gravitate toward the most popular titles or will search by author and subject matter, both of which limit the range of titles that they would have otherwise been exposed to in physical retail.


Staatsballett Berlin and Dancer Reach Settlement Over Bias Allegations

Dance Chloe Lopes Gomes will stay with the company for another season and receive financial compensation of about $19,000. Gomes spoke out after her contract was not renewed, alleging that "she had experienced a number of racially insensitive incidents ... [including] being obliged to whiten her skin" for roles and "being told during rehearsals that any mistakes she made were more noticeable because she was Black."


$400,000 Swindle Puts Spotlight on Literary Phishing

The article describes how organizers of different British literary awards have been targeted by scammers, with one of them transferring prize money to a PayPal account after someone posed as the winner in an email.


Wildfire Ravages Archival Library in Cape Town

Cape Town University's special collections library was most impacted. It housed primary sources documenting South African history as well as first-edition books, films, and photographs.



European Super League Collapses After Premier League Teams Walk Away

Leading English football clubs, joined by Spanish and Italian counterparts, announced that they would be creating a European Soccer League (ESL). The ESL would have been made up of 20 teams, of which there would be 15 founder clubs that could never be relegated to a lower league. Five others would qualify for the ESL every year. The ESL collapsed 48 hours after it was announced, when more than half of its 12 founding clubs announced that they would be backing out, following fan protests. UEFA, the organization in charge of European football, said all 12 teams will face consequences for joining the ESL. UEFA will continue to run the Champions League tournament, under a new format.







JPMorgan Apologizes for Its Role in Super League

The bank said that it misjudged the situation and how fans would react, after pledging billions to finance the breakaway soccer league.


World Players Association Urges Action to Avoid 'Superspreader' Event at Tokyo 2020

The group has released best practice guidelines to protect the health of athletes at the Games and called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to improve conditions.


IOC Upholds Rule 50 Prohibiting Athlete Protests at Olympic Games

Athletes will continue to be banned from staging protests at the Tokyo Games, either from the medals podium or the field of play.


University of North Carolina Creates Group Licensing Program for Former College Athletes

Over 100 student-athlete alumni from the University of North Carolina "have agreed to support to a groundbreaking multi-year agreement with marketing and licensing agency The Brandr Group to create a voluntary group licensing program." The former athletes see this as a vehicle to profit from their marketability. The program will seek "group licensing opportunities in apparel and non-apparel categories".


Texans' Watson Denies Assault Allegations

In his latest filing, quarterback Deshaun Watson called the allegations made by 22 women as "simply not true." The suits were first filed anonymously, but state court judges recently ruled that the women must publicly identify themselves in accordance with Texas law. Watson received the names of his accusers last week and says in the court filing that some plaintiffs are motivated by money, have bragged about
working with him, and have offered to work for him even following the alleged misconduct.


Antonio Brown Settles Lawsuit with Sexual Assault Accuser

The wide receiver has settled a lawsuit brought by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who accused Brown of rape and sexual assault. The National Football League's investigation into the case continues.


Seattle Bar Sues National Hockey League Kraken Over Name Use

Kraken Bar & Lounge has sued Seattle's new hockey team for trademark infringement and tortious interference. It claims that the team's flagship restaurant, the Kraken Bar & Grill, has damaged the bar "by calling into question its ability to maintain its Seattle, punk-rock, dive-bar image among existing patrons," noting in the lawsuit that new patrons started visiting the bar in hockey-themed attire after the team announced the name of the restaurant.


Clash in the Hamptons Over a Proposed Casino

The dispute is between Hamptons residents and the Shinnecock Indian Nation, the latter of which wants to build a casino on its reservations in the Hamptons. Tribal leaders want to move quickly "in an effort to get a jump on competitors seeking state licenses to build other casinos" in or close to New York City. A group of 200 homeowners say that the casino would lead to traffic, noise problems, disturbances, and crime.


Kobe Bryant Estate Is Not Renewing Nike Partnership

The estate has elected not to renew the endorsement extension and future releases of branded footwear and apparel made by Nike will likely be halted. It is being reported that the Bryant family will launch its own brand of merchandise using Kobe's name, image, and likeness and has already filed for trademarks for logos and terms associated with Bryant.


Simone Biles Swaps Sponsors

The gymnast has left Nike for Athleta, a division of Gap, noting alignment with the latter company's values. Athleta will sponsor a post-Olympic exhibition tour for Biles.



Supreme Court Justices Express Dim View of News Media

A new study on the Supreme Court's characterization of the press tracks every reference the Court has made to the news media since 1784 and finds "a marked and previously undocumented uptick in negative depictions of the press."


Federal Trade Commission Nominee Warns of Big Tech's Growing Power

During her confirmation hearing this week, Lina Khan focused on the potential risks of tech companies dominating not just their sector but also adjacent markets, signaling a tough-on-tech stance for the nominee to the Federal Trade Commission.


Global Tipping Point for Reining in Big Tech

The article describes how a record number of countries are moving simultaneously to limit the power of the tech industry.


Seven House Republicans Pledge to Take No Donations from Big Tech

The announcement was a "sign of the growing distance between some conservatives and big business," with the lawmakers saying that "the companies had limited the reach of conservative voices" and "abused their market power."


California Court Denies Facebook's Motion to Dismiss in Copyright Case

Planner 5D filed suit against Facebook after the Copyright Office rejected its application to register its alleged work. Planner 5D then requested reconsideration from the Copyright Office. Facebook argued that the infringement action was premature until the Copyright Office rendered a final decision, and moved to dismiss on that basis. The court found that the Copyright Act is silent about whether finality is required before maintaining an infringement action, and ruled that Planner 5D had met the prerequisites to proceed with its infringement claim.


Social Media Post Urging Violence Against Senators Could Put Man in Prison

The article focuses on Brendan Hunt's upcoming trial. Hunt did not participate in the January 6th Capitol riot, but he did post an 88-second online video titled "Kill your senators" 2 days after the riot. At issue in the federal trial is whether the post crossed the line from free speech into illegal threats.


App 'Parler' To Return to iPhones After App Makes Changes

Apple announced it that had approved Parler's return to iPhones after the app "agreed to more aggressively police content on the network." The original concerns stemmed from communications exchanged around the time of the Capitol riot.


Village Voice Back on the Newsstand

It is the first print issue since August 2017, when the paper was made digital-only. The paper will be published quarterly for now. The issue includes an article on New York's mayoral race and another "revives the paper's tradition of shaming landlords."


Europe Proposes Strict Rules for Artificial Intelligence

The European Union released draft regulations to govern the use of artificial intelligence, including in high-risk areas, like law enforcement and court systems, where companies would have to provide risk assessments and guarantee human oversight. "Live facial recognition in public spaces" would be banned. Non-compliant companies could face fines of up to 6% of global sales.


Guilty Verdict for Hong Kong Journalist

The article describes a "frontal assault" on the media as China stifles dissent in the city. The latest example is the conviction of producer Choy Yuk-ling, who works for a public broadcaster known for its investigative reporting.


General News

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of Murdering George Floyd

The jury deliberated for 10 hours before returning a verdict of guilty on all 3 counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Under Minnesota's sentencing guidelines, the presumptive sentence for second-degree murder is 12.5 years.


Supreme Court Rejects Limits on Life Sentences for Juvenile Offenders

In a 6-3 decision, the Court said that a sentence of life without parole is available to judges without a determination that the juvenile offender has no prospect of rehabilitation. The decision signaled "the end of a trend that had limited the availability of severe punishments for youths," including the juvenile death penalty and mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.


Supreme Court Signals its Support for Limiting Green Cards

At issue is whether immigrants who entered the country unlawfully and were allowed to stay temporarily for humanitarian reasons can apply for green cards. Individuals who were eligible to stay did so under the "temporary protected status" program. At least one federal appellate court has found that these individuals are not eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency because immigrant law requires applicants to have been "inspected and admitted" into the U.S.


American Civil Liberties Union Asks Supreme Court to Let It Seek Secret Surveillance Court Records

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rejected the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU's) claim that it has a "First Amendment right of access to petition for disclosures of rulings affecting Americans' privacy rights." The ACLU is now petitioning the Supreme Court to review whether the public has a right to access the court's decisions, which rule on the legality of government surveillance. The federal court was created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which imposed a warrant requirement for wiretapping on American soil in certain investigations. Since arguments before the court tend to disclose secret evidence in counterintelligence or terrorism investigations, it has operated in private.


Republican Bills Sharpen Penalties for Protesters in Flurry of Bills

Republican-led states are introducing punitive measures governing protests. Two states have already granted "immunity to drivers whose vehicles strike and injure protesters in public streets." Another proposal is to bar anyone who has been convicted of unlawful assembly from state employment. A similar bill prohibits those convicted from accessing hosting assistance, unemployment benefits or student loans.


Attorney General Garland Leads Commemoration of Oklahoma City Bombing

Garland vowed to combat domestic extremism at the commemoration. This came after an intelligence report warned Congress that extremist groups pose a rising threat.


House Approves Statehood for District of Columbia

Despite the vote, Republican opposition is expected to stall the measure in the Senate. The legislation is part of a long-held goal, by the Democrats, to establish a 51st state in an effort to expand voting rights. The new state would be called "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth."


Senate Passes Bill to Target Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

The measure, supported by a bipartisan vote, "will establish a position at the Justice Department to expedite the agency's review of hate crimes and expand the channels to report them." The funding will support hotlines, officer training to identify hate crimes, and public education campaigns.


Inside Biden's Reversal on Refugees

The Biden administration is being criticized for failing to reverse some Trump-era restrictions on immigration. As an example, although the administration had said it would increase refugee admissions to 62,500 people over the next 6 months, it was announced this week that it would keep the existing 15,000 refugee limit.


Biden Commits to Cut Emissions

Biden committed to cutting emissions by half by the end of the decade, with the administration announcing that climate change was at the center of U.S. foreign policy.


NASA's Mars Helicopter Completes Second Flight

Ingenuity will now begin its main mission "of searching for signs of past life in a dried-up river delta along the rim of the crater."


SpaceX Crew Docks at the International Space Station

The 4 astronauts will stay at the space station for 6 months. This is first private sector entity to safely transport people to space.


U.S. Readies Small-Business Grants as Paycheck Protection Program Nears End

As the Paycheck Protection Program winds down, the government will start taking applications for small-business grants, beginning with 2 new industry-specific relief programs - one for venue operators and the other for the restaurant industry.


Justice Department Launches Investigation into Minneapolis Policing

Attorney General Garland announced that the Justice Department will launch a broad inquiry into the Minneapolis Police Department, signaling stricter federal oversight of local forces. The investigation will look into whether Minneapolis police "routinely use excessive force or treat minorities unfairly," and will also "scrutinize police training and accountability practices."


New Police Reform Laws Seize on Calls for Change

Calls for change continue even as states have passed over 140 police oversight bills since the killing of George Floyd. The article describes the various measures, including a law mandating that police wear body cameras (Illinois) and a law that makes it easier for citizens to sue officers (New York).

On the federal front, President Biden is pressing Congress to advance the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The bill was passed by the House in March but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Provisions in the bill would end qualified immunity, which protects officers from most civil suits; ban certain police techniques and made federal funding contingent on local and state police agencies outlawing them too; create a national misconduct registry for police; and enhance "pattern and practice" investigations by giving the Justice Department subpoena power.



State Department Authorizes U.S. Embassies to Fly Pride Flag

The decision reverses the Trump administration's position. Secretary Blinken noted it was not a requirement and chiefs of missions can decide if the "display is appropriate in light of local conditions."


Afghanistan Pullout Gives Guantanamo Detainees Hope for Release

If the legal basis for indefinite detention is to prevent combatants from returning to the battlefield, and that battlefield no longer exists, can prisoners make a case for their release? This is the premise of the article, which explores the implications of President Biden's recent announcement that the U.S. will withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by September 2021.


Cuomo Faces Inquiry Over Use of State Resources for Pandemic Book

The state attorney general is investigating Governor Cuomo's use of state resources to write and promote the book. The inquiry began after
staff members disclosed that they were assigned various tasks, including editing early drafts and printing and delivering manuscript pages. Cuomo says that any work done by government employees was voluntary and incidental.


Prostitution Will No Longer Be Prosecuted in Manhattan

The Manhattan district attorney's office announced that it will no longer prosecute arrests for prostitution or unlicensed massage. The office also dismissed more than 900 open cases for those offences under the new policy. The practice going forward will be to offer services to individuals arrested for prostitution. The office clarified that it will continue prosecuting crimes related to prostitution, "including patronizing sex workers, promoting prostitution and sex trafficking."


President of Chad Killed in Clashes with Rebels

Idriss Deby, Chad's ruler for 3 decades, had just been elected to his sixth term in office. A spokesman said thqt he died from injuries sustained while fighting rebels. He enjoyed support by Western nations "because his military forces were seen as key to battling Islamist extremism" in the region.


Coronavirus Update

Federal Inspectors Fear Factory Ruined More Vaccines

A new report says that more Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses may have been compromised at Emergent's factory in Baltimore.


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Cleared for Use Again

The vaccine will come with a warning label about the risk of a rare blood-clotting disorder among young women.


Reconfiguring New York's Courts to Meet Health Concerns

New York has spent $1 million to reconfigure 11 courtrooms in order to allow jury trials to resume. As an example, it has done away with the jury box, seating jurors spaced out on an elevated platform instead. All courtrooms are stocked with sanitizer, gloves, and masks (as court rules statewide require masking). In Manhattan federal court, it was decided that witnesses would remove their masks while testifying but could still wear clear face shields while testifying from Plexiglass booths with a HEPA filter. Judges have also selected several alternates who can potentially replace jurors who test positive for COVID-19.


Travel From the U.S. to the E.U.

By Michael Cataliotti

For more than a year, Americans have been ostracized globally: We have been prohibited from traveling into the European Union, among others. With a competent and seemingly effective vaccine rollout, we may soon be welcomed back as international travelers.

From Matina Stevis-Gridneff at The New York Times: "American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit the European Union over the summer, the head of the bloc's executive body said in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday, more than a year after shutting down nonessential travel from most countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus."

According to the president of the European Commission, "All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.", or in our specific instance, the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

As is always the case, the details are most important here, and so, be mindful of the fact that we don't know when this policy change may go into effect, and as The New York Times stated, "individual [EU] member states may reserve the right to keep stricter limits. They might not permit citizens from outside the bloc to visit or might enforce restrictions like quarantines, even on visitors who have vaccination certificates."

More to come!


April 30, 2021

Theater News for the Week of April 30th

By Bennett Liebman

Sinking Scott Rudin Holds on to Little Island as Barry Diller Defends Him https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/4/26/22404610/scott-rudin-defended-by-barry-diller-on-little-island

As reports of Scott Rudin's workplace abuses pile up, the producer steps back from big-name projects, https://www.salon.com/2021/04/26/scott-rudin-workplace-abuse-allegations-broadway/

Ramifications Of Scott Rudin Broadway Resignation Could Be Immense, rudin-broadway-league-confirm-resignation-ramifications-theater-landscape-immense-1234742961/

Rita Wilson Says Scott Rudin Made Her Feel "Worthless, Unvaluable", https://deadline.com/2021/04/rita-wilson-scott-rudin-made-her-feel-worthless-unvaluable-replaceable-1234743069/

Broadway Takes a Back Seat as NYC Prepares to Reopen by July, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/04/broadway-takes-a-back-seat-as-nyc-prepares-to-reopen-by-july

Broadway League optimistic for September reopening of Broadway, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/04/29/broadway-league-optimistic-for-september-reopening-of-broadway/

Broadway poised to announce September return, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/arts/2021/04/29/broadway-return?cid=id-app15_m-share_s-web_cmp-app_launch_august2020_c-producer_posts_po-organic

'We're Not Going Back': Inside Broadway's Racial Reckoning, https://www.forbes.com/sites/leeseymour/2021/04/28/were-not-going-back-inside-broadways-racial-reckoning/?sh=5676de4fa60c

When will Chicago live theater start again?, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-friday-col-0430-20210428-h5onark63bblroksvfb4gzor7a-story.html

Broadway Producers Unite to Launch Fellowship Program for Black Leadership in the Industry, https://www.broadway.com/buzz/200704/broadway-producers-unite-to-launch-fellowship-program-for-black-leadership-in-the-industry/

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program receives 17,000 applications in 24 hours, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/04/27/shuttered-venue-operators-grant-program-receives-17000-application-in-24-hours/

RSC appoints first woman and person of colour as chair, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/apr/28/rsc-appoints-first-woman-and-person-of-colour-as-chair-shriti-vadera

Why Making Digital Theater Is Like Shooting 'Star Wars', https://variety.com/2021/legit/podcasts/zoom-theater-digital-plays-baltimore-waltz-1234960969/

Can 'The King and I' Be Decolonized?, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/04/26/can-the-king-and-i-be-decolonized/

Actors' Equity Convention ends with walkout by BIPOC delegates, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/2021/4/29/actors-equity-convention-end-with-walkout-by-bipoc-delegates-after-failure-to-address-white-supremacy-culture

Sondheim Musical, in Development for Years, Looks Unlikely, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/27/theater/sondheim-bunuel-ives.html

Big win for immigrant performers as Actors' Equity removes green card restrictions, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/actors-equity-removes-green-card-or-us-citizen-restrictions-on-membership

Florence Welch to Score New Broadway-Bound 'Great Gatsby' Musical, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/florence-welch-to-score-broadway-bound-great-gatsby-musical

What a Business Needs to Know about the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8e70c585-970e-4e12-b476-f132c123830f

What We Learned During the Great Intermission of 2020, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/04/27/what-we-learned-during-the-great-intermission-of-2020/

Chicago Concert And Performance Venues, Many On The Brink, Hope Federal Relief Money Is a Lifeline, https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2021/04/26/chicago-concert-performance-venues-pandemic-federal-relief-money/

Theatre newcomers get their chance to shine as London's West End reopens, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/apr/25/theatre-newcomers-get-their-chance-to-shine-as-londons-west-end-reopens

Sports News for the Week Ending April 30th

By Bennett Liebman

NCAA Legal Chief Remy Prepares to Depart as Legal Bills Rise, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/ncaa-legal-chief-remy-prepares-to-depart-as-legal-bills-rise

Fla. Pushes Back Name, Image Law Date In Anti-Trans Bill, https://www.law360.com/florida/articles/1380090/fla-pushes-back-name-image-law-date-in-anti-trans-bill

Pending delay in Florida NIL law enrages state coaches and athletes, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/04/29/florida-nil-law-delay/

NIL Legal Challenges Await College Sports, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/nil-legal-challenges-1234628197/

US Supreme Court Poised to Revolutionize College Athletics, https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2021/04/29/us-supreme-court-poised-to-revolutionize-college-athletics/?slreturn=20210330132839

No big backlash for states passing anti-transgender laws, https://universe.byu.edu/2021/04/29/no-big-backlash-for-states-passing-anti-transgender-laws/

Dubai's Ruler Is Entangled in a Kentucky Derby Controversy, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/sports/horse-racing/kentucky-derby-sheikh-mohammed-dubai.html?smid=tw-share

Rob Manfred's $8 Billion MLB Expansion Catch-22, https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2021/04/29/rob-manfreds-8-billion-mlb-expansion-catch-22/?sh=6ac3d25b39ed

New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft On NFL's New Media Deals, Nhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2021/04/29/patriots-owner-robert-kraft-on-nfls-new-media-deals/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_content=4771438965&utm_campaign=sprinklrSportsMoneyTwitter&sh=58a403762d38

New Trier grad sentenced to more than 2 years in prison, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/criminal-justice/ct-new-trier-grad-las-vegas-gambler-fraud-sentencing-20210429-tg4wuwjzpvhb5fxqk3ofo7mihy-story.html

U.S. Supreme Court Cheerleader Free Speech Case NCAA Athlete Impact, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/us-supreme-court-cheerleader-free-speech-1234628365/

College Sports Teams Cut by Administrators over Culture, Not Budgets, https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/04/when-the-faculty-lounge-goes-after-college-sports/

Endeavor Goes Public as Fertittas, Larry Ellison Among IPO Investors, https://www.sportico.com/business/finance/2021/endeavor-goes-public-fertittas-larry-ellison-1234628479/

Rapinoe, Bird and Female Stars Come Together in Limited NFT Collection, https://www.sportico.com/business/commerce/2021/uswnt-wnba-olympic-athletes-nft-collection-1234627493/

Hashimoto acknowledges Tokyo 2020 could take place behind closed doors, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1107240/tokyo-2020-possible-behind-closed-doors

Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics may take place without spectators, organiser concedes, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/people/article/3131809/coronavirus-tokyo-2020-olympics-may-take-place-without-spectators

New legislation to make referee harassment Class A misdemeanor, https://wqow.com/2021/04/28/new-legislation-to-make-referee-harassment-class-a-misdemeanor/

Testing to take centre stage at COVID Games as ITA face challenges, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1107227/ita-facing-covid-challenges-tokyo-2020

An Overview Of The IOC's Anti-Doping Rules For The Tokyo Olympics, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/an-overview-of-the-ioc-s-anti-doping-rules-for-the-tokyo-olympics

New Zealand Rugby Approves Silver Lake's $281 Million, Players Unsure, https://www.sportico.com/business/finance/2021/all-blacks-silver-lake-1234628514/

Thierry Henry says English football's social media boycott was what he wanted, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-9508153/Thierry-Henry-says-English-footballs-social-media-boycott-wanted-quit-himself.html

The ban on Olympic protests only empowers the protesters, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/04/25/ioc-rule-50-olympics/

Article 50: Why IOC chose to continue the ban on protests on field, podiums, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/article-50-why-ioc-chose-to-continue-ban-on-protests-on-field-podiums-7291778/

About April 2021

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

March 2021 is the previous archive.

May 2021 is the next archive.

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