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Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise, a dispatch from a Families Belong Together rally in Washington, D.C., and actress and screenwriter Cleopatra Coleman answers our questions.
President Trump said Friday he has narrowed his list of Supreme Court finalists to five candidates, including two women, and plans to announce his nominee on July 9. Trump is moving quickly to fill the vacancy that will be created when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy retires from the court July 31. Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday.
“I like them all,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “It is a group of highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.”
The president said he was not intending to ask candidates about their positions on Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights case that the court decided in 1973.
Women at this year’s World Cup in Moscow are reporting incidents of sexual harassment and indecent behavior:
• At least three female reporters have been sexually harassed on-air by random men who tried to touch, kiss or hug them. “We do not deserve this treatment. Sexual harassment is not okay. It needs to stop,” said Colombian journalist Julieth Gonzalez Theran, who was groped and kissed by a man as she attempted to do a live World Cup broadcast.
• A British sports commentator was criticized for her “high-pitched tone”throughout a 90-minute match by a former English soccer star, who has since apologized.
•Getty Images faced backlash for publishing an album titled “World Cup 2018: The Sexiest Fans,” featuring images of only female fans. The company has since apologized and retracted the album, stating that it did not meet "editorial standards.”
On Friday, a judge ordered that Jarrod Ramos, 38, remain in custody and be held without bond on five counts of murder after he was accused of opening fire in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County on Thursday. Five employees of the paper — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters — were killed.
Ramos’s obsession with a former female classmate, which started with his making contact on Facebook in late 2009 or early 2010, caused at least two criminal charges and three peace orders to be lodged against him. Before Thursday, he repeatedly issued threats to the newsroom of the Capital Gazette over social media.
On Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) canceled speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama after a “very serious death threat” was made against her, she said. Waters said she has experienced more “threatening messages” and “hostile mail” delivered to her office ever since President Trump took aim at her on Twitter early last week.
Rashida Jones directed an animated public service announcement about sexual harassment in the workplace for Time’s Up. She recruited actor and musician Donald Glover to narrate the short, which addresses four topics: touching others, making comments about co-workers’ appearances, dating and observing sexual misconduct in the workplace.
“This is not a mandate; we’re not telling people how to live their lives,” Jones told BuzzFeed. “This is really just to incite self-reflection and for people to look at the way they behave in their workplaces.”
Razor brand Billie has launched a new campaign titled Project Body Hair.The ads feature women with body hair, a departure from traditional razor advertisements. Women are shown with armpit hair, unibrows and leg hair.
“We couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of hairless skin in razor advertising,” Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley told Glamour. “It was strange to us that these brands only show women ‘shaving’ perfectly smooth and hairless legs.”
Amanda Nguyen, a 27-year-old sexual assault survivor and advocate, was nominated for a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to recognize her efforts in drafting the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act. The legislation, which President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2016, created a basic set of civil rights for victims of federal sexual assault, including the right to be notified 60 days before their rape kit is destroyed. Currently, 14 states have adopted similar legislation, and Nguyen is advocating for more to sign on through her civil rights nonprofit, Rise.
On Tuesday in New York’s congressional primary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old activist, beat Rep. Joseph Crowley, a top-ranking Democrat who has held his seat for 19 years. She’ll now face Republican Anthony Pappas in the general election. If Ocasio-Cortez wins in November, she would become the youngest woman elected by either political party.
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, is trying to represent a diverse New York City district that includes parts of the Bronx and Queens. Living costs are rising in the 14th District, and Ocasio-Cortez says she is campaigning with her neighbors’ wallets in mind. She has proposed and supported the idea of tuition-free college, universal Medicare and a federal jobs guarantee.
The congressional candidate was born in the Bronx. She graduated from Boston University, where she studied economics and international relations. After returning to New York, she worked in education. But when her father died of cancer during the financial crisis, Ocasio-Cortez had to take on multiple service jobs to help her family.
When she filed to challenge Crowley in May, Ocasio-Cortez was still working at a restaurant. Other activists had encouraged her to run for office. Ocasio-Cortez, who campaigned for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ahead of the 2016 presidential election, was the first person to challenge Crowley in a primary in 14 years. Last week, she effectively ended Crowley’s congressional career by garnering 57.5 percent of the vote compared to the incumbent’s 42.5 percent.
“Every person out here this evening changed America tonight,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her victory speech. “This is not an end, this is the beginning.”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that public employee unions cannot require workers to pay collective-bargaining fees if they choose not to join the union. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court’s conservative justices overturned a 40-year precedent that will dramatically change how public-employee unions operate.
Mark Janus, a child-support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, was the lead plaintiff in the case. Janus contended that unions are political – major unions play a large role in Democratic Party politics – and he did not want to put money toward an organization that had viewpoints he didn’t agree with. To him, and the court’s majority, it violated his First Amendment rights.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissenting opinion, and she was joined by the court’s liberal justices. Kagan said that the court’s decision will “wreak havoc” by undoing labor agreements across the United States.
“This marks a direct attack on black women getting a fair shot in our economy,” Garza said. “We make up nearly one-fifth of public-sector workers, and already face an uphill battle in making strides in every single workplace.
More than 700 Families Belong Together demonstrations took place across the United States on Saturday. The rallies drew thousands of participants protesting the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Maya Pingho, 18, attended in Washington, D.C., and carried an American flag.
“I was adopted, so when I was brought here, I had all these opportunities,” she said. “[America] was a dream come true for me, but that should be the same for these kids.”
In her new dystopian film “Hover," Australian actress Cleopatra Coleman plays Claudia, a woman who works for a company called Transitions. In a self-driving car, she travels to clients’ homes in the middle of farmlands, where she helps them commit assisted suicide. Over the course of the film, Claudia loses a close friend, finds out she’s pregnant and realizes her work is tainted by an agriculture company that is marketing questionable drone technology to farmers trying to stay afloat amid a drought. Sound crazy? “Hover” is fictional, but Coleman, who also wrote the screenplay, says “it’s kind of a reflection of our time. Really great sci-fi can be seconds from now.”
How would you classify the battle Claudia takes part in?
I don’t want to give anything away, but I think the entire film reads with frustration. The short film I based [“Hover”] on was written out of pure frustration because I just felt I wasn’t getting the roles or the opportunities that I thought were possible for me. I wanted to write a character I could sink my teeth into. The whole film is kind of an allegory for that frustration and what I did feel in the industry. It really is a personal battle for Claudia, and it leads to a larger one that involves drones, an agriculture company and global droughts – but the whole battle is definitely an emotional one, and it’s a female one.
What is something about “Hover” that you haven’t been asked but that you want to talk about?
Leo Fitzpatrick is in the movie, and his character [Jason] kind of reminds of a Jared Kushner-type. That’s something no one has brought up. Jason is like a snake in the grass. He’s the head of an organization that is ultimately doing good, but if money is offered to him, he’s perfectly willing to do bad. But he’s so adamant that he’s helping people. I think that kind of misguided behavior and narrow-mindedness is something that we’re seeing a lot in the current government. People who are like, “I’m just following orders,” or “I’m just doing what’s best for my family.” And it’s like, no, we all have to do better. Things are changing, and I think it’s important that we all look at a little bit more than what’s in front of you.
I saw that you shaved your head after being inspired by “Black Panther.” How long has it been shaved, and how often do you cut it?
I shaved it about three months ago, and then I went away on a trip to Bali. We traveled through Bali and back to Australia. It was really great to have no hair. To jump in lakes and jump in rivers and run around. It was really fun. I really enjoy it. I find it extremely liberating. It’s honestly one of the coolest things I ever did. I would encourage anyone to try it at least once in their lives.
But it grows really fast when it’s super short. I recently shaved it again for a movie. It’s really, really short now. If I want to keep it up, I like to have it shaved or trimmed every couple days. I have a hairdresser do it, and sometimes I go to the barber, which is really fun because I’m always the only woman in there.
“Hover” is in select theaters and will be available on July 3 on iTunes and Amazon.
I’ve tried a bunch of products to manage my hair in summer humidity. Sachajuan Hair in the Sun is the first one I’ve gotten that doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy or weighed down. It does double duty because it’s main job is to protect your hair from UV rays. But I use it indoors and outdoors to keep frizz at bay.
–Aviva Loeb, Washington Post designer
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