Boris Johnson’s brother resigns from parliament
In the midst of a no-deal Brexit approaching in October, Jo Johnson, a conservative lawmaker and younger brother of the current prime minister Boris Johnson, announced his resignation via Twitter. This is not the first time Johnson has resigned. Last year, he quit in protest to Theresa May’s Brexit plan, although he kept his seat in parliament. This time, he announced that it is time that someone else fill his role as a member of parliament and minister. Johnson cited his struggle between family loyalty and the national interest as a reason for his exit.
Northern white rhinos see chance to escape extinction
Scientists in Italy fertilized northern white rhino eggs taken from the last two remaining female northern white rhinos with sperm from then-living males. The procedure represents a last chance for the species to escape extinction. According to AP News, who was granted exclusive access to the procedure, as many as seven viable embryos could be created. Because neither of the remaining females can carry a pregnancy, wildlife experts are hoping the species can survive via a surrogate birth. It will be 10 days before it is known whether the eggs have become embryos.
Rooster’s right to crow affirmed
A retired French couple lost their noise complaint case against France’s most famous rooster, Maurice, after they sued him and his owner, Corinne Fesseau, for the disturbance Maurices’ crowing had caused on their holiday. Thousands of people across France sided with Maurice, claiming he is a symbol of rural values that many fear are under scrutiny. The small coastal city of Rochefort ruled that the rooster was “just being himself.” According to the NY Times, the judge found that Maurice has a right to crow in his rural habitat and the annoyance caused by his crowing did not satisfy the law which allows courts to intervene if a nuisance is excessive or permanent.
Hong Kong points finger at US for protests
Many government officials claim that the United States has played an integral role in the orchestration of recent protests in Hong Kong. According to the NY Times, the claims reflect a deepening conviction that supports democratic rights in Hong Kong as part of a broader effort to undermine the Communist Party [in China]. Actions including waving the U.S. flag during protests have pointed officials towards suspicion of foreign interference.
Actress Annabella Sciorra to testify in Harvey Weinstein trial
According to Manhattan prosecutors, Annabella Sciorra, an actress who publicly accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in her Gramercy Park apartment in 1993, will now be allowed to testify in court about her contention. Because the incident occurred too long ago for it to be prosecuted under state law, the testimony will be permitted in court only to support charges of predatory sexual assault, not to contest her own rape. Harvey Weinstein, an influential Hollywood producer, pleaded not guilty last Monday to the new State Supreme Court indictment, claiming that his interactions with Sciorra as well as two other women were consensual. The trial is scheduled to take place Jan. 6 allowing Weinstien time to respond to the newest allegation.
Michigan State to pay record fine after Nassar scandal
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Thursday that Michigan State University will pay a record $4.5 million in fines for failing to protect students against sexual abuse by convicted sex criminal, Lawrence G. Nassar, the former doctor for the American Gymnastics Team. An extensive investigation was done after the university’s response to sexual abuse allegations against Nassar. According to the NY Times, “that investigation found that the university did not adequately respond to complaints against Mr. Nassar and Mr. Strampel, had subjected students to a sexually hostile environment, and had repeatedly failed to take appropriate and prompt action when notified of complaints.”
San Francisco Board of Supervisors declares the N.R.A. a ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’
A resolution to declare the National Rifle Association (N.R.A) a domestic terrorist organization was passed unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in response to concerns caused by recent mass shootings. The resolution was introduced by supervisor Catherine Stefani after three people were killed and 12 injured in a shooting at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. According to an article in the NY Times, Stefani shared her thoughts when she said “the N.R.A. exists to spread pro-gun propaganda and put weapons in the hands of those who would harm and terrorize us.” The N.R.A. responded online via Twitter, defending their actions.
Another death linked to vaping
In Oregon, a second death has been attributed to a severe lung disease which developed after vaping. Only one other death has been recorded to have been linked with vaping, but the second case underscores the widespread concern over the increase in vaping-related illnesses. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200 cases in 25 states of severe lung disease contain possible links to vaping, and the numbers continue to increase.