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New Details Emerging About JFK’s Death—and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.

We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

IBM Ups the Ante (Big Time) for Paid Parental Leave

Mega tech company IBM announced Wednesday that it would be doubling its paid time off for new parents. Fortune reported, “The paid maternity leave available to new birth mothers employed at the tech giant will increase from a maximum of fourteen weeks to twenty weeks. Fathers, partners, and adoptive parents, meanwhile, will receive twelve paid weeks off—double the previous benefit of six.” Additionally, IBM will be offering adoption reimbursements of up to $20,000. The new benefits are available to all U.S. employees, including part-time workers. As family dynamics and the working world dynamics continue to shift, we hope this is a change that inspires other companies to implement similar programs. —Victoria Rabuse

Condé Nast (and Others) Ban Notorious Misogynist Photographer Terry Richardson

With the backlash against the Weinstein scandals raging louder than ever, major corporations have begun to look sideways at other suspicious characters. One of these is Terry Richardson, infamously known for directing Miley Cyrus’ 2013 music video “Wrecking Ball” (Cyrus now claims she regrets this partnership). According to the Daily Mail, 52-year-old Richardson made his career in directing similar videos that incorporate “sexually charged” themes. Along the way, he’s also “been the subject of widespread allegations of sexually abusing models over his lengthy career—accusations he has constantly denied.” Publishing behemoth Condé Nast now says it wants no part in this affair and released Richardson from employment with them, telling the staff in an email that articles mentioning Richardson should be “killed or substituted with other material.” —Mary Margaret Olohan

The Internet Will Not Let Taylor Swift Win 

Taylor Swift just cannot win in the eyes of the public. After September’s release of “Look What You Made Me Do,” a single dripping with "shade," fans and critics alike have been preparing for the edgier, new, electro-pop Taylor. Now onto her third single release, Swift’s new track, “Gorgeous,” off her upcoming November 10 album Reputation, has been met with variable online feedback. Many critics called the song “juvenile.” The Cut wrote that the song’s lyrics “sound exactly like a middle school diary entry.” Diehard fans, however, were thrilled to glimpse some of the old Swift shining through. Entertainment Weekly called the song “the best taste of Reputation yet.” Either way, its catchy beat and references to Swift’s adorable cats are enough to tide us over until the album drops in two weeks. —VR

New Information to Be Released About JFK’s Infamous Death

According to the New York Times, President Trump has announced that the classified documents surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy will soon be released—“unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise.” The documents contain classified information about murderer Lee Harvey Oswald, who shot down JFK as he rode along in his motorcade beside his wife Jackie, as she wore her now-infamous pink Chanel suit. The sealed documents bring into question whether Oswald acted alone in this incident. A 1992 commission instructed that these documents be released to ward off conspiracy theories, but they may not all be released in the interest of national security. It remains to be seen what the documents may or may not uncover about that most fateful day. —MMO

Einstein’s Note on Happiness Fetches More Than $1 Million at Auction 

In November of 1922 in a small Tokyo hotel room, Nobel laureate Albert Einstein wrote down some life advice in place of a monetary tip for a messenger. “If you are lucky, the notes themselves will someday be worth more than some spare change,” Einstein reportedly told him—and boy, he was right. On Tuesday these two autographed notes sold at an auction in Jerusalem for a grand combined total of $1.8 million. What was the legendary advice? “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” says the first, which went for $1.56 million. The other modestly proclaimed, and went for a meager $240,000, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” —MMO

Major Twist in Suit Against J&J Baby Powder, Which Was Alleged to Cause Ovarian Cancer

More than 48,000 women have sued domestic staple brand Johnson & Johnson after claiming the company’s baby power led to ovarian cancer. Several of these lawsuits have gone to court, with rewards of up to $417 million awarded. The New York Times reported this week, however, that “the courts have reversed two judgments against the consumer products giant totaling nearly $500 million” and that “the judge cited the ‘insufficiency of the evidence’ and said that the damages awarded were excessive.” As of right now, the American Cancer Society has not found a clear association between the talc exposure and increased risk of ovarian cancer. —Victoria Rabuse