August, 03 2022

💻 Robinhood Slashes Staff and Gets a Slap on the Wrist

The online investing platform Robinhood is having a tough Wednesday. The company announced it would cut about 23% of its staff, and the New York State Department of Financial Services slapped the crypto-trading division of the company with a $30 million fine.

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⚖️ Kansas Protects Abortion

Last night's primaries led to a significant victory for pro-choice activists in Kansas. The state overwhelmingly voted to protect the right to an abortion in its state constitution and reject a proposed amendment that would remove the right.

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🍿 What's Warner Bros. Up to?

Warner Bros. has removed six titles from the streaming service HBO Max, in the last two weeks, including Moonshot, Superintelligence, and The Witches. A Reddit user noticed the quiet removal of the titles after the company canceled the release of Batgirl. It could be an attempt to cut costs by not paying the streaming fee for underperforming titles.

⚖️ Takeaways from August 2nd Primaries

Votes have settled in key primaries in Missouri, Michigan, Washington, Arizona, and Kansas. In the contentious race for GOP nominations, Trump endorsed candidates either flailed or triumphed, and Democrats played a sneaky hand in Michigan.

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🍿 Cancel Netflix Trends

The hashtag, cancel Netflix, trended on Twitter today after the streaming service decided to cancel the show First Kill after just one season. Fans of the teen vampire show, which features two girls who fall in love in the style of Romeo and Juliet, shared that they are canceling their subscriptions to the service.

💻 No More Live Shopping

Facebook is discontinuing its Live Shopping features to shift the focus to Reels since users spend more time watching short-form videos than live videos. Live Shopping lets creators set up a Livestream where they can sell goods to followers or users who tuned in. The feature will shut down on October 1st.

💻 TwitchCon Under Fire

TwitchCon in San Diego announced they won't require attendees to wear masks, or be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend the convention, prompting some creators to opt out of the conference altogether.

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⚡️ Representative Jackie Walorski Killed

Jackie Walorski, a Republican candidate from Indiana, was killed today during a car crash in her home district. Two of her staffers, Zac Potts and Emma Thompson, were also killed in the accident. Walorski, 58, began her tenure in Congress in 2013 and served as the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee.

🍿 NFL Appeals Watson Decision

The NFL has appealed a decision by a disciplinary officer to suspend Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson for sexual misconduct. Under the current ruling, Watson will be suspended for six games for propositioning and inappropriately touching women he hired as massage therapists. The NFL wants Watson to be fined and suspended for at least a year.

⚖️ Make Way for Finland and Sweden

The Senate has overwhelmingly voted to approve Finland and Sweden's application to join NATO. The vote signifies the most significant expansion of the alliance since the 1990s and will bolster NATO's efforts to oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

⚖️ Alex Jones Trial Update

In the defamation trial of Infowars's Alex Jones today, the host and conspiracy theory pusher admitted to the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting that he believes the shooting did occur. His admission was a remarkable break from previous denials of the shooting. The parent's lawyer also revealed that Jones's lawyer had accidentally sent him almost two years of records of texts and emails.

🍿 Shumpert Arrested for Possession

The NBA player, Iman Shumpert, was arrested at the Dallas/Forth Worth airport today when TSA found 6.1 ounces of marijuana in his luggage.

⚖️ Pelosi Takes Off from Taipei

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the congressional delegation have left Taiwan. As they left, China conducted military drills in the waters and skies surrounding the island. Before leaving, she spoke about the importance of supporting democratic Taiwan and refused to be bullied by Chinese threats.

💻 Google Merge Commence

Google has slowly been merging its two products, Duo and Meet. Google will essentially add the unique capabilities of Duo, a video chatting service, to their Meet service, which is designed for business communications. Today, they released an update to the Duo App in the Android and iOS stores featuring a new logo for the merged apps and an explanation for users.

💻 Starbucks Order for User Up

Starbucks is entering the Web3 space with a token-based rewards program that will launch next month. The coffee-themed NFTs will provide users with exclusive rewards and promotions.

💻 Twitter Reworks Spaces

Twitter will rework its spaces feature, allowing users to enter into audio rooms that will not be organized by theme. It will also include a daily digest for users to listen to curated programs.

🍿 Peacock's Many Lives

The popular sitcom Days of Our Lives will leave NBC's cable service after 57 years and start streaming on Peacock in the fall.

⚖️ Murkowsi Endorsed by Tim Scott

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is up for reelection in her home state of Alaska. Fellow Republican Senator from South Carolina, Time Scott, endorsed her in the race.

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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

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 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 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 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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