Politics

WNBA Star Brittney Griner's Detention in Russia Extended

June 14, 2022
CNN, ABC News, New York Times
The context
Since February, Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia on drug smuggling charges, which teammates and advocates say are fabricated.
 WNBA Star Brittney Griner's Detention in Russia Extended

Detained in Russia

  • Brittney Griner is a WNBA player with the Phoenix Mercury. After playing in Russia during the winter. When she got to the airport outside Moscow to fly home, she was detained for possession of hashish oil cartidges for vapes.
  • Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and has been detained by Russian authorities since February.
  • Griner was officially classified as "wrongfully detained" in May by the U.S. State Department.
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Extended again

  • According to TASS (Russian state media), Griner will be detained through July 2nd, eighteen days past the latest release date.
  • Griner has not been permitted to correspond with her wife or family except through letters or lawyers. But, Griner met with a U.S. consular officer on May 19th.
  • Her team, the Phoenix Mercury, met with representatives of the State Department and two congress members from Arizona to discuss how to get her back to the U.S.
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Political pawn

  • Russia announced Griner's detention two days after they invaded Ukraine, which sparked swift international backlash and skyrocketed tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
  • Experts worry that Griner has become a political prisoner Russia will use for leverage as the Russia-Ukraine war drags on and economic sanctions intensify.
  • Griner has yet to go on trial for drug smuggling and possession charges, which would extend her time in Russia even further.
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What else is going on?

The context
Three men were indicted today in a plot to kill an Iranian-American journalist on US soil. The three members are part of an Eastern European criminal group with ties to Iran.
The context
Three men were indicted today in a plot to kill an Iranian-American journalist on US soil. The three members are part of an Eastern European criminal group with ties to Iran.
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Foiled plot

  • Three members of an Eastern European criminal group tied to Iran have been indicted for a plot to murder a US journalist who was critical of Iran.
  • The DOJ announced the charges against Rafat Amirov, Polad Omarov, and Khalid Mehdiyev.
  • The three were charged with murder-for-hire and money laundering for plotting to kill Iranian American journalist and human rights activist Mashih Alinejad.
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The context
A court released body camera footage and the 911 call from the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi.
The context
A court released body camera footage and the 911 call from the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi.
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Footage released

  • A court released police body camera footage and a 911 call from the October attack on former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home.
  • The footage shows the attacker being tackled by police officers after attacking Pelosi with a hammer.
  • The footage was released by the San Francisco Superior Court.
  • Nancy Pelosi declined to comment on the footage.
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The context
The Memphis police chief announced today that officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were “directly responsible” for the physical abuse and death of Tyre Nichols. Nichols was beaten after fleeing a traffic stop in Detroit in early January. He died three days later after being transferred to a hospital.
The context
The Memphis police chief announced today that officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were “directly responsible” for the physical abuse and death of Tyre Nichols. Nichols was beaten after fleeing a traffic stop in Detroit in early January. He died three days later after being transferred to a hospital.
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Investigation update

  • Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said that the five officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were “directly responsible” for the horrific abuse suffered by 29-year-old Trye Nichols.
  • Nichols was beaten for three minutes at a traffic stop by the officers and later died at a hospital from his injuries.
  • The officers were released from duty, and there is an ongoing investigation into the abuse.
  • Davis made the announcement today, saying that the department wants to be honest and transparent about the ongoing investigation.
  • The DOJ and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation into Nichol’s death.
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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. 

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Go back in time

The context
The fourth season of Succession will premiere on March 26, 2021. The explosive third season has led some fans to believe that this could be the final season.
Entertainment
Friday, January 27, 2023

Succession Season Four Announced

The context
The fourth season of Succession will premiere on March 26, 2021. The explosive third season has led some fans to believe that this could be the final season.
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Premiere date revealed

  • The fourth season of the hit "Succession" will premiere on Sunday, March 26, 2021.
  • The third season of the show ended with Logan Roy selling Waystar Royco, screwing over his kids.
  • Fans have speculated that the fourth season will be its last, thanks to the explosive ending of the third season.
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The context
Google reportedly created an AI tool that can generate music from text descriptions but won't release it to the public.
Technology
Friday, January 27, 2023

Google Plays Coy About New AI

The context
Google reportedly created an AI tool that can generate music from text descriptions but won't release it to the public.
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AI music

  • Google has developed a new AI system that can generate music in any genre from text descriptions.
  • The tool, MusicLM, was trained on 280,000 hours of music to learn to generate coherent songs.
  • The system can also build on existing melodies and can write a narrative from the prompt.
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Entertainment

The Last of Us Gets Renewed

January 27, 2023
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The context
HBO's hit, "The Last of Us," has been renewed for a second season.
Entertainment
Friday, January 27, 2023

The Last of Us Gets Renewed

The context
HBO's hit, "The Last of Us," has been renewed for a second season.
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Hit renewed

  • HBO has ordered a second season of "The Last of Us."
  • The second episode of the show reached 5.7 million viewers in the US when it debuted last Sunday, the largest two week audience grwoth for a HBO drama series ever.
  • Episode one of the series has been viewed by 22 million viewers in the US since it dropped in mid-January.
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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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