A group of anti-abortion activists took it upon themselves to secretly videotape activity at a Planned Parenthood in Houston, Texas in an effort to reveal how fetal tissue was being handled at the clinic. Unfortunately for the activists (affiliated with the Center for Medical Progress) their plan backfired. After examining the footage, a Houston grand jury decided instead to indict two of the activists on felony charges, including tampering with a government record and purchasing human organs. It’s the first time the group has been criminally held accountable since the videos were shared. Planned Parenthood representatives are content with the criminal charges brought up against the activists. “This is absolutely great news because it is a demonstration of what Planned Parenthood has said from the very beginning: We follow every law and regulation and these anti-abortion activists broke multiple laws to try and spread lies,” said Rochelle Tafolla, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. At the beginning of January, Planned Parenthood sued the Center for Medical Progress for criminal misbehavior. Read more.
“Birth of a Nation” Receives Standing Ovation at Premiere
Based on the way it was received at the Sundance Film Festival, actor Nate Parker’s new movie Birth of a Nation is a hit. On Monday, after the film was shown, the audience rose to their feet and applauded until the credits stopped rolling. The movie is centered on Nat Turner, a Black slave who led a rebellion against slave owners in the 1800s. “I made this film for one reason, with the hope of creating change agents. That people can watch this film and be affected. That you can watch this film and see that there were systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people and the legacy of that still lives with us,” said Parker. “I just want you, if you are affected and you are so moved, to ask yourself, ‘Are there systems in my life that need attention whether it be racial, gender?’ There are a lot of injustices.” Other stars featured in the film include Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Armie Hammer, and Aja Naomi King. Read more.
FLOTUS to Attend American Magazine Media Conference in NYC
Some of the biggest names in the media industry will gather in New York City at the American Magazine Media Conference next month, but a recently confirmed guest will steal the show. First Lady Michelle Obama is slated to make an appearance, along with Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. During the conference, the ever-changing landscape of the media industry will be discussed. “Obviously, there are challenges to every single part of the media industry,” said Linda Thomas Brooks, CEO of MPA, the Association of Magazine Media. “Magazine media is no stranger to that, but I think it is coming at it from a position of strength.” The two-day conference will kick off on February 1st. Read more.
Serena Williams Beats Maria Sharapova Despite Battling Food Poisoning
One of the ultimate tests for an athlete is to show up, compete, and give your all – even when you’re not feeling your best. At the Australian Open this week, tennis star Serena Williams did just that. She beat Maria Sharapova for the 18th time in a row, in spite of the fact that she had food poisoning. “I was a little lethargic. It was maybe just getting out to a faster start like I had been in all the rest of my matches. I was just dealing with some food poisoning issues from a few days ago. That was it,” said Serena. Williams will now move on to the semi-finals and compete against Agnieszka Radwanska. Read more.
VIDEO SOURCE: Inform