In The Room Where It Happens
October 1, 2021
It’s time to play… Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader (if that 5th grader read a TON of news). Test your knowledge of recent world news with this short quiz. Submissions must be made by 12pm EST Monday, 9/20. The winner, announced Wednesday, will win bragging rights for the week as well as a free Daily Pnut t-shirt.
“Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.” — Frances Wright
In The Room Where It Happens
California began to effectively outlaw all-white-male boardrooms nearly three years ago, with the first quota law going into effect in 2018. Requirements that publicly-traded companies diversify their boardrooms have been criticized, mostly by conservative voices, and courts are still threatening to find ways to do away with the rules. But across the country, other companies have begun to take the advice to heart, hiring more women and people of color in leadership positions than ever before.
The number of women in control of a corporate board seat is over 50% more than it was in 2018, when the first laws were signed in California. Women now control over a quarter of corporate board seats nationwide. Companies are also hoping to see these same diversity efforts across races and ethnicities, recruiting people of color rapidly. While courts are pushing to remind states that these rules could fall apart legally, other state and federal regulators are joining in to push for more diversity at the top. Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based advocacy group 50/50 Women on Boards, said, “The ripple effect has gone across the nation,” and she thinks that in the next decade “it will be quite an anachronism to remember when corporations had all-white-male boards.”
The Nasdaq exchange, which is mostly tech-focused, is requiring that almost all of its 3,000 companies have one woman, one woman of color, or one LGBTQ+ person on their board, or they will have to explain to their shareholders why they haven’t yet diversified. Republican senators fought against this rule, but federal regulators allowed it anyway. 12 senators wrote a letter saying the rule would sacrifice the economy for the sake of a social agenda, but the companies themselves seem fine with the rule, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and much of Congress do as well. Boardrooms shape the future of a company, and the companies we’re talking about here shape the future of our country, so any attempt to make them more representative of the population is a good thing. (LAT, $)
A Petrol-fying Tale
- British gas stations remained dry on Thursday as the country continues to face a truck driver shortage, cutting stations off from their supply chain. As citizens harassed station attendants and struggled to fill water bottles with petrol, the government ordered British soldiers to start driving fuel tankers to restock stations across the country.
- The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents 65% of gas stations in Britain, reported that 27% of pumps were fully dry, and just 52% of pumps had enough of both gas and diesel. The lack of truck drivers has also impacted other industries in the UK, and worker shortages stretch beyond just the transport sector.
- Pharmacies have reported their supply chains being impacted by lack of drivers, and farmers have noted that thousands of their pigs may need to be culled due to lack of butchers able to process the swine. While some have blamed the U.K.’s withdrawal from the E.U. for the labor shortage, ministers were quick to point out that similar supply chain freezes had occurred elsewhere due to COVID-19 testing slowdowns. (Reuters)
Getting Sar-Cozy With The Law
- On Thursday, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of illegally funding his unsuccessful 2012 campaign for the French presidency, and has been sentenced to a year in prison. Sarkozy was already convicted and sentenced to prison for a separate charge earlier this year.
- Sarkozy’s most recent conviction came from his conservative party falsifying accounts during his 2012 campaign, allowing him to spend over twice the spending cap that French election law imposes on presidential candidates. His prior trial in March found him guilty of corruption and influence peddling.
- Despite being sentenced to prison in both trials, the disgraced president could dodge his cell time altogether: both sentences were just one year behind bars apiece, and the French legal system often waives short prison sentences of similar length. Appeals for both sentences are still underway, so it remains to be seen whether or not Sarkozy can slip his cell time. (WaPo)
Additional World News
- UK police officer who murdered Sarah Everard gets life in prison with no chance of parole (CNN)
- 96-year-old woman who fled Nazi war crimes trial is found (CNN)
- North Korea’s Kim Jong Un slams United States for ‘petty trick’ and ‘hostile acts’ (USA Today)
- Australia Covid: AFL grand final parties linked to spike in Victoria cases (CNN)
- Rohingya Muslim leader who visited White House shot dead in Bangladesh (WaPo, $)
- As deaths rise, vaccine opponents find a foothold in Bosnia (AP)
- Keir Starmer Seeks to Push Labour to Political Center (NYT, $)
Extra, Extra, Read All About It
- On Wednesday, 25-year-old Kaleb Cole was convicted of five federal charges. Cole is the leader of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen in Washington State, and was convicted by a jury after a two-day trial for his plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and other people associated with the Anti-Defamation League.
- Posters with the phrase “you have been visited by your local Nazis” were sent to numerous households, including the home of an editor of a Jewish publication. Cole was convicted of conspiracy, three counts of mailing threatening communications and one count of interfering with a federally protected activity.
- Three other people also pleaded guilty in the case. One of the men received a three-year sentence, and the other two renounced their connections to Atomwaffen and received lesser sentences. Cole had his gun seized in 2019 under a “red flag” law, and authorities said it looked like he was “preparing for a race war.” (NBC)
A Not-Shocking Revelation
- A recently leaked document revealed the membership list for the Council for National Policy (CNP), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called “a shadowy and intensely secretive group” that works to “build the conservative movement” in the background.
- The group was founded in 1981 by members of the Christian right, and has hosted events with presidential hopefuls like George Bush in 1999, Romney in 2007, and sitting president Trump in 2020. Its members are instructed not to reveal their affiliation with the group.
- The list reveals that many extremists and members of SPLC-designated hate groups are also involved in the group, meaning Republican leaders are kickin’ back with white nationalists and anti-LGBTQ extremists in their spare time. Anti-abortion and anti-immigrant hate groups are also on the list, alongside some high profile members of the Trump inner circle. (Guardian)
Additional USA News
- Thousands of Haitians Are Being Allowed Into the U.S. But What Comes Next? (NYT, $)
- Takeaways from Trump aide’s account of chaotic White House (AP)
- U.S. intensifies talks to use Russian bases for Afghan counterterrorism ops (Politico)
- Ohio health care workers warn of ‘astronomical’ COVID-19 pediatric surge (ABC)
- Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts (The Hill)
- Schumer announces agreement to prevent government shutdown (CBS)
- January 6 committee targets organizers of Stop the Steal rally in latest batch of subpoenas (CNN)
Can You Dig It?
- The Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England, has provided numerous fossil discoveries that have led to it being known as the U.K.’s dinosaur capital. Now, researchers have discovered not one, but two new species of dinosaurs. Both are predatory, and known as spinosaurids, with crocodile-shaped skulls that allowed them to hunt in water and on land.
- Pieces belonging to two skulls and tail bones were found, and they date back about 125 million years ago, to the Early Cretaceous period. The fossil collectors are thrilled with the discovery, which will be on display at the Dinosaur Isle Museum soon. The largest of the spinosaurids known was discovered in North Africa, and previously, the only one in the U.K. was found in 1983.
- Scientists are thrilled at the new evidence of diversity among the spinosaurids in the country. The two newest species are colorfully named — Riparovenator milnerae, or “Milner’s riverbank hunter,” and Ceratosuchops inferodios, which means “horned crocodile-faced hell heron.” We know which one we’d prefer. (CNN)
- Wild video shows Florida man trapping alligator in a garbage bin (NBC)
- Catastrophic floods on Mars carved some of the planet’s deepest valleys (CNET)
- NASA Refuses To Rename James Webb Space Telescope (NPR)
- Cave chamber closed for 40,000 years could hold the key to the lives of Neanderthals (CNN)
- NASA reports multiple fireballs hurtling through the sky over US (The Hill)
- NASA preps Lucy mission to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroid swarms (NBC)
- Pandemic Bird-Watching Created a Data Boom—and a Conundrum (Wired)
' title="RECOMMENDED FOR YOU"]