We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—Verily's quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Succession, Ted Lasso, Abbott Elementary, and more bring home awards in 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
The 2022 Emmy Awards, hosted by Kenan Thompson, saw both expected and unexpected triumphs—and a few “firsts” taking home awards in some categories.
HBO’s Succession won in the drama categories, taking home Emmys in writing (Jesse Armstrong), best-supporting actor (Matthew MacFayden), and outstanding series. Outstanding comedy series went to the Apple+ series Ted Lasso; the series also took awards for best leading and supporting actors (Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein, respectively) and directing (M.J. Delaney).
Another comedy to receive recognition at the ceremony was Abbott Elementary, making winner Sheryl Lee Ralph only the second Black woman to win the award for best supporting actress. The show’s creator and star, Quinta Brunson, also won for writing.
Emmy history was made with the drama categories seeing their first Asian winners, Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk and leading actor Lee Jung-jae. Additionally, Zendaya became the first Black actress to win for leading performance in the drama category twice, with her win this week for Euphoria.
Awards were widely distributed across genres and shows, with no real sweeps. Yet, the range of talent and interest within the featured programs did not stretch to “Television's biggest night.” Viewership of this year’s ceremony dropped 25 percent from last year, making this the lowest in Emmy history, and the program received a 1.0 rating in their key demographic of 18-49-year-old adults.
A complete list of 2022 Emmy award winners can be found here. —Maggie Sicilia
U.S. inflation continues to rise
According to Tuesday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report, U.S. inflation grew slightly last month, despite hopes that runaway inflation might be subsiding. Plummeting gas prices helped minimize inflation, with the consumer price index growing just 0.1 percent. However, even though gas declined 10.6 percent, food prices rose 0.8 percent, marking an 11.4 percent jump from last year.
Overall, consumer prices are up 8.3 percent compared to last year, “a slowdown from the 8.5 percent gain in July and the 40-year high of 9.1 percent in June,” per CNN. Consumers may have some relief at the gas pump, but they’re still feeling the burn at the grocery store and elsewhere, which has investors worried.
“U.S. stocks tumbled on [Tuesday’s] news, with the Dow shedding more than 800 points by midday,” CNN reports. “Investors worry that the Federal Reserve will have to take more drastic action to combat high inflation. A prolonged period of historic rate hikes could do serious damage to the U.S. economy.”
At an event on Tuesday celebrating the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden took credit for the drop in gas prices, ignoring the persistent overall inflation. According to Politico, “Biden noted that gas prices were down an average of $1.30 since the beginning of the summer, and said, ‘We’re getting other prices down, too.’”
An Associated Press analysis notes that Biden’s plan has little chance of minimizing inflation, at least not anytime soon. In the meantime, to combat inflation, the Federal Reserve will likely hike interest rates once again. —Madeline Fry Schultz
Queen of England lies in state at Westminster Abbey
Mourners began to visit Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on Wednesday evening, with visitors lining up for miles just to catch a glimpse of the late queen lying in state. Her coffin, covered with the Royal Standard, sits beneath the Imperial State Crown and a wreath of flowers.
The public will be able to visit the queen until Monday, the day of her funeral. CNN reports that “thousands are expected to queue along the streets of the capital . . . with some potentially sleeping out overnight in a bid to pay their respects.”
The longest-reigning English monarch, Queen Elizabeth, died at age 96 last week. As the queen’s coffin was carried to Westminster Abbey this week, family members, including King Charles III, Prince William, and Prince Harry, accompanied the procession.
Despite resigning as a senior royal two years ago, Prince Harry put aside his qualms with the crown and returned to Great Britain with his wife, Meghan Markle, to mourn his grandmother, the queen. Prince William told a visitor that the procession reminded him of the funeral for his mother, Princess Diana, which he and Prince Harry attended more than two decades ago.
According to the Telegraph, “Another crowd member told the emotional Prince she was close to tears, to which he replied: ‘Don’t cry now—you’ll start me.’” —MFS
Teenager who killed her accused rapist sentenced to probation, ordered to pay man’s family
Teenage trafficking victim 17-year-old Pieper Lewis, who was charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed her accused rapist to death, was sentenced Tuesday in an Iowa Court to five years of supervised probation and was ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to his family.
Lewis was 15 years old in June 2020 when she stabbed and killed 37-year-old Zachary Brooks. Lewis, a runaway from an abusive home, was sleeping in an apartment building hallway when a 28-year-old man took her in and eventually began to traffick her to other men for sex.
Lewis said that Brooks was one of the men and had raped her multiple times, and she had been forced at knifepoint by the 28-year-old man to go with Brooks to his apartment for sex. Before he could rape her again, Lewis told officials that she had grabbed a knife and stabbed him more than 30 times. Prosecutors and law enforcement did not dispute that Lewis was sexually assaulted and trafficked but claimed that Brooks was asleep when Lewis stabbed him.
Although Lewis pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury charges last year—both punishable by up to 10 years in prison—Polk County District Judge David M. Porter deferred those sentences. If Lewis violates any part of her probation, she could serve a 20-year prison term.
"The next five years of your life will be full of rules you disagree with, I'm sure of it," Porter said. He later added, “This is the second chance that you've asked for. You don't get a third.”
Lewis spent her time in juvenile detention earning her GED but said she wasn’t allowed to communicate with family and friends.
“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames,” Lewis read from a statement. “Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor.” —Gabriella Patti
GOP Senator Lindsey Graham proposes a 15-week abortion ban
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just introduced legislation to ban abortion after 15 weeks across the United States. The bill, introduced Tuesday, would allow more restrictive abortion bans, which already exist in at least a dozen states, to stay in place. While the legislation has no chance of progressing while Democrats control Congress and the White House, Graham positioned his legislation as an alternative to the Democratic responses to the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats in Congress have rallied behind pro-choice legislation which allows abortion right up until the moment of birth,” Graham said in a press release. “I view the Democrat proposal as radical and one that Americans will ultimately reject. Our legislation is a responsible alternative as we provide exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and life and physical health of the mother.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the idea that the bill could advance even under a Republican legislature, telling reporters: “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level.”
The White House responded to the bill by calling it “an extreme piece of legislation.” Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the bill “wildly out of step with what Americans believe.” According to polls, however, more Americans support a 15-week ban than oppose it. This type of legislation would match U.S. policy to that of Europe, where most abortion legislation is more restrictive than some laws in the United States.
Last year, congressional Republicans introduced a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation. This legislation expands that limit by five weeks. If the 15-week mark sounds familiar, it’s because Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case that led to the overturning of Roe in June, centered on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which the court upheld. According to Graham, “the current standard of medical care calls for unborn babies to receive pain medication during fetal surgery at 15 weeks gestation.”
“Abortion is not banned in America. It’s left up to the elected officials in America to define the issue,” Graham told reporters on Tuesday. “States have the ability to do it at the state level, and we have the ability in Washington to speak on this issue if we choose. I have chosen to speak. I have chosen to craft legislation that I think is eminently reasonable in the eyes of the world and I hope the American people.” —Madeline Fry Schultz
Alcaraz, Świątek shine as 2022 U.S. Open winners
This year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament came to a close last weekend, with Iga Świątek winning the women’s singles and Carlos Alcaraz winning the men’s singles.
History was made in multiple ways during this year’s showing; tournament winner Carlos Alcaraz is only 19 years old, making him the youngest-ever male No. 1 seeded player. He’s also the youngest person to win a grand slam since 2005; the major winner that year was then-19-year-old Rafael Nadal. Alcaraz, from Spain, became an audience favorite throughout the tournament for his excitement and energy, constantly smiling and bringing his full personality to the court.
Equally monumental, legendary women’s player and winner of 23 grand slam titles, Serena Williams, hinted that this would be her last tournament as she announced her eventual retirement in early August. Williams was eliminated from the tournament in the third round, losing to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
This women’s singles win for Poland’s Iga Świątek marks her third grand slam title, following 2020 and 2022 French Open wins. She came into the tournament with some hesitation, having had “a couple of shaky showings” at previous hard-court tournaments. “It's something that I wasn't expecting, for sure,” Świątek said. “It's also like a confirmation for me that the sky's the limit.” —Maggie Sicilia
R. Kelly found guilty of child pornography, child sex abuse in second federal trial
Singer R. Kelly was found guilty Wednesday in Chicago in the second federal trial about sexual assault allegations against the former R&B singer.
Kelly and two associates were defendants in the Chicago-based federal trial. Kelly, who grew up in Chicago and whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was found guilty on six of 13 counts against him—three for coercing minors into sexual activity and three for producing videos of child sex abuse.
Kelly was acquitted of conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation and was not found guilty of the remaining enticement and pornography charges. Kelly’s co-defendants were cleared of all charges.
Kelly’s first federal trial was held last year in New York, where he was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking charges. In June, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Brooklyn judge.
Accusations against Kelly span 30 years—many women and girls accused him of using his status and fame to sexually abuse and imprison women and underage girls. Rumors of Kelly’s misconduct permeated the music industry for years, and he faced a child pornography trial in Chicago in 2008 (the jury acquitted Kelly). Kelly’s abuse and misconduct received widespread attention in part to the #MeToo movement emboldening survivors to speak out about abuse, as well as the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
U.S. Attorney John Lausch expressed mixed feelings regarding the verdict. While federal prosecutors were “pleased with the fact that Robert Kelly is finally being held accountable” for his “reprehensible conduct,” Lausch said they were “disappointed by the not-guilty verdicts on the remaining counts.” —Gabriella Patti
Patagonia founder gives away company, announcing, “Earth is now our only shareholder”
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard announced via a letter published on the well-known outdoor retailer’s website that he and his family have given away the company to a non-profit organization and the newly formed Patagonia Purpose Trust trust developed to combat climate change.
In his message entitled, “Earth is now our only shareholder,” Chouinard said that the company, worth approximately $3 billion, has been “in business to save our home planet.” While the company considered selling the company and donating the money, he wrote that he couldn’t ensure that the new owner would maintain the company’s values.
He also wrote that the company could have chosen to go public, but he believed this could be a disaster.
"Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own," he explained, adding, "Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we're ‘going purpose.’ Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we'll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth."
All the company’s voting stock that Chouinard owned has now gone to the newly formed Patagonia Purpose Trust, which will guarantee that the company will continue to run a sustainable business and give away all profits. Chouinard and his family will not receive any tax benefits from this donation.
"If we have any hope of a thriving planet—much less a thriving business—50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have. This is another way we’ve found to do our part."—GP
Good News of the Week
This week, healthcare workers who carried some of the heaviest burdens of the Covid pandemic in Intensive Care Units shared artwork to express their journeys. 3News in Cleveland reports, “ICU teams across eight Cleveland Clinic campuses have come together to showcase a project that has been used as a way to provide a therapeutic activity to the healthcare workers while allowing them to express those feelings through art.”
“The ICU is a fast-paced world but just a moment to pause and reflect on the grief and the trauma and the perseverance and strength that we’ve shown up with as human beings and health care workers,” Dr. Jennifer Ramsey told 3News.
Among the artwork showcased was a piece called “Fortitude: Courage through Adversity,” which revealed a mosaic of employees’ photos beneath a painting of team members working together in hopes of saving a patient. Another piece called “The Power of Healing Hearts” displayed a bleak background with a number of small hearts coming together to form a larger heart shape, with a dove breaking through. Here’s to growth in fortitude and healing. —Mary Rose Somarriba
Watch of the Week
Last week, Disney debuted the teaser trailer for the live-action version of The Little Mermaid, which will be released in May 2023. The movie, which stars Halle Bailey as the first black Ariel, immediately received backlash from people online who felt that casting a black woman in the role of Ariel was a departure from the original Hans Christian Anderson fairytale released in 1837.
However, while much of the internet was in an uproar over the historical accuracy of the fictional story about fictitious creatures, parents were busy sharing their children’s joyful reactions to seeing Bailey as Ariel, highlighting why on-screen representation matters. Watch some of their reactions below!