Monday Morning Memo – Wildfires, Ivanka, Weinstein, Kaepernick
As of today, 40 people have died in the wildfires engulfing the Napa Valley region. 400 people are still missing. As firefighters tackle the blaze, local authorities have lifted the mandatory evacuation orders for several local neighborhoods.
One survival story is a heartwarming moment in the midst of devastation. Jack Weaver was walking through his mother’s burned yard in Windsor, California. Weaver’s mother was unable to evacuate with her dog, and the family feared that Izzy – a 9 year old Bernese mountain dog – perished in the blaze. Instead, Izzy came bounding towards Weaver. She was unharmed, slightly dehydrated, but now back with her loving family.
Ivanka Launches Businesswoman’s Fund
Ivanka Trump launched a new women’s entrepreneurship fund in partnership with the World Bank. Called the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), the program will help women in impoverished countries gain access to financial tools such as seed funding and low-interest loans. The program has already received $350 million in donor committments. WeFi will be vital resource for women living in places that deny women access to traditional banks.
Weinstein Scandal Snowballs
After an explosive New York Times report on Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of sexual harassment, more victims have come forward to share their stories. British actress Lysette Anthony has become the latest woman to accuse Weinstein of rape. More than two dozen women have come forward and said that Weinstein harassed or assaulted them. As the stories spill out into the public sphere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to terminate Weinstein as a member.
Feinstein to Face Primary Challenger
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will face a primary challenger in her bid for reeelection next year. Kevin De Leon, a current California State Senator, wants to replace Feinstein. Feinstein has been moderate in her criticisms of President Trump. She has not supported calls for impeachment, and has asked for patience in waiting for Trump to come around to the Democrats’ political agenda. De Leon pitches himself as more progressive than Feinstein, and tougher against Donald Trump.
Kaepernick Challenges NFL
Colin Kaepernick has reportedly filed a grievance with the NFL, accusing team owners of colluding. Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers at the end of last season. No team has picked him up, despite his fairly strong record as a quarterback. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to start kneeling during the national anthem.