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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:


Johnston v Kroeger

The Western District of Texas denied a 12(b)(6) motion, finding that the similarities between the plaintiff's song and Nickelback's song "Rockstar" were sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Kirk Johnston alleges that a substantial amount of the song is copied from his original composition.

Nicki Minaj and Husband Kenneth Petty Sued, Accused of Harassing Sexual Assault Victim

Jennifer Hough says that the couple pressured her to recant her account of how Petty had raped her in 1994. Petty was arrested in 1994 and served four and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted rape. He was arrested last year for failing to register as a sex offender in California. Hough alleges that people connected to Minaj and Petty began harassing and intimidating her and even offering her $20,000 in exchange for signing a statement recanting the accusation.

Britney Spears' Father Agrees to Step Down from Conservatorship

Spears' father filed his response to the singer's petition for his suspension, announcing that he would cooperate with the court on a transition. His response did not include a timetable for his resignation. Spears' lawyer says that he intends to investigate her father's conduct over the past 13 years.

A Timeline of the Allegations as R. Kelly's Racketeering Trial Begins

The R&B singer is "charged with racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and Mann Act violations." The article looks back at the nature of allegations he has faced since 1996.

Movie and TV Crews Return to New York Streets Again

Production trucks and crews are back on New York City streets as filming picks up again.

Whiplash for the Concert Business as the Delta Variant Rages On

As Delta spread accelerated in recent weeks, artists are having to weigh the risks and benefits of getting back on the road, with some cancelling tours and festival appearances.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association Revises Bylaws

The new bylaws diversify the association's membership and ban gifts from people associated with movies and television programs. Existing members of the association will need to reply to remain in the organization and will have to sign a new code of conduct.


San Francisco's Cyclists Welcome Golden Gate Park Ban on Cars While the move was welcomed news for pedestrians and cyclists, museums "fear that the loss of a major access road" will deter visitors, especially as they try to draw people back post-pandemic, including those with disabilities and small children.


Tokyo Olympics Come to a Close

The article discusses the biggest news-making stories of the Tokyo Olympics in the backdrop of the pandemic.

Paralympians Ask for Support, But Receive Little

U.S. Olympic officials are being criticized for not providing personal assistants to some competitors, a long-standing issue exacerbated by more recent restrictions on who can travel to Tokyo with athletes given the pandemic.

New COVID-19 Guidance for Fall Sports Released

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has released guidance for fall training and competition, which include testing, quarantine and isolation considerations for high-exposure Tier 1 individuals.

National Football League to Crack Down on Taunting

The National Football League (NFL) has instructed its officials to strictly enforce taunting rules. Players who accrue two taunting penalties in a game face automatic ejection and, depending on the severity of the language or gesture, can also be fined, suspended, or both.

NCAA Criticized for Its Inability to Punish Baylor for Sexual Assault Scandal

The NCAA described the environment in the school's football program as "egregious," but could not determine if Baylor violated any rules in failing to report accusations against players. The decision comes "five years after Baylor's efforts to cover up sexual assaults became public."

The law firm investigating the matter had found that program leaders "sometimes 'affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence to the appropriate authorities and that team officials had moved to 'divert cases from the student conduct or criminal processes.'" The NCAA ultimately decided that the "university had a 'campus-wide culture of sexual violence' that had gone 'unaddressed due to ignorance and leadership failings across campus'" and that the missteps were not limited to student-athletes.

Baylor University Public Infractions Decision:

Clemson Quarterback Signs First-of-its-kind Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) Deal

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has landed a spot in Dr. Pepper's Fansville campaign. The company is the first household brand to partner with a major college football player.

High School Football Stars Looking to Profit from NIL Deals

High school athletes are seeking their own deals since college stars began profiting from their NIL. The article profiles several high school athletes who have signed with management and marketing companies to secure endorsement deals.

How Facebook Failed to Stem Racist Abuse of England's Soccer Team

The article describes a meeting between Facebook and the organizing bodies of English soccer to try to stem racist abuse toward soccer players on the platform. The outcome was an athlete safety guide provided by Facebook that showed players how to shield themselves from abuse on the network, which put the onus on players to protect themselves online.

Facing Outrage Over Bikini Rule, Handball Federation Signals Change is Likely

The International Handball Federation (IHF) signaled that new rules around dress code were very likely to be established. This came after Norway's women's beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms, as the IHF requires.


Google Infringed on Sonos' Patents

In a preliminary ruling this week, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge found that Google had infringed on five patents relating to smart speakers. Sonos sued Google in 2020, alleging that it "stole technology it had access to as part of a partnership between the two companies" and "used that tech in its own products." Sonos is asking for a sales ban on Google hardware like Nest Hubs, Chromecasts, and Pixel phones.

Watchdog to Scrutinize Fox News Host's Claim That the National Security Agency Spied on Him

The office of the National Security Agency's (NSA) inspector general will investigate Tucker Carlson's claims that the agency monitored his electronic communications with foreign officials and planned to leak them so as to undermine his show and force him off the air. While denying the allegation, the NSA's rare public statement on the issue "left open the possibility that the agency may have incidentally swept up some communications of or about Carlson as it conducted surveillance of foreigners for intelligence purposes, without intentionally targeting him."

Pro-Trump Media Outlets Sued for Defamation

The article argues that a wave of defamation lawsuits by election technology companies have curbed "the flow of misinformation in right-wing media," pointing to the recent cancellation of Lou Dobbs' show and the appearance of "fact-checking segments to debunk anchors' false claims about electoral fraud."

Google to Increase Privacy for Teenagers on Search Engine and YouTube

The company plans to add additional privacy measures, including turning off location history, making videos uploaded by teenagers private by default, and allowing users to designate who can see their content.

Chris Cuomo Said to Have Counseled Brother to Resign

Chris Cuomo is said to have advised his brother to resign, even as CNN barred its host "from engaging in strategy sessions with the governor's aides."

Russia Will Expel BBC Journalist Based in Moscow

The New York Times describes the move as part of "an escalating confrontation with the Western news media and a crackdown on domestic dissent." Russia says it is a "symmetric response" to discrimination by Britain against Russian reporters working for RT and Sputnik.

Mexico's President Defends News Anchor After Cartel Threat

President Obrador defended news anchor Azucena Uresti after she received a death threat for her critical coverage of a drug cartel.

Alibaba Fires Employee After Rape Accusation

The company's chief executive announced that a male employee will be fired after a woman "published an essay on the company's internal website" alleging rape by her boss. Two senior managers have also resigned "for failing to respond appropriately" to the woman's disclosure.

General News

Senate Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan in Expansion of Social Safety Net

The plan would fund health care, child care, family leave, and public education expansion and is funded by tax increases on the wealth and corporations.

Supreme Court Blocks Part of New York's Eviction Moratorium

The Court's order applied only to a provision that barred evictions of tenants that filed a form declaring economic hardship due to the pandemic (therefore, not impacting those that provide evidence in court). There are still other state and federal protections in place that could protect these tenants, including the CDC eviction moratorium that covers most of New York.

Judge Permits Biden's Replacement Evictions Ban to Stay in Place

A federal judge of the District of Columbia said she lacked authority to block Biden's emergency policy, which "replaced an expired, nationwide moratorium" imposed in September 2020. The new federal ban on evictions is narrower in that it applies only where transmission rates are high.

Supreme Court Won't Block Indiana University's Vaccine Mandate

The lawsuit was brought by eight students who said that the university's requirement that all students be vaccinated violated their constitutional rights to "bodily integrity, autonomy and medical choice." In ruling on the emergency application, Justice Amy Coney Barrett turned down the request for emergency relief without comment.

Filing Says Biden Administration Violating Decree on Migrant Children

The Biden administration is being accused of violating the Flores settlement that requires certain protections for migrant children in government custody. The plaintiffs described deplorable conditions at two Texas emergency shelters that house children caught crossing the border.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Resigns

Governor Cuomo's resignation comes a week after a report from the New York State attorney general concluded that he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former government workers, by engaging in unwanted touching and making inappropriate comments.

Cuomo Will No Longer Face Impeachment

Speaker Carl Heastie said that the New York State Assembly would suspend its impeachment investigation of Governor Cuomo given his resignation earlier this week. Heastie also took the position that lawmakers no longer have the constitutional authority to impeach a governor when the latter is are no longer in power.

Kathy Hochul to Become New York's First Female Governor

Lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul will be sworn in when Governor Cuomo leaves office. In her first public remarks, Hochul vowed to transform the workplace culture in the governor's office, including by ousting staffers who acted unethically. Hochul grew up in a town outside Buffalo and is a graduate of Syracuse University and Catholic University of America. She served in the House of Representatives in 2011-2012 and was Cuomo's running mate in 2014.

Prominent Lawyer with Ties to Governor Cuomo Resigns from Time's Up

Roberta Kaplan, the "chairwoman of Time's Up and the co-founder of its legal defense fund" has resigned after a report found her to be "involved in an effort to discredit one of Cuomo's alleged victims."

Cuomo Aide Who Accused Him of Groping Comes Forward

The woman who filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo spoke publicly for the first time this week, rebutting Cuomo's "claims that she initiated or welcomed physical contact between them." Brittany Commisso maintains that Cuomo groped her and grabbed her breast last year.

U.S. Grew More Diverse Over Past Decade

The census shows sharp population growth of multicultural Americans, with a rise in Hispanic and Asian population.

Afghan President Flees Country; U.S. Sends 3,000 Troops Back to Afghanistan to Aid Evacuation

In a sharply deteriorating situation, Taliban forces entered Kabul and President Ghani relinquished power to an interim government led by a Taliban commander. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is moving 3,000 Marines and soldiers to Afghanistan and another 4,000 tops to the region to evacuate most of the American Embassy and U.S. citizens in Kabul.

UN Climate Report Says a Hotter Future is Now Inevitable

The report finds that some of the devastating impacts of global warming, like blistering heat waves and wildfires, are now inevitable, and there is a small window to prevent the most serious consequences.

Capitol Riot Defendants and the Constitutional Right to Speedy Trials

Individuals arrested on January 6th charges are sitting in jail as prosecutors continue to gather evidence in the cases, with the amount of discovery material only growing as time passes. "Several judges have questioned prosecutors about speedy trial concerns" and warned of consequences if delays persist.

Jeffrey Epstein Victims Fund Paid Out $121 Million

The fund's administrator confirmed that more than 135 people have received compensation from the restitution fund. They include individuals who had reached settlements with Epstein after his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl.

Epstein Accuser Files Lawsuit Accusing Prince Andrew of Rape

Virginia Giuffre alleges that Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was a teenager. Giuffre has maintained that Epstein offered her to Prince Andrew for sex multiple times. She is asking for damages to be determined by the court.

Coronavirus Update

Virus Cases in U.S. Hit Highest Level Since February

CDC Urges Pregnant Women to Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Ohio Judges Ordering Vaccination as Part of Probation

At least two Ohio judges have attached vaccination conditions for those released on probation, with some facing jail time if they do not comply within a certain amount of time. There is anecdotal evidence that judges in other states are setting similar conditions.

California Requires Teachers to be Vaccinated or Tested

Facebook Removes Russian-Based Vaccine Misinformation Network

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