Daily Digest: ‘Kony 2012’ again, Bin Laden’s widows, Burger King’s new menu and ‘Bully’

by Cali Owings


Here’s your Daily Digest for April 2, 2012:

Officials for Invisible Children, the activist group behind the viral "Kony 2012" video, announced that they will release "Kony 2012 Part II" on Tuesday, according to NPR.

The group released a 30-minute video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who controls the Lord’s Resistance Army, in early March.

With more than 86 million views, the video has made Kony a household name, but also drawn criticism for oversimplifying the conflict in the country. The Guardian reports that it focuses on the number of children abducted by the LRA and other atrocities, but critics say it doesn’t take into account the offenses of the Ugandan government and other organizations.

Officials said the new video will provide more context about the LRA’s presence in the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo where the army is largely based. The video came under fire for implying that Kony was primarily active in Uganda.

To add to the controversy, Jason Russell, the director behind “Kony 2012,” was detained for bizarre behavior on the streets of San Diego, according to the Washington Post. The police report said Russell was in his underwear, interfering with traffic and yelling incoherently.

A statement from the organization said Russell had a breakdown because of “stress, exhaustion and dehydration following his overnight fame.”

Three of Osama bin Laden’s widows and two of his daughters were sentenced to prison time Monday by a Pakistani court for entering the country illegally, the Associated Press reports.

The women were sentenced to 45 days each with credit for time served. Since they were arrested on March 3, the women will only have two more weeks in Pakistani prison before being deported to their home countries — Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Bin Laden’s two Saudi widows and their children might have difficulty getting back into the country because bin Laden lost his citizenship in 1994 for his comments against the Saudi royal family.

An anonymous member of the bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia told the AP that Saudi officials have said they would take the women back and grant their children citizenship, but Saudi officials declined to comment.

Yemen has already issued passports to bin Laden’s 30-year-old Yemeni wife and her five children.

Burger King has revamped its menu with ten new items like smoothies, salads and coffee drinks that many say are similar to its No. 1 competitor — McDonalds.

It’s the “biggest menu expansion since the chain was started in 1954,” the AP reports.

The fast-food chain has seen dwindling sales, propelling Wendys to claim their spot as the No. 2 burger chain last year. The company’s president for North American operations said the new menu is a result of customers wanting more choices.

The company will also roll out changes to modernize restaurants across the country with leather armchairs, high stools and warm lighting at an average cost of $275,000 per makeover. So far more than 1,000 restaurants have signed up to be remodeled in the next year.

A representative for the Burger King on Washington Avenue near campus said all of the new menu items are available there, except the smoothies and frappes which will be coming out in a few weeks.

The controversial documentary “Bully” opened this weekend to a successful limited release, reports the LA Times. The film was only released in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York, but made $115,000.  Protest over its R rating might have had an impact on its relative success.

The documentary follows the lives of five families affected by bullying. It was given the rating because of its use of profanity. Several people protested the rating because they wanted it to be available to more children. The Weinstein Co. chose to distribute it unrated instead, causing problems for many theater chains that have a policy against showing unrated films.

Theater chains are taking different approaches to the film when it hit expands into 50 more theaters on April 13. AMC, the nation’s second-largest chain, is taking the least restrictive approach. It will allow children under 17 to see the movie without an adult if they have a written permission note.

An edited version of the film, expected to meet the guidelines for a PG-13 rating, will likely be shown in wide release.