College athletes: 1. NCAA: 0.
In a potentially precedent-setting ruling, the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday sided with the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) in ruling that Northwestern football players are school employees and can unionize. The CAPA — led by Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter — argued earlier this year that student athletes should be treated as employees because they earn money for their colleges and are contractually tied, via scholarships, to them. And NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr agreed, writing that players who receive scholarships "are subject to the employer's control and are therefore employees."
The ruling only applies to Northwestern, though it could pave the way for athletes at other colleges to follow suit and ultimately crumble the NCAA's bogus student-athlete model. However, Northwestern has already said it will appeal the decision, which is no surprise. As we and many others have written before, colleges and the NCAA make a humongous pile of cash off collegiate athletics while players get zilch; the NCAA, ostensibly a non-profit, earned an incredible $872 million in revenue in 2012. Allowing players to unionize would be a direct threat to the cartel of college sports that exploits students and gives them no say.
Take out "Apple" in "Apple Pay," add in "Samsung," and you have the new mobile-payment system announced by the Korean firm on Sunday, The Guardian reports.
Samsung is teaming up with MasterCard to offer Samsung users a way to pay with their mobile phone for in-store transactions. And while Samsung says that incorporating a broadening-compatibility feature called LoopPay will benefit users in the long run, for now it means that only Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones will support the service.
Samsung has previously collaborated with PayPal and Google Wallet on similar mobile payment initiatives, but The Guardian notes that Apple Pay revitalized interest in the technology, spurring competitors to revamp their own offerings.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry downplayed on Sunday tension caused by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress, The Washington Post reports.
"The prime minister is welcome in the United States at any time,” Kerry said on ABC's This Week. "We have an unparalleled close security relationship with Israel, and we will continue to. We don't want to see this turned into some great political football."
House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting the Obama administration, a perceived slight, especially considering Netanyahu plans to talk about his concerns over the current U.S. role in Iranian nuclear talks. Kerry did admit that the situation was "odd, if not unique,” but added that "the administration is not seeking to politicize this.”
Former Texas governor Rick Perry took to CNN on Sunday, raising questions in an interview with Dana Bash about Hillary Clinton's ethical judgment. Reports last week showed that the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from seven foreign governments — at least one of which reportedly violated an ethics agreement between the Obama administration and Clinton while she was secretary of state, The Washington Post notes.
"Are you going to trust an individual who has taken that much money from a foreign source?" Perry asked. "Where's your loyalty? I'm really concerned, not just going forward, but what has been received at the Clinton Foundation over the course of years and how that affects this individual's judgement."
Watch Perry's full response in the video, below. —Sarah Eberspacher
U.S. Ebola survivor Nina Pham to sue Texas Health Resources, says she is 'a symbol of corporate neglect'
Texas nurse Nina Pham survived her encounter with the Ebola virus, but the 26 year old told The Dallas Morning News in an exclusive interview that she still suffers nightmares, body aches, and insomnia following her fight against the disease.
Pham contracted Ebola while caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Now, she is suing the hospital's parent company, Texas Health Resources, for what she says was inadequate training and protection for hospital workers. Pham is asking for unspecified damages for turning her into "a symbol of corporate neglect," she said.
"I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven't risen to the occasion," Pham said.
Read the full interview over at The Dallas Morning News.
A poll conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 48 percent of American voters believe congressional Republicans should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, without first consulting President Barack Obama. Thirty percent said the invitation was fine, and 22 percent had no opinion.
The issue was overwhelmingly a partisan one; 66 percent of Democrats disagreed with the decision, while just 28 percent of Republicans were against the upcoming address.
Netanyahu will address Congress on Tuesday, calling himself an "emissary" of the Jewish people. The Israeli prime minister is expected to voice his disagreement with a potential deal on Iran's nuclear program. While both Israel and the U.S. oppose Iran's building of a nuclear bomb, Israel wants the country to shutter all nuclear activity, while President Barack Obama has seemed more willing to allow Iran to continue some parts of its program, with implemented safeguards.
Dakota Johnson can be seen right now in Fifty Shades of Grey, but her most controversial moment of the weekend may have come in a pre-recorded sketch for Saturday Night Live.
In it, the host of this weekend's episode says goodbye to her dad, played by Taran Killam, in what appears to be a typical father-daughter moment before leaving for college. The reveal is that Johnson is not headed off to university for four years, but rather to join ISIS.
The reaction on social media found the skit to be in poor taste — decide for yourself and check it out, below. —Sarah Eberspacher
Samuel Sam-Sumana, vice president of Sierra Leone, announced on Saturday that he would "lead by example," and spend 21 days in voluntary quarantine, following the death of his bodyguard from Ebola last week, BBC News reports.
While the number of reported cases in Sierra Leone had been on the decline, a recent uptick was cause for concern, according to government officials. More than 23,500 Ebola cases have been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea since the outbreak began in December 2013; nearly 10,000 people have died from the disease.
Carrying signs declaring "I am not afraid," and portraits of murdered Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, thousands marched through Moscow on Sunday, Reuters reports.
(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
The demonstrators walked in honor of Nemtsov, who was shot four times on Friday while walking across a bridge near the Kremlin. The harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin had served as deputy prime minister under Russia's first post-Soviet President, Boris Yeltsin, in the 1990s. He became a popular figure in opposition politics after Yeltsin's successor, Putin, came to power.
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
"If we can stop the campaign of hate that's being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia," Gennady Gudkov, an opposition leader, told Reuters before the march. "If not, then we face the prospect of mass civil conflict."
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Putin has condemned Nemtsov’s murder as a "provocation," and Kremlin investigators say they are pursuing several leads. In interviews before his death, Nemtsov said he feared Putin might want him dead because of his involvement with the opposition.
Ronda Rousey needed just 14 seconds on Saturday night to defend her UFC bantamweight title against Cat Zingano, ESPN reports.
It was Rousey's (11-0) fifth UFC title defense; her last three have lasted just 66 seconds, 16 seconds, and now 14 seconds — the latter being the fastest finish of her career thus far and a UFC record for fastest ever in a title fight.
Rousey submitted Zingano with a straight armlock after Zingano rushed Rousey on the opening bell; Zingano quickly tapped out of the hold.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro condemned what he says are moves by the United States to unseat him at a rally on Saturday, Reuters reports.
"We have captured some U.S. citizens in undercover activities, espionage, trying to win over people in towns along the Venezuelan coast," Maduro said. "In Tachira, we captured a pilot of a U.S. plane (who is) of Latin origin (carrying) all kinds of documentation."
A U.S. embassy spokesman in Caracas declined to comment on Maduro's statements, saying that there had not been any official, diplomatic communication on the charges with the Venezuelan government. But an Obama administration official dismissed the accusations, calling them "baseless and false."
Maduro also said he would institute visa fees for Americans who want to enter Venezeula, reduce the number of U.S. embassy officials allowed in Caracas, and bar certain U.S. citizens from entering the country, including former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.