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Celebs rally to 'Free Meek,' new allegations against Moore, U.S. is drinking less soda | Morning Newsletter

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Supporters call for justice for imprisoned rapper Meek Mill during a rally outside the Criminal Justice Center November 13, 2017.
Supporters call for justice for imprisoned rapper Meek Mill during a rally outside the Criminal Justice Center November 13, 2017.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Good morning! From rallies in Center City to social media campaigns, Philly is speaking its mind on the national news today. But then again, when doesn't Philly speak its mind? It's all part of the charm, I say.

If you like what you're reading, it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook.

— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: Celebs and supporters rally to ‘Free Meek Mill’

Hundreds of supporters joined a demonstration at the Criminal Justice Center last night, seeking justice for rapper Meek Mill. The Philly native was sentenced to two to four years in a state prison last week following recent probation violations.

At last night's rally, speakers included Dr. J himself, Sixers legend Julius Erving; Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins; and rappers Rick Ross and Freeway. Erving said Mill's sentence "was excessive, was cruel, was motivated by unsavory circumstances." Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of the Roots and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick tweeted their support, too.

Fans and celebrities like Kevin Hart and Jay-Z have expressed their frustration at Mill's sentencing. His defense attorneys say they plan to appeal, though Judge Genece Brinkley, who decided the case, has a history of getting similar sentences affirmed on appeal.

» READ MORE: New sex assault allegation against Moore emerges

Yesterday another woman accused Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her as a teenager in the late 1970s. Moore, the Republican candidate for an open Alabama Senate seat, denies the allegations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in response, "I believe the women," in a continued effort to distance himself and the GOP from Moore.

A social media campaign, #MeAt14, kicked off over the weekend in response to Moore's defenders. Users shared what they were like at 14 years old, the age Moore's first accuser was when she alleges he initiated a sexual encounter with her.

Breitbart has attempted to undermine the Washington Post's reporting on the cases and Fox News host Sean Hannity encouraged followers to destroy Keurig machines after the coffee maker company pulled ads from his show following his coverage of the case.

» READ MORE: Undercover Gangster: The suspect emerges

Untangling a murder plot, a Philly detective gets a big break. But will he catch his man before someone else gets killed? The second chapter in David Gambacorta's five-part series "Undercover Gangster" is now available. With illustrations by Amy Junod, it's like a true crime noir mixed with a graphic novel.

Miss chapter one? The story so far: A detective has to untangle a shocking murder plot, while a key suspect is leading dual lives.

What you need to know today

  1. More than 430 people were killed in the aftermath of a major earthquake along the border of Iran and Iraq. The 7.3 magnitude quake struck Sunday night and injured 7,156 others.

  2. Doctors just moved the goalposts for what's considered high and low blood pressure, and now nearly half of U.S. adults classify as having hypertension.

  3. A Bella Vista church built in the 1890's is off the chopping block after being added to the city's Historic Register. It's a win for preservationists, but not for the congregation trying to sell and move its ministry; they plan to appeal.

  4. Looks like moving the planned King of Prussia light-rail line just 30 yards north could do a lot to ease opposition to the project, according to last night's public meeting.

  5. The jury in the bribery trial of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez says they're deadlocked, but the judge told them to come back this morning to continue deliberation. Just when they thought they could escape jury duty….

  6. Sorry, soda: Americans are drinking less sugary beverages these days and obesity is leveling off. But use is still high among young people, blacks, Mexican-Americans and non-Mexican Hispanics.

  7. Five more Penn State fraternity members have been charged with felonies in connection with pledge Tim Piazza's death in February. Recovered security camera footage from the frat house basement shows Piazza was given 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes; one member is accused of deleting the footage.

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. WIP is losing host Chris Carlin, hired just last year, to a New York radio station. It just wasn't meant to last.

  2. Here's something you don't see everyday: a local dance organization is expanding. BalletX is set to break ground on its brand new South Philly studio.

  3. Just in time for this weekend's Cowboys matchup, Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby is ready to return to the field.

  4. Hear that? That's the sound of a million young fans squealing with glee as Taylor Swift announces her latest tour, including a stop in Philly. 

  5. Remember this next time you get a rejection letter: Last night, former Flyer Mark Recchi was inducted into Hockey's Hall of Fame after being turned down three times. In his 602 games with the Flyers, he had 627 points.

  6. The Sixers broke their two-game losing streak last night as Joel Embiid and Robert Covington came up big to beat the Clippers 109-105.

  7. This weekend, actress Valerie Bertinelli joins our 55+ Thrive Lifestyle Conference for a day of education and entertainment—and you can still get tickets.


"He picked me out of all the girls at church. But the relationship, especially after he moved on, reset my moral compass. If all the church conversation about morality and sexual purity was a lie, what else was fake?"Author Nancy French describes what it's like to watch men like Roy Moore as a conservative and a sex abuse survivor.
  1. As the School Reform Commission is dissolved, parents of charter school students ask Mayor Kenney to ensure the city school board taking its place will truly reflect the students they serve.

  2. Should the Sheriff's Office be disbanded? The Inquirer Editorial Board says maybe so, considering recent allegations against Sheriff Jewell Williams and the office's history of mismanagement. 

What we’re reading

  1. The historically older, Irish-Catholic population of Philly's Oxford Circle neighborhood is changing, thanks to a recent influx of young people and immigrants. Next City tells the stories of the neighborhood's newest residents and each tale is more captivating than the last.

  2. As we head into the 2018 election cycle, gerrymandering in Pennsylvania will be coming up a lot. This WHYY primer is a succinct explanation of why the state's voting districts are so unusual.

  3. Glass terrariums are having a moment in home decor, but their predecessor, the Wardian case, made both a global food economy and colonialism possible. I love how this piece from Object Lessons at The Atlantic connects all those dots.

  4. Quoting public intellectuals is de rigueur among the Instagram and Tumblr set. But this excellent essay at The Awl asks if it signals a next gen interest in academics or just a penchant for faux wokeness.

  5. Racked kept track of all the free swag brands sent its way for six months. Their 27 staffers received $95,000 worth of stuff and they have the outlandish infographics to prove it.

A Daily Dose of | Kindness

Delaware County firefighters met the Blackburns during a routine call, but the family's story was anything but ordinary. So the firefighters banded together to ease their financial woes with a big surprise.