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Netflix and Disney threaten to stop investing in Georgia if its abortion ban goes into effect; South Africa’s cabinet reaches gender parity.


Media giants threaten to leave Georgia

Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage
  • Disney and Netflix have both announced that they might stop investing in Georgia, where many movies and TV shows are and have been filmed, if the state’s new abortion law goes into effect. [NPR / Sasha Ingber]
  • The bill these companies are referencing bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks. The law won’t go into effect until January 1 and groups like the ACLU have already pledged to shut it down in court before then. [USA Today / Brett Molina]
  • In an interview with Reuters, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said that it would be “very difficult” for the company to continue filming in the state because of opposition from workers. [Reuters / Lisa Richwine]
  • Earlier this week, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos also said that the company would rethink its entire investment in Georgia and join other human rights groups to fight the abortion ban in court. [AP]
  • This isn’t the first time businesses have been able to sway Georgia politics with their influence. In 2016, multiple companies threatened to leave the state if a bill that strengthened the legal rights for opponents of same-sex marriage passed. The governor ultimately vetoed the bill. [NYT / Alan Blinder]
  • Georgia has been able to attract production companies with its tax credits (it offers a 10 percent cut to projects that add the state’s peach logo in the closing credits). The film industry has been an economic boost for the state: Over the past decade, it has created 92,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in revenue. [NYT / Daniel Victor]
  • Disney blockbusters like Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War have been filmed in the state, along with Netflix’s popular Stranger Things. The loss of large film companies like Disney and Netflix would likely be a big blow for Georgia. [CNN / Brian Stelter and Shannon Liao]

Gender equality within South Africa’s cabinet

  • South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a new cabinet that is 50 percent women — a historic first for the country. [CNN / Bukola Adebayo, AJ Davis, and Mohammed Tawfeeq]
  • South Africa is now one of the few governments in the world to have a gender-balanced cabinet. Ethiopia and Rwanda also made similar moves last year. [BBC]
  • Ramaphosa also reduced the number of cabinet members from 36 to 28. By doing so, he said, he wanted to tackle the government that has been “bloated” with corruption by cutting spending, promoting greater coherence, and improving efficiency. [Al Jazeera]
  • Many were also surprised by his appointment of opposition party leader Patricia De Lille as minister of public works and infrastructure because she has long been a critic of Ramaphosa’s ANC party. She is, however, an anti-corruption crusader — which could help Ramaphosa rebuild public trust. [News 24 / Mpumelelo Mkhabela]
  • These drastic changes in government are a response to the public’s distrust following a series of corruption scandals from the former president’s administration. Some, however, criticized Ramaphosa for keeping people like David Mabuza, who has been accused of abusing public funds for years. [NYT / Norimitsu Onishi and Kimon de Greef]
  • With his new cabinet now sworn in, all eyes will be on Ramaphosa to see if he can actually reform the government as he had promised. [Guardian / Jason Burke]

Miscellaneous

  • A dad won his fight to have equal paid parental leave for men at JPMorgan Chase. [NPR / Yuki Noguchi]
  • Most professional ballet dancers retire in their 30s. At age 78, Suzelle Poole is still going strong. [Washington Post / Cathy Free]
  • A man alleges he was attacked by an emotional support dog while flying Delta Air Lines. He’s now suing the airline and dog owner. [NBC News / Minyvonne Burke]
  • The musician Moby, after backlash over an anecdote in his new book claiming he dated Natalie Portman when she was a teen (which she denied), has canceled the rest of his book tour. [Variety]
  • Hundreds of puffins washed up dead on an Alaskan beach. Blame climate change. [Atlantic / Ed Yong]

Verbatim

“Appointing a gender-balanced cabinet isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. South Africa joined the growing list of countries who are making this smart choice.” [Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Twitter response to South Africa’s cabinet appointments]


Listen to this: Agent Assange?

Julian Assange was already in heaps of trouble when the United States indicted him under the Espionage Act last week. Now he (and journalism) might be put on trial. [Spotify | Apple Podcasts]


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