Posts tagged with "Maria Soloman"

Presidents Illustration for 360 Magazine by Maria Soloman

Biden’s Fight to Lead

By Hannah DiPilato

Joe Biden is leading in the polls against Donald Trump for the upcoming presidential election. 

Although Hillary Clinton was also in the lead for most of her 2016 campaign and even won the popular vote, she lost due to the electoral college. As of now, Biden is not only leading the popular vote, but there is also evidence that he is ahead when it comes to the electoral vote.

Swing states are critical in deciding the fate of the election. According to a recent poll tracker, Ohio and Iowa, both swing states, are leaning more towards Trump. However, swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona and Wisconsin are showing Biden in the lead. 

Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nevada will be vital for Trump in the upcoming election. Currently, however, the polls are showing that Biden is ahead. Nevada has swung more democratic in recent years, as their demographic of voters has changed from Caucasian voters that leaned right to a larger proportion of working-class minorities. Wisconsin has historically voted democratic from 1988 to 2012, and Trump only had the lead by a small percentage in 2016. Minnesota also generally votes democrat, but Trump believes he could be successful by campaigning to voters in rural areas. What will be necessary for Biden to see victory are securing the few states that Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to obtain – currently he leads in those crucial states. 

Even with his current lead, the fight is not over for Biden. In a Mammoth University poll, Biden was leading in Pennsylvania by thirteen percent in July, but this number had already shrunk to four percent by late August. Earlier in the year, with more media coverage on the Black Lives Matter movement, many democratic activists made sure to stress the importance of voting among younger generations which was helping Biden with votes. Now that the media coverage of the movement has become less prominent, this could explain the change in percentages from July to August. 

Although certain surveys are showing Biden in the lead, the race is still close. According to U.S. News, this is usually how the election plays out. Guy Cecil, chair of the Democratic SuperPAC Priorities USA said to reporters during a conference call that the United States is “still dealing fundamentally and structurally, with a very close election.” The electoral college votes could swing either way, meaning nothing is ever certain in an election. 

The most important thing to recognize is that these polls can never be fully accurate and can lean one way or another based on who is participating. Depending on the demographics of the people surveyed, along with who chooses to respond at all, these polls are only an estimate. 

After the recent and unfortunate death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many younger generations have been pushing strongly that everyone needs to vote. The death of Ginsburg could allow Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to select another supreme court justice making the supreme court lean more towards the right. However, in Obama’s last year of office McConnell led a blockade against Obama’s ability to nominate another justice with so little time left as president. Biden commented on this issue and said, “Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.” The death of Ginsburg so close to November could end up swinging the votes significantly in the upcoming election. However, just like the polls, it all depends on who chooses to participate. 

Maria Soloman illustration of Elton John for 360 MAGAZINE.

Elton: Jewel Box

Elton John announces the forthcoming release of Elton: Jewel Box. Released on November 13th via UMe / EMI, Elton: Jewel Box is an unrivaled collection containing 148 songs spanning 1965 to 2019 on 8CD, 4LP, 3LP, 2LP, digital download, and streaming formats.

The ultimate exploration into Elton’s extensive back catalog, Elton: Jewel Box covers deep cuts, rarities from the earliest stages of his and Bernie Taupin’s musical journey, B-side spanning 30 years, and songs discussed in his best-selling, critically acclaimed 2019 memoir Me. The 8 CD boxset of buried treasures comes in a beautiful hardcover book with the discs housed in the back, all wrapped in an outer slipcase. Each section comes accompanied by extensive notes, including a track-by-track commentary by Elton for Deep Cuts. Three different LP collections are also available to pre-order now – a 4LP gatefold black vinyl set of Deep Cuts (curated by Elton himself), a 3LP gatefold black vinyl set of Rarities and B-side highlights, and a 2LP gatefold black vinyl set “And This Is Me…”. All audio was mastered at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY-winning mastering engineer Sean Magee. With an unprecedented number of previously unheard and unreleased tracks painstakingly excavated from deep within the UMG archives, this is the ultimate treasure trove for Elton John fans.

As a first taster of some of the many gems gathered within Elton: Jewel Box, “Sing Me No Sad Songs” is today unveiled for the very first time. Listen here. Previously unreleased, the track was written and recorded as a band demo in 1969. “Sing Me No Sad Songs” is a fascinating first taste of what was to come from Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin, and one that mentions not one, but two, future smashes in its lyrics – “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” from 1984’s Breaking Heartsalbum and Elton’s first UK chart-topping single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” from 1976.

Speaking of the release, Elton says, “To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for Jewel Box” has been an absolute pleasure. Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie and I were during the early days. The songs just poured out of us, and the band were just unbelievable in the studio. I always want to push forward with everything I do and look to the future, but having time during lockdown to take stock and pull these moments from my memory from each era has been a joy. As a devout record collector myself, this project has really excited me, and I couldn’t be happier with the level of craft involved in such a carefully curated, lovingly constructed boxset. I’m sure my fans will enjoy it as much as I have.”

Available to pre-order hereElton: Jewel Box compromises of the below formats:

Disc Guide

Discs 1 & 2: Deep Cuts – A selection of personal favorites, curated by Elton. The box set book includes a track-by-track commentary by Elton.

Discs 3, 4, and 5: Rarities 1965 -1971 – Elton’s much sought-after 1960s and early 1970s demos and music that cemented the foundations of the iconic Elton John / Bernie Taupin writing partnership. The compelling, previously unreleased, missing piece in his illustrious career. Daryl Easlea narrates this fascinating story with contributions from those who were there at the time. These discs encompass 65 songs, all but a few of which have been stored in the vaults for more than 50 years. Most of these demos were recorded during sessions before Elton was signed to a recording contract or released his first album. Also included are the first song ever written by Elton and his debut appearance on a record (both “Come Back Baby” – 1965), Elton and Bernie’s first composition (“Scarecrow” – 1967), and newly-unearthed piano/vocal demos of some of Elton’s most acclaimed songs from his early albums. The packaging appropriately contains rare archival artwork and select original lyric sheets.

Discs 6 & 7: B-Sides 1976-2005 – Non-LP tracks and flipsides, never before compiled together. 36 gems that are now given another chance to sparkle – 17 previously only available on vinyl, resulting in all of Elton’s studio B-sides now being offered digitally for the first time in his career.

Disc 8: And This Is Me . . . – To coincide with the release of the updated paperback edition of Me, the final collection celebrates the songs mentioned by name by Elton in his acclaimed autobiography, closing Jewel Box with the 2020 Academy Award-winning duet with Taron Egerton, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

Elton: Jewel Box is yet another marker in an incredible few years for the world’s favorite singer-songwriter. Since the release of the ultimate greatest hits album Diamonds in 2017, Elton has undertaken a breathtaking 3 years of activity that are unmatched in their ambition, reach and impact across generations of music fans. Elton announced his record-breaking Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at New York’s Gotham Hall in January 2018, with a typically forward-looking virtual reality spectacular. Encompassing 5 continents and over 300 dates, this 3-year-long tour started in September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history. In 2019, the Farewell Tour was named Billboard’s Top Rock Tour and Pollstar’s Major Tour Of The Year. 2019 also saw the release of Elton’s critically acclaimed global bestselling autobiography, Me. The 2019 epic fantasy musical motion picture of Elton’s life, Rocketman, has been a commercial and critical hit, taking over $200m at the box office. It has won an Oscar, 2 Golden Globe Awards, and a Critics’ Choice Award, and garnered BAFTA nominations. Its soundtrack was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award. 2019 also saw Elton awarded the Légion d’ honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV/AIDS.  He was also honored with both a Royal Mail stamp collection and Royal Mint coin collection. Diamonds, the ultimate greatest hits package of Elton and Bernie, has spent a staggering 148 consecutive weeks in the UK album charts, including 29 weeks in the Top 20 in 2020 alone, selling over a million copies worldwide in the process and recently reaching double-platinum status in the UK.

An unparalleled career that has forever changed the cultural landscape, Elton John’s collaborations with Bernie Taupin and others continue to shape the cultural landscape, break records, top charts, and win new fans across the generations. We’ve had the book, the film, the farewell tour, the fashion collections, and the greatest hits. And now, with Elton: Jewel Box, fans finally have the treasure trove of previously unheard and unreleased tracks they have been waiting for from the world’s favorite singer-songwriter.

About Elton John:

Elton’s career achievements to date are unsurpassed in their breadth and longevity. Elton is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 1 diamond, 40 platinum or multi-platinum, 23 gold albums, over 50 Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” which sold over 33 million copies. Diamonds, the Ultimate Greatest Hits album, reached the Top 5 of the UK album charts on its release in November 2017, becoming Elton’s 40th UK Top 40 album in the process. This release celebrated 50 years of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, having logged 67 entries, including nine No. 1 singles and 27 Top 10s.

Among the many awards and honors bestowed upon him are six GRAMMYs, including a GRAMMY Legend Award, a Tony and two Oscars, a Best British Male Artist BRIT Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honor, Legend of Live Award, 13 Ivor Novello Awards between 1973 and 2001, and a knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services.”

In 1992, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organizations and has raised over $450 million to date in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. In June 2019, President Emmanuel Macron presented Elton the Légion d’ honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Elton was awarded the Companion of Honour in the 2020 New Year Honours list. The highest acknowledgment in the list, Elton, became one of only 64 people to hold the honor. September 2019 saw The Royal Mail issue a set of 12 stamps as a tribute to Elton being one of the most popular and enduring music artists of all time. Elton is one of only two individual music artists to be featured in a dedicated stamp issue. In July 2020, the Royal Mint released an Elton John commemorative coin, the second in their music legends series, to celebrate “one of the most successful and enduring artists of all time.”

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BEYONCÉ x ADIDAS

By Payton Saso

Beyoncé first collaborated adidas with her launch of Ivy Park. Now, the singer is back with a new collaboration. On September 18 the Beyoncé x adidas Superstar Platform will be released and available to purchase through the adidas App.

This shoe is a reinterpretation of the adidas Superstar, “however, the tooling begins to sculpt to a platform shape, bearing in tow an aggressive, near brutalist aesthetic. The midsole, though partly left untouched, quickly begins to protrude out, extending from all sides as it does in height,” Sneaker News described.

The adidas website describes the launch as “The meeting of two icons: Beyoncé lends her elegance and perspective to the iconic silhouette for the 50th anniversary of the Superstar.”

Teen Vogue recapped the history of Ivy Park, stating that the brand, “relaunched just last April with adidas where they would be collaborating, but also Beyoncé would be designing her own sportswear apparel and footwear for the brand, which includes the classic sneakers.”

This remake of the Superstar is the first of its kind by reshaping the shoe and adding a platform. This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has repurposed the classic adidas style to brand them with her Ivy Park line. Earlier this year, she launched four shoes with the brand. “All showcasing the collection’s bold styling, and incorporating utilitarian details,” adidas announced, and adding never seen before colors to the brand.

The sneakers, however, were reportedly leaked prior to their original release date but this doesn’t seem to be bothering Queen Bey too much as she was seen enjoying a vacation in Croatia on a $2 million a week yacht.

While the Ivy Park name already holds its own in the fashion industry and pop culture, collaborating with adidas is its newest mark in the industry. The brand first launched in 2016 and was cofounded with TOPSHOP founder, Sir Philip Green, but Beyoncé is now the sole owner after Green faced sexual harassment allegations in 2018, according to BBC.

The singer originally alluded to her collaboration in the January issue of ELLE Canadae, which 360 Magazine covered. With new magazine covers, movies, music and fashion, this year has been busy for Queen Bey.

The singer released a visual album, “Black is King” earlier this year which was a revival of “The Lion King.” Beyoncé was also recently enlisted by the United Nations, along with other celebs, “a film promoting actions to tackle the world’s biggest issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and inequality” according to USA Today.

It is no surprise to her fans that the singer is staying booked and busy, and are anticipating her latest drop with adidas.

The shoe’s which drop today, September 18 on the adidas app, cost $200 US dollars. Through the app customers can purchase the shoe, or enter a giveaway which closes on the drop date to win themselves a pair of the exclusive sneaker.

Face mask illustration by maria soloman for 360 MAGAZINE article.

Anti-Mask Protest Sparked in Utah

By Payton Saso

On August 21, 2020, a protest was held in St. George, Utah that was organized in objection to wearing face masks. The debate about whether or not face masks help has been going since COVID-19 was declared a national pandemic, but one group decided to go a little further than online debates and hold a protest.

The protest came after the state governor, Gary Herbert, declared that masks would be mandated at school, USA Today reported. The marchers gathered at the Washington County School District where hundreds opposed forcing kids to wear masks saying, “safety is not as important as our freedom and liberty.”

The protest came under fire after a the news broadcast that covered the protest went viral. “A white woman earnestly attempts to explain the alleged injustice: of her situation by drawing a comparison to the killing of George Floyd,” The Cut recapped. Clearly the woman here is comparing the final words and pain of George Floyd to the minor inconvenience of getting slightly out of breath from wearing a mask, which is disturbing on many levels.

The original broadcast was covered by ABC 4 where they reported, “Up to a thousand people showed up in St. George, stating children being forced to wear masks in classrooms is illegal and unconstitutional.” Which without a Supreme Court trial, these unconstitutional claims just remain an uneducated opinion.

This protest came just a few months after a similar protest in Jacksonville, Florida where anti-maskers met at the Duval County Courthouse to oppose the mask mandate there, The Florida Times recapped.

St. George News stated that, “…rally attendee Dustin Cox, who also spoke over the megaphone, encouraged district students in attendance Friday to not wear a mask when they return to school Monday, even if it means getting expelled.”

Where if protestors make the claim that if masks are getting in the way of learning, wouldn’t getting expelled be a greater obstacle to learning?

There is not really any science accepted that masks cause more harm than good, even though that is often what anti-maskers claim. The World Health Organization has repeatedly set out initiatives for the public to wear masks. Protests like this have been seen across the world even in some of the countries where COVID has hit hard.

While it is every Americans right to free speech and that will be protected under the constitution, the timing and subject just seem to be a bit insensitive. With over 195,000 deaths and 6.5 million confirmed cases in the United States, doing anything we can to slow the spread doesn’t seem unconstitutional — especially if it is as simple as wearing a face covering.

Kylie Jenner is illustrated by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

KUWTK Comes to an End

Written by Thais Jacomassi

Illustrations by Maria Soloman

With a shocking post on instagram, Kim Kardashian West announced the long-running reality series following her and her family is coming to an end after 14 years on air. “It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye,” she wrote. The show will end with its 20th season, scheduled to air early next year.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians, featuring Kim and her sisters, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie alongside their brother, Rob, and their mother, Kris Jenner, became a staple of pop culture in the early 21st century and helped shape the family’s careers and lives. It is a show that propelled the popularity of reality TV and what consumers expected of it, but the suspension of the show comes as no surprise. Since the beginning of their careers as reality TV stars, the family has gained millions of social media followers and they have become a household name. Besides show ratings beginning to drop, the family simply no longer needs the promotion anymore.

A spokesperson for E! Network said in a statement, “We thank the entire extended family and our production partners, Bunim Murray and Ryan Seacrest Productions, for embarking on this global phenomenon together.”

This does not mean the end of the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty. In fact, it is highly possible that they may try to push for a deal with online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. By not being restricted by cable TV limitations and advertising structures, the family’s franchise could expand in countless directions including a more genuine representation of them as people. There is tremendous opportunity for them in the digital world. It is no lie that reality TV is often scripted and made to be a parody of sorts, so breaking away from that formula could expand the family’s fanbase and show that they have matured past that.

With a networth of $30 million, Kendall Jenner has become the world’s highest paid model doing runways for Versace, Burberry, Tom Ford, and countless other luxury brands. After seven years, she has become one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry. Her younger sister, Kylie Jenner, gained her success after curating Kylie Cosmetics in 2015. Since then, she has also branched out into skincare and was granted the controversial title of ‘youngest self-made billionaire’ by Forbes in 2019. Their older sister, Khloe, ventured into the clothing industry with her own company called Good American which claims to have ‘invented a new women’s size in jeans’ and runs on a platform of inclusivity.

Kim, the one responsible for gaining media attention and bringing her family into the spotlight, has also ventured into the cosmetics business with her cosmetics and fragrance company, KKW Beauty which generated around $100 million of sales in 2019. Along with this, she has turned her shapewear line, Skims, into a success after a rocky start and has announced a social justice podcast on Spotify.

These are few of many of the family’s accomplishments and despite the countless controversies surrounding them, it is no lie that they helped to shape pop culture into what it is today and will continue to do so.

Nicole Salazar illustrates new Rolls-Royce for 360 MAGAZINE.

Rolls-Royce Reveals New Ghost

By Cassandra Yany

Rolls-Royce revealed the design for its New Ghost on Tuesday. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös described the Ghost as “the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet.” The first Goodwood Ghost, released in 2009, was the company’s most successful product in its 116-year history.

The automobile company released the launch film in which Müller-Ötvös shares the importance of refinement and simplicity in producing the new Ghost. The six-minute video showcases the appearance of the car, highlighting the small, unique details. Müller-Ötvös said that a client-first approach played a huge role in the car’s conception.

A team of specialists, engineers and craftspeople used research of Ghost clients’ interests, opinions and taste patterns to develop a new model that meets the preferences of these drivers. The style of the Ghost was created using the ‘Post Opulence’ philosophy, which designer Henry Cloke says is “about simplicity. [It’s] about something that doesn’t shout at you, but it whispers.”

The new Ghost has been termed “future-focused with a minimal aesthetic.” Engineers worked to combine dynamic highlights from the portfolio of numerous types of cars into one vehicle. It was formulated to remove as much energy transfer as possible from the road into the body of the car to create a smooth ride. The car was built with sound absorbing materials to reduce the level of noise inside the car. A soft undertone was created for the driver and passengers to hear a single, subtle note while on the road. Media screens fold out from behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats, providing entertainment for those sitting in the back seats.   

Behind the grill of the car are lights that provide a subtle glow below the Rolls-Royce logo, between the “laser” headlights. The interior contains wood accents, and was intended to promote a relaxing and serene driving experience. The dashboard features hundreds of illuminated stars surrounding the Ghost nameplate, and the headliner is adorned with star-like lights.

The new Ghost has all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, and was constructed to drive easy, regardless of road conditions. It was built on Rolls-Royce aluminum spaceframe architecture, which was adapted to make way for advances in this model. The Planar system increases agility through three elements:

  • The Wishbone Damper unit above the front suspension assembly creates a secure and effortless ride.
  • The Flagbearer system uses cameras to read the road and prepare the suspension system for any upcoming changes in the road surface.
  • Last, the Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for approaching corners.

The new Ghost is equipped with a 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine. The doors open and close electrically for an easy entrance and exit. Engineering Lead, Jonathan Simms, said the team “pushed [their] architecture even further and created a car even more dynamic, even more luxurious and, most of all, even more effortlessly usable.”

Additionally, Rolls-Royce released a podcast series explaining the aesthetic and engineering of the new Ghost. The sleek, luxury car is expected to retail around $322,500, with the first deliveries anticipated for early next year.

Vaughn lowery, 360 magazine, rolls-royce, new ghost
Vaughn lowery, 360 magazine, rolls-royce, new ghost
Vaughn lowery, 360 magazine, rolls-royce, new ghost
Vaughn lowery, 360 magazine, rolls-royce, new ghost
Halloween illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE.

The Henry Ford’s Hallowe’en

The Henry Ford’s Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village presented by Meijer Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Reimagined Experience

The Henry Ford is excited to announce its continued 40-year tradition of Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village, presented by Meijer. Taking place over 15 nights, beginning Oct. 8-11, 15-18, 22-25, 29-31 from 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., this year’s event has been reimagined to ensure every guest’s visit is safe, responsible, and filled with spooky-fun. Tickets for members are now on sale. Non-members tickets become available September 16. All tickets can be purchased at thehenryford.org.

This year, Hallowe’en is completely taking over Greenfield Village, with a festival-like atmosphere replacing the prescribed walking path. Fans of past Hallowe’en events will still recognize many of their favorite aspects including more than 1,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and 50-plus costumed characters from classic stories such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, alongside newly-created storybook experiences.

Guests this year will be the first to experience a brand-new train adventure aboard the Hallowe’en Express. This ghostly journey around Greenfield Village is a ride for guests of all ages and due to high demand and increased safety procedures, requires advance timed reservations.

As The Henry Ford continues to prioritize the health and safety of its guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to make important program modifications including the omission of treat stations and dining experiences such as the Hallowe’en Fairy Tale Feast and Eagle Tavern Harvest Supper. Fall treats, hot beverages and craft beer will still be available for purchase.

In order to accommodate this large-scale, new experience, Greenfield Village will close its daytime operations beginning October 5, with the intention to reopen operations throughout weekends in November.

Due to limited capacities, advanced ticket purchases are highly recommended for Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village. Tickets are $14.50 for members and $17 for non-members, ages two and up. While each admission includes a ticket aboard the Hallowe’en Express train, timed advanced reservations are required. To make a complimentary reservation, call The Henry Ford’s Contact Center at 313-982.6001. Walk-up Hallowe’en Express tickets will not be available.

About The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at thf.org, its national television series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future.

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Maria Soloman illustration for 360 MAGAZINE journalism article.

The War on Journalism

by Justin Lyons

What a time it is to be a journalist.

During an era in which news is a divisive, politicized topic, one man seems to have been spearheading the charge against modern media. That’s what a brand new documentary from Juan Passarelli aims to cover, at least in part.

“The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” takes the case of the controversial WikiLeaks founder. Assange now faces 175 years after his site published leaked documents with information sensitive to the United States government. Now we face the never-ending battle of journalistic principles versus legality.

The thing that sticks out to me at first thought is the idea that leaks have existed as long as governments and corruption have existed, which dates back to the beginning of time. As a journalist myself, I think we consider our job as watchdogs one of the most important jobs in a functioning society. If journalists aren’t delivering news telling consumers what they need to know and why they need to know it, we’d be missing a huge opportunity to hold powerful figures accountable.

Theodore Roosevelt once called journalists “muckrakers” because they, well, rake through the muck. They dig through the dirt to find that key that might be even dirtier than the dirt itself. While it doesn’t sound like an endearing term, journalists seem to take it as a compliment.

This documentary looks at the realities of being a reporter in the middle of the action, and it seems to no longer be safe to gather information about government action. It opens with what looks like a reporter being pepper sprayed by police and proceeds to show government officials claim they will not agree to refrain from prosecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Assange was indicted under the Espionage Act with 17 counts. The Espionage Act is a United States law published in 1917 that aims to prevent interference in foreign relations.

While it might seem that the First Amendment could guarantee freedom for press to publish information with the public good in mind, John Kiriakou, described as a CIA torture whistleblower, brought up a really interesting point.

Kiriakou was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia and hired the lawyer who won cases for O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman. That lawyer decided that Kiriakou’s case was impossible to win in the Eastern District of Virginia. His jury would have comprised of members of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, intelligence community contractors and the Department of Homeland Security.

The same applies to Julian Assange. He was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Kiriakou said no national security defendant had ever won a case.

Journalists aren’t seeking more freedom than the average U.S. citizen, but they should be protected with clearly defined rights. When the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury, it can make you wonder how Kiriakou’s story is possible in the first place. It seems that seeking protection for the government has overwhelmed the protection of journalistic freedoms.

Overall, the documentary is definitely an interesting looking glass into what it’s like to be a journalist right now. I also think it’s an interesting look at journalistic protections. When thinking about people like Assange or Edward Snowen, who also appears in the documentary, I wonder where their protections start and end and how those protections are recognized if we consider them journalists.

In 2020, anyone can be a journalist, and using that freedom of press for information of public interest is something that is quite clearly protected by the Constitution.

Now that Assange is appearing in court for his extradition case, I look forward to the outcome, as it could become another landmark case for journalism in the United States.

If you’re interested in seeing “The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” for yourself, you can check it out right here.

Mulan illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine.

Mulan Boycott

by Justin Lyons

A new movement is taking over social media as pro-democracy activists try to spread a boycott of the new Disney film Mulan.

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 original film hit Disney’s streaming service Disney+ this weekend. On top of the monthly subscription fee, those wanting to see Mulan would have to pay $29.99 to unlock it.

Social media users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand called for movie fans and Disney lovers to avoid the new film because of comments from Liu Yifei, who plays the titular Mulan.

In Aug. 2019, Liu expressed via Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that she supported Hong Kong police. The comments came amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Liu was met with instant backlash, but now that her movie is available to stream, the widespread boycott seems to have intensified.

Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, has been particularly outspoken regarding the situation. He asked everyone who believes in human rights to boycott the film.

He also retweeted multiple tweets from other activists. One of which was from Twitter user Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, who linked a story about the boycott from The Guardian.

“Not while the true Mulans are suffering in the darkness of a Chinese jail,” the tweet said.

Mulan currently sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but 55% among audience members. It had a production budget of $200 million.