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Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and author of Between the World and Me, has garnered a lot of recognition for his work. After being nominated for a National Book Award, he recently was chosen to receive one of this year’s “genius grants” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Coates is one of twenty-four people selected. Each of the winners will receive $625,000 over the next five years to continue their work. Other recipients include writer Ben Lerner, poet Ellen Bryan Voigt, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, and puppeteer Basil Twist. Read more.

President Obama to Meet with Raul Castro 

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are slated to meet Tuesday to further discuss the restored relations between the U.S. and Cuba. It will be the second time the two leaders have met since they decided to reestablish their diplomatic relationship last year. “For 50 years the United States pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that,” said President Obama at the U.N. yesterday. “We continue to have differences with the Cuban government. We will continue to stand up for human rights, but we address these issues through diplomatic relations and increase commerce and people to people ties.” Read more.

Brown University Takes Away Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree

Another institution has decided to cut ties with comedian Bill Cosby. Brown University in Rhode Island annulled Cosby’s honorary degree due to his ongoing sex scandal. This is the first time the institution has stripped someone of their honorary degree. “It has become clear, by his own admission in legal depositions that became public this summer, that Mr. Cosby has engaged in conduct with women that is contrary to the values of Brown and the qualities for which he was honored by the University in 1985,” said Christina Paxson, the university’s president. Read more.

Steve Harvey Signs Deal with Endemol Shine North America

Steve Harvey has seen a lot of success with his talk show, and now he’s focused on a new venture. Harvey recently signed a production deal with Endemol Shine North America. Under the deal, Endemol Shine and Harvey’s East 112th Street Productions will collaborate on both scripted and unscripted digital projects. “I’m truly excited to bring East 112th Street Productions to Endemol Shine, where I’ve enjoyed a great partnership with my talk show over the last four years,” says Harvey. “Cris, Charlie and the team at Endemol Shine offer us the opportunity to expand our vision for East 112th Street globally and we’re already exploring a number of potential projects together that I can’t wait to see get off the ground.” Read more.


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