From Sean Penn getting stuck in Ukraine to the MLB lockout, this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
SEAN PENN CROSSED THE POLISH BORDER TO LEAVE UKRAINE
After filming a documentary on the front lines of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Sean Penn and his crew ditched their car to cross the Polish border on foot, CNN reported, safe and unharmed. He called the Russian attack a “brutal mistake” made by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Maks Chmerkovskiy, the Ukrainian Dancing with the Stars dancer, also reported that he had safely evacuated and was back in L.A. After crossing the Ukraine border and flying back to the United States, he gave his wife Peta Murgatroyd an emotional hug at the Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday.
UKRAINE FIGHTING TURNED BRUTAL
The war in Ukraine turned brutal and heartless this week after news broke of Russian troops murdering defenseless civilians, including women and children. In one harrowing account, a Ukrainian policeman heard that most of his family, including his partner, both of his parents, and his two young children, were shot and killed by Russian soldiers as they attempted to flee.
Russian officials have attempted to hide the stories, reporting that they are letting civilians and refugees free. With contradictions made on either side, it is hard for Western news outlets to get a clear picture of the death toll or the state of war. In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Joe Biden stated that he stood with the Ukrainian people. He threatened further sanctions and punishments against Russia.
RUSSIA WAS BANNED FROM FIGURE SKATING
Enveloped in another doping scandal from the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, Russia was banned from all international ice-skating events this week following the invasion of Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee asked to bar Russian athletes from every sports competition, including hockey and soccer.
Russian athletes were also banned from competing in the upcoming Paralympic Games in Beijing, despite some competitors having already arrived at the facilities in China. International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons apologized to the shocked competitors, stating that they were “victims of your governments’ actions.”
ACLU SUED TO STOP TRANS PERSECUTION IN TEXAS
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Gov. Abbott’s investigation of parents and doctors who provide children with gender-affirming medication and treatment.
The Texas Governor previously stated that he believed parents should be prosecuted for allowing their children to take puberty blockers or have access to sex reassignment surgery. He called the procedure “child abuse.” Seeking to block his actions against the trans community, the ACLU hopes to stop the governor from taking away the rights of transgender children.
TEXAS REP. ENDED BID FOR RE-ELECTION AMID AFFAIR
Texas congressman Van Taylor withdrew his name from the primary runoff this week after scandal broke of a secret affair. The married man with three daughters had a physical relationship with Tania Joya for nearly eight months, and reportedly offered her $5,000 in hush money before the affair ended.
Joya, who gained attention in the media as the once-radicalized wife of an ISIS recruiter, spilled in an interview that she hated seeing his smiling face all over town following the affair. Taylor was one of the only Republican candidates running for re-election who did not get support from former President Donald Trump. He refused to “not certify” the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden.
MLB POSTPONED THE SEASON AFTER A REJECTED PROPOSAL
Major League Baseball postponed the beginning of the 2022-2023 season after it turned down a proposal from the MLB players’ union this week. It’s the first labor dispute in the sport to interrupt play in nearly three decades, as players fight for more pay to younger members of the roster.
Legendary Yankees alum Derek Jeter also stepped down as CEO of the Miami Marlins, stating that the future vision for the team was “different than the one I signed up to lead.” He will also give up a 4% stake in the franchise. The move sent shockwaves through the sports world on the same day that the start of the season was canceled by MLB’s owners and Commissioner Rob Manfred.
EPIC GAMES ACQUIRED BANDCAMP
Epic Games, the creator of the video game Fortnite, announced this week that it acquired Bandcamp, one of the most popular destinations for independent music online. Though the two companies now fall under the same banner, Bandcamp will allegedly remain a place for musicians to sell their own work.
Many tech analysts questioned the move, asking what a video game company would want with an independent music store. Many believe that Epic will use Bandcamp’s store as part of its push for a more immersive experience online, as they move toward Metaverse capability and virtual reality.
KIM AND KANYE DRAMA REACHED NEW LEVELS OF INSANITY
The ongoing Kanye and Kim saga reached a fever pitch this week after Kim Kardashian had to prove that she was legally separated from the crazed musician and fashion mogul. Kanye West has not been taking the split well, and previously threatened the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star for trying to leave him.
In a disturbing and red-flag filled music video for his song “Eazy” with The Game, Kanye buries a claymation-look-alike of Pete Davidson alive and cuts off his head. Referring to the car wreck that almost ended his life back in 2002, Kanye raps that, “God saved me from the crash, just so I could beat Pete Davidson’s a**.”
‘THE BATMAN’ PREMIERED TO RAVE REVIEWS
Critics are hailing the new Robert Pattinson Batman reboot as an exciting new direction for the caped crusader. It hit theaters on March 4. Zoe Kravitz’ Catwoman was also praised, along with the romantic chemistry and supporting cast that includes Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, and Andy Serkis.
The red-carpet premiere featured big names such as Jason Momoa, as Hollywood starts to move toward normalcy after two years of a nearly dead box office. For those waiting at home, The Batman will be available to stream on HBO Max starting on April 19.