We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—Verily's quick takes on the happenings of this week.
U.S. Senate rules to remove daylight savings time
The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would make daylight savings time permanent across the United States beginning in 2023.
Currently, daylight savings time takes up approximately eight months of the year. The remainder of the year is considered standard time. The Sunshine Protection Act would ensure that Americans no longer have to change their clocks twice a year. Over the past four years, 19 states had already passed their own laws to make daylight savings time year-round, but were unable to make a change without federal legislation.
Daylight savings time began as a way to save energy and to pack more sunlight hours into the day and is purported to help decrease crime rates and traffic accidents. However, some argue that making a permanent switch to standard time is the better and healthier option, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The AASM said that “making daylight saving time permanent overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time instead."
The AASM added that the adoption of year-round standard time aligns best with human circadian biology and provides public health benefits. —Gabriella Patti
Russia relentlessly attacks Ukrainian civilians as Putin is accused of war crimes
As Russian and Ukrainian negotiators meet to discuss the potential of peace, Russia continues attacks on Ukraine, and the death toll continues to rise.
Russia is continuing to conduct airstrikes on civilian areas. In the port city of Mariupol, a Russian airstrike demolished a theater, in which 1,300 people were said to be hiding. Survivors of the bombing have continued to emerge from the rubble, but attempts to rescue people and evacuate the city have moved slowly as the city has been under constant besiegement since March 1. Chernihiv, a city approximately 90 miles north of the capital city, Kyiv, has been hit by heavy artillery fire, particularly in residential areas. In a town outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian artillery strikes hit both a school and a cultural center, killing at least 23 and injuring 26.
Ukraine continues trying to keep humanitarian corridors open to evacuate citizens and deliver aid to areas most in need. Still, Ukrainian officials have alleged that the Russian military is targeting these corridors. The United Nations human rights office says they have recorded 2,032 civilian casualties so far—780 killed and 1,252 injured, some of whom have been children. Around 3.2 million civilians have fled Ukraine to nearby countries, primarily women and children.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin remains unrelenting, Russia is beginning to suffer under the numerous economic sanctions, and cracks are starting to show. On Monday, a woman interrupted a live news report on Russia's state TV Channel One when she ran behind the newscaster holding a sign in English and Russian that read: "NO WAR. Stop the war. Don't believe propaganda. They are lying to you here." The woman has been identified as Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of the channel. She has since been arrested. In addition to Ovsyannikova, Russian state-run television has been hit with several resignations from journalists and other employees protesting the war.
Russia has been accused by the UK, the United States, France, Albania, Ireland, and Norway of war crimes in Ukraine.
In a video call Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the German Bundestag, invoking history as he called upon Germany to help Ukraine.
"Every year politicians repeat 'never again,'" Zelensky said, referencing the Holocaust. "And now we see that these words are simply worthless. In Europe, a people is being destroyed; they are trying to destroy everything that is dear to us, what we live for." —GP
Director Jane Campion apologizes for comment about the Williams sisters
Jane Campion’s historic win for Best Director at the Critics Choice Awards was overshadowed by an insecure acceptance speech. Now she’s apologizing to Venus and Serena Williams for her backhanded compliment.
“Venus and Serena, you're such marvels. However, you don't play against the guys, like I have to,” Campion said at the dais, clutching her prize for helming The Power of the Dog. The two tennis stars were in the audience because the movie about their father, King Richard, was nominated for six awards. Just before Campion’s win, Will Smith had accepted the accolade for Best Actor for his role in Richard.
Campion also acknowledged the other nominees for Best Director, who were all men.
“I made a thoughtless comment equating what I do in the film world with all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have achieved. I did not intend to devalue these two legendary Black women and world-class athletes,” Campion said in a statement after a furor over her tactless remark. “Their accomplishments are titanic and inspiring. Serena and Venus, I apologize and completely celebrate you.”
Campion’s misstep comes at a bad time: The Power of the Dog is up for a host of Oscars in two weeks, including Best Picture and Best Director. She would be only the third woman to win the award for directing in 93 years. —Margaret Brady
Convicted fake German heiress fights against deportation
Anna Sorokin, a 31-year-old convicted swindler and fake German heiress, is making a new bid to fight deportation, a lawyer said Tuesday.
Netflix’s recent dramatized series, Inventing Anna, is based on Sorokin’s fraud and her attempt to “finance a posh lifestyle” in New York.
Sorokin was found guilty of stealing more than $200,000 from banks and friends while scamming her way through New York City. Under the name Anna Delvey, Sorokin snuck into elite New York social circles, “passing herself off as a socialite with a $67 million (61 million euros) fortune overseas,” according to prosecutors.
Sorokin falsely claimed to be the daughter of a diplomat and an oil baron, lied to banks and hotels to lend her money and let her stay as long as she wanted, and got Manhattanites to cover plane tickets and expenses, stealing $275,000 in all.
ICE took custody of Sorokin on March 25, 2021. Sorokin has been at the Orange County Correctional Facility in upstate New York since June 7, 2021.
According to ICE, in November, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted an emergency stay in her case. Now, she’s expected to be deported, though no updates have occurred. —Hannah Cote
Actor Karen Fukuhara decries what she describes as a racially motivated attack
Actress Karen Fukuhara, known for her recent work on Amazon Prime’s The Boys, shared on social media this week that she suffered an unprovoked public assault in an act she believes was racially motivated.
“I rarely share about my private life but something happened today that I thought was important,” Fukuhara wrote in an Instagram post with the hashtag #stopasianhate. “I was walking to a cafe for some coffee and a man struck me in the back of my head. It came out of nowhere. We made no eye contact before, I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. It came to my surprise and my hat flew off. By the time I looked back, he was a few feet away from me (he must have kept walking after hitting me).”
The actor, also known for her role of Katana in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, said it was “the first time I’ve been harmed physically” and that she’s considering self-defense classes. “Why is this something we as ‘victims’ have to think about?” Fukuhara asked. “What satisfaction are these perpetrators getting from hitting women, Asians, the elderly? They need to be held accountable.”
Deadline reports that Fukuhara’s attack comes within weeks of two acts of violence against Asian Americans in New York and is a part of a larger trend of racially targeted attacks. “What can we do as a community to prevent these horrible crimes?,” Fukuhara asked in her post. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Suspect arrested in shooting spree, two homeless men killed
A Washington DC manhunt ended on Tuesday when federal agents arrested a suspect in a string of shootings targeting homeless people across New York and Washington.
Law-enforcement officials identified the suspect as 30-year-old Gerald Brevard III.
The attacks began on March 3 in Washington when a homeless man was injured with a gunshot wound around 4 a.m. His injuries were not life-threatening, and he was taken to a hospital, police said.
Five days later, another homeless man was wounded in a shooting around 1:20 a.m., just over a mile away from the first shooting. The next day, March 9, a police officer in the same area of the city found a tent on fire around 2:50 a.m. After they put out the fire, police discovered the remains of a man with multiple stab and gunshot wounds. An autopsy report ruled the death was a homicide, police said.
Days later, more shootings occurred in New York. On March 12, a man sleeping on the street was shot around 4:30 a.m. Later that day, about a mile away, the police received a call about a man who had suffered a headshot wound. Witnesses told police they heard gunshots around 6 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
In total, two men were killed, and multiple were critically injured. Brevard III is being interviewed at The Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch.
Law-enforcement officials said it was unclear why Brevard III came to New York. Chief of Detectives James Essig said the suspect has no criminal history in New York or known connections to the city. —HC
Tom Brady is returning to the NFL after a quick retirement
It’s been 40 days, and Tom Brady is back in the game.
After announcing his retirement on Feb. 1, Brady said on Sunday that he’s returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their quarterback. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, saying he has “unfinished business.”
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady said. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said that the team had been preparing for the possible announcement the past few days.
“[Head coach Bruce Arians] and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back,” Licht said. “Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run.” —HC
Ralph Lauren partners with two HBCUs for latest collection
Ralph Lauren launched their latest collection in a stunning collaboration with two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Morehouse College and Spelman College, in celebration of the fashion history of HBCUs.
The limited-edition collection is one of the results of a company-wide conversation at Ralph Lauren in 2020 to discuss race, representative and inclusivity following the death of George Floyd. The company’s namesake, 82-year-old Ralph Lauren, took part in the conversation himself and made a series of commitments to diversify leadership and hiring processes and facilitate dialogue. Additionally, in an open letter to staff, written by Lauren and Patrice Louvet, president and CEO of Ralph Lauren, they pledged: “We will examine how we portray the American Dream—in the stories we tell, the creators we champion, the faces we elevate, the families we hero, and the media partners we support.”
Lauren began conversing with James Jeter, one of the company’s design directors and Morehouse grad. Jeter introduced Lauren to the yearbooks of Morehouse, where he discovered the rich history and iconic fashion.
The campaign is Ralph Lauren's first with an entirely black creative team. The models are all students, faculty, and alumni from both schools.
The collection is full of dignified knits, tweeds, logo blazers and white eyelet dresses. Morehouse President David Thomas said that this collaboration “centers Morehouse in the American story. You look at those pictures, and you can see the connection to the same fashion sensibilities that have defined Ralph Lauren. They were at Morehouse before Ralph Lauren was even born. If we really think about Morehouse in the period of those pictures, if we hadn’t had racial discrimination, many of those young men could have gone to the best colleges in this country. Many could have ended up at Ivy League colleges.”
“Morehouse is an idea in the same way that America is an idea, which is that in this country, you can create Black male excellence at scale,” Thomas added. “Ralph Lauren is one of our cultural icons. And Morehouse is a cultural and, more importantly, an educational icon of what the country could be.” —GP
Bella Hadid opens up about regretting her nose job
In a candid interview with Vogue, model Bella Hadid opened up about regretting the rhinoplasty surgery she had at age 14.
"I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors," Hadid said. "I think I would have grown into it."
In the interview, Hadid opened up about her insecurities, discussing how she was always viewed as the “uglier sister” next to her older sister and fellow model Gigi Hadid.
“I was the brunette. I wasn’t as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing,” Hadid said. “That’s really what people said about me. And unfortunately when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it. I always ask myself, how did a girl with incredible insecurities, anxiety, depression, body-image issues, eating issues, who hates to be touched, who has intense social anxiety—what was I doing getting into this business? But over the years I became a good actress."
Hadid has suffered from Lyme disease and told Vogue that after being prescribed Adderal for symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which were misdiagnosed as ADHD, she became anorexic. She also discussed how making work a priority in her life broke her mentally. Hadid said that she is now working on prioritizing her health.
"So now everything that I do in my personal life is literally to make sure that my mental state stays above water. Fashion can make you or break you. And if it makes you, you have to make a conscious effort every day for it not to break you. There’s always a bit of grief in love." —GP
Good News of the Week
Eleven-year-old boy escapes Ukraine alone, with a phone number written on his hand
Pisecka Yulia Volodymyrivna had a difficult choice to make as Russian forces closed in. A widow living in southern Ukraine, Volodymyrivna cared for her 11-year-old son, Hassan, and her 84-year-old mother. She decided to send her little boy on the dangerous journey to the Slovakian border while remaining in Ukraine with her mom, who can’t walk. He joined the estimated one million children who have been forced out of their homes by the conflict.
Earlier this week, she learned he arrived safely, after traveling more than 600 miles by foot and train. Armed only with a plastic bag containing his belongings and a phone number scrawled on the back of his hand, Hassan entered Slovakia with the help of border guards and volunteers. They used the phone number to reunite Hassan with an older sibling attending college in the Central European country.
"Border guards met him, they guided him, holding his hand. They helped him to cross the border and let him to the other side of Slovakia. Then Slovakian volunteers met him. They fed my child. They took him to Bratislava. I thank you very much for saving my son's life,” Good Morning America quoted Hassan’s mom.
“My hope carried me on my way," Hassan said simply. —MB
Watch of the Week
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this week, here’s a reminder that Irish culture can be celebrated no matter one’s background. This week, NBC News highlighted how the art of Irish dance is becoming more diverse, and one example is how 15-year-old Imani Johnson is taking the competition world by storm. Watch her dance alongside classmate Reilly Gareau on this short clip from Atlanta Irish Dance.