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The list of women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault continues to grow. Three new women have publicly said they were victimized by Cosby. One of the women, Sharon Van Ert, was a cocktail waitress at a California jazz club in the 1970s. She claims that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in her car. Another woman made an appearance on The Cosby Show as an extra. “After 35 years of living with these shameful memories in secret, I was finally encouraged by all the other women who have recently told their stories,” said Van Ert. Over 40 women in total have come forward with sexual assault claims against Cosby. Read more.

Pharrell Williams to Release ‘Happy’ Inspired Children’s Book

Mega producer and music artist Pharrell Williams is taking his hit song “Happy” to new levels. After releasing the first 24-hour video ever made for the song, he’s using the tune to do something special for the youth: Williams is creating a children’s book. “Putting happy into a book for kids was an opportunity to give the message yet another platform. You can see that there’s been a spark,” said Pharrell. He’s also launching a campaign in collaboration with Penguin Books called #ReadHAPPY, which will donate books to youngsters in need. Happy! is slated to be released on October 6th. Read more.

New Bi-Partisan Plan Will Cut Prison Sentences for Nonviolent Offenders

A new bi-partisan plan to shorten mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent offenders is slated to be unveiled today. The bill, which is being backed by Senator Charles E. Grassley and other influential senators, was created to reduce the costs of incarceration, which has a bad impact on minority communities. Under the bill, solitary confinement for juveniles would be banned. The new guidelines would be implemented on a retroactive basis for those who are already behind bars. “We’re hopeful that the bipartisan compromise will mean real reform to reduce sentences, provide immediate relief, and begin to bring down the prison population,” said Holly Harris, the executive director of the U.S. Justice Action Network. Read more.

Whole Foods to No Longer Use Prison Labor

After being involved in the prison labor industry, Whole Foods has decided to no longer sell products that are made by prisoners. They made the change after customers claimed they felt uncomfortable knowing the products were made through prison labor. “We want to make sure we are in tune with our customers’ wishes,” said a spokesman. “We felt that supporting suppliers who found a way to be part of paid, rehabilitative work being done by inmates would help people get back on their feet and eventually become contributing members of society.” Items made by inmates will be taken off shelves by April 2016. Read more.


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