Edited by Elissa D. Hecker
Tennessee Law Sows Fear Among Drag Performers Ahead of Pride Month
As Pride Month comes to a start, a TN judge will determine whether the law banning “adult cabaret” (including drag performances) in front of children is constitutional. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are worried that being themselves in public will lead to increased violence and harassment against them should the law be found to be constitutional.
Pentagon Forbids Drag Events on Bases After Republican Criticism
In celebration of Pride Month, a drag show was scheduled in Nevada at Nellis Air Force Base, but the show was canceled following complaints from Republican politicians, as the deputy press secretary stated that “drag events are not suitable use” of resources. This cancelation comes as violent threats have been made across the country to drag events and performers, making it clear that the decision to cancel is more about politics than finances, especially with the long history of drag in the military.
Hollywood Directors Reach Deal with Studios as Writer’s Strike Continues
Six weeks into the writer’s strike, a small victory was made as a historic deal that will improve wages and streaming residuals and block some of the issues of A.I. was made in a tentative agreement between writers and Hollywood studios.
How Sexist is Hollywood? Check Out Geena Davis’s Spreadsheet
Movie star Geena Davis’s dove deeply into sexism in Hollywood. Davis decided to make it her goal to collect data to prove the disparities, which her team of researchers quickly found to not only exist, but to be extremely concerning, especially when the data is broken down into race, age, sexuality, body type, and disability.
Three EXO Members Take Legal Action Against SM Entertainment Over Pay, ‘Slave Contracts’: Report
Members of K-Pop group EXO are suing their label for not being transparent with their payments and for a contract with a term longer than 12 years, which the group feels is unreasonably long. Korean law requires that entertainment companies provide bi-yearly updates on payment settlements, which SM Entertainment has not been fully transparent about, according to EXO. The music group’s legal team also claims that any contract longer than 7 years is not up to industry standards and distinguishes the 12+ year contract as a “slave contract.”
Adidas Starts Unloading Its Yeezy Gear, to Benefit Anti-Hate Groups
Following its fallout with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, Adidas will start selling the remaining Yeezy sneakers and distributing “a significant amount” of proceeds to communities that have been negatively affected by the rapper’s remarks.
Tina Turner Left Her Abusive Marriage, So They Could Too
As fans of Tina Turner celebrate her, some recount the contribution the pop star made to their lives, aside from her music. Turner’s raw honesty in her book and movie showing how she escaped her abusive husband gave women hope that they too could leave dangerous relationships.
Queen Music Catalog Could be Sold This Year for Over $1B, Say MBW Sources
Queen could make history in the coming weeks as its entire music catalog seems to be in talks for being sold for over $1B, the highest price tag a music catalog has seen since Sony Music Group acquired Bruce Springsteen’s masters for just over $500M.
A Rapper’s Detention Shows Iran’s Crackdown is Failing
Rapper Toomaj Salehi, a prisoner who was arrested for supporting anti-establishment protests after an Iranian woman died when she was accused of not wearing her hijab, is in imminent danger as the Iranian government has been carrying out a disturbing number of executions. Salehi is a target of these executions, as his music has been a vessel for the younger generation of protesters to find their voice in his anti-establishment lyrics.
Broadway Musicians Object to David Byrne’s ‘Here Lies Love’
“Here Lies Love,” the upcoming David Byrne’s Broadway show, is said to be a musical that will use pre-recorded tracks from previous productions of the show to give the musical a karaoke feel. The American Federation of Musicians argues that its contract with the Broadway League requires 19 musicians for Broadway musicals, in hopes to preserve job opportunities for Broadway musicians.
Inside Sudan’s War, ‘There’s Another War for Art’
The ongoing violent conflict in Sudan is leaving artists and creators with no choice but to abandon their studios and galleries with their work still hanging on the walls. Museums have also been subject to looting and robberies as artists flee. One Sudanese artist says, “inside the war, the physical war, there’s another war for art”, as he is one of many watching works of art be abandoned, ruined or stolen.
Alabama Basketball Manager Says He, Not Player, Was at Deadly Shooting
Student manager of Alabama’s men’s basketball team, Cooper Lee, says he was a passenger in the car of a player when the car was involved in a shooting where one person was killed. The manager shares this information after Kai Spears, a player, was reported to be in the position Lee was in, but Spears says this is false and sued the New York Times over the incorrect report.
Claressa Shields Fighting for Gender Equality for Women Boxers
World champion and Olympic gold medalist boxer, Claressa Shields, is making clear that despite her accomplishments and seven-figure paycheck, women are not being treated fairly in her sport. The athlete is making it her goal to ensure her platform gets equal TV time, promotion, and pay as the men in boxing.
Racing Regulators Hold Emergency Meeting to Investigate Horse Deaths
After 12 horses died at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the CEO of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority called an emergency veterinary summit in Lexington, KY to review all information that could relate to these horrific deaths.
As Cable Model Struggles, Major League Baseball Takes Over Padres Broadcasts
Baseball fans across the country have had to jump between cable networks and streaming services to watch their favorite teams play. In attempts to fix this issue, Major League Baseball is taking over production and distribution of all San Diego Padres games where fans can watch the team on MLB.com, M.L.B. streaming app, and on cable networks.
Kosovan Olympic Committee Calls for Disciplinary Action Against Novak Djokovic
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic made a political statement to the camera during the French Open, which the Kosovan Olympic Committee (KOC) says breaches a fundamental principle of the International Tennis Federation, which is to remain politically neutral. The KOC President now calls for disciplinary action against the tennis star for his actions.
Saudi Soccer League Creates Huge Fund to Sign Global Stars
The Saudi Arabian Soccer team has secured Christiano Ronaldo as its captain, and the team plans on bringing in some of the other global superstars to join him by offering bigger paychecks to players than any other team can offer.
A Desperate Act Reveals the Dwindling Room for Dissent in India
Following the brave act of female wrestlers in India coming forward about sexual harassment by a powerful official and a violent shut down of a protest in support of the athletes, the wrestlers are using a new tactic to gain attention, support, and respect by throwing their well-earned Olympic medals into a river as they begin a hunger strike.
Media & Technology
Cox, Fox, and CBS Reach $48M Settlement in TV Ad Price-Fixing Litigation
Litigation that began in 2018 is finally coming to an end for Cox Media Group, CBS, and Fox as they have reached a $48M deal over an advertising antitrust complaint. The media giants also plan to help the plaintiffs in their continuing lawsuits against Meredith, Nexstar, Raycom, Scripps, Sinclair, TEGNA, and Tribune.
Amazon to Pay $25 Million to Settle Children’s Privacy Charges
Using the Amazon Alexa device, the company has been able to collect information, including voice recordings, from children for years. Amazon now pays a penalty of $25M to settle charges regarding the collection of this information in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act .
Judge Dismisses D.C.’s Privacy Lawsuit Against Meta
Washington D.C. filed a privacy lawsuit against Facebook’s parent company, Meta, accusing the company of improperly sharing data with third parties. A Superior Court Judge dismissed the lawsuit, stating that Facebook’s policies make it clear that third parties could obtain users’ data. This is an infrequent win for the tech giant amid its numerous ongoing privacy lawsuits.
Cardi B May Struggle to Get Her Defamation Damages as YouTuber Filed for Bankruptcy Protection
Cardi B was awarded nearly $4M in a defamation claim against YouTuber Latasha Kebe, but Kebe failed to make more than $10,000 in payment. The YouTuber claimed that she has $58,595 in total assets and filed for bankruptcy protection.
D.C. Judge Dismisses a Discrimination Case Against The Washington Post
A Washington Post reporter claimed that the news outlet discriminated against her by not allowing her to report on sexual assault stories, as she herself publicly came forward about being a victim. A superior court judge in D.C. ruled that the plaintiff has not made “a plausible claim that The Post took adverse employment actions, or created a hostile work environment,, because of her sex or status as a victim of sexual assault.”
A.I. Poses ‘Risk of Extinction,’ Industry Leaders Warn
In a signed statement, leaders from top A.I. labs warned the public that the technology they are creating can ultimately cause an existential threat to humanity, and that A.I. should be treated the same way risk of war or pandemic is treated globally. Over 350 executives, researchers, and engineers in the A.I. industry signed the statement, including two researchers who were named the “godfathers” of modern A.I.
A British Reporter Had a Big #MeToo Scoop. Her Editor Killed It.
Following a prominent columnist’s resignation from Guardian News and Media, an investigative reporter from the Financial Times found that the resignation came after years of sexual misconduct towards female journalists. The Financial Times reporter’s investigation was never published, however, raising questions about British media publishers going out of their way to “protect their own” from being included as sexual abusers in the #MeToo Movement.
Australia’s ‘Trial of the Century’ Stains Its Most Decorated Soldier
In a case being called the “trial of the century,” a judge has ruled in favor of newspapers that Australia’s most decorated soldier sued for defamation as the papers reported on stories that, if found to be true, would make the soldier a war criminal. With the judge’s ruling, a small victory was had by the press, and the soldier will never be viewed the same by his country.
Supreme Court Backs Employer in Suit Over Strike Losses
Issues of civil procedure and economic damage regarding union strikes were decided on by the U.S. Supreme Court, with Justice Barrett’s majority opinion ruling that federal labor law did not protect a labor union from potential damage that can be caused by walk offs and strikes.
Three ‘Forever Chemicals’ Makers Settle Public Water Lawsuits
A $1.19B agreement was made by three major chemical companies to settle claims brought against them regarding contaminated water with chemicals that lead to cancer. The money will be used to remove these dangerous chemicals from drinking water; however, this is just the start for the mega-chemical companies as it only covers some of the many claims brought against them.
Congress Passes Debt Limit Bill, Staving Off a Calamitous Default
President Biden and Speaker McCarthy negotiated legislation that was passed by the House in order to prevent further economic issues as the bill will now defer the federal debt limit for two years. The breakthrough bipartisan agreement is seen as “as small step putting us on the right track,” as stated by Speaker McCarthy. Then, as the country was moments away from a catastrophic, fiwrst ever in U.S. history, economic default, the Senate passed a bill that will suspend the debt limit in a 63-36 vote.
Sacklers Can be Shielded From Opioid Liability, Appeals Court Rules
A federal appeals court panel ruled that the Sackler family, billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma, will receive full immunity from all civil legal claims regarding their role in Purdue Pharma’s prescription opioid business amid nationwide abuse of OxyCotin. The immunity, however, will not extend to any future criminal prosecutions.
Judge in Disney World Case Steps Aside but Blasts DeSantis’s Lawyers
In the ongoing legal battle between Gov. DeSantis and Disney World, the judge on the case has disqualified himself due to his relationship to a Disney stock owner after previously opposing the governor’s request to disqualify the judge for remarks he made in unrelated court cases in the previous year. Upon the reassignment of the case to a Trump appointed judge, the judge shamed Gov. DeSantis and his legal team for “engaging in rank judge shopping.”
Lawyers Unable to Find Document Trump Discussed in Recorded Conversation
Federal prosecutors issued a subpoena to Trump’s lawyers seeking the return of records of a document the former President had discussed in a recorded conversation regarding classified material, but Trump’s legal team is at a loss as they have not been able to find the document.
Pence Will Not Face Charges in Documents Inquiry
Days before former VP Pence was set to announce his presidential campaign, the Justice Department informed him of its decision not to pursue charges against him following their investigation of potential mishandling of classified information.
Prosecutor Recounts a Day of Worship Turned
Five years after the deadly massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, gunman Robert Bowers, is facing the death penalty.
What a New Oral History Reveals About Obama, and the Tradeoffs He Made
A social science research institute at Columbia University has released an oral history project of the Obama administration, which focuses on the former President’s policy discussions rather than on Obama himself.
How to Lower Deaths Among Women? Give Away Cash.
Countries around the world have begun giving cash grants to poor families and individuals in areas with high death rates and poor health care. The result has proved that poverty kills, as the death toll of women and children receiving these grants has dropped by a whopping 20% for women and 8% for children.
How Angela Paxton Could Help Decide the Fate of Her Embattled Husband, Ken
Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, will be subject to an impeachment trial in the coming weeks, where senators from Texas, including his wife, Angela Paxton, will act as jurors deciding whether he should be removed from office.
China Investing in Open-Source Intelligence Collection on the U.S.
Threat intelligence company Recorded Future has reported that the Chinese government and companies have been attempting to collect data from the pentagon that can be used in conflict against the U.S. The U.S. makes information regarding their military public to citizens, however the mining of this information by China for its own advantages can grow to be dangerous.