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Week In Review

By Darby Daly Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

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

Entertainment Global Orchestras Change as a Result of Pandemic Two years after the coronavirus paralyzed classical music ensembles are again returning to the global stage, but they face significant challenges. Throughout the pandemic, the Vienna Philharmonic ended up being one of the few orchestras to remain successful. Given the unpredictability of the pandemic and the current state of the world, it has been difficult for many live music acts to maintain success. The recent decline in COVID-19 infections have provided a glimmer of hope that touring can soon return to normal and as it had been before the pandemic; however, the fear of future waves makes it difficult for the ensembles to adequately plan. Economic and health concerns need to be taken into consideration when determining whether to move forward with orchestra tours - the once tremendous money-making industry has been impacted along with everything else.

Arts Justices Will Revisit Free Speech Questions in Gay Marriage case The case may settle a question left open in 2018 of how to reconcile claims of religious liberty with laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation. This question comes to light after the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from a Colorado web designer who objects to providing services for same-sex marriages. The last time the justices were faced with this (unresolved) issue was in 2018, when a Colorado baker refused his services for a gay couple. The specific question at issue is "whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the free speech clause in the First Amendment." A current Colorado law forbids discrimination against gay people by businesses open to the public as well as statements announcing such discrimination. So far, this law has been found constitutional and continues to protect members of the LGBTQ+ communities from such discrimination.

U.S. Museum Employees Embrace Union Pitch Workers at nearly two dozen American art museums have created collective bargaining units in recent years to push for better pay and working conditions. The carpenters and the security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art had long been members of a union when in 2020, workers from departments across the museum - curators, conservators, educators, and librarians - voted to create one of the largest museum unions in the country with nearly 250 members. Many of the workers who have recently joined unions have come from the curatorial, administrative, and education staffs - white-collar office workers who often had not previously been represented by collective bargaining units. -

Reply Brief Filed for Petition for Cert. in Jim Olive Photography d/b/a Photolive, Inc v. University of Houston System The parties in this case argue whether GVR is appropriate to allow the Court to consider Cedar Point's holding that the appropriation of a "right to invade" is a per se taking. The parties in this case also argue whether copyright infringement constitutes a mere "tort." The Supreme Court ultimately held that the petition should be granted, the decision should be vacated, and the case should be remanded to the Supreme Court of Texas for re-examination in light of Cedar Point. Olive v U Houston.pdf

Second Request for Reconsideration for Refusal to Register a Recent Entrance to Paradise The Review Board of the United States Copyright Office has considered Steven Thaler's second request for reconsideration of the Registration Program's refusal to register a two-dimensional artwork claim in the work titled "A Recent Entrance to Paradise". After reviewing the application, deposit copy, and relevant correspondence, along with the arguments in the second request for consideration, the Board affirms the Registration Program's denial of registration because it was created by a computer. a-recent-entrance-to-paradise.pdf

Hearing on Henry Darger Estate Dispute Postponed Distant relatives are seeking to gain control of the outsider artist's estate from a former landlord, Kiyoko Lerner, who says that Darger gave the art and literary works he created to her husband. Lerner has managed the care and sale of Darger's work for decades both on her own and with the help of her husband prior to his death. Lerner has filed a motion to strike the family members' petitions, questioning their credibility and arguing that they did not comply with state law and had not established that the relatives were legal heirs. The probate judge handling the case said that there were "lots of holes" in the family's court documents and that he needed to review Darger's relatives' standing as an heir. The case has been rescheduled to have its next hearing in May.

U.S. Army Delay in Creating New Monuments Men Due to Ukraine War Civilian specialists are tracking the threat to landmarks in Ukraine as the U.S. Army struggles after more than two years to appoint new cultural heritage preservation specialists modeled after the "Monuments Officers". Archaeologist and director of the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Hayden Bassett, has monitored and mapped Ukraine's national heritage as part of a civilian effort to mark the sites that could be devastated by way. Typically, this responsibility is held for a cadre of U.S. Army specialists being hired to succeed the storied Monuments Men of World War II. Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, claimed that: "There is this capability that the Army ought to have that's not available to commanders at the moment." Russia's recent attacks make that lack of capability even more significant, as the war poses severe threats to the golden domes and other monuments throughout Ukraine.

Sports United States Women's National Soccer Team Reaches Landmark Decision for Equal Pay After years of fighting, the U.S. Women's Soccer players reached a landmark decision with the sport's American governing body that marks the end of a grueling legal battle over equal pay. As a result of this lawsuit, the women have been promised $24 million plus bonuses that are equal to what the men earn. A breakdown of the deal is as follows: The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the women announced a deal that will have players split $22 million, about one-third of what they had sought in damages. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women. The USSF committed to providing an equal rate of pay for the women's and men's national teams -- including World Cup bonuses -- subject to collective bargaining agreements with the unions that separately represent the women and men.

The women who have fought so hard for this pay equality are proud of their result and hopeful that it will continue to bring change for women's sports. "What we set out to do," Alex Morgan said in a telephone interview, "was to have acknowledgment of discrimination from U.S. Soccer, and we received that through back pay in the settlement. We set out to have fair and equal treatment in working conditions, and we got that through the working conditions settlement. And we set out to have equal pay moving forward for us and the men's team through U.S. Soccer, and we achieved that."

The Olympics Sees Progress in the Closing of the Gender Gap, But There is Still Work to be Done The Beijing Games, which ended on February 20th, have been described by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the most "gender-balanced" Winter Games in history, with women accounting for a record 45% of the athletes. That's up from 41% at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, and 4.3% at the 1924 Games in Chamonix, France.

Seven competitions were added to this year's Olympic program, including the women's big air event. The addition of the mixed team format, in which men and women compete together, to events in short-track speedskating, ski jumping, aerials, and snowboard cross is another part of the IOC's effort to promote gender equality. The inaugural monobob competition was contested solely by women. Even more history was made at this year's Olympics, when Eileen Gu became the first freestyle skier to win three medals at a single Olympics. Gu, an 18-year-old who resides in California and competed for China, won her first gold of the Games in the inaugural women's freestyle skiing big air competition, introduced as part of the IOC's efforts to achieve gender parity at the Games.

New Yorkers Bet Big on Their Phones, Over $2 Billion in Wagers in 5 Weeks Since New York legalized online gambling this past January, bets have poured in, bringing revenue to tax coffers but worrying addiction specialists. Overall, the recent legalization of sports betting has seen $2.4 billion in wagers and approximately $80 million in tax revenue. These statistics bring New York to beat Nevada and New Jersey for the No. 1 spot in mobile sports betting. These high numbers are also indicative of the likely success that sports betting will bring from an economic standpoint. However, despite the positive financial impact mobile sports betting may have, this spike in popularity has raised concerns among groups focused on problem gambling. Some say that "the ease and speed of mobile sports betting - including the ability to palace a wager on individual plays in a game - have the potential to entrap newcomers and tempt those trying to recover." New York's Office of Addiction Services and Supports says that it has already seen a 46% increase in calls to its gambling helpline since the legalization of this form of betting.

Medina Spirit is stripped of 2021 Kentucky Derby Win Medina Spirit's trainer, Bob Baffert, was suspended and fined after his horse failed a post-race drug test last year. As a result of this failed drug test, Medina Spirit - who unexpectedly passed away in December 2021 - has been officially disqualified by Kentucky racing officials for failing that drug test. Of the 147-year history of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit is only the third horse to ever receive such a penalty after finishing in first place. This decision subsequently removed Baffert's seventh Kentucky Derby victory from the record book and placed him on a 90-day suspension with a fine of $7,500.

Women's Basketball Players find a Fresh Opportunity The five-week Athletes Unlimited season has given some players an alternative to playing overseas during the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) off-season and a way to earn extra money. Like everyone else, the WNBA and its players suffered because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One WNBA player in particular, Lauren Manis, really suffered the repercussions of the pandemic as she had signed with a team in Belgium just before the world faced its first lockdown. The conditions in Belgium were extremely difficult for Manis, as she explained that she "was living in a campground for three months," and that "the team was not honest with the living arrangements." After expressing to her agent that she was suffering from severe mental strain, her agent presented her with the opportunity to compete in Athletes Unlimited (AU), a network of player-driven sports with a new basketball league based in Las Vegas. For Manis and others in the AU league, the league is an opportunity to course-correct a career beleaguered by bumps and false starts. Some see AU as a chance to compete in front of family and friends in the United States as opposed to playing overseas. AU also provides these players with a paycheck during the off-season, which can be unfortunately rare.

Athletes Seeking Financial Advice Cheated by Morgan Stanley Brokers Morgan Stanley broke, Darryl M. Cohen, entrusted to make basic long-term investments, was barred from the securities industry after his dealings with Jrue and Lauren Holiday, Chandler Parsons, and others. These athletes trusted Cohen due to his two decades-worth of experience in firms like Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo. Cohen reassured his athlete clients that he had specialized in assisting athletes in all sports and boasted a client list of 70 current and former professional athletes. The Holidays claim that Cohen spent nearly all their money after he directed $2.3 million of their finances to "dubious individuals and entities." Other athletes are claiming they had similar experiences after entrusting Cohen with their millions. Cohen's former clients have filed claims against Morgan Stanley with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Marshall University Sues Conference USA to Hasten Move to Sun Belt Several universities that are choosing to switch leagues are attempting to do so ahead of timelines outlined by their conferences' contracts. To speed up the process for its move to the Sun Belt Conference, Marshall filed a lawsuit against Conference USA, as the university plans to join the conference by the summer. Marshall is not the only school publicly feuding with its conference - Texas and Oklahoma decided to leave the Big 12 last year to move to the Southeastern Conference. The league's bylaws state that member schools must give 14 months' notice before leaving the conference, meaning that the universities would have had to notify the league in May 2021 to leave by July 2022. Southern Mississippi has stated that the league has refused to negotiate terms of an early exit. Various attempts by the schools have been made throughout 2021 to initiate this exit and the league's lack of cooperation has become one of the main focal points of this lawsuit.

With the Olympics Ending, China Celebrated a Joyless Triumph The Games ended without disaster, but were overshadowed by a doping scandal, rising tensions in Europe, and anxiety over the future of the sporting movement. Despite China's insistence that the Olympics were not to be political and were to focus on the sports, the Games still suffered from controversy and scandal. Given the unprecedented times in which the Olympics were held and the strict health protocols in China, the Games appeared to be significantly joyless - the backdrop of outdoor events seemed grim and there were hardly any spectators in the stands. However, in addition to the joylessness of the Olympics, accusations of doping and the crisis in Ukraine significantly diminished the overall spectacle that the Olympics usually bring to the world. Regardless of the depressing state in which the Olympics were held, the Games overall seemingly avoided total disaster considering the potential of things that could have gone wrong.

Location of Champions League Final Moved to France, No Longer in Russia European soccer's governing body voted to move this season's Champions League final to Paris as a form of punishment for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The game, which is set to be on May 28th, will serve as the first time France has hosted the final since 2006. UEFA announced that it had made the decision based on the "grave escalation of the security situation in Europe."

Soccer, Russia, and a Line Drawn Too Late Soccer did not have to allow itself to be the field in which both geopolitical rivalries played out, or the stage on which oligarchs sought power and prestige. Schalke, one of the most popular professional soccer teams in Germany, has been a key component in various political issues, as the team adorned the logo of Gazprom on its jerseys. Gazprom is an energy company with a large component of it owned by Russia. However, it seems to have decided to end its political relationships because of the Russian war on Ukraine through the removal of the Gazprom logo from its jerseys.

Soccer Players Stranded in Kyiv Beg for Help to Leave Amidst War A group of nearly 70 professional soccer players and their families made up of Brazilians, South Americans, and Italians have become stranded in their hotel in Ukraine as the war with Russia unfolds. The players have been unable to flee the country after their season was suspended due to the warfare. To be rescued, the players have released a video showing their circumstances - they are nearly out of food and have already run out of essentials, such as diapers for the babies. Plans to evacuate the players were unsuccessful as the Russian forces began attacking the Ukraine airport. Further, the lack of gasoline prevented the players from obtaining automobiles to attempt to drive out of the country. "We are here asking for your help," Marlson Santos of Shaktar said, "There's no way we can get out." The players' best option was to remain in the hotel, as it provided them with shelter and an internet connection to allow them to communicate with the outside world.

Curling Provides Ray of Light in the Unrelenting Darkness Eleven years ago, a sociologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Heather Mair, made a surprising discovery when she began a study of female curlers in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Many of these women told Mair that curling had helped with their mental health. Given the unique, and dark, lifestyle in this area, the women explained that curling pushed them to go out during the darkest months of the year, when the sun barely crosses the horizon and people withdraw into their houses. For women who curled, withdrawing was not an option, because the team depended on them. According to Mair, these women "know they need to get out...When they stay home, they are unwell." The communities of the Northwest Territories, with a population descended from Indigenous and white settler families, stand out for their struggles with mental health, which are in many cases connected to Canada's damaging colonial history. Unfortunately for these communities, mental health is not a common subject to discuss, so the opportunity for women to participate on curling teams is very significant to their wellbeing.

Technology/Media Palin Seeks New Trial After Losing Libel Suit against the New York Times Lawyers representing Sarah Palin have told a federal judge that they will file several motions scrutinizing the timing of his announcement that he intended to dismiss the case for lack of evidence. These claims come after Judge Jed S. Rakoff held that the newspaper was not liable for defamation when it published and later corrected an editorial that erroneously linked the political rhetoric of Palin to a mass shooting. Though Rakoff's claims came before the jury verdict, it has been revealed that the jury came to the same conclusion. One of Palin's motions against the judge claims that he had communicated with the media regarding the case - a statement that Rakoff vehemently denies. -

General News Ketanji Brown Jackson Nominated to Become First Black Female Supreme Court Justice President Biden announced his decision to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. During his campaign, Biden promised voters that he would make sure that the government reflects the citizens of the country by becoming more inclusive of race and his nomination of Jackson shows that he is remaining true to that promise. Jackson's nomination for appointment to the Supreme Court comes after current Justice Stephen J. Breyer announced his retirement.

Jury Finds Arbery Murderers Guilty of Hate Crimes A federal jury found that the 3 white Georgia men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery are guilty of a federal hate crime. The jury determined that the men were acting on behalf of racist motivation when they chased Arbery through their neighborhood and ultimately took his life. Although legal analysts say that hate crimes are particularly difficult to determine, the federal prosecutors in the Arbery case presented a significant amount of evidence of the defendants' racist beliefs and crude language. Upon hearing this evidence, some of the jurors were visibly shaken and the jury ultimately took 4 hours to reach their verdict. This holding is seen by national civil rights leaders as a victory for racial justice.

Putin targeted by the United States and Europe with Sanctions After the recent attacks by Russia on Ukraine, the United States and Europe moved to penalize Russian president Vladimir Putin for his attacks. The West imposed these sanctions aimed at freezing Putin's wealth while continuing to try to weaken his military and economic capabilities through further restrictions. Russia stands alone in its decision to attack Ukraine, with other major nations around the world openly condemning Putin's actions and the war in general. The sanctions imposed on Russia by western nations are an effort to help Ukraine and end the war as quickly as possible, however, officials are concerned that Putin will not let the sanctions get in his way.

Three COVID-19 Vaccines May Be Sufficient Protection for a Long Time A multitude of new studies suggest that several parts of the immune system can mount a sustained, potent response to any coronavirus variant. With one of the most pressing questions surrounding the ongoing pandemic being "will we need additional boosters?" new studies suggest that we may not need to worry about further vaccination for years. These studies also suggest that 3 doses of a COVID vaccine - or even just the original 2 - are enough to protect most people from severe illness and death for a long time.

Director of the Institute for immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, John Wherry, said "We're starting to see now diminishing returns on the number of additional doses." Wherry also stated that a fourth vaccine may be unnecessary for most people, while those over 65 or at high risk of illness may benefit from a fourth vaccine. Federal health officials have said that they are not planning to recommend fourth doses any time soon.

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