Happy Tuesday, Philadelphia. If you don’t already have coffee on the brain this morning, you will soon. Protests continued yesterday at Starbucks locations in Center City following the arrests of two African American men at one of the company’s cafes last week. Starbucks’ CEO stopped by on an apology tour, residents held a sit-in at the store in question, and the manager who called police is no longer at that store. Protesters also gathered outside a status hearing on rapper Meek Mill’s case Monday. He wasn’t released from prison just yet, but the District Attorney’s office gave fans some hope he’ll receive a new trial. Details on that and much more ahead.
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Trouble is still brewing for Starbucks following the arrests of two African American men at a Center City location last week. Protests and a sit-in sprouted up at the store again Monday and traveled to multiple locations of the chain, with protesters calling for the firing of the store manager who called the police. The manager has since left the store.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia Monday to meet with the two men, who were arrested for refusing to leave the cafe when asked, saying they were waiting for a friend to arrive. Johnson also told the Inquirer Monday the company now plans to offer unconscious-bias training for its managers.
Local scholars who study corporate errors say Starbucks is making all the right PR moves and the civilian oversight board for Philadelphia police say the arresting officers did nothing wrong. For those looking to boycott the brand, there are plenty of independent coffee shops in Philly open for business.
Rapper Meek Mill was not let out of prison Monday as some fans had hoped. At a status hearing on Mill’s case — he’s been sentenced to two to four years in jail for violating probation — Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley refused to hear his attorneys’ arguments for his release.
But Mill and his supporters did receive a ray of hope from District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office. Assistant District Attorney Liam Riley said at the hearing that Mill’s conviction should be vacated and he should get a new trial.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine has approved the sale of cannabis flower, the traditional smokable or vaporizable form of the plant. That’s big news for both the “cannabiz” and patients who’ve only been able to buy pricey marijuana oils and extracts from state dispensaries since the medical marijuana program launched in February.
The state also just expanded the number of ailments that qualify patients for the medical marijuana program, including opioid withdrawal. Allowing the use of cannabis to help wean people off of opioids could have a big impact on the state as the opioid epidemic continues.
What you need to know today
- Cosby trial: Andrea Constand took the witness stand Monday for a second day of cross-examination by Bill Cosby’s defense lawyer. He attempted to paint her as a con artist hoping to make a quick buck while she denied wanting to extort the entertainer.
- At a hearing over the evidence seized in FBI raids of President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen’s home and office, a judge compelled Cohen to reveal a mystery client whose privileged communications might be in the files. Turns out that client is Fox News host Sean Hannity.
- Republicans in control of the Pennsylvania House have approved a highly controversial bill banning the termination of pregnancies because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. The bill heads to the Senate next.
- Attention vapers: all e-cigarettes are not created equal. Certain flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy are more toxic than others.
- The Sixers lost to the Heat last night as Dwayne Wade walked away with 28 points in Game 2 of the playoff series. There’s no word yet on whether center Joel Embiid will be back for Game 3. During last night’s game the team honored late Sixers legend and Hall of Famer Hal Greer, who died Saturday.
- Daryl Worley, the North Philly native who the Eagles released Sunday, has been charged with a DUI and a firearms felony following a weekend encounter with police.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
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- Civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis joined St. Joseph’s University’s observance of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech there Monday. He told attendees, “We are going forward. We are not going backward.”
- Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles said in a new interview he’s been wearing a disguise in public (he’s a popular guy these days) but perhaps more importantly, he also said he wants to be a starter again. In other Eagles news, “King of Philadelphia” Jason Kelce got married in Center City over the weekend.
- The Philadelphia Folk Festival has revealed the lineup for its 57th year and, thanks to a new focus on inclusion, the three headliners are all women. Looking for a different scene? EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers will join the Atlantic City BeachFest this summer.
- Following her history-making headlining performance at the Coachella music festival, Beyoncé is donating $100,000 to four historically black colleges and universities.
- Speaking of artists making history, rapper Kendrick Lamar just became the first popular musician to win a Pulitzer Prize. Music critic Dan DeLuca explains why the award matters.
- If you already love the Jenkintown-based series The Goldbergs, you might want to try its new ’90s-set spinoff based on the teachers at William Penn Charter School.
“Fortunately, these men had the presence of mind and self-control to allow themselves to be detained peacefully, making no protest in the face of what was apparently unjust profiling. I tremble to think of how a grown-up version of my little boy would have reacted in the same situation.“ — The Glenside mother of a black boy worries about keeping him safe following the stories of Stephon Clark and the men arrested at a Philly Starbucks.
- Following last week’s Starbucks scandal, columnist Christine Flowers writes that she hopes liberals won’t join a Starbucks boycott.
- Privacy isn’t the tech industry’s only problem. Without diversifying their ranks, companies like Facebook will continue to make mistakes because of their one-dimensional perspective, WURD’s Charles D. Ellison writes.
What we’re reading
- Billy Penn’s latest on new initiatives turning everyday city spaces like bus stops into play areas and puzzles will add a touch of whimsy to your day.
- The Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Ocean County, New Jersey is closing this year and, WHYY reports, residents are anxious about next steps — including what will become of 1.7 million pounds of waste.
- A local water testing company is butting heads with the Philadelphia Water Department over water quality and, as the Philadelphia Citizen reports, it’s making a splash with customers.
- The black and gray tattoo style popular in many parlors has its roots in Chicano culture. NPR tells the style’s storied history through one man’s journey to a tattoo needle.
- If you’ve ever had an inkling you’d enjoy comics, find out by reading Vulture’s colorful exploration of “The 100 Pages That Shaped Comics.” (You’ll need quite a chunk of time to dig in.)
Your Daily Dose of | Idol Worship
Local artists are showing their love for Rocky with a new art exhibit all about the fictional boxing legend. Naturally, it includes a stained-glass-style portrait of the character fit for a Philly church.