Earlier this week, there was a major (and real) wardrobe malfunction in a college basketball game. After only thirty seconds of game time, Zion Williamson’s Nike sneaker broke. As a result, he sprained his knee. Williamson is rising star in the world of college basketball, so this was a major event in the night’s sports show recaps. President Obama was even at the game, and you can clearly see him mouth the words, “His shoe broke” after Williamson’s Nike split clean in half.
Unsurprisingly, that is a serious level of bad publicity. The stock market reacted accordingly. Stocks fell nearly two-percent, equating to a little over a billion dollars in lost value.
But the accident lays bare more than just Williamson’s foot. It also exposes the structural problems of college basketball. Nike pumps millions of dollars into the Duke basketball program, ensuring that the athletes wear only Nikes. The athletes are thus forced to be living, breathing advertisements for Nike. College basketball is, in short, a huge business––a business that the athletes themselves cannot profit from. Thanks to a recent policy change, the NBA no longer recruits straight from high school, forcing players to engage in the NCAA profit machine for free, risking injury for no pay and then no professional prospects.
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Robert Kelly, the famed musician and producer, has been charged Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois. The judged approved a no-bail arrest warrant.
These events are the direct result of Lifetime’s release of a documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly,” which led Chicago authorities to open an investigation. In that documentary, several women reported that R. Kelly had sex with them while they were underage, and what’s more, they claimed that he kept them against their will.
Months later, Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represented Stormy Daniels in her suit against Donald Trump, claimed that there was video evidence of R. Kelly engaging in sexual activities with underage girls. He claimed to have turned that tape into authorities, though authorities did not initially confirm this. These charges against R. Kelly are the result of this video, in which Kelly is seen having sex with a girl who was fourteen years old at the time. Three of the four women involved in these charges were between 13 and 16 when Kelly forced them to engage in sexual activities.
Kelly, through his attorney, maintains his innocence. The number of victims speaking out against him, however, means that his defense will be challenging.
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Lt. Christopher P. Hasson was a seemingly mild-mannered, 49-year-old Coast Guard officer. He worked at the Coast Guard headquarters, behind a desk––a desk where he allegedly used illegal drugs and attempted to start a race war. He was arrested last week on drug and gun charges. He also allegedly had planned to attack House Speaker Nanci …Read More
The following story is no #pizzagate hoax, unfortunately. There really does appear to be an organic, yet widespread, pedophilia ring on YouTube. The video below broke the story wide open––but it’s twenty minutes, so we forgive you if you don’t want to watch it. Here’s the summary: YouTube’s algorithm shows you more videos like the videos you tend to watch, so if you watch a few videos of, say, little girls doing gymnastics, YouTube will show you more videos like that. But it gets much, much worse.
There’s an error in the algorithm, and once you click on a few of those kinds of videos, that’s all you’ll see. And if you look in the comments you’ll find pedophiles timestamping parts of the videos with girls in compromising positions. Many of these videos were taken and re-uploaded by the pedophiles themselves. Of course, these videos all contain advertising. So basically, YouTube is making pedophilia profitable.
This video has led to massive fallout. It started when Disney pulled out their advertising money. Then Nestle. Now, AT&T and Hasbro have pulled out, too. “Until Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind, we are removing all advertising from YouTube,” an AT&T spokesperson said. The fallout for this is bound to continue.
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In 2014, a 20-year-old girl named Hoda Muthana, then a student in Alabama, went to Turkey. Her family thought she was going as a tourist. They did not realize that she had other plans. When she got to Turkey, she followed through with those plans. A smuggler brought her into Syria, where she joined the so-called Islamic State. She married an Islamic State fighter and bore him a son. She Tweeted anti-American and anti-Western propaganda, urging Islamic State fighters in their battle against the West.
Now, the Islamic State is all but destroyed. Muthana lives in a Syrian refugee camp and wants to come home. She says she feels immense shame when she looks back on her tweets. Most of all, she wants to come home.
President Trump directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to refuse the young woman readmission to the United States. Pompeo claims the woman is not a citizen, and as such, will not be admitted to the United States. His claim is based on a strange technicality: Muthana was born to a diplomat, and is therefore not technically a citizen. Only Muthana’s family says she was born after her father’s diplomatic career ended. As a result, she is a citizen. The legal battle is likely to get messy.
Do you think she should be let back in to the United States? Why or why not? I would genuinely like to read your comments.
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In late, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett claimed to have been attacked by two white men wearing ski masks. According to Smollett, the men threw an unknown chemical on him, wrapped a rope around his neck like a noose, yelled racist and anti-homosexual slurs at him, and then shouted “This is MAGA country!” before fleeing the scene.
The incident led civil rights activist groups to denounce the incident for its racism and homophobia, and to claim that America was still very racist and homophobic. The attack was the most recent in a series of allegedly racist and homophobic incidents perpetrated against cast of the show “Empire.”
But Wednesday, Jussie Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Smollett will appear in court on Thursday. If convicted, Smollett could face probation or up to three years in prison.
Journalist Andy Ngo has pointed to a number of such false claims of hate crimes on his Twitter feed.
Ngo claims that the Southern Poverty Law Center––an organization that has come under fire for its obvious liberal bias––is stoking panic against Trump and Republicans. This could be a political ploy amongst Democrats, a way of bringing attention to causes, or any number of things. Ngo’s Twitter feed compiles a list of hoaxes long enough to convince anyone that these hoaxes are occurring with increasing frequency. Why is anyone’s guess.
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There is growing evidence of vote tampering in the still-undecided 2018 North Carolina state congressional race. According to recent testimony by Lisa Britt, she was instructed to fill out uncompleted ballots in favor of Republican candidates. Britt testified that she was hired to collect absentee ballots, and instructed that, when she found unsealed and uncollected ballots, …Read More
This week, at the behest of Pope Francis, bishops from around the world will travel to Rome, where they will discuss how to protect minors from sexual predation by the clergy. This first-of-its-kind meeting marks a significant change for the Church, which has heretofore denied wrongdoing, silenced the abused, and protected abusers. The meeting is meant to teach bishops how to stop abuse, to encourage clergy to hold each other accountable, and how to listen to (instead of ignoring or discrediting) victims.
As the Church faces this long-needed reckoning, however, other ghosts from its past are surfacing. The New York Times has reported that the Vatican confirmed the existence of an internal document offering guidance for dealing with children fathered by priests. This piece may lead to an outcry by the children of priests and spark yet another sex-related scandal involving the Catholic Church.
In the United States, a Protestant denomination faces a similar challenge. The Southern Baptist convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the nation, has just announced initial recommendations for dealing with a sex abuse scandal that shook the denomination to its core: nearly 400 church leaders have been accused of assault since 1998. In addition to the initial recommendations for rectifying the problem, the subject will also be a primary topic at the denomination’s annual convention.
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Late last week, President Trump declared a national emergency, which enables him to fund his promised border wall without congressional approval. This end-run around the legislative branch ensured that Trump could avoid being blamed for another government shutdown but still appease his base by building the wall.
But, as many observers anticipated, the use of emergency powers for funding the wall will not go unchallenged. So far, sixteen states have formed a coalition challenging Trump’s ability to allocate funding for the wall. The suit alleges that, per the Constitution, only Congress can allocate funding.
Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, said that the president himself proved that there was no emergency when he said “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” The suit alleges, therefore, that Trump manufactured a “crisis” in order to avoid getting Congress’s approval for the money. The lawsuit would stop Trump from acting on his plan to build the wall while the issue is in court.
When Congress returns from recess, the Democratic-controlled House may take its own measures to stop Trump from using emergency powers to build the wall.
While the ultimate fate of the wall is uncertain, one thing seems clear: it will be quite some time before the matter is settled for good.
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Senator Bernie Sanders has announced that he will run for president in 2020. Sanders ran for president in 2016, but despite his almost incredible popularity, he failed to receive the Democratic Party nomination. In an email to supporters, Sanders wrote: “Three years ago, during our 2016 campaign, when we brought forth our progressive agenda we …Read More
At the end of January, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked by two white men in ski masks. They allegedly threw some kind of chemical on him, wrapped a rope around his neck, yelled racist and anti-homosexual slurs, and shouted “This is MAGA country!” before running away. The incident led to an outcry against racism and homophobia by civil rights activist groups. The attack was part of a series of allegedly racist and homophobic incidents perpetrated against cast of the show “Empire.”
What began as a (seemingly) clear-cut case of racism and homophobia is shaping up to be something else entirely. According to a police report, Smollett seems to have known the two men who attacked him. According to two sources familiar with the investigation, Smollett actually paid the two men to attack him. The men were arrested last week, but they were released without charges two days after their arrest. Sources told CNN that the two men were cooperating with police.
Smollett’s attorneys released the following statement:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” the statement read. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
It’s unclear what Smollett would have to gain from faking such an attack.
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This past January, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed hearing oral arguments for the first time in her 25-year career. She was recovering from lung cancer surgery in which surgeons removed to malignant nodules in one of her lungs. Despite the severity of the surgery and the difficulty of her recovery, she still participated in absentia from the cases she couldn’t sit in on by reading briefs and transcripts. A court spokesperson has commented, “Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.” She returned to the court at the end of last week.
This is not Ginsburg’s first medical setback since her 1993 appointment to the court by President Bill Clinton. In 1999, she received treatment for colon cancer, and in 2009 she received treatment for pancreatic cancer. In 2014, doctors placed a stent in her heart to improve blood flow.
Ginsburg’s health is closely watched by both liberals and conservatives. At 85, Ginsburg is the oldest member of the court. If she falls so ill that she cannot perform her duties, she can be replaced by President Trump, who would appoint a liberal. The court is currently a 5-4 conservative majority, so another conservative appointment would solidify this conservative skew.Read More
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