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

CNN President Jeff Zucker resigns after labeling relationship with a colleague “consensual”

On Wednesday morning CNN President Jeff Zucker resigned from the company after admitting to having a “consensual relationship” with one of his colleagues. Allison Gollust, the executive VP and chief marketing officer of CNN, had worked with Zucker for decades, including at The Today Show and NBC before they came to CNN in 2013.

According to the Washington Post, Zucker said that he was resigning due to his “failure to properly disclose to his company that he had entered into ‘a consensual relationship with my closest colleague.’” “I acknowledge the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today,” Zucker said in his statement to CNN.

The news came as a “stunner for the CNN newsroom,” CNN newscaster Brian Stelter said. During the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s time at CNN, Zucker said he was asked about the relationship.

Though Zucker is resigning, Gollust has revealed no intentions of leaving, and instead said that though she regrets not revealing their relationship, she is proud of her time at CNN and “looks forward to continuing the great work we do every day.” —Hannah Cote

Miss USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst dies by suicide

In tragic news this week, Miss USA 2019, model, and ExtraTV host Cheslie Kryst died by suicide in New York City. Kryst, who had also earned a JD and MBA, shared in an Allure essay last year that she didn't neatly fit into beauty standards as a woman with a “five-foot-six frame," ”six-pack abs,” and a “head of natural curls,” while “pageant girls are supposed to be model-tall and slender, don bouffant hair, and have a killer walk.”

In 2019, outlets noted that records broke as Black women shared four pageant wins for Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe at the same time for the first time in history. 

Kryst's mom shared with Extra that Cheslie had been hiding a high-functioning depression. As we mourn her loss, be sure to read former Verily editor Krizia Liquido's article this week, "Cheslie Kryst’s Death Reminds Me What We’re Still Getting Wrong About Mental Illness." May this talented, strong beauty queen rest in peace. —Mary Rose Somarriba

Native American tribes reach $590 million opioid settlement

This week, Native American groups reached a settlement of over a half-billion dollars from Johnson and Johnson and three distributors to address damages caused to their communities from the opioid crisis. Pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson have received scrutiny in recent years for their participation in downplaying the risks and selling up the benefits of opioid drugs such as Oxycotin. According to ABC News, “One study cited in the settlement found that Native Americans have had the highest per capita rate of opioid overdose of any population group in 2015.”

“The dollars that will flow to tribes under this initial settlement will help fund crucial, on-reservation, culturally appropriate opioid treatment services," Douglas Yankton, chairman of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, said in a statement. —Mary Rose Somarriba

Amid calls for boycotts, the Beijing Winter Olympics begin

The Beijing Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday, with 222 American athletes traveling to China to compete in the games, which last until February 20. In response to the country’s history of human rights abuses, the United States in December announced a diplomatic boycott of the games, meaning it will not send any official representation to this year’s Olympics.

A Pew Research Center poll found that 46 percent of Americans approve of the partial boycott (with 22 percent disapproving). But, according to the poll, most Americans hadn’t even heard of the boycott: “About nine-in-ten U.S. adults (91 percent) say they have heard little (46 percent) or nothing at all (45 percent) about it.”

Beyond the Olympics, Americans’ views of China’s relationship with the U.S. are generally unfavorable: “Currently, 54 percent view China as a competitor of the U.S., while 35 percent consider it an enemy.”

To protest China’s human rights abuses, most notably its treatment of the Muslim minority Uyghur people, some athletes will be boycotting the Opening Ceremonies, according to the Washington Post: “Olympic athletes from multiple countries who want to show solidarity with the victims of the Chinese government’s human rights abuses have been quietly preparing to boycott the Opening Ceremonies, according to human rights activists who have been helping to educate and organize them.”

This and other forms of protest come with risks, however, as many athletes fear speaking out while on Chinese soil will bring retribution from the Chinese government. —Madeline Fry Schultz

Rihanna reveals baby bump in street-style fashion

Looks like Rihanna's baby is already bejeweled royalty: She and boyfriend A$AP Rocky revealed they are expecting their first child, and fans are thrilled. Last weekend, the singer and rapper were photographed in New York with Rihanna debuting her baby bump for the first time.

Fans were loving her maternity look: ripped jeans and a hot pink coat partially opened to reveal a long necklace over her bump. The New York Times reports, “​​Already, according to the online shopping site Lovethesales, searches for ‘pink padded coats’ increased 200 percent in the hours after the photos were posted; for ‘ripped bluejeans,’ 175 percent; and for ‘pearl necklaces,’ 80 percent.”

The 33-year-old later shared more photos of her bump on Instagram with the caption, “how the gang pulled up to black history month.”

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, who have been dating since 2020, have been open about their desire to have children. “I think I'd be an incredible, remarkably overall amazing dad,” the rapper told GQ last year. “I would have a very fly child. Very.” Rihanna told British Vogue that same year that she saw herself having “three or four” children in the next 10 years.

All best to the couple and their little one, and here’s to the beauty of celebrating baby bumps! —MFS

Brené Brown pauses podcast release on Spotify, citing Joe Rogan

Brené Brown just became the latest celebrity to rethink her relationship with Spotify. After Singer Neil Young threatened to pull his music from the streaming platform if it didn’t remove podcaster Joe Rogan, a slew of celebrities have come out in favor of de-platforming Rogan, threatening to remove their content if Spotify doesn’t budge.

Joni Mitchell (of “River” fame) also announced her support for Young and plans to remove her music from Spotify. Rogan, who has been criticized for his “misinformation” regarding COVID-19, has prompted many celebrities to argue that listeners would be better off if he were taken off the air.

In response to the backlash, Spotify “made public its policies, which it didn’t alter, and created a Covid-19 information hub,” per the Wall Street Journal.

Last weekend, Brown announced that she would pause her podcast releases on Spotify until further notice. On Tuesday, the author explained her decision: “I’d had hundreds of comments across social media asking my opinion on the Spotify/Joe Rogan issue, and I didn’t know enough to comment. I didn’t want to drop new podcasts without responding to the question, so I decided to hold my podcasts and learn more.”

Brown distanced herself from other protestors by arguing that she doesn’t promote censorship, saying, “I’m not interested in canceling or silencing or censoring anyone, including Joe Rogan. This was not, nor has it ever been, framed to the public or to Spotify as ‘me or Joe.’”

Instead, she says that after speaking with Spotify leadership, she would like for “Spotify to have a transparent misinformation policy (made available to the public) that balances addressing the complex misinformation issues we face today while respecting free speech.” —MFS

Whoopi Golberg is suspended from The View for Saying Holocaust was "not about race"

Award-winning television personality Whoopi Goldberg has been suspended from popular daytime talk show “The View” following controversy over her dismissive comments concerning the Holocaust.

The topic was broached when the show’s multiple co-hosts discussed the removal of a book called Maus by a Tennessee school board. The book, chronicling the experiences of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps, was pulled from the 8th-grade curriculum after concerns about the content being too graphically disturbing for the age level in question. In seeming reference to this topic, Whoopi raised eyebrows when she dismissively referred to the Holocaust as “not about race” and called it “whites attacking whites.”

One prominent Jewish authority, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wisenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization dedicated to Holocaust research and hunting down Nazi war-criminals, spoke up regarding Goldberg’s inflammatory attitude about the WWII persecution of Jews, pointing out that “there is a new definition of racism that has been put out there in the public recently that defines racism exclusively as the targeting of people of color. And obviously history teaches us otherwise.”

Others came to Whoopi’s defense after ABC top-tier executives decided to place the Hollywood staple on a two-week suspension from the long-running talk show, with the President and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights attempting to clarify Whoopi’s statements: “I think what she’s trying to say is that the Holocaust is about hatred. It’s about inhumanity. It’s about what human beings will do to one another that is inhumane.” —Mariel Lindsay

Librarians push back against parents’ attempt to ban books dealing with racism and sexuality

Book banning is in the news again. Hundreds of titles are being pulled for review across all of Texas. In Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin regions, nearly 100 school districts reported 75 formal requests by parents to ban books during the first four months of this school year, compared to last year when only one book challenge was filed during that time.

Most of the attempted bans target books that deal with racism or sexuality; NBC News reports, “the majority of them featuring LGBTQ characters and explicit descriptions of sex.” Many of the books are also newer titles, “purchased by school librarians in recent years as part of a nationwide movement to diversify the content available to public school children.”

Though these libraries are stocking the shelves with “diversified content,” many parents are pushing back against this effort, concerned that these books are encouraging and providing dangerous pornographic outlets for children. Though parents are primarily taking charge, Republican state officials are also stepping into the ring.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot called for “criminal charges against any school staff member who provides children with access to young adult novels that some conservatives have labeled as ‘pornography.’” Texas state representative Matt Krause put more than 800 books on a “watch list” in a social-media post. This story is still developing regarding exactly which books could be banned and how long the process could take. —HC

Good News of the Week

A cure for cancer? Two leukemia patients who received T cell immunotherapy, remain in remission 10 years later

Over a decade ago, two leukemia patients were infused with CAR-T cells, “immune cells that had been modified in a lab.” Now, both patients have achieved sustained remission, according to CNN.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied the T cells in the two leukemia patients who were in complete remission in 2010 after being infused with the cells in the Phase 1 clinical trial. The two remain in remission more than 10 years after the infusion, the researchers said. These findings “suggest that this approach could be a long-term therapy for leukemia—and some researchers describe it as a possible cure.”

Dr. Carl June, a cancer immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the study's authors, said that based on the results, “we can now conclude that CAR-T cells can actually cure patients with leukemia.”

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the string of leukemia these two patients had, accounts for nearly a quarter of new cases of leukemia. The T cell immunotherapy could potentially be a “curative regimen” for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The CAR-T cells are an immunotherapy treatment “designed to treat leukemia by harnessing the body’s own immune system to target the cancer.” The therapy sends a patient’s immune cells to a lab to be genetically modified using a virus, giving the cells the ability to see and kill the source of the cancer, according to CNN.

Though the patients remain in remission, oncologist Dr. David Porter, an author of the study, said that this type of immunotherapy can come with serious side effects, including tumor lysis syndrome, cytokine release syndrome, and neurologic toxicity.

“But the reason now I think we can say this is a cure [is] . . . these are the most mature, the oldest results available reported in the scientific literature, since they were the first treated,” June said. “So at this point, 10 years on, we can’t find any leukemia cells, and again, we still have the CAR-T cells that are on patrol and on surveillance for residual leukemia.” —HC

Watch of the Week

Dominique Luzuriaga, the wife of fallen NYPD officer Jason Rivera, delivers a powerful eulogy at her late husband's funeral on January 28 in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. You’ll need a tissue as Luzuriaga’s story reminds us to try to live each day with our loved ones as if it were our last.