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Shark Scoop - September 25, 2022

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Shark Scoop is a weekly roundup of five stories that examine developments in global, national, and local news, as well as a top headline in entertainment and sports.


Russians and Ukrainians Engage in Rare Hostage Exchange

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 21Aiden Aslin, along with nine other detainees were released from their Russian captors as part of an exchange between Russia and Ukraine. In an interview with The Sun on Sunday, he described his five month long fight as a prisoner of war. Originally from the U.K., Aslin built a new life in Ukraine with his fiance Diane Okovyta and joined the Ukraine marines. He fought against Russian forces after their invasion in February until his battalion was cornered in the siege of Mariupol in April. For the next five months of his life, he was held in a four foot by six foot cell for 24 hours a day being beaten, stabbed, and forced to endure unspeakable things. Last Wednesday, Aslin was reunited with his fiance and mother in the U.K.

Elton John Given National Humanities Medal by President Biden

On Friday, September 23, President Joe Biden presented Sir Elton John with a National Humanities Medal after John’s performance on the South Lawn at the White House. The medal came as a surprise to John and he was visibly moved. President Biden and first lady Jill Biden invited John to the White House to show their appreciation for his generosity and advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS. After John performed a series of hits like: “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Your Song”, and “Rocket Man,” Biden ended the night with a thank you. “On behalf of the American people, thank you — and I sincerely mean this — for moving the soul of our nation.”

New York City Council Marks Women's Equal Pay Day

Based off of a new pay equity report from the New York City Council released Thursday, Sept. 22, there is a drastic pay injustice for non-white and female workers within the city’s municipal workforce. Female city workers make 73 cents for every male dollar while Black and Latina female employees make as low as 69 cents for the white male dollar. Black male employees are stated to make 71 cents to the white male dollar, Latino males make 75 cents and Asian males make 85 cents. Adrienne Adams, New York City Council Speaker, addressed this at a press release, “although the council has long been aware that pay disparities exist along racial and gender lines, the council now has unprecedented diversity among its members after major turnover following elections in 2021.”

Drag Queen Cherry Valentine Dies at Age 28

George Ward, or stage name Cherry Valentine, an English drag queen best known for the BBC documentary “Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud” and competing on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK passed away on Sept. 18 at age 28. Ward was born in Darlington and was brought up in the Traveler community, and continued to be a voice and activist for the Traveler community. Before making their appearance on “Drag Race,” Ward worked as a mental health nurse and in vaccination units during COVID-19. Per a statement of their family, “We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie 30 November 1993-18 September 2022.”

Joe Mazzula to Serve as Interim Head Coach for Boston Celtics Amid Controversy

The Boston Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens have confirmed that Joe Mazzula will serve as interim head coach while Ime Udoka is suspended from his head coach position for the 2022-2023 NBA season for violating team policies. Udoka was officially suspended on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 no less than 24 hours after The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that anonymous sources said Udoka, “had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff” but later clarified that, “the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her.” Stevens and Grousbeck did not comment on these allegations but Stevens got emotional when saying “we have a lot of talented women in our organization and I thought yesterday was really hard on them.” Mazzula has faced guilty charges of disorderly conduct and battery charges but Stevens believes that Mazzula has learned and been impacted by these moments and that Mazzula is the absolute best choice for the Celtic’s head coach position this season.

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