Tag Archives: breaking news

Artist Blasted for Racist Depiction of Serena Williams at U.S. Open

Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper came under fire for artist Mark Knight’s cartoon depiction of Serena Williams’ incident at the U.S. Open, which many see as racist.

The photo went viral online, with celebrities like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling blasting the photo on Twitter, writing, “Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.”

Jemele Hill also added that the photo is “About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice.”

Herald editor Damon Johnston backed Knight’s cartoon in a statement, which read, “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race.”

Knight also reacted himself, stating, “I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” he said. It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down. The world has just gone crazy.”

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Nike’s Colin Kaepernick TV ad is inspirational, not controversial

The question Friday morning wasn’t whether President Trump would tweet about the debut of Colin Kaepernick’s Nike commercial but whether it would be the first thing he would tweet about after waking up.

And there it was, first thing on the presidential docket at 6:56 a.m.

“What was Nike thinking?” Trump tweeted rather briefly and directly.

But if you actually watched the commercial that aired on NBC during the third quarter of season-opening games between the Falcons and Eagles, it’s pretty obvious what Nike is thinking – and it’s not whether to take a knee during the national anthem.

All you need to know about Nike’s ultimate goal with the Kaepernick campaign is contained in the ad’s first minute. It begins with a skateboarder falling off a rail, a child with no legs on a wrestling mat, an African-American boy who couldn’t be 10 years old running down a dirt road, a young shadowboxing woman wearing hijab, a surfer, a Pop Warner football game and a blond girl playing high school football against boys.

This isn’t about consumers Nike might lose in their anger over Kaepernick. It’s about cultivating an entire generation of consumers who are up for grabs at a moment where the lines between culture, politics and activism are blurry – a notion that might make older people uncomfortable but is now the coming-of-age reality for anyone under 18.

Ironically, if you take Kaepernick out of the ad, there is nothing controversial about the images and words contained inside of it. “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy; ask if they’re crazy enough” seems like it could be a tag line to practically any Nike ad campaign, a direct link to the “Just Do it” slogan the company is celebrating with a 30th anniversary push.

Every one of those images connects to the overall theme of being different, of overcoming some type of obstacle or stereotype, which fits in well with why Kaepernick is here in the first place rather than playing quarterback in the NFL.

But it also seems designed to appeal to teenagers, without making it necessary to align with Kaepernick’s political and social justice views.

Yes, it’s Kaepernick’s voice and his image at the end, walking down a city street wearing a black mock turtleneck underneath a tan coat. But there is nothing in the ad that connects him to football or the NFL, even though his own backstory – being adopted by white parents, getting one college scholarship offer from Nevada and ultimately quarterbacking a team to the Super Bowl – contains some of the same inspirational threads as the people he’s narrating over.

Moreover, the commercial’s only allusion to the protest he sparked is subtle. As the camera brings Kaepernick into view from behind – you recognize him by his Afro – he’s standing and looking at a waving American flag being projected onto a building.

Then, as Kaepernick walks out of the frame, the images of the young people from earlier in the ad appear on those buildings and the words are flashed on the screen: “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”

Casting Kaepernick in this light is interesting because he’s the only person in the ad who isn’t shown playing a sport or wearing some type of Nike gear. That seems intentional, as if to acknowledge that he’s moved beyond the sports context and into the zeitgeist of these political and cultural times.

And when you think about what Nike’s actually trying to accomplish here, it makes perfect sense.

Though Nike has been the country’s preeminent sneaker and sports apparel company for a generation, Adidas has steadily been making headway, particularly with younger people. In the second quarter of 2018, Adidas posted a $485 million profit, shattering Wall Street expectations. That followed nine consecutive quarters in which the company’s sales increased by at least 20%.

Fueled by its alliance with pop culture stars such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Adidas has made up significant ground and surpassed Jordan Brand (a Nike subsidiary) last year as No. 2 in the sneaker game.

Nike didn’t really have a comparable face, and many of its preeminent athletes they’ve been associated with outside the NBA (such as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Serena Williams) are at the back end of their careers and don’t necessarily identify with teenagers. But that’s what shoe companies have to do: Figure out not just who their customers are now, but who their customers are going to be in five years, 10 years and beyond.

That’s who this is aimed at. We’re on the cusp of welcoming a generation of kids into adulthood who grew up with politics being injected into practically every area of their lives. Whether that’s a good thing will be for others to determine, but it’s a moment that’s happening and Nike is looking for a way to capitalize on it.

Kaepernick probably won’t sell a lot of shoes to my contemporaries. But would the ad that played Thursday night resonate with high school kids who are growing up in a confusing, polarized, politically active era? Nike is counting on it.

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McCain requested Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at funeral

John McCain requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, CBS News has confirmed. McCain, who had been suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer, died Saturday at the age of 81 at home in Arizona. Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush will deliver their remarks during a service at the National Cathedral.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a separate service honoring the senator in Arizona.

McCain had long feuded with President Trump and, according to The Associated Press, two White House officials said McCain’s family had asked, before the senator’s death, that Mr. Trump not attend the funeral services. Vice President Pence is likely to attend, said the officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The New York Times says, “Mr. McCain quietly declared before his death that he did not want Mr. Trump to take part in his funeral.”

According to Gov. Doug Ducey, McCain will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday, his birthday, before his body will be brought to Washington to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

The senator asked that he be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, near the grave of a long time friend, something he told Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” in September 2017.

“I want, when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy. And we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country,'” McCain said.

Mr. Obama, who defeated McCain in 2008 presidential race, issued a statement shortly after McCain’s death saying that “we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.”

“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did,” Mr. Obama continued. “But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt.”

John McCain remembered: Obama, family and more pay tribute
Mr. Bush, who defeated McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000, issued a statement hailing McCain as a “a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended,” Mr. Bush said. “Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled.”

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Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Has Died of Pancreatic Cancer at Age 76

Aretha Franklin, the “queen of soul” known for hits like Respect and Think, has died in Detroit at the age of 76.

The legendary singer was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and announced last year she was retiring from music.

Franklin had more than 20 US chart hits over a music career spanning seven decades.

The star gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

In a statement, her family said: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart.

“We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds.”

The family also confirmed her death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.

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Aretha Franklin ‘gravely ill’ in Detroit hospital

Aretha Franklin is “gravely ill,” her family told Detroit’s WDIV-TV on Monday.

WDIV anchor Evrod Cassimy wrote in a tweet: “I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time.”

This follows an earlier report from Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411, saying that the 76-year-old soul legend is surrounded by “family and people close to her” in Detroit.

In March, Franklin canceled two concerts scheduled in New Jersey. According to a statement from her management team, she was following doctors’ orders to stay off the road and rest completely for two months, and that she was “extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to.”

Franklin’s most recent performance was on Nov. 2, 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York and her final public performance was at Philadelphia’s Mann Center in August 2017.

Franklin last performed in her Detroit hometown in June 2017. It was an emotion-packed concert for thousands at an outdoor festival downtown. She ended the performance with a then-cryptic appeal to the hometown crowd: “Please keep me in your prayers.”

Last year, Franklin announced her plans to retire after releasing one final album, saying she would perform at “some select things.”

A biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as Franklin is scheduled to start filming in 2019.

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One of The Real Housewives of New York City Confirms She Won’t Return

One of the The Real Housewives of New York City ladies is saying goodbye to the series, which is currently in its 10th season, The Daily Dish has confirmed.

Carole Radziwill will not return to RHONY, she confirmed to The Daily Dish in a statement. “After six seasons on Bravo’s RHONYC, I have decided to return to what I do best — journalism and producing. I am sure this does not come as a surprise to any of the viewers, all of whom have been supportive, encouraging, and kind. My original curiosity about reality television has waned over the years and I am focusing on TV and writing projects that better suit my more steady temperament,” she said. “I have worked with amazing producers, made great friends, and I’m thrilled to leave frenemies behind. I will remember this entire experience with delight, humor, and a veracious accuracy. Next.”

Carole joined RHONY in Season 5. Over the years, fans have enjoyed learning about her background, from her professional life as a best-selling author and award-winning journalist to her personal life with her late husband Anthony Radziwill. In addition to seeing Carole navigate her relationships with her fellow New York Housewives, fans have also seen her get back into the dating game when romance bloomed with Adam Kenworthy. This season of RHONY, Carole has made some major accomplishments, such as running the New York City Marathon and penning an essay for Cosmopolitan.

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Man seen in video harassing woman in Puerto Rico shirt charged with hate crime

An allegedly intoxicated man, whose harassment of a woman wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt at a Chicago park last month was captured on video, has been charged with felony hate crime counts, a spokesperson for the Cook County prosecutor’s office said.

Timothy Trybus, 62, is charged with two felony counts of hate crime, Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

A man identified as Trybus is seen in a video accosting Mia Irizarry, 24, at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve in Chicago on June 14. Because of the Puerto Rican flag shirt Irizarry is wearing, the man in the video asks if she is a U.S. citizen and says “you’re not going to change us, you know that?” and “the world is not going to change the United States of America.”

The harasser didn’t seem to realize that Puerto Rico is, in fact, part of the United States America.

Irizarry had a permit for the space, officials said, and she says in the video she was there for a birthday party.

Felony hate crime is a class 3 felony, and carries a possible sentence of 2 to 5 years, but probation is also an option, Simonton said. She would not comment on whether prosecutors would seek probation or jail time in the case.

Trybus had also already been charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct. Those counts remain, but they could be dropped because the hate crime charges are the more serious, Simonton said.

It was not clear if Trybus had an attorney and a home phone number for him could not be immediately found. Trybus is scheduled to appear in court on a bond hearing on Friday, Simonton said.

The video of the exchange sparked outrage, and even Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, weighed in and called it “appalling” and he said “a Puerto Rican woman was brutally harassed by a bigot while an officer did not interfere.”

On Wednesday, Patrick Connor, a Forest Preserves of Cook County police officer who was being investigated for allegedly failing to act during the harassment resigned on Wednesday, and the county board commissioner on Thursday apologized and called the incident “truly appalling, gut wrenching, and a real wake-up call to everyone.”

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