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September 18th, 2018

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Wait, What!?

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Nov. 29, 2016

Wait, What!?


In August, the banking giant Citigroup and the communications giant AT&T agreed to end their two-month-long legal hostilities over AT&T's right to have a customer service program titled "Thanks." Citigroup had pointed out that it holds trademarks for customer service titles "thankyou," "citi thankyou," "thankyou from citi" and "thankyou your way," and had tried to block the program name "AT&T Thanks." [NASDAQ.com, 8-25-2016]


In July in the African nation of Malawi (on the western border of Mozambique), Eric Aniva was finally arrested -- but not before he had been employed by village families more than 100 times to have ritual sex to "cleanse" recent widows -- and girls immediately after their first menstruation. Aniva is one of several such sex workers known as "hyenas" (because they operate stealthily, at night), but Malawi president Peter Mutharika took action after reading devastating dispatches (reporting hyenas' underage victims and Aniva's HIV-positive status) in The New York Times and London's The Guardian, among other news services. [Washington Post, 7-27-2016]


The July 2012 Aurora, Colorado, theater shooter, James Holmes, is hardly wealthy enough to be sued, so 41 massacre victims and families instead filed against Cinemark Theater for having an unsafe premises, and by August 2016 Cinemark had offered $150,000 as a total settlement. Thirty-seven of the 41 accepted, but four held out since the scaled payout offered only a maximum of $30,000 for the worst-off victims. Following the settlement, the judge, finding that Cinemark could not have anticipated Holmes's attack, ruled for the theater -- making the four holdouts liable under Colorado law for Cinemark's expenses defending against the lawsuit ($699,000). [Los Angeles Times, 8-30-2016]


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