The News You Missed From The Weekend

Global protests in solidarity with Iranian women, Steve Bannon's prison sentence, and the cliches of Black Adam.

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Steve Bannon has to go to prison — and this time, Trump can't save him

Steve Bannon standing outside a courthouse pointing up at the sky in front of a bunch of reporter mics

Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison on Friday for refusing to appear before the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

The sentencing comes exactly one year to the day since the House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon, 68, in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena to provide documents and testimony to the special committee. Afterward, the former chief strategist for Donald Trump was charged by federal prosecutors and found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress.

Prosecutions, let alone convictions and sentencing, for charges of contempt of Congress are exceptionally rare. Bannon claimed he chose not to cooperate because he had been advised by lawyers that he was shielded because Trump was claiming executive privilege, a legal doctrine that protects some White House communications — although, at the time of the Capitol riots, Bannon was not a federal employee.

Trump, however, is no longer president, and courts have rejected his attempts to conceal his communications. Additionally, Bannon is unlikely to get any pardon from President Joe Biden — as he did from his former boss on the last day of Trump’s presidency.

Ukraine allies reject Russia’s “dirty bomb” allegations

  • The US, Britain, and France issued a joint statement rejecting Russia's claims that Ukraine plans to use a "dirty bomb" in its own territory, the New York Times reports. A "dirty bomb" sets off explosives that spray radioactive material across the surrounding area. US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said that "the world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation," according to CBS News.


The Jan. 6 committee has officially subpoenaed Trump and is calling on him to testify next month. Rep. Liz Cheney said the Jan. 6 committee won't let Trump turn his testimony into "a circus"; the New York Times has reported that the former president has privately told aides that he only wants to testify if it's on live TV.

Tens of thousands of people across the globe on Saturday marched in solidarity with Iranian women as violent police crackdowns in the country continue. The outcry against Iran's conservative regime was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman who died on Sept. 16 while in the custody of morality police.

A man who allegedly killed two hospital employees in Dallas on Saturday was on parole but given special permission to be there because his significant other was giving birth. Dallas police said Sunday that Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez was arrested for capital murder.

Vogue magazine has become the latest major player in the fashion industry to drop Kanye West following a series of racist stunts, bullying incidents, and antisemitic comments. Balenciaga has also officially severed ties with Ye, after years of close partnerships.

For the first time, a member of Texas's state police has been fired over the failed Uvalde shooting response

A memorial on a grass lawn filled with flowers and gifts for the student victims of the Uvalde shooting

Sgt. Juan Maldonado is the first member of the Texas state police force to be fired after the fallout of the Uvalde school shooting in May that killed 19 children and 2 teachers.

Surveillance footage has shown that nearly 400 officers waited for 77 minutes as children were shot in their classrooms. According to body camera footage, Maldonado was outside the school within four minutes of the shooting. Local SWAT commander Sgt. Eduardo Canales’s body camera showed that he encountered Maldonado outside the building after the shooter had fired more than 100 rounds.

Law enforcement and state officials have been accused of attempting to minimize their responsibility for the Uvalde shooting. The school district police chief, who was supposed to be in charge during the shooting response, was fired in August. That decision was made after a report in July detailed a “void of leadership” among police, and records showed children locked inside were still calling 911 pleading for help more than an hour into the massacre.

The Texas Department of Public Safety declined BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.


An aerial shot of a mine tailing dam in china; looks like a blue and yellow and white watercolor river

Black Adam is the latest proof that superhero movies need a change

dwayne the rock johnson rolling his eyes upward and wearing a metallic black bodysuit with gold detailing

DC’s new superhero movie Black Adam throws pretty much everything at the wall, drawing threads from several of its predecessors, Eric Thurm writes. There are thudding Guardians of the Galaxy–style needle drops. There are slow-motion action scenes that evoke Zack Snyder. There are moments of Marvel-style quipping in the midst of destruction, complemented by the gravitational pull of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — a star who has his own distinct flavor of eyebrow-raised, bemused comedy.

There’s plenty of enjoyable stuff in Black Adam, if you’re into this sort of thing. But the film’s insistence on coloring inside the lines is disappointing, particularly given the state of its creative parent, DC.

Above all, Black Adam encapsulates the ways in which the superhero movie genre is at a transition point, or perhaps a midlife crisis. After over a decade of nonstop releases, these movies have essentially become synonymous with box office tentpoles, feeding the increasing need for new movies and TV to be based on preexisting intellectual property. Black Adam is a paint-by-numbers exemplar of this problem, but also offers hints of what a more creative superhero film could look like.

P.S. You read the whole article! As a thank-you, here's a cool lil’ newsletter alert: Suspicious Circumstances is an upcoming inside guide to the biggest unsolved cases, white-collar scandals, and grim mysteries of today. Don't miss out.

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