The Flint water crisis saga continues. According to reports, almost three weeks after a court demanded that the state of Michigan send bottled water to residents who are still impacted by contaminated water, state officials are trying to fight that order. On November 10, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson ruled that Michigan officials need to deliver bottles of water to Flint residents. On November 17, the state petitioned the order, claiming that the water dispersal was expensive and “would be on the magnitude of a large-scale military operation.” It says that the efforts would cost upwards of $10.5 million. Local environmental groups are outraged about Michigan’s appeal. “We’ve got an ongoing crisis to this day,” said Natural Resources Defense Council Midwest Director Henry Henderson. “People do not have access to safe water. This is not consistent with what we expect to happen to residents of the United States of America.” The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will make a decision on the matter soon. In the meantime, Michigan officials will have to submit a status report related to the order by December 16. Read more.
Abortion Rights Groups Contest Restrictions in North Carolina, Alaska, and Missouri
Abortion rights groups are banning together to contest abortion laws in North Carolina, Alaska, and Missouri. The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights are trying to prove that abortion restrictions are unnecessary and force women to seek the procedure in other states. In North Carolina, abortions are banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In Missouri, there are laws in place that make it mandatory for abortion providers to get admitting rights at local hospitals. In Alaska, outpatient procedures are banned after the first trimester. All second-trimester procedures have to be done at hospitals. The groups, who each filed a lawsuit, are leaning on the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision to prove their case. They are fearful about what would happen to reproductive rights under President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. Read more.
AAFCA Calls 2016 The Best Year for Black Cinema
African-Americans have made major strides in the realm of film this year. Several Black films, including Ride Along 2, Barbershop 3, and Central Intelligence, saw box office success. With the upcoming release of films like Fences and Hidden Figures, these triumphs show no signs of slowing down. According to the African American Film Critics Association, 2016 has been the best year for Black Cinema. “The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever. It has truly been an unapologetically black year in the industry as filmmakers brought to life some of the cultures most fascinating stories and subjects with bold storytelling perspective,” said AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards in a statement. “We are both confident that we’ll see a record number of black nominees when Awards Season kicks into high gear.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Jim Brown to Receive SI’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award
Legendary basketball players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell and football star Jim Brown will all be presented with the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. They were chosen to be honored for their achievements in the realm of sports as well as their involvement in overcoming social issues. Brown, who is 80 years old, was a three-time MVP in the NFL. He is also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Post-retirement, he worked to create economic advancements in African-American communities. “I am deeply touched to be honored for a lifetime spent working to establish common ground and mutual respect for all perspectives and backgrounds. I hope that this tribute serves as a symbol of inspiration for all Americans to be champions of social justice,” said Brown. Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He now travels the globe to discuss the importance of education and cultural comprehension. Russell, who has broken barriers on the court and the sidelines by becoming the first Black NBA coach, is also an advocate for civil rights and racial inequality. The three will be given the award during SI’s Sportsperson of the Year ceremony on December 12. Read more.
Jamie Foxx to Produce Biopic Series About Marvin Gaye
Actor Jamie Foxx is stepping behind the camera to produce a biopic series about the late legendary singer Marvin Gaye. Foxx has reportedly made a deal with Gaye’s family to create the television series. It’s the first project to be co-signed by his family. The series will be developed in collaboration with Suzanne de Passe, Madison Jones, and Berry Gordy. Sony/ATV will possibly provide the rights for Gaye’s music to be used for the series. There are no details surrounding who will play Gaye and when the project will make its debut. Read more.
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