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May 3, 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:


How to Prove Co-Ownership of a Song Derived From a Prior One?

According to the Court in Jefferson v. Raisen et al., one must prove control and intent and who has "exclusive or near-exclusive control" of the original work to claim co-ownership. As for intent, the Court stated the "author must intend to contribute to a joint work at the time ... the alleged contribution is made." This case concerns Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" and her second motion to dismiss was granted.


How COVID affected Television

COVID led to movies being released via streaming services. TV shows were cancelled or delayed. The lesson? Flexibility and moving forward, new safety protocols.


A Different Oscar Event

This year's Oscars were much different than the usual celebratory event and more diverse. The venue was different and smaller. The awards were the same but in different order. The speeches were longer. The best actor award was the biggest surprise.


Transparency Welcomed at the Grammy Awards

Organizers of the Grammys announced that there will no longer be a secret committee for nominations. The Academy is switching to a peer-to-peer vote system allowing the entire voting membership voting rights.


China Sensors Oscars as Chloe Zhao Wins Oscar for Best Movie

Although Zhao was born in China, sensors chose to block celebratory posts on social media.



The Extent of Fair Use

The Andy Warhol Foundation filed a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc with the Second Circuit in The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc, v. Lynn Goldsmith and Lynn Goldsmith, LTD.. The Second Circuit previously found for Lynn Goldsmith, stating that Warhol's use of her photograph of the artist Prince was not a fair use.


Fair Use of Copyrighted Architectural Designs

The Seventh Circuit discussed the fair use concept applicable to copyrighted architectural designs. In particular, it addressed the limitations of design and functionality of homes and rejected claims from what it called a "copyright troll".


Publisher WW Norton Permanently Puts Roth Biography Out of Print

Philip Roth is facing several allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior as an eighth grade teacher. Although the book it is a bestselling biography written by Blake Bailey, the author, Bailey can publish elsewhere.


Broadway Opening Soon!

Below is the link to where Broadway shows post opening dates and ticket purchasing. Enjoy!


Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT) Award Winner Scott Rudin Steps Back

Rudin has been described as having "rude, offensive or outrageous behavior...." He is also described as volatile, vengeful, and abusive. Members of the industry held a march to protest peacefully against such behavior.


COVID's Effects on India's Fashion Industry

Given the bleak situation in India with COVID, the fashion industry sector that caters to designers is suffering economically. Factories are shut, hurting the global luxury supply chain as well, and since the pandemic began, those who make the clothes in such factories often are not paid back pay, regular wages or any benefits.



Mark Emmert's Contract as President of NCAA Extended Until the End of 2025

Regardless of the several recent issues with the NCAA, especially dealing with gender equality problems, the board of members surprisingly extended Emmert's contract.


Is it Safe to Hold the Tokyo Olympics?

The International Olympis Committee (IOC) claims that the Tokyo Olympics can be held safely, pointing to other big sporting events as proof. However, the Olympic Games are a much bigger and wider event than any event used by the IOC to support its claim. In addition, the IOC stated that it will not require vaccinations to participate, raising concerns.


Running Blades Rejected by World Athletics

U.S. Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, who is a double amputee, filed an application to be able to run using particular running prostheses at the Olympics. Leeper's application was denied.


The Golden State Warriors Launched a New Non-Fungible Token

The Golden State Warriors are the first National Basketball Asssociation (NBA) team to launch its own non-fungible token (NFT). NFTs are popular with NBA fans who are collectors.


Braves Announced Full Capacity at Truist Park

Beginning on May 7th, the Braves plan to be at full capacity due to the vaccines being extensively available. The Braves will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies that day.


English Soccer Boycotts Social Media

Due to online growing abusive and harassing racists comments, teams will protest by not posting all weekend.



Facebook v. Apple on Privacy

Apparently, Facebook is not happy about the new privacy settings offered by Apple. The latest version of IOS gives the consumer greater privacy rights, including declining tracking.


Incorrect Story Leads to Reporter Resignation

New York Post reporter Laura Italiano, who incorrectly wrote a story about Kamala Harris' book being distributed to migrant children, resigned. Italiano claims that she was "ordered" to write the story.


Apple v. Spotify in the European Union

Spotify complained about Apple's app store rules on developers and the European Union filed antitrust charges against Apple.


TikTok Used by domestic Workers in the Gulf region

Posts about abuse, isolation, and dire working conditions lead domestic workers to use TikTok as their platform to share their experiences.


Critical Posts Ordered Deleted by India

As the COVID situation has worsened in India, people posted criticism as to how the virus outbreak is being handled by the government.


General News

Biden's First Speech to Congress Covers Ambitious Programs

Among the many ambitious programs touched by the speech, Biden discussed potentially the biggest one of all, infrastructure. The plan is being presented as moving the country forward by producing new jobs in the green industry and others.


The Letter "a" Formed a Noteworthy Alliance Among SCOTUS Justices

Three conservative Justices joined the three liberal Justices in a 6-3 decision regarding the details required in "a notice to appear" for deportation proceedings. According to the ruling, "a" equals to a single notice, which must contain all required information.


SCOTUS Heard Arguments on Students' Free Speech Rights

A cheerleader in Pennsylvania posted on SnapChat how she felt about not making the varsity cheer squad. A primary factor in the discussion is that she posted after school and off school grounds.


Latest Biden Judiciary Picks

President Biden introduced a diverse group that was vetted by the Senate.


2020 Census and Lawsuits

Per legal requirements, the data should have been released by December 31, 2020. However, it was instead released on Monday, April 26th. Lawsuits have been filed in several states and more are expected, particularly from states that lost seats.


Military Law is Being Updated

Sexual harassment, sexual assault and other crimes investigations will be triggered by reporting such crimes to a third party outside in the chain of command, per the bill introduced in the House.


Congress Likely to Give IRS Funding Increase

Proposed bills would increase funding for the IRS for IT upgrades, training, and performing more audits for tax evasion.


Methane Rules are Back

The Senate reversed the methane emissions rules rollback from the last administration. The vote was 52-42.


Migrant Children are Moved to Shelters

Apparently, there is an 80% drop of migrant children being held at Customs and Border Patrol facilities at the border.


Leaders in the GOP Protest Against the Biden Administration's Anti-Racist Education Push

Mitch McConnell leads the outcry against Biden's priority for anti-racist eduction. The GOP calls such education "biased and divisive."


Federal Hate Crime Charges for Three Men who Killed a Black Jogger in Georgia

Ahmaud Arbery was allegedly shot and killed by three white men who pleaded not guilty to murder charges. The three defendants also pleaded not guilty in state court.


Another Week and Another GOP State Attempts to Suppress Voting Rights

Florida, which is a heavily Republican state, is the latest state to suppress voter rights. The main points of the proposed law are 1) no more automatic vote by mail ballots, forcing voters to request them before every election, 2) no more drop boxes, and 3) only voters or "immediate" family can collect and deliver ballots.


More Sexual Assault Claims in NY Politics

A former intern to Scott Stringer claims that he sexually assaulted and groped her. Such allegations lead to the the Working Families Party rescinding support for Stringer's race for mayor.


Guilty for Making Death Threats Against Democratic Elected Officials

A NY man, who posted videos online after the January 6th insurrection, was found guilty for making such threats. This is one more out of many cases following the attack on the Capitol.


Giuliani's Home and Office Raided by the FBI

As part of the criminal investigation regarding Giuliani's affairs with Ukraine, several electronics, including phones, were seized.


NASA Mars Helicopter Successful

As the helicopter had four successful flights, it receives a new mission. It will focus on different targets not accessible by rovers.


Kremlin Shuts Down Navalny Network

The Navalny network is comprised of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, Navalny headquarters with regional offices, and another group called the Citizen's Rights Protection Organization. Apparently, such organizations are considered a "threat to Russia's constitutional order."


Navalny's Lawyer Arrested in Russia

Ivan Pavlov, who represents Navalny and is a top human rights attorney in Russia, was arrested.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Updates Mask Wearing Protocol

Fully inoculated people do not need to wear masks outside except in crowded places. Further, fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine any more.


Should the USA Send Vaccines Abroad?

Apparently the administration's COVID team seems to be split over whether the USA is in a position to send vaccines abroad and if so, to which ones and how many doses.


May 7, 2021

Theater News for the Week of May 7th

By Bennett Liebman

Howard Panter on Theaters. Broadway Reopening After COVID, https://variety.com/2021/legit/news/howard-panter-theater-broadway-post-covid-1234966246/

Sexual harassment allegations pile up at Hollywood agency ICM, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/top-hollywood-talent-agency-accused-of-tolerating-sexual-harassment-misconduct/ar-BB1go932?ocid=BingNewsSearch

ICM Partners Los Angeles Times Exposé Toxic Male Culture Fallout, https://deadline.com/2021/05/icm-partners-los-angeles-times-expose-devastating-allegations-toxic-male-culture-fallout-1234750148/

Broadway Performances Will Return This September, https://www.vulture.com/2021/05/broadway-performances-will-return-this-september.html

'The Phantom of the Opera' star on Broadway's return, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/arts/2021/05/07/-the-phantom-of-the-opera--star-on-broadway-s-return

COVID NYC Update: Broadway shows start announcing their return dates for post-COVID fall reopening, https://abc7ny.com/broadway-new-york-city-entertainment-theater-capacity-returns/10588593/

How Theater Can Help Us Survive, https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/theater-oscar-castro/

Online or In-Person? Soon, British Theatergoers Can Decide, Online or In-Person? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/06/theater/live-theater-returns-britain.html

Young Vic to livestream all future productions, says artistic director, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/06/young-vic-to-livestream-all-future-productions-says-artistic-director

Broadway to light up again in September when shows are set to return, https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/broadway-light-up-again-september-when-shows-set-return-2021-05-05/

Broadway Is Reopening. But Not Until September, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/theater/broadway-reopening-new-york.html

D.C. theaters are beginning to open their doors and stages again, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/dc-theater-covid-reopening-blindness-aunt-julia/2021/05/04/14b1a8a8-ac18-11eb-b476-c3b287e52a01_story.html

Live theater is making a comeback, to the delight of actors and audiences, https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/long-island-theater-returns-1.50230101

Times Square Restaurants Buoyed by News of Broadway Reopening Plans, https://ny.eater.com/2021/5/6/22420863/times-square-restaurants-recovery-broadway-reopening

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gives Broadway Go-Ahead To Reopen In May, https://deadline.com/2021/05/broadway-reopening-andrew-cuomo-restrictions-lifted-may-19-1234748780/

Shea's plans full house in September; ticket sales "going crazy", president says, https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/sheas-plans-full-house-in-september-ticket-sales-going-crazy-president-says/

Six' will resume Broadway performances on Sept. 17, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/06/six-will-resume-broadway-performances-on-sept-17/

Broadway Reopening September 14, 2021: Truth, Tease or Torture?, https://newyorktheater.me/2021/05/06/broadway-reopening-september-14-2021-truth-tease-or-torture/

These Four Stage Directors Know Just What Needs to Change, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/theater/theater-directors-change.html

Lockport's Palace Theater back open after renovation project, https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/buffalo/community/2021/05/02/lockport-s-historic-palace-theater-back-open-after-renovation-project

Actors Fund surveys theater, entertainment workers on impact of pandemic, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/07/actors-fund-surveys-theater-entertainment-workers-on-impact-of-pandemic/

Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Acclaimed 'Pass Over' Heading To Broadway, https://deadline.com/2021/05/pass-over-broadway-play-antoinette-chinonye-nwandus-spike-lee-film-adaptation-1234749553/

NYC Plans $25 Million Program to Put Artists Back to Work, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/06/nyregion/new-york-city-arts-pay.html

Sports News for the Week for May 7th

By Bennett Liebman

NCAA faces key decisions on postseason sites as transgender laws multiply:, https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-ncaa-transgender-laws-postseason-sites-20210506-4xpnkrrcsrgprf6eibjsq6ozp4-story.html

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs college athlete name, image, likeness bill into law, https://sports.yahoo.com/georgia-gov-brian-kemp-signs-185657156.html

Sports Unions Come Together to Fight for the PRO Act, https://www.thenation.com/article/society/pro-act-sport/

Laws banning transgender student athletes splinter GOP, https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/05/05/laws-banning-transgender-student-athletes-splinter-gop-1380532

15-year-old soccer player sues NWSL over age restrictions, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2021/05/06/olivia-moultrie-15-year-old-sues-nwsl-age-restrictions/4972775001/

U of Iowa Football Players Racial Discrimination Suit, https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.iasd.74395/gov.uscourts.iasd.74395.31.0.pdf

TEEN SOCCER STAR SUES OVER AGE LIMIT AS NWSL EYES CLARETT RULING, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/olivia-moultrie-lawsuit-1234629110/

PGA Tour acknowledges that it keeps more than 90% of revenue in joint TV deals with LPGA, https://theathletic.com/2570326/2021/05/06/pga-tour-acknowledges-that-in-joint-tv-deals-with-lpga-it-keeps-more-than-90-of-revenue/

Amazon Prime Video, NFL Thursday Night Football deal set for 2022, https://theathletic.com/news/amazon-prime-video-nfl-thursday-night-football-deal-set-for-2022/as3HT3agsvV9

OpEd: Post-Pandemic Opportunities for Anti-Doping Movement to Embrace New Strategies, http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__103360/Title__OpEd-Post-Pandemic-Opportunities-for-Anti-Doping-Movement-to-Embrace-New-Strategies/292/Articles

Calls to Cancel Tokyo Olympics Grow Louder as Emergency Extended, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-07/calls-to-cancel-tokyo-olympics-grow-louder-as-emergency-extended

Petition to cancel Tokyo 2020 receives 200,000 signatures online, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1107483/tokyo-2020-bach-visit-in-may-difficult

Japan extends Covid emergency in Tokyo as Olympics loom, http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__103360/Title__OpEd-Post-Pandemic-Opportunities-for-Anti-Doping-Movement-to-Embrace-New-Strategies/292/Articles

Athletes Are Banned From Wearing Black Lives Matter Clothing At Tokyo Olympic Games, https://www.sportbible.com/australia/news-athletes-banned-from-wearing-black-lives-matter-clothing-at-olympics-20210505

Rebranding for William Hill Sportsbook Following Acquisition by Caesars, https://www.lineups.com/betting/rebranding-for-william-hill-sportsbook-following-acquisition-by-caesars/

NBA Avoids Congressional Lobbying for Sixth Straight Year, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/basketball/2021/nba-avoids-congressional-lobbying-1234629039/

Online Gambling Sites Pump $153.6 Million Into Local TV, https://www.sportico.com/business/media/2021/draftkings-fanduel-pump-millions-into-spot-tv-1234629190/

Did Zion Williamson's family receive payments from Adidas?, https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/duke/article251167494.html

Football Helmet Shock Absorber Company's Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/football-helmet-guard-1234628769/

Mark Emmert, Donald Remy Required to Testify in CTE Case, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/mark-emmert-donald-remy-1234629004/

May 10, 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:


Michael Jackson's Estate Wins Relief in Tax Case

A U.S. tax court has handed a major victory to the estate of Michael Jackson in a years-long battle, finding that the IRS wildly inflated the value at the time of his death of Jackson's assets and image, leading to an estate tax bill for his heirs that was far too high. Jackson's assets at the time of his death in June 2009 were worth $111 million, well below the $482 million estimated by the IRS, Judge Mark Holmes ruled in a 271-page opinion. The tax court estimated that the value of the assets was reduced by the fact that the late pop singer had passed away at the peak of his popularity, was heavily indebted, and had a damaged reputation due to allegations of child molestation. The ruling is a win for the controversial singer's family and brings to an end years of debate over the estate's worth after the IRS audited its returns in 2013, leading to a $700-million tax bill. The IRS had estimated that the estate had underestimated its taxes by more than $500 million and penalized it by adding nearly $200 million more.


Musicians Speak Up for Creative Equity

Services like Spotify and Apple Music pulled the business back from the brink, but artists say that they still can't make a living. The heart of the musicians' critique is how payouts are distributed. A new advocacy group, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, is demanding higher payouts. In Britain, more than 150 artists (including Paul McCartney and Sting) signed a letter asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson for reforms. The terms of record companies' contracts with artists, like royalty rates and ownership of recordings, are coming under greater scrutiny. Even streaming's fundamental accounting rules have been getting a fresh look.



Broadway, Baby? Curtains Go Up in September, and the Box Office Opens Soon

Live Broadway shows will return to the stage starting on September 14th after an 18-month hiatus to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Tickets will go on sale beginning on Thursday and theaters will be allowed to fill 100% capacity. Broadway theaters are among New York's biggest tourist attractions. Live theater is one of the last sectors to come back after the pandemic because of the challenges of social distancing for actors on stage, crews backstage, and audiences in cramped seating in old buildings.


Despite Outcry, University of Texas Keeps a Song With Minstrel Roots

Many students want "The Eyes of Texas" to go. Wealthy alumni insist that it should stay. The dispute has become a flash point as universities struggle to deal with traditions spawned in earlier eras. For generations, the fight song at the University of Texas at Austin has been etched into the state's very fabric. However, since last summer, the anthem, which was first performed in 1903 at a minstrel show by white students who were likely in blackface, has divided the Longhorn community, pitting adiminstrators and wealthy donors against students and faculty who want the university to abolish it and write a new alma mater. After administrators doubled down on the position that it would remain a central feature of university life, tensions escalated, with student campus tour guides going on strike, pleas from Black legislators to drop use of the song, and threats by wealthy alumni to cut off donations.



Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Signs College Athlete Name, Image, Likeness Bill Into Law

The name, image, and likeness bill passed by Georgia General Assembly will allow athletes to start cashing in on their personas. The law takes effect on July 1st. The new law allows college athletes in the state to be paid for endorsements, autographs, personal appearances, and social media posts. The state law could be superseded by federal legislation that still could be passed before July or it could be challenged in court by the NCAA, which -- absent a federal law -- could approve a package of related rules changes similar to one that had been scheduled for a vote in January but was tabled. In that scenario, the strength of the NCAA's legal position could be affected by the Supreme Court decision expected later this month or in June in the Alston anti-trust case.


As States Act, NCAA Chief Budges on Pay

Florida and 4 other states are poised to allow players to make endorsement deals starting this summer, and with universities in other states anxious about losing recruits, the NCAA is moving anew toward extending similar rights to college athletes across the country. NCAA's president Mark Emmert said in an interview that he would recommend that college sports' governing bodies approve new rules "before, or as close to, July 1," when the new laws are scheduled to go into effect in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Mexico. The changes together promise to reshape a multibillion-dollar industry and to test the NCAA's generations-long assertion that student-athletes should be amateurs who play mainly for scholarships and that college sports appeal to fans partly because the players are not professionals. Under a proposal that has been before NCAA members for months, student-athletes could be paid in exchange for use of their names, images, and likeness by many private companies. The plan, which could take effect by August 1st, would also let players earn money through advertisements on their social media accounts.


Federal Judge Bats Down Football Helmet Conspiracy Antitrust Lawsuit

A new ruling by a federal judge upholds the ability of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) to influence the sale of helmets and related products. Judge Drain of Michigan's Eastern Federal District Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by Mayfield Athletics, seller of a football helmet shock absorber called SAFE Clip. Mayfield contends that NOCSAE has unlawfully conspired with a handful of football helmet manufacturers -- including Riddell, Schutt Sports, Xenith, and other named co-defendants -- to control nearly 100% of the market for football helmets and add-ons. Although NOCSAE is not a government entity and no product "must" bear NOCSAE-certification for retail, most football regulatory bodies -- including youth leagues, the NCAA, and National Football League (NFL) -- require that helmets satisfy NOCSAE standards. Mayfield's specific grievance concerns how NOCSAE addresses add-on products to already certified helmets. As Mayfield sees it, NOCSAE and helmet manufacturers are violating the Sherman Antitrust Act and other laws by conspiring to interfere with SAFE Clip sales.


Court Denies University of Iowa Motion to Dismiss $20 Million Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Its Football Program

The University of Iowa's motion to dismiss a $20 million racial discrimination lawsuit brought forth by 8 Black former football players has been denied. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled that the lawsuit will proceed and that the plaintiffs, a group that includes all-time Hawkeye greats Akrum Wadley and Kevonte Mar-tin-Manley, will have the opportunity to argue in court the the Iowa football program was "a racially hostile environment". The court also approved some of Iowa's requests to dismiss certain counts.


15-Year-Old Soccer Player Sues National Women's Soccer League Over Age Restrictions

Fifteen-year-old soccer prodigy Olivia Moultrie is suing the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) over its refusal to allow her to play because of her age. The NWSL requires all players to be at least 18 years old, and the lawsuit filed in Portland, Oregon, alleges that by not allowing Moultrie to play for the NWSL, the league is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Moultrie believes that the age minimum will hinder her development and delay the chances of her being invited to play on an Olympic team or the U.S. Women's National Team. The "Age Rule" is noted to be "highly unusual in world soccer, male or female" because Major League Soccer in the U.S. does not have an age limit, and has had players under 18 compete -- similarly to men's and women's major leagues around the world.


Athletes and Officials to Be Offered Vaccines

Coronavirus vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech will donate doses to inoculate athletes and officials preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Delivery of doses is set to begin this month to give Olympic delegations time to be fully vaccinated with a second shot before arriving in Tokyo for the Games, which open on July 23rd. It's the second major vaccination deal for the IOC. An agreement was announced in March between it and Olympic officials in China to buy and distribute Chinese vaccines ahead of the Tokyo Games and next year's Beijing Winter Games.


In Tokyo, Hosting an Olympics With 78,000 Unvaccinated Volunteers

For Olympic host cities, one of the keys to a successful Games is the army of volunteers who perform a range of duties. If the rescheduled Tokyo Games go ahead as planned this summer, roughly 78,000 volunteers will have another responsibility: preventing the spread of the coronavirus, both among participants and themselves. For protection, the volunteers are being offered little more than two cloth masks, a bottle of sanitizer, and mantras about social distancing. Unless they qualify for vaccination through Japan's slow age-based rollout, they will not be inoculated. As organizers have scrambled to assure the globe that they call pull of the Games in the midst of a pandemic, the volunteers have been left largely on their own to figure out how to avoid infection.


Drug Testing a Struggle Ahead of Tokyo Games

The pandemic has slowed worldwide drug testing to a crawl. The process has resumed, but the problems that led to poor testing ahead of the 2016 games have not gone away. In the months before the Rio Games in 2016, more than 1,900 athletes across 10 key sports -- including track and field, weight lifting, and cycling -- were not tested, a failure that doping officials vowed would not be repeated in the next Olympic cycle. However, 5 years later, the world's antidoping organizations are struggling to live up to that promise ahead of this summer's Tokyo Games, in part because the coronavirus pandemic has made it extremely difficult to fix a problem that has persisted for decades, as testing is inconsistent across numerous countries.


Athletes Are Banned From Wearing Black Lives Matter Clothing at Tokyo

The IOC has ruled that athletes will not be permitted to wear Black Lives Matter apparel during the Tokyo Olympics. It would also consider punishing any athletes involved in protests or demonstrations during the ceremonies or on the podium. The IOC said that any items of clothing featuring slogans like "Black Lives Matter" will not be allowed. Despite the move, apparel featuring the words "peace", "respect", "solidarity", "inclusion", and "equality" are permitted. In citing reasons for the decision, the IOC said that 70% of 3,500 athletes surveyed last year agreed that it wasn't "appropriate to demonstrate or express their views" while participating in the Olympics or attending the opening and closing ceremonies.


Any Olympic Dream Dashed by a Nasal Swab

Qualifying for the Games can be the achievement of a lifetime. In the coronavirus era, though, that opportunity can vanish without warning. Such was the case with Nick Suriano who missed out on his Olympic wrestling qualifier due to a positive Covid test. Suriano tested negative for the virus before boarding a plane bound for Fort Worth for the trials, then tested positive shortly after he arrived. His Olympic dream, years in the making, was over. The pandemic has been wreaking havoc with sports in general, and the Olympics in particular, for more than a year. Lives and careers have been upended, reimagined, and remade. Yet with the Games scheduled to start in fewer than 3 months, the space to adapt has disappeared, and some virus-related obstacles are now likely to be insurmountable.


A Mother Fights for a Spot in the Olympics

Olympic organizers changed how boxers form the Americas would qualify for Tokyo because of the pandemic. Now, one of the best Canadians is on the outside looking in. The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to be Mandy Bujold's swan song, a capstone to the career of one of Canada's best amateur boxers. Bujold's bid for an Olympic medal before retiring from boxing now appears in jeopardy, undone by the coronavirus pandemic and ad hoc qualification rules that effectively penalized Bujold for having had a child. Last month, after the qualifying tournament in Buenos Aires for boxers from the Americas was canceled because of the pandemic, the IOC's Boxing Task Force said that boxers from North and South American countries would qualify for Tokyo based on their rankings at 3 tournaments held in 2018 and 2019. Bujold, however, did not box for much of 2018 and 2019 because of her pregnancy. She asked the IOC to recognize her ranking from before she was pregnant, when she was eighth in the world and second in the Americas. Women athletes in other sports -- notably, Serena Williams in tennis -- have fought for and won similar accommodations. However, the IOC denied Bujold's request because, it said, making an exception for her might prompt other athletes to ask for exemptions, too. Bujold filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, arguing that her human rights were violated.


Lawyers Called in as Rift Grows in Oceania Weightlifting

The Oceania Weightlifting Federation (OWF) is refusing a demand from its own members for elections to be held at an Extraordinary Congress. The date for the Extraordinary Congress -- which was requested by 9 nations who appear to be unhappy with the way the sport is governed by their continental federation -- has been set by the OWF for July 24th, the opening day of the competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Oceania's 22 member federations were informed of the date last week, more than a month after the OWF first received a formal request to hold an Extraordinary Congress, and only after it had taken legal advice. The lawyers have "interpreted" the OWF Constitution and advised member federations that elections cannot be held until after the Olympic Games because "an Extraordinary Congress is not the same as an Annual Congress". Members have said that the legal advice was "irrelevant and unhelpful" and that lawyers had no place in the process of deciding on the OWF's Constitutional matters. The Congress and Championships were scheduled for April last year but because of the pandemic they were postponed. Lockdowns and border closures led to further postponements.


British Baseball Federation Sorry for 'Distress' Caused by Women's League Image

The British Baseball Federation (BBF) is under fire over using an image of a what appears to be a naked woman to promote its new women's league, and the general manager of the women's national team has resigned in protest over the incident. The post that launched the scandal re-lates to the Women's Baseball League, which was announced last May as a partnership between the BBF and WB-UK but has yet to come to fruition, with the COVID-19 crisis and government restrictions on sports blamed for the delay. A doctored stock image is what appears to be a naked woman -- whose top half is pictured form behind -- wearing a baseball helmet and mitt was accompanied by the all-capital words "Women's Baseball League" and "Coming Soon..." The image has since been removed and the BBF issued an apology following heavy criticism.


Nine Super League Teams Repent. The Other 3 Vow to Start a New War

Nine of a breakaway soccer league have admitted it was a mistake and agreed to pay fines. However, 3 holdouts are vowing to seek damages. Less than 2 weeks after they became partners in a European Super League that would have cast aside the structures and organizations that have underpinned soccer for nearly a century, a group of the sport's biggest clubs are now engaging in a new battle amongst themselves. The humbling recommitment by the teams -- Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City; Inter and A.C. Milan; and Atlético Madrid -- came with a cost. The 9 clubs agreed to donate a total of 15 million euros (about $2 million per team) to a UEFA youth charity; surrender 5% of the revenue they would have received from Continental competitions this season; and pay a fine of 100 million euros (about $121 million) if they ever again join an unauthorized competition. Yet in agreeing to the terms of their reinstatement, the 9teams set up a significant -- and potentially expensive -- fight over a letter sent by the 3 Super League holdouts (Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barcelona), which are threatening to extract millions of dollars in damages from any club that walks away from the project.


Powerhouse in England Fights League in the Courts

Manchester City, the English soccer team that is on the cusp of winning the Premier League for the third time in 4 seasons, is involved in a secret legal battle with the league over whether it complied with financial rules as it surged to become one of the sport's dominant forces. In 2019, German news weekly Der Spiegel, citing internal club information, said that the club had disguised direct investment by its owner, Sheikh Mansour, as sponsorship income. City has always insisted it has not broken any regulations and again denounced the stolen documents as "out-of-context materials purported to have been criminally obtained" and then published as a part of an "organized and clear attempt to damage the club's reputation." City has spent millions defending itself since the allegations first emerged. Its lawyers are fighting against the league's arbitration process, arguing that the club will not obtain a fair hearing. City is challenging the Premier League in Britain's civil courts where publication of material related to the case has been kept confidential despite intense public interest in the case.


Transgender Weightlifter Hubbard Qualifies for Tokyo After Rule Changes

Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, has been effectively guaranteed a place at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the approval of an amended qualifying system by the IOC. Under the new rules, which were needed because so many competitions were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hubbard is sure of a place at Tokyo.


Covid Hits India Event, Stranding Australians

The vast majority of Australia's 38-strong Indian Premier League contingent has departed for the Maldives, beginning their long and indirect journey home from the aborted Twenty 20 tournament. Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association confirmed that players, coaches, officials, and commentators were en route from India to the Maldives. The Board of Control of Cricket in India BCCI and franchisees are overseeing arrangements for outbound players after the IPL was halted because of Covid-19 cases among players and staff. The BCCI has signed off on plans for those from England, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies, and other parts of the world to leave. However, Australians were unable to return home until May 15th, because of its federal government's ban on all incoming travelers from coronavirus-ravaged India.



Tech Giants Take App Fight to Court

The biggest antitrust trial involving a technology giant in more than two decades began last week. "Fortnite" maker Epic Games and Apple kicked off their 3-week trial in a courtroom battle that could have far reaching implications for the iPhone maker's business model and U.S. antitrust law. In opening statements, Epic painted Apple as a monopolist that concocted a plan to lure software developers and customers into iOS, its mobile operating system, and then lock them in with onerous and restrictive rules. Apple painted Epic as an opportunist looking to cut costs with a court case that could destroy iOS and endanger consumers by forcing allowing harmful and malicious apps onto their phones. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers must analyze whether iOS falls into the strict legal definition of a monopoly, and then whether Apple's business practices amount to an abuse of monopoly power. Apple's strategy is to steer the case into the narrow confines of the portions of U.S. antitrust case law that benefits its side. Yet Apple may not be able to sidestep the bigger philosophical question of whether its operating system has grown so large and important that it has become its own market. The trial marks the highest profile antitrust trial involving a technology giant since the U.S. Department of Justice brought Microsoft to court over similar allegations more than 20 years ago.


Major Pipeline Forced to Close By Cyberattack

One of the nation's largest pipelines, which carries refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas up the East Coast to New York, was forced to shut down after being hit by ransomware in a vivid demonstration of the vulnerability of energy infrastructure to cyberattacks. A prolonged shut-down of the line would cause prices to spike at gasoline pumps ahead of peak summer driving season, a potential blow to U.S. consumers and the economy. Colonial transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, and other fuels through 5,500 miles of pipelines linking refiners on the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern U.S. It also serves some of the country's largest airports, including Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the world's business by passenger traffic. The company said that shut down its operations after learning of a cyberattack.


Trump's Facebook Ban Upheld, Reviving Debate on Free Speech

Facebook was justified in banning then-President Donald Trump from its platform the day after the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol, but it needs to reassess how long the ban will remain in effect, according to the social network's quasi-independent Oversight Board. The decision to uphold the ban is a blow to Trump's hopes to post again to Facebook or Instagram anytime soon, but it opens the door to him eventually returning to the platforms. Facebook must complete a review of the length of the suspension within 6 months.


Trump Justice Department Obtained Phone Records of 3 Reporters

The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) under former President Donald Trump secretly obtained phone records from some of the newspaper's reporters. The Post reported that the DOJ sent letters dated May 3rd to its reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, and former Post reporter Adam Entous, informing them that they were "hereby notified that pursuant to legal process the United States Department of Justice received toll records associated with the following telephone number for the period from April 15, 2017 to July 31, 2017." The newspaper said that the records were obtained over reporting done in early 2017 about the role of Russia in the 2016 presidential election.


Internet Providers Faked Opposition to Net Neutrality, According to New York State

A report issued by New York's attorney general says that some of the country's biggest internet service providers helped fund a secret campaign that flooded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with millions of fake comments supporting the repeal of net neutrality protections. All told, fake comments accounted for nearly 18 million of the more than 22 million comments received by the FCC during its 2017 rule making, the report says. These comments were often cited as a reason as to why the FCC voted in 2017 to eliminate new neutrality rules, which the agency had put in place during the Obama administration.


Elon Musk, Memelord, Doubles Down

Elon Musk -- the Tesla chief executive, SpaceX founder and SNL host -- is an open admire of memes. He has referred to memes as "modern art" and shares them regularly on Twitter, where he has more than 52 million followers. Musk doesn't make many memes himself. Instead he finds them online and has others send him their favorites. Sometimes he reposts his favorites without citing their origins. The practice isn't unusual. Many people on the internet share other people's memes without giving the creators credit, in part because credit can be hard to discern. Memes rely on reinterpretations of joke formats, and its not always clear where they begin. Yet the fact that Musk frequently steals memes has become, essentially, a meme in itself and not always perceived as amusing. For comedians and content creators, memes are valuable intellectual property. In recent years, viral meme accounts that have built and monetized big followings by reposting work from other creators without credit or payment have encountered backlash. The 2019 campaign against an IG account run by Jerry Media helped shift the standards by which brands and top influencers abide today. Some attorneys argue that without "transformative use", there could be a case for copyright infringement. Now, when a brand uses a meme for marketing purposes, it generally asks for permission to share the image, and credits the owner. In many cases, the brand also pays a licensing fee. Musk, who is both a successful businessman and a freewheeling personal brand, appears to be an exception. Several people who have had their content posted by Musk have since asked for payment, be it in dollars, Teslas or Bitcoin.


Cheating Charges at Dartmouth Show Pitfalls of Tech Tracking

The university accused 17 students of cheating on remote exams, raising questions about data mining and sowing mistrust on campus. The allegations have prompted an on-campus protest, letters of concern to school administrators from more than two dozen faculty members, and complaints of unfair treatment from the student government, turning the pastoral Ivy League campus into a national battleground over escalating school surveillance during the pandemic. At the heart of the accusations is Dartmouth's use of the Canvas system to retroactively track student activity during remote exams without their knowledge. In the process, the medical school may have overstepped by using certain online activity data to try to pinpoint cheating, leading to some erroneous accusations, according to independent technology experts, a review of software code, and school documents obtained by The New York Times. Darmouth's drive to root out cheating provides a sobering case study of how the coronavirus has accelerated colleges' reliance on technology, normalizing student tracking in ways that are likely to endure after the pandemic.


Hong Kong Puts War on 'Fake News' in Writing

The police distributed a magazine denouncing "rumors and lies," and have warned news outlets against undermining national security. The 12-page magazine, distributed to news outlets, described the police's efforts to push back against misinformation. Officials in Hong Kong are increasingly seizing on the label of "fake news", a common authoritarian refrain. The city's leader, Carrier Lam, said that the government was looking at laws to tackle "misinformation, hatred and lies." The city's police chief has said that a fake-news law would help fight threats to national security. The rhetoric is raising fears among activists that the label could be used as a new tool to muzzle dissent. The authorities have moved swiftly to quash the opposition in Hong Kong since government protests engulfed the city in 2019. The city's traditionally unfettered news media, known for coverage that has been critical of the establishment, has been under attack for months.


A Battle Royal Fueled by Beijing

Internet companies are using the threat of government action as a cudgel against rivals. That could make the Communist Party the ultimate arbiter over the industry. Lawsuits are flying and tempers are flaring on the Chinese internet, home to the world's largest single group of internet users. Beijing made it abundantly clear late last year that it was serious about curbing the power of a handful of companies that dominate online life in China. Now China's internet companies are kowtowing to Beijing and trying to make their rivals look bad instead of correcting their own anticompetitive behavior.


Audio-Only App Stirs Fresh Political Debate Within the Middle East

The social networking app Clubhouse is booming in authoritarian countries, where users are speaking freely about otherwise taboo topics. Clubhouse is the audio-only social networking app that has offered users from repressive countries across the Middle East a new forum to connect, debate, vent, and listen in real-time audio chat rooms. Saudis have discussed legalizing alcohol and abortion, both taboos in Saudi Arabia. Egyptians have wondered aloud what it would take to challenge their autocratic ruler. Iranians have turned out to question government officials and share stories of sexual harassment. People on Clubhouse are "practicing democracy in real time." In a region where most elections are foreordained, rulers are inaccessible, TV programs blare pro-government talking heads, and other social media apps are either banned or closely monitored by government security services, Clubhouse has become a virtual town square. The app has been downloaded 1.1 million times in the Middle East since it became available there in January, accounting for nearly 7% of global downloads.


German Prosecutors Bust Child Sex Abuse Website

German police have arrested 3 people in connection with one of the world's largest platforms containing child sex abuse materials. A fourth person was arrested in Paraguay, according to Interpol. The online platform, which was known as Boystown and was hosted on the dark web, had 400,000 registered users when it was taken offline by an international Taskforce. The global team, spearheaded by the German Federal Criminal Police -- the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) -- included the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. All of the suspects are male German nationals.


General News

In Reversal, Biden Raises Limits on Refugees

President Biden resurrected a plan a raise refugee admissions this year to 62,500 after drawing a wave of criticism from supporters for initially keeping the refugee cap at a historically low level. Biden formally reversed himself just 2 weeks after his administration announced that it would keep the cap at the 15,000 level set by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump,. Biden's flip-flopping drew the ire of refugee advocates and some Democratic lawmakers. Trump steadily slashed the size of the refugee program during his term in office and Biden officials say the cuts have made quickly raising admissions more difficult.


Major Greenhouse Gases Sharply Cut by the Environmental Protection Agency

The Biden administration is moving quickly to limit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the Earth-warming chemicals used in air-conditioning and refrigeration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved to sharply reduce the use and production of such powerful greenhouse gases as part of the Biden administration's larger strategy of trying to slow the pace of global warming. The HFCs are a class of people-made chemicals that are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. The proposal is the first significant step that the EPA has taken under Biden to curb climate change.


Federal Judge Strikes Down Eviction Moratorium

A federal judge has issued a sweeping rule that would revoke a pandemic eviction moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while the DOJ is appealing on behalf of the CDC. The case was brought by the Alabama Association of Realtors, which argued that the CDC doesn't have the power to tell landlords that they can't evict during a pandemic. The judge agreed. There have been several rulings on the matter, with conflicting decisions. The latest one goes farther than any of them by moving to strike down the eviction moratorium nationwide.


New Rules to Streamline Virus Relief for Tenants

The Treasury Department issued new rules intended to make it easier for tenants to benefit form the $46.5 billion in emergency rental aid. Two days after a federal judge struck down a national moratorium on evictions, the Biden administration said that it would accelerate the distribution of vast sums of rental aid that state and local governments have been slow to spend. The new rules simplify applications, cover an expanded list of costs, like moving epenses and hotel stays, and require programs to help tenants even if their landlords refuse to participate. Housing advocates praised the changes, which include an expansion of legal aid to tenants and a promise of advice to localities struggling to create the programs, which are in-tended to avert evictions caused by the economic shocks from the pandemic.


Constitutional Battles Loom for Bill Aimed at Expanding Voting

If the sweeping voting rights bill that the House passed in March overcomes substantial hurdles in the Senate to become law, it would reshape American elections and represent a triumph for Democrats eager to combat the wave of election restrictions moving through Republican-controlled state legislatures. The passage of the bill, known as H.R. 1, would end a legislative fight and start a legal war that could dwarf the court challenges aimed at the Affordable Care Act over the past decade. The potential for the bill to set off a sprawling constitutional battle is largely a function of its ambitions. It would end felon disenfranchisement, require in-dependent commissions to draw congressional districts, establish public financing for congressional candidates, order presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, address dark money in political advertising, and restructure the Federal Election Commission.


Asian-American Executives Fund Anti-Discrimination Fight

Some of the wealthiest and most influential Asian-American business leaders are mounting an ambitious plan to challenge anti-Asian discrimination, rewrite school curriculums to reflect the role of Asian-Americans in history, and collect data to guide policymakers. The group has pledged $125 million to a new initiative, the Asian American Foundation. The foundation has raised another $125 million from organizations like Walmart, Bank of America, the Ford Foundation, and the National Basketball Association. It is the single largest philanthropic gift devoted to Asian-Americans, who make up about 6% of the U.S. population but receive less than 1% of philanthropic funding. The effort comes amid a surge in violence against Asian-Americans.


DOJ Seeks Funds to Counter Inequality

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland told lawmakers that the DOJ needs more money for Biden administration priorities, including combating domestic extremism, racial inequality, environmental degradation, and gender violence. The $35.2 billion budget request for the fiscal year that begins in October is an 11% increase from the previous year. The budget proposal, which includes funding for gun safety measures and immigration courts, reflects a commitment to ensure "the civil rights and the civil liberties" of Americans. Democrats generally expressed support for the proposed budget. Republicans on the House committee said that they were concerned about any decision to de-emphasize the federal fight against violent crime and drug addition and they pushed back on Garland's request for an addition $232 million to curb gun violence.


Judge Says That Barr Misled Court on How His Justice Department Viewed Trump's Actions

Judge Amy German Jackson said in a ruling that the misleading statements were similar to others that William P. Barr, the former attorney general, had made about the Mueller investigation. The federal judge in Washington accused the DOJ under Barr of misleading her and Congress about advice he had received from top department officials on whether Trump should have been charged with obstructing the Russia investigation and ordered that a related memo be released. She went on to say that the DOJ's obfuscation appeared to be part of a pattern in which top officials were untruthful to Congress and the public about the investigation.


Confirmed by Senate in a Transgender Minefield

President Biden's assistant secretary for health, Dr. Rachel Levine, is the highest-ranking openly transgender person ever to serve in the federal government. Dr. Levin, a former Pennsylvania health secretary for health, is the first openly transgender person ever confirmed by the Senate, and she has taken office in the middle of something of a transgender moment. A culture war is intensifying, waged largely by Republicans who have sought in state after state to restrict transgender rights and block transgender girls from participating on girls' sports teams. The prominence of transgender issues in politics is remarkable considering what a tiny sliver of the population transgender people represent. An estimated 1.4 million adults and 150,000 youths ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender in the U.S. That's slightly more than .5% of the population. As assistant health secretary, Dr. Levine has other pressing items on her agenda, but still the push to restrict transgender rights is impossible for her to ignore. Hundreds of bills intended to restrict the rights of transgender and other L.G.B.T.Q. people have been introduced in state legislatures around the country, prompting the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, to declare that 2021 was on track to become "the worst year for anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation in recent history." Many of those measures are directed at transgender youths, who are especially vulnerable to suicide and depression.


Biden Pick Augurs Focus on Student Debt Burden

Richard Cordray, the consumer financial protection chief under President Obama, will now head the federal student aid office in the Education Department. A close ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren, he has been selected as the new head in a post that will put him at the center of the swirling debate over forgiving student debt. The issue is a tricky one for Biden. Alhough he has endorsed canceling up to $10,000 per borrower through legislation, he has been pressured by some Democrats to forgive much more, and to sign and executive order making it happen if Congress fails to act. Cordray might be able to relieve the president of that burden by canceling student debt administratively. Democratic leaders are pushing for up to $50,000 per borrower in debt relief.


Clamor Grows to Get Footage Off Body Cams

The question of timing has become an unsettled new frontier of policymaking as the use of police body cameras is more the rule rather than the exception. Ma'Khia Bryant had been dead only a few hours when the authorities in Columbus, Ohio released body cam footage from the police officer who had shot and killed her. Andrew Brown Jr. was killed by sheriff's deputies in Elizabeth City, N.C., nearly 2 weeks ago, and it could be many more weeks -- or even months -- before video of his death is publicly shown. As body-worn cameras have become more commonplace, and public pressure on officials to take police accountability more serious has mounted, and so have demands to quickly release the footage of violent or fatal encounters between law enforcement officers and citizens.


DOJ Adds Charges in Floyd Case

The DOJ filed federal criminal charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for unconditional use of force against George Floyd. The federal case added to the legal troubles of Chauvin and the 3 other former police officers on the scene.


DOJ Moves Forward in Efforts to Clamp Down on Spread of 'Ghost Guns'

The DOJ released a proposed rule that would broaden the definition of a firearm, requiring some gun-making kits to include a serial number as the Biden administration moves forward to combat so-called "ghost guns", homemade firearms that lack serial numbers used to trace them and are often purchased without a background check. For years, federal and local law enforcement officials have been sounding the alarm about what they say is a loophole in federal firearms law, allowing people who are generally prohibited from owning guns to obtain them by making the weapons themselves. Ghost guns have increasingly been turning up at crime scenes and being purchased from gang members and other criminals by undercover federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents.


Prosecutors Are Discussing Plea Deals in Capitol Riot

Federal prosecutors have informed some Capitol riot defendants that the DOJ has given the green-light to cut guilty plea deals, a step toward bringing the first of hundreds of cases to a close, according to attorneys involved in the talks. Defense lawyers involved have long recognized that much of the evidence in the Capitol riot cases is not disputable enough to take to trial -- especially because so much is on video -- and that many of the more than 350 people charged would want to end their court proceedings quickly. Yet the cases have stalled for weeks as the DOJ worked out what it was willing to offer, prompting attorneys to ask for delays in many of the court proceedings. It is not clear yet which or how many defendants may be getting plea deals, and they haven't been offered to all interested defendants at this time.


Astronauts Splash Down in the Dark

In darkness, 4 astronauts splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Florida. That marked a successful end of a mission for NASA led by a private company, Elon Musk's SpaceX, to take its astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It was the first of what the agency calls an operational mission. The last time that NASA astronauts splashed down in the nighttime was in 1968, when Apollo 8 returned to Earth.


How the Firearms Lobby Hamstrings the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), tasked with enforcing gun laws, has been hamstrung for years by the fire-arms lobby. Now, the president's plan to rein in gun violence hinges on the ATF's success. The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), has for years systematically blocked plans to modernize the agency's paper-based weapons-tracing system with a searchable database. Now the ATF is at the center of Biden's plans to push back at what he has called "the international embarrassment" of gun violence in America. Biden once again called on Congress to expand background checks and ban assault weapons. However, given the abiding power of the gun lobby, his immediate hopes lie in a more limited list of executive actions that will ultimately rely on the effectiveness of the ATF.


Trustee Slams NRA's Bid to Seek Relief

A lawyer for NY Attorney General Letitia James called the NRA's bankruptcy bid "a circus slideshow" during closing arguments in a case over whether to allow the NRA to reorganize in the gun-friendly state of Texas. The NRA filed for Chapter 11 in January, claiming a corrupt political and regulatory environment in NY, where it is currently incorporated. It is attempting to fend off a lawsuit to dismiss the Chapter 11 case by James and the group's former ad agency, Ackerman McQueen. NRA lawyer Greg Garman countered in his closing argument that the group had filed the bankruptcy petition in good faith. The trial began on April 5th and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Harlin Hale is expected to issue a ruling in about a week.


A Psychedelic Drug Passes a Big Hurdle for Treating PTSD

A new study shows that MDMA, known as Ecstasy or Molly, can bring relief when paired with talk therapy to those with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In an important step toward medical approval, the illegal drug was shown to bring relief to those suffering. Of the 90 people who took part in the new study, which is expected to be published later this month in Nature Medicine, those who received MDMA during therapy experienced a significantly greater reduction in the severity of their symptoms compared with those who received therapy and an inactive placebo. Two months after treatment, 67% of participants in the MDMA group no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD, compared with 32% in the placebo group. MDMA produced no serious adverse side effects. Some participants temporarily experienced mild symptoms, like nausea and loss of appetite. Before MDMA-assisted therapy can be approved for therapeutic use, the Food and Drug Administration needs a second positive Phase 3 trial, which is currently underway with 100 participants. Approval could come as early as 2023.


Businesses Rally Against Voting Limits

Companies including HP, Microsoft, and Unilever are calling for expanded voting access in the state of Texas after weeks of silence from national businesses on Republicans' voting bills there. Two broad coalitions of companies and executives released letters calling for expanded voting access in Texas, wading into the contentious debate over Republican legislators' proposed new restrictions on balloting after weeks of relative silence form the business community in the state. Together, the letters signify a sudden shift in how the business community approaches the voting bills in Texas. Until now, American Airlines and Dell Technologies were the only major corporations to publicly speak out about the Texas legislation, and after doing so they quickly found themselves threatened by Republicans in Austin. With a varied coalition that numbers well into the dozens, companies are hoping that a collective voice willing to apply pressure at the state level could break through and sway the thinking of some Republican legislators who may be wavering on the bills.


Chauvin's Lawyer Files for Another Trial, Citing Expected Grievance List

The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying that the court abused its discretion, and he wants a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he says is jury misconduct. Derek Chauvin was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25th death of Floyd. A request for a new trill is routine following a guilty verdict and often mirrors issues that will be raised on appeal. If this request is denied, it can add another layer of decisions for Nelson to appeal. Attorneys closely following the case have said that Chauvin's convictions are unlikely to be overturned.


Federal Election Commission Drops Case on Funds Trump Paid Women in '16

The Federal Election Commission said that it had formally dropped a case looking into whether former President Trump violated election law with a payment of $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election to a pornographic-film actress by his personal lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen. The payment was never reported on Trump's campaign filings. Cohen claimed that Trump had directed him to arrange payments to 2 women during the 2016 race, and apologized for his involvement in a hush-money scandal. Cohen was sentenced to prison for breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion, and lying to Congress. Trump has not faced legal consequences for the payment.


Dispute Exposes Dirty Secret About Green Cars

A race is on to produce lithium in the U.S., but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green. Some of the projects have drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers, and environmental groups because it is expected to use billion of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste. The fight over the Nevada mine is emblematic of a fundamental tension surfacing around the world: Electric cars and renewable energy may not be as green as they appear. Production of raw materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel that are essential to these technologies are often ruinous to land, water, wildlife, and people.


Unattended Ballots and the Bamboo Conspiracy

Arizona Republicans' "forensic audit" as part of a partisan recount of 2020 election results in Maricopa County has been accused of going down a conspiracy theory-filled rabbit hole relying on "completely unnecessary" gear to find evidence of voter fraud. One audit official said that auditors were examine whether any ballots contained bamboo fibers -- to determine whether China delivered thousands of ballots with votes for Biden, among the dozens of false claims that circulated within the discredited far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. Three earlier reviews of results have shown no evidence of widespread fraud or reason to doubt the results in the state's most populous county, which Biden won by more than 45,000 votes. Yet Republicans in the state's Senate now are leading an audit performed by a private company whose founder supported Trump's "stolen" election lies and the "Stop the Steal" campaign.


Central Intelligence Agency Found Evidence on Russia Bounty Plot

In early 2020, members of a Taliban-linked criminal network in Afghanistan detained in raids told interrogators that they had heard that Russians were offering money to reward killings of American coalition troops. Ultimately, newly declassified information shows, those analysts discovered a significant reason to believe the claim was accurate: Other members of the same Taliban-linked network had been working closely with operatives from a notorious unit of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, known for assassination operations.


FEC Seeks to Ban Prechecked Donation Boxes

The recommendation by the election commission came a month after a New York Times investigation showed that Trump's political operation had steered many unwitting supporters into repeated donations through the tactic. The FEC voted unanimously to recommend that Congress ban political campaigns form guiding donors by default into recurring contributions through rechecked boxes. The bipartisan commission, which serves as the nation's top election watchdog agency, is divided evenly between 3 Democratic-aligned commissioners and 3 Republicans, a composition that often leads to a stalemate.


Texas G.O.P. Pushes to Join Florida in Limiting Ballot Access

The efforts in 2 critical battleground states with booming populations and 70 Electoral College votes between them represent the apex of the Republican effort to roll back access to voting. The Texas bill makes it one of the most difficult states in the nation in which to cast a ballot would, among other restrictions, greatly empower partisan poll watchers, prohibit election officials from mailing out absentee ballot applications, and impose strict punishment for those who provide assistance outside the lines of what is permissible. After a lengthy debate, the State House of Representatives passed the measure in a 81-64 vote, largely along party lines, following a flurry of amendments that had been spurred by Democratic protests and a Democratic procedural move known as a point of order. The new amendments softened some of the initial new penalties proposed for those who run afoul of the rules and added that the police could be called to remove unruly partisan poll watchers. Other amendments added by Democrats sought to expand ballot access, including with changes to ballot layout and with voter registration at high schools. However, those amendments could be knocked off by a potential conference committee.


Turning on Cheney, the G.O.P. Bows to Trump's Election Lies

Top Republicans moved swiftly to purge Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their leadership ranks for vocally rejecting Trump's election lies, laying the groundwork to install a replacement who has embraced his false claims of voting fraud. The move to push out Cheney as the No. 3 House Republican in favor of Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a Trump loyalist who voted to overturn Biden's victory in key states, reflected how thoroughly the party's orthodoxy has come to be defined by fealty to the former president and a tolerance for misinformation, rather than policy principles.


A Marriage is Ending, But a Foundation Isn't

Bill and Melinda Gates announced that after 27 years of marriage, they are divorcing. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, who launched the world's largest charitable foundation, said that they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



Global Virus Surge Puts Pressure on U.S. to Share Vaccine Patents

President Biden and drugmakers are facing demands from liberal activists and global leaders to suspend intellectual property rights on the vaccines as the pandemic surges. The debate on waiving an international intellectual property agreement that protects pharmaceutical trade se-crets is both a political and a practical problem for Biden, who has vowed to restore the U.S. as a leader in global health, as Covid-19 crises surge in India and South America.


Biden Endorses Effort to Share Vaccine Secrets

In a significant move to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. government agreed to support a controversial proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for vaccines in a bid to increase global supplies of desperately needed doses. The proposal, which was first introduced before the World Trade Organization last fall by South Africa and India, would cover patents, industrial designs, copyrights, and protection of trade secrets. Ultimately, a waiver would make it easier for countries that permit compulsory licensing to allow a manufacturer to export vaccines.


Biden's Support for Vaccine Patent Waivers Faces an Uphill Effort in Europe

Under growing pressure, the European Union -- whose approval would be needed -- said that it would consider the Biden administration's decision to reverse course and support a waiver of patents for Covid-19 vaccines as many poor and middle-income nations struggle to secure lifesaving doses. However, the European Commission president, Ursula von Der Leyen, did not endorse the plan, raising questions about whether the bloc would agree to waive patents, something she has said previously she was staunchly against. The position was underscored by a statement from Germany, the bloc's de facto leader, later in the day. Germany said that the move could undermine the production of vaccines, deterring E.U. consideration of the plan.


FDA Set to Authorize Pfizer Vaccine for Adolescents

The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 12 to 15 soon setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The announcement is set to come a month after the company found that its shot, which is already authorized for those aged 16 and older, also provided protection for the younger group.


Inmates Died of Covid-19 Behind Bars Across U.S.

Among the thousands who have died in prisons and jails from the coronavirus were dozens of people approved for parole or not convicted of a charge for which they were arrested. The coronavirus tore through the nation's prisons, jails, and immigration detention centers over the past year, killing more than 2,700 people who were incarcerated. Dozens of them died after being approved for release by a parole board or while being held in jail without a conviction. More than 50 men and women died of Covid-19 in local jails while awaiting trial on the charges that brought them there. The deaths raise troubling questions about the way the country's justice system responded to a pandemic that infected incarcerated people at more than 3 times the national rate. Defense attorneys, judges, and some prosecutors have been critical. Some countries and states released incarcerated people during the pandemic as a precaution, but a vast majority of states resisted calls to free inmates early or expedite parole.


Pfizer Makes Huge Profits Off Vaccine

Last year, racing to develop a vaccine in record time, Pfizer made a big decision: unlike several rival manufacturers, which vowed to forgo profits on their shots during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer planned to profit on its vaccine. The vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first 3 months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue. The vaccine was Pfizer's biggest source of revenue. The company did not disclose the profits it derived from the vaccine, but it reiterated its previous prediction that its profit margins on the vaccine would be in the high 20% range. That would translate into roughly $900 million in pre-tax vaccine profits in the first quarter. Pfizer has been widely credited with developing an unproven technology that has saved an untold number of lives.


Pfizer Shot Works Well on Variants, Studies Find

Amid its second wave of Covid-19, researchers in Qatar have found some of the strongest evidence yet that current vaccines can quell variants such as B.1.351. Clinical trials in South Africa -- where B.1.351 was first identified -- had suggested that vaccines would take a hit against such variants. This study offers a fuller picture of what countries battling such variants can expect.


Employers Waver About Requiring Vaccines for Jobs

It is a delicate decision balancing employee health and personal privacy. Some companies are sidestepping the issue by offering incentives to those who get shots. For the country's largest companies, mandatory vaccines would protect service workers and lower the anxiety for returning office employees. There is also a public service element: the goal of herd immunity has slipped as the pace of vaccinations has slowed. Yet making vaccinations mandatory could risk a backlash, and perhaps even litigation, from those who view it as an invasion of privacy and a Big Brother-like move to control the lives of employees. In polls, executives show a willingness to require vaccinations.


As Vaccinations Slow, Biden Adjusts Strategy Toward Local Response

Biden, facing a slowing rate of vaccinations and a hope for near normalcy by Independence Day, said that the government would shift from mass vaccination sites to local settings. Biden overhauled the strategy to battle the pandemic, shifting from mass vaccination sites to more local settings to target younger Americans and those hesitant to get a shot. This new phase in the fight against the virus as a goal of at least partly vaccinating 70% of adults by July 4th.


Vaccine Gap Has Ramifications for Climate Action

The gap between rich and poor countries on vaccinations highlights the failure of richer nations to see it in their self-interest to urgently help poorer ones fight a shared crisis. The gap is emerging as a test for how the world responds to that other global challenge: averting the worst effects of climate change. The vaccine gap presents and object lesson for climate action because it signals the failure of richer nations to see it in their self-interest to urgently help poorer ones fight a global crisis. That has direct parallels to global warming. Poor countries consistently assert that they need more financial and technological help from wealthier ones if the world as a whole is going to avoid the consequences of climate change. So far, the richest countries -- which are also the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases -- haven't come up with the money.


New York Region Preparing to Lift Nearly All Limits

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are pushing ahead with their May 19th reopening plans, and the NYC subway will return to 24-hour service, paving the way for a return to fuller offices and restaurants, a more vibrant nightlife, and a richer array of cultural and religious gatherings for the first time in a year. The relaxation of rules starting is a testament to the fact that coronavirus cases are down and vaccination rates are rising, offering a chance to jump-start the recovery in a region that became a center of the global pandemic last spring.


May 14, 2021

Theater News for the Week of May 14th

By Bennett Liebman

Yet another reason to cut intermission in theater: COVID-19, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-05-11/theater-without-intermission-broadway-reopening

When Covid Dropped the Curtain on Broadway Actors, TV Kept the Lights On, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/12/arts/television/covid-broadway-TV-actors.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

CDC lifts mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, posing a question for Broadway, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/14/cdc-lifts-mask-requirement-for-vaccinated-individuals-posing-a-question-for-broadway/

For West End's Return, Cleansing Spirits and an Aching for Change, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/12/theater/west-end-reopening.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

SBA Expects 'Save Our Stages' Money to Reach Indie Venues Next Week, https://variety.com/2021/music/news/sba-save-our-stages-indie-venues-next-week-1234970610/

How the Pandemic Has Changed Arts Education, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/3-professors-on-how-the-pandemic-transformed-arts-education-73251/

TCG Announces Sixth Round of Rising Leaders of Color, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/05/10/tcg-announces-sixth-round-of-rising-leaders-of-color/

Broadway in Chicago is offering refundable tickets, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-chicago-theater-refundable-tickets-20210513-cn4ru7i2fravvkf4n2dltld3ii-story.html

Broadway May Mandate Vaccinations for Audiences and Workers. That's Just One Reopening Challenge, https://www.thedailybeast.com/broadway-may-mandate-vaccinations-for-audiences-and-workers-thats-just-one-reopening-challenge

As Broadway Plans Its Return, 'Hamilton' Will Require Vaccines Backstage, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/theater/broadway-reopening.html

Phylicia Rashad Named Dean of Newly Reestablished College of Fine Arts at Howard University, https://www.playbill.com/article/phylicia-rashad-named-dean-of-newly-reestablished-college-of-fine-arts-at-howard-university

A Pause, Yes, But We're Keeping the Ghost Light On, https://www.americantheatre.org/2020/06/18/a-pause-yes-but-were-keeping-the-ghost-light-on/

Is it ethical for cruise lines, venues, schools or Broadway to restrict entry to people not vaccinated against COVID-19, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-it-ethical-for-cruise-lines-schools-or-broadway-to-restrict-entry-to-people-not-vaccinated-against-covid-19-2021-05-12

'Annie Live!' To Air on NBC This 2021 Holiday Season, https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/annie-live-nbc-christmas-holidays-bob-greenblatt-neil-meron-1234971627/amp/

'We won't be bouncing back' - the unsettling truth about the big reopening, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/may/12/bouncing-back-unsettling-truth-big-reopening?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

'We even performed it in front of the pope!' - how we made Godspell, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/10/performed-front-of-pope-how-we-made-godspell-jeremy-irons?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Return of NYC's Broadway signals bounce back of American economy, https://thegrio.com/2021/05/13/return-of-broadway-bounce-back-american-economy/

Disney Theatrical announces 'Aladdin' return, no ticketing fees, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/11/disney-theatrical-announces-aladdin-return-no-ticketing-fees/

New Yorkers must support Broadway right now, https://nypost.com/2021/05/11/new-yorkers-must-support-broadway-right-now/

Why Broadway is waiting until fall to reopen, https://apnews.com/article/ny-state-wire-coronavirus-pandemic-entertainment-health-lifestyle-f8d23167f48e5b58e6c3494f322ab998

Community Theatres Need to Stop Protecting Their Problematic Men, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/2021/5/10/community-theatres-need-to-stop-protecting-their-problematic-men

Sports News for the Week of May 14th

By Bennett Liebman

Sports Betting Thrives After PASPA as Law, Tech, Finance Converge, https://sports.yahoo.com/sports-betting-thrives-paspa-law-095504366.html

How 'Put That on Top Shot!' Became a New N.B.A. Mantra, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/business/nba-top-shot-moments.html

Sen. Jerry Moran says federal college-athlete name, image, likeness law by July 1 unlikely, https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/sen-jerry-moran-says-federal-college-athlete-name-image-likeness-law-by-july-1-unlikely/ar-BB1gF3Bq?li=BB15ms5q

Name, image and likeness (NIL): What it means, why it matters and how it will impact the NCAA and college sports, https://theathletic.com/2580642/2021/05/12/name-image-and-likeness-nil-what-it-means-why-it-matters-and-how-it-will-impact-college-sports/

Conflicts Arise With College Athlete Name, Image, And Likeness (NIL) On The Horizon, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/05/conflicts-arise-with-college-athlete-name-image-and-likeness-nil-on-the-horizon/

Winning Always Wins. Will Integrity Place, or Even Show?, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/sports/horse-racing/baffert-medina-spirit-preakness.html

THA's Alan Foreman Joins All-Baffert Controversy Writers' Room, https://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/thas-alan-foreman-joins-all-baffert-controversy-writers-room/

Horse racing's drug scandals cheat public and kill horses. Is industry ready to stop?, https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article251354763.html

French law seeks to introduce gender parity to governing bodies, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1107553/french-law-aims-for-gender-parity

Show Us The Paper, Bob: Records To Back Up Baffert's Story Remain A Matter Of Trust, https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/show-us-the-paper-bob-records-to-back-up-bafferts-story-remain-a-matter-of-trust/

NCAA EYES OLIVER LUCK'S NONPROFIT NIL PROPOSAL AS STATES PLOW AHEAD, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/college-sports/2021/ncaa-nil-nonprofit-1234629640/

Soccer League Defends Age Minimum Against Teen Phenom's Lawsuit, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/soccer-league-defends-age-minimum-against-teen-phenoms-lawsuit

RETIRED NFLERS' SUIT DISMISSED AS CBA REVOTE RULED OUT, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/don-majkowski-lawsuit-1234629455/

NCAA Corporate Sponsorships Are for 90 Championships. They Revolve Around One., https://www.wsj.com/articles/ncaa-march-madness-basketball-sponsorship-11620865601?mod=e2tws

Madrid court wants ECJ to rule on Uefa, Fifa's Super League stance, https://www.sportbusiness.com/news/madrid-court-wants-ecj-to-rule-on-uefa-fifas-super-league-stance/

Deshaun Watson Accusers Adamant They Will Not Settle with QB, https://www.tmz.com/2021/05/13/deshaun-watson-accusers-no-settlement-tony-buzbee-nfl-houston-texans/

Dutch police launch investigation into match-fixing, https://www.gamblinginsider.com/news/11885/dutch-police-launch-investigation-into-match-fixing

The New Players in the Sports Industry: NFTs, Fan Tokens, and Blockchain, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-new-players-in-the-sports-industry-8667391/

Sports & Entertainment Spotlight - May 2021, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/sports-entertainment-spotlight-may-2021-7745950/

MLB players union seeking $500 million in grievance against league, https://nypost.com/2021/05/13/mlb-players-union-seeks-500-million-in-grievance-against-league/

Insurer Says It Won't Cover Kobe Bryant Death Suits, https://www.law360.com/articles/1384311/insurer-says-it-won-t-cover-kobe-bryant-death-suits

May 17, 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:


A Kevin Spacey Accuser Tried to Sue Anonymously. A Judge Said No.

In a sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey, the victim, who said that he was 14 years old when he was sexually assaulted by Spacey, sought to maintain anonymity. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled earlier this year that the victim's attorneys would have to reveal the identity of their client privately to Spacey's lawyers. Further, this month Judge Kaplan ruled that the victim would have to identify himself publically if he wanted to proceed to trial. In such cases where anonymity is an issue, courts tend to weigh the benefits it affords the victim from potential harassment against the public's interest and the ability for the accused to mount an effective defense.


NBC Says It Will Not Air the Golden Globes in 2022

On February 21, 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an article detailing that the Hollywood Foreign Press "had no Black members, had more than $50 million in cash on hand at the end of October, and paid large sums to members for serving on committees." In response, leaders of the organization vowed to diversify its membership to be more inclusive and planned to increase membership by more than 50% over the next 18 months. NBCUniversal, which gave its blessing to the objectives, however, issued a statement saying that it will not broadcast the Golden Globes in 2022, citing that the changes would not be implemented in time for the show. NBCUniversal currently pays $60 million per year for broadcast rights to the show.


Leslie Moonves Receives Nothing From CBS Exit Package

Leslie Moonves led CBS as a chief executive for 15 years prior to leaving on September 9, 2018 in connection with allegations of sexual assault by more than a dozen women. The company had set aside $120 million as a potential severance package for the disgraced executive, but according to a federal filing, the company will pay nothing to Moonves, as the company found grounds to fire him under his contract. The company cited '"willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of his employment contract"' justifying the firing and subsequent nonpayment of his allocated severance.


When Covid Dropped the Curtain on Broadway Actors, TV Kept the Lights On

In light of the pandemic, many of Broadway's bigger stars have opted to join scripted series as an opportunity to work, as theaters begin to rebound from the deadly virus. Normally, producers would have to work around the schedule of Broadway actors in order to lure one of these stars to its sets. Due to the pandemic, however, with theaters shutting down, scheduling has become easier and has provided an outlet for talent seekers and work for actors.


Tina Turner and Jay-Z Lead Rock Hall of Fame's 2021 Inductees

This year, inductees of the class of 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame features Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, the Go-Go's, Carole King, Tina Turner, and Todd Rudgren. Out of the 15 individuals to be enshrined in Hall of Fame, 7 are women, marking a progress in eroding gender disparities in music. Some of the inductees, including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Tina Turner, and Carole King, were already included as part of separate acts, including Nirvana, Ike and Tina Turner, and King as a songwriting partner with her former husband, Gerry Goffin. The ceremony will take place on October 30th in Cleveland, Ohio.


Il Divo Tenor's Ex-Wife Sues Him, Citing Sexual and Physical Abuse

Renée Izambard, the ex-wife of Sébastien Izambard, a singer in the classical group "Il Divo", sued the singer, accusing him of domestic violence, sexual assault, and battery. In the lawsuit, she alleges that "over the years he had tracked her movements, withheld medical care, subjected her to sex acts without her consent, and threatened to stop supporting their three school-age children."


She Used a Male Doll in a Joke. Now She's Accused of Sexual Harassment.

Two years after her first Netflix special, South Korean comedian Park Na-rae faced criticism for a joke that would rarely grab headlines in Western society. On a show on YouTube, Park "grabbed a male doll, placed its plastic arm between its legs and made a suggestive remark." The act made headlines for weeks in South Korea, and men in the country accused her of sexual harassment. Her supporters say that the outrage delineates a clear double standard "in a culture where men often brag about sexual conquests and where sexual harassment is endemic, but where women who dare to mention sex in public can be penalized." A few days after the news broke, Park resigned from her YouTube show.



Australian Company Loses Ugg Trademark Battle

In 2016, Deckers Outdoor, which owns UGG boots, sued Australian Leather alleging trademark infringement due to Australian Leather selling 13 pairs of UGG-styled boots in the United States. Australian Leather argued that Deckers Outdoor should have never been given the trademark "UGG" in the first place, as the word is used in Australia as a catchall for all sheepskin-lined boots with fleece that have been made since the 1930s. In response, Deckers Outdoor argued that it registered the brand in the United States after rightfully purchasing and trademarking the name "UGG Australia" in 1995 and holds the trademark in 130 countries. In 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that while the term has a generic meaning in Australia, it does not in the United States. Australian Leather then appealed the decision, arguing that the lower court used the wrong legal standard to judge whether something is generic. After the appeals court affirmed the district court's ruling, Australian Leather says that it will be appealing to the Supreme Court.


Heirs Sue Over Ownership of a Pissarro, Saying It Was Seized by Nazis

In a suit filed in Federal District Court in Atlanta, heirs of Margaret and Ludwig Kainer are seeking to recover famed Pissarro painting, "The Anse des Pilotes, Le Havre," which they say was stolen by Nazis after the family left Germany. The painting is now believed to be in the possession of the Horowitz Family Foundation in Atlanta and its estimated value ranges from $500,000 to $1 million.


As Broadway Plans Its Return, 'Hamilton' Will Require Vaccines Backstage

In preparation for Broadway returning, the industry is addressing what a post-Covid world will look like. Some producers will be requiring its actors and production team to be vaccinated. As of now, ticket-buyers are being told they will be required to wear face masks. Some theaters are increasing safety protocols, such as an increase in cleaning, ventilation improvements, or a requirement of a negative Covid test prior to entering.


'We Are the Met': Opera Unions Rally Against Proposed Pay Cuts

While New York City is preparing to open up to pre-Covid levels, the Metropolitan Opera may have to wait due to a labor strike between some of its staff and the company. In December, the Met locked out its stagehands after union reps and the Met failed to come to an agreement. The Met is arguing that it "needs to cut the payroll costs for its highest-paid unions by 30 percent, with an intention to restore half of those cuts when ticket revenues and core donations returned to prepandemic levels."


A.O.C. Had a Catchy Logo. Now Progressives Everywhere Are Copying It.

Beyond being an unapologetic lightning rod for progressive ideas, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is trailblazing in a different way: her campaign logo. The logo, which features "condensed and bold typeface" and an "upward-sloping, dialog-box design" is being used in campaigns of various races, ranging from a governor's race in Virginia to an elementary school race in Queens. Political designers say the image portrays "insurgency, youth, diversity, and liberalism."


Hindu Sect Is Accused of Using Forced Labor to Build New Jersey Temple

Workers from India, who held temporary religious visas, alleged that Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect known as BAPS, exploited them and lured them to build a temple in New Jersey, paying them $1 per hour to perform manual labor. Lawyers for the workers say that their clients labored for "nearly 13 hours a day lifting large stones, operating cranes and other heavy machinery, building roads and storm sewers, digging ditches and shoveling snow, all for the equivalent of about $450 per month."


Former Dance School Comptroller Pleads Guilty in $1.5 Million Fraud

Since 2017, Sophia Kim served as the comptroller of the Kirov Academy of Ballet. Founded in 1990, the school produced top ballet dancers each year, with some currently acting as principals at the American Ballet Theater and the National Ballet of Canada. Kim was arrested for using the coffers of the school to write checks to herself, for withdrawing cash at local casinos, and to pay off gambling-related debts. The plea comes 8 years after Kim was found guilty of embezzling money from the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation that was used to gamble at New Jersey casinos.


Ukraine's Burial Mounds Offer Meaning in a Heap of History

Roughly 100,000 burial mounds can be found in Ukraine, which were built by the Scythians between the 7th and 4th century B.C. to send the dead to the afterlife with supplies, valuables, gold, and other goods. In the twentieth century, most of the mounds have been flattened to level the ground for farming. The ones that remained have mostly been looted with impunity. In response, a preservation group called the Guardians of the Mounds is seeking to lobby local governments to provide measures to prevent destruction and excavation of the mounds, even from archaeologists who are uncovering historical and cultural significance from such excavations.



Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Signs Name, Image, Likeness Bill for College Athletes

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed House Bill 1351, making the state the fifteenth to pass legislation providing for athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. The bill is set to take effect on January 1, 2022 and would prevent restrictions on athletes from "participating in endorsement deals, monetizing their social-media followings or getting paid for signing autographs amid an enterprise that generates billions of dollars for their schools."


Stanford Faces Two Lawsuits for Decision to Cut Sports

In 2 separate lawsuits filed by Stanford University students, the athletes argue that the university is violating state and federal law in connection with its plans to remove 11 sports at the end of the current year. "One suit, filed by eight athletes, is claiming fraud and breach of contract, arguing that Stanford did not disclose to recruits that it was formulating plans to drop the sports, which, the suit said, had been in the works for years. The other suit is asking for an injunction on behalf of five women, arguing that dropping their sports would violate Title IX laws." The suits echo one similar to Brown University students, wherein the university agreed to reinstate 5 of the 11 sports it had planned to remove the prior year.


Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Drug Test

In the wake of 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit's victory, it was reported that the horse failed a drug test. The horse could not be disqualified until a second sample confirmed that the first test was positive. If disqualified, however, Medina Spirit would be stripped of its victory and Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, will lose winnings from the race. The drug alleged to be used was betamethasone, which acts as a corticosteroid to reduce pain and swelling in joints.



After Years in a Supporting Role, Amber Sabathia Is in Charge

Amber Sabathia, wife of famed Yankees pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, announced that she will be joining Creative Artists Agency as an agent for Major League Baseball players. More recently, women have begun to hold higher positions in organizations, such as Alyssa Nakken being hired as the first full-time major-league coach for the San Francisco Giants and Kim Ng being named general manager of the Miami Marlins. Sabathia will be the first woman to negotiate playing contracts for the baseball division at Creative Artists Agency.


Michigan Ignored Warnings About Doctor Abusing Athletes, a Report Says

A recent report found that for over 20 years, the University of Michigan ignored complaints by students and warnings from others regarding Robert E. Anderson, a longtime doctor in the athletic department. The findings show that Anderson assaulted '"countless"' student athletes in the wrestling and football programs, who were subjected to unwarranted hernia or rectal exams. Anderson worked at the university for 37 years until 1999 and retired from the university in 2003, later dying in 2008.


Northwestern Athletic Director Resigns Amid Backlash Over Harassment Case

After only 10 days on the job, Mike Polisky resigned as the athletic director of Northwestern University, after criticism over his handling of racism and sexual harassment accusations within the cheerleading program when he served as the university's deputy athletic director. In a May 6th letter, the university president defended the hiring of Polisky, stating that "an independent investigator hired by Northwestern found Polisky had not violated school policies in preliminary findings from an inquiry into the complaints raised by cheerleaders." Despite the resignations, those in support of removing Polisky hoped these events will open more inquiries into the operation of other departments within the school.


A Police Shooting in Hawaii Has South Africans Demanding Justice

A former Rugby player in South Africa, Lindani Myeni moved to Hawaii to start a real estate career. Like so many others before him, Myeni was shot and killed by police officers who believed they were responding to a burglary. Myeni was found unarmed and without shoes, which his wife believes was a result of plans to enter the Hare Krishna temple next door. In South Africa, citizens are demanding justice and police reform for the unnecessary killings of unarmed Black men.


Baseball in Britain Confronts Issues With Sexism

On April 25th, the British Baseball Federation posted a tweet advertising the league. The image was a "rendering of a female player viewed from behind, wearing a helmet and holding a glove. The player appeared to be either topless or wearing a halter top and just to the left of the image sat the logo of the women's league, lending the appearance of its approval." Despite immediate outrage, the league defended the tweet and left it online for 12 hours. While the former president of the league subsequently apologized and was fired, the incident highlights similar events in the United States, where sexual harassment in the sport has been exposed more over the last few years.



As Congress Dithers, States Step In to Set Rules for the Internet

In a recent spate of legislation, "over the past six months, Virginia, Arkansas, Florida and Maryland have been among at least 38 states that have introduced more than 100 bills to protect people's data privacy, regulate speech policies and encourage tech competition." While Congress has held more hearings to reign in the power of tech giants in controlling the internet, states have taken action into their own hands to help set rules for the internet. The result is a hodgepodge of internet regulations that provides a different internet experience for different states and requires tech companies to tailor their products for these different markets.


Dozens of State Prosecutors Tell Facebook to Stop its Plans for a Children's Version of Instagram

Forty four Attorneys General have called on Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, to scrap its plan to offer a version of the popular photo sharing app to children. Research shows that "the use of social media, including Instagram, has led to an increase in mental distress, body image concerns and even suicidal thoughts." In response, Facebook points out that children are already on the internet and that by curating the experience for children, parents would have more control over what their kids view on the platform.


Washington Post Names A.P. Editor, Sally Buzbee, as Its Top Editor

The Washington Post announced that Sally Buzbee will lead the publication as its next top editor. The historic appointment marks the first time the newspaper will be led by a woman since its first publication in 1877. Buzbee previously started her career in 1988 at the Associated Press, where she began as a reporter in Topeka, Kansas, and ultimately rose to senior vice president of the organization in 2017.


Instagram to Give Australian National Rugby League Stars Power to Block Trolls

In what is seen as a positive step toward policing online bullying, "Instagram will provide a new tool for athletes to use that will automatically filter direct message requests which contain offensive words, phrases and emojis." In addition, Instagram will also provide a feature allowing the recipient of offensive direct messages to block a user and any other accounts they may create. The change comes after Australian National Rugby Stars have complained of threatening and racist messages from fans due to lost wagers on games.


As Ethiopia Fights in Tigray Region, a Crackdown on Journalists

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power, "Ethiopia was among the most repressive countries for journalists in Africa, and he quickly won global praise for a series of sweeping reforms." Among his first actions was freeing journalists who were incarcerated under the previous regime. He also unblocked hundreds of websites, and Ethiopia hosted the World Press Freedom Day celebrations for the first time. Yet, since he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, a deadly civil war has broken out. As a result, Ethiopia has returned to the repressive ways of the previous regime, arresting journalists and creating an environment of intimidation for journalists in the hopes of quelling negative news associated with the war.


General News

FBI Identifies Group Behind Pipeline Hack

A hacker group called DarkSide orchestrated a ransomware attack against Colonial Pipelines, a private company that controls a major pipeline of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from Texas to New York. The company says that disruptions were minimal and it expected its computer systems to be online by the end of the week. Evidence indicated that the group hailed from Eastern Europe, but it is unknown whether the attack was purely extortion by the group or a more coordinated attack with Kremlin ties. Colonial Pipeline since paid a ransom of roughly $5 million to recover the company's stolen data.

In response, President Biden signed an executive order that would be the equivalent of rating companies who wish to work with the government on the cybersecurity standards. According to the executive order, "the United States will require all software purchased by the federal government to meet, within six months, a series of new cybersecurity standards," and those who fail to meet these standards will risk securing a government contract.




Biden Administration Restores Rights for Transgender Patients

In a new policy, the Biden administration announced that "the Department of Health and Human Services will once again prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by health care organizations that receive federal funding." The change reverses a Trump-era policy that stated that the anti-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 do cover transgender individuals.


U.S. Defends Detention of Afghan at Guantánamo Despite Pullout

A Guantánamo habeas corpus hearing was held for Asadullah Haroon Gul, an Afghan citizen who has been held by the U.S. military since 2007. Haroon previously served as commander of the Hezb-i-Islami militia, which fought alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda against the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. The hearing came amongst the backdrop of President Biden's order to withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan this year.


White House Says Undocumented Students Can Receive Pandemic Aid

The Biden administration announced that undocumented students would be eligible to receive a portion of the $36 billion allocated to colleges as part of the emergency relief bill. The funds are expected to "bolster academic support services, purchase laptops and expand mental health programs." The decision reversed a Trump-era rule that prevented undocumented students from accessing money as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law by then-President Trump.


Senate Panel Deadlocks on Voting Rights as Bill Faces Major Obstacles

A Senate committee held a vote on the For the People Act, which is a wide-ranging bill aimed at election reform and combating the restrictive voting laws being enacted in Republican-held territories. Such laws include, for example, a bill by Arizona Republicans to limit the distribution of mail ballots through an early voting list. The list automatically distributes ballots to people for each election, and the new Arizona bill would remove individuals from the list if they do not cast a vote every 2 years.

The provisions in the For the People Act would create a nationwide floor for ballot access. Additionally, "each state would be required to implement 15 days of early voting, no-excuse vote-by-mail programs like the ones many states expanded during the pandemic, and automatic and same-day voter registration." The vote ended in a 9-to-9 tie and does not prevent Democrats from moving forward with the bill.




Biden Administration to Repeal Trump Rule Aimed at Curbing Environmental Protection Agency's Power

As head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael S. Regan is instituting policies the reverse the previous administration's actions. Most recently, Regan is moving to repeal the cost-benefit rule, which would have required economists in the agency to "calculate the public health benefits that stem directly from a new regulation and separately the value of ancillary benefits, or "co-benefits" -- such as the reduction of pollutants not directly governed by the regulation." The cost-benefit rule was previously lobbied for by the fossil fuel industry, which argued that the government set arbitrary economic formulas that led to strict pollution regulations.


Climate Change Is Making Big Problems Bigger

In a recent report by the EPA, data indicates that rising global temperatures are exacerbating existing environmental issues, such as hurricanes, droughts, and flooding. The EPA report notes that, "since 1901, surface temperatures across the lower 48 states have increased by an average of 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit each decade; since the late 1970s, that rate has jumped to as much as half a degree per decade." The result is that the frequency of heat waves have tripled since the 1960's and rising sea levels have led to five times as many floods since the 1950's.


Mysterious Ailments Are Said to Be More Widespread Among U.S. Personnel

In a recent increase in most overseas incidents leading to mysterious ailments, the government is dedicating resources to understand the issue. According to the National Security Council, the episodes "involve personnel experiencing '"sensory phenomena,"' such as sound, pressure or heat, along with or followed by physical symptoms, such as sudden-onset vertigo, nausea, and head or neck pain." In response, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report in December highlighting that a microwave-based weapon explains the injuries and is the most likely cause. Government officials are pointing to Russia as a source of the attacks, and Russia has denied any involvement.


House Democrats and White House Reach Deal Over Testimony by Ex-Trump Aide

According to a court filing this week, former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II will testify before Congress regarding former-President Trump's alleged actions to obstruct the Russian investigation. The case marked a litmus test and a source of disagreement amongst Democrats, some of whom wanted to forge ahead with a subpoena after years of stonewalling, while other saw the subpoena compelling McGahn to testify as a dangerous precedent for Republicans to use to one day force Democrats to discuss internal matters.


Activists and Ex-Spy Said to Have Plotted to Discredit Trump 'Enemies' in Government

During the Trump administration, an organized network of former aids, activists, and spies worked together to gain information on those not perceived as loyal to Donald Trump and whose purpose was to purge the White House and other government agencies of "deep state" enemies of Trump. Operations were organized by Project Veritas, which is a nonprofit that "has a history of conducting sting operations on news organizations, Democratic politicians and advocacy groups." A major contributor to the effort was Richard Seddon, "a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns, and other targets."


Over 100 Republicans, Including Former Officials, Threaten to Split from The G.O.P.

In a letter expected to be released this week, more than 100 Republicans are threatening to create a new party if the Republican party does not make changes. Amongst the signees are "former officials at both the state and national level who once were governors, members of Congress, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, state legislators and Republican Party chairmen." A seed of division within the party stems from a group in the Republican party who have continued to create an alternate reality of the events on January 6th. In a House Oversight and Reform committee, some used their time to discuss Antifa, while others said that the events looked like a "normal tourist visit" to the Capitol. The news of a potential new party culminated with a closed-door vote to oust Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from Republican leadership, who was critical of the narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.




In Rebuke to National Rifle Association, Federal Judge Dismisses Bankruptcy Case

In a long-running investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York State is trying to remove current the chief executive of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Wayne LaPierre, from power and shut down the organization. In a now failed legal maneuver, LaPierre relocated to Texas and filed for bankruptcy there. At the conclusion of a 12-day trial, Judge Harlin D. Hale noted that "the NRA is using this bankruptcy case to address a regulatory enforcement problem, not a financial one" and that any effort to revive the bankruptcy case in Texas would lead to the appointment of an outside trustee to oversee the organization and its finances.


'Staggering' Legal Fees in Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Case

In connection with the bankruptcy case involving the Boy Scouts of America and victims of sexual abuse, lawyers representing both the organization and the children have submitted lawyer fee applications that thus far have surpassed $100 million, and are expected to reach $150 million by August. The money would be taken from the Boy Scouts of America's estate, which is used to pay out claims to the victims in any settlement. The organization estimates that the payout to abuse victims will range from $2.4 billion to $7.1 billion.


Efforts to Weed Out Extremists in Law Enforcement Meet Resistance

In the wake of the riot on the Capitol on January 6th, lawmakers in California, Oregon, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. have proposed new legislation that would empower police departments to root out extremist members from its force. Certain pieces of legislation, like one drafted in California, would "reject all candidates who had been members of hate groups, participated in their activities or publicly expressed sympathy for them." Constitutional scholars, however, believe that laws defined in this way would be overinclusive and would be met with legal challenges based on First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly.


Memorandum in Support by New York State Bar Association

The New York State Senate repealed Judiciary Law Section 470, which required that those who reside outside of New York but who are licensed to practice law in New York must maintain a physical office in the state. The decision came in the wake of working from home, done by necessity due to Covid, but which trial led to the successful adoption of electronic filings, virtual meetings, and court proceedings. To pass as law the bill must next be adopted by the Assembly.


Cuomo Accusers Are Subpoenaed as State Inquiry Enters a Critical Phase

Moving beyond the fact-find phase, New York State Attorney General Letita James issued subpoenas to testify under oath to 4 women who have accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment. Two prominent attorneys hired by James have also been investigating whether "Cuomo or his aides broke any laws, destroyed documents or other evidence or sought to retaliate against the governor's accusers or interfere with the investigation in any way."


Atlanta Spa Shootings Were Hate Crimes, Prosecutor Says

Robert Aaron Long, who killed 8 Atlanta residents of Asian descent at various spas, was indicted on murder charges. The prosecutor plans to seek the death penalty, citing that the victims were targeted because they were Asian. Long denied killing the victims because of their race, but rather said he experienced a "sex addiction," which is why he targeted the spas. The grand jury also indicted Long on one count of domestic terrorism for causing fear in Georgia residents.


'A Measure of Peace' for Families of Maryland Lynching Victims

Eighty-eight years ago George Armwood was accused of attacking a white woman. Despite pleading his innocence, Armwood was later jailed, where a lynch mob later found him. He was then '"beaten, stabbed, and kicked, before he was tied to the back of a truck and driven to the place he would be hanged."' Last week, Armwood and 33 other Black men and boys who were lynched in Maryland between 1854 and 1933 were formally pardoned. The pardons were also prompted by the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, a nonprofit group whose goal is to share stories of lynching victims and their families, along with a group of students who learned of the lynchings as part of a juvenile justice project and had been working on a pardon to the governor in connection with lynchings in the state.


University of California Will No Longer Consider SAT and ACT Scores

In a 2019 lawsuit brought by students, advocacy groups, and the Compton Unified School District, the plaintiffs argued that "college entrance tests are biased against poor and mainly Black and Hispanic students -- and that by basing admissions decisions on those tests, the system illegally discriminates against applicants on the basis of their race, wealth and disability." In a settlement, standardized SAT and ACT test scores will no longer be a component to determine school admission or qualification for scholarships for students applying between fall 2021 and spring 2025.


China Targets Muslim Women in Push to Suppress Births in Xinjiang

In response to declining birthrates, authorities in China are encouraging women to have more children. Paradoxically, in the Xinjiang region, women are discouraged from having children with the goal of "tightening its grip on Muslim ethnic minorities and trying to orchestrate a demographic shift that will diminish their population growth." The coordinated plan comes after China's leader, Xi Jinping, put hundreds of thousands of Muslim minority Uyghurs and other Central Asian minorities in Xinjiang internment camps. Authorities are said to have pressured women to use IUDs or get sterilized. In the event that women resisted or had more children, they would face punitive fines or detention in an internment camp, where some were raped or forced to take drugs that would stop their menstrual cycles.


China's Mars Rover Mission Lands on the Red Planet

In what many are heralding as a new era of space competition, a Chinese aircraft landed on Mars. This comes after a new orbiting space station was launched last month and plans for China to send 3 astronauts into space. The Chinese aircraft joins NASA's Ingenuity, a small helicopter built to demonstrate the possibility for a helicopter-like aircraft to operate on the red planet, and Hope, an orbiter launched by the United Arab Emirates on February 9th to study Mars.



Vaccinated Americans May Go Without Masks in Most Places, Federal Officials Say

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans who are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus are free to stop wearing masks or social distance in most settings. The new recommendations stem from a precipitous drop in coronavirus cases (where infections decreased by nearly one third over the past 2 weeks) and due to the prevalence of vaccines. While some have praised the announcement as one that was long overdue, others say the new guidelines were too swift for an organization known to be conservative in its approach.


Food and Drug Administration Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Children 12 to 15

The Food and Drug Administration authorized that the Pfizer vaccine could be used to immunize children in the 12 to 15 year old age group, providing more opportunities for in-person education and the attendance of summer camps. Similarly, the CDC recommended that the vaccine could be safely used to inoculate children within that age group. As of now, "roughly one-third of eighth graders, usually 13 or 14 years old, are still learning fully remotely," and the age group covers roughly 17 million people in the United States.



A Coronavirus Variant First Found in India is Now Officially a 'Variant of Concern,' Said World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is citing a newer variant of coronavirus as being most prevalent in the outbreak of cases in India. Known as the B.1.617 variant, it has been linked to cases in 32 countries, including the United States. Official figures show that in the country, there are "more than 350,000 new infections daily this month and nearly 250,000 total deaths -- some experts say that the numbers are a vast undercount and estimate that India is on pace to suffer more than one million deaths by August."



May 21, 2021

Theater News for the Week of May 21st

By Bennett Liebman

Theaters, ignore anti-vaxxers. Require proof of vaccination, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-05-19/anti-vaxxer-covid-vaccine-passports-theater

Billy Porter Reveals He Has Been H.I.V. Positive for 14 Years, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/arts/billy-porter-hiv-positive.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

SPOTCO DROPS 'LEHMAN TRILOGY' FROM LAWSUIT AGAINST RUDIN, http://broadwayjournal.com/rudin-free-lehman-trilogy-dropped-from-spotco-suit-clearing-path-to-opening/

Green Shoots in April 2021?, https://trgarts.com/blog/insights-report-may-2021

Scott Rudin Accuser Speaks Against Bullying On Hollywood Commission Panel, https://variety.com/2021/biz/news/scott-rudin-accuser-andrew-coles-panel-workplace-harassment-bullying-1234977876/

Drama Book Shop, Backed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, to Open in June, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/theater/drama-book-shop-lin-manuel-miranda.html

Broadway Advocacy Coalition launches equity workshop program for productions, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/21/broadway-advocacy-coahttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/theater/drama-book-shop-lin-manuel-miranda.html

Covid-19 Aid to Concert Halls, Theaters Set to Be Distributed Next Week, https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-aid-to-concert-halls-theaters-set-to-be-distributed-next-week-11621596601

Dion Musical 'The Wanderer' Announces Pre-Broadway Run, https://deadline.com/2021/05/dion-the-wanderer-broadway-musical-christy-altomare-michael-wartella-joey-mcintyre-1234759512/

Broadway League to evaluate guidelines on masking as New York lifts mandate, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/18/broadway-league-to-evaluate-guidelines-on-masking-as-new-york-lifts-mandate/

Downtown Theater (And Off-Broadway Shows) in NYC Returns, https://www.vulture.com/2021/05/downtown-theater-off-broadway-nyc.html

Members of the Broadway community advocate for a more equitable return, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/17/members-of-the-broadway-community-advocate-for-a-more-equitable-return/

Ted Chapin to step down from R&H Organization after 40 years, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/17/ted-chapin-to-step-down-from-r-h-organization-after-40-years/

The West End's Comeback: London Theater Reopens, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/theater/london-west-end-reopening.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

Garth Drabinsky brings pre-Broadway musical to Chicago, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-broadway-in-chicago-paradise-square-20210518-6tsqbqlapjdktbjidupi5p5z5i-story.html

Get Vaccinated at the Pantages and Try for 'Hamilton' Tickets, https://www.nbclosangeles.com/the-scene/get-vaccinated-at-the-pantages-and-try-for-hamilton-tickets/2598450/

Industry Pro Newsletter: The West End Returns, Updated CDC Mask Guidance, and the Continued Demise of the Third Party Cookie, https://www.broadwayworld.com/industry/article/Industry-Pro-Newsletter-The-West-End-Returns-Updated-CDC-Mask-Guidance-and-the-Continued-Demise-of-the-Third-Party-Cookie-20210517

In an (almost) post-pandemic America, people need theater now more than ever, https://pacificlegal.org/people-need-theater-now-more-than-ever/

'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' Feature Skips Theatrical For Amazon, https://deadline.com/2021/05/everybodys-talking-about-jamie-feature-musical-skips-theaters-heads-to-amazon-prime-1234760839/

Katy Rudd: the high-flying director who can't resist a risk, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/19/spotlight-on-katy-rudd-theatre-director

Scott Rudin's Business Partner Barry Diller Facing Abuse Allegations, https://radaronline.com/p/scott-rudin-business-partner-barry-diller-abuse-claims-temper/

Charles Grodin, Star of 'Beethoven' and 'Heartbreak Kid,' Dies at 86, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/movies/charles-grodin-dead.html

Sports News for the Week Ending May 21st

By Bennett Liebman

UConn women's rowing team gets day in court in request for temporary restraining order to keep school from cutting program, https://www.courant.com/sports/college/hc-sp-uconn-womens-rowing-temporary-restraining-order-hearing-20210521-qbyqwnos3rhpjnshf5ixqgblie-story.html

Former Notre Dame swim coach sues university for gender discrimination, http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/publicsafety/former-notre-dame-swim-coach-sues-university-for-gender-discrimination-title-ix-violations/article_a42a7c00-b8d2-11eb-849f-33ef7aef2b5f.html

Stanford reverses sports cuts after lawsuits and pressure from athletes, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/05/18/stanford-reverses-sports-cuts-lawsuits/

Ohio State caught in 'chaos', if NCAA or congress do not establish Name, Image and Likeness guidelines, https://www.cleveland.com/osu/2021/05/ohio-state-caught-in-chaos-if-ncaa-or-congress-do-not-establish-name-image-and-likeness-guidelines.html

Legal concerns have impeded NCAA's effort to enact name, image and likeness legislation by July 1, https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/legal-concerns-have-impeded-ncaas-effort-to-enact-name-image-and-likeness-legislation-by-july-1/

NCAA federal NIL bill for athletes progressing in Congress, https://www.si.com/college/2021/05/18/ncaa-athletes-rights-profit-congress-nil-bill

Title IX: Clemson Track Athlete Lawyers Describe Settlement Hardball, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/college-sports/2021/title-ix-clemson-track-1234629941/

Bob Baffert Barred From Belmont Stakes by NY Racing Officials, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/17/sports/horse-racing/bob-baffert-suspended-belmont.html

Ontario eyes legal single-sports betting in 2021, clock ticks on Senate approval, https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/ontario-eyes-legal-single-sports-betting-in-2021-clock-ticks-on-senate-approval-161613875.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw&tsrc=twtr

New Filing in Lawsuit Between Zion and Former Marketing Agent, http://sportsagentblog.com/2021/05/15/new-filing-in-lawsuit-between-zion-and-former-marketing-agent/

Olivia Moultrie asks for restraining order on NWSL age rule, https://theathletic.com/2603270/2021/05/20/nwsl-olivia-moultrie-antitrust-hearing/?source=user_shared_article

Ex-Washington Football Team exec Bruce Allen responds to Daniel Snyder in legal filing, https://theathletic.com/2590032/2021/05/15/ex-washington-football-team-exec-bruce-allen-responds-to-daniel-snyder-in-legal-filing/

MLBPA boosts reserves as labor talks continue MLBPA boosts reserves as labor talks continue, https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2021/05/17/Upfront/MLBPA.aspx

California attorney general joins LA Chargers owners' legal dispute, https://theathletic.com/2600655/2021/05/19/california-attorney-general-joins-la-chargers-owners-legal-dispute/

Tokyo 2020 can be held in state of emergency says Coates, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1108061/tokyo-2020-held-state-of-emergency

Bach seeks clarification of allegations made against DOSB leadership, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1108048/bach-clarification-allegations-dosb

OpEd: No Ode to Joy in Tokyo, http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__103476/Title__OpEd-No-Ode-to-Joy-in-Tokyo/292/Articles

NCAA's accountability resolution lends little clarity to case, https://www.si.com/college/2021/05/19/ncaa-iarp-no-progress

As Of July 1, Can Athletes Sign NIL Deals With Brands That Compete With Their School Partners?, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/05/as-of-july-1-can-athletes-sign-nil-deals-with-brands-that-compete-with-their-school-partners/

Accusers Of Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson Want To 'Work Things Out', https://www.si.com/nfl/texans/news/accusers-houston-texans-qb-deshaun-watson-work-things-out-report

Retired Black Players Fight NFL Brain Injury Payout Algorithm Based on Race, https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2021/05/18/614610.htm

May 23, 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:


Brown v Netflix

The Second Circuit's ruling affirms that the defendants' use of plaintiff's song ("Fish Sticks n' Tater Tots?) in the documentary film Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe constituted a fair use. The film had featured footage of a performer using the song during a performance.


Stereotypes Persist for Asian and Pacific Island Characters in Film

A study of 1,300 movies found that only 3.4% of them "had leads or co-leads who were Asians or Pacific Islanders." The analysis also found that two-thirds of Asian characters who are cast reflect stereotypes.


Will Songwriting Survive Streaming?

The article discusses a recent study that "sounds the alarm about the need to reform the economics of streaming to better support songwriters."


Radio City Music Hall to Reopen to Maskless, Vaccinated Crowds

The venue will open at full capacity next month. Details are still being worked out, especially as to whether the venue will ask ticketholders to show proof of vaccinations.



Andy Warhol Foundation v Goldsmith

The Andy Warhol Foundation filed a reply in support of its petition for a rehearing/rehearing en banc of the issue involving the Prince Series. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 ruling from New York's federal court finding that Andy Warhol had made fair use of Goldsmith's 1981 photograph of Prince.


ComicMix v Dr. Suess

ComicMix has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the Ninth Circuit's ruling finding that its Star Trek/Dr. Seuss mashup book was not a fair use.


Hunley v Instagram

Photojournalists have brought a class action against Instagram claiming that allowing users to easily "embed" posted images constitutes copyright infringement.


Big Candy is Angry at Look-Alike THC Edibles

To protect their brands, candy companies are suing makers of cannabis-infused edibles that use packaging that could be confused with their own products. Recent lawsuits have been settled, with smaller companies agreeing to halt production, but public authorities continue to fear accidental ingestion of cannabis-infused candy that resembles those of well-established brands.


Cultural Institutions Still Await Promised $16 Billion in Federal Aid

No money from the $16 billion federal aid program has been disbursed to applicants yet, as performance venues and cultural institutions try to survive closures caused by the pandemic. The program's administrator said that highest-priority applicants (those with losses amounting to 90% of revenue) will receive notices soon.


Whitney Museum Workers Move to Form Union with United Auto Workers

A petition asking for a union vote was filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The proposed bargaining unit includes about 180 employees, among them curators, editors, and porters.


The Met Opera Comes Alive

The Metropolitan Opera performed for the first time after a 430-day closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was a 45-minute program in front of an audience of 150 at a performance space in Queens. However, a contentious labor dispute could still threaten its official reopening in September.


Museums Aren't Just to Be Seen - How the Guggenheim Is Reaching Out to Audiences in Atypical Ways

Museums like the Guggenheim are reaching out to disabled individuals through different programming, including sensory tours that serve the blind and partially sighted.


Blake Bailey's Philip Roth Biography Dropped by Norton Finds New Publisher

Skyhorse will publish paperback and digital versions of the book after Norton dropped the biography following assault allegations against the author.


Cuomo Set to Receive $5.1 Million from Pandemic Book Deal

Details of the book deal were released as state investigators look into whether the governor used state resources to write the memoir.


Silenced in the Streets, Protests Surface in Artworks

Artists in Hong Kong are expressing their pro-democracy views in paintings, installations, and other media.



National Football League Embraces Progressive Action, But Not Yet Kaepernick

With leagues now embracing social justice initiatives, "many players say that the N.F.L. must address Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality toward African-Americans," if it is to give meaning to its progressive stance.


Cryptocurrency Becomes National Basketball Association's New Trading Card

Top Shot, a new online marketplace for basketball fans, has become so popular that professional basketball players themselves are buying and selling video highlights using cryptocurrency.


Bob Baffert Barred from Belmont Stakes by New York Racing Officials

State horse racing officials have barred trainer Bob Baffert from running any of his horses at Belmont Park or at Saratoga Race Course. They cited the investigation into his horse's victory at the Kentucky Derby and failed drug tests in the recent past.


New York City Marathon Returns in November

The event will take place on its usual date, the first Sunday of November. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus.


U.S. Attorney Accuses Coach of Extorting Louisville

Louisville assistant men's basketball coach Dino Gaudio was charged in federal court. Federal prosecutors allege that he threatened to expose violations of NCAA rules at Louisville unless the university paid him 17-months' worth of salary. He is expected to enter a plea agreement.


Stanford Reverses Plan to Eliminate 11 Sports

The school will keep all varsity sports during the 2021-22 school year, reversing an earlier decision that was intended to "create fiscal stability" for its athletics departments.


Surfing for the U.S., But Representing Hawaii

Hailing from the birthplace of surfing, John John Florence will complete as an American in the Olympics but would much rather do so as a Hawaiian, representing the state's red, white, and blue flag. That delineation between Hawaii and the American mainland is well known among those in the sport, but will disappear at the Olympics.


International Olympic Committee Officials Say Games Will Open Even if Japan Under State of Emergency

International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates said that the Olympics would open even if local medical experts advise against it. IOC officials maintain that over 80% of the residents of the Olympic Village are expected to be vaccinated.


Before FIFA Bashed Super League, It Met Privately with Breakaway Super League Teams

Soccer's governing body held private talks for months with the founders of the breakaway and since-failed European Super League, going so far as to endorse the competition. The news raises new questions about the role played by the governing body and exposes a difficult relationship between FIFA and UEFA, the latter of which runs the European tournaments that the Super League would have directly undercut.



Apple CEO Takes Stand in Antitrust Trial

Apple's Tim Cook testified in the Epic Games trial this week as a judge considers whether Apple operates an improper monopoly by prohibiting rival app stores on the iPhone and forcing in-app purchases through its own payment system. His testimony focused on the company's commitment to security and privacy as he was challenged about why Apple enforces strict rules that harm app developers as it charges them excessive fees.


Fox News Media Files to Dismiss Dominion's Defamation Lawsuit

In its response, Fox argues that Dominion Voting System's suit "threatened the First Amendment powers of a news organization to chronicle and assess newsworthy claims in a high-stakes political contest," describing its many references implicating Dominion's voting machine equipment in claims of election fraud.


AT&T Retreat Makes Way for Media Giant

AT&T will spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery to create a new company that could have a value above $100 billion. AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018 for $85 billion. Having such a large menu of cable networks could give the new company even more leverage when negotiating rates with cable and satellite operators.



Trump Justice Department Tried to Use Grand Jury to Unveil a Critic

The Biden administration has since withdrawn the grand jury subpoena that sought to have Twitter "unmask pseudonymous social media users" who criticized Representative Devin Nunes. Twitter fought the subpoena, arguing that the account user was engaged in protected First Amendment activity.


Trump Justice Department Seized CNN Reporter's Emails and Phone Records

CNN journalist Barbara Starr's phone and email records were targeted "as part of an investigation into the apparent disclosure of classified information." Starr covers the Pentagon. Her employer said that the Justice Department received "non-content information" of the 2017 records, i.e., they were not able to read the emails.


CNN Drops Rick Santorum After Dismissive Comments About Native Americans

At issue were comments Santorum made at a conservative political event, where he stated that Americans "birthed a nation from nothing," adding "we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn't much Native American culture in American culture."


Chris Cuomo Advised Governor Andrew Cuomo After Sexual Harassment Allegations Emerged

The CNN host participated in strategy calls with his brother, raising ethics questions and "an unusual breach of traditional barriers between lawmakers and journalists." The network said that it won't take disciplinary action against the anchor, despite acknowledging that the discussions were inappropriate.


WNYC Fires Bob Garfield, Citing Violation of Anti-Bullying Policy

Garfield was the co-host of WNYC's "On the Media". He was let go following two investigations into his conduct, which he says involved yelling at meetings, "not 'bullying' per se."


Amazon Extends Ban on Police Use of Facial Recognition Software

The company indefinitely extended its moratorium on the police use of its facial recognition software. It first announced the moratorium last June and has now explained that unless Congress creates legislation regulating the use of facial recognition technology, it will not shift course.


Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China

The article describes how Apple managed to build the world's most valuable business in China while ceding control to the Chinese government by a) having state employees physically manage the computers where personal data is stored; b) storing digital keys that unlock information in the same data centers that they are meant to secure; and c) abandoning the encryption technology it uses elsewhere.


BBC Apologizes for Diana Interview, 25 Years Later

The British broadcaster now acknowledges that Martin Bashir deceived Princess Diana's brother to land the sit-down interview with her in 1995.
A related inquiry also found that the broadcaster's management helped cover up Bashir's conduct, "which included creating fake bank statements to undermine a rival news organization" and gain her brother's trust.



Russia Backs Away from Threats to Block Twitter, But Slowdown Continues

Russia's communications watchdog had accused Twitter of "failing to remove content encouraging suicide among children, as well as information about drugs and child pornography." The social media platform says that it has now deleted most of the banned content, but Russia continues to slow down the speed of uploading photos and videos to the platform.


Kremlin Accelerates Pressure Campaigns on Radio Free Europe

The issue is over a Russian law that requires Radio Free Europe, an organization funded by the U.S. government, to label itself as a "foreign agent". Its failure to do so thus far has led Russian officials to freeze its bank accounts until it pays fines for non-compliance.


General News

Supreme Court to Hear Abortion Case Challenging Roe v Wade

The Supreme Court announced that it will take up a case from Mississippi that could challenge the constitutional right to abortion. The court will review a Mississippi law that restricts most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, about two months earlier than Roe v Wade and subsequent decisions allow. Activists on both sides of the debate see reason to expect change - by agreeing to hear the case, the Court is signaling a willingness to revisit Roe v Wade.

The decision to take up the case also has clear political ramifications - the Court's decision would be expected in spring or summer 2022, as the 2022 midterm elections approach.



Supreme Court Rules That Ban on Non-Unanimous Verdicts is Not Retroactive

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court clarified that its previous ruling banning non-unanimous jury verdicts in cases involving serious crimes (Ramos v Louisiana) did not apply retroactively. In so deciding, the Court also did away with the precedent "that its rulings could apply retroactively in the case of new 'watershed rules' that address the fundamental fairness and accuracy of trials" (even though rulings on criminal procedure more broadly do not apply retroactively).


Supreme Court Weighs in On Jurisdictional Question Impacting Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies

The decision weighed in on a jurisdictional matter and not on the merits of the case. The City of Baltimore had sued various energy companies, alleging that they concealed the environmental impacts of the fossil fuels they promoted. The City first brought the suit in Maryland state court. The defendants removed the case to federal court, but the district court sided with the plaintiffs, remanding the case back to state court. At issue were the rules for appealing lower-court decisions that send cases to state courts. In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reconsider the fossil fuel companies' demand that it review the lower court decision to have the case proceed in state courts.



Biden Signs Bill on Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans

It is the first legislative action that bolsters "law enforcement's response to attacks on people of Asian descent," following a proliferation of assaults and other crimes against Asian-Americans during the pandemic.


House Votes 252 to 175 to Create Capitol Riot Commission

The independent Commission will investigate the January 6th Capitol riot. In voting for the Commission, the House overcame opposition from Republicans, including minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who "had been pushing for any outside investigation to include a look at what he called 'political violence' on the left."



Senate Begins Considering Diverse Slate of Biden Judicial Nominees

The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun holding nomination hearings for Biden nominees So far, two circuit court nominees and three district court candidates were considered, all of whom are people of color. Some come from backgrounds markedly different from those of earlier nominees, including as federal public defenders, who previous presidents have "often shied away from nominating ... because of their client lists, instead favoring candidates with prosecutorial backgrounds."


Republicans Target Ballot Initiatives to Stymie Democrats' Agenda

Several state legislatures (predominantly Republican) have passed laws limiting the use of ballot initiatives, which "allow voters to bypass their legislatures to enact new laws." The article identifies 144 bills restricting the ballot initiative processes in 32 states. In another instance, Missouri lawmakers have refused to carry out a Medicaid expansion that voters voted for in November through a ballot measure.


Cyberattacks and Climate Change Threaten U.S. Energy Independence

While reliance on foreign oil has subsided, the article makes the case for why the nation's energy independence is fragile; primarily because its pipelines and grids are increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather and cyberattacks.


Desperation Grows as Paycheck Protection Program Runs Dry

As funding for the $788 billion relief effort for small businesses runs out, applicants are awaiting word on their loan applications, "some of which have been stalled for months because of errors or glitches." Though the program was scheduled to take applications until the end of May, its administrator announced two weeks ago that it would no longer process new applications due to depleted funding.


U.S. Approves Release for Three Guantanamo Detainees

While details are scant, it is expected that the men will be released to countries that agree to impose security conditions on them, such as preventing them for traveling outside the country or even continuing to jail the detainees.


Arizona Vote Review Splits State's G.O.P.

The state's Republican leaders "issued a blistering rebuke" to an audit of the Maricopa County's votes in the 2020 election, ordered by Republicans in the State Senate. Despite investigating and upholding the integrity of the vote three times since November, the county's board of supervisors is now dealing with a claim that it deleted "election files from equipment and software that the Senate had subpoenaed for examination."


Texas Pushes to Obscure the State's History of Slavery and Racism

A slew of bills before the Texas legislature tries to "reframe Texas history lessons and play down references to slavery and anti-Mexican discrimination." The development is newsworthy because of the potential Texas has to influence school curricula around the country, given its huge textbook market. The measures are part of a growing trend, with states like Idaho withholding funding to schools that teach about the role of slavery and pervasive racism. Louisiana, New Hampshire and Tennessee have also introduced "bills that would ban teaching about the enduring legacies of slavery and segregationist laws."


Near-Complete Ban on Abortion Signed into Law in Texas

Banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, the law is one of the nation's most restrictive abortion measures. It also permits any "private citizen to sue doctors or abortion clinic employees who would perform or help arrange for the procedure."


New York's Attorney General Joins Criminal Inquiry into Trump Organization

The attorney general's office, which to date has led a civil inquiry into the Trump Organization, will now work alongside the Manhattan district attorney in an ongoing criminal fraud investigation. The news came as the attorney general's office wrote to the Trump Organization notifying it that information collected as part of its civil inquiry "could now be used as part of a criminal investigation."


Rudy Giuliani Seeks to Block Review of Evidence from His Phones

Giuliani is asking a judge to block a review of records seized at his home as his "lawyers determine whether there was a legitimate basis for the warrants." Giuliani is under investigation for potential lobbying violations.


Citizen Lawsuit Seeks Court's Help to Compel Jakarta Officials to Fight for Clean Air

A ruling is expected next month in a lawsuit accusing the Indonesian president and top officials of failing to curb pollution. Jakarta is one of the world's most polluted cities. A favorable outcome for the plaintiffs will "require national and local governments to set stricter standards for hazardous pollutants and actively enforce them."


World Energy Body Warns that Nations Must Slash Use of Fossil Fuels

The International Energy Agency "issued a detailed road map of what it would take for the world's nations to slash carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. Most noteworthy is that the agency "is not an environmental group but an international organization that advises world capitals on energy policy" to inform long-term planning.


World Facing First Long Slide in Its Population

In analyzing the impact of a declining population and lower fertility rates, the article argues that a "planet with fewer people could ease pressure on resources, slow the destructive impact of climate change and reduce household burdens for women."


Coronavirus Update

U.S. To Send 20 Million Vaccine Doses to Nations in Need

The shipment is part of a global effort to contain the virus and will include doses of Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is in addition to the 60 million AstraZeneca doses pledged last month.


What Women Lost in the Pandemic - The Child-Care Crisis and How Women Fared

1.3 million of the 5.1 million American mothers who stopped working for pay due to the pandemic remain out of work.


New York City is Reopening, But Not 100%

The article describes what activities will be permitted in New York City following the May 19th reopening. While vaccinated residents will no longer have to wear masks, masks will continue being mandatory in some settings, like public transit.



Emergent Reveals That 100 Million Doses of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Held Up Over Contamination


U.S. Inquiry into Governor Cuomo Widens to Examine Special Access to Coronavirus Tests

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Governor Cuomo's "administration granted special access to rapid coronavirus test results for the governor's family and other influential people" in the early weeks of the pandemic.


Severe COVID More Often Fatal in Africa


Vaccinated Travelers From Safe Countries Will Be Allowed to Visit European Union


May 28, 2021

Sports News for the Week of May 28th

By Bennett Liebman

Bob Baffert, A Commanding Presence At Belmont Stakes, Is Barred From The Racetrack This Year, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christianred/2021/05/22/bob-baffert-a-commanding-presence-at-belmont-stakes-is-barred-from-the-racetrack-this-year/?sh=7af028c3294f

Kentucky Derby Operator Hit With Suit Over Horse Doping, https://www.law360.com/articles/1388135/kentucky-derby-operator-hit-with-suit-over-horse-doping

Wisconsin lawmakers consider banning transgender athletes, https://wislawjournal.com/2021/05/26/wisconsin-lawmakers-consider-banning-transgender-athletes/

Ohio state senator to introduce name, image and likeness bill, https://theathletic.com/news/ohio-state-senator-to-introduce-name-image-and-likeness-bill/8nMDRXPKFfXh

The Alston Oral Arguments: A Citations-Focused Perspective, https://abovethelaw.com/2021/05/the-alston-oral-arguments-a-citations-focused-perspective/

NBA Star Embiid Can't Register 'Trust the Process' Shoe Mark, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/ip-law/nba-star-embiid-cant-register-trust-the-process-shoe-mark

Adidas Lawsuit Racketeering College Basketball Brian Bowen Pacers, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/adidas-lawsuit-racketeering-1234630680/

Olivia Moultrie Temporary Restraining Order NWSL Age Restriction, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/olivia-moultrie-temporary-restraining-order-1234630513/

Zlatan Ibrahimovic fined by UEFA for having financial interest in betting company, https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11854/12317678/zlatan-ibrahimovic-fined-by-uefa-for-having-financial-interest-in-betting-company

Jackson Hole Lawsuit Ski Injury Tree Stump Assumption of Risk, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/jackson-hole-lawsuit-1234630403/

Nike Split With Neymar Amid Sexual-Assault Probe, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nike-split-with-neymar-amid-sexual-assault-probe-11622159616?mod=e2tws

Senate Bill Proposes Union Labor for NCAA Athletes on Scholarship, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/senate-bill-proposes-union-labor-for-ncaa-athletes-1234630757/

International concern over Argentina's Sports Secretary's intimidation of Olympic athletes, http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__103555/Title__International-concern-over-Argentinas-Sports-Secretarys-intimidation-of-Olympic-athletes/292/Articles

Son, ghostwriter of late senator say Trump intervened to stop probe of Patriots' Spygate scandal, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/31484993/son-ghostwriter-late-senator-say-trump-intervened-stop-probe-patriots-spygate-scandal

Former U of L assistant basketball coach expected to plead guilty June 4 in federal extortion case, https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/former-u-of-l-assistant-basketball-coach-expected-to-plead-guilty-june-4-in-federal/article_918da262-bcf0-11eb-9095-fb5ed242ae21.html

Pending sale of Minnesota Timberwolves has no limitations to moving franchise to a new city, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/31516790/pending-sale-minnesota-timberwolves-no-limitations-moving-franchise-new-city

Wolves' minority owner files suit against Taylor alleging breach of contract in sale, https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/wolves-minority-owner-files-suit-against-taylor-alleging-breach-of-contract-in-sale/ar-AAKrdlN?ocid=BingNewsSearch

ACLU files lawsuit against West Virginia for anti-trans law, https://www.si.com/high-school/2021/05/26/west-virginia-lawsuit-anti-trans-children-in-sports-aclu

FIFA Congress votes on future of FIFA Women's World Cup™ hosting, https://www.fifa.com/who-we-are/news/fifa-congress-votes-on-future-of-fifa-women-s-world-cuptm-hosting-and-looks-to-e#71st-fifa-virtual-congress-council-meeting-2-x1687

Former Mets Manager Banned After Sexual Harassment Investigation, https://www.wsj.com/articles/mickey-callaway-sexual-harassment-investigation-mlb-11622064240?mod=e2tws

NFL, NFLPA agree to 2022 salary-cap ceiling, vaccine incentives released, https://theathletic.com/news/nfl-nflpa-agree-to-2022-salary-cap-ceiling-vaccine-incentives-released/nqrJAzpAOpuP

Three key steps to end the endemic greed and narcissism in sports leadership, https://www.sportspromedia.com/opinion/sports-federations-sexism-leadership-dfb-dosb-strategy

Theater News for the Week of May 28th

By Bennett Liebman

Broadway productions now have more options for reopening dates, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/28/broadway-productions-now-have-more-options-for-reopening-dates/

Places please: A new relief fund wants to help artists move back to New York, https://www.crainsnewyork.com/small-business/relief-fund-wants-help-artists-move-back-new-york?adobe_mc=MCMID%3D47347047419039250343716084342296370731%7CMCORGID%3D138FFF2554E6E7220A4C98C6%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1621914781&CSAuthResp=1%3A%3A748424%3A23%3A24%3Asuccess%3ACBB5DF22864D67EAC2F858A678EEBF6F

Actors' Equity Association Urges All States To Continue Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Actors-Equity-Association-Urges-All-States-To-Continue-Federal-Pandemic-Unemployment-Insurance-20210524

Broadway Restart Accelerates as 'Hadestown' Plans Its Return, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/24/theater/hadestown-broadway-reopening.html

Colonial Williamsburg is facing up to its own past through theater, https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/05/22/colonial-williamsburg-dramas-slaves-troubled-past/

At cultural institutions that pledged to diversify staff, hiring -- and change -- have been slow, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/25/arts/cultural-institutions-that-pledged-diversify-staff-hiring-change-have-been-slow/

Leader of Americans for the Arts Retires After Workplace Complaints, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/27/arts/robert-lynch-afta-retires.html

Tony Awards announced, plus televised Broadway celebration, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-tony-awards-2021-announced-20210526-jxnw7gjpvfhrzmje2xaaklb4oy-story.html

Popular Northeast summer festivals leap onstage after lockdown, https://www.newsday.com/travel/northeast-summer-theater-festival-1.50257178

Lyric Opera gets rid of intermissions. Now what?, https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/chris-jones/ct-ent-lyric-no-intermission-jones-0528-20210525-prt7ibyfrfhfpgpdmm5fn7dvue-story.html

The Return of Live Theater, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/22/at-home/live-theater-returns.html

'Fleabag' National Theatre Production to Stream on Amazon, https://variety.com/2021/film/global/fleabag-benedict-cumberbatchs-frankenstein-hamlet-national-theatre-amazon-1234980839/

Stop looking at NYC as the only place where theatre is important, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/2021/5/28/stop-looking-at-nyc-as-the-only-place-where-theatre-is-important

After Tragedy, an Indianapolis Theater Stages a Comeback, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/24/theater/fonseca-theater-indiana.html

'There's nothing like it!' Musical stars return to storm the stage, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/25/musical-stars-stage-hamilton-pretty-woman-back-to-the-future

The Great Outdoors, https://www.americantheatre.org/category/special-section/the-great-outdoors/

Theatre is like church: we gather to bear witness, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/25/theatre-is-like-church-we-gather-to-bear-witness-nathaniel-martello-white

Can't Have People in the Theatre? Bring Theatre to the People, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/05/26/cant-have-people-in-the-theatre-bring-theatre-to-the-people/

'You Could Be King', https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/05/26/you-could-be-king/

They've Given $6 Million to the Arts. No One Knew Them, Until Now, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/26/arts/music/alphadyne-foundation-storefront-concerts.html

UK theatres promise to only cast trans actors in trans roles, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/26/uk-theatres-promise-to-only-cast-trans-actors-in-trans-roles

SBA begins sending notice of grant awards for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, http://bway.ly/l3s1hz#https://broadwaynews.com/2021/05/26/sba-begins-sending-notice-of-grant-awards-for-the-shuttered-venues-operators-grant-program/

Partnerships between Black playwrights and directors showcased at Williamstown Theatre Festival, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/21/arts/partnerships-between-black-playwrights-directors-showcased-williamstown-theatre-festival/

May 31, 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:


Betty, Inc. v. Pepsico, Inc.

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in this case. The Court reviewed Betty Inc.'s claims on appeal and found that although Betty, Inc. did have a valid copyright, Pepsico did not infringe upon it because there were not substantial similarities in the Pepsico's commercial from Betty's pitch. Most importantly "[c]opyright does not protect an idea, but only an expression of an idea."


Metropolitan Opera Cuts Fees for Solos by 12.7%

The Metropolitan Opera is negotiating cuts to pay per performance with the American Guild of Musical Artists. There is also talk of reducing the number of the full-time chorus members.


Amazon buys MGM

With this $8.45 billion deal, Amazon gains the MGM catalog with more than 4,000 films and 17,000 television shows.


The Tony Awards's have been rescheduled to September

Save September 26, 2021, to watch the Tony Awards!



Biden to Appoint Four New Members to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

The Commission of Fine Arts is responsible for overseeing design and architecture of federal buildings in our capital. Such appointees do not need Congressional approval.


Smithsonian Museums Are Reopening

A great number of museums in Washington, D.C. have already open, including the National Zoo. Others are set to reopen between June and September.


Robert Lynch Steps Down as CEO of Americans for the Arts

Due to complaints of alleged sexual harassment and lack of respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Lynch decided to step down from his $900,000 a year position.


Florida High School Alters Photos of Girls Showing a Bit of Cleavage

The school's yearbook coordinator decided to alter about 80 photos based her interpretation of the district's dress code.


Laurence de Cars is First Woman to Direct the Louvre

After 228 years in existence, French president picked the first woman to direct the Louvre museum. De Cars is currently the director of Musee d'Orsay.


Myanmar's Poets Are Shut Down by the Junta

Not only are poets in Myanmar being incarcerated by the junta, but they are also being brutally killed. Apparently, once killed, their organs may be removed.



COVID Threatens 2021 Japan Olympics

Rising COVID cases in Japan leads to a state of emergency. Travelers from abroad have already been banned, but it seems that even local fans might not be able to attend the Olympic Games.


15-year-old Olivia Moultrie Can Join the National Women's Soccer League

A federal judge approved a temporary restraining order against the age limit requirement of the National Women's Soccer League. Apparently, there are no such restrictions in Europe or men's leagues.


National Football League Raises Salary Cap

The 2022 salary cap was raised to $208.2 million, with which the National Football League Players Association has agreed.


Body Shaming Comments Found Offensive

Head Coach Curt Miller offensively body shamed a Women's National Basketball Association player. Such actions led to his suspension and a fine of $10,000.


Mickey Callaway Fired

Major League Baseball launched an investigation to the sexual harassment allegations, which led to the Angels firing Callaway.


Kenya's Doping Ban

Kenya has a policy prohibiting "past doping offenders from representing the country." Abel Kiprop, who is serving a four-year ban, is considering a challenge the prohibition.


Copa America Might Not Happen This Year

Colombia, one of the two host countries, has been removed as a host country because of the political protests and violence. Argentina, being the other host country, is suffering from a Coronavirus surge, forcing the country to shut down again.


21 Runners Died in China During Race

Extreme cold weather from a storm in the high mountains pass killed many runners in the Bayiyin race.



University of North Carolina Denies Tenure to Journalist

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who is a Pulitzer Prize winner with the New York Times Magazine, is considering suing the university for denying her tenure. Hannah-Jones holds a master's degree from the journalism school of the university.


Support For Ban on Journalists' Data

The administration backs the ban on seizures of journalists' data, particularly in phones. This seems to be reverse in policy.


Florida's New Censorship Law

"Most notably, it imposes heavy fines--up to $250,000 per day--on any platform that deactivates the account of a candidate for political office, and it prohibits platforms from taking action against "journalistic enterprises."


AP Rethinking Social Media Rules

After journalists have been fired recently for expressing slanted views on social media, AP is looking into forming a committee for recommendations for changing the current social media guidelines.


Washington, D.C. Sues Amazon

The lawsuit is based on alleged anticompetitive practices. Allegedly, Amazon blocks access to websites or other venues with lower prices.


India's Government Regulations Leads to WhatsApp Lawsuit

India's new regulations requires traceability of private messages for surveillance. The lawsuit is based on India's constitutional right to privacy.


Plane forced to land in Belarus

Belarus forced a commercial jet to land in order to arrest journalist Roman Protasevich. The US and EU condemned Belarus' actions.


General News

Biden Proposes a Budget of $6 Trillion

The proposed budget is an attempt to overhaul the economy. It includes the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. The President's budget aims to make the U.S. more competitive with China.


GOP Blocks Congressional Inquiry into Capitol Attack

The Senate Republicans blocked a bill to establish a 9/11 style bipartisan Commission to investigate the capitol riot/attack. Therefore, the country may never know the answers to so many questions behind the who, what, and why of the riot.


SCOTUS Rejects Firing Squad Request

An inmate on death row in Missouri requested a firing squad instead of lethal injection.


Did Ukraine Interfere in the 2020 Election?

Prosecutors are investigating the potential link between Giuliani and misinformation about Biden's corruption during the 2020 election with the help of Ukraine.


FEMA Programs Are Prepared For Extreme Weather

As climate change is making weather more dangerous, Biden's administration doubled the FEMA programs to help those in need, especially as this hurricane season is expected to be busier than in the past, with more potential for disasters.


Federal Reserve Governor Suggest a Digital Dollar

The Federal Reserve plans to release a working paper this summer "that addresses multiple issues involving Central Bank Digital Currencies."


Climate Change Strategy Leads to Activists Winning Seats on ExxonMobil's Board

Engine No. 1, an activist investor, was successful in obtaining two out of four nominations onto the oil giant's board of directors, although changing the company's views towards renewable energy and away from carbon fuels is an uphill battle.


Ransomware From Russia

A group called the DarkSide, although fairly new, it is quite sophisticated in using ransomware. This group might be responsible for the Colonial pipeline shutdown.


UC Berkley Offers Nonfungible Tokens For Patent Disclosures

The auction to the Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) will be on foundation.app, which is a Ethereum-based NFT auction platform. The proceeds of the auction will go to fund research and education.


Hudson Tunnel Gets Approval

The Department of Transportation approved the environmental impact statement allowing the project to move forward. The tunnel was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.


New York City Students Back to In-Person Classes Next Year

NYC will not offer online classes beginning in September 2021, although about 60% opted for remote learning this year.


It Is Called the "Insane" Prison

Myanmar's political prisoners are imprisoned in the Insane prison known for brutality and torture. Its real name is Insein and it is severely overcrowded, especially since the coup.


About May 2021

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

April 2021 is the previous archive.

June 2021 is the next archive.

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