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Danny Masterson Rape Case Ends in Mistrial After Jury Deadlock



Danny Masterson Rape Case Ends in Mistrial After Jury Deadlock

A judge declared a mistrial in the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson on Wednesday after jurors deadlocked following the monthlong trial in which the Church of Scientology played a supporting role.

Prosecutors allege that Masterson raped three women, including a former girlfriend, in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003 and that the church kept them quiet for years. Masterson, 46, pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer stated that all acts were consensual.

“I find the jurors hopelessly deadlocked,” Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared after the jury foreman stated that the court could do nothing to move them closer to a unanimous decision. She scheduled a retrial in Los Angeles Superior Court for March.

Olmedo had ordered jurors to take Thanksgiving week off and continue deliberating after they said they couldn’t reach an agreement on Nov. 18. A jury of six women and six men resumed deliberations on Monday after two jurors were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the break.

According to the foreman, the jury voted seven times on Tuesday and Wednesday without deciding on any of the three counts. Two jurors supported conviction on the first count, four on the second count, and five on the third count.

As a result, prosecutors and the three women who said they were seeking long-overdue justice and gave emotional and graphic testimony over several days suffered a significant setback.

“Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts,” two of the alleged victims in the case said in a statement. However, we are determined to continue our fight for justice.”

Danny Masterson Rape Case Ends in Mistrial After Jury Deadlock

At the time, all three women were church members, and Danny Masterson is still one.

Two of the women and one of their husbands are suing Masterson, the Church of Scientology, its leader, David Miscavige, and others for allegedly stalking, harassing, and intimidating them after they attempted to expose Masterson.

Masterson walked out of the courtroom with his wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, without speaking to reporters. Members of his showbiz family, his sisters-in-law, actor Mackenzie Phillips, singer and actress Chynna Phillips, and her husband, actor William Baldwin, accompanied him to court for several days.

The proceedings took place amid a flurry of #MeToo-related cases on both coasts, including Harvey Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles, just down the hall from Masterson’s. In New York, Kevin Spacey won a sexual misconduct lawsuit brought by actor Anthony Rapp, and in a civil case there, a jury ordered director and screenwriter Paul Haggis to pay $10 million.

But, as with the Haggis trial, the specter of Scientology overshadowed the #MeToo implications, despite the judge’s insistence that the church not become a de facto defendant.

According to Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller, the church attempted to silence the women, which is why the case took two decades to reach trial.

Danny Masterson Rape Case Ends in Mistrial After Jury Deadlock

Masterson’s lawyer, Philip Cohen, claims the church was mentioned 700 times during the trial and claims it became an excuse for the prosecution’s failure to build a credible case against Masterson, a prominent Scientologist.

According to Karin Pouw, a church spokesperson, Mueller misrepresented church doctrine and beliefs, and Jane Does make false claims about Scientology.

“There is absolutely no truth to any of the testimony that the church harassed or stalked the Jane Does,” Pouw said.

Cohen stated that he would file a motion to dismiss the case based on the jury’s decision. He stated that jurors provided additional beneficial insights after the mistrial ruling, but he refused to discuss what they told him.

“As a lawyer, you always wonder if what you’re doing in court every day is making any inroads… with the jury,” Cohen explained. “We made inroads.”

The district attorney’s office expressed disappointment with the outcome and said it would consider its next steps. It praised the women for “stepping forward bravely and recounting their harrowing experiences.”

Jurors were led out of the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Masterson did not appear in court. Cohen did not present any defense testimony, instead focusing on inconsistencies in the accounts of the three accusers, whom he claimed changed their stories over time and spoke with each other before going to the police.

During closing arguments, Cohen stated, “The key to this case was not when they reported it.” “That’s what they said when it was reported, what they said after reporting it. And what they said in court.”

Masterson, according to Mueller, was a man “for whom ‘no’ never meant ‘no.'”

Danny Masterson Rape Case Ends in Mistrial After Jury Deadlock

Masterson allegedly served two women drinks, causing them to become woozy or pass out before being violently raped. One woman said she thought she would die as Masterson covered her face with a pillow.

An ex-girlfriend claimed she awoke to find Masterson having sex with her against her will. According to the defense, her claims were undermined because she later had sex with him after they split up.

Cohen told jurors that if they believed Masterson “actually and reasonably believed” the women consented to have sex, they could acquit him.

Mueller countered that no one would believe the acts described were consensual, reminding jurors that one woman told him “no,” pulled his hair, and tried to get out from under him repeatedly.

Mueller warned jurors not to be swayed by defense speculation and said contradictions in the victims’ testimony were signs of authenticity rather than scripted accounts.

The charges stem from when Masterson was at the pinnacle of his career, starring as Steven Hyde on Fox’s “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006. The show, which made Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace stars, is getting a Netflix reboot with “That ’90s Show.”

Masterson re-joined Kutcher on the Netflix comedy “The Ranch” but was fired when an LAPD investigation was revealed in December 2017.


CNN Ousts CEO Chris Licht After A Brief, Tumultuous Tenure




THE NEW YORK CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht, After a turbulent year in charge of the faltering news organization, culminating in a stinging magazine feature and the growing realization that he’d lost the trust of the network’s journalists, CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht.

Just two days after Licht declared he would “fight like hell” to earn the respect of those around him, the change was revealed at CNN’s editorial meeting on Wednesday morning.

In addition to appointing a four-person interim leadership team, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced during the editorial meeting that he would conduct a comprehensive search for Licht’s replacement.

Republicans had grown increasingly wary of the network due to frequent attacks by the late President Donald Trump. Thus, Licht was mandated to try and make CNN more appealing to both sides of the country’s political spectrum.

However, several network employees viewed Licht’s call for change as a rejection of their prior efforts, and a live town hall interview with Trump last month generated strong opposition.

Don Lemon was fired from the network’s morning show earlier this year after Licht tried to modernize it, but it was unsuccessful. Creating a new prime-time lineup was protracted, as Kaitlan Collins was only recently chosen to host the 9 p.m. hour, which has been without a permanent host since Chris Cuomo was let go in December 2021.


CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht.

Just over a year ago, Zaslav appointed Licht to succeed Jeff Zucker, a well-liked predecessor who had created shows like MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” CBS’ morning news program, and Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. Zucker was let go for failing to disclose a mutually beneficial relationship with another CNN executive.

The position “was never going to be easy, especially at a time of great disruption and transformation,” Zaslav wrote in a memo to CNN employees.

He remarked, “Chris put his heart and soul into it. It has been clear throughout his tenure that he has a great affection for journalism and this industry. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as we had intended, and in the end, I was responsible.


An inquiry for comment from Licht has yet to receive a response.

“Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” a lengthy profile of Licht that appeared in Atlantic magazine on Friday, proved embarrassing and probably sealed his demise. Before he arrived, Licht criticized some of CNN’s COVID coverage, which infuriated some journalists.

According to a Wall Street Journal piece published Tuesday night, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, and Erin Burnett, three of CNN’s top anchors, reportedly privately voiced their disapproval of Licht’s management.

In the meantime, viewers were leaving. With 494,000 viewers in May, CNN’s prime-time audience was down 16% from April and fell short of MSNBC, its nearest competitor in the news market.

Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling, and David Leavy, four current CNN executives, were chosen by Zaslav to lead the network while a replacement is sought.

In the message, Zaslav stated, “We are in good hands, allowing us to take the time we need to run a thoughtful and thorough search for a new leader.”


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Some ‘Diablo IV’ Players Report Invalid License Error Message After Early Access Launch



diablo IV

Washington, D.C. The highly anticipated action role-playing video game “Diablo IV” launched its early access on Thursday night. However, there were some delays, particularly for PlayStation players.

While many players who pre-purchased eligible “Diablo IV” editions experienced no problems with the early access launch, some PS5 users reported getting an invalid licensing error message. After initially stating that a server-side balance update had been implemented, Blizzard acknowledged the problem.

A software upgrade known as a hotfix focuses on a single problem and normally does not cause service interruptions.

The most recent game in the Blizzard “Diablo” series, which debuted in 1996, is titled “Diablo IV” and was released in May 2012. This is more than ten years after “Diablo III”‘s debut. Although the game’s early access began on Thursday, the launch is set for the following week.

Diablo’s general manager, Rod Fergusson, referred to “Diablo IV” as “our most brutal vision of Sanctuary,” the make-believe setting for the game. He continued, saying that it incorporates “the darkness of the original game” and expands on significant elements from other games in the franchise.

Activision Blizzard, the parent business of Blizzard Entertainment, announced in April that its net sales for the first quarter of 2023 increased to $2.38 billion from $1.77 billion. Activision reported that “Diablo IV” presales were robust, indicating that the game had undergone successful public testing.

What you need to know about “Diablo IV’s” upcoming official release and early access launch on Thursday is provided here.

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Depending on your local time zone, “Diablo IV” will be formally published on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. The game will begin in the United States on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).

Although “Diablo IV” is set to be on sale next week, early access started a few days earlier, on either Thursday or Friday, depending on where you are. Players who pre-purchased the game’s digital deluxe or ultimate edition were expected to have early access.

Additionally, some devices allow players who have previously purchased “Diablo IV” to pre-load the game. According to Blizzard, pre-loading is possible for Windows PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.

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Although early access appeared to open without incident for the majority of gamers, some PS5 users reported receiving an error message that stated, “unable to find a valid licence for Diablo IV,” according to posts on Blizzard’s community forums and social media. Players on the PS5 appeared to be the ones most affected by the problem, but some other users said they also received the notice on Xbox and other platforms.

In a forum post late Thursday night, Blizzard recognized the PlayStation customers’ complaints. Adam Fletcher, director of global community development, later claimed that “Diablo IV” had received a server-side balance update implemented across all platforms.

How many early access players were affected by the problem is unknown. On Blizzard’s forum, some angry customers reported that they were still having access issues as of Friday morning.

The Associated Press requested statements from Blizzard and PlayStation on Friday morning.


“Diablo IV” reportedly takes place decades after the events of “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.” The angel Inarius and the demon Lilith have started a battle and are at odds.

In “Diablo IV,” players can choose from one of five classes: Druids, Rogues, Sorceresses, Barbarians, or Necromancers.

At launch, “Diablo IV” will support couch co-op and cross-platform play on Windows PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4, among other platforms.

diablo IV

Financial results for Activation for 2022, Microsoft Deal

In 2022, Activision, the company behind “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” and “World of Warcraft,” recorded net revenues of $7.53 billion, a decrease from the $8.8 billion reported in 2021.

Microsoft revealed plans to buy Activision in January 2022, but the historic transaction is doubtful more than a year later. Last month, the European Union authorized the $69 billion purchase, but British regulators halted it due to concerns about competition. Authorities in the US are also attempting to block the merger.

Regulators worldwide have scrutinized the agreement because of concern that it will give Microsoft and its Xbox platform control of popular s. PlayStation maker rival Sony has led a ferocious opposition.

Activision and Microsoft have appealed to a tribunal about the U.K. ruling. Liam Deane, a gaming industry analyst at digital research and consultancy firm Omdia, previously told The Associated Press that if the appeal is unsuccessful, Microsoft would be compelled to either cancel the arrangement or carve out the U.K. as a distinct market, which appeared to be an impractical choice.


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Passenger Train Derails In India, Killing At Least 50, Trapping Many Others




NEW DELHI — At least 50 people were killed, and hundreds more were trapped inside more than a dozen damaged rail cars when two passenger trains in India crashed on Friday, according to officials.

According to officials, the disaster occurred in eastern India, around 220 kilometers (137 miles) southwest of Kolkata, and about 400 people were sent to hospitals. The cause was being looked into.

Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for the railway ministry, reported that ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed, and pieces of some of the damaged coaches fell onto an adjacent track.

According to Sharma, a passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.

According to the Press Trust of India news agency, a third goods train was reportedly apparently involved, but there was no immediate confirmation from railway authorities.

Television photos from the aftermath showed rescuers scaling the rubble to pry open doors and windows and use cutting torches to free trapped survivors.


A passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.

Vandana Kaleda, a passenger, said to the New Delhi Television news station that she “found people falling on each other” as her carriage shook erratically and deviated from the lines. She claimed that her survival was fortuitous.

Another survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the impact woke him up while he was asleep. He claimed to have observed other people with damaged faces and shattered limbs.

At least 50 persons were reported dead, according to Balasore district’s senior administrator Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde. At least 70 people had died, according to The Press Trust.

According to Pradeep Jena, the state’s chief executive officer of Odisha, there were close to 500 police officers and rescue personnel at the scene, along with 75 ambulances and buses.


Rescuers were working to release 200 individuals who were thought to be trapped in the rubble, according to Shinde.

The Coromandel Express, which derailed, was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the state capital of southern Tamil Nadu, according to The Press Trust.

Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, expressed sympathy for the deceased families.

Having spoken with the railway minister, Modi tweeted, “May the injured recover soon,” adding that “all possible assistance” was being provided.

Several hundred incidents happen annually on India’s railways, the world’s largest train network with single management, despite government efforts to increase rail safety.

The deadliest train catastrophe in Indian history occurred in August 1995 when two trains crashed close to New Delhi, killing 358 people.

Human mistakes or out-of-date signaling equipment are the main causes of trains accidents.

Every day, 14,000 trains carrying more than 12 million passengers traverse India’s 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of railway.


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