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Week In Review

By Jessie Schuster

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Entertainment

With Striking Actors Off-Limits, Directors Get Their Close-Ups

As the writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue, directors are now moving from their typical place behind the camera to promote their work at film festivals around the world, including several directors who are also actors.


Proposed U.S. Bill Would Allow Indie Artists to Negotiate Collectively With Streaming Services and AI Companies

The Project Working Musicians Act of 2023 will create an equal playing field for new and smaller artists when it comes to relationships with streaming services and AI companies by bypassing antitrust laws and making it plausible for indie artists to jointly negotiate licensing deals.


Astroworld: Travis Scott’s Attorneys Say His Phone is at the ‘Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico’

After the plaintiffs in the Travis Scott Astroworld case filed an emergency motion to obtain phone records from the artist, Scott’s attorneys claim that the documents cannot be provided because the rapper’s phone is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico after falling off a boat.


FKA Twigs’s Lawsuit Against Shia LaBeouf Postpones Trial Start Date Until 2024

Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs, has agreed to push her lawsuit against ex-boyfriend and actor Shia LeBeouf for abuse until October 2024. The disgraced actor, who is accused of sexual assault, infliction of emotional distress, and sexual battery, now has another year before he will see his ex in court.

Ryan Murphy’s Longtime Lawyer Leaves Firm to Work for Mega-Producer

Craig Emanuel, a top entertainment attorney who represented actors from Tom Hanks to companies like MSG Entertainment, will be leaving his practice to work full time in-house for producer Ryan Murphy, a longtime client.


Arts

Book Bans Are Rising Sharply in Public Libraries

Book bans are not only affecting children in schools, as they may now affect book availability to entire communities by targeting public libraries. The restrictions, to no surprise, target books by or about LGBTQ+ community members or people of color, giving reason for public concern.


Franzen, Grisham and Other Prominent Authors Sue OpenAI Over “Mass-Scale Copyright Infringement” of Novels

AI is being brought into a legal battle once again, this time by the Author’s Guild. Authors claim that their copyrights are being infringed upon, as OpenAI using their books to train the AI bots.



ChatGPT Can Now Generate Images, Too

With the constant and consistent growth of AI tools, ChatGPT can now offer its users generated images using the new DALL-E 3 image generator with a strong understanding of what specifically users are seeking.


Designer Files New Lawsuit Against Lizzo and Her Wardrobe Manager

While facing a lawsuit from her dancers accusing her of a hostile work place, Lizzo is now being sued again, this time by a former designer of hers who is also alleging that Lizzo and her wardrobe manager have created a hostile work environment.


Provenance of a Museum’s Greek Exhibit is Questioned Fueling a Debate

A Greek Exhibit from Florida’s Museum of Fine Arts is being questioned by the Denver Art Museum as staff members are claiming that many of the antiquities in the collection are stolen.


Yemen Gets Ownership of Artifacts, but Met Will Still Display Them

Yemeni officials have asked the Met through a custodial agreement to hold onto artifacts that Yemen has ownership over while the country suffers a civil war, allowing the museum to leave the pieces on display until they are to be returned.


Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Faces Political Winds Before a Brick is Laid

The Smithsonian’s Latino Museum, the National Museum of the American Latino, is set to be displayed on D.C.’s National Mall, but political groups are voting to eliminate funding for the museum as right-wing congressmen feel the work paints the U.S. in a negative light as it shows Latinos as “victims of an oppressive United States.” Latino congressmen also feel the work is “insulting and inaccurate.”


Ancient Earthworks Trodden By Golfers Become a World Heritage Site

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled nine months ago that the Moundbuilders Country Club must sell its land to the state historical society, as the golf course operated on Native American earthworks. Golfers, however, are expressing their disappointment by continuing to drive golf carts and use clubs on the territory. Now, the site is officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Wildenstein Art Dynasty Faces a Tax Trial in France – Again

Billionaire art dealer Guy Wildenstein is being brought to court for tax fraud and money laundering in Paris, an accusation that has followed the Wildenstein family for generations as the international art dealing dynasty has been thought to have shielded art collections from tax authorities.


Sports

Olympic Bobsledder Aja Evans Files Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Team Chiropractor

USA Olympic Bobsledder Aja Evans claims that the team chiropractor John Wilhem molested and sexually assaulted her “to the point where [she] experiences chronic anxiety and fell out of love with the sport of bobsledding.” The athlete is seeking damages from the chiropractor, USA Bobsled, the Olympic Committee, and the Skeleton Federation for protecting and enabling the disgraced doctor.


Some Fortnite Players Are Owned Refunds. Here’s How to Claim Yours

Fortnite creator Epic Games has admitted to tricking videogame players into making unwanted purchases and is now agreeing to pay $245M in addition to the $275M the company is paying for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Act for six years after the game launched and became a global sensation.


Michigan State Tells Football Coach Mel Tucker it Will Fire Him for Misconduct with Rape Survivor

It has been found that over a year ago, Michigan State Football coach Mel Tucker was involved in misconduct with Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor. Now, the school is jumping into action and firing the coach without compensation, regardless of his $95M 10 year contract.


Kentucky Sports Betting Staggered Start Has Interesting Parallels

The recent staggered starts for betting in legal markets, such as in Maryland and Massachusetts, have shown increases as high as $584.5M when moving from in person to online betting. The first two weeks of Kentucky sports betting has already made over $4M for sportsbooks, but the move from in person to online will increase that number by hundreds of millions.


As the Number of Women in the National Football League Expands, So Does This Group Text

The women of the National Football League (NFL) have created a group chat over WhatsApp with 129 people in it as an online support system for each other, where they discuss job opportunities, promotions, and celebrations of women in the NFL as their community continues to grow.


They Shot at Her. They Forced Her From Her Home. She Won’t Stop Fighting for Girls.

Khalida Popal,, former captain of the Afghanistan Women’s soccer team, is putting up a fight for young girls who are being threatened by the Taliban if they play the sport. Popal says that she would rather die than turn her back on the young athletes, as the modern day hero has already saved 87 women, including the current senior national soccer team, despite the extreme political group barring women from participating in sports. Popal’s next mission is getting FIFA to recognize the team once again.


How Germany’s Extreme Right Seized on the Martial Arts Scene

Germany has been seeing an increased interest in Mixed Martial Arts by its citizens, but professional fighters in the country are worried that far-right neo-Nazis are taking over the sport. The extreme groups have been using the fighting form to recruit and train extreme members of their party in a mainstream way.


Media & Technology

U.S. Issues Final Rules to Keep Chip Funds Out of China

In attempts to protect national security, the Biden administration established rules that will prohibit chip companies from working with China for various business endeavors and will disburse over half of a billion dollars in grants to the chip industry. The Commerce Department is laying out the rules for chip companies with a warning that grant money will be taken from any company that violates the rules.


Making Sure AI Complies With Anti-Discrimination Law

As companies proceed with the use of AI for hiring decisions, it is vital that precautionary measures are taken to ensure that the technology complies with anti-discrimination laws.


Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents Sued by FTX

Mr. and Mrs. Bankman-Fried, Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents are being sued for “using their access and influence within the FTX enterprise to enrich themselves” in a multimillion dollar suit.


Google’s Bard Just Got More Powerful. It is Still Erratic.

Bard, Google’s own AI bot, now contains a new feature that will connect the AI tool to user Google accounts including Gmail, Docs, and Drive in order to give the online assistant as much information to work with as possible to help with Google users’ daily tasks.


Rupert Murdoch to Retire From Fox and News Corporation Boards

Lachlan Murdoch will be the new executive in charge of Fox as his father retires from the position just a few years following Fox News Channel’s legal settlements and while other multi-million-dollar lawsuits loom.


Microsoft Closes in on Activision Deal After Britain Signals Approval

Microsoft and video game creator Activision Blizzard have come close to an agreement that will have Microsoft buying the videogame company for $69B. The final step in the purchase will be Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority signing off on the acquisition to ensure that no antitrust concerns remain.


Britain Passes Sweeping New Online Safety Law

A new law in England will work to regulate online content as it targets terrorist propaganda, online fraud, and child safety, as one of the largest and most extreme attempts by a Western country to regulate online safety.


Residents See Signs of Crackdown on Dissent After Libya Floods

Protesters and activists in Libya are being arrested as the groups are demanding accountability from top officials for improperly handling the burst of dams in Derna, leading to the death of thousands of civilians.


General News

Iran Releases 5 Americans as U.S. Unfreezes Billions in Oil Revenue for Tehran

After being held in Iranian prison, five Americans have been released as the U.S. came to an agreement that will include unfreezing $6B worth of Iranian oil revenue and dismissing charges against 5 Iranians who have been accused of violating U.S. sanctions.


Justice Kagan Calls for the Supreme Court to Adapt an Ethics Code

In an interview at Notre Dame Law School, Justice Kagan expressed that it would be good for the Court to adopt an ethics code in order to persuade the public that it is adhering to the highest standards of conduct.


Biden Creates Federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention

The new federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention, led by VP Harris, will work to combat the ever-growing national crisis surrounding gun violence. The country has seen over 500 mass shootings this year.


Menendez Accused of Brazen Bribery Plot, Taking Cash and Gold

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez stepped down from his position of Democratic Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after being charged with accepting bribes in the form of bars of gold bullion. The bribery scheme was found to have been associated with assisting both New Jersey businessmen and assistance to Egyptian businessmen who work closely with top Egyptian officials.


Biden, in United Nations Speech, Calls for Action on Ukraine and Other Crises

At the U.N. General Assembly, President Biden addressed world leaders with pleas to work together in attempts to counter war efforts both in the states and abroad, specifically discussing the current war in Ukraine and the need to continue alliances with the country.


U.N. to Meet Amid Growing Divisions, and Demands From the Global South

As the war in Ukraine encroaches upon its second year, the U.N. General Assembly scheduled meetings in which President Zelensky attended for the first time since the war commenced. Discussions included climate change, debt relief, education, and gender equality as the overwhelming goal of this assembly was global prosperity, health, and development.


U.N. Chief’s Test: Shaming Without Naming the World’s Climate Delinquents

U.N.’s Secretary General António Guterres was openly disappointed with world leaders as he stated that climate crisis efforts have come up “abysmally short” and urged the diplomats to take action by stopping the expansion of coal, oil, and gas production.


A Legal Victory for the (Very) Little Guys

Endangered plant and animal species will benefit from a legal settlement that will make the Environmental Protection Agency consider the effects of different species in relation to pesticides. The nicknamed “megasuit,” an 11 year old case has finally come to an end after over 95% of pesticide assessments have failed annually.


Anti-Affirmative Action group Sues West Point Over Admissions Policy

The recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down race being a factor in the admissions process at Harvard and UNC explicitly excluded military academies in its decision. Now, a lawsuit is being brought by the Students for Fair Admissions saying the ruling should apply to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


N.Y. Lawmakers Sue to Block Migrants From Floyd Bennett Field

Floyd Bennett Field, a national parkland in Brooklyn, is the topic for debate as New York lawmakers hurry to attempt to block the field from being used as emergency shelter for thousands of migrants as per Mayor Eric Adams’s proposal. Democratic and Republican lawmakers asked the New York Supreme Court to file an immediate injunction in attempts to stop to Adams from using protected national parkland, which is also in a floodzone.


In Three Southern States, a Legal Battle Over Political Maps

Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana are all subject to potential redraws of Congressional maps that had been ruled to discriminate against Black voters just one year after the same map proposals were found to be likely illegal. Should these maps be approved, Black voters will find themselves at a significant disadvantage when it comes to redistricting for voting.


‘My Vote Was Rejected’: Trial Underway in Texas Over New Voting Law

Texas’s new voting law that is intended to avoid issues regarding voting fraud is causing lawsuits as voting rights advocates claim the law makes it difficult for older voters, voters who do not speak English, and voters who are disabled.


Pennsylvania Will Start Automatic Voter Registration

When Pennsylvanians get their driver’s license or other state ID, they will now automatically be registered to vote as part of a new program that will not only make the registration process easier than it previously was, but will also ensure election security in the state.


Trump Is Said to Have Told Aide Not to Acknowledge She Knew of Documents

A former assistant to Donald Trump shared information with investigators regarding the role she played in the former president’s classified documents scandal. Molly Michael said that Trump told her: “You don’t know anything about the boxes” in attempts to get her to stay quiet if asked whether the boxes containing classified documents.

Guiliani Sued Over Unpaid Legal Fees by Lawyer Who Led His Defense

Rudy Giuliani can add another legal battle to his list of troubles, as his own lawyer is suing him for over $1.3M in legal fees that have gone unpaid.

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