In the News: Five headlines you need to know this week

1. Robert Kraft video recorded with prostitutes in Floridian spa

According to CNN, New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft is facing charges of soliciting prostitution as part of a large-scale sex trafficking crackdown in Florida that has led to hundreds of arrests, according to Florida police. The 77-year-old billionaire is among more than 100 people linked to several central Florida day spas and massage parlors suspected of being used for prostitution and targeted by law enforcement during a months-long investigation. According to police, Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on two separate occasions. Video footage shows him receiving “paid acts” in a room at the spa and surveillance video shows him being driven to the spa, police Chief Daniel Kerr said last Friday. “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” Kraft’s spokesperson said. The investigation is still ongoing.


Feb. 22


2. Texas judge opined male draft is unconstitutional

A federal judge in Texas declared Sunday that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional. The judge ruled that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military, according to USA Today. The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process back in 1981. The case of Rostker v. Goldberg determined a male-only draft was “fully-justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles at the time. U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled that, while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women both now have the equal ability to fight. “Yes, to some extent this is symbolic, but it does have some real-world impact,” Marc Angelucci, the lawyer for the men challenging the Selective Service System, said. “Either they need to get rid of the draft registration, or they need to require women to do the same thing that men do.”

-USA Today

Feb. 24


3. Bomb Cyclone travels from New York to Arizona

Ferocious winds roared across the eastern United States from a potent “bomb cyclone” that hit the country this weekend. As of Monday, 550,000 homes and businesses were still without power, Doyle Rice of reported. By the middle of the day Monday, nearly 80 million people were under high-wind warnings or advisories across parts of 14 states, according to the National Weather Service. At least 1,200 flights were canceled in the region Monday, according to FlightAware.“Wind gusts of up to 81 mph were reported from the storm, toppling trees and power lines. Giant chunks of ice spilled over the banks of the Niagara River across from Buffalo on Sunday, creating bizarre, 30-foot-tall ice mounds. At one point early Monday, 650,000 were without power,” Rice said. The storm came from the same sy     stem that brought copious amounts of snow to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, record snow to Flagstaff, Arizona, a blizzard and bitter cold to the upper Midwest, as well as floods and deadly tornadoes in the south.

Feb. 25


4. President Trump claims Spike Lee called him racist in Lee’s Oscar acceptance speech

President Donald Trump was not a fan of Spike Lee’s speech after accepting his first Oscar for his movie BlacKkKlansman this past Sunday at the 91st Academy Awards. Trump went after Lee for his remarks about the current administration, calling his speech a “racist hit” on Trump. Lee’s speech was focused on the legacy of slavery, but he closed it out with an impassioned plea to turn out the vote next November. “The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” Lee said.  “Let’s do the right thing. You know I had to get that in there.” Trump took to Twitter to voice his displeasure in the speech. “Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!”  Trump tweeted.

-USA Today



5. California man declared innocent after 39 year incarceration

Craig Coley, a man from Simi Valley, California, is set to receive $21 million from a federal lawsuit after wrongfully spending 39 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. According to CNN, Coley was incarcerated for a double-murder back in 1978. The Simi Valley Police Department reopened the case, which eventually led to him being pardoned by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2017. His convictions were eventually vacated. He then was declared innocent, which paved the way for state compensation. “While no amount of money can make up for what happened to Mr. Coley, settling this case is the right thing to do for Mr. Coley and our community,” City Manager Eric Levitt said in a statement, adding that going to trial would be costly and irresponsible. According to CNN, in issuing the pardon, Brown said he had requested in 2015 that the state Board of Parole Hearings investigate the case, and the board heard from at least three law enforcement officers who opined that a detective in 1978 “mishandled the case.” Coley had no prior criminal record before the murders, Brown noted, and he was a model prisoner, dedicating himself to religion. He also earned two degrees and began work on a master’s, according to the state Victim Compensation Board.


Feb. 24