TIME NBA

Police Confirm Dwight Howard Child Abuse Investigation

Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets shoots from the free throw line during the Los Angeles Lakers first regular season NBA game against the Rockets on Oct. 28, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets shoots from the free throw line during the Los Angeles Lakers first regular season NBA game against the Rockets on Oct. 28, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

"Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests"

Police in Cobb County, Ga., confirmed to SI.com on Tuesday that there is an active child abuse investigation involving Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

TMZ first reported the allegations against Howard, and NBC News reported earlier Tuesday that Cobb County Police were re-opening an investigation of Howard.

A Cobb County Police sergeant told NBC News that the investigation stems from an incident from this summer. Originally, police said they did not have enough evidence to proceed past an initial investigation, but new information came to light to trigger renewed interest from authorities in the case, according to NBC.

In response to earlier reports about child abuse allegations against Howard in Florida, the eight-time All-Star released a statement to The Orlando Sentinel through his attorney rejecting accusations of abuse.

“It is troubling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father, which is what is happening in this case,” the statement reads. “Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Parenting

Woman Sues Peppa Pig Producers Over Goat That Shares Her Name

Peppa Pig rides her bicyle in a scene from one of the "Tickle U" series of cartoons.
Peppa Pig rides her bicyle in a scene from one of the "Tickle U" series of cartoons. Cartoon Network/AP

Grown woman says she's been mocked because she shares a name with a children's character

An adult Italian woman who shares a name with an animated goat in the popular Peppa Pig children’s series is demanding €100,000 ($124,500) in compensation from the show’s producers because she’s been “teased” about it.

Gabriella Capra, 40, is suing London animation firm Astley Baker Davies for damages after she was mocked by her presumably adult friends for sharing a name with “Gabriella Goat,” a minor character in a television show aimed at toddlers.

“Capra” means “goat” in Italian, so when the series was broadcast in Italy, “Gabriella Goat” became “Gabriella Capra,” the Guardian reports.

In the show, Gabriella Goat is a friendly Italian goat who shows Peppa Pig around when she and her family visit Italy on vacation. She is also the niece of Uncle Goat, who makes pizza. She bleats, because she is a goat.

Capra says she will donate any damages to charities for abandoned children.

[The Guardian]

 

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Says It Has Nothing to Do With a High-Profile GMO Lawsuit

Sandy Roberts
Sandy Roberts, Starbucks strategy manager for global coffee engagement, pours samples of coffee for shareholders and other guests at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on March 19, 2014 Ted S. Warren—AP

Coffee chain issues denial after rocker Neil Young urges boycott

Starbucks has announced that it has nothing to do with litigation being brought against the state of Vermont over the labeling of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

Canadian rock legend Neil Young attempted to launch a boycott of Starbucks on Sunday, accusing it of joining forces with Monsanto “to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling.”

Last spring, Vermont passed a law requiring all products containing GMOs to be properly labeled by July 1, 2016, reports People.

Young’s belief that Starbucks was part of a suit to have the law declared unconstitutional prompted him to declare on his website: “I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one.” He then appealed to the public to join him in a Starbucks boycott.

However, it looks like it could all be a storm in a coffee cup. The coffee giant released a statement denying that it is involved in the litigation.

“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” the statement says. “Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.”

Young has yet to respond.

[People]

TIME Media

Condé Nast Interns Settle for $5.85M

Former interns at Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and elsewhere could get $700 to $1,900 each

Magazine publisher Condé Nast has settled a class action lawsuit with two former interns for a “Maximum Settlement Amount” of $5,850,000.

Former interns Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib brought the suit with law firm Outten & Golden, which will earn $650,000 from the settlement. The two plaintiffs have requested $10,000 a piece “in recognition of the services they rendered to the Class and any risks they incurred.” Plaintiffs brought suit claiming the publisher violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by having interns work full time with no educational training and below minimum wage pay.

Approximately 7,500 interns at Condé Nast titles, like Vanity Fair, Vogue and The New Yorker, were represented in the lawsuit over a wage dispute. Class members will get a payout each of between $700 and $1,900.

Other intern disputes with Fox Searchlight and ICM Partners are still in contention.

Read more at Deadline

TIME Smartphones

Apple Finally Lets You Deregister Phone Numbers From iMessage

Apple's New Big-Screen iPhones Draw Long Lines As Sales Start
Customers compare an Apple Inc. iPhone 6, left, and iPhone 6 plus during the sales launch at an Apple store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Bloomberg/Getty

SMS messages used to get lost due to a glitch with iMessages

Messaged received: Apple has released a new tool to answer complaints that switching from an iPhone to a different smartphone dooms iMessages sent to them from other iPhone users to an unseen purgatory.

Apple’s new web tool lets ex-iOS users efficiently deregister their phone numbers from Apple’s iMessage system and ensures that future SMS messages get delivered to the new device.

The fix corrects a long-standing problem: If former iPhone users don’t disable iMessage before transferring to a different smartphone, SMS messages sent to them by people still using Apple devices can continue to be sent as iMessages. But, since iMessage is exclusive to Apple platforms, those messages won’t be received on the new smartphone. The bug is the subject of a class action lawsuit in California.

To use the new tool, ex-iOS users just enter their phone numbers into the web browser. Apple then sends a confirmation code by SMS.

TIME Courts

Kimberly-Clark Faces $500 Million Lawsuit for Ebola Protection Claims

Law firm Eagan Avenatti says millions of the gowns have been sold since 2011, putting health care workers and patients at “considerable risk"

Kleenex tissue maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. is being sued for more than $500 million for allegedly falsely claiming their surgical gowns protect against Ebola.

California law firm Eagan Avenatti filed the suit Wednesday saying Kimberly-Clark continued to claim the ” Breathable High Performance Surgical Gown provided the highest protection, despite failing industry tests for protection against infectious diseases, including Ebola.

The law firm says millions of the gowns have been sold since 2011, putting health care workers and patients at “considerable risk,” reports Reuters.

“Kimberly-Clark needs to immediately recall these gowns and come clean with the FDA, CDC, healthcare professionals and the general public,” lead attorney Michael Avenatti said in a statement. “The risks associated with continued concealment of the truth are far too great.”

Eagan Avenatti is seeking a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud, false advertising, negligent misrepresentation and unfair business practices and is brought on behalf of lead plaintiff and surgeon Hrayr Shahinian and 500,000 others.

Kimberly-Clark has said it does not comment on ongoing litigation cases.

[Reuters]

TIME Race

Dear White Ladies, You Will Have To Raise Your Black Baby and Love Every Minute of It

Jennifer Cramblett
Jennifer Cramblett is interviewed at her attorney's home in Waite Hill, Ohio, on Oct. 1, 2014. Mark Duncan—AP

During her pregnancy, Jennifer Cramblett found out what she thought was sperm from donor vial No. 380, a white guy, actually came from donor No. 330, a black man

xojane

This story originally appeared on xoJane.com.

What to do? What to do? Jennifer Cramblett is suing a Chicago sperm bank for wrongful birth because a lab mix-up produced a baby of the wrong color — black.

The Uniontown, Ohio, resident who lives with her lesbian partner Amanda Zinkon and biracial daughter Payton, two, also alleges breach of warranty in the suit filed this week in the Circuit Court of Cook County, which has the largest population of black folks in America, by the way. (This population is what probably explains the creature that is Barack Obama, but that’s another story.)

During her pregnancy, Cramblett found out what she thought was sperm from donor vial No. 380, a white guy, actually came from donor No. 330, a black dude. So now this lesbian couple living what until very recently was widely considered a nontraditional lifestyle is clutching their chests over the prospect of having to raise a black girl, though they report having “bonded with Payton easily.”

It’s just that the neighbors are a problem. And the family.

“Family members, one uncle in particular, speak openly and derisively about persons of color. [Cramblett] did not know African-Americans until her college days at the University of Akron,” the suit says.

“Because of this background and upbringing, Jennifer acknowledges her limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans, and steep learning curve, particularly in small, homogenous Uniontown, which she regards as too racially intolerant.”

This suit, these women, America’s un-evolved racial attitudes present some problems, so let me start here:

They’re right.

The couple questions their “cultural competence” to raise a black child given their limited experience with black folks. Not enough white parents involved in what’s called transracial adoption question their competency in these matters. “Love will conquer all,” they say, until the first time they’re perplexed by the inability to get a comb through their little black girl’s hair, then cut her “bangs” that shrivel up into a curious forehead afro. Mark that No. 1 on things to discuss with the therapist when that little girl grows up.

As white women, they’re certainly typical. Most white people don’t have any black friends, as we know from a recent Public Religion Research Institute study showing three-quarters of white Americans don’t have any non-white pals. It’s so easy to pretend America’s racial problems (think: #jordandavis #ferguson) don’t exist until they populate your Twitter feed.

The couple also say they live in what they consider a racially insensitive town that might give the child hell one day. Yup, that could happen. Just ask Trayvon Martin. Oh, we can’t.

They didn’t ask for their lives to be turned into a giant social experiment. Yes, the sperm bank messed up big time, and they should take the hit for it. Whatever money this family receives could be used for Payton’s education or to provide enrichment opportunities of the culturally enriching kind so she just grows up happy and well rounded regardless of her skin color. I hope she doesn’t grow up hating herself or other black people because that happens, you know.

They’re wrong.

They’re gay, so they’re already a social experiment (meaning, homosexuality is only now being accepted as a norm in mainstream society). Gay marriage may soon one day be the law of the land, but the fact that it’s a fight proves the point.

They’re women living in what author Tara Mohr calls a “transitional historical moment.” On one hand, women have more freedom and opportunity than ever, thanks to everything from the first-wave feminism of 1848 Seneca Falls to the success of the 50-year-old Civil Rights Act of 1964, largely thought to be aimed at minorities like Payton. This law is totally responsible for breaking open workplace doors for women, mostly white ones. The very nature of being a woman is a social experiment.

Both women say they were sexually abused as girls, so when “you think of sperm, you think of sexual encounters and neither of us wanted to think of males in our lives again,” according to the suit. In other words, the fact that the baby came out in a way they didn’t plan underscored the lack of control they have felt over their own bodies.

These are strong women for surviving sexual abuse and carefully planning to have children who would be blood relatives by virtue of being inseminated by the same sperm. But did they consider the fact they could have had a boy?

The genetic engineering (and entitlement) tendencies of these women is nauseating. So what, life didn’t turn out the way they planned. Look at employment stats, housing numbers, the failure of public education and mass incarceration — that’s black life, baby.

And what? They don’t know any black lesbians? With children?

Each woman seeks an undetermined amount that exceeds $50,000 in damages. Because they certainly are — damaged.

Deborah Douglas is a journalist living in Chicago.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Companies

‘Aunt Jemima’ Family Demands $2 Billion Cut of Pancake Business

Delivery Operations With PepsiCo.
Bottles of Aunt Jemima syrup are displayed for sale at a ShopRite Holdings Ltd. grocery store in Stratford, Connecticut, on Aug. 3, 2011. Paul Taggart—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Quaker Oats, the brand's owner, denies that its figurehead was based on any living person

The self-proclaimed descendants of “Aunt Jemima” have sued the brand for allegedly appropriating the images and recipe of living persons while offering “false promises” of compensation.

The plaintiffs claim that their great-grandmother, Anna Short Harrington, refined the recipe for the pancake mix along with Nancy Green, the original inspiration for the brand’s ‘Aunt Jemima’ figurehead, the Louisville, Ky. Courier-Journal reports.

They contend that an agreement existed to share a percentage of revenue each time the likenesses of their “relative” were used to market the pancake mix and that they are owed $2 billion in compensation, plus a share of future revenue.

The brand’s owner, Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, denies that any such contract existed or that the iconic figurehead was meant to resemble any living person. “The image symbolizes a sense of caring, warmth, hospitality and comfort,” said a statement from Quaker Oats, “and is neither based on, nor meant to depict any one person.”

[Courier-Journal]

TIME financial regulation

The Real Silver Lining of the Absurd AIG Lawsuit

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters

It's ludicrous that shareholders are suing the government over their losses, but at least it's a reminder that Wall Street financiers did take losses.

Have I mentioned how outrageous it is that AIG shareholders are suing the government over the AIG bailout that prevented them from total wipeout? Have I compared them to homeowners suing the fire department for getting their furniture wet while saving their home? Have I mocked the bailout critics who admit this lawsuit is “asinine” and “mostly insane” but still claim it’s performing a public service?

Oh, I have? Just last week?

Well, this week, the critics will get their wish, as the architects of the Wall Street bailouts—Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke—are scheduled to testify in this frivolous lawsuit. So this is a good time to concede there actually is a silver lining to this cloud of absurd litigiousness. But it definitely isn’t what the critics think it is. It’s that the AIG lawsuit, while breaking new ground in chutzpah, might help remind Americans that even though government rescued some Wall Street firms, the financial crisis still cost a lot of Wall Street investors a lot of money. The financial sector emerged way better than it would have without government help, and it’s certainly thriving today, but financiers didn’t all emerge unscathed.

The critics have applauded the lawsuit for a very different reason. They expect this week’s testimony to reveal The Truth about AIG, which will surely involve Geithner and Goldman Sachs conspiring with Colonel Mustard to destroy Main Street while bwahahaha-ing all the way to the bank. In fact, the truth about the AIG bailout is already out there. It was infuriating, because bailouts are always infuriating, but it was necessary and ultimately successful. After insuring toxic mortgage assets for every major global financial institution, AIG was dead in the water in September 2008, and its failure in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse could have shredded the global financial system. Not only did the $182 billion AIG bailout save the firm, it saved the system. And U.S. taxpayers eventually recouped their entire investment in AIG, plus a cool $22.7 billion in profit.

The bailout helped AIG shareholders, too. Their equity was worth something instead of nothing. Former AIG chief executive Hank Greenberg, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, unloaded $278 million worth of company stock in 2010; it presumably would have been worth nothing if the government had let the firm declare bankruptcy and the global economy implode. Greenberg’s complaint that the government unconstitutionally seized his property—and that AIG was entitled to the same bailout terms as much less troubled banks that posed much less of a threat to global financial stability—should have been laughed out of court.

That said, it’s important to recognize that while AIG’s shareholders didn’t lose everything, they lost an unimaginable amount of money. AIG stock plummeted from a high above $150 a share to less than $5 the day of the bailout. The government then took over 79.9 percent of the company, further diluting the value of each share. And when AIG needed more help, there was even more dilution. In his memoir, Stress Test, Geithner recalls how at a time when the country wanted his head for being too gentle with AIG, Greenberg visited him to complain that the Fed had been overly harsh by taking so much equity in AIG. “I told him we hadn’t done the deal to make money, and we’d be happy to sell him back some of the equity if he’d be willing to take some of the risk,” Geithner recalled. Greenberg wasn’t willing, so taxpayers rather than shareholders enjoyed most of the upside of AIG’s recovery.

I helped Geithner with Stress Test, so I’m biased, but I think Greenberg’s pique is silly; there wouldn’t have been any upside for anyone if the government hadn’t stabilized AIG and the rest of the system. At the same time, I think the terms of the AIG bailout were legitimately tough on investors who made bad bets on a reckless firm. They were certainly tougher than the terms of the broader Wall Street bailout known as TARP—and some bankers complained bitterly about TARP’s terms, which were intended to be (and were) tough enough to encourage banks to pay them back as quickly as possible. All of the bailouts were designed to balance the need to quell the panic in the markets and pave the way for economic recovery with the need to protect taxpayers. They ultimately did both.

The larger point, so often missed in the post-crisis too-big-to-fail debate, is that the lavish Wall Street bailouts did not shield all of Wall Street from pain. Critics of the bailouts often say they sent a message that you could invest in Wall Street behemoths without risk, that government would cover all your losses when markets turned sour. It’s amazing this even needs to be said, six years after a financial shock five times as large as the shock that preceded the Great Depression, but that’s simply wrong. Some of the jerks in suits took baths. Main Street bore the brunt of the pain, and that’s not fair, but there was plenty of pain on Wall Street, too.

Lehman Brothers disappeared; its shareholders were wiped out, and its executives all lost their jobs. Investors in Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Citigroup, Bank of America, GMAC, and other firms that got sucked into the crisis took baths, too. Very few of the big Wall Street CEO’s kept their jobs after the bubble burst, although some were fortunate enough to cash out their stock before the house of cards toppled completely. Some savvy investors have taken advantage of the misfortunes of others; David Tepper, a hedge fund manager, made billions by buying bank stocks after the market hit bottom in March 2009, essentially betting on the success of the government rescue plans. But markets always have winners and losers; the bailouts did help some of the losers limit their losses, but they didn’t change that essential capitalist truth.

The even larger point, which should also be clear but most definitely isn’t, is that the Wall Street bailouts were not designed to enrich Wall Street. They were designed to protect Main Street from a Wall Street cataclysm. The goal was to prevent enough financial failure to stem the panic and lay the groundwork for recovery. The goal was achieved. Main Street was losing 800,000 jobs a month during the panic; now it’s gaining more than 200,000 jobs a month. Yes, Wall Street has enjoyed an even healthier recovery. But punishing Wall Street during the panic would not have made things better for Main Street now; it would have accelerated the panic, which would have been devastating for Main Street.

So we should mock the gall of the litigants who are suing the fire department that saved their homes. Still, we can recognize that some of their furniture got wet.

 

 

 

TIME Family

African American Donor’s Sperm Mistakenly Sent to White Mom

A medical worker works on a dish ready f
Georges Gobet—AFP/Getty Images

Lesbian parents tell the TODAY Show that they love their mixed race daughter but are suing their sperm bank to prevent future mixups.

The Midwest Sperm Bank sent Jennifer Cramblett of Uniontown, Ohio, the wrong sperm. She’d requested sperm from donor number 380 and received instead sperm from donor number 330. Ms. Cramblett and her partner are now suing the sperm bank.

What makes the story a whole lot more complicated is that donor number 330 is African American.

“On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl,” says the lawsuit. “Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton’s future.”

Among the issues that are causing these anxieties are the prospect of sending her mixed race child to an all-white school, traveling to a black neighborhood—where she feels unwelcome—to get Amanda’s hair done and the lack of acceptance by her extended family, who, according to the suit, are already having issues with the whole same sex couple arrangement.

Ms. Cramblett told The Today Show that she and her partner Amanda Zinkon love their daughter very much, but she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else’s family. “I’m not going to let them get away with this,” she said. She’s primarily angry, she says at what she considers the sperm bank’s cavalier attitude and “lack of concern for me and my family…if they had some compassion and just said sorry. But they didn’t.”

So far, the Midwest Sperm Bank has declined to comment.

(This might be a good time to direct Ms. Cramblett’s attention to Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care, a website used by many transracial adoptive families. You’re welcome.)

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