Politics

Graham and Giuliani Heat Up in Georgia

August 15, 2022
New York Times, The Hill
The context
Rudy Giuliani was informed today that he is under criminal investigation for his attempts to de-certify electoral results in Georgia. A federal judge ruled that Senator Lindsay Graham must testify in the case and face questioning from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Both are heavy blows to Trump's team members, who are being investigated members of Trump's team for election interference in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 presidential election.
Graham and Giuliani Heat Up in Georgia

Bad news for Giuliani

  • Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a former advisor to Donald Trump, is scheduled to appear before a special grand jury in Georgia on Monday.
  • His lawyer, Robert Costello, revealed that prosecutors told him Giuliani was a target of a criminal investigation into election interference by Trump and his advisers.
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Graham is on the hook

  • The subpoena was issued by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump's efforts to influence the Georgia election results. Graham argued that he had the right to remain silent and not comply with the subpoena, but a federal judge ruled that he must comply.
  • The federal judge who ordered Graham to comply said that there was significant interest and information to be gained from his testimony and that his position as a member of Congress did not grant him any special immunity that would prevent him from testifying.
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What else is going on?

The context
The trial of five leaders of the right-wing extremist group, the Oath Keepers, began today. The trial is the highest profile Jan 6th case because the defendants, led by Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs, helped organize the Capitol riot.
Politics
Monday, October 3, 2022

Oath Keepers Trial Begins

The context
The trial of five leaders of the right-wing extremist group, the Oath Keepers, began today. The trial is the highest profile Jan 6th case because the defendants, led by Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs, helped organize the Capitol riot.
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Their turn on trial

  • Prosecutors opened the trial today, arguing that the leaders of the Oath Keepers organized teams from across the country to descend on Washington D.C. before the riot.
  • The leaders' defense team is expected to argue that the Oath Keepers acted lawfully.
  • The trial finally began today after months of efforts by the defense team to try and move the trial out of D.C. on the basis that the jury would be overwhelmingly liberal, which was rejected by the presiding judge.
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Opening statements

  • The five members on trial pleaded not guilty to charges of seditious conspiracy.
  • The prosecutors opened the trial by establishing the presence of the defendants at the riots using iPhone footage of the attack on the Capitol building, and by accusing the defendants of preparing to do anything necessary to prevent the transfer of presidential power.
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The context
Lee County, Florida, wasn't given the order to evacuate until the day before Hurricane Ian slammed into the county. Now, criticism over the timing of Hurricane Ian evacuations is being levied at Governor Ron DeSantis and FEMA because of the number of deaths and necessary rescues in the county after the storm battered it.
Politics
Monday, October 3, 2022

Fallout Over Lee County Evacuation

The context
Lee County, Florida, wasn't given the order to evacuate until the day before Hurricane Ian slammed into the county. Now, criticism over the timing of Hurricane Ian evacuations is being levied at Governor Ron DeSantis and FEMA because of the number of deaths and necessary rescues in the county after the storm battered it.
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DeSantis defends

  • Lee County waited to issue an evacuation notice until the day before the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.
  • The county's management plan mandates that officials issue evacuation orders for areas closest to water if there is a 10% chance or greater that the expected storm surge reaches 6-10 feet.
  • Lee County waited until other counties had issued evacuation orders, despite their proximity to the worst of the storm surge.
  • At least 68 people have been confirmed dead from the hurricane, and rescue efforts are still underway.
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Under fire

  • Fort Meyers is located in Lee County, and the brunt of the storm's impact slammed into the county.
  • Officials declined to issue an evacuation order because the storm was projected to make landfall slightly north of Lee County, but the surrounding counties still issued preemptive orders.
  • The decision not to issue the order went against established emergency management practices that were laid out in 2018.
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The context
The Supreme Court is gearing up for a contentious term. They released their slate today of the cases they have agreed to hear, including a challenge to the Clean Water Act, affirmative action, the Voting Right Act, and the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.
Politics
Monday, October 3, 2022

Conservative Court's New Slate

The context
The Supreme Court is gearing up for a contentious term. They released their slate today of the cases they have agreed to hear, including a challenge to the Clean Water Act, affirmative action, the Voting Right Act, and the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.
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No thanks, Lindell

  • One of the cases the court declined to hear is an appeal by Mike Lindell in a defamation suit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.
  • Dominion filed the suit accusing Mike Lindell, a fervent Trump supporter/advisor/friend, of pushing the conspiracy theory that the voting company rigged the 2020 presidential election.
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Jackson's debut

  • The first case that newly sworn-in Justice Ketanji Jackson will hear is a challenge to the Clean Water Act.
  • The case challenges whether the protections outlined in the Clean Water Act apply to wetlands near a lake, river, or other major waterways.
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Let the DOJ decide

  • The Supreme Court will not hear a case about whether the Justice Department can use "filter teams" like the teams that are reviewing evidence from Mar-a-Lago.
  • The case challenged a previous ruling by a lower court that limited the use of "filter teams" before documents seized in an investigation can be determined privileged.
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Contentious cases

  • Chief Justice Roberts has his work cut out for him to defend the legitimacy of the court after the last term when they overturned Roe v. Wade.
  • The court will hear cases that challenge the Voting Right Act, which many are worried will be limited by the court. It will also hear another election-related case that challenges a ruling in North Carolina that struck down a congressional redistricting plan because it constituted racial gerrymandering.
  • The court is also hearing a case that challenged civil rights laws that prevent businesses from refusing to provide products or services to customers because of their sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin, or gender.
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June 8, 2022

This Week In Technology June 2nd

This week, the COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg, is stepping down, Elon Musk demanded employees return to the office, and Clearview AI got some bad news.
 This Week In Technology June 2nd
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Sources: 

COO No More

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Meta (Facebook), announced she would be stepping down after 14 years.

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Tesla's Back In the Office

Elon Musk declared that Tesla workers should return to the office full time or get lost.

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Facial Technology Clampdown

Privacy watchdogs and AI innovators disagree on the way forward for facial recognition technology.

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Entertainment
May 19, 2022

This Week in Entertainment

The defamation trial of actress Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp raged on and singer Eric Clapton’s European tour is on hold.

This Week in Entertainment
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Sources: 
ABC, Newsweek, Fox News, Billboard, The Hill, CNN

Ongoing: Amber Heard V. Johnny Depp

May 20th, 2022 

Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, for defamation over an op-ed penned by Heard about her experience with domestic abuse. The op-ed is allegedly about her marriage to Depp. 

Clapton on Hold

May 18th, 2022

Guitarist and singer Eric Clapton announced that he would cancel two shows on his European tour after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Try something new

Go back in time

The context
Richard Liu settled a sexual misconduct case, which was meant to go to civil trial today in Minneapolis. The JD.com tycoon was accused of assaulting Liu Jingyao, a former University of Minnesota student, in 2018. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed by either party.
Technology
Monday, October 3, 2022

Richard Liu Case Settles

The context
Richard Liu settled a sexual misconduct case, which was meant to go to civil trial today in Minneapolis. The JD.com tycoon was accused of assaulting Liu Jingyao, a former University of Minnesota student, in 2018. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed by either party.
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China's MeToo movement

  • Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder of the e-commerce company JD.com.
  • Liu Jingyao accused him of assaulting her in her apartment in 2018.
  • The case was a notable part of China's #MeToo reckoning; for some, the settlement is seen as an admission of guilt.
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Last minute twist

  • The case against Liu featured a series of video/audio clips from the night of the incident, which provided evidence that he pressured her to drink excessively and forced himself on her.
  • The switch to a last-minute-settlement shocked many.
  • The case has been closely followed in China because it was filed in a U.S. court, which gave the Chinese public unprecedented access to videos and press coverage.
  • Liu has remained in the public eye in China.
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Entertainment

Yates Wraps Up Investigation

October 3, 2022
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The context
The former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, on behalf of the US Soccer Federation, conducted an independent investigation into the systemic abuse and misconduct in women's professional soccer. The report, released today, shows that the National Women's Soccer League and USSF failed to provide a safe environment for players.
Entertainment
Monday, October 3, 2022

Yates Wraps Up Investigation

The context
The former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, on behalf of the US Soccer Federation, conducted an independent investigation into the systemic abuse and misconduct in women's professional soccer. The report, released today, shows that the National Women's Soccer League and USSF failed to provide a safe environment for players.
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Systemic failure

  • The report was based on over 200 interviews with current and former coaches, staffers, and players.
  • The conclusion of the investigation found systemic abuse and misconduct within women's soccer, including rampant sexual misconduct and the use of abusive language toward players.
  • The investigation concluded that there were no protections in place for players. Teams prioritized coaches over player safety and well-being.
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Conclusion

  • The report opens by revealing an undisclosed revelation that Chisty Holly, a manager of the Racing Louisville team until 2021, sexually abused a player, identified as Erin Simon. He would inappropriately touch Simon "for every pass" she made a mistake on.
  • The investigation was triggered by a report published by The Athletic in 2021, which revealed that former Portland Thorns manager Paul Riley told two players to kiss each other to get their team out of doing conditioning.
  • The Chicago Red Stars, the Portland Thorns, and Racing Louisville did not fully cooperate with the investigation, blocking access to relevant documents and tampering with witness testimony.
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The context
The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases during their upcoming term that challenge Big Tech's Section 230 liability protections which have protected tech companies like Google and Youtube from being held liable in the past for hosting extreme content containing violence or terrorist propaganda.
Technology
Monday, October 3, 2022

Supreme Court to Hear Tech Liability Cases

The context
The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases during their upcoming term that challenge Big Tech's Section 230 liability protections which have protected tech companies like Google and Youtube from being held liable in the past for hosting extreme content containing violence or terrorist propaganda.
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First case

  • One of the cases that the court has agreed to hear is the case of Gonzalez v. Google.
  • Nohemi Gonzalez was killed during an ISIS attack in Paris in 2015, and her family is suing Google for allowing ISIS to host content on Youtube and for recommending it to users.
  • The court will decide whether Youtube's recommendation feature is protected or whether Youtube can be held liable for recommending ISIS videos to Youtube users.
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Second case

  • The second case that the court agreed to hear is Twitter v. Taamneh.
  • After Nawras Alassaf died during an ISIS attack in Instanbul, his family sued Twitter, Google, and Facebook for failing to prevent ISIS and other extreme terrorist groups from posting content on their sites.
  • Both cases could have a significant impact on social media companies' policies about content on their platforms and open the companies up to a host of regulatory changes.
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Politics
May 19, 2022

This Week in Politics

The national formula shortage is finally starting to look up; a racially-motivated shooting in Buffalo left ten dead, and a Supreme Court leak shook the foundations of the court. 

This Week in Politics
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 →
Sources: 
CNN, Fox News, The Atlantic, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, The Guardian

Ongoing: Formula Shortage

May 19th, 2022

The U.S. has been hit by an infant formula shortage, causing many parents and caregivers to panic as store shelves continue to thin. The formula shortage is due to a combination of factors, and federal help is on the way. 

Shooting in Buffalo Leaves Ten Dead

May 18th, 2022

Ten people were shot and killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, on Saturday, May 14th, 2022. The shooter, a white 18-year-old, targeted a predominantly black community and used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle. 

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