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Week In Review

Leah Gaydos

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


‘Air’ and the Argument for Letting the Talent Share in the Profits

Sonny Vaccaro and Matt Damon's sports drama 'Air' is pioneering a new model where actors and other talent are granted a share of a film’s profits. The objective is to give the talent a bigger stake in a movie's success beyond traditional pay and to give them a say in decision-making, similar to how the deal was drawn for Michael Jordan and Nike.

Arts As Presenters Cut Back on Streams, Some Disabled Arts Lovers Feel Left Out

Many disabled art lovers are feeling excluded as many presenters move their productions offline from online, thus excluding those who were able to engage with art from the comfort of their homes. Activists are calling for more online streaming and live captions to make art more accessible.

Auctioneer Admits to Helping Create Fake Works Shown as Basquiats in Orlando

Orlando Barzman, a former auctioneer, admitted to helping create and sell fake Basquiat paintings at his auction house in Los Angeles. Barzman plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

DSTLRY is a new comic book publisher that aims to treat creators as partners and stockholders, providing them with a share of profits and decision-making power. This model hopes to incentivize writers and artists to create their best work while fostering a more collaborative and equitable culture in the comic book industry.

Texas County Keeps Public Libraries Open Amid Book Ban Controversy

The Llano County Public Library in Texas has vowed to keep its doors open and its books available despite a recent statewide ban on certain titles. The library is committed to providing access to a diverse array of books and materials, even in the face of political opposition.

Trump Asks That Trial of Writer’s Suit Accusing Him of Rape Be Delayed

Lawyers for Former President Donald Trump have asked that a civil lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Trump of rape, be delayed until after a criminal case against Carroll's lawyer is resolved. Trump's lawyers argue that the criminal case could affect the outcome of the civil suit.

Helping People of Color Find Their Footing in the Arts

The Verge Recruitment is an initiative aimed at increasing racial diversity in the art industry by connecting people of color with job opportunities. The program offers a variety of services, including mentorship, training, and job placement, to help diversify the industry and encourage minorities to pursue careers in art. Not Picassos, but Still Precious: Museums Return Silver Stolen By the Nazis

German museums are returning silver objects looted by the Nazis to their rightful owners, with many institutions launching their own research and outreach initiatives to find the objects' rightful owners. Art organizations are also using digital means, such as online databases, to better inform families who had objects seized from them during WWII.


North Dakota Bars Trans Girls and Women From Female Sports Teams

A new law in North Dakota prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. Supporters say that the law is necessary to protect fairness in women's sports, while opponents argue that it is discriminatory and harmful to trans individuals.

Runners are embracing more personalized and individualized uniforms, departing from the traditional standardized athletic wear. A growing number of companies are responding to this trend by creating customizable uniforms that athletes can tailor to their own preferences.

A Growing W.N.B.A. Still Boxes Out Some Personalities

Many women’s basketball players are still struggling to secure lucrative sponsorships and media attention despite the growing popularity of the WNBA. Specifically, black women are being called out and supported less for exhibiting the same behavior as white women both on and off the court. Activists and players are calling for more investment in the league and greater representation of women's basketball in the media.

Even in Exile, Bob Baffert Is the King of the Sport of Kings

Bob Baffert, a former horse racing trainer, is continuing to dominate the sport from his home in California despite being banned from Churchill Downs after a series of doping scandals. Baffert has remained a powerful figure in horse racing, training some of the sport's biggest stars from afar.

WTA Returns to China, Lifting Suspension on Tournaments

The Women's Tennis Association's (WTA) decided to lift its suspension on tournaments in China, which had been imposed due to concerns about the treatment of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. The decision has sparked controversy, with some criticizing the WTA for prioritizing profit over human rights, while others argue that engagement with China is necessary for progress.

The Irish women's soccer team is facing scrutiny and criticism due to their ties to a former coach who was accused of sexually abusing young players. The team is set to compete in the upcoming World Cup, but some are calling for their disqualification or for the players to take a stand against the abuse.


Artificial Intelligence Is Coming for Lawyers, Again

The legal industry is facing a new challenge as artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances. AI-powered legal services are becoming increasingly popular, with firms using them to analyze contracts, research case law, and even draft documents. This trend is creating new opportunities for tech companies while threatening the traditional model of legal practice.

Justice Dept. Recently Looked Into Twitter, Lawsuit Says

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been accused of investigating Twitter in violation of the social media platform's First Amendment rights. A new lawsuit claims that the DOJ secretly subpoenaed Twitter to obtain user data and communications related to certain accounts. Twitter is fighting back against what it sees as an infringement on free speech.

Judge Limits Fox’s Options for Defense in Dominion Trial

A judge ruled that Fox News could not argue that its hosts' statements about Dominion Voting Systems were protected by the First Amendment. The decision could have implications for the outcome of the defamation trial, which centers on Fox News' coverage of the 2020 election. Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages.

Judge Imposes Sanction on Fox for Withholding Evidence in Defamation Case

Fox News has been sanctioned for failing to produce evidence in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case. The judge in the case ruled that Fox News had engaged in "gamesmanship" and ordered the network to pay legal fees for Dominion. The ruling could have consequences for the future of media organizations and their obligation to provide evidence in legal proceedings.

Landmark Trial Against Fox News Could Affect the Future of Libel Law

The Dominion Voting Systems defamation trial against Fox News is being closely watched as a potential landmark case. The outcome could set a precedent for how media outlets are held accountable for spreading false information. The trial has also highlighted the role of media in shaping public opinion and the importance of accurate reporting.

Fox News Settles Defamation Case With Venezuelan Businessman

Fox News has settled a defamation lawsuit filed by a Venezuelan businessman who was falsely accused of being involved in election fraud.

An Online Meme Group Is at the Center of Uproar Over Leaked Military Secrets

A popular meme group on the chat platform Discord is facing scrutiny after leaked military documents were posted to the chat thread. The incident has raised questions about the security of military information and the responsibility of online platforms to monitor user content. Discord has taken steps to remove the offending material and prevent further breaches.

Can We No Longer Believe Anything We See?

The rise of AI-generated images and videos is raising concerns about the veracity of digital content. Deepfake technology, which can create highly realistic videos of people saying and doing things they never actually did, has the potential to undermine public trust in media and even affect political outcomes. Experts are calling for greater transparency and accountability in the use of these tools.

The Real-World Costs of the Digital Race for Bitcoin

The surge in Bitcoin mining has led to a corresponding increase in electricity consumption and carbon emissions. The energy used by the mining process is equivalent to the electricity needs of entire countries, and the resulting pollution is a serious concern. Some experts are calling for greater regulation of the industry to address these environmental issues.

NPR to Suspend Twitter Use After ‘Government-Funded’ Label Was Placed on It

NPR has announced that it will suspend its use of Twitter after the platform labeled the organization "government-funded." The label was applied because NPR receives some federal funding.

Montana Legislature Approves Outright Ban of TikTok

The Montana Legislature has approved an outright ban of TikTok, citing concerns over the Chinese-owned app's data privacy and security. The ban aims to prohibit state employees and contractors from using TikTok on government-issued devices, and it will also prevent the state from investing in or contracting with companies that own or operate the app. It is unlikely, however, that it will be effective.

China Sentences Leading Rights Activists to 14 and 12 Years in Prison

Chinese authorities have sentenced two prominent human rights activists and journalists, Yang Jianli and Zhang Xianling, to 14 and 12 years in prison, respectively. Both individuals were charged with "subversion of state power" and accused of working with foreign organizations to undermine the Chinese government. The sentences have been widely criticized by human rights groups, who claim that the charges are baseless and politically motivated.

General News

FBI Arrests and Charges National Guardsman in Leak of Classified Documents

Air Force airman Jack Teixeira was arrested and charged with leaking classified information, including information about military operations and personnel, to an unauthorized person. The arrest was part of a broader crackdown on leaks by the U.S. government.

The Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on a lower court decision that would have restricted access to medication-induced abortions in several states. The stay will remain in place until the Court can fully consider the case, which challenges an FDA rule that requires people seeking the abortion pill to obtain it in person from a medical provider.

Injuries and Illness Slow Senators, as Well as the Senate Itself

Several senators are currently out of commission due to injuries or illnesses, including Mitch McConnell and Dianne Feinstein, which has slowed the Senate's work on important legislative priorities. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged his colleagues to take care of themselves and not to come to work if they are feeling unwell.

Senate Judiciary Committee Promises Supreme Court Ethics Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that it will hold a hearing on the ethics of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has faced criticism for his ties to conservative political groups and potential conflicts of interest related to his wife's lobbying work. The hearing will focus on the role of ethics in the Supreme Court and feature testimony from legal experts and scholars. The hearing is expected to be highly contentious, with some Republican lawmakers accusing Democrats of attempting to politicize the Court.

Justice Thomas Failed to Report Real Estate Deal With Texas Billionaire

Justice Thomas failed to report his wife's purchase of a $700,000 property in 2019 from Harlan Crow, a Texas real estate magnate with whom Justice Thomas has a long-standing relationship. The failure to disclose the transaction raises questions about whether Justice Thomas violated federal disclosure rules.

New Pressure to End Old Senate Practice After Mississippi Judicial Pick Is Blocked

Senate Democrats are considering ending the "blue slip" tradition, a process that allows senators to veto judicial nominees from their home states, after a nominee for a federal judgeship in Mississippi was blocked by Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Critics of the practice argue that it gives individual senators too much power over judicial nominations.

Drug Company Leaders Condemn Ruling Invalidating the Food and Drug Administration’s Approval of Abortion Pill

Several executives from pharmaceutical companies have criticized a recent court ruling that invalidated the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the abortion pill. The ruling found that the FDA had not properly considered safety concerns related to the medication. The executives argue that the ruling sets a dangerous precedent that could harm women's health by preventing them from accessing safe and effective abortion care. The FDA has not yet announced how it plans to respond to the ruling.

Trump Is Questioned in N.Y. Attorney General’s Lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump was questioned for several hours by the New York attorney general's office over his financial dealings, including allegations of tax fraud and inflating property values for loans and insurance purposes. The investigation is part of a broader examination of the Trump Organization's business practices.

Bragg Sues Jim Jordan in Move to Block Interference in Trump Case

New York's Attorney General, Letitia James, has sued Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, a vocal Trump ally, in an effort to prevent him from interfering in a potential criminal case against the former president. The lawsuit argues that Jordan's public statements attempting to discredit the investigation into Trump's alleged financial crimes in New York amount to illegal witness tampering and obstruction of justice. James is seeking a court order prohibiting Jordan from further interference in the case, which she claims is ongoing.

Trump Ignores Deadline for Personal Financial Disclosure to the Federal Election Commission

Former President Donald Trump has missed the deadline for filing his personal financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The disclosure, which is required of all presidential candidates, provides information on a candidate's financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest. Trump has repeatedly faced criticism for failing to fully divest from his businesses while in office, raising concerns about conflicts of interest and violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Trump Appeals Decision Forcing Pence to Testify to Jan. 6 Grand Jury

Trump has filed an appeal challenging a court decision that would require former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a grand jury investigating the January 6th insurrection. The appeal argues that the court's decision was based on a flawed interpretation of the law and that Pence should be protected by executive privilege. Legal experts have expressed skepticism about the appeal, noting that executive privilege typically only applies to conversations with the president and that Pence may be required to testify regardless.

Trump Sues Michael Cohen, the Key Witness Against Him

Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to charges related to his work for Trump in 2018. The lawsuit accuses Cohen of breaching his fiduciary duties and seeks millions of dollars in damages.

Hochul Names a New Candidate to Become New York’s Top Judge

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has named her choice to replace outgoing Chief Judge Janet DiFiore on the state's highest court. The nominee, Rowan D. Wilson, is an associate judge who already serves on New York’s Court of Appeals, and has a great deal of support.

New York City Welcomes Growing Number of Out-of-State Abortion Patients

New York City has become a destination for women seeking abortions from states with more restrictive abortion laws. Clinics in the city report that they are seeing a growing number of patients from places like Texas, where a recent law effectively banned most abortions.

Missouri to Restrict Medical Care for Transgender Adults, Citing Consumer Protection Law

Missouri lawmakers passed a bill that would restrict medical care for transgender adults, citing a consumer protection law that prohibits "deceptive or unfair practices" by health care providers. The bill would prohibit doctors from prescribing hormone therapy or performing gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people under the age of 18.

Second Expelled Democrat Is Sent Back to Tennessee House

Tennessee Representative Justin Pearson, who was expelled from the state legislature last year after being accused of sexual harassment, has been re-elected to his former seat in a special election. Pearson, who denies the allegations against him, had sued the state over his expulsion and had the backing of some local Republicans in his bid to return to office.

DeSantis Signs Six-Week Abortion Ban in Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would restrict abortion in Florida to within six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. The law also includes a provision that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps someone obtain an abortion after the six-week cutoff. Should College Come With Trigger Warnings? At Cornell, It’s a ‘Hard No.’

The student government at Cornell University has voted against a proposal to require trigger warnings on course syllabi, arguing that such warnings could be overly broad and potentially limit academic freedom. Supporters of the proposal argue that trigger warnings can help students who have experienced trauma.

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