Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty in 3 Cases of Rape and Sexual Assault
Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape in a Los Angeles trial on Monday, five years after he became a magnet for the #metoo movement.
The jury of eight men and four women reached the verdict after deliberating for more than two weeks in the second criminal trial of the 70-year-old onetime powerful movie mogul, who is two years into a 23-year sentence in New York for rape and sexual assault.
Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape, forced oral copulation, and another count of sexual misconduct involving an Italian model and actor who claimed he showed up uninvited at her hotel room door during a film festival in Los Angeles in 2013. The jury couldn’t agree on several counts, including one involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The jury could not decide on her and another woman’s allegations. On those counts, a mistrial was declared.
He was also found not guilty of a sexual battery allegation leveled by a massage therapist who treated Weinstein at a hotel in 2010.
He faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced. There was no immediate reaction from prosecutors or defense attorneys to the verdict.
“It is time to end the defendant’s reign of terror,” Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez said in the prosecution’s closing argument. “It is time to bring the kingmaker to justice.”
With no forensic evidence or eyewitness accounts of the assaults claimed by Weinstein’s accusers to have occurred between 2005 and 2013, the case was heavily reliant on the stories and credibility of the four women at the center of the charges.
Among the accusers was Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Her powerful and emotional testimony about being raped in a hotel room by Weinstein in 2005 provided the trial’s most dramatic moments.
Lauren Young, the only accuser who testified at both Weinstein trials, said she was a model aspiring to be an actor and screenwriter meeting with Weinstein about a script in 2013 when he trapped her in a hotel bathroom, groped her and masturbated in front of her.
The jury was unable to decide on the charge against Young. Jurors told the judge they were 10-2 in favor of conviction on her count and 8-4 in favor of conviction on the two counts involving Siebel Newsom.
Martinez concluded that the women entered Weinstein’s hotel suites or let him into their rooms without knowing what was in store for them.
“Who would have guessed that such a titan of the entertainment industry would be a degenerate rapist?” she asked.
The women’s stories echoed the allegations of dozens of others who have emerged since Weinstein became a #MeToo lightning rod starting with stories in the New York Times in 2017. During the trial, a film based on that reporting, “She Said,” was released, and jurors were repeatedly warned not to watch it.
The defense made #MeToo an issue during the trial, however, emphasizing that none of the four women went to the authorities until after the movement made Harvey Weinstein a target.
Defense attorneys claimed that two women were completely lying about their encounters with Weinstein, while the other two had “100% consensual” sexual encounters that they later reframed.
“Regret is not the same thing as rape,” Weinstein’s attorney Alan Jackson said in his closing argument.
He urged jurors to look past the women’s emotional testimony and focus on the factual evidence.
“‘Believe us because we’re mad, believe us because we cried,'” Jackson said jurors were being asked to do. “Well, fury does not equal truth. “And tears do not produce truth.”
In court, all the women charged went by the name Jane Doe. The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly or agree to be named through their attorneys, as the women named here did.
Prosecutors called 40 additional witnesses to provide context and corroboration to those stories. The term “responsibility” refers to determining whether a person is responsible for his or her actions. They were brought to the stand so that a pattern of sexual predation could be established.
Weinstein was acquitted of four other felony charges before the trial even began when prosecutors announced that a woman he was accused of raping twice and sexually assaulting twice would not testify. They declined to give a reason. Judge Lisa Lench dismissed these charges.
Weinstein’s latest conviction gives victims of famous men’s sexual misconduct a victory after some legal setbacks, including the dismissal of Bill Cosby’s conviction last year. The rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson, which was taking place at the same time as Weinstein’s, ended in a mistrial. And actor Kevin Spacey was victorious at a sexual battery civil trial in New York last month.
Weinstein’s conviction in New York was upheld on appeal, but the state’s highest court will hear the case next year. The California conviction, also likely to be appealed, means he will not walk free even if the East Coast conviction is thrown out.
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.”
SOURCE – (AP)
Some ‘Diablo IV’ Players Report Invalid License Error Message After Early Access Launch
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.
WHEN DOES DIABLO IV COMMENCE?
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.
DIABLO IV “UNABLE TO FIND LICENCE”?
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.
WHAT CLASSES DO DIABLO IV CHARACTERS FALL INTO?
“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.
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.
SOURCE – (AP)
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.
SOURCE – (AP)
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