Day: December 7, 2019

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UNITED passenger stung by scorpion during flight!


A plane passenger had the shock of her life when she was bitten by a scorpion during a flight.

The woman was stunned when she went to the bathroom after experiencing a stinging sensation while flying from San Francisco to Atlanta.

A scorpion fell from her trousers and scuttled away, according to reports.

United Airlines has confirmed the incident happened, and said the passenger was taken to hospital.

It is not known how badly she was injured.

Crew members chased the scorpion and captured it (file image)

In a statement United Airlines said: “After learning that one of our customers on flight 1554 from San Francisco to Atlanta was stung during flight, our crew responded immediately and consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground who provided medical guidance.

“Upon landing in Atlanta, the flight was met by medical personnel and the customer was transported to a local hospital.”

The passenger was taken to hospital after being bitten (file image)

The statement continued: “We have been in contact with our customer to ensure her wellbeing.”

A picture shared by US news site TMZ shows a large scorpion in a United box.

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Top news stories from Mirror Online

The site reports that the scorpion was captured by crew members.

It is not known how it came to be on the plane before the incident on Thursday morning.



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COWELL LAWYERS UP FOR 'AMERICA'S GOT TALENT INVESTIGATION…


“America’s Got Talent” executive producer Simon Cowell has set his legal representation for an investigation into the NBC competition series, which was announced by the network this week after a lengthy meeting with ousted judge Gabrielle Union.

Cowell has hired Larry Stein, a longtime litigator in Hollywood and media spaces, multiple individuals familiar with the matter told Variety. Stein is expected to advise Cowell and participate in a probe regarding complaints of a toxic culture at the show, raised by staffers including Union. The complaints included numerous accusations of racial insensitivity and excessive critiques of the female cast.

Cowell’s banner Syco, production company Fremantle and NBC all expressed a desire to learn more about Union’s issues a week ago, which resulted in a five-hour meeting on Tuesday — though sources said Cowell was notably absent for this exploratory meeting, as was any representative from Syco. The meeting included an NBC staffer who took notes, Fremantle’s North American COO, Suzanne Lopez, and a third party counselor hired by the network.

Cowell is currently shooting “The X Factor” in London, and felt that Fremantle was sufficient to represent the company in the room, another insider said. Yet another individual with knowledge of the matter said that the third party was representing all three companies, and was primarily interested in hearing Union. The investigation will result in many more such meetings across the production, the insider added.

Representatives for Cowell and NBC had no immediate comment. Stein did not return Variety‘s request for comment. Fremantle did not immediately comment on Lopez’s involvement.

“The initial conversation was candid and productive. While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution,” an NBC spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

The same day, Union tweeted that “we had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”  Union and her fellow judge Julianne Hough were not invited back to the show, despite each having one-year contract options to return.

A portion of “America’s Got Talent” is shot on the NBC lot in North Hollywood and was the site of specific grievances including an inappropriate joke from guest judge Jay Leno and, according to another report, frequent indoor smoking from executive producer Simon Cowell. Union is allergic to cigarette smoke, the report said, and developed an ongoing bronchial infection as a result.

A series of high profile celebrities including Will Smith,  Ellen Pompeo, Ariana Grande, Patricia Arquette and Kerry Washington came forward in support of Union in the days following the report. Union’s husband Dwyane Wade praised her outspokenness and ask for an answer to why his wife was fired from the show. Womens’ advocacy group Time’s Up issued a scathing statement accusing NBC of protecting powerful men at the expense of women who speak out.

Upon the first report from Variety, all three production entities behind “America’s Got Talent” said the show has “a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”



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Saudis distance selves…


Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia sought to distance itself Saturday from a student who carried out a fatal shooting at an American naval base, as it seeks to repair its image of being an exporter of Islamic extremism.

The Saudi military trainee reportedly condemned the US as a “nation of evil” before going on a rampage Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, killing three people and wounding eight.

The shooting marks a setback in the kingdom’s efforts to shrug off its longstanding reputation for promoting religious extremism after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

The hashtag “Saudis stand with America” gained traction on social media after King Salman telephoned President Donald Trump to denounce the shooting as “heinous” and pledge cooperation with American officials to investigate the incident.

The king added in the phone call on Friday that the shooter, who was gunned down by police, “does not represent the Saudi people”.

The family of the shooter, identified as Mohammed al-Shamrani, echoed the same sentiment.

The pro-government Okaz newspaper quoted one of his uncles, Saad al-Shamrani, as saying that his actions do not reflect the “humanity and loyalty of his family” to the kingdom’s leadership.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the king’s younger son and the deputy defence minister, offered his “sincerest condolences” to the families of the victims.

“Like many other Saudi military personnel, I was trained in a US military base, and we used that valuable training to fight side by side with our American allies against terrorism and other threats,” Prince Khalid said on Twitter.

“A large number of Saudi graduates of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola moved on to serve with their US counterparts in battlefronts around the world, helping to safeguard the regional and global security. (The) tragic event is strongly condemned by everyone in Saudi Arabia.”

– ‘Owe a debt’ –

The incident is unlikely to affect Washington’s close relations with Riyadh, with both governments seeking military and diplomatic cooperation to counter Shiite power Iran.

Seeking to emphasise the close ties, many Saudis on social media highlighted American media reports about two exchange students from Saudi Arabia who drowned last year in Massachusetts after rushing into a river to rescue two small children.

But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested Riyadh should offer compensation to the victims.

“The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think they’re going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals,” DeSantis told US media.

Saudi citizens strongly rejected the view on social media, with one Twitter user saying: “The government of Saudi Arabia is not responsible for every single individual with a Saudi passport.”

Relatives of the victims of the 2001 attacks are also suing Saudi Arabia for compensation even though Riyadh has strongly denied complicity in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to project a moderate image of his austere kingdom, often associated in the West with jihadist ideology.

Prince Mohammed has promoted what observers call a de-emphasis on religion as he pursues a sweeping modernisation drive that has allowed mixed-gender music concerts and ended decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers.

Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina and where the practice of other religions is banned, has hosted a flurry of representatives of various Christian traditions in recent months.

But the self-styled reformer has also faced global criticism for the kingdom’s poor human rights record, including the jailing of multiple women activists, clerics and journalists.



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NKorea says denuclearization talks 'out of negotiation table'…


United Nations (United States) (AFP) – North Korea on Saturday said denuclearization talks with the United States were “out of the negotiation table,” while slamming European UN Security Council members who had recently denounced its “provocative” ballistic missile launches.

The statement from North Korea’s ambassador to the UN Kim Song came after Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s “continued testing of ballistic missiles,” and called for strict enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Referring to the “paranoia” of the Europeans and “the hostile policy” of the United States in recent months, Song said North Korea does “not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table.”

Song also called the European statement “another serious provocation,” saying North Korea is exercising “righteous measures of strengthening national defense capabilities.”

“As these six EU member states are making much trouble to play the role of pet dog of the United States in recent months, one cannot but wonder what do they get in return for currying favor with” Washington,” the statement continued.

In their statement, European powers noted that Pyongyang has carried out “13 ballistic missile launches since May,” the most recent of which was on November 28.

Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington are stalled with a looming end-of-year deadline set by North Korea for some kind of US concession.

UN diplomats fear that North Korea will resume long-range nuclear or ballistic tests if no progress is made soon.



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Animal rights YOUTUBer viciously beaten in Miami pizza shop…


Social media users were shocked on Saturday morning to see videos of YouTuber Brother Nature suffering a violent assault at a pizza shop in the Miami area. 

Brother Nature – whose real name is Kelvin Peña – was in Miami for a beach clean up and had stopped at the La Sandwhicherie early Saturday morning.

Footage shows the 21-year-old asking for food at the eatery, even though it appears they were closing for the night.  

The man who allegedly assaulted the YouTuber – a Twitter user by the name of @Phatdabb-gmn – insinuated the Brother Nature needed to ‘learn how to speak’ to people. 

Scroll down for video 

Brother Nature was brutally attacked at the La Sandwhicherie on early Saturday morning

Brother Nature was brutally attacked at the La Sandwhicherie on early Saturday morning

Brother Nature gained fame in 2016 after sharing a video featuring the unlikely friendship he made with a deer named Canela. He now posts videos and photos of him with various exotic animals

Brother Nature gained fame in 2016 after sharing a video featuring the unlikely friendship he made with a deer named Canela. He now posts videos and photos of him with various exotic animals

In since deleted Twitter videos, the user can be seen violently punching and thrashing the YouTuber before kicking him in the head. 

The attacker can be heard repeatedly calling Brother Nature a ‘n***a’ as he stomps on his head. 

Brother Nature does not hit back, instead cowering as he is pummeled by his assailant. 

The animal rights activist was in Miami doing a beach clean up and had stopped at the La Sandwhicherie on early Saturday morning

The animal rights activist was in Miami doing a beach clean up and had stopped at the La Sandwhicherie on early Saturday morning

Now deleted footage shows the 21-year-old asking for food at the eatery, even though it appears they were closing for the night

Someone can be heard screaming that people don't know who he is

Now deleted footage shows the 21-year-old asking for food at the eatery, even though it appears they were closing for the night

In now deleted Twitter videos, the user can be seen violently punching and thrashing the YouTuber before kicking him in the head

Brother Nature does not hit back, instead cowering as he is pummeled by his assailant

In now deleted Twitter videos, the user can be seen violently punching and thrashing the YouTuber before kicking him in the head

People can be heard screaming for the man to let Brother Nature go but no one actually steps in to stop the commotion. Others can be heard shouting: ‘Worldstar!’

Another clip then shows Brother Nature back inside the pie shop getting beaten by @Phatdabb-gmn again. This time, Brother Nature’s assailant kicks him in the head before grabbing a drink and throwing it in his face. 

The clip ends with Brother Nature getting up and trying to leave the shop. 

@Phatdabb-gmn boasted about the attack before deleting his tweets. 

Brother Nature's assailant kicks the man in the head before grabbing a drink and throwing it in his face

Brother Nature’s assailant kicks the man in the head before grabbing a drink and throwing it in his face

'I just beat the dog s**t outta Brother Nature in la Sandwhicherie,' the man tweets. The tweet has since been deleted

‘I just beat the dog s**t outta Brother Nature in la Sandwhicherie,’ the man tweets. The tweet has since been deleted

‘I just beat the dog s**t outta Brother Nature in la Sandwhicherie,’ the man tweets. The tweet has since been deleted.

His Instagram suggests that he deals drugs. 

Many people on social media were outraged by the videos and shared them with the Miami PD and other local law enforcement. Others demanded that he sue the assailant and blasted him for posting the clips on social media.

The Miami PD could not be reached for a comment. 

Brother Nature took to his own Twitter on Saturday morning and shared that he was aware of the videos existing on social media. 

@Phatdabb repeatedly calls Brother Nature a 'n***a' in the video

@Phatdabb repeatedly calls Brother Nature a ‘n***a’ in the video

His social media pages indicate that he is a drug dealer and he often posts photos of cough syrup and stacks of money

His social media pages indicate that he is a drug dealer and he often posts photos of cough syrup and stacks of money

Brother Nature took to his own Twitter on Saturday morning and shared that he was aware of the videos existing on social media

Brother Nature took to his own Twitter on Saturday morning and shared that he was aware of the videos existing on social media

‘I know there’s a video out of me getting jumped, everyone in the pizza shop literally just watched, with their phones out, and did nothing,’ he said. ‘Oh well.

He took to Instagram to share a video where he can be seen applying an ice pack to his swollen lip. 

One of the people who shared the video and appeared to praise Brother Nature’s attacker, shared video of them all enjoying a night out with the activist and musical act Fat Nick.  

‘We got in the vip with us at booby we lit,’ the user, @Money_Moe305, said in the clip. 

It is believed that he was one of the people filming the assault.

‘This n***a dabs beat up brother nature,’ he said at the time. 

He took to Instagram to share a video where he can be seen applying an ice pack to his swollen lip

He did not comment on the event itself

He took to Instagram to share a video where he can be seen applying an ice pack to his swollen lip

Brother Nature gained fame in 2016 after sharing a video featuring the unlikely friendship he made with a deer named Canela. 

He has since become an animal rights activist and is often seen posing in photos with exotic animals from across the world. 

He has more than 2.4million followers on Twitter and another 2.7million followers on Instagram. 

The New York native found out that he had Malaria Falciparum last month and posted the news to his Instagram page. The disease is the strongest form of malaria and is contracted through contact with mosquitos.

The New York native found out that he had Malaria Falciparum last month and posted the news to his Instagram page

The New York native found out that he had Malaria Falciparum last month and posted the news to his Instagram page



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Holocaust survivor watched starving prisoners 'roast and eat child'…


A holocaust survivor watched starving concentration camp prisoners roast and eat the human flesh of a child just to stay alive.

Nazi hunter and former concentration camp prisoner Josef Lewcowicz witnessed “so much cruelty that nothing surprised” him during his time in five brutal concentration camps.

Josef, 93, has chosen to share his harrowing story in a bid to preserve the truth for generations to come.

Polish-born Josef was 14-years-old when he was given his first job at of shovelling human bones at Płaszów concentration camp.

Nightmarish experiences were a part of everyday life and he watched on as sick Nazi guards made prisoners jump off a cliff.

Josef watched on as starving people roasted the body of a dead Russian boy

While being held captive in Ebensee – a concentration camp in Austria – Josef recalls how conditions became unbearable.

Numb to the horror, Josef watched on as starving people roasted the body of a dead Russian boy.

He told SunOnline: “A young Russian boy died and there was a few of the Russian people went and cut off his whole behind, and made a fire with branches and dry wood, and roasted human flesh, and ate it.

Commenting on the horror of the Nazi era, he wrote: “I had seen so much cruelty that nothing surprised me anymore.”

Josef spent time at German Nazi death camp Auschwitz

On May 5, 1945, Ebensee prisoners were liberated and broke through the fence.

Josef said: “We said, can it be? Are we free? Are we breathing free air?”

But the horrific reality of the war soon set in as he patiently waited for family members to return to Krakow.

Sadly, no one ever came home, and it was later revealed 150 members had been murdered in concentration camps.

Josef made it his life mission to hunt down evil Nazis who went into hiding after the war.

He said: “I had to do something.

“Number one – I have to get after those Nazis who tortured us, that made our days miserable, killing us, beating us, hanging us.”

Göth was an Austrian Nazi office who ran Plaszow concentration camp in Poland

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Josef trained as a policeman and set about scouring large prisoner of war camps and interrogating captured German soldiers about where the most sadistic SS officers had fled.

One day, he got a break and found the deadly Amon Göth hiding under a false name in Dachu concentration camp.

Göth was an Austrian Nazi office who ran Plaszow concentration camp in Poland.

Josef said: “As I approached him, my blood started boiling in me. I ran fast.

“When I saw his murderous face, he didn’t look the same, he looked like a beggar.”

While being held captive in Ebensee Josef recalls conditions became unbearable

Shortly before Göth was executed for his horrific war crimes, former prisoner Josef went to see him in his cell.

He bravely told The Butcher of Plaszow: “You are the worst – there is nothing like you.

“You did all those things and you’ll have to pay for it.

“You’ll be brought to justice.”

Göth’s last words were “Heil Hitler”.



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Dems battle for Hollywood cash…


The battle for celebrity support — and dollars — is growing in the Democratic presidential primary.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but ‘you can’t dictate’ nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events MORE’s decision to bow out this week has left a significant void, with her rivals scrambling to connect with the slew of Hollywood heavyweights who were in the California Democrat’s corner. In a Tuesday email to supporters, Harris said, “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director J.J. Abrams and his wife had hosted a big-ticket fundraiser for Harris’s presidential campaign in February, while “BlacKkKlansman” filmmaker Spike Lee helmed a money-raising event for her in Massachusetts in August.

Just days before Harris suspended her campaign, former “Mindy Project” star Mindy Kaling appeared alongside the lawmaker in a cooking video. Kaling referred to Harris as the country’s “future president” as she sliced and diced ingredients for an Indian recipe.

“I certainly think Hollywood celebrities are up for grabs,” says Democratic strategist Rodell Mollineau, a partner at Washington public affairs firm ROKK Solutions.

The entertainment industry support amassed by Harris — who as a California senator represents Los Angeles — will likely be dispersed to different candidates, predicts Mollineau, naming former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Democratic strategist: ‘Medicare for All’ exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenArtist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 Democratic strategist: ‘Medicare for All’ exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE as likely benefactors of some of the performers who were rooting for her.

Celebrity backers, much like Democratic primary voters, are desperate to find the candidate most likely to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ‘temporarily hold off’ on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE.

“Hollywood tends to like a fresh face, so I can see them having an interest in [South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete] Buttigieg as well,” says Mollineau.

The Hill reached out to the representatives for several stars who had supported Harris, including Kaling, Lance Bass, “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Anthony Anderson from “Black-ish,” but all were either unavailable or didn’t return a request for comment.

“The key is to get those endorsements as you’re coming out of the gate,” says University of Southern California (USC) history professor Steve Ross. “Because what people misunderstand is the purpose of the celebrity endorsement is not to translate the celebrity’s endorsement into a direct vote. That would assume we’re really all idiots,” adds Ross, the author of “Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics.”

Instead, he says, “If it’s a celebrity you respect, what the main purpose of that endorsement is, is to give the candidate a closer second look.”

While Harris had many Hollywood allies, other candidates have already been raking in the dough from Tinseltown-based donors.

Buttigieg, who was virtually unknown nationally before launching his presidential bid, has racked up lots of artists’ bucks. Sharon Stone donated $5,600 to Buttigieg’s campaign in June, while Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Garner, Emmy Rossum and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo all gave $2,800 over the summer, according to Federal Election Commission filings analyzed by The Hill. “Will & Grace’s” Sean Hayes and actress Alyssa Milano doled out $3,000 each to Buttigieg. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane — who made headlines last year when he gave $2 million to Democrats via a donation to the Senate Majority PAC — shelled out $5,600 to Buttigieg in August.

An individual can donate $2,800 per election cycle, the primary being counted as one and the general election another. 

Warren also appears stocked up on star power supporters. Scarlett Johannson — who backed the 2020 candidate in September, saying, “She feels like someone who is thoughtful and progressive but realistic,” — donated $2,800 to her campaign. Jane Fonda, David Hyde Pierce, Amy SchumerAmy Beth SchumerMo’Nique sues Netflix for discrimination John Kerry says political ‘cynicism has grown’ on all sides Amy Schumer, Samantha Bee among 400 writers urging Cuomo to sign TV tax credit bill MORE, Bette Midler, mega producer Jeffrey Katzenberg also gave the same amount to Warren’s camp.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBloomberg apologizes after critics say his calling Booker ‘well spoken’ was racist Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but ‘you can’t dictate’ nominee Booker unveils legislation for federal bill to ban discrimination against natural hair MORE (D-N.J.) and Biden have also picked up their fair share of Hollywood money. Booker, who’s dating “Rent” actress Rosario Dawson, counts Ben Affleck, producer Shonda Rhimes, Barbra StreisandBarbara (Barbra) Joan StreisandNew York woman pleads guilty to stealing 0K from NYPD charity Barbra Streisand calls for end to ‘antiquated’ Electoral College Trump’s vindictive pettiness renders him incapable of taking the high road MORE, Josh Gad and Molly Sims among his donors.

The Biden campaign’s celebrity fanbase includes “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who each gave $1,400 in May, “As Good as it Gets” director James L. Brooks and Dionne Warwick.

But it’s Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic strategist: ‘Medicare for All’ exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but ‘you can’t dictate’ nominee MORE (I-Vt.) who appears to have the most celebrity support — at least on social media. Big-name stars — including “Breathin'” singer Ariana Grande, Cardi B and Mark Ruffalo — have voiced their enthusiasm for Sanders’s candidacy to their millions of fans.

In August, Cardi B teamed up with Sanders for a campaign video in which she sat down with the longtime senator to discuss issues such as student loan debt and police brutality. The “I Like It” rapper wrote to her 8 million followers on Twitter in July that voters “let [Sanders] down in 2016.”

“Avengers” star Ruffalo endorsed the presidential candidate in a video released earlier this week by Sanders’s campaign, calling him “one of us.”

But the online lovefest for Sanders doesn’t necessarily translate into cold, hard cash for his campaign. While Ruffalo gave $250 in September, the roster of prominent entertainers on the Bernie bandwagon appears to be slimmer than other candidates. In recent months, Rhea Perlman gave $2,700 to Sanders’s campaign, and Milla Jovovich donated $1,000.

“If you’re looking at this from a strategic standpoint, what is more important: having a celebrity endorse you and/or having a Hollywood producer get 10 of his or her other extremely rich friends together to throw you a fundraiser?” asks Mollineau. “I would take Option B over Option A.”

Sanders is leading the primary’s fundraising race, raising $25.3 million in the third quarter. The campaign reported having $34 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter. 

Meanwhile, Warren brought in $24.6 million in the third quarter, bringing her campaign’s total cash on hand to $25.7 million. 

Buttigieg and Biden rounded out the top four, with Buttigieg bringing in $19.1 million and Biden raising $15.2 million. 

The South Bend mayor has $23.4 million on hand, while Biden has $8.9 million, according to third-quarter reports. 

Candidates often have to perform a high-wire balancing act when responding to critics who accuse them of getting cozy with a bunch of “Hollywood liberals.”

“I think it’s an asset that Republicans have been able to exploit pretty effectively,” says Republican strategist Matt Gorman. “They claim to know what’s best for the district, but I think also, they tend to be extremely liberal.”

“Their politics are much more suited with California, and maybe not a toss-up district,” Gorman continued.

The Hill reached out to the Trump campaign about any potential celebrity endorsement they could see in the future. 

Ross, the USC professor, warns that endorsements from controversial public figures can backfire.

“For years nobody ever wanted to get Jane Fonda’s endorsement because for years that was used against anybody who even took money from her,” Ross says of the Academy Award winner and anti-Vietnam War activist, who in recent months has been spearheading weekly climate change protests around Capitol Hill.

“The wrong celebrity endorsement can hurt you,” Ross says.

Some Democrats are also wary of the long-term impact of celebrity endorsements, pointing specifically to Trump’s lack of high-profile celebrity support in 2016.

“Let’s look at 2016 with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE,” says Deshundra Jefferson, a former Democratic National Committee official. “How many endorsements would she have, versus, you know, Donald Trump? What did the polls look like? And who ultimately won the White House?”



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James Deen Accuser Disgusted by His Porn Awards Nominations…


When Ashley Fires publicly revealed why she’s refused to work with one of porn’s most popular leading men, she expected things to change; she hoped it would lead to better, safer working environments. Instead the adult actress experienced the depressing reality of why most survivors keep quiet. After going public with sexual assault accusations against James Deen, Fires was ostracized, taunted and even bullied by some of the colleagues she’d happily worked alongside for years.

“The reason I put him on my ‘no list’ was because he almost raped me,” Fires previously told The Daily Beast. “I was getting out of the shower of the communal bathroom at Kink, I reach for my towel to dry off, and he comes up from behind me and pushes himself and his erection into my butt,” she continued. “He pushes me against the sink and starts grabbing on me and I was like, ‘No, no, no James, no,’ and he released me from his grasp, and says, ‘You know, later if you want to fuck around I’m in room whatever-it-was. I was like, ‘Fuck you.’ I didn’t even know this guy, he was so out of line and entitled with my body.”

She was the third woman to accuse Deen of sexual assault. Soon, the allegation consumed her identity.

“At first I didn’t want to go on set, I did not want to perform, I couldn’t. I took substantial time away from being in front of the camera and turned to producing, directing. I couldn’t put myself out there, I couldn’t be vulnerable for a little while because I’d been so vulnerable with that whole thing,” recalls Fires in a new interview with The Daily Beast. “So I took a little break and then I got back into it. I still do relevancy tours where I go to LA and do a couple of scenes to get my name out there but it’s not like it was. I was working a lot and my rates were really high and I was always nominated, so yeah, I was kind of at a high point in my career. It was naïve. I thought there would be change, that there would be value afterwards, that people would engage differently, and look at consent and on-set behavior.”

Three out of every four sexual assaults go unreported, according to the criminal justice system statistics cited by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Twenty percent of victims cite “fear of retaliation” as the reason they don’t report it. A RAINN survey of the sexual violence crimes reported to police from 2005-2010 revealed that of those who do report, over 50 percent do so to protect and/or prevent further escalations and crimes by the perpetrator.

“After being blamed for my own sexual assault, after being bullied by James Deen to stop talking about it, after all of that, the patriarchal rape culture that perpetuates inequality was so in my face that it alerted me to a call of action,” says Fires. “I was disenfranchised. I was hurt. I had a lot of healing to do. It definitely made me angry enough to want to make impactful change when I wasn’t seeing anything happen within the adult industry. It was very frustrating because nobody seemed to care.”

Since then, Ashley Fires has become the harbinger of change—a dedicated advocate for sex workers, fighting for equality at a legally-enforceable level. “I became a lobbyist and started up SWOP [Sex Workers Outreach Project] New Hampshire, and we’re working in coalition with other organizations for legislation that will help decriminalize sex work,” reveals Fires.

“We need to try to make some form of sex workers’ work safer. If sex workers were seen as human beings with rights, we wouldn’t have seen what happened [with James Deen] in 2015. We wouldn’t have seen people blaming victims, people lashing out and defending an alleged rapist,” says Fires. “We wouldn’t have seen this if sex workers were not stigmatized and stereotyped and morally and ethically shunned in society and treated as less than.”

If sex workers were seen as human beings with rights, we wouldn’t have seen what happened [with James Deen] in 2015. We wouldn’t have seen people blaming victims, people lashing out and defending an alleged rapist.

Though it was four years ago when she first spoke out, encouraging numerous other women to share their own similar experiences with Deen, Fires feels it’s just as relevant and important today as it was then: “I never stopped talking about it, and I never will stop talking about it. I’m always going to talk about this because this matters. Every couple of years there should be a new article about James Deen. If people don’t know about it, it’s just this tongue-in-cheek taboo thing and nobody cares and we’re just like these not-real subhuman-type sex dolls.”



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Judiciary panel releases report defining offenses…


The House Judiciary Committee on Saturday released a report explaining the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ‘temporarily hold off’ on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE.

The report comes after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter ‘existential’ climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don’t make him look as good | ‘Forever chemicals’ measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (D-Calif.) announced earlier in the week that the House would be moving forward with drafting formal articles of impeachment. The articles could be released and voted on as soon as this coming week.

The report, titled “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” was written by the committee’s majority staff and describes impeachment as “the Constitution’s final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch.”

Additionally, it details the “history, purpose and meaning of the Constitution’s Impeachment Clause” and “addresses legal questions about the impeachment process and rebuts false claims about impeachment.”

Specifically, the report clarifies impeachment processes that had been scrutinized by GOP House lawmakers throughout the public committee hearings and addresses six issues of potential relevance:

  • “The law that governs House procedures for impeachment.”
  • “The law that governs the evaluation of evidence, including where the President orders defiance of House subpoenas.”
  • “Whether the President can be impeached for abuse of his executive powers.”
  • “Whether the President’s claims regarding his motives must be accepted at face value.”
  • “Whether the President is immune from impeachment if he attempts an impeachable offense but is caught before he completes it.”
  • “Whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election.”

“The Framers’ worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerREAD: White House letter refusing to participate in impeachment hearings White House tells Democrats it won’t cooperate in impeachment hearings Democrat says he expects to oppose articles of impeachment against Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain.

“The Constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment,” he continued. “The safety and security of our nation, our democracy, and future generations hang in the balance if we do not address this misconduct. In America, no one is above the law, not even the President.”

Judiciary Impeachment Process by M Mali on Scribd

Updated: 12:45 p.m. 



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Hobnails, drill, boot camp: Secrets of war epic 1917…


Wasted youth, random violent death and the folly of armed conflict are the big themes of 1917, Sam Mendes’s orchestral symphony of a first world war film. But for the director and the team who made it alongside him, no detail was too small to consider.

“It was very important, the question of historical accuracy,” said Mendes. “We had two very fine historical advisers, Andy Robertshaw and Peter Barton, who are world renowned. And one military adviser, Paul Biddiss, who was also brilliant.”

The film, out in cinemas in January, has already won many admiring reviews and was premiered last Wednesday in front of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Leicester Square. Set on 6 April in northern France, after the Germans had staged a tactical retreat to the position known as the Hindenburg Line, 1917 follows a soldier’s deadly mission to help a family member. Mendes’s own mission as director was to be faithful to the experiences of the men who fought, including his own grandfather, Alfred H Mendes.

As a child the Oscar-winning director of American Beauty and Skyfall often listened to the wartime stories of his charismatic grandparent, a teenage lance corporal in 1917, and wondered at the thin line they described between luck and misfortune, life and death. One “fragment” in particular, the story of a message carried through the mist of no man’s land at dusk, has never left Mendes; it sparked the plot of his first screenplay, co-written with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.

“The film is a compression of time and place, so you take what’s important,” said Mendes. “You are not making a documentary, but you do want it to feel, in every possible detail, historically accurate.”

Mendes adds that Biddiss was vital for “hands-on” military and technical advice: “what’s in their kit bag, how to handle their weapons – this sort of stuff”. Robertshaw concentrated on getting the practical surroundings right: “What’s in the trenches, what’s in the dug-outs, what they would have imported or brought from home.”

The actors are taught how to handle First World War weaponry.



The actors are taught how to handle First World War weaponry.

The director describes Barton, the historian, as “more of an overall challenger”. Once a draft of the screenplay was written Mendes and Wilson-Cairns handed it over.

“I just said: ‘Pick as many holes in the script as you can.’ And he did. At great length. And it was tough actually. There were some really hard notes to factor in. But we did. And if we didn’t, there was a specific reason,” said Mendes.

While the shape of a military helmet might not be enough to make or marr a good film, for Mendes and his advisers it was imperative to replicate the uniforms shown in documentary footage and photographs. Many other dramas set in the trenches have thriftily relied upon re-purposed second world war helmets. But not on the set of 1917. Although the Brodie helmets worn in “the Great War” are no longer around in large numbers, Mendes’s troops wear accurate recreations. What is more, they differ subtly from one battalion to another, since at the time the film is set, helmet shape was changing.

“When I watched the footage back each day I tried to find any slip that I possibly could, such as undone ammunition pouches,” said Biddiss, an ex-paratrooper who ran the six-month training camp set up before filming by Mendes for those chosen to play troops. “In the first world war soldiers were taught to check their ammunition before they moved off,” said Biddiss. “Lance Corporal Schofield, played by George MacKay, is supposed to have fought in the Somme and so would have already had problems with his webbing [military belts and harnesses]. Soldiers had found it flapped open and the bullets often fell out so after the Somme it was modified and all soldiers were drilled to check their pouches. They still are today.”

The open-air action was filmed this summer on Salisbury Plain and in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. Other scenes were filmed in Oxfordshire, Glasgow and in a Darlington river.

In February, before the long shoot in Salisbury, the film crew invited local men aged 16-35 to audition to become troops. And then Biddiss’s training camp began. MacKay, who stars in the film alongside Dean-Charles Chapman, has spoken of this training period as “an incredible process”.

“We had to make sure they were all mentally and physically fit,” said Biddiss. “We used about 800 men in all and about 500 for the Salisbury section, as well as the main cast. I wanted them all to understand the etiquette of the trenches.”

Several of those selected were asked to grow moustaches, although beards were not permitted, except for the Sikh soldiers in turbans.

“One of the first lessons I gave George and Dean was about their boots,” said Biddiss. “I told them looking after them would be as crucial for them as it had been for the soldiers.”

Clad in hobnail boots for 12-hour days, the young actors learned to act quickly when they felt the “hotspots” that would lead to blisters and which, during the war, would have gone on endanger their lives as full-blown trenchfoot.

“I also taught them not to put their fingers on the trigger of their guns. Soldiers are trained to do that only when about to fire,” said Biddiss.

Character was key to the advice required and so Biddiss suggested the nervous novice played by Chapman should continually check his bayonet as they await an order to go “over the top”.

He also said that when MacKay’s corporal is injured, it should be a glancing blow to the head rather than a shoulder wound that would quickly incapacitate any soldier.

Establishing the emotions felt by the assembled troops was also a priority for Mendes and Biddiss, even though some of them would be in shot just for a moment.

“I emphasised the fear and anger,” Biddiss said. “I can relate to that because I remember jumping out of a Chinook in the dark after I had been briefed that there were people out there who wanted to kill me.

“In fear, you breathe and taste the air differently, knowing you may die. And the anger was important because that is how soldiers feel when they realise they are in a dangerous situation.”

The actors were also taught tactics and battlefield movement.



The actors were also taught tactics and battlefield movement. Photograph: Paul Biddiss

The military adviser was especially happy with a scene near the close of the film when one of the young heroes runs through a long trench against the clock. It clearly shows how trenches were organised, with sergeants and platoon sergeants running things, while an officer is shown breaking down with nerves.

And what was the need for all this military training, followed by such a long rehearsal period? Well, Mendes had decided early on he wanted to make the film in a continuous shot, as if happening in real time.

“When Sam told me,” recalled Biddiss, “he said, ‘So it has got to be on the money from the word “Action”’. No pressure!”

And for Biddiss the film became more personal than expected. “I discovered while working on this that one of my uncles, Lance Corporal Robert Victor Biddiss of the London Regiment, had died in December 1917 as he moved into the Hindenburg Support advance.”

The effort to honour the story accurately was then more pertinent. “It was important for all of us to get it right, not just for Sam, because we all have relatives who fought.”



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