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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

News

Five things you might have missed this week


This week has been filled with lawsuits, a rapidly spreading global disease and an iconic toy getting a makeover. Here a few of the things you might have missed this week.

Mizzou assistant professor who called for “some muscle” is being charged

A University of Missouri assistant professor in the communication department who called for “some muscle” as she tried to remove journalists from a campus protest last year was charged on Monday with misdemeanor assault, according to the New York Times.

The video, released last November, shows Melissa A. Click pushing journalists away. One of them was Mark Schierbecker, who was recording at the time and whose video of the incident went viral.

“You need to get out,” she said repeatedly. He said: “No, I don’t.” She then appears to hit at or grab his camera and says it again, before turning to shout to a group of people standing in the distance: “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”

In a news conference on Monday afternoon, Henry C. Foley, the school’s interim chancellor, dismissed calls for Click’s immediate firing. However, the Mizzou’s Board of Curators suspended her late Wednesday and called for further investigations on whether more discipline would be appropriate.

Faculty members signed a letter of support for Click in December.

Barbie gets diversified 

This week Mattel Inc. unveiled new Barbies featuring curves, height and even some lack of height. The three body types will also be sold in an assortment of skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles.

This is the latest attempt at re-branding Barbie as sales have plummeted since roughly 2013. But according to the company and critics, this is about more than trying to increase sales.

“This is about drawing a wider demographic that had turned away from Barbie back to Barbie,” said Jim Silver, the editor of TTPM, a toy review website.

Richard Dickson, Mattel’s president, chief operating officer and the executive in charge of Barbie’s reinvention, agreed on the significance of the change.

“I think today, frankly more so than any other time, Barbie is truly representing what girls see,” Dickson said.

Canada said that everyone needs the D

Yukon’s Health and Human Services released an ad that made everyone take a second look.

It’s public service announcement that aimed to get people informed about the vitamin’s benefits — accidentally spread in the wrong way. Lines like “How do you do the D?” and “Need a little help… with your daily D?” obliterated the true meaning of the campaign. Twitter, however, had a field day.

Plot twist: Jury indicts two anti-abortion activists in Planned Parenthood case

The grand jury that investigated accusations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood not only cleared Planned Parenthood’s Gulf Coast affiliate — they indicted the two anti-abortion activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, who prompted the probe in the first place.

Leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from sale of fetal tissue — have been indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs, prosecutors in Harris County said.

David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the Center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research.

Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record, as was Daledien.

U.S. health officials step in to find cure to Zika virus

The mosquito-born disease, which has spread from Brazil to the Caribbean and Latin America, is now spreading at an alarming speed toward the U.S.

Two cases were confirmed in Illinois, three cases in Florida, and two have been confirmed in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Already, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Jamaica have urged women to postpone pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an advisory urging U.S. women who are pregnant against travel to 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Central and South America that have local transmission.

The World Health Organization rang a global alarm over the Zika virus on Thursday, saying the disease was “spreading explosively” in the Americas, and as many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year. There is no known cure for the virus, and though efforts to create a vaccine are underway, it will be years before one can be available to the public.

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