Biography.com’s “Week in Review” highlights interesting people who’ve made the news this past week—thanks to their endeavors, big ideas, triumphs, importance in history, or magnanimous gaffes. While there were many people to choose from this week, here are our top picks that made us either raise an eyebrow, roll our eyes, shed a tear, or just gave us a good chuckle.
‘Back-to-Back’ Evidence: King Richard III’s Body Possibly Found
Archaeologists excavating in Leicester, England, may have found the body of King Richard III. Digging in a church-turned-parking lot that was said to be the burial grounds of the British monarch, a team unearthed the bones of a male with severe scoliosis that had a war instrument lodged in his upper back—both key attributes that matched the King, who died in battle in 1485. (King Richard III gained notoriety for purportedly murdering his nephews in the Tower of London to succeed the throne.)
The University of Leicester was able to find a direct living descendant of the King’s elder sister and will be conducting extensive DNA testing to see if there’s a match.
Source: The Telegraph
The Ties That Bond: Andy Murray Wins U.S. Open—& Sean Connery’s Approval
After a grueling five-hour match, tennis titan Andy Murray, 25, made history this week when he became the first male Brit to win a Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open in 76 years.
His victorious moment included imbibing on a lemon soda and being congratulated by his fellow native Scotsman Sean Connery, who felt compelled to remind everyone that the tennis star was not really an Englishman, thank you very much.
“Stop saying he’s British: He’s Scottish,” Connery tweeted. “I’ve been fighting that for 40-odd yrs. I have to go now b/c the champion is waiting.”
Source: Washington Post
BAM! Martha Stewart & Emeril Lagasse Sued for Cutlery Trademark Infringement
The gastronomical powerhouse partnership of Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse has just gotten a gas-causing powerhouse of a lawsuit: A German trade association that has rights to the production of Solingen knives is suing the TV personalities and the Home Shopping Network (HSN) for trademark infringement.
Stewart and Lagasse have been selling cutlery on HSN that they claimed were from the German region of Solingen, but in fact the knives were made in China.
The German org is suing each party $2 million dollars for every instance the products were mentioned on HSN. Considering the show is on daily and round-the-clock, let’s just say the accrued dividends may give Stewart and Lagasse more indigestion than anything they could cook up.
Blacklisted: Zoe Saldana’s Casting in Nina Simone Biopic Ires Black Community
When it comes to Hollywood and race, black doesn’t necessarily translate into black; rather, the controversy lies in the gradations.
Such is the case with the upcoming Nina Simone biopic, Nina, in which the much lighter-skinned actress Zoe Saldana will most likely take on the lead role.
According to the NY Times, various African-American activists are protesting the casting decision, specifically because of Zaldana’s skin color (and surprisingly not because she co-starred with Britney Spears in Crossroads in 2002).
“Hollywood and the media have a tendency to whitewash and lightwash a lot of stories, particularly when black actresses are concerned,” said Tiffani Jones, blogger of Coffee Rhetoric. “When is it going to be O.K. to not be the delicate looking ideal of what the media considers blackness to be?”
African scholar Dr. Yaba Blay agrees. “The power of [Simone's] aesthetics was part of her power,” she stated. “This was a woman who prevailed and triumphed despite her aesthetic.”
However, the creator of the film, Cynthia Mort, a white woman, claims the film isn’t a literal, linear interpretation of Simone’s life but rather “a love story about an artist’s journey unto herself.”
Unfortunately, though, for Ms. Mort, Simone’s own daughter, Simone Kelly, even objects to the casting.
“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark,” Kelly stated in an interview. “Appearance-wise [Zaldana] is not the best choice.”
In Memoriam: Chris Stevens, Libyan Ambassador, Murdered in U.S. Embassy Attack
Along with three other Americans, Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, was killed in a possible terrorist attack in Benghazi, sparked by an anti-Muslim film made in the U.S. that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad. Violent protests have spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East, despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s condemnation of the film, which she called “disgusting and reprehensible.”
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the killings, security and government officials suspect Gadhafi loyalists or Islamic militants are to blame.
Stevens, who had been in the U.S. foreign service for 20 years, was known for his California cool, his relatability and directness, but most importantly, his enthusiasm for bridging understanding and cooperation between the two countries.
Many Libyan leaders and Libyans expressed shock and sorrow over his death.
In an email in July, Stevens wrote to his family and friends: “The whole atmosphere has changed for the better,” he said, referring to the post-Gadhafi reign. “People smile more and are much more open with foreigners. Americans, French and British are enjoying unusual popularity. Let’s hope it lasts.”
Source: VOA & Seattle Times