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September 3, 2021

Theater News for the Week of September 3rd

By Bennett Liebman

When The World Shuffled Off to Buffalo, https://www.buffalorising.com/2021/08/ec200-when-the-world-shuffled-off-to-buffalo-the-rich-history-of-wny-theatre/

Musicals Return to Broadway With 'Waitress' and 'Hadestown, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/02/theater/broadway-reopening-hadestown-waitress.html

What Theater Learned While Being Closed for 18 Months, https://www.vulture.com/2021/09/theater-broadway-reopening-lessons.html

Celebrities wade into West Stockbridge feud as permit hearing looms for The Foundry, https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/southern_berkshires/celebrities-wade-into-west-stockbridge-feud-as-permit-hearing-looms-for-the-foundry/article_4ec452ae-076a-11ec-9ddb-975f7c8106e4.html

Broadway shows are back, but different from before, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/02/entertainment/broadway-returns-new-york/index.html

Broadway Theater Safety, Proof of Vax, Masks and Live Theater, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/broadway-theater-safety-proof-vax-masks-live-theater-1218367/

Broadway Returns! But Where Will it Go Now?, https://www.vogue.com/article/curtain-up-new-york-theaters-reopen

Broadway Theater Owners and Producers Start Campaign to Bring Back Locals, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/27/theater/this-is-broadway-campaign.html

TKTS Times Square reopens Sept.14, https://broadwaynews.com/2021/09/01/tkts-times-square-will-reopen-september-14/

Patti LuPone Is Anxious and Emotional About Broadway's Return, https://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/patti-lupone-is-anxious-and-emotional-about-broadways-return

Broadway Musicals Return, But COVID Concerns Are Center Stage, https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1033011323/broadway-musicals-reopen-covid-delta

Trans March on Broadway, Protesting Statements Made by Cameron Mackintosh, https://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/trans-march-on-broadway-protesting-statements-made_92684.html

Alexandra Billings Counters Transphobic Cameron Mackintosh Comments, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/alexandra-billings-calls-out-cameron-mackintosh-trans-comments-73925/?utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=expert&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

How 'Pass Over' on Broadway and other shows are rehearsing safely, https://www.lohud.com/story/entertainment/2021/08/30/pass-over-broadway-shows-infectious-economics-salivadirect-test/5486958001/

3 Broadway Veterans Prepare For Opening Night After The Pandemic, https://www.npr.org/2021/08/30/1032340297/3-broadway-veterans-prepare-for-opening-night-after-the-pandemic-hiatus

Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz: 'The US arts scene is like a totalitarian state, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/wicked-composer-stephen-schwartz-us-arts-scene-like-totalitarian/

At 23, She Created A Not-For-Profit To Give Women And Non-Binary Theater Artists All The Tools, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jerylbrunner/2021/08/31/at-23-she-created-a-not-for-profit-to-give-women-and-non-binary-theater-artists-all-the-tools-to-produce-and-showcase-their-shows/?sh=58fc90736bdb

'Hamilton' reopens at the Hollywood Pantages, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-08-27/hamilton-hollywood-pantages-covid-delta

Inside Disney Theatrical's Global Restart After Pandemic Shutdown, https://variety.com/2021/legit/news/disney-broadway-lion-king-frozen-beauty-and-the-beast-1235052207/

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Announces New Leadership Structure, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/02/oregon-shakespeare-festival-announces-new-leadership-structure/

Theatre's Fall Plans, and the Delta Variant, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/08/27/theatres-fall-plans-and-the-delta-variant/

'Let It Go' was about pressure on women: Frozen's songwriters on redefining Disney, https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/frozen-musical-kristen-anderson-lopez-robert-b1912283.html

Tom Stoppard admits being at odds with 'lively' leftwing UK theatre scene, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/aug/31/tom-stoppard-admits-being-at-odds-with-lively-leftwing-uk-theatre-scene

Edinburgh's festivals bounce back to sell more than 520,000 tickets despite late lifting of restrictions, https://www.scotsman.com/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/edinburghs-festivals-bounce-back-to-sell-more-than-520000-tickets-despite-late-lifting-of-restrictions-3365295

Watch Hadestown Cast Serenade Audience With "Lean On Me" After First Show Back, https://www.theatermania.com/broadway/news/watch-hadestown-cast-serenade-audience-with-lean_92703.html

Sports News for the Week of September 3rd

By Bennett Liebman

Vaccine Requirements Could Convince More Than a Quarter of Unvaccinated Sports Fans, https://morningconsult.com/2021/08/31/vaccine-requirements-sports-movies/

NFL Fraud Case Ends In Mistrial As Tempers Flare On Jury, https://www.law360.com/articles/1418267

Feds Drop 'Varsity Blues' Racketeering Conspiracy Charges, https://www.law360.com/articles/1417963

USA Gymnastics Floats $425M Ch. 11 Plan For Abuse Victims, https://www.law360.com/articles/1418022

USA Gymnastics, Abuse Victims Reach $425 Million Bankruptcy Deal, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/bankruptcy-law/usa-gymnastics-abuse-victims-reach-425-million-bankruptcy-deal?context=search&index=0&campaign=D02A7B78-0BDB-11EC-9E68-9F2750017A06&utm_medium=lawdesk&utm_source=twitter

Vizquel Accuser Didn't Report Alleged Harassment, https://www.law360.com/articles/1417750

Soccer Player Kaku Breached Contract By Signing With Saudi Club, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/soccer-player-kaku-breached-contract-by-signing-with-saudi-club?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=lawdesk&utm_campaign=0000017b-a1d6-d204-af7f-a5dfa5a10001&campaign=CDCAFF9C-0BEF-11EC-B6DA-092D50017A06

Considerations for Entering Into a Student-Athlete NIL Agreement, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/considerations-for-entering-into-a-student-athlete-nil-agreement?utm_medium=lawdesk&utm_source=twitter&campaign=EA5A6296-0B9B-11EC-A11F-FF0950017A06

California accelerates NCAA athlete pay law, https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/08/31/california-accelerates-ncaa-athlete-pay-law-to-take-effect-wednesday-9427196

Why women and social media stars are becoming college sports' big winners, https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/sep/02/why-women-and-social-media-stars-are-becoming-college-sports-big-winners

Dealmaking Pitfalls in NCAA's New NIL Policy, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/dealmaking-pitfalls-in-ncaas-new-nil-po-55414/

Inside Maryland's law allowing college athletes to make money, https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2021/09/01/inside-maryland-nil-law.html

College NIL Athlete Protections Get Short Shrift as New Era Unfolds, https://www.sportico.com/leagues/college-sports/2021/college-nil-athlete-protections-1234638258/

Ron Burkle Lawsuit Sacramento MLS Stadium, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/ron-burkle-lawsuit-1234638273/

Tax Crimes Randolph Morris Chinese Basketball Association Income, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/tax-crimes-randolph-morris-1234638286/

Jaguars respond to NFLPA probe following Urban Meyer's vaccination comments, https://theathletic.com/news/jaguars-respond-to-nflpa-probe-following-urban-meyers-vaccination-comments/qQknMUtDil6W?source=twitterhq

Knicks Player's Ex-Agent Says Rival's Truck Gift Crossed Line, https://www.law360.com/articles/1418343

20 States Sue Biden Admin Over LGBT Directives, Guidance for School Sports, https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2021/september/20-states-sue-biden-admin-over-lgbt-directives-guidance-for-school-sports-and-workplace

Judge rejects attempt by NFL, Rams and Kroenke to move relocation lawsuit from St. Louis, https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/judge-rejects-attempt-by-nfl-rams-and-kroenke-to-move-relocation-lawsuit-from-st-louis/article_0840d77d-db71-567d-b2b3-228244f532c5.html

Trustee seeks court's permission to sue Tom Dundon in bankruptcy, https://theathletic.com/2802682/2021/09/02/trustee-seeks-courts-permission-to-sue-tom-dundon-in-bankruptcy-case-of-failed-football-league/?source=emp_shared_article

Sponsorship Empire Such as Roger Federer's Sparks an Interesting Debate: Do Celebrities Make the Brand or Do the Brand Make the Celebrities,

Athletes Sue W. Michigan University Over Vaccine Mandate, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/coronavirus/soccer-players-sue-w-michigan-university-over-vaccine-mandate?context=search&index=0&campaign=A0B106D4-0AF3-11EC-9344-C5DA4F017A06&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=lawdesk

Benjamin Mendy's criminal charges - employment, sporting & financial repercussions, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/benjamin-mendy-s-criminal-charges-employment-sporting-financial-repercussions-2?utm_content=178499897&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-145208608

Notre Dame Debit Card Deal Shows Banks Pay Up to Push Fee Products, https://www.sportico.com/business/finance/2021/notre-dame-debit-card-1234638484/

SEX SCANDAL IN THE SEC, SEX SCANDAL IN THE SEC: Ole Miss Softball Coach Is In Hot Water For Secretly Hooking Up With One Of Her Players, https://www.barstoolsports.com/blog/3381748/sex-scandal-in-the-sec-ole-miss-softball-coach-is-in-hot-water-for-secretly-hooking-up-with-one-of-her-players

US Department of Interior's Decision on Florida Sports Betting Compact Likely to Inspire Future Gaming Expansion If It Survives Pending Legal
Challenge, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/us-department-of-interior-s-decision-on-1473045/

September 6, 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:


Testimony from Week 3 of the R. Kelly's Sex-Trafficking Trial

The trial centers around 6 women, 3 of whom were underage when Kelly pursued relationships with them. Among the witnesses testifying this week was a minister who married Kelly to singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time and may have been pregnant with his child. One accuser that said Kelly forced her to have sex with another man as punishment for breaking one of his rules, and another accuser became the third woman to testify that Kelly had exposed her to herpes.




Singer Nicole Scherzinger Sued by Pussycat Dolls Founder Over Reunion Tour

Founder Robin Antin claims that Scherzinger is "refusing to participate in the tour unless given creative control and a larger share in the group's business venture." Based on a 2019 agreement, Scherzinger would have been given 49% of shares and profits from the tour if she performed. According to Antin's complaint, Scherzinger is allegedly demanding 75% and final decision-making authority.


'Dancing with the Stars' to Feature First Same-Sex Partners

JoJo Siwa will be the first contestant to compete in a same-sex pairing. Siwa came out as part of the LGBTQ community earlier this year.


Mike Richards Is Out as 'Jeopardy!' Executive Producer

Sony announced that Richards will leave the program entirely, citing "disruption and internal difficulties." The news comes 3 weeks after Richards was named as the show's host, a role from which he subsequently stepped away.



Four Galleries Join Forces, Upending Traditional Model

Four powerful art dealers have joined to create LGDR, "a consortium that will represent artists, organize exhibitions, advise collectors and broker auction sales," aiming to offer a "new model of one-stop shopping" for artists and collectors.


Black Representation Remains Work in Progress at Fashion Magazines

The article discusses fashion magazines' perennial diversity problem and asks whether these publications will "fall back into old patterns of treating racial progress as a trend" rather than "truly embrace systemic reinvention."


Fake Art Joins the Long List of Recyclables

The article describes the diverse afterlives of fake works of art. Some are inevitably recycled to unsuspecting buyers, others are retained by universities for study purposes, and others are used in undercover stings.


Bank of England Removes Portraits of Leaders Linked to Slave Trade

Several portraits and oil paintings depicting bank governors and directors have been removed because of these individuals' connections to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.


New Accord to Protect Garment Workers in Bangladesh

Over 200 international brands have signed an agreement to bring better working conditions for the country's garment workers, including "legally binding safety commitments, independent inspections at the factories, and contributions for safety training and factory improvements."



USA Gymnastics Proposes $425 Million Settlement to Abuse Victims

The proposed settlement was submitted jointly with the court-appointed committee of sexual abuse survivors in bankruptcy court.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Files Amicus Brief in Support of U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed an amicus brief supporting the team's fight for equal pay. The team is appealing last year's ruling, which held that it had not demonstrated that the players received unequal pay.


Details on the Investigation into Tyler Skaggs' Overdose Death

At the center of the investigation is former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay, who was indicted by a grand jury for distributing a controlled substance that resulted in Skaggs's death, and for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl. With the trial scheduled to begin in October, prosecutors are expected to provide details on how Kay obtained and distributed drugs.


Alexander Zverev Soars on the Tennis Court as Abuse Allegations Linger

The German tennis player managed to obtain a preliminary injunction against Slate and the author of an article detailing allegations of abuse against him by former girlfriend and tennis player Olga Sharypova. The way Sharypova's disclosure has played out has exposed a gap in the ATP Tour's policies. The ATP typically waits for legal proceedings to conclude before issuing its own penalties for players, but it recently announced that it will "review its strategy for handling players who are accused of domestic abuse or sexual misconduct" in an effort to put in a place a policy of more proactive involvement.



Putting the "Open" Back into the U.S. Open

Arthur Ashe Stadium operated with full spectator capacity as the Grand Slam Tournament welcomed vaccinated fans. This was an added requirement after the tournament's initial "lax coronavirus protocols."


'Inspiration Porn': Paralympians Know It When They See It

The phrase has gained prominence in recent years, prompting news organizations to rethink their coverage of people with disabilities, including Paralympians, who "reject the idea that they should be admired just for coping with disabilities, and not also for what they've accomplished."



McCarthy Threatens Technology Firms that Comply with Riot Inquiry

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy discouraged tech companies from complying with an order to preserve phone and social media records of Republican lawmakers, as part of a Congressional committee investigation into the January 6th riots. He said that complying with the order is a violation of federal law that would make them "subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States."


Justice Department Accelerating Google Advertising Inquiry

The investigation into Google's digital advertising practices may result in a second antitrust lawsuit against the company. The first lawsuit alleged that Google "abused its monopoly in internet search to harm rivals and consumers" and this second inquiry is focused on whether Google abused its dominance in digital advertising, specifically, on how it operated digital advertising auctions.


The Silent Partner Cleaning up Facebook for $500 Million a Year

The article describes how consulting firm Accenture and its "content moderators" work to keep toxic material off the platform. The firm is now contending with claims of psychological trauma from employees and contractors who review content and are repeatedly exposed to graphic imagery.


Most Streaming Services Failed Privacy Test

A report published by a non-profit advocacy group this week found that most streaming services had similar "data habits" to Facebook and Google. For example, they use or make available to other companies information about what users do on their services for targeted ads.


New Mexico Attorney General Files COPPA Suit Against Angry Birds Game Developer

Attorney General Balderas sued Rovio Entertainment, alleging that it violated the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) "by knowingly collecting data from players under age 13 and sharing it with advertisers," without providing notice to parents or obtaining parental consent, as required by the law.



Ireland Fines WhatsApp Over Data Transparency

Irish regulators fined Facebook's messaging service $270 million for breaking EU's data privacy law. The ruling says Facebook was not "transparent about how it uses data collected from people on the service."


Apple Making Concessions on App Store Rules

Apple will allow some companies to direct their users to payment methods outside its App Store.


South Korea Force Apple and Google to Change In-App Payments

South Korean legislators passed a law requiring companies to allow third-party payments for in-app purchases. This prevents app marketers like Google and Apple "from forcing certain payment methods, unfairly delaying the review of mobile content and unfairly deleting mobile content from the app market."


China Tightens Limits for Young Online Gamers

Children and teenagers are barred from online gaming on school days and limited to one hour a day on weekend and holiday evenings.


Can Afghanistan's Leading Broadcaster Survive the Taliban?

Broadcaster Tolo's usual lineup has already been replaced by educational programming about Islamic morality; how much of its programming survives in the new climate "will be a barometer" of the Taliban's "tolerance for dissenting views and values."


Alibaba Faces Reckoning Over Harassment

Alibaba employees are speaking out on the toxic work culture at the Chinese e-commerce giant after rape accusations first shed light on both the sexism and the retaliation that complainants faced.


General News

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Texas Abortion Law

The Supreme Court denied an emergency request by abortion providers to block Texas Senate Bill 8, a law that bars abortion in the state at around 6 weeks of pregnancy. In its 5-4 decision, the Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the law, but cited "complex and novel procedural issues" in denying the request. The law outsources enforcement to private individuals, who are allowed to sue abortion providers or anyone else who "aids or abets" an abortion, and possibly earn $10,000 if the suit is successful.



Speaker Nancy Pelosi Announces Vote on Bill to Codify Roe v Wade

Pelosi said that the House would vote on a bill codifying the right to an abortion, but the bill is expected to stall in the Senate.


Texas Abortion Case Highlights Concerns Over Supreme Court's 'Shadow Docket'

The Supreme Court is increasingly taking up matters with significant policy implications and addressing them in late-night decisions with minimal or no written opinions. This practice is creating a "shadow docket," using a process that was intended to deal with emergency petitions and routine case management requests that did not engage important rights (with the exception of last-minute stays of execution, which traditionally attracted the most attention).


Does the First Amendment Protect the Censuring of Politicians?

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the censure (typically, a formal reprimand) of an elected official in Houston violates the First Amendment. The latest word on the issue is last year's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which ruled that a "reprimand against an elected official for speech addressing a matter of public concern is an actionable First Amendment claim."


U.S. War in Afghanistan Ends

U.S. forces have left Kabul, with the last evacuation flight departing on August 30th. The U.S. leaves behind a complicated legacy, with the country falling back into Taliban control after a 20-year war that took 170,000 lives and cost the U.S. over $2 trillion.


U.S. Education Department Investigates Several States Over Mask Mandate Ban

President Biden ordered the education secretary to explore legal action against states that blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures. Civil rights investigations will determine if these prohibitions restrict access for disabled students who are protected from discrimination under federal law.


Social Security Projected to Be Insolvent a Year Earlier than Forecast

Annual government reports released indicate that the Social Security fund will run out of reserves in 2033 and would only be able to pay out 76% of scheduled benefits. The pandemic has put additional strain on the programs due to a decline in government revenues.


Federal Jobless Aid, a Lifeline to Millions, Reaches an End

Almost 7.5 million people are expected to lose their unemployment benefits when federally funded emergency unemployment programs end. States can use existing federal funds to extend the benefits. States that already ended some federal benefits that they said were discouraging people from returning to work experienced job growth that was similar from states that retained the programs.


Loopholes Leave Gaps in Mandated Coverage for Mental Health Care

Health plans for state and local workers, including teachers and police, can opt out of the federal law that requires them to treat mental health like other medical conditions. Exemptions and lax oversight of these plans have deepened gaps in coverage under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, resulting in unequal access for millions.


Dozens Dead as Record Deluge Devastates the Northeast

Hundreds of thousands of people, most in New Orleans, remain without electricity after catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ida. In the Northeast, large volumes of rain caused deaths in the region and overwhelmed infrastructure, flooding homes, and crippling mass transit. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that a more aggressive response will be required in the future, including travel bans and evacuation of basement apartments.




Overlapping Disasters Expose Harsh Climate Reality

Fires and floods across the U.S. are showing the limits of adapting to climate change (and its role in causing extreme weather events). The billions of dollars invested in storm protection in New York City post-Hurricane Sandy, for example, did little to protect against the recent downpour, which dumped more water than factors into the city's plans.


Purdue Pharma is Dissolved; Sacklers Pay $4.5 Billion to Settle Opioid Claims

The company was dissolved as part of a bankruptcy settlement that will require the owners to pay $4.5 billion for the company's role in fueling the opioid epidemic. The ruling shields the owners from all civil opioid claims and several states have already indicated that they plan on appealing the ruling.


Texas Legislature Passes Election Bill, Raising Voting Barriers Even Higher

In a major overhaul to the State's elections, the legislation bans drive-through polling places, 24-hour voting and temporary voting
locations, methods introduced last year to facilitate voting during the pandemic. Election officials are also barred from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications and from promoting the use of mail voting. In terms of enforcement, the law creates new criminal and civil penalties for poll workers and requires large counties to livestream video at ballot-counting locations.


Mysterious Absence of Defense Lawyer Capitol Riot Cases to a Standstill

John Pierce, who is representing 17 clients, has missed several court appearances in the last week, with his associate providing different reasons for his absences to presiding judges.


Tensions with China Imperil Climate Talks

The article describes John Kerry's latest activities as climate envoy. Kerry "ended talks in China with a pledge to continue negotiations," while Chinese officials warned that "political ill will could undermine cooperation."


Fear Spreads in Kabul as Taliban Take Charge; 98 Countries Pledge to Accept Afghans

The Taliban's chief negotiator said the group would not stop people from departing, regardless of nationality or prior involvement with U.S. efforts during the war. Frustrated with how evacuations unfolded, members of Congress are connecting with other countries and NGOs to help arrange additional evacuations.




Afghan Women Stage Rights Protest

Afghan women said they were willing to accept the burqa if girls could still obtain an education and hold employment under Taliban rule.


Coronavirus Update

Data Confirm COVID Vaccines Still Provide Strong Protection Against Hospitalization


COVID Medical Bills About to Get Bigger

As temporary waivers by major health insurers expire, patients will have to start paying their normal co-payments or deductibles for COVID-related medical care, including testing, emergency room visits and hospital stays.


Hospitalizations for Children Rise Sharply as Delta Surges

It is not clear from the CDC study if the rise is attributed to Delta's high infectiousness or to its causing more severe disease in children.


Study Finds Lingering Kidney Problems in COVID Survivors

In a study involving veterans, COVID survivors were "35 percent more likely than other patients to have long-term kidney damager or declines in kidney function."


Supply Chain Still Tangled, with No Sign of Clearing

Product shortages are still being felt, showing the effects of the pandemic on the global supply chain.


How the Delta Variant Spread from a Teacher to Half of Her Students


September 10, 2021

Sports News for the Week of September 10th

By Bennett Liebman

Ex-NFL Team GC Accused Wilkinson Of 'Trickery', https://www.law360.com/pulse/articles/1419714

Washington NFL Team Lawyer Said Harassment Probe Unethical, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/counsel-for-nfl-washington-team-says-probe-used-unethical-means?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=lawdesk&utm_campaign=0000017b-ca97-d9ea-a97f-deb7d34d0001&campaign=FEAD2370-1224-11EC-9C46-F9B44F017A06

Former WFT lawyer urged documents related to claim against Daniel Snyder destroyed, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/09/08/wft-beth-wilkinson-lawsuit-documents/

Ex-NFLer Wants $118K Fees After 9th Circ. Benefits Win, https://www.law360.com/articles/1419722

Sports Supply Co. Can't Dodge Ruling In Dick's Burst Ball Suit, https://www.law360.com/articles/1418964

Coronavirus: Brazil coach Tite says football 'not above the law', https://www.straitstimes.com/world/football-brazil-coach-tite-says-football-not-above-the-law-over-alleged-covid-19-breaches?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-organic&utm_keyword=dlvr.it

IPO Of Sports Data Giant Sportradar Likely To Mint New Billionaire, https://www.forbes.com/sites/justinbirnbaum/2021/09/09/anticipated-ipo-of-sports-data-giant-sportradar-likely-to-mint-new-billionaire/?sh=1f0ede94eb4e&utm_source=ForbesMainTwitter&utm_campaign=socialflowForbesMainTwitter&utm_medium=social

Minor Leaguer's Fight For Fairer Wages Enters Final Innings, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/minor-leaguer-s-fight-for-fairer-wages-enters-final-innings-a-review-of-senne-v-mlb?utm_campaign=Articles&utm_content=179218778&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-145208608

MLB Restructuring of Minor League Faces Lawsuit That is Advancing, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/mlb-restructuring-minor-league-1234638666/

Yankees fail to dismiss lawsuit over ending affiliation with minor league team, https://theathletic.com/2817863/2021/09/10/yankees-fail-to-dismiss-lawsuit-over-ending-affiliation-with-staten-island-minor-league-team/?source=emp_shared_article

Why Deshaun Watson Isn't Playing, https://www.wsj.com/articles/deshaun-watson-texans-trade-rumors-will-he-play-11631226596?mod=e2tws

IIHF bans Belarus hockey president for five years for code of conduct violations, https://www.infobae.com/aroundtherings/federations/2021/09/09/iihf-bans-belarus-hockey-president-for-five-years-for-code-of-conduct-violations-federation-focus/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Seattle Mariners T-Mobile Park ADA Lawsuit Handicapped Seating, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/seattle-mariners-t-mobile-park-1234639007/

Division I Athletes Can Proceed with Wage Claim, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/division-i-athletes-can-proceed-with-2438728/

Texas A&M Blocks '12th Man' Copyright Claim, https://www.law360.com/articles/1420053

How college athletes who aren't stars make money off NIL, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/09/07/nil-money-college-athletes-non-stars/

Dr. Mark Keenum: talking NIL, conference transfer policies, and future of the NCAA, https://247sports.com/college/mississippi-state/Article/Mississippi-State-Mike-Leach-2021-Bulldog-football-Davis-Wade-Stadium-full-capacity-170414731/

Ole Miss softball coaches cleared after allegations over relationship, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2021/09/08/ole-miss-softball-coaches-cleared-title-ix-improper-relationship/5778004001/

NFL Season Gets Under Way With New Lawyers Filling Team Ranks, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/nfl-season-gets-under-way-with-new-lawyers-filling-team-ranks

Former NFL star Clinton Portis broke the law, but it doesn't mean he was wrong, https://deadspin.com/clinton-portis-broke-the-law-but-it-doesn-t-mean-he-w-1847638069

Tyler Skaggs case: Angels object to request for documents, https://theathletic.com/news/angels-counters-governments-motion-for-more-documents-tyler-skaggs-case/aJZEiTBOhEoi

Angels counter government's motion for more documents in Tyler Skaggs case, https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2021-09-08/angels-object-to-request-by-prosecutors-documents-in-tyler-skaggs-case

LA Dodgers' Ex-Scout Claims Age Bias Led To His Firing, https://www.law360.com/sports-and-betting/articles/1419447/la-dodgers-ex-scout-claims-age-bias-led-to-his-firing

New York's highest court to hear Orioles-Nats TV dispute, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/mlb/new-yorks-highest-court-to-hear-orioles-nats-tv-dispute/2021/09/07/c3e1dd0e-102a-11ec-baca-86b144fc8a2d_story.html

Antonio Brown alleges in suit that ex-agent Drew Rosenhaus hid marketing agency ties, https://theathletic.com/2811008/2021/09/07/antonio-brown-alleges-in-suit-that-ex-agent-drew-rosenhaus-hid-marketing-agency-ties/

Kroenke to Missouri Supreme Court: Hands off my portfolio, https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/kroenke-to-missouri-supreme-court-hands-off-my-portfolio/article_9229c055-19b4-5672-97e8-7873480f7d50.html

Theater News for the Week of September 10th

By Bennett Liebman

Theater Talk: COVID rules 'not uniform, but ubiquitous' as Buffalo theaters open, https://www.wbfo.org/2021/2021-09-03/theater-talk-covid-rules-not-uniform-but-ubiquitous-as-buffalo-theaters-open-with-diverse-casts

Broadway League's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion commitment is not 'just talk.', https://broadwaynews.com/2021/09/09/guest-essay-broadway-leagues-equity-diversity-inclusion-commitment-is-not-just-talk/

'Broadway Rising' Feature Documentary To Chronicle Industry Reopening.', https://deadline.com/2021/09/broadway-rising-documentary-amy-rice-jesse-tyler-ferguson-justin-mikita-industry-reopening-1234828821/

Supporters Fuel Fiscal Year 2021 Grant-making Past $13 Million, https://broadwaycares.org/supporters-fuel-fiscal-year-2021-grant-making-past-13-million/

How Broadway, How Surreal! How Radical! How Avant-Garde! How Broadway?, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/theater/experimental-broadway-plays.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nyttheater

A 'Wicked' revelation: Bold and on Broadway, a former Princeton athlete finds his way home again, https://theathletic.com/2800716/2021/09/03/a-wicked-revelation-bold-and-on-broadway-a-former-princeton-athlete-finds-his-way-home/

Broadway Return of Waitress Sets House Record at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, https://www.playbill.com/article/broadway-return-of-waitress-sets-house-record-at-the-ethel-barrymore-theatre

How Broadway helped keep NYC alive after 9/11, https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/september-11/ny-broadway-shutdown-9-11-terrorist-attacks-20210905-k2njmu5425cdxfpoth6w4cj3qi-story.html

Transgender March on Broadway Slams Cameron Mackintosh, https://variety.com/2021/legit/news/transgender-march-on-broadway-cameron-mackintosh-1235057686/

Bernadette Peters and Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Privilege of Creativity, https://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/bernadette-peters-and-lin-manuel-miranda-on-the-privilege-of-creativity?fbclid=IwAR0sPpFhnblbgyD6FLh6WN_DsynkXIkSlBTiaHIJ3vYHHgefBwzihZdqDHk

Sharon D. Clarke Talks 'Caroline, or Change', https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/sharon-d-clarke-caroline-or-change-broadway-73949/?utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=backstage5%2Ceditorial%2Cheadshot%2Cillustration%2Clink%2Ctalent&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Why Theater Can't Go Backward, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/director-lileana-blain-cruz-theater-post-pandemic-73942/?utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=creator%2Ceditorial%2Cessentialists%2Clink%2Cproduction-still%2Ctalent&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

'Working' is restaged as a vehicle for activism on Black Lives Matter Plaza, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/working-musical-dc-activism/2021/09/07/c36ab1de-0fda-11ec-882f-2dd15a067dc4_story.html

'Come from Away' review: Musical has folksy charm on screen, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-09-09/review-come-from-away-broadway-apple-tv-plus

Sexual misconduct claims at Artists' Exchange trigger backlash, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09/07/metro/sexual-misconduct-claims-artists-exchange-triggers-backlash/

Steppenwolf Emerges from the Pandemic with New Leadership, https://www.newcitystage.com/2021/09/09/collision-course-steppenwolf-emerges-from-the-pandemic-with-new-leadership-and-a-new-theater-fall-arts-preview-2021/

Why Can't Theatres Be More Like Public Parks?, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/08/why-cant-theatres-be-more-like-public-parks/

'The Doors Didn't Open Easily' on Her Path to 'Cinderella', https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/03/theater/JoAnn-Hunter-cinderella-choreographer.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

Hilary Mantel on staging The Mirror and the Light, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/sep/09/hilary-mantel-the-mirror-and-the-light

What's The Future Of Musical Theater Post-Covid?, https://www.businessbecause.com/news/insights/7793/future-of-musical-theater

Why London's West End will always win, https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/newwestendcompany/why-london-s-west-end-will-always-win-b953458.html

'I felt completely lost': the actors navigating an arts crisis and long Covid, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/sep/03/i-felt-completely-lost-the-actors-navigating-an-arts-crisis-and-long-covid

New 'Los Angeles Anti-Racist Theater Standards' Seek To Create Lasting, https://www.broadwayworld.com/los-angeles/article/New-Los-Angeles-Anti-Racist-Theater-Standards-Seek-To-Create-Lasting-Systemic-Change-20210908

College Theatre Programs Must Be Held Accountable for Their Promises of Change, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/2021/9/9/college-theatre-programs-must-be-held-accountable-to-their-promises-of-change

Once on This Island: How LaChanze Helped Me Heal After 9/11, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/08/once-on-this-island-how-lachanze-helped-me-heal-after-9-11/

When 'The Crown' left Black voices out of an episode about Kenya, Marcia Johnson got angry -- and then she wrote a play, https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2021/09/03/when-the-crown-left-black-voices-out-of-an-episode-about-kenya-marcia-johnson-got-angry-and-then-she-wrote-a-play.html

September 13, 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:


Britney Spears's Father Files to End her Conservatorship

After announcing that he would step down from his role in the conservatorship, James Spears filed a petition asking the court to consider ending the conservatorship.


Hollywood is a Black Box

The film industry is finding it difficult to determine the success of new releases given the pandemic's impact on the box office and unreliable streaming numbers.


Mattel Dusts Off He-Man, In a Nod to Diversity

The '80s character will be added to the Masters of the Universe roster and will feature in 2 animated series on Netflix.


China's Weibo Suspends K-Pop Fan Accounts

Blogging platform Weibo has banned 22 K-Pop fan accounts over "illegal fund-raising". The move is part of a "broader government crackdown on celebrity worship and online fan culture in China."



Top Orchestras Have No Female Conductors

With the recent departure of Marin Alsop as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, there are now no women serving as music directors in the country's 25 largest ensembles.


Hurricane Ida Delivered New Blow to Jazz Scene

While most music venues sustained only minor damage, the hurricane was still another blow to the city's musicians, who have already been out of work for 18 months due to the pandemic.


Supermodels Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment

Several high-profile supermodels are speaking out in support of the women who are expected to testify against Gerald Marie, a modeling agency boss accused of rape and sexual misconduct.


Lee Statue Comes Down in Richmond

A statue of Robert E. Lee has come down after Virginia's Supreme Court affirmed the governor's power to remove the statue.


Anarchy, and Money, in the Vintage Punk Clothing Market

The article describes the demand for punk clothing and the lengths to which counterfeiters will go to fake punk pieces.


Diversity Disputes Continue in Literary Organizations

The article profiles different literary organizations and the disputes that are dividing their membership as a result of stalled diversity initiatives.


Art Fairs Come Blazing Back

A series of art fairs are profiled in the article.



U.S. Soccer Proposes New Plan Toward Equal Pay

The governing body's president invited both the men's and women's teams to sit down and negotiate collective agreements that allow for a more equal split of World Cup prize money.


Soccer Player Kaku Breached Contract by Signing with Saudi Arabian Club

A U.S. federal court upheld an arbitrator's finding that Kaku breached his agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS) when he disregarded the terms of his contract after MLS and the New York Red Bulls "validly exercised an option to extend Kaku's contract through 2021".


Former Football Players Plead Guilty to Defrauding Insurance Plan

Three former National Football League (NFL) players pleaded guilty over a scheme to steal from a health care fund that replays retired players for out-of-pocket medical care expenses.


What to Know About the Lawsuits Against Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging a pattern of sexual misconduct and coercive behaviour toward women hired to provide personal services. The article discusses the timeline of events, the possibility of Watson facing criminal charges, and the status of the NFL's investigation.


Quarterbacks Trying to Change Football's Status Quo

As more quarterbacks are speaking out against certain team or league practices, it is becoming clear that star athletes in other leagues are bringing about more change in their respective leagues than has been observed in the NFL.


Athletes Meet Fiercest Rival

The article profiles Louisiana high school teams whose activities and ability to complete are increasingly being impacted by climate change and extreme weather events.


European Games Host Refusal to Withdraw Anti-LGBT Resolution Puts Funding at Risk

The European Union has threatened to withhold funding that could impact preparations for the 2023 European Games because of the Polish region's resolution declaring itself an "LGBT-free" area.


International Judo Federation Bans Athlete Who Withdrew from Olympics

The governing body's Disciplinary Commission suspended the Algerian national and his coach for a decade after they withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.


Brazil-Argentina Soccer Match Stopped After Health Officials Storm Field

The game was suspended after Brazilian health authorities interrupted play "as part of an effort to deport four Argentine players accused of violating coronavirus quarantine regulations."


Soccer Players Under Threat Escape to Italy

Facing threats back home, Afghan female soccer players and team staff relocate to Italy.


Ukraine's Paralympians' Home is Their Biggest Hurdle

Ukraine continues to perform well at the Paralympic Games, a major feat given reports of how difficult it is for disabled individuals to navigate life in Ukraine, in terms of infrastructure, funding and public opinion.



Ruling Loosens Apple's Grip on App Store

As part of a lawsuit involving game developer Epic Games, Apple has been ordered to allow app developers to include links to other payment methods, ending Apple's ability to force companies to use the App Store to complete transactions (of which Apple gets a cut).


Texas Forbids Political 'Censorship' by Social Media Companies

The law prohibits social media platforms from banning users or removing posts because of the political views expressed in them.


A Smartphone for Conservatives

A Bitcoin millionaire is marketing a low-end ($500) phone to Republicans, promising a "freedom phone" that will liberate Americans from big tech. It is part of growing right-wing tech industry that includes free-speech video streaming sites and conservative social networks.


Facebook Testing Smart Glasses

Facebook "has teamed up with Ray-Ban to create glasses that can take photos, record video, answer phone calls and play podcasts."


Brazil's President Blocks Social Networks from Removing Posts

The policy restricts removal to posts that involve certain topics outlined in the measure (nudity, drugs, violence, among others); a court order is required to take down others.


Afghan Reporters Face an Intolerant Regime

Despite promising to respect press freedoms, the Taliban government has already begun a crackdown on demonstrations and the journalists covering them, detailing and assaulting several freelance journalists.


Pro-democracy Media Company in Hong Kong Forced to Close

Media company Next Digital, which has taken a critical stance toward the Chinese government, announced that it will shut down, saying the latest crackdown has left it with no financial means to operate.


Murdoch's Australian News Outlets to Ease Climate Change Denial

Australian outlets are "planning an editorial campaign ... advocating a carbon-neutral future," which could put pressure on Fox News to take a similar stance.


Russia Influences Hackers but Stops Short of Directing Them

A recent report of a cybersecurity company found that Russia's intelligence services "have influence over Russian criminal ransomware groups" but do not control their targets, an "arrangement [that] allows the Russian government some plausible deniability for attacks."


Journals Pull DNA Articles from China

Two scientific journals retract articles involving Chinese DNA research after concerns were raised about China's DNA collection practices and whether Chinese researchers obtained consent from Uyghur subjects.


General News

Supreme Court Stays Execution in Dispute Over Pastor's Role in Death Chamber

The Supreme Court stayed the execution of a Texas man convicted of murder in a case that engaged religious rights and the role that spiritual advisers can play in a death row inmates' final moments. In this specific case, prison authorities denied the man's request to have his pastor hold his hand and pray out loud with him in the execution chamber. The Court has confronted 2 similar cases in the past, in the first allowing the execution of a Muslim man when Alabama allowed only a Christian chaplain employed by the prison system to offer spiritual guidance; in the second, it stayed the execution of a Buddhist inmate in Texas over a similar denial. In his concurring opinion in the latter case, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that excluding advisers of certain faiths from attending executions, while allowing others, amounted to unconstitutional religious discrimination. The case will be argued in October or November 2021.


Justice Department Sues Texas Over Abortion Law

The Justice Department is arguing that the law is unconstitutional because it allows "Texas to essentially prohibit abortion while technically complying with Supreme Court rulings that forbid such a ban by deputizing private parties to enforce the new restrictions." The attorney general describes the enforcement mechanism as a scheme to nullify the constitution.



Democrats Move to Expand Social Safety Net

The Democrats take a "from cradle to grave" approach in proposing a $3.5 trillion bill, seeking to expand Medicare coverage, paid family and medical leave, and childcare, among other things.


Pandemic Aid Prevented Rise in Hunger Rate

Government figures show no overall rise in hunger, as observed in past recessions. The results are attributable to expansions in government aid.


Top 1% Evade $163 Billion a Year in Taxes

The findings of the Treasury Department report are expected to be used by the Biden administration to propose additional investments for the Internal Revenue Services (more enforcement staff, new technolog,y and new information-reporting requirements).


White House to Withdraw Bureau Pick

President Biden will withdraw his nomination of David Chipman as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), conceding that he does not have the Senate votes.


Biden Administration Moves to Protect Alaska's Bristol Bay

The administration filed a motion "to quash a Trump-era decision that had stripped environmental protections for Bristol Bay," an area with gold and copper deposit. It signals the government's intention to craft permanent protections for the area.


NASA's Perseverance Rover Stashes First Mars Rock Sample

The robotic explorer has collected the sample but has no way to deliver them back to Earth for now.


New York and New Jersey Residents to Receive Federal Aid

With an estimated $50 million in damages in New York alone, a disaster declaration will help federal funding flow to both states to support recovery efforts.


Texas Governor Signs Election Law

The bill that passed last week has now been signed into law, putting in place new voting restrictions.


The Conservative Lawyer Behind the Texas Abortion Law

The article profiles Jonathan Mitchell, who developed the legal approach used in the Texas bill and whose efforts have been to devise laws that survive legal challenges.


Mexican Supreme Court Votes to Decriminalize Abortion

The ruling paves the way for legalizing abortion nationwide.


Quandary at the United Nations: Who Speaks for Myanmar and Afghanistan?

As the United Nations convenes its annual General Assembly, both the Taliban and the Myanmar junta that seized power earlier this year are expected to seek diplomatic representation.


El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin as Currency

It is the first country to allow cryptocurrency to be used in any transaction; the rollout was, expectedly, marked by glitches.


Coronavirus Update

President Biden Issues Vaccination Mandate

The mandate applies to federal employees and contractors, and to businesses with 100 or more employees; those who are unvaccinated will face weekly testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is drafting the emergency temporary standard, but enforcement mechanisms are not clear. The authority to mandate vaccines comes from the application of a 51-year-old law "that grants the federal government the power to protect employees from 'grave dangers' at the workplace." The mandate has deepened political divisions and Republican leaders quickly spoke out against the requirements.




U.S. Records 40 Million Known Virus Cases

25% of new cases in the country are among children.


More Jobs Requiring Vaccination as a Qualification


Companies Offering Time Off and Other Perks to Combat Burnout

After a year plus of remote work, employees are starting to re-evaluate what is important to them while employers try to offer perks like extended breaks to stave off resignations.


Los Angeles Mandates Vaccines for Students Attending In-Person Classes


Data Shows Less Alarming Picture of Delta

The chances of a breakthrough infection for vaccinated individuals are one in 5,000.


Macy's Announces Thanksgiving Day Parade Rules

Participants will need to be masked and vaccinated.


U.S. Visitors Face New Travel Restrictions in Europe


September 17, 2021

Theater News for the Week of September 17th

By Bennett Liebman

Summer theater 2021: Great because it happened, https://www.troyrecord.com/2021/09/16/summer-theater-2021-great-because-it-happened/

For one couple, a downtown theater brings dreams to life, https://foxrochester.com/features/for-one-couple-a-downtown-theater-brings-dreams-to-life

The Theatre Industry's Internship Problem, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/10/the-theatre-industrys-internship-problem/

Broadway's Biggest Hits Reopen in Festive Night of Theater, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/14/theater/broadway-reopening-shows-nyc

Tony Awards afterparties by organizers, Rick Miramontez, canceled, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/14/theater/broadway-reopening-shows-nyc

Stephen Sondheim Writing New Musical 'Square One', Reveals Plans To Stephen Colbert, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/stephen-sondheim-writing-musical-square-144522867.html

Broadway is back: producer says 'pent-up demand' is a 'good harbinger', https://finance.yahoo.com/news/broadway-is-back-producer-says-pent-up-demand-is-a-good-harbinger-of-things-to-come-154127741.html

'The Lion King,' 'Hamilton' and 'Wicked' return to Broadway -- and it's the heart that sings, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/lion-king-broadway-reopens-covid/2021/09/15/d0b158ae-1627-11ec-b976-f4a43b740aeb_story.html

Broadway Makes Its Long-Anticipated Return, But How Does It Feel? https://observer.com/2021/09/broadway-coronavirus-hamilton-wicked/

Broadway is back -- are high ticket prices, too? https://www.marketwatch.com/story/with-the-reopening-of-hamilton-the-lion-king-and-other-shows-broadway-eyes-a-robust-comeback-will-that-include-high-ticket-prices-11631646349

As Broadway reopens, theater industry confronts racial inequality criticism, https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/culture/story/broadway-reopens-theater-industry-confronts-racial-inequality-criticism-79386742

'It's the balm we need right now': how Broadway fought its way back, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/sep/14/broadway-theatre-return-coronavirus-pandemic

Broadway Is Brimming with Black Playwrights. But for How Long?, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/theater/broadway-black-playwrights.html

Broadway Theater Owner Floating on Air After Record-Breaking Deal, https://www.forbes.com/sites/marchershberg/2021/09/12/shubert-organization-floating-on-air-after-record-breaking-deal/?sh=4ccfa8596626

'Hamilton' Cancels Atlanta Performance Over Covid Concerns, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/theater/hamilton-atlanta-covid.html

Robert Falls to Depart Goodman Theatre in 2022, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/15/robert-falls-to-depart-goodman-theatre-in-2022/

What Actors Need to Know About COVID Protocols, https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/covid-19-safety-guidelines-for-film-tv-and-theater-actors-73968/?utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=editorial%2Cindustry-news%2Clink%2Cstock-misc%2Ctalent&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Ruben Santiago-Hudson Brings 'Lackawanna Blues' to Broadway, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/14/theater/lackawanna-blues-ruben-santiago-hudson.html

TheaterWorks postpones live return due to worker shortages and COVID concerns, https://www.courant.com/ctnow/arts-theater/hc-ctnow-theaterworks-postpones-monster-songs-20210916-vkkjag3a6nhbrhz3pewnjfncji-story.html

Nataki Garrett, Shaking Up and Stabilizing Oregon Shakes, https://www.americantheatre.org/2021/09/13/offscript-nataki-garrett-shaking-up-and-stabilizing-oregon-shakes/

'Six' Is Back in Rehearsals and Hoping to Get to Opening Night, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/14/theater/six-rehearsals.html?smid=tw-nyttheater&smtyp=cur

Broadway Coming Back With Diverse Voices On And Off Stage, https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/09/14/broadway-returns-with-focus-on-equity-and-inclusion/

Memories of Jesus Christ Superstar at 50, https://www.theatermania.com/massachusetts-theater/news/interview-memories-of-jesus-christ-superstar-at-50_92734.html

Community, Theatre - Which Comes First? Community, https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/2021/9/14/community-theatre-which-comes-first

Amy Adams makes her West End debut in The Glass Menagerie, https://www.timeout.com/london/news/amy-adams-makes-her-west-end-debut-in-the-glass-menagerie-091421

Theatre District restaurants welcome return of Broadway fans, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/entertainment/2021/09/15/theatre-district-restaurants-welcome-return-of-broadway-fans

Sports News for the Week of September 17th

By Bennett Liebman

MLB Network Settles Fired Makeup Artist's Retaliation Suit, https://www.law360.com/articles/1422440

Larry Nassar's enablers in the FBI should face criminal charge, https://www.law360.com/articles/1421649

Celeb Boxing Promoter Wants Out of TV Host's Image Suit, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/2021/09/15/larry-nassar-fbi-investigation-usa-gymnastics/?utm_campaign=wp_sports&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

US Department of Interior Approves Connecticut's Expanded Gaming Compacts, https://www.law360.com/articles/1421843

Checklist for University Policies Addressing NIL, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-checklist-for-university-policies-2349527/

Skylines and Stadium Seating, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/this-week-in-the-ninth-city-skylines-4503899/

Seattle Mariners T-Mobile Park ADA Lawsuit Handicapped Seating, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/seattle-mariners-t-mobile-park-1234639007/

Name, Image and Likeness Scouting Report, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/name-image-and-likeness-scouting-report-7737298/

An Interview with the Legal Team from Canucks Sports, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/hub-talks-talking-sports-law-an-9932818/

3 more Tribes approved to offer sports betting in Washington, https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/state/washington/article254275513.html

Burr & Forman Launches Resource Website for Student Athletes, https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2021/09/16/burr-forman-launches-resource-website-for-student-athletes/?slreturn=20210817110818

Who is Eligible to Participate in Single-Sex Sports Under Title IX?, https://www.iwf.org/2021/09/16/who-is-eligible-to-participate-in-single-sex-sports-under-title-ix/

Title IX Is Turning 50, But More Work Remain, https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewzimbalist/2021/09/09/title-ix-is-turning-fifty/?sh=4e8d916110b3

Rams and National Scrutiny, https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/national-media-needs-to-cover-the-rams-relocation-litigation/ar-AAOunT6?li=BB15ms5q

Settle or go to trial? NFL faces choice after St. Louis relocation suit setback, https://theathletic.com/2828506/2021/09/15/settle-or-go-to-trial-nfl-faces-choice-after-st-louis-relocation-suit-setback/

Notre Dame Play Like a Champion Today Deal Troubles Oklahoma Fans, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/notre-dame-play-like-a-champion-today-face-1234639570/

U.S. Soccer CBA USWNT USMNT Equal Offers Legal Impact, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/u-s-soccer-cba-1234639462/

Tiger Woods Analogy Legal Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Jury Selection, https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2021/tiger-woods-legal-1234639189/

Will Breeders' Cup Officials Act To Protect Their Brand?, https://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/view-from-the-eighth-pole-will-breeders-cup-officials-act-to-protect-their-brand/#.YUNw0LefsAs.twitter

Excel Sues Endeavor/WME For Poaching Baseball Agents, http://sportsagentblog.com/2021/09/16/excel-sues-endeavor-wme-for-poaching-baseball-agents/

How DNA Determined Sample Identity In An Anti-Doping First For India, https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/how-dna-was-used-to-determine-sample-identity-in-an-anti-doping-first-for-india-the-case-of-vijay-singh?utm_content=179925536&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-145208608

Sports Court Upholds Ban for Former Nike Coach Alberto Salazar, https://www.wsj.com/articles/alberto-salazar-doping-ban-nike-11631810981?mod=e2tws

Bans on Salazar and Brown, https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Media_Release_6530.pdf

Sha'Carri Richardson Effect: Anti-Doping Authority to Re-Examine Cannabis, https://www.wsj.com/articles/shacarri-richardson-anti-doping-cannabis-11631651196?mod=e2twsamand

Zion Williamson lawsuit: Agent violated state laws, https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/duke/article254271013.html

September 20, 2021

Week In Review

By Ariana Sarfarazi
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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


Kelly Sexually Abused Underage Singer Aaliyah, Witness Says

A former backup singer for R. Kelly testified at his federal criminal trial in Brooklyn that she saw Kelly, then in his mid-20s, engaging in a sexual act with the R&B singer Aaliyah when she was only 13 or 14 years old. Kelly later married a 15-year old Aaliyah illegally in 1994 using falsified documents before her death in a plane crash in 2001. Kelly is currently undergoing trial for one count of racketeering and 8 counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. Kelly is accused by multiple victims of having sexual intercourse with them while they were underage.


Testimony of R. Kelly's Former Employee Points to Picture of a Bizarre Workplace Culture

Multiple former employees of R. Kelly have testified at his ongoing federal criminal trial in Brooklyn regarding the bizarre lengths Kelly would go to control women in his sphere, including even accompanying them to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (and knowingly giving them herpes). Testimonies of the former employees support the government's contention that Kelly was not only a sexual predator himself, but also the ringleader of a decades-long conspiracy that used his stardom to prey on and control numerous women, men, and teenagers.


Kelly Pressured His Victims to Write Letters Absolving Him, Prosecutors Say

Multiple victims in R. Kelly's ongoing federal criminal trial in Brooklyn have testified that they were sexually involved with the singer and that Kelly forced them prepare letters designed to exonerate him from the accusations now levied against him. Multiple victims have testified that, despite previous writing letters denying any sexual involvement with Kelly, they did in fact participate in multiple sexual acts with the R&B superstar when they were underage, and then were forced by Kelly to write letters exonerating him in an effort to conceal his abuse.


'The Queen's Gambit' Slights a Champion

Nona Gaprindashvili, a history-making chess champion, has sued Netflix in Federal District Court in Los Angeles after a line in the final episode of its limited series "The Queen's Gambit" referenced her by name as the female world champion, but stated that she had "never faced men." In actuality, Gaprindashvili, the first woman to be named a grandmaster, had numerous successes against male opponents. She is now seeking removal of the reference to her, as well as millions of dollars in damages for what the suit claims is a "devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions."


Russia Plans to Shoot Full-Length Movie in Space

A commission of medical and safety experts in Russia have approved a plan by Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, for an actress and director to blast off to space in October to film a movie, "The Challenge", which tells the story of a doctor launched on short notice to the International Space Station to save the life of a cosmonaut. Last year, NASA previously announced plans by Tom Cruise to film at the International Space Station, but "The Challenge" would be the first feature-length fictional movie in space.



Bell v. Wilmott Storage Services LLC

The Ninth Circuit has ruled that, while the concept of de minimis copying is properly used to analyze whether so little of a copyrighted work has been copied that the allegedly infringing work is not substantially similar to the copyrighted work and is thus non-infringing, once copyright infringement is established (by proving ownership of a work and violation of one of the exclusive rights in copyright under 17 U.S.C. § 106), de minimis use of the infringing work is not a defense to an infringement act. In Bell v. Wilmott Storage Services LLC, plaintiff Bell alleged that defendant Willmott infringed his copyright in a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline when Wilmott publicly displayed the photo on its website without plaintiff's permission. Having concluded that Wilmott publicly displayed the Indianapolis photo, the Ninth Circuit panel concluded that the "degree of copying" was total because the infringing work was an identical copy of the copyrighted photo. Accordingly, there was no place for an inquiry as to whether there was de minimis copying. Agreeing with other circuits, the panel wrote that the Ninth Circuit has consistently applied the de minimis principle to determine whether a work is infringing by analyzing the quantity and quality of the copying to determine if the allegedly infringing work is a recognizable copy of the original work (e.g. whether the works are substantially similar). The panel concluded that the Ninth Circuit has never recognized a de minimis defense based on allegedly minimal use of concededly infringing material.

Bell v. Wilmott Storage Services copy.pdf

Broadway is Coming Back. It Won't Be Easy.

A year and a half after the pandemic forced all 41 theaters to go dark and threw thousands out of work, the industry's shows are resuming performances, but it comes at a time of uncertainty when the Delta variant has sent cases skyrocketing again. In addition to the virus itself, Broadway faces other challenges, such as the fact that New York City is still facing a sharp drop in tourists, which historically make up two thirds of the Broadway audiences, businesses are postponing bringing workers back to their offices, and consumer appetite for live theater after months of anxiety and availability of streaming remains unknown.


Prize Possession of Ill-Fated Archduke Goes Home

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced that it will return a ceremonial pageant shield to the Czech Republic after scholars determined that it had once belonged to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and was later confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. The shield, which was created by an Italian artist during the Renaissance, was a bequest to the museum, where it has been on display since 1976. The museum has been working with historians in the Czech Republic to evaluate the history of the shield since 2016.


The Masks Come Off at Parties

As the fashion industry gathered at the Brooklyn Museum to celebrate the return of New York Fashion Week with the opening party for a new exhibit, "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams", partygoers were required to present evidence of Covid-19 vaccinations at the door and to wear masks indoors. However, despite announced precautions, the masks largely came off once inside. Later that night, partygoers attended an after-party at the Standard High Line hotel, and vaccinations cards were not consistently checked at the door, but vaccination cards were more closely scrutinized at fashion week events at Saks Fifth Avenue. For the rich and famous attendees of New York Fashion Week events throughout the city, "a pandemic, what pandemic?" vibe largely prevailed.



U.S. Soccer Federation Announces That Men's and Women's National Teams Will Be Offered the Same Contract

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced that it will offer the respective players' unions for the men's and women's national teams the same contract proposal. This announcement comes after generations of U.S. Women's National Team Players have spoken out about the unequal treatment of female players and after multiple high-profile lawsuits for gender discrimination and unequal pay.


Judge Makes Final Rulings in Zion Williamson Lawsuit

A federal court judge in Greensboro has ruled that a contract between basketball player Zion Williamson, Florida-based agent Gina Ford and her Prime Sports Marketing agency is null and void because Ford violated North Carolina's athlete-agent laws by failing to register with the state pursuant to the North Carolina Uniform Athlete-Agent Act (UAAA). Additionally, the contract needed to include boilerplate language stating that any athlete signing the deal was forfeiting NCAA eligibility, which it did not. Although Williamson decided 6 weeks after signing the contract that he wanted to terminate the business relationship and sign with another agency, under the ruling, he does not owe the $100 million penalty to Ford for breaking the contract.


Federal Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Western Michigan University Athletes

A federal judge in Michigan has issued a preliminary injunction blocking Western Michigan University's requirement that student athletes at the school be vaccinated against Covid-19. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by multiple student athletes who applied for religious exemptions but were told they would not be able to participate in team activities, and argued that the mandate violates their religious rights. The judge ruled that the university, which does not require other students or staff to be vaccinated, has failed to provide the least restrictive means possible in an effort to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19.


Gymnasts Tell of Betrayal That Followed Abuse

Testifying before a Senate committee, U.S. gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nicholas blasted the FBI for botching the investigation of Lawrence G. Nassar, the former U.S.A. gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women - including a majority of the members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics teams. At the hearing, Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, apologized for the agency's "inexcusable" failures in its investigation, which included mishandling the case by failing to report the victims' abuse and mis-documenting the victims' claims. Wray's apology was the first time when anyone at the FBI had submitted to public questioning about the agency's failure to properly investigate the sexual abuse case.


Guilty Plea by Ex-Coach at University in Bribe Case

The former men's and women's coach for Georgetown University has pled guilty to taking bribes to designate at least 12 students as recruits to the Georgetown tennis team, including some who did not even play tennis competitively, between 2012 and 2018. Gordon Ernst is the latest person to plead guilty in the admissions scandal investigation that has rocked elite schools across the country. According to the prosecution, Ernst has agreed to a sentence of at least once year and up to 4 years in prison, 2 years of supervised release, and the forfeiture of $3.4 million in proceeds derived from the scheme.


Calling a Reverse, the National Football League Embraces Ads for Gambling

Although the founding fathers of the National Football League (NFL) were themselves gamblers, the NFL has for decades gone to great lengths to distance itself from the billions of dollars wagered on its games, such as by backing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act and fighting states' efforts to allow casinos and horse tracks to take bets on football games. However, as betting on football has ballooned into a multibillion-dollar industry and state after state has legalized it, the NFL was left with a stark choice - to continue to fight gambling on its games or embrace it in exchange for a significant cut of casino marketing dollars - and the NFL has chosen the latter. Starting this season, the NFL is now embracing betting advertisements and allowing the placement of gambling ads during its football game broadcasts.


Investigation Confirms Reports of Sexual Abuse of Female Basketball Players in Mali

Investigators with FIBA, basketball's world governing body, have confirmed the systematic sexual harassment and abuse of dozens of female basketball players in Mali since the early 2000s, the majority of whom were teenagers. However, investigators say that they cannot confirm whether the sport's top global official, Hamane Niang, knew about the reports of sexual abuse in his native country. Niang, who has not been accused of committing sexual abuse, stepped aside temporarily in June as the president of FIBA after the New York Times published an article alleging that he mostly disregarded the ongoing assault of women for years between 1999 and 2011 when he served first as president of Mali's basketball federation and then as the country's sports minister.



Two Rulings Protect Social Media's Control

Two new rulings by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) protect the flexibility of major social media companies to control political content shared on their platforms, thereby rejecting complaints from conservatives that Big Tech improperly aided Biden's presidential campaign. In one ruling, the FEC dismissed a formal complaint brought by the Republican National Committee, which accused Twitter of "using its corporate resources" to benefit the Biden campaign during the 2020 election. In a second ruling, the FEC rejected a complaint by the Trump Campaign, which argued that Snapchat had provided an improper gift to Biden by rejecting Trump from its Discover platform in the summer of 2020.


Battle for Users' Privacy Will Transform Internet

Big tech companies have begun enacting privacy changes regarding how users' personal data is collected and utilized, including allowing users to determine how their data is shared with advertisers. Apple, for example, has introduced a pop-up window that asks users for their permission to be tracked by different apps. Google also recently outlined plans to disable tracking technology in its Chrome web browser, and Facebook is working on a new method of showing ads without relying on people's data. These moves herald a profound shift in how people's personal information may be used online, with sweeping implications for the ways that businesses make money digitally including potentially dismantling a $350 billion digital ad industry.


Bitcoin Uses More Electricity Than Many Countries

Managing a digital currency like Bitcoin with no central authority takes a tremendous amount of computer power, particularly given that its popularity continues to grow. When cryptocurrency emerged in 2009, one Bitcoin could be mined using one computer in a living room, using a negligible amount of household electricity. Today, to mine one Bitcoin (worth $50,000), a room full of specialized machines, each costing thousands of dollars and 9 years' worth of household electricity costing about $12,500, would be used. The process of creating one Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by the entire nation of Finland (with a population of about 5.5 million) and today the Bitcoin network uses more than 7 times as much electricity as all of Google's global operations.


Apple Issues Urgent Fix to Software to Stop Spies

Apple has issued an emergency security update after security researchers at Citizen Lab uncovered a flaw utilized by NSO Group, an Israeli spyware company, that allows highly invasive spyware called Pegasus to infect anyone's Apple product without even a click and without the victims' knowledge. Known as a "zero click remote exploit", Pegasus is considered the Holy Grail of surveillance because it allows governments, mercenaries, and criminals to secretly break into someone's device without tipping off the victim. Pegasus, which has been found on the phones of activists, dissidents, lawyers, doctors, and even children throughout the world, allows the hacker to turn on a user's camera and microphone, record messages, texts, emails, calls, and send them back to NSO's clients at governments around the world. The discovery means that more than 1.65 billion Apple products in use worldwide have been vulnerable to NSO's spyware since at least March 2021.


Biden Taps Privacy Expert for Trade Commission

President Biden will nominate Alvaro Bedoya, an online privacy expert, for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission. Bedoya is a lawyer who has studied the way new technologies can violate privacy and is the author of a report that called for Congress to more closely regulate the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Bedoya will join an agency primed to take aggressive action against the tech industry and other corporate giants, such as by issuing regulations that would limit Silicon Valley's power over commerce and personal data.


Apple's Veil of Secrecy Can't Hide Labor Unrest

Hundreds of current and former Apple employees are complaining about their work environment, a rarity for a company known among its Silicon Valley peers for a secretive corporate culture in which workers are expected to be in lock step with management. Apple CEO Time Cook recently answered questions from workers in an all-staff meeting since the public surfacing of employee concerns over topics such as pay equity and whether the company should assert itself more on political matters. Over the past month, more than 500 current and former Apple employees have submitted accounts of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination at work, according to an employee-activist group that calls itself #AppleToo.


Brazil Rejects Leader's Ban on Removing Social Media Posts

After Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued rules forbidding social media networks from removing many posts that the sites considered misinformation about the upcoming presidential election, Brazil's Senate and top court quickly overturned the ban. The Brazilian Court and Congress therefore killed one of the most restrictive and intrusive internet laws in a democratic country. When Bolsonaro issued the policy, it was the first time that a national government had moved to stop social media companies from taking down content that violates their rules, which had alarmed technology companies and Bolsonaro's political opponents alike.


Tech Giants Pull Navalny App After Kremlin Threatens Prosecution

Google and Apple, under pressure from Russia, have removed a voting app created by allies of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny from its stores, reflecting a new level of pressure against U.S. technology companies in the country. The app was intended to coordinate protest voting in Russia's elections, and its removal is a blow to opponents of President Vladimir Putin.


Hong Kong Forces Group to Yank Online Profile

Hong Kong police have forced one of the city's most known activist groups, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, to scrub its online presence. The move exemplifies how Hong Kong officials have used a powerful national security law to restrict online speech and impose mainland Chinese-style internet censorship. The group, which has for decades organized annual vigils to commemorate the 1989 government massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, openly criticized the government. Hong Kong's national security law empowers officials to order the removal of online content deemed to endanger national security.



Plan to Tax Rich Aims at Incomes, Not Big Fortunes

The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee presented a plan to pay for its social policy and climate change package by raising taxes by more than $2 trillion, largely on wealthy individuals and profitable corporations. While the proposal intends to pay for trillions of dollars in social spending by taxing the rich, it leaves wealth gains and inheritances amounting to vast fortunes alone and instead targets income, thereby proposing to raise revenue by raising tax rates on income rather than targeting wealth itself.


U.S. Poverty Rate Falls to a Record Low as Aid Helps Offset Job Losses

The Census Bureau recently reported that when government benefits are taken into account, the U.S. poverty rate fell to a record low last year and a smaller share of the population was living in poverty in 2020 even as the pandemic eliminated millions of jobs. In its report, the Census Bureau reported than 9.1% of Americans were living below the poverty line last year, down from 11.8% in 2019, if government programs are taken into account. The official measure of poverty, which leaves out some major aid programs, rose to 11.4% of the population.


U.S. to Swiftly Depart Throngs of Haitians Camping Out at the Border

The U.S. will begin deporting Haitians in South Texas back to Haiti and other countries as President Biden struggles to manage an already buckling immigration system. The Haitian migrants have gathered in the thousands at the southern border in the past week after illegally entering the United States and are overwhelming the South Texas town of Del Rio. The administration temporarily paused deportation flights to Haiti after the country was struck by a devastating earthquake in August, but the sudden surge in migrant crossings over the past week has prompted it to change course.


Report Warns of Catastrophe Over Warming

The United Nations has warned of a "catastrophic pathway" as evidence shows that the global average temperature will rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by century's end, even if all countries meet their promised emissions cuts. The rise in temperature is likely to worsen extreme wildfires, droughts, and floods and is likely to increase the frequency of deadly heat waves and threaten coastal cities with rising sea levels.


Hot Summer Nights Get Hotter and More Dangerous

This summer, minimum temperatures were the hottest on record for every state on the West Coast and parts of the Northeast, and most other states neared their record highs for overnight temperatures from June through August. This is a trend that aligns with the predictions of climate models - that nights are warming faster than days across the U.S. This effect is amplified in cities, which are typically warmer than their surroundings.


Justice Department Aims to Ensure That Grant Recipients Prevent Racial Bias

The Justice Department will review how it enforces prohibitions on racial discrimination by law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding, a move that could broaden the Biden administration's efforts to combat systemic racism in policing, prisons, and courts. The review is part of the Biden administration's efforts to make preserving civil rights a priority.


Clinic Urges Court to Reaffirm Roe v. Wade

Abortion providers in Mississippi have urged the Supreme Court to reaffirm Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. In a new brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a major abortion case before the Supreme Court, a clinic and a doctor have asked the Court to strike down a state law that largely bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.


U.S. Tries to Halt Deal Shielding Sacklers From Opioid Suits

The Justice Department has moved to block a bankruptcy plan that would grant broad legal immunity to the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, whose drug OxyContin has been at the heart of the nation's opioid epidemic. The deal, which would release the Sackler family which owns Purdue Pharma, from future legal liability in exchange for a $4.3 billion financial contribution from the family's own fortune, had been approved by a New York federal judge. However, the U.S. trustee for the Justice Department filed a motion in federal court to halt confirmation of the settlement while the Department appeals the judge's decision to approve the deal.


Legal Defense is Formed for Harassed Poll Workers

Threatened by extremists and under fire by politicians, election workers now have their own legal defense network - the Election Official Legal Defense Network, which was formed to counter waves of political pressure and public bullying that election workers have faced in the last year. The organization, which is the creation of 2 powerhouse lawyers in Republican and Democratic legal circles, pledges free legal services to anyone involved in the voting process.


Judge Says Sept. 11 Trial is at Least a Year Away

A new judge presiding in the September 11th case at Guantanamo Bay has said that the trial of the 5 men accused of plotting the attacks would not begin for at least another year. The timeline set by the judge, Col. Matthew N. McCall, means that the trial of the 5 men, including the accused mastermind of the plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, would not get underway until more than 21 years after the attack.


Drone Attack Was a Mistake, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon has acknowledged that the last U.S. drone strike before American troops withdrew from Afghanistan was a tragic mistake that killed 10 civilians, after initially claiming that it had been necessary to prevent an attack on troops. The acknowledgement of a mistake came a week after a New York Times investigation of video evidence challenged previous assertions by the military, finding that almost everything senior defense officials asserted in the hours, days, and weeks after the August 29th drone strike turned out to be false.


Special Counsel on Russia Said to be Seeking Charges Against Lawyer

John H. Durham, the special counsel appointed by the Trump administration to scrutinize the Russia investigation, will ask a grand jury to indict Michael Sussamann, a prominent cyber security lawyer, on a charge of making false statements to the FBI. Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, represented the Democratic National Committee on issues related to Russia's 2016 hacking of its servers. The accusation against Sussman centers on a meeting that he had in 2016 with the FBI's top lawyer at the time, when he relayed data and analysis from cybersecurity researchers that might be evidence of covert communications between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution. The FBI eventually determined that Sussmann's concerns had no merit and the special counsel who took over the Russian investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, ignored the matter in his final report.


Two Parties, Two Maps and Plenty of Squabbling as Restricting Begins

Democrats and Republicans on New York's new bipartisan redistricting commission have failed to reach an agreement on an initial set of congressional and legislative map proposals. Instead, the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission, a body empowered by voters to remove politics from the mapmaking process, will proceed with 2 competing proposals - one by Democrats and one by Republicans - as New York is slated to lose a seat in its congressional delegation after last year's census.


Citing Bias, Judge Blocks Voter ID Law in North Carolina

A North Carolina court struck down the state's voter identification law, citing "persuasive evidence" that a Republican-dominated state legislature rushed its passage in order to make it harder for Black voters to cast ballots. In its decision, judges stated they did not find that Republican lawmakers acted out of racial animus, but rather that they wanted to depress Black turnout because most Black Americans cast ballots for Democrats. This is the second time in 5 years that a court has invalidated a North Carolina voter identification law as racially discriminatory.


In California, Thriving Claims of Voter Fraud

Republicans in California began pushing baseless allegations of cheating in the state's gubernatorial recall race even before Election Day. Soon after the recall race was announced in early July, false claims of voter fraud showed up on right wing news sites and social media channels, alleging that the recall vote would supposedly be "stolen" and blaming malfeasance ranging from deceptively designed ballots to nefariousness by corrupt postal workers. This swift embrace of false allegations of cheating in the California recall reflects a growing instinct on the right to argue that any lost election, or any ongoing race that might result in defeat, must be married by fraud.


After Rebutting Recall, Newsom Pivots to Face Many California Crises

While California Governor Gavin Newsom has successfully defeated a Republican-led effort of his attempted recall, he is left with multiple crises to confront in the state. In California, 90% of the state is in extreme drought, the median home price has eclipsed past $800,000, more than 100,000 homeless people sleep outside nightly, and more than 6 million public school children are struggling to make up the learning they missed because of the coronavirus pandemic, to name a few current crises faced by Californians.


Republicans in Pennsylvania Subpoena Personal Data in Every Voter in State

Pennsylvania Republicans have moved to seek personal information on every voter in the state as part of a partisan review of the 2020 election results. The expensive request for voters' personal information, directed at Pennsylvania's Department of State and approved in a vote by State Senate Republicans, is the first major step of the election inquiry. It is not immediately clear what legal basis Democrats, who control several of the top offices in Pennsylvania, would have to challenge the subpoenas.


191 to Be Freed as Chaos Rules Rikers Complex

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a bill ordering the release of nearly 200 detainees from New York City's Riker's Island jail complex, a move that came amid increasing calls for federal or state intervention at the city-run jail, which officials and detainees say has plunged into chaos. The complex, described as "pressure cooker", is rife with health and safety risks for inmates and employees, and 10 detainees have died there since December, including several from suicide. Gov. Hochul also said that she would transfer 200 other detainees to state prisons in the coming days, but even with those moves, Rikers will still be way more overcrowded than it was last year.


Ex-U.S. Intelligence Officers Admit to Hacking Crimes in the United Arab Emirates

Three former American intelligence officers hired by the United Arab Emirates to carry out sophisticated cyberoperations have admitted to hacking crimes and to violating U.S. export laws that restrict transfer of military technology to foreign governments. Documents detail a conspiracy by the 3 men to furnish the Emirates with advanced technology to assist Emirati intelligence operatives in breaches aimed at damaging the nation's perceived enemies. The men helped the Emirates, a close American ally, gain unauthorized access to acquire data from around the world, including from the United States.


In Galactic Leap, Rocket Lifts 4 Non-Astronauts Into Orbit

SpaceX successfully launched a rocket carrying 4 Americans, none of whom work for NASA, from the Kennedy Space Center in a mission known as Inspiration 4. The launch marks the first orbital trip where not one of the people aboard is a professional astronaut and where the government is largely a bystander and an observer. The mission carried within it the ambition of making spaceflight more accessible to the broader public and is perhaps a step toward a future where space travel might be like airline travel today - accessible by almost everyone.


Durst Is Convicted of Murder After 2 Decades of Suspicion

Robert Durst, the onetime heir to a Manhattan real estate empire, has been convicted of killing a close confidante in Beverly Hills, California in 2000. Durst, who became a national sensation after damaging admissions were aired in a 2015 documentary on HBO, was convicted in the execution-style murder 2 decades ago of Susan Berman, a friend who prosecutors said helped him cover up his wife's 1982 disappearance and death.



Pfizer Booster Not Needed for Most, Key Panel Says

A key advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) overwhelmingly rejected recommending Pfizer booster shots for most recipients of the company's coronavirus vaccine, instead endorsing them only for people who are 65 or older or at high risk of severe Covid-19 and received their shot at least 6 months ago. The vote, the first on boosters in the United States, is a blow to the Biden administration's strategy to make extra shots available to most fully vaccinated adults in the United states 8 months after they received a second dose.


GOP Seethes at Biden Mandate

Republican governors who are fighting President Biden's Covid-19 mask and vaccination requirements also preside over states that already impose vaccination requirements of their own. Governors of states like Mississippi and Texas have publicly criticized Biden's imposition of vaccine mandates on federal workers and healthcare workers, and as well as his plan to require all private sector businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing for their workforces, while simultaneously leading states that already mandate other vaccinations in other contexts.


September 27, 2021

Week In Review

By Christina Stylianou
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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


Disney Sues to Keep Complete Rights to Marvel Characters

Moving to defend its Marvel superhero franchises, the Walt Disney Company filed a flurry of lawsuits seeking to invalidate copyright termination notices served by artists and illustrators involved with marquee characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor. Daniel M. Petrocelli, a Los Angeles litigator, filed the complaints on Disney's behalf in federal courts in New York and California. The reclamation attempts stem from a provision of copyright law that, under certain conditions, allows authors or their heirs to regain ownership of a work after a given number of years. Such efforts turn on whether authors worked as hired hands or produced the material on their own and then sold it to publishers. The Copyright Revision Act of 1976, which opened the door to termination attempts, bans termination for people who delivered work at the "instance and expense" of an employer. "Since these were works made for hire and thus owned by Marvel, we filed these lawsuits to confirm that the termination notices are invalid and of no legal effect," Petrocelli said by phone.


After Prosecutors Painted A Portrait of A Predator, the Defense Cast Accusers as Liars and Fame-Seekers in The R. Kelly Trial

The prosecution's summation offered a dramatic crescendo to the 5-week trial, which included hours of disturbing testimony from R. Kelly's accusers, some of whom had never before spoken publicly. The singer, 54, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The closing arguments illustrated the expansive breadth of the prosecution's case against the singer -- and the steep challenge his defense team faced in the trial. The racketeering case against Kelly was built around 14 underlying crimes that federal prosecutors said he committed as part of the criminal enterprise at his command. Yet the charge itself only requires that 2 of those crimes be proven. Prosecutors constructed a final image of
Kelly as a calculated manipulator who destroyed the lives of those around him. They characterized the singer as a volatile man whose "violent temper" led to harsh physical abuse of many women and girls. They told jurors that he often promised visitors fame or success in their careers, while only intending to use them for sex, and said that Kelly created a fear-inspiring system of control that entrapped his accusers and prevented them from speaking out.

The defense's case began following 5 weeks of testimony that included 11 accusers, 6 of whom testified that they were underage when their sexual encounters with the singer began. At first, the defense witness who took the stand said that he had never seen the singer hanging around underage girls, but the witness, Larry Hood (a childhood friend of Kelly's and former Chicago police officer) then acknowledged that he had been present when Kelly first met the R&B singer Aaliyah, whom Kelly is accused of having sex with when she was 13 or 14. Another defense witness, Dhanai Ramnanan, described himself as an aspiring singer who worked in the studio with Kelly on and off for some 15 years. He said he had never witnessed Kelly verbally abuse or strike a woman, nor prohibit her from eating or using the restroom -- all accusations made during the first weeks of trial. Kelly did not testify in his own defense.

The defense team's closing arguments depicted Kelly as a generous and caring partner who loved the women around him "as a family" and treated them "like gold," but whose loyalty was not reciprocated. His attorney argued that the government's case, which revolved around allegations related to 6 women, was flimsy and built on a bed of fabrications. He contended that, while Kelly's accusers appeared to be sympathetic, their stories could not be trusted. He described one witness as "a super-stalker," "a super-hustler," and "a groupie extraordinaire." He argued that the case against Kelly was not about a series of accusations against a single man, but rather revolved around the historical balance between liberty and injustice in the United States and the decisions that everyday people make to shift the scale to either side. Invoking Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he argued that if jurors acquitted Kelly, they would be demonstrating the sort of courage that defined the civil rights movement.




T.I. and Tiny Will Not Be Charged in Los Angeles Sexual Assault Investigation

Prosecutors in Los Angeles declined to pursue criminal charges against the rapper T.I. and his wife, Tameka Cottle Harris, following an investigation into whether the couple drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in 2005, citing the statute of limitations. In May, the Los Angeles Police Department said it had opened a criminal investigation into the incident, in which a military veteran said she met the famous couple in the V.I.P. section of a Los Angeles club and became incapacitated after drinking with them. She said the couple then raped her in a hotel room. A lawyer representing the woman said at the time that she was among 11 people (in Georgia and California) who said they had been victimized by the Atlanta-based couple or members of their entourage. Unfortunately, as there was only one alleged victim in Los Angeles in this case, the exception to the statute of limitations that allowed the authorities to pursue older cases, as they did when they brought charges against Harvey Weinstein, did not apply in this case.


The Surveillance Apparatus That Surrounded Britney Spears

Britney Spears's father and the security firm he hired to protect her ran an intense surveillance apparatus that monitored her communications and secretly captured audio recordings from her bedroom, including her interactions and conversations with her boyfriend and children, according to a former employee of the security firm. Alex Vlasov, the employee, supported his claims with emails, text messages, and audio recordings he was privy to in his 9 years as an executive assistant and operations and cybersecurity manager for Black Box, the security firm. Recording conversations in a private place and mirroring text messages without the consent of both parties can be a violation of the law. It is unclear if the court overseeing Spears's conservatorship was aware of or had approved the surveillance. Vlasov's account, and his trove of materials, create the most detailed portrait yet of what Spears's life has been like under the conservatorship for the past 13 years. Vlasov said the relentless surveillance operation had helped several people linked to the conservatorship -- primarily her father, James P. Spears -- control nearly every aspect of her life. A lawyer for her father states, "All of his actions were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court. His actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court. Jamie's record as conservator -- and the court's approval of his actions -- speak for themselves." Spears's lawyer, Mathew S. Rosengart, said in a statement: "Any unauthorized intercepting or monitoring of Britney's communications -- especially attorney-client communications, which are a sacrosanct part of the legal system -- would represent a shameful violation of her privacy rights and a striking example of the deprivation of her civil liberties." "Placing a listening device in Britney's bedroom would be particularly inexcusable and disgraceful, and corroborates so much of her compelling, poignant testimony," Rosengart said. "These actions must be fully and aggressively investigated."


Black Irish, Mariah Carey's New Liquor, Can't Be Sold in Ireland Amid Trademark Dispute

Singer Mariah Carey, announcing her new liquor brand last month, said it was called Black Irish in a nod to her father, who was Black, and her mother's Irish heritage. However, at least for now, she can't sell it in Ireland or the rest of the European Union. For over a year, Carey's line of Irish cream liqueur has been locked in a dispute with Darker Still Spirits, an Irish liquor company that has owned the "Black Irish" European trademark since 2015. Darker Still registered its trademark claim in March 2015, and officially introduced its Black Irish product, which is stout blended with whiskey, in June 2020. Carey's representatives, through a company called Lotion, filed for the European trademark in January 2020, and later applied to protect "A Cause for Celebration Black Irish" -- a move that was rejected by the European Union's Intellectual Property Office. The European authorities are still evaluating the status of the Black Irish trademark.



Prosecutor in Geneva Drops Criminal Inquiry in $2 Billion Art Dispute

The Geneva public prosecutor's office dropped its criminal investigation of Yves Bouvier, a Swiss businessman who has been embroiled in a long-running battle with Russian billionaire and art collector, Dmitry E. Rybolovlev, over the acquisition of $2 billion of artworks. It was the last outstanding criminal case initiated by Rybolovlev in his dispute with Bouvier in what has been one of the art world's longest and most bitter entanglements, which has been fought in legal jurisdictions around the world, including Singapore, Paris, Monaco, and Geneva. The prosecutor ruled that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charges, ending all current criminal proceedings against Bouvier that resulted from the dispute with Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev's lawyers, however, said it wasn't the end and that he intended to appeal. In a statement, his lawyers suggested that the case against Bouvier had not yet been properly judged on its merits -- whether Bouvier was acting as an agent for Rybolovlev or as an independent art dealer in his own right. The battle began 6 years ago, after Bouvier helped Rybolovlev buy 38 pieces of world-class art for $2 billion over a period of about 12 years. Rybolovlev has said in court papers that he believed that Bouvier was acting as his agent and adviser on the transactions, and he paid Bouvier a fee for his services. He later discovered, he said, that Bouvier had bought many of the items in advance, then flipped them to him at a markup of $1 billion. Bouvier insisted in court papers that he was not an agent or adviser and instead, like any art dealer, was entitled all along to charge Rybolovlev whatever prices he wished for the art he sold to his client and that Rybolovlev was prepared to pay.


Valentino Wants Everyone to Get Vaxxed -- and Cloned

In August, after receiving his second Covid-19 vaccine shot, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director of Valentino, posted a selfie on Instagram, wearing a black hoodie with the red Valentino "V" logo on the chest. Beneath it, instead of the brand name as usual, was the word "Vaccinated". The photo immediately garnered attention and requests for the sweatshirt to be made publicly available. The sweatshirt, or a slightly elevated version of it, will be available on Valentino's website, retailing for €590 (or about $690 USD), with 100% of the proceeds going to UNICEF to support its work with the World Health Organization's Covax program, which is focused on getting vaccines to countries where they are not yet widely accessible. The sweatshirt was not originally made or conceived of by Valentino. It was originally designed by a company in Los Angeles called Cloney that specializes in bootlegging the city's cultural references (celebrity, social, fashion) and putting them on small-batch tees, sweats and baseball caps. Piccioli and his team had discovered the products online and bought out Cloney's remaining stock for personal use. Upon seeing the response to his Instagram post, Piccioli reached out to Cloney to produce the sweatshirt as a Valentino x Cloney collaboration, whereby Cloney would effectively be donating the idea and Valentino would donate the money -- an estimated €800,000 (or about $938,000) to start, which is based on how many sweats they anticipate selling. Piccioli said, "It's not a symbol of freedom to not be vaccinated. It's a symbol of lack of respect for others." The sweatshirt, he thought, was a "genius" way of expressing that.



Title IX Is Turning 50, But More Work Remains To Level The Playing Field For Female Athletes

In June 2022, Title IX will be 50 years old. The law has had a massive impact on female participation in organized college sports. Despite the gains, however, today 90% of intercollegiate athletic programs are still discriminating against women, with women being annually short-changed by $1 billion in scholarship dollars and 148,030 participation opportunities. With the market for name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights opening up for college students, the imbalance in resources provided to men and women threatens to grow. Much of this gender disparity is rooted in the historical under-resourcing of women's sports. (This is reflected in professional sports, as well.) Colleges need to work to balance the scales, so that the longer-run NIL market for men and women will gradually equalize. In the short run, greater male notoriety will perpetuate or exacerbate the inequalities.


New Olympic Rules On Trans Athletes Delayed Again Because of "very conflicting opinions"

The new guidelines for international sports federations are not expected to be released until after the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, 3 years later than originally intended. The news was revealed by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) science and medical director, who said that the forthcoming advice would "prioritise inclusion" and "avoidance of harm." Current guidelines issued in 2015 allow trans women to compete in the women's sports if they keep their total testosterone level below 10 nanomoles per litre for 12 months. Unfortunately, this regulation has resulted in the exclusion of athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone. The IOC's approach would shift to a more individualised, sport-specific approach. The guidelines will serve as a framework, with the international federations determining the specific rules for their sports and events.


U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Will Require Covid-19 Vaccinations for Winter Games

This week, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced that all athletes and team staff members who use the organization's training centers and facilities would need to be fully vaccinated by November 1st. Any athletes vying to represent the U.S at the Winter Games in Beijing will need to show proof of vaccination to be able to join the American delegation by December 1st. The IOC has not announced a vaccine requirement for the Beijing Games, but is expected to release a playbook next month detailing its preliminary rules and plans for preventing the spread of the virus at the 2022 Olympics, just as it did before the Tokyo Games. It is unclear, as yet, what rules athletes, officials, team staff members, and journalists will face in China. In Tokyo, 28 athletes tested positive in the lead-up to the Summer Olympics and during the competition, as did 13 athletes for the Paralympics.


The National Basketball Association Denies Andrew Wiggins's Request for a Religious Exemption From the Vaccine

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has denied the request of Andrew Wiggins, a Golden State Warriors player, for a religious exemption from the coronavirus vaccine, which is required in San Francisco to attend large indoor events, including Warriors home games. The NBA's decision complicates matters for the team and for Wiggins, a 26-year-old forward who was the No. 1 draft pick in 2014. He said in March that he did not plan to get the vaccine unless he was forced to do so. The ruling means that Wiggins will be barred from attending home games in San Francisco, where his team is based, unless he gets inoculated. The city mandated last month that people show that they are vaccinated in order to attend large indoor events. A negative coronavirus test will not suffice.



Twitter to Pay $809.5 million to Settle Shareholder Lawsuit

Twitter said that it will pay $809.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users interacted with its platform. The original lawsuit was filed in 2016 by Twitter investor Doris Shenwick and claimed that Twitter executives "knowingly made inaccurate public statements regarding these metrics, and failed to disclose internal information about them, resulting in an inflated share price that fell when the truth about user engagement became known." The proposed settlement resolves all claims against Twitter without admission of any wrongdoing.


The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard, the video game maker behind "Call of Duty" and other major franchises, said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was investigating it over "disclosures regarding employment matters and related issues." A press officer for Activision said that the SEC had issued subpoenas to the company and several current and former employees, but did not offer more details on the focus of the investigation. The company is cooperating with the inquiry, the official said in an emailed statement. Activision spent the summer grappling with accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination.


No More Apologies: Inside Facebook's Push to Defend Its Image

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, signed off last month on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify. The effort, which was hatched at an internal meeting in January, had a specific purpose: to use Facebook's News Feed, the site's most important digital real estate, to show people positive stories about the social network. The idea was that pushing pro-Facebook news items, some of them written by the company, would improve its image in the eyes of its users.


Google to Spend $2.1 Billion on Manhattan Office Building

Google announced that it would spend $2.1 billion to buy a sprawling Manhattan office building on the Hudson River waterfront, paying one of the largest prices in recent years for an office building in the United States and providing a jolt of optimism to a real estate industry lashed by the pandemic. The transaction comes during a precarious period for New York City's office market, the largest in the country, as the swift embrace of remote work and the shedding of office space have presented the most serious threat to the industry in decades.


News Media Can't Shake 'Missing White Woman Syndrome,' Critics Say

On Monday night, the MSNBC host Joy Reid invited two women on her show, "The ReidOut", to discuss the case of Gabrielle Petito, a 22-year-old woman whose disappearance during a cross-country road trip generated a cascade of front-page headlines, news alerts, and prime-time segments on cable news channels. The guests, Lynnette Grey Bull and Derrica Wilson, are advocates for missing Indigenous and Black women and children, and they argued that the kind of media attention Petito's disappearance was getting was sorely lacking when it came to the hundreds of disappearances that didn't involve white women.


Trump Sues His Niece and The New York Times Over Leaked Tax Documents

Former President Donald J. Trump filed a lawsuit accusing Mary L. Trump, The New York Times and 3 of its reporters of conspiring in an "insidious plot" to improperly obtain his confidential tax records and exploit their use in news articles and a book. The lawsuit claims that The New York Times reporters, as part of an effort to obtain the tax records, relentlessly sought out the former president's niece, and persuaded her "to smuggle the records out of her attorney's office" and turn them over to them. That action, according to the lawsuit, breached a confidentiality agreement that was part of the settlement of litigation involving the will of the former president's father, Fred C. Trump, who died in 1999. Trump's lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Dutchess County, N.Y., accuses the newspaper, its reporters and his niece of being motivated "by a personal vendetta and their desire to gain fame, notoriety, acclaim and a financial windfall and were further intended to advance their political agenda."


That Comment Someone Left on Facebook? It Can Get You Sued

Dylan Voller had become famous overnight in 2016 after a television news exposé on the mistreatment of juveniles in Australia's criminal detention system broadcast a photograph of him, at age 17, hooded and strapped to a chair by guards. The image, likened by some to those of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, shocked many Australians, prompting a national investigation. Beneath articles about the investigation written by major Australian news outlets and posted to their Facebook pages, commenters attacked Voller, falsely accusing him of a number of criminal acts. Instead of confronting the commenters directly, Voller sued the news media outlets, arguing that they were defaming him by permitting the comments on their Facebook pages. Crucially, he did not ask them to remove the comments before filing his lawsuit, essentially arguing that they should be liable for comments they might not even be aware of. His victory this month before the country's top court could be a blow to Facebook's ability to draw viewers to its content and further muddies the waters in a global debate over who should be held liable for what is said on social media.


An Experiment to Stop Online Abuse Falls Short in Germany

In 2017, the country enacted one of the world's toughest laws against online hate speech. It requires Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove illegal comments, pictures or videos within 24 hours of being notified about them or risk fines of up to 50 million euros, or $59 million. Supporters hailed it as a watershed moment for internet regulation and a model for other countries. However, an influx of hate speech and harassment in the run-up to the German election, in which the country was to choose a new leader to replace Angela Merkel, its longtime chancellor, has exposed some of the law's weaknesses.


An American Journalist Sits in Prison as Myanmar Suppresses Dissent

Danny Fenster, an American journalist who was arrested in May as he prepared to leave Myanmar, was ordered to remain in prison as police investigate a vague accusation that he disseminated information that could be harmful to the military. The court hearing marked his 120th day in custody. Fenster is the only American known to be under arrest in Myanmar, and has become an international symbol of the military junta's crackdown on free expression. No formal charge has been filed against the Detroit native. No evidence has been presented against him at any of his e8 court appearances, which are conducted by video and last only a few minutes. He is not permitted to speak or ask questions and has rarely met with his attorney since his arrest on May 24th. Fenster, the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar magazine, is accused of disseminating information that might induce military officers to disregard or fail in their duties, a charge often brought against journalists in the Southeast Asian nation. He faces 3 years in prison.


New Taliban Guidelines Stir Fear About the Future of Press Freedom

Concerns are growing at the increased constraints the Taliban government has placed on the news media in Afghanistan, after officials issued a new framework of rules for journalists that critics say open the door for censorship and repression. Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi, the interim director of the Government Media and Information Center and a longtime Taliban spokesman, unveiled 11 rules for journalists this week. They include directives against publishing topics that are in conflict with Islam or insulting to national personalities, and also instruct journalists to produce news reports in coordination with the government media office. The once-vibrant media industry in Afghanistan has been in free fall since the Taliban seized control last month. Many Afghan journalists fled the country, fearing repression and violence from the new rulers, while dozens more have gone into hiding and are still seeking a way out of Afghanistan.


How the U.S. Helped, and Hampered, the Escape of Afghan Journalists

In telephone interviews last week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and 2 other officials closely involved in the evacuation of journalists and many others from Afghanistan made the case that the U.S. exit should be seen as a success. They pointed to the scale of the operation -- 124,000 people evacuated, in total -- as the ultimate American commitment to Afghanistan's civil society. "We evacuated at least 700 media affiliates, the majority of whom are Afghan nationals, under the most challenging conditions imaginable," Blinken said in an interview on Friday. "That was a massive effort and one that didn't just start on evacuation day." However, people at major news organizations and others who pushed to get journalists out of the country reported that they were incredulous that the United States would claim to have played a pivotal role in the exodus.


General News

Abortion Providers Ask the Supreme Court for Fast Review of Texas Ban

Abortion providers in Texas returned to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to take another look at their challenge to a state law that bans most abortions after 6 weeks and was designed to evade review in federal court. By a 5-to-4 vote on September 1st, the Court refused to block the law, citing the "complex and novel" procedural questions it presented. Since then, abortion providers in Texas have turned away most patients seeking the procedure. In the new filing, the providers asked the Court to grant certiorari to decide what they said was a pressing question: "whether a state can insulate from federal court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil actions."


Lawsuits Are Filed Against a Texas Doctor Who Said That He Performed An Abortion

A man in Arkansas and another in Illinois filed what appeared to be the first legal actions under a strict new abortion law in Texas that is enforced by ordinary citizens, regardless of where they live. The Arkansas man, Oscar Stilley, who was described in the complaint as a "disbarred and disgraced" lawyer, said in an interview that he had filed the lawsuit against a Texas doctor who publicly wrote about performing an abortion, to test the provisions of the law. Stilley said that he was not trying to halt abortions by Dr. Alan Braid, a San Antonio physician who wrote in The Washington Post that he had violated the Texas law. "I'm not pro-life," Stilley said in an interview. "The thing that I'm trying to vindicate here is the law. We pride ourselves on being a nation of laws. What's the law?" Dr. Braid was also sued on Monday by an Illinois man, Felipe N. Gomez, who described himself in his complaint as a "pro-choice plaintiff." John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group, which lobbied for the new abortion law, claims that "[n]either of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives" and that "[b]oth cases are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes."


Biden Vows to Double Aid On Climate Change, One of the Key Issues Facing Leaders

President Biden said that his administration would seek to double aid aimed at helping developing nations address climate change, raising a pledge he made in April to about $11.4 billion a year by 2024. The pledge is considered critical to the success of United Nations-led climate talks that are scheduled to take place in November in Glasgow, though whether and when the money will materialize depends on congressional approval.


House Passes Spending Bill and Debt Limit Increase Over G.O.P. Opposition

The House approved legislation to keep the government funded through early December, lift the limit on federal borrowing through the end of 2022, and provide emergency money for Afghan refugees and natural disaster recovery, setting up a fiscal showdown as Republicans warn that they will block the measure in the Senate. The bill is urgently needed to avert a government shutdown when funding lapses, and a first-ever debt default when the Treasury Department reaches the limit of its borrowing authority within weeks. It has become ensnared in partisan politics, with Republicans refusing to allow a debt ceiling increase at a time when Democrats control Congress and the White House. The bill passed with only Democratic votes in the closely divided House, 220 to 211.


Regulators Racing Toward First Major Rules on Cryptocurrency

After largely standing aside for years as cryptocurrency grew from a digital curiosity into a volatile but widely embraced innovation, federal regulators are racing to address the potential risks for consumers and financial markets. Their concerns have only grown as both new and established firms have rushed to find ways to profit from bringing the massive wealth held in cryptocurrency into the traditional financial system through quasi-banking services, like interest-bearing accounts and lending. Now, the Treasury Department and other agencies are moving urgently on an initial target for tighter regulation: stablecoins.


The January 6th Committee Subpoenaed Top Trump Advisers, Ramping Up Its Investigation

The select committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol subpoenaed four of President Donald J. Trump's closest advisers, ramping up its scrutiny of what the former president was doing before and during the deadly riot. The subpoenas, the first the panel has issued, seek information from Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; Dan Scavino Jr., who was a deputy chief of staff; Stephen K. Bannon, Trump's former adviser; and Kash Patel, the former Pentagon chief of staff. The committee is demanding that the men turn over documents by October 7th and submit to depositions the following week.


Appeals Panel Overturns Army Judge's Ruling on Torture

A Pentagon appeals panel threw out a ruling by an Army judge who found that evidence obtained during the torture of a defendant could be considered in determining pretrial matters in a death-penalty case at Guantánamo Bay. "The issue of admissibility of such evidence is not ripe or ready for judicial review," the Court of Military Commission Review ruled in a 6-page decision that essentially left to another day the overarching issue of whether prosecutors can in some instances use evidence obtained through the torture of a prisoner. Lawyers brought the appeal on behalf of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi man accused of plotting Al Qaeda's bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole off Yemen in 2000, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. Nashiri was waterboarded by psychologists working for the CIA, and his trial has been mired in pretrial proceedings for a decade as the court that was set up after the attacks of September 11, 2001, tries to deal with the legacy of the torture.


Alabama Begins Removing Racist Language From Its Constitution

The last time Alabama politicians rewrote their State Constitution, back in 1901, their aspirations were explicitly racist: "to establish white supremacy in this state." One hundred and twenty years later, the Jim Crow-era laws that disenfranchised Black voters and enforced segregation across Alabama are gone, but the offensive language written into the State Constitution remains. Now, as communities across the South reconsider racist symbols and statues, activists in Alabama, who have labored for 20 years to convince voters that rewriting their Constitution is important and long overdue, see an opportunity to get it done. Efforts to rewrite the State Constitution failed twice before. Finally last fall, voters -- jolted partly by racial justice protests across the country -- gave a green light. This month, a committee of lawmakers and lay people began the process of redrafting; their work will go before the voters next year to be ratified before the new Constitution can take effect.


Trump Campaign Knew That Lawyers' Voting Machine Claims Were Baseless, Memo Shows

In a defamation lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, recently released court documents contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early-on that many of the claims against Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic, were baseless. By the time the news conference held by Trump's team of lawyers occurred on November 19th, 2 weeks after the 2020 election, Trump's campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the companies, determining that those allegations were false. The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed 4 federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Trump.


Ancient Footprints Push Back Date of Human Arrival in the Americas

Ancient human footprints preserved in the ground across the White Sands National Park in New Mexico are astonishingly old, dating back about 23,000 years to the Ice Age. The results, if they hold up to scrutiny, would rejuvenate the scientific debate about how humans first spread across the Americas, implying that they did so at a time when massive glaciers covered much of their path.


New York City Sues Jail Officers, Saying That Illegal Strike Worsened Rikers Crisis

New York City sued a union representing its jail officers, saying that the staff absenteeism that has led to an ongoing crisis on Rikers Island amounted to an illegal strike that had endangered staff and detainees there alike. The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, said that the union, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, and its leadership, had condoned a coordinated campaign of absenteeism over the course of this year, which led to a sharp degradation in the quality of life at the notorious jail complex. The suit was filed just a day after a Bronx man's death on the island brought the total number of people who have died in the custody of the city's Department of Correction this year to 11.


Taliban Complete Interim Government, Still Without Women, and There Is A Harsh New Reality for Afghan Women and Girls in Taliban-run Schools

The Taliban refused to bow to the demands of the United Nations and the international community to include women in its cabinet, announcing the completion of an interim government with a lineup that was entirely male and kept members of the Taliban's old guard in the top echelon of the leadership. The announcement, which focused on filling posts at the deputy-minister level, did give a few of those jobs to ethnic minorities, including Tajiks, Uzbeks, and one Hazara, the new deputy minister of health. Yet those small numbers and the lack of women appeared likely to hamstring the government's efforts to secure funding from donors. The Taliban dismissed the demand for diversity and said that it was due recognition by the world.

The emerging government has also made clear that it intends to severely restrict the educational freedoms enjoyed by many women and girls the past 20 years. The only question is just how draconian the new system will be, and what type of Islamic-based education will be imposed on both boys and girls. When schools reopened last week for grades 7 through 12, only male students were told to report for their studies. The Taliban said nothing about girls in those grades, so they stayed home. Both boys and girls in grades one through 6 have been attending schools, with students segregated by gender in the higher three grades. When the Taliban were in charge from 1996 to 2001, they barred women and girls from school. After the U.S.-led invasion toppled Taliban rule in late 2001, female students began attending schools and universities as opportunities blossomed. Women were able to study for careers in business and government, and in professions such as medicine and law. By 2018, the female literacy rate in Afghanistan reached 30%, according to a new UNESCO report, but since the Taliban swept back into Kabul and seized power in August, its spokesmen have said that it will impose its severe interpretation of Shariah law. The new government has said that some form of education for girls and women will be permitted, but those parameters have not been clearly defined by Taliban officials.




Covid Vaccine Prompts Strong Immune Response in Younger Children, Pfizer Says

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective in young children aged 5 to 11 years. The news sets the stage for authorization of the vaccine for younger children, possibly before the end of October. The need is urgent: Children now account for more than one in 5 new cases, and the highly contagious Delta variant has sent more children into hospitals and intensive care units in the past few weeks than at any other time in the pandemic.


Food and Drug Administration Authorizes Pfizer Booster Shots for Older and At-Risk Americans

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized people over the age of 65 who had received Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine to get a booster shot at least 6 months after their second injection. The FDA also authorized booster shots for adult Pfizer-BioNTech recipients who are at high risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19 or are at risk of serious complications from the disease due to frequent exposure to the coronavirus at their jobs. The authorization sets up what is likely to be a staggered campaign to deliver the shots, starting with the most vulnerable Americans.


Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge

In a half-dozen studies published over the past few weeks, Moderna's vaccine appeared to be more protective than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the months after immunization. The latest such study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines at preventing symptomatic illness in about 5,000 health care workers in 25 states. The study found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had an effectiveness of 88.8%, compared with Moderna's 96.3%.


Federal Panel Recommends Booster Shots, Opening New Campaign Against the Virus

An influential scientific panel recommended booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for a wide range of Americans, including tens of millions of older people. However, the experts declined to endorse additional doses for health care workers, teachers, and others who might have higher exposure on the job. The decisions were made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, in a series of votes, during which scientists agonized over their choices. The recommendations revealed deep divisions among federal regulators and outside advisers about how to contain the virus nearly 2 years into the pandemic. Just a day earlier, the FDA authorized booster shots for certain frontline workers, but the CDC's advisers disagreed that the doses were needed by so many healthy people.


About September 2021

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

August 2021 is the previous archive.

October 2021 is the next archive.

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