DJ Durkin, Pittsburgh updates and Google
Maryland fires DJ Durkin
Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin was fired Oct. 31, university president Wallace Loh announced. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents recommended Oct. 30 that Maryland reinstate Durkin, who had been on leave since Aug. 11, and keep athletic director Damon Evans in his position, according to PressBox. Loh followed those recommendations, and Durkin returned to the football team Oct. 30. But the school and Board of Regents faced heavy backlash for the decision to retain Durkin. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement Oct. 31 in which he called for “the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and President Wallace Loh to reconsider their decisions and schedule a public hearing to address these issues in an open and transparent manner.” Multiple Terps players reportedly walked out of Durkin’s team meeting Oct. 30.
Read more: Maryland Fires DJ Durkin
Pittsburgh victim Joyce Fienberg remembered as a giving person
Joyce Fienberg was a dedicated worshipper at the Tree of Life Congregation, the Pittsburgh synagogue where she was among 11 killed Oct. 27 by a lone gunman. “My mom would be very angry that her funeral wasn’t able to be at Tree of Life, and that her friends lost Saturday couldn’t be here,” her son Howard, of Virginia, said at her funeral Oct. 31. He also recalled that “Tree of Life became a refuge for her” after the death of her husband and that she refused to move closer to either of her sons after his death, electing to stay near her synagogue, where she felt support. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral for Fienberg at Beth Shalom Congregation on Beacon Street in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, located blocks away from the Tree of Life Congregation. Her son Anthony came with his family from Paris. Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France, also was on hand along with rabbis from Washington, D.C., and other communities, the Pittsburgh Herald-Tribune reported. Her funeral was the first of three for victims held Oct. 31. Three others were laid to rest on Oct. 30. Fienberg, 75, a Toronto native who lived in several American cities before settling in Pittsburgh, also was remembered at the service as being attentive to the needs of others. “My heart hurts — my sister is dead, my sister was murdered,” said Fienberg’s brother, Robert Libman, of Toronto. “She was my role model all my life. Her thoughts and words were of pure intent. She gave life to all she came into contact with. In the end, a life of pure giving is a life well lived. In her death, we owe it to ourselves to try to measure up. Evil tries to shut off the light, but the light refuses to be dimmed. The light is still in our hearts —even our broken hearts.”
Kiev synagogue was bugged, chief rabbi says
Secret recording devices and other surveillance activities were discovered at one of Kiev’s main synagogues, according to a chief rabbi of Ukraine who said this “discredits the state.” Moshe Azman, one of two chief Orthodox rabbis in Ukraine, announced the discovery this month in a statement Oct. 30. The synagogue’s security task force discovered individuals who “professionally carried out a covert surveillance of the premises and visitors of the Kiev Central Synagogue on 13 Shota Rustaveli Street,” Azman wrote. The bugs were found in subsequent sweeps inside the “house of God,” as Azman called the synagogue in protest of the alleged surveillance activity there. Azman said his security crew informed not only Ukrainian authorities about the discovery but also Israeli officials. He said he suspected “high-level law-enforcement officials” in Ukraine of mounting the surveillance operation. Azman demanded an explanation from the government and legal action against the initiators of the alleged surveillance operation. The government’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has denied the accusations. Under communism, Jewish communities and individuals came under constant surveillance in the former Soviet Union, to which Ukraine used to belong. In his statement, Azman also said that his and other Jewish communities have spoken out against Russian propaganda that uses anti-Semitism to discredit Ukraine.—JTA
Google employees in Asia and Europe kicked off a global protest on Nov. 1 over how the company deals with sexual harassment, according to CNN. The demonstrations, dubbed “Google Walkout,” follow an outcry over a New York Times investigation that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations, multimillion-dollar severance packages for accused executives, and a lack of transparency over the cases. According to social media posts, Google staffers around the world planned to walk out of their offices at 11:10 a.m. Nov. 1 to demand changes at the company, including an end to the use of forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination. Organizers of the walkouts said they expected more than 1,500 people — mostly women — to take part across nearly two dozen Google offices around the world, according to a New York Times report. CNN wasn’t immediately able to reach the organizers directly for comment.
Harvey Weinstein accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old model
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused of harassment and sexual assault of a teen-age Polish model. The unnamed woman filed a lawsuit in civil court in New York on Oct. 31. The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein assaulted her at his New York City apartment in 2002, after they met at an event in which her modeling agency was involved. It says that Weinstein forced her to touch his penis, and aggressively demanded that she have sex with him or that she would never work as an actress. The lawsuit says the teen was a virgin and did not give in to Weinstein’s demands. Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex, The Associated Press reported. The lawsuit alleges that following the alleged assault, Weinstein called or texted the model every couple of weeks reminding her that he could prevent her from getting work as an actress. Weinstein “ensured she never received work,” the lawsuit alleges. She is the 10th victim to join a class action lawsuit against Weinstein. The accusations against Weinstein follows the publication by the New Yorker a year ago of accounts by several women from the movie industry who said he had forced himself on them and others for decades with the silent knowledge of many in the film industry and beyond.–JTA
Ben & Jerry’s unveiled an anti-Trump flavored ice cream Oct. 30 in D.C. dubbed “Pecan Resist.” The flavor is chocolate ice cream with white and dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts and fudge-covered almonds. Ben & Jerry’s says, “This flavor supports groups creating a more just and equitable nation for us all, and who are fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda.” The company also said it could not be silent in the face of Trump’s policies that attack and attempt to roll back decades of progress on racial and gender equity. The company cited its fight against Trump’s administration to roll back LGBT rights and its refusal to battle climate change, according to TMZ.
Read more: ‘Pecan Resist’ Anyone?!
Also see: Sweet Treats and Social Justice
What does Wonder Woman wear for Halloween?
In the case of Gal Gadot, you dress up as Batman. The actress posted a picture of herself as the other iconic superhero on her Instagram account. According to CinemaBlend, the photo was taken on the set of the upcoming “Justice League.”
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) October 31, 2018
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