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Kevin Spacey Found Not Guilty in 1986 Sexual Abuse Charge

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Kevin Spacey Found Not Guilty

On Thursday, a jury ruled in favour of Kevin Spacey in one of the lawsuits that have dogged the actor’s career, concluding that he did not sexually abuse Anthony Rapp, then 14, while both were relatively unknown actors in Broadway shows in 1986.

The judgement in the civil trial was delivered in record time. Jurors in a federal court in New York debated for slightly more than an hour before concluding that Rapp’s allegations had not been substantiated.

Spacey bowed his head and hugged his attorneys when the decision was read. He didn’t say anything to reporters as he walked out of the courthouse.

“We’re grateful to the jury for seeing through these baseless charges,” his lawyer, Jennifer Keller, said.

“What happens next is that Mr. Spacey will be proven innocent of all charges against him.” That none of the allegations were true,” she continued, referring to past sexual misconduct allegations against the actor, including criminal proceedings in England.

kevin spacey, anthony rapp

Rapp Wanted 40 Million from Kevin Spacey

Rapp stated during the trial that Spacey invited him to his residence for a party, then approached him in a bedroom after the other attendees had departed. He claimed that the actor, then 26, scooped him up and laid partially on top of him on a bed before wriggling away and fleeing when a drunken Spacey asked him if he was sure he wanted to go.

Spacey told the jury in sometimes heartbreaking testimony that it never happened and that he would never have been attracted to someone who was 14. The lawsuit demanded $40 million in restitution.

Rapp and his attorneys also left without interacting with reporters. Rapp’s lawyer, Richard Steigman, accused Spacey of lying on the witness stand in his closing comments to the jury on Thursday.

“He lacks credibility,” remarked Steigman. “Sometimes the straightforward truth is the best.” The basic fact is that this occurred.”

During the three-week trial, Rapp, 50, and Spacey, 63, testified for several days.

Rapp’s and others’ claims shattered what had been a booming career for the two-time Academy Award winner, who was fired from the Netflix series “House of Cards” and had other prospects dry up. Rapp has appeared on “Star Trek: Discovery” and was a member of the original Broadway cast of “Rent.”

In Massachusetts, Spacey was accused of groping a man in a pub, claims that were eventually dropped by prosecutors.

Kevin Spacey house of cards

He pleaded not guilty in London three months ago to charges that he sexually abused three men between 2004 and 2015 while serving as creative director of the Old Vic theatre.

This summer, a judge in Los Angeles upheld an arbitrator’s decision to force Spacey to pay $30.9 million to “House of Cards” producers for breaching his contract by sexually assaulting staff members.

The Associated Press normally does not name persons accused of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Rapp has.

During the trial, Spacey testified that he was certain the contact with Rapp did not occur, partly because he was living in a studio apartment rather than the one bedroom mentioned by Rapp, and he had never hosted a gathering other than a housewarming party.

“I knew I wouldn’t have sexual feelings towards Anthony Rapp or his children.” “I knew that,” he told the jury.

Keller provided reasons why Rapp imagined or made up the incident with Spacey during her final remarks to the jury.

She speculated that Rapp invented it after seeing him appear in “Precious Sons,” a play in which actor Ed Harris lifts up Rapp’s character and lays on top of him, mistaking him for his wife until realizing it is his son.

She also claimed that Rapp was envious of Spacey’s success as a megastar while he had “minor roles in small productions” following his breakout performance in Broadway’s “Rent.”

Keller stated, “Fame did not follow him.” “Mr. Rapp’s coach has become a pumpkin.”

“So here we are today, and Mr. Rapp is receiving more publicity from this trial than he has throughout his acting career,” Keller explained. She claims Rapp is well-known now because he took down one of Hollywood’s most famous stars.

During two days of evidence, Spacey expressed contrition for a 2017 statement he released when Rapp initially went public, in which he stated that he didn’t recall the encounter but that if it did occur, “I offer him the most heartfelt apology for what would have been extremely inappropriate intoxicated behaviour.”

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Kevin Spacey, wiping tears with a tissue, said publicists and lawyers pressed him to deliver a sympathetic statement when the #MeToo movement was making everyone in the industry uneasy.

“I’ve learnt a valuable lesson: never apologize for something you did not do,” he remarked.

He also cried as he regretted openly declaring his sexual orientation on the same day Rapp’s charges appeared since some viewed his declaration as an attempt to alter the subject or detract from Rapp’s discoveries.

Spacey stated that he spoke about very personal topics during the trial, telling the jury that his father was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi who berated him for being gay because he admired the theatre.

Spacey also offered the trial a taste of his acting abilities when he imitated his Broadway costar, Jack Lemmon. He has previously stated that his ability to do impressions helped him in his acting profession.

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Australia Swelters Under Extreme Heat As Rare Early Cyclone Barrels Toward Northern Coast

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A tropical cyclone has rapidly strengthened off Australia’s northern coast, as millions face heat wave conditions expected to last into the weekend.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, severe tropical storm Jasper strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, with maximum winds of 220 kilometers per hour (138 mph).

“Further intensification Friday is possible, and a category 5 system cannot be ruled out,” according to the country’s meteorology bureau.

According to a CNN investigation of National Hurricane Center storm tracks, Jasper is the earliest Category 4 tropical cyclone to form in the Coral Sea since records began in 1900.

The storm, which is 1,195 kilometers (742 miles) northeast of Queensland and moving south at 9 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour), could hit the coast near Cairns, a city of 250,000 people, with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour) by early Tuesday.

Forecasters believe the expected route could change.

australia

Australia Swelters Under Extreme Heat As Rare Early Cyclone Barrels Toward Northern Coast

During El Nio, a climate trend in the Pacific Ocean along the equator that often reduces rainfall on Australia’s east coast, the storm arrives unusually early.

This year’s system has had an impact on weather all over the world, and it has the potential to significantly impact storm seasons.

Meanwhile, heat advisories are in effect in various states and territories, including New South Wales, which has a population of almost 8 million people.

Temperatures in Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, are anticipated to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, thanks to strong, dry winds.

Due to the elevated risk of bushfires, some Sydney schools were forced to close on Friday, and a total fire ban was in effect in some parts of NSW.

On Friday, regions of South Australia received a “catastrophic” fire rating, the highest on the scale, indicating that lives and property are likely to be lost if a fire starts.

australia

Parts of New South Wales and Victoria have extreme fire risk ratings.

The heat is expected to subside by the end of the weekend and into early next week.

With frequent heat waves, excessive rains, and destructive bushfires, Australia is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate catastrophe.

Earlier this year, amid Australia’s warmest winter since records began in 1910, more than 20 runners in the Sydney Marathon were hospitalized due to heat exhaustion.

Ski resorts, including the country’s largest, Perisher, also closed early owing to a lack of snow.

Fears were especially high because the devastating 2020 Black Summer fires, the country’s worst in decades, are still fresh in the minds of millions of Australians.

The fires consumed 10 million hectares (24.7 million acres), killing hundreds and destroying over 3,000 homes.

SOURCE – CNN

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Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

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Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to exchange prisoners and work toward restoring relations and a peace agreement to end a decades-long conflict, which the US and EU have applauded.

According to a joint statement issued by Azerbaijan’s state news agency, AZERTAC, Azerbaijan will swap 32 prisoners of war for two military personnel.

“The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan both believe that there is a historical chance for the region to achieve long-awaited peace.” The two countries “reaffirm their intention to normalize relations and reach a peace treaty based on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the statement. The breakthrough resulted from conversations between the offices of Azerbaijan’s president and Armenia’s prime minister.

“An agreement has been reached on taking tangible steps towards building confidence between two countries,” the statement says.

armenia

Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

According to Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, the prisoner swap was “an important confidence-building measure” as the two countries worked toward a peace agreement.

“We commend Azerbaijani President (Ilham) Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister (Nikol) Pashinyan for their joint efforts to lay the groundwork for a more peaceful and prosperous future for the people of the South Caucasus,” the statement read. “The United States will continue to strongly support efforts to reach a durable and dignified peace.”

“Establishing and deepening the bilateral dialogue between sides has been a key objective of the EU-led Brussels process: today’s progress is a significant step,” said EU Council President Charles Michel on X. “I now encourage the leaders to finalize the … peace deal ASAP.”

The neighboring countries have been at odds for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, an area in the Caucasus Mountains.

After mounting a quick 24-hour attack, Azerbaijan reclaimed control of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic-Armenian enclave within its boundaries, in September.

armenia

Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by Armenian rebels for decades. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, and cease-fire agreements have proven unstable.

Armenia admitted earlier this year that the province was part of Azerbaijan, but there are still disagreements about the future of its administration.

The latest progress on prisoner swaps and repairing relations came as delegates from both countries gathered in Dubai for the COP28 climate conference.

The statement also stated that Armenia would withdraw from consideration to host the annual UN-backed climate meeting next year and that Azerbaijan hoped other nations would support its bid.

armenia

Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

There is a vacancy for the summit host for COP29 in 2024, which, according to UN standards, should be hosted in Eastern Europe. Before Thursday, the two countries had been obstructing each other’s candidacy in the voting process.

A vote among the region’s nations determines the year’s host country. Russia voted against numerous countries that are members of or allies of the European Union.

Azerbaijan is a big oil and gas producer that has been strengthening ties with Russia. Oil and gas account for about half of the country’s GDP and over 90% of its exports.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Ukraine Makes New Push To Defeat Russia’s Electronic Warfare

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A drone video that appeared to show a targeted strike blowing up three antennas on the roof of an apartment building surfaced online in early November. The Ukrainian drone commander who shared it claimed to have destroyed a Russian Pole-21 electronic warfare equipment near Donetsk on the eastern front.

Regarding electronic warfare, Ukraine is already catching up to Russia.

This attack also demonstrates Kyiv’s urgency to destroy Moscow’s technology on the battlefield, indicating how critical it may be for the war’s future.

Electronic warfare, or EW, uses electromagnetic weapons or techniques. Both forces deploy it in this battle, primarily through electronic jammers that disrupt GPS-guided targeting systems, leading rockets to miss their objectives.

After nearly six months of Ukraine’s sluggish and grinding counteroffensive, it is evident that Russia has created not only great physical barriers but also formidable electronic defenses, and Ukrainian forces on the front lines must react rapidly.

ukraine

Ukraine Makes New Push To Defeat Russia’s Electronic Warfare

The drone commander with Ukraine’s 59th Motorized Brigade, which carried out the early November strike, Pavlo Petrychenko, believes that successfully destroying these systems is crucial if Ukraine is to take more land. Since the summer, there has been an increase in the frequency of Ukrainian military and media claims of successful strikes against Pole-21 systems.

“At the beginning of the conflict, they used electronic warfare to interfere with our communication, our walkie-talkies, radiocommunications, telephones, and drones,” he told CNN via video chat from near Avdiivka on the war’s eastern front, which is currently the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting.

“However, as we began to receive foreign equipment, they began to use these systems to suppress our weapons.”

“Since (the both US-provided) HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) and Excalibur 155 (an extended range artillery projectile) are guided by satellites, electronic warfare is actively used by (Russia) as one element of the defense against us,” Petrychenko said in a statement.

A flaw in Ukraine’s NATO-supplied armor
And this is the issue for Ukraine. Russian jammers have exploited the technological advantage of Ukraine’s Western-supplied arsenal of “smart” – guided – weapons.

Precision-guided missiles and guided multiple-launch rocket systems, such as HIMARS, are more vulnerable to electronic warfare than unguided weapons due to their reliance on GPS to hit their targets. Unguided weapons, which were common in both Russia and Ukraine’s Soviet-era stocks before 2022, do not.

ukraine

Ukraine Makes New Push To Defeat Russia’s Electronic Warfare

The Pole-21 device, designed to jam GPS signals to defend Russian assets from approaching drones or missiles, is only one component of Moscow’s expanding electronic arsenal.

The Kremlin’s playbook includes jamming, as well as “spoofing” GPS – a method that effectively fools an adversary drone or missile into thinking it is somewhere else – which also impairs radar, radio, and even cell connections.

According to state news agency TASS, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting in September that production of major types of military equipment, including EW, had more than doubled in the first eight months of the year.

According to experts and Ukrainian officials, Russia has now fully incorporated electronic warfare into its forces.

In a recent essay, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny, stated that Russia is now mass producing what he refers to as “trench electronic warfare.”

“The tactical level of Russian troops is saturated with (this equipment),” Zaluzhny said, adding that despite equipment losses, Moscow maintains “significant electronic warfare superiority.”

Zaluzhny also singled out American-made Excalibur shells, adding that their “capability has been significantly reduced, because the targeting system (using GPS) is very sensitive to the influence of enemy electronic warfare.”

Maj. Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated that “while the impact of Russian jamming has been observed” in certain US-supplied systems, including HIMARS rocket launchers, “it has not rendered these systems ineffective.”

ukraine

Ukraine Makes New Push To Defeat Russia’s Electronic Warfare

According to Dietz, the agency has mitigated those vulnerabilities, including “substantial efforts to re-engineer and update these systems.” Updates are “being implemented as quickly as possible to counteract the effects of EW jamming,” he added.

Right now, the best hope they have is that videos of his early November drone strike go viral, according to Petrychenko. With so many Ukrainian troops on social media, any viral clip like this would serve as a manual, assisting them in identifying Russian antennas on the battlefield.

This is shifting the game outside of Ukraine.

“I think what you’re seeing play out in Ukraine is very much a glimpse into what modern warfare looks like today,” said Kari Bingen, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former Pentagon principal deputy undersecretary for defense. She envisions a future where “electronic warfare capabilities and tactics are integrated into conventional force operations.”

ukraine

Ukraine Makes New Push To Defeat Russia’s Electronic Warfare

According to Dietz, a Pentagon spokesperson, the United States is “actively evaluating and adapting its strategies” in electronic warfare, which he sees as a “fundamental aspect of contemporary and future military engagements.”

Fedorov stated that Ukraine is actively investing in electronic warfare while also following in the footsteps of his drone program by promoting indigenous production.

And he is open about the fact that Ukraine requires assistance from its Western partners in terms of both equipment and knowledge.

“We have all the technology we need in the West.” The question may be how to use it, which is important. We must consider the next technological level of the conflict.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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