Week In Review
By Caroline Solochewicz Edited by Elissa D. Hecker
Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, Technology/Media, and General News:
Supreme Court Will Not Review Decision to Overturn Bill Cosby's Conviction
The U.S Supreme Court rejected bid by Pennsylvania's prosecutors to reinstate Bill Cosby's conviction for sexual assault.
Disney C.E.O. Says Company Is 'Opposed' to Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill
Disney's CEO Bob Chapek was scrutinized for not standing up against the bill, given the company's strong presence in Florida. He finally spoke up, saying that Disney was opposed to the bill but did not want to take a public position because they felt they could work more effectively behind the scenes with lawmakers.
A Labor Movement for the Artists Who Make Popular Culture Move
New entertainment is using dance as a way to drive storytelling, while TikTok dance challenges continue to influence the promotion of music, but those in the industry believe that several issues are yet to be addressed. Choreographers are not getting the credit they deserve and many are calling for adequate representation. Social media continues to pave the way and dancers are looking into unions to help with copyright and compensation issues.
Alec Baldwin Seeks to Avoid Liability in Fatal 'Rust' Shooting Alec Baldwin was named in several lawsuits seeking damages since he shot and killed the cinematographer, Halyna Hutcins, on set. In the filing, Baldwin's lawyer says that a clause in his contract means he bears no financial responsibility for legal fees or claims arising out of the death, and names the movie's producers as respondents.
Jussie Smollett Sentenced to Jail for False Report of a Hate Crime
Actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 5 months in jail after falsely reporting to Chicago police that he had been a victim of a racist and homophobic act in 2019. At trial, he had been found guilty of felony disorderly conduct.
Neil Diamond Sells Entire Catalog to Universal Music
Universal Music Group acquired Neil Diamond's catalog, which includes hits like "Sweet Caroline." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and the agreement included the rights to his recordings and publishing.
Major Music Companies Pause Business in Russia
Three major record conglomerates (Sony, Warner Music, and Live Nation) follow in the footsteps of other major companies in suspending business over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while individual artists such as Green Day have canceled tour dates.
Ed Sheeran in "Shape of You" Court Battle
Ed Sheeran revisits a dispute which began in 2018 where he is accused by two artists of plagiarism in hit song "Shape of You" because of particular lines in the lyrics.
Cities and States Are Easing Covid Rules. Should the Arts Follow?
Cultural institutions face some major challenges, especially when it comes to deciding what the new normal will be. Vaccination and mask requirements are up in the air and the responses of New Yorkers vary.
An Educator Read 'I Need a New Butt!' to Children. Then He Was Fired. During Read Across America week, a teacher read "I Need a New Butt!" by Dawn McMillan to around 240 second grade students over Zoom. The children's book was one of his child's favorite and the teacher, an educator for 20 years, believes that silly books as such allow for children to be engaged. However, differentiating opinions of the student's family members caused the school to terminate him.
Ukrainian Dancers Find Shelter Abroad as War Rages at Home
As more Ukrainians are migrating away from their homes, European opera houses and theaters are welcoming Ukrainian artists. For example, in Poland, the Polish National Ballet is offering shelter to about 30 Ukrainian dancers in its opera house and the opportunity to join the ballet's company class.
Pressed About Putin, Russian Conductor Quits Bolshoi and French Posts
After being pressured by French officials to condemn Putin for his invasion of Ukraine, a Russian conductor resigned from two orchestras. He frequently worked with Ukrainian artists. Although he said he is against any conflicts, he felt forced to choose between two cultures.
Gold Ingots From 18th-Century Shipwreck Returned to France
In 1974 a French ship sank on its way back to France with tea from China. In an effort to preserve culture, when gold ingots popped up at an auction they were seized by U.S. homeland security and given to the French embassy.
Major League Baseball lockout ends with a New Collective Bargaining Agreement: Five Takeaways with Baseball Set to Return
After 99 days, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association reached a deal for a new collective bargaining agreement, ending the league's owner-imposed lockout.
National Football League Hands Calvin Ridley a One-Year Suspension for Betting on Games
Atlanta Falcons player Calvin Ridley is suspended for one year after betting on games in November.
Deshaun Watson Won't Face Criminal Charges in Houston Cases, Grand Jury Decides
Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson has been accused by two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage appointments however, a grand jury decided he will not be criminally charged.
Brittney Griner's Circle Turns to a Common Strategy: Silence
Women's National Basketball Association player Brittney Griner was detained in Russia on Feb. 17th on drug charges. Her supporters are striving to find a legal resolution that would most benefit her, especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Disabled Chinese Fight for Equal Rights Despite Paralympic Glory
The Paralympic Games in Beijing include many Chinese athletes, who unfortunately still feel that their wins are clouded by significant discrimination and unfairness outside of the competition. Some athletes even go as far as to say their survival is inhibited due to the poor choices and actions of the government.
The Hunt for Oligarchs' Money
Roman Abramovich's sale of Chelsea football club is forced to wait after new sanctions against Russian elites include freezing British assests. The London- based club can continue to play, however, no new tickets or merchandise can be sold.
FIFA Will Allow Foreign Players in Russia to Break Contracts
Around 100 top players in Russia have the opportunity to sign with other teams. Many organizations urge FIFA to allow for these changes permanently.
Swiss Prosecutor Seeks Prison for Al-Khelaifi, Valcke
The Swiss public prosecutor called for Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and FIFA's former number two Jerome Valcke to be sent to prison for corruption over a World Cup TV rights deal. The two men deny any wrongdoing.
U.S. Fights Disinformation Pushed by Russia and China on Social Media
President Biden has taken the step of calling out both Russia and China on their coordinated propaganda campaign. The two leaders of countries have come together trying to diminish the reality of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the close alignment between Beijing and Moscow adds tension to the conflict. China has used several outlets, including social media, to try to inflame the situation with conspiracy theories and Russian disinformation.
Apps and Oranges: Behind Apple's 'Bullying' on Trademarks Apple, a company worth millions goes after small businesses and their use of fruits in their logos. Apple has frequently targeted entities that have nothing to do with technology and it appears that it doesn't intend on slowing down, whereas critics say that Apple's actions amount to "bullying tactics, and they are unnecessary for Apple to protect the public from confusion."
A House Panel Calls for a Criminal Investigation into Amazon
A House committee has asked the Justice Department to investigate Amazon and some of its executives for criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation. Executives are being accused of engaging in misleading behavior.
Much of Smartmatic Case Against Fox News Can Proceed, Judge Rules
A judge has ruled that the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by a voting systems company can move forward. Smartmatic sued Rupert Murdoch's cable news networks last year, along with several Fox hosts and guests. The lawsuit accused them of damaging the company by promoting a false narrative about the 2020 election: that Smartmatic and other voting systems companies tried to rig the race against President Donald J. Trump.
Major News Organizations Pull Their News Staff From Russia
Several news organizations, including The New York Times, have temporarily suspended their operations in Russia, due to the country's passing of a law with severe penalties for reporting the actual news.
What It Was Like to Work for Russian State Television
A Russian backed TV Network based in Washington D.C transforms overnight as global conversation focuses on the invasion of Ukraine pressuring distributors and networks to sever ties with Russian media channels.
Russia, Where All the News Is Fake
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, so does the attempt at brainwashing through new coverage. The Russian government has restricted social media and news channels. Starved of accurate information, Russians have been shifting through disinformation, including stories that the United States is developing biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine.
TikTok Is Gripped by the Violence and Misinformation of Ukraine War
Since Russia invaded Ukraine there has been many tik tok videos circling the app on the subject. However, a majority of them are spreading disinformation.
A Secret Ad Deal Between Google and Meta is Under Scrutiny in Europe
Google and Meta have a secret deal that is being investigated by antitrust regulators in the EU and Britain for potentially undermining competition in the digital advertising market.
Behind the Scenes, Billionaire Media Empires Shape French Presidential Campaign France's presidential campaign is primarily a competition for influence especially as some of the richest in the nation are fighting over the nation's top television networks, radio stations, and publications. On both side are billionaires, one owner of a media company and on the other the owner of luxury empire. Buying influence has become so much of a concern that the French senate has opened an inquiry.
Supreme Court Allows Court-Imposed Voting Maps in North Carolina and Pennsylvania
In 2019, the Supreme Court decided that federal courts cannot hear claims of partisan gerrymandering, but now the door is left open to challenges in state court. The Supreme Court on Monday allowed congressional maps that had been approved by state courts in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to stand, giving Democrats an advantage in this year's election in two key states.
Supreme Court Says That 10 Burglaries Can Count as One Offense
In deciding whether a crime took place during a single occurrence, the Supreme Court decided that the defendant's actions did. Previously, the defendant was to serve almost 16 years on a gun charge, which is 14 years longer than the recommended statute.
Congress Gives Final Approval to Make Lynching a Hate Crime
A bill finally passed in the Senate after a years of failed attempts to explicitly criminalize lynching. No senators objected the bill, so it was cleared without a formal vote and is awaiting signature of President Biden.
House Approves $13.6 Billion in Emergency Aid for Ukraine
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the House approved $13.6 billion in emergency aid, which includee military and humanitarian assistance.
Biden Nominates Roselyn Tso of the Navajo Nation to Run Indian Health Service
Biden had made a campaign promise to address the longstanding issues plaguing the agency, which has lacked consistent leadership. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/09/us/politics/roselyn-tso-indian-health-service.html
Texas Man Convicted in First Jan. 6th Trial
Guy Wesley Reffitt, a former leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys, was found guilty of attack on the Capitol.
Texas Supreme Court Shuts Down Final Challenge to Abortion Law
The Texas law which several states hope sets precedent, is the most restrictive abortion law in the nation and goes against the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. However, the Texas supreme court shut down the final challenge and a law that allows no exceptions for abortion has unfortunately prevailed.
Texas Court Halts Abuse Inquiries Into Parents of Transgender Children
Investigations of parents with transgender children for possible child abuse have been temporarilty halted accross Texas after a state court ruled that the policy was improperly adopted and violated the consitution. This came after more than 60 major household businesses, including Apple, Meta, and Google signed onto a new ad campaign in Texas protesting that transgender children are being abused by their parents. The ad supported the LGBTQ+ community and its family members against the wrongful acts of conservative leadership in Texas.
Facing Economic Calamity, Putin Talks of Nationalizing Western Businesses
As the global economy suffers, Putin has assured his citizens that the imposed sanctions on Russia are not seen as a threat. Instead, he believes that Western companies will suffer and that they may be met with backlash. The Kremlin could respond to Western companies leaving the Russian market with the seizure of assests and possible nationalization whereas Russian oligarchs are facing their own threat to their western assets. However, not all Russians are affected equally, those working under Putin are secure.