No Federal Civil Rights Charges Likely Against Darren Wilson

Also, more candy panic, and a primer on Deflategate.
Amanda Lauren
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Also, more candy panic, and a primer on Deflategate.

If you like delicious imported European chocolates, stock up on your sweet treats because Hershey’s is about to melt away some of your favorites. If you’ve been following the many Bill Cosby rape allegation stories, another former co-star is speaking out. And I have everything you need to know about Deflategate, even if you know absolutely nothing about football.

What do you think about Darren Wilson being in the clear? Any opinions on Deflategate? Talk about it in the comments or tweet me directly @AmandaLauren.

This Isn’t Sweet At All

Sad news on the chocolate front. If you enjoy delicious imported chocolate like real Cadbury’s from England, any sort of foreign Kit Kat, or Cadbury Flake bars -- stock up, because Hershey’s is trying to ruin it for you. They have filed a copyright infringement suit against LBB Imports, who is a large importer of these products. The lawsuit says,

[LBB] continues to import and sell the infringing products, despite previously admitting that its actions infringed Hershey's trademark rights and repeatedly agreeing to stop its infringing conduct.

Hershey’s problem is that the packaging for some of the confections in question looks a whole lot like the American products they have an exclusive right to manufacture and distribute. They think this could be confusing to consumers. One example mentioned in the suit is that the packaging for Toffee Crisp resembles the packaging for Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Both products are completely different, but their wrappers have the same orange background color and their logos are both designed in a yellow font with brown outlining.

Nick Perry, owner of Tea & Sympathy in New York, doesn’t think the packaging similarities are confusing to his customers. He made a helpful suggestion to his customers on the store’s Facebook page:

May we politely suggest that if you think Toffee Crisps look like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups your eyesight is a much bigger problem than your chocolate bar confusion.

Other potentially confusing products are Cadbury (Dairy Milk, Flake and Cream Eggs), Yorkie (which could be confused for a York Peppermint Pattie), Rolo, Maltesers and Kit Kat, which are manufactured and distributed by Nestlé outside the US. Despite having the same names, the products differ and many candy connoisseurs will tell you the Nestlé made versions are far tastier than Hershey’s.

Perry also told the Daily News,

It’s bloody chocolate! This is absolutely ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense. This has been my living for 24 years.

While Hershey is only suing LBB Imports, at least for now, the suit could ultimately impact the many small business, like Tea & Sympathy, throughout the US who make a good percentage of their profits off imported candy.

Darren Wilson Is Almost In The Clear

While it has not been officially announced yet, attorneys for the US Department of Justice are expected to announce that no civil rights charges will be brought against Darren Wilson, the police officer in Ferguson Missouri who shot and killed Michael Brown. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his civil rights chief, Vanita Gupta, still have the final say regarding the charges, but they are unlikely to overrule the prosecutors on this case.

The FBI says it did not find evidence that Wilson violated Michael Brown’s civil rights. Investigators interviewed more than 200 people, analyzed cellphone video and audio, as well as Wilson’s gun, clothing and other physical evidence. Brown’s body was autopsied twice. The evidence supported Wilson’s statements to Federal investigators.

The attorney for the Brown family, Benjamin L. Crump, did not want to comment until the announcement was officially made, but he told The New York Times,

We’ve heard speculation on cases before that didn’t turn out to be true. It’s too much to put the family through to respond to every rumor.

Wilson has already resigned from the police department. It’s not clear whether the police department in Ferguson will continue to conduct its own investigation.

Deflategate 101

If you’ve been hearing about Deflategate and wondering what it is, let me explain. On Sunday, the New England Patriots won the AFC championship against the Colts, meaning the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl and the Colts are not. Each team brings 12 balls to the game, which they use when they are on offense. Two hours and 15 minutes before the game, referee Walt Anderson inspected and approved the balls before they were returned to the team. Inflating or deflating the balls after approval is against NFL rules. But later, it was discovered 11 of the 12 balls the Patriots played with were deflated.

So what would be the advantage of using deflated balls? In cold weather, deflated balls provide a better grip for the quarterback, which allows him to throw a tighter spiral, putting the team at an advantage. The temperature during the game ranged from the low 50’s to the high 40’s.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick held a press conference on Thursday morning, where he said he had no idea about the deflated balls until Monday morning and that he had no explanation for what happened.

I had no knowledge of the various steps involved in the game balls and the process that went through -- that happened between -- when they were prepared and went to the officials and went to the game, so I learned a lot about that.

Also, despite a 40-year coaching career, Belichick said air pressure has never been something he’s really paid attention to,

I can tell you that in my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject that I have ever brought up. To me, the footballs are approved by the league and game officials pregame, and we play with what's out there. And that's the only way that I have ever thought about that.

Furthermore, he doesn’t even know that much about air pressure,

[Kickers and specialists] know a lot more about it than I do, and are a lot more sensitive to it than I am.

In a separate press conference, later on Thursday, Tom Brady also admitted no wrongdoing.

When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they're perfect. I don't want anyone touching the balls after that. I don't want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in them, taking any air out. To me, those balls are perfect, and that's what I expect when I show up on the field.

The team is currently cooperating with the NFL investigation.


· Another Cosby co-star, Malcolm Jamal Warner, who played Theo on The Cosby Show, spoke out about his TV dad’s rape allegations, telling Billboard, “He's one of my mentors, and he's been very influential and played a big role in my life as a friend and mentor. Just as it's painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it's just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this.”

· Approximately 50,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Yellowstone River in Montana as the result of a broken pipeline. As a result, high levels of benzene, which can cause cancer, were found in the drinking water supply. The CDC said a little benzene is fine, but in the long term, not so much. While 10,000 gallons of oil have been removed, the water is still said to smell like diesel and approximately 6,000 people in Montana have been told not to drink their tap water.

· Google is getting into the wireless service business. Partnering with Sprint and T-Mobile through a VNMO or mobile virtual network operator agreement, like the way companies such as Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless work, the service is said to be codenamed Nova. There are not too many details available about Google’s exact plan, but we do know consumers will be able to buy their service directly from Google. The implications of this partnership could benefit consumers as a whole because it could drive down the cost of wireless service for all everyone.