top of page

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:

Entertainment Brown v Netflix The Second Circuit's ruling affirms that the defendants' use of plaintiff's song ("Fish Sticks n' Tater Tots?) in the documentary film Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe constituted a fair use. The film had featured footage of a performer using the song during a performance. Stereotypes Persist for Asian and Pacific Island Characters in Film A study of 1,300 movies found that only 3.4% of them "had leads or co-leads who were Asians or Pacific Islanders." The analysis also found that two-thirds of Asian characters who are cast reflect stereotypes.

Will Songwriting Survive Streaming? The article discusses a recent study that "sounds the alarm about the need to reform the economics of streaming to better support songwriters."

Radio City Music Hall to Reopen to Maskless, Vaccinated Crowds The venue will open at full capacity next month. Details are still being worked out, especially as to whether the venue will ask ticketholders to show proof of vaccinations.

Arts Andy Warhol Foundation v Goldsmith The Andy Warhol Foundation filed a reply in support of its petition for a rehearing/rehearing en banc of the issue involving the Prince Series. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 ruling from New York's federal court finding that Andy Warhol had made fair use of Goldsmith's 1981 photograph of Prince.

ComicMix v Dr. Suess ComicMix has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the Ninth Circuit's ruling finding that its Star Trek/Dr. Seuss mashup book was not a fair use.

Hunley v Instagram Photojournalists have brought a class action against Instagram claiming that allowing users to easily "embed" posted images constitutes copyright infringement.

Big Candy is Angry at Look-Alike THC Edibles To protect their brands, candy companies are suing makers of cannabis-infused edibles that use packaging that could be confused with their own products. Recent lawsuits have been settled, with smaller companies agreeing to halt production, but public authorities continue to fear accidental ingestion of cannabis-infused candy that resembles those of well-established brands.

Cultural Institutions Still Await Promised $16 Billion in Federal Aid No money from the $16 billion federal aid program has been disbursed to applicants yet, as performance venues and cultural institutions try to survive closures caused by the pandemic. The program's administrator said that highest-priority applicants (those with losses amounting to 90% of revenue) will receive notices soon.,money%20has%20been%20disbursed%20yet

Whitney Museum Workers Move to Form Union with United Auto Workers A petition asking for a union vote was filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The proposed bargaining unit includes about 180 employees, among them curators, editors, and porters.

The Met Opera Comes Alive The Metropolitan Opera performed for the first time after a 430-day closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was a 45-minute program in front of an audience of 150 at a performance space in Queens. However, a contentious labor dispute could still threaten its official reopening in September.

Museums Aren't Just to Be Seen - How the Guggenheim Is Reaching Out to Audiences in Atypical Ways Museums like the Guggenheim are reaching out to disabled individuals through different programming, including sensory tours that serve the blind and partially sighted.

Blake Bailey's Philip Roth Biography Dropped by Norton Finds New Publisher Skyhorse will publish paperback and digital versions of the book after Norton dropped the biography following assault allegations against the author.

Cuomo Set to Receive $5.1 Million from Pandemic Book Deal Details of the book deal were released as state investigators look into whether the governor used state resources to write the memoir.

Silenced in the Streets, Protests Surface in Artworks Artists in Hong Kong are expressing their pro-democracy views in paintings, installations, and other media.

Sports National Football League Embraces Progressive Action, But Not Yet Kaepernick With leagues now embracing social justice initiatives, "many players say that the N.F.L. must address Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality toward African-Americans," if it is to give meaning to its progressive stance.

Cryptocurrency Becomes National Basketball Association's New Trading Card Top Shot, a new online marketplace for basketball fans, has become so popular that professional basketball players themselves are buying and selling video highlights using cryptocurrency.

Bob Baffert Barred from Belmont Stakes by New York Racing Officials State horse racing officials have barred trainer Bob Baffert from running any of his horses at Belmont Park or at Saratoga Race Course. They cited the investigation into his horse's victory at the Kentucky Derby and failed drug tests in the recent past.

New York City Marathon Returns in November The event will take place on its usual date, the first Sunday of November. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

U.S. Attorney Accuses Coach of Extorting Louisville Louisville assistant men's basketball coach Dino Gaudio was charged in federal court. Federal prosecutors allege that he threatened to expose violations of NCAA rules at Louisville unless the university paid him 17-months' worth of salary. He is expected to enter a plea agreement.

Stanford Reverses Plan to Eliminate 11 Sports The school will keep all varsity sports during the 2021-22 school year, reversing an earlier decision that was intended to "create fiscal stability" for its athletics departments.

Surfing for the U.S., But Representing Hawaii Hailing from the birthplace of surfing, John John Florence will complete as an American in the Olympics but would much rather do so as a Hawaiian, representing the state's red, white, and blue flag. That delineation between Hawaii and the American mainland is well known among those in the sport, but will disappear at the Olympics.

International Olympic Committee Officials Say Games Will Open Even if Japan Under State of Emergency International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates said that the Olympics would open even if local medical experts advise against it. IOC officials maintain that over 80% of the residents of the Olympic Village are expected to be vaccinated.

Before FIFA Bashed Super League, It Met Privately with Breakaway Super League Teams Soccer's governing body held private talks for months with the founders of the breakaway and since-failed European Super League, going so far as to endorse the competition. The news raises new questions about the role played by the governing body and exposes a difficult relationship between FIFA and UEFA, the latter of which runs the European tournaments that the Super League would have directly undercut.

Media/Technology Apple CEO Takes Stand in Antitrust Trial Apple's Tim Cook testified in the Epic Games trial this week as a judge considers whether Apple operates an improper monopoly by prohibiting rival app stores on the iPhone and forcing in-app purchases through its own payment system. His testimony focused on the company's commitment to security and privacy as he was challenged about why Apple enforces strict rules that harm app developers as it charges them excessive fees.

Fox News Media Files to Dismiss Dominion's Defamation Lawsuit In its response, Fox argues that Dominion Voting System's suit "threatened the First Amendment powers of a news organization to chronicle and assess newsworthy claims in a high-stakes political contest," describing its many references implicating Dominion's voting machine equipment in claims of election fraud.

AT&T Retreat Makes Way for Media Giant AT&T will spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery to create a new company that could have a value above $100 billion. AT&T acquired Time Warner in 2018 for $85 billion. Having such a large menu of cable networks could give the new company even more leverage when negotiating rates with cable and satellite operators.

Trump Justice Department Tried to Use Grand Jury to Unveil a Critic The Biden administration has since withdrawn the grand jury subpoena that sought to have Twitter "unmask pseudonymous social media users" who criticized Representative Devin Nunes. Twitter fought the subpoena, arguing that the account user was engaged in protected First Amendment activity.

Trump Justice Department Seized CNN Reporter's Emails and Phone Records CNN journalist Barbara Starr's phone and email records were targeted "as part of an investigation into the apparent disclosure of classified information." Starr covers the Pentagon. Her employer said that the Justice Department received "non-content information" of the 2017 records, i.e., they were not able to read the emails.

CNN Drops Rick Santorum After Dismissive Comments About Native Americans At issue were comments Santorum made at a conservative political event, where he stated that Americans "birthed a nation from nothing," adding "we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn't much Native American culture in American culture."

Chris Cuomo Advised Governor Andrew Cuomo After Sexual Harassment Allegations Emerged The CNN host participated in strategy calls with his brother, raising ethics questions and "an unusual breach of traditional barriers between lawmakers and journalists." The network said that it won't take disciplinary action against the anchor, despite acknowledging that the discussions were inappropriate.

WNYC Fires Bob Garfield, Citing Violation of Anti-Bullying Policy Garfield was the co-host of WNYC's "On the Media". He was let go following two investigations into his conduct, which he says involved yelling at meetings, "not 'bullying' per se."

Amazon Extends Ban on Police Use of Facial Recognition Software The company indefinitely extended its moratorium on the police use of its facial recognition software. It first announced the moratorium last June and has now explained that unless Congress creates legislation regulating the use of facial recognition technology, it will not shift course.

Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China The article describes how Apple managed to build the world's most valuable business in China while ceding control to the Chinese government by a) having state employees physically manage the computers where personal data is stored; b) storing digital keys that unlock information in the same data centers that they are meant to secure; and c) abandoning the encryption technology it uses elsewhere.

BBC Apologizes for Diana Interview, 25 Years Later The British broadcaster now acknowledges that Martin Bashir deceived Princess Diana's brother to land the sit-down interview with her in 1995.

A related inquiry also found that the broadcaster's management helped cover up Bashir's conduct, "which included creating fake bank statements to undermine a rival news organization" and gain her brother's trust.

Russia Backs Away from Threats to Block Twitter, But Slowdown Continues Russia's communications watchdog had accused Twitter of "failing to remove content encouraging suicide among children, as well as information about drugs and child pornography." The social media platform says that it has now deleted most of the banned content, but Russia continues to slow down the speed of uploading photos and videos to the platform.

Kremlin Accelerates Pressure Campaigns on Radio Free Europe The issue is over a Russian law that requires Radio Free Europe, an organization funded by the U.S. government, to label itself as a "foreign agent". Its failure to do so thus far has led Russian officials to freeze its bank accounts until it pays fines for non-compliance.

General News Supreme Court to Hear Abortion Case Challenging Roe v Wade The Supreme Court announced that it will take up a case from Mississippi that could challenge the constitutional right to abortion. The court will review a Mississippi law that restricts most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, about two months earlier than Roe v Wade and subsequent decisions allow. Activists on both sides of the debate see reason to expect change - by agreeing to hear the case, the Court is signaling a willingness to revisit Roe v Wade.

The decision to take up the case also has clear political ramifications - the Court's decision would be expected in spring or summer 2022, as the 2022 midterm elections approach.

Supreme Court Rules That Ban on Non-Unanimous Verdicts is Not Retroactive In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court clarified that its previous ruling banning non-unanimous jury verdicts in cases involving serious crimes (Ramos v Louisiana) did not apply retroactively. In so deciding, the Court also did away with the precedent "that its rulings could apply retroactively in the case of new 'watershed rules' that address the fundamental fairness and accuracy of trials" (even though rulings on criminal procedure more broadly do not apply retroactively).

Supreme Court Weighs in On Jurisdictional Question Impacting Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies The decision weighed in on a jurisdictional matter and not on the merits of the case. The City of Baltimore had sued various energy companies, alleging that they concealed the environmental impacts of the fossil fuels they promoted. The City first brought the suit in Maryland state court. The defendants removed the case to federal court, but the district court sided with the plaintiffs, remanding the case back to state court. At issue were the rules for appealing lower-court decisions that send cases to state courts. In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reconsider the fossil fuel companies' demand that it review the lower court decision to have the case proceed in state courts.

Biden Signs Bill on Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans It is the first legislative action that bolsters "law enforcement's response to attacks on people of Asian descent," following a proliferation of assaults and other crimes against Asian-Americans during the pandemic.

House Votes 252 to 175 to Create Capitol Riot Commission The independent Commission will investigate the January 6th Capitol riot. In voting for the Commission, the House overcame opposition from Republicans, including minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who "had been pushing for any outside investigation to include a look at what he called 'political violence' on the left."

Senate Begins Considering Diverse Slate of Biden Judicial Nominees The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun holding nomination hearings for Biden nominees So far, two circuit court nominees and three district court candidates were considered, all of whom are people of color. Some come from backgrounds markedly different from those of earlier nominees, including as federal public defenders, who previous presidents have "often shied away from nominating ... because of their client lists, instead favoring candidates with prosecutorial backgrounds."

Republicans Target Ballot Initiatives to Stymie Democrats' Agenda Several state legislatures (predominantly Republican) have passed laws limiting the use of ballot initiatives, which "allow voters to bypass their legislatures to enact new laws." The article identifies 144 bills restricting the ballot initiative processes in 32 states. In another instance, Missouri lawmakers have refused to carry out a Medicaid expansion that voters voted for in November through a ballot measure.

Cyberattacks and Climate Change Threaten U.S. Energy Independence While reliance on foreign oil has subsided, the article makes the case for why the nation's energy independence is fragile; primarily because its pipelines and grids are increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather and cyberattacks.

Desperation Grows as Paycheck Protection Program Runs Dry As funding for the $788 billion relief effort for small businesses runs out, applicants are awaiting word on their loan applications, "some of which have been stalled for months because of errors or glitches." Though the program was scheduled to take applications until the end of May, its administrator announced two weeks ago that it would no longer process new applications due to depleted funding.

U.S. Approves Release for Three Guantanamo Detainees While details are scant, it is expected that the men will be released to countries that agree to impose security conditions on them, such as preventing them for traveling outside the country or even continuing to jail the detainees.

Arizona Vote Review Splits State's G.O.P. The state's Republican leaders "issued a blistering rebuke" to an audit of the Maricopa County's votes in the 2020 election, ordered by Republicans in the State Senate. Despite investigating and upholding the integrity of the vote three times since November, the county's board of supervisors is now dealing with a claim that it deleted "election files from equipment and software that the Senate had subpoenaed for examination."

Texas Pushes to Obscure the State's History of Slavery and Racism A slew of bills before the Texas legislature tries to "reframe Texas history lessons and play down references to slavery and anti-Mexican discrimination." The development is newsworthy because of the potential Texas has to influence school curricula around the country, given its huge textbook market. The measures are part of a growing trend, with states like Idaho withholding funding to schools that teach about the role of slavery and pervasive racism. Louisiana, New Hampshire and Tennessee have also introduced "bills that would ban teaching about the enduring legacies of slavery and segregationist laws."

Near-Complete Ban on Abortion Signed into Law in Texas Banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, the law is one of the nation's most restrictive abortion measures. It also permits any "private citizen to sue doctors or abortion clinic employees who would perform or help arrange for the procedure."

New York's Attorney General Joins Criminal Inquiry into Trump Organization The attorney general's office, which to date has led a civil inquiry into the Trump Organization, will now work alongside the Manhattan district attorney in an ongoing criminal fraud investigation. The news came as the attorney general's office wrote to the Trump Organization notifying it that information collected as part of its civil inquiry "could now be used as part of a criminal investigation."

Rudy Giuliani Seeks to Block Review of Evidence from His Phones Giuliani is asking a judge to block a review of records seized at his home as his "lawyers determine whether there was a legitimate basis for the warrants." Giuliani is under investigation for potential lobbying violations.

Citizen Lawsuit Seeks Court's Help to Compel Jakarta Officials to Fight for Clean Air A ruling is expected next month in a lawsuit accusing the Indonesian president and top officials of failing to curb pollution. Jakarta is one of the world's most polluted cities. A favorable outcome for the plaintiffs will "require national and local governments to set stricter standards for hazardous pollutants and actively enforce them."

World Energy Body Warns that Nations Must Slash Use of Fossil Fuels The International Energy Agency "issued a detailed road map of what it would take for the world's nations to slash carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. Most noteworthy is that the agency "is not an environmental group but an international organization that advises world capitals on energy policy" to inform long-term planning.

World Facing First Long Slide in Its Population In analyzing the impact of a declining population and lower fertility rates, the article argues that a "planet with fewer people could ease pressure on resources, slow the destructive impact of climate change and reduce household burdens for women."

Coronavirus Update U.S. To Send 20 Million Vaccine Doses to Nations in Need The shipment is part of a global effort to contain the virus and will include doses of Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is in addition to the 60 million AstraZeneca doses pledged last month.

What Women Lost in the Pandemic - The Child-Care Crisis and How Women Fared 1.3 million of the 5.1 million American mothers who stopped working for pay due to the pandemic remain out of work.

New York City is Reopening, But Not 100% The article describes what activities will be permitted in New York City following the May 19th reopening. While vaccinated residents will no longer have to wear masks, masks will continue being mandatory in some settings, like public transit.

Emergent Reveals That 100 Million Doses of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Held Up Over Contamination

U.S. Inquiry into Governor Cuomo Widens to Examine Special Access to Coronavirus Tests Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Governor Cuomo's "administration granted special access to rapid coronavirus test results for the governor's family and other influential people" in the early weeks of the pandemic.

Severe COVID More Often Fatal in Africa

Vaccinated Travelers From Safe Countries Will Be Allowed to Visit European Union

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

This Week in New York Gambling News

By Bennett Liebman Queens Coalitions Wants Cohen Casino Rezoning Queens coalition wants park rezoned for casino - Gothamist Steve Cohen Lines Up Support Mets owner Steve Cohen lines up support for $8

This Week in Theater News

By Bennett Liebman NY Drama Critics Circle Awards 'Stereophonic', 'Dead Outlaw' Take New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards ( Theater World Awards Cole Escola, Maleah Joi Moon, Rachel McAd

Week In Review

By Lorena Guzmán-Díaz Edited by Elissa D. Hecker Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, Technology/Media, and General News. Entertainment W


bottom of page