1. Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison
President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on Dec. 13.
According to The New York Times, Cohen admitted to the court that he was involved in President Trump’s “hush-money” scandal, where he paid two women to stay silent about their supposed affairs with Trump. The scandal was allegedly put into place in order to protect Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 election.
“I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said in court, according to The New York Times.
Cohen is charged with breaking three different laws – breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress.
Mr. Cohen apologized to the public in a statement by saying, “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust.”
2. Riots in Paris
Protesters in Paris have been demonstrating for two weeks due to a scheduled rise in gas taxes and the high cost of living. According to the Washington Post, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said that Saturday’s riots in Paris were the worst since May 1968.
The street protesters have been labelled as “Yellow Vests” because of the construction-like neon vests they are using as uniform. According to Global News, the yellow vests are symbolic outfits because all French drivers are required to keep yellow vests in their car for safety reasons. The protesters have burned cars and vandalized monuments such as the Tuileries Gardens.
The U.S. government is recommending that U.S. citizens traveling to Paris should enroll in the State Department’s S.T.E.P. program. The free program allows citizens to register their travel plans online, and in case of an emergency, the U.S. embassy in that country will directly contact travelers with advice.
3. 2019 Heisman Winner Announced
On Dec. 8, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was awarded the 2018 Heisman Trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York.
The Heisman Trophy finalists were announced by the Heisman Trophy committee on Dec. 3: quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Tagovailoa was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. These players were nominated for the award by sports journalists and Heisman winners from the past.
According to the Washington Post, Murray threw 4,053 yards and scored 40 touchdowns causing Oklahoma to lead the nation in total yardage and points per game.
Murray has also won awards such as the Big 12 offensive player of the year, Associated Press player of the year and the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s best college quarterback.
Murray will face Tagovailoa, his runner-up, on Dec. 29 when Oklahoma faces Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
4. Kevin Hart Steps Down As The 2019 Oscars’ Host
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart stepped down as the 2019 Oscars host on Dec. 6, only 48 hours after the announcement that he would host.
After being awarded the position, Hart posted an Instagram expressing his gratitude.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same,” Hart wrote. “I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime … I am so happy to say that the day has finally come.”
Homophobic tweets and comments from Hart’s past were surfaced by Twitter users, and according to Variety.com, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Hart the option to apologize for his past, or they’d find a new host. Hart said the following in a video on his Instagram account:
“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different place in my life.”
The Academy is now continuing their search for a 2019 host. The 91st annual Academy Awards will be aired on Feb. 24 at 7:00 CST on ABC.
5. Romaine Lettuce E.Coli Outbreak
The Food and Drug Administration discovered the source of the E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce on Dec. 13. According to CBS News, the FDA said the outbreak emerged from lettuce grown in three California counties: Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Benito.
“As of Dec. 13, this outbreak has resulted in 59 people becoming ill in 15 states,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D stated in a press release.
Gottlieb released advice on how to stay away from the harmful romaine lettuce. He suggested that consumers, retailers and food service facilities should not purchase romaine products if they aren’t able to confirm that they are from an unaffected source. If a product has already been purchased, return it or throw it away.