Baltimore’s homicide rate, Gal Gadot vs. Brett Ratner and Barbie in a hijab
Baltimore goes one week without a murder
According to Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore went six full days without a murder last week. On Nov. 6, Winfield Parker was murdered in a triple shooting at Destiny Auto Body Shop in Northwest Baltimore. The other victims, a 27-year-old male and a 26-year-old female, survived. Police said the shooting was likely targeted. Then, the killings stopped. From Monday at noon through Sunday at 2:30 p.m., no one was murdered in Baltimore. There were several shootings that left victims wounded: a 20-year-old man shot in the shoulder in East Baltimore’s Biddle Street section on Tuesday; a 27-year-old man with multiple wounds from a Thursday evening shooting in Franklin Square in West Baltimore; a 17-year-old male shot in the back on Saturday near Coppin State University. But for almost a week, Baltimore’s murder total remained at 303. The last time the city went that long without a homicide was in early March, when the gap in killings stretched from Feb. 28 to March 8, according to Baltimore Fishbowl’s email archive of police releases. The respite ended on Nov. 12. Dashon Griffin, 26, was gunned down at around 2:40 p.m. by a masked shooter while leaving a store in Washington Hill, police said. Five hours later, 33-year-old Gerald Gardner was shot dead sitting in his car near his Clifton Park home. Baltimore’s homicide total now stands at 305 for the year. Last year, the city had 344 homicides.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes on the rise
The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States rose slightly in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to FBI statistics. The data released Monday show there were 684 anti-Semitic hate crime incidents last year, a 3 percent increase from the 664 recorded by the FBI in 2015. Overall, there were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent from the previous year. In both years, anti-Semitic incidents accounted for just over half of religious hate crimes and about 11 percent of hate crimes of all types. Muslims were the second-most common targets of religious hate crimes in 2016 with 307 anti-Islamic incidents. African-Americans were the main target of hate crimes in general, targeted in 1,739 incidents, accounting for more than half of racially motivated hate crimes and about 28 percent of the total. In a statement addressing the report Monday, the Anti-Defamation League focused on the overall increase in reported hate crimes. It expressed “disappointment” at the trend and also pointed to a lack of voluntary reporting by police agencies around the country, saying that “nearly 90 cities” with more than 100,000 residents either reported no hate crimes or did not respond to the FBI’s request for data.
White House Chanukah party is on!
President Donald Trump will continue the White House tradition of hosting a Chanukah party. Invitations have been sent out for the Dec. 7 event, Maggie Haberman, The New York Times White House reporter, wrote Monday on Twitter. Chanukah starts this year on the evening of Dec. 12. George W. Bush started the tradition of an annual Chanukah party in 2011, the first year of his presidency. Barack Obama, his successor, continued the parties and often hosted two receptions to accommodate demand. Invitees typically include the heads of American Jewish organizations, Jewish members of the administration and Congress, and other prominent American Jews. Starting in 1979 with a lighting by Jimmy Carter, presidents have also participated in a ceremonial lighting of the National Menorah erected near the White House by Chabad, a haredi Orthodox Hasidic sect.
Richard Dreyfuss, Matthew Weiner accused
A writer accused actor Richard Dreyfuss of sexually harassing her several decades ago, including exposing himself to her. Jessica Teich made the allegations in an article published Friday by Vulture.com. She said the harassment was constant for two to three years in the mid-1980s when she worked as a writer alongside Dreyfuss, who was at the height of his fame. “He created a very hostile work environment, where I felt sexualized, objectified, and unsafe,” she said. At the time of the alleged harassment, Teich, 58, was in her mid-20s and worked as a researcher and junior writer on Dreyfuss’ TV project, “Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville.” Although he was married with a child, she said he often tried to kiss her in professional settings, slipped her “I love you” notes during meetings and made sexual comments to her. Teich said she was motivated to come forward by Dreyfuss’ response to his son accusing actor Kevin Spacey of groping his crotch when he was 18 years old. A few hours after Buzzfeed ran the story, Drefyuss tweeted that he was “incredibly proud” of his son. Dreyfuss, 70, responded to Teich’s allegations with a statement included in the article apologizing for his behavior, and admitting to having been an “a–hole” at the time, but said he was not an “assaulter.” On Thursday, it was reported that a former writer on “Mad Men” accused the Jewish creator of the hit ABC series, Matthew Weiner, of harassing her at work. Weiner, a Baltimore native, has denied the allegations.
The latest from ‘Wonder Woman’
Israeli actress Gal Gadot has reportedly refused to star in a sequel for the blockbuster “Wonder Woman” unless producer Brett Ratner is ousted from the project. Gadot is opposed to Ratner benefiting from her work because he has been accused of sexual misconduct, the Page Six gossip website reported Saturday. Ratner’s production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment helped produce “Wonder Woman” as part of a co-financing deal with Warner Bros. “She’s tough and stands by her principles. She also knows the best way to hit people like Brett Ratner is in the wallet,” a Warner Bros. source told Page Six. “They can’t have a movie rooted in women’s empowerment being part-financed by a man accused of sexual misconduct against women.” Earlier this month, it was reported that Warner Bros. will not renew its expired production deal with Ratner, whom six women recently accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. The fate of his company’s $350-million co-financing agreement with Warner Bros. beyond its end in March 2018 is unclear. Ratner, who has denied the allegations, said earlier he was personally stepping away from Warner Bros.-related activity. Ratner helped finance the summer blockbuster, and took home a sizable stake of the $412 million box office gross. “Wonder Woman” grossed more than $400 million internationally.
In more Gal Gadot news…
GQ named Israeli actress Gal Gadot its 2017 Woman of the Year — rebranding the honor “Wonder Woman of the Year.” As Woman of the Year, Gadot will appear on the cover of GQ, a New York-based men’s magazine. Dating back to 2003, GQ honorees have included actresses Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, musicians Rihanna, Gwen Stefani and M.I.A., and tennis star Maria Sharapova. This year, three men are being honored with Gadot: Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who launched a movement by kneeling on the sideline during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans and has filed a grievance against the league saying the owners are colluding to keep him out; late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert; and Kevin Durant of the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors.
Barbie in a hijab
According to Fortune.com, Mattel has unveiled a new doll to honor Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete wearing the Muslim headgear—she won bronze as part of the U.S. sabre team at last year’s Rio Olympics. It’s part of the Barbie “Shero” (female hero) line, which also includes stars such as Ava DuVernay and Kristin Chenoweth. Muhammad’s doll has a sabre and fencing uniform, athletic legs, and even her style of eyeliner. The hijab headscarf is worn by many Muslim women to conform with the religion’s views on female modesty. Others go further, covering the whole face. Mattel’s Ibtihaj Muhammad Barbie doll will go on sale next fall.
According to a release put out by the American Heart Association, approximately half of all American adults can now be classified with high blood pressure due to new definitions. People with readings of 130 as the top number or 80 as the bottom one now are considered to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure used to be defined as 140/90. The change means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. A blood pressure of less than 120/80 still will be considered normal, but levels at or above that, to 129, will be called “elevated.” The new guideline is designed to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier, according to the authors. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world.
Go to heart.org
By the way, today is also World Diabetes Day. Go to worlddiabetesday.org to find out how you can help and how to stay healthy.
J-Word of the Day
Hok a Chaynik (Yiddish)
Meaning: To talk nonsense a great deal, to hassle
Usage: “Every minute, the rabbi is hok a chayniking me about helping to pay for the shul’s new roof.”
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Top image: Mattel’s Sheroes, including the new Ibtihaj Muhammad Barbie. (Screenshot of Mattel.com)
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