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|Iran's Zarif heading to Asia in push against US sanctions ||What just happened? Barnwell makes sense of Andrew Luck's shocking decision |
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will head to East Asia on Sunday, his office said, as part of a diplomatic push to win relief from biting US sanctions. Zarif would visit China, Japan and Malaysia fresh on the heels of a tour of Western European nations, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said late Friday on the ministry's Telegram channel. "Bilateral relations and most importantly regional and international issues are some of the topics our foreign minister will discuss with the aforementioned countries' officials during the trip," said Mousavi.
| The Colts quarterback's surprising retirement changes the entire complexion of the NFL, in 2019 and beyond. |
|Lisa Bloom: lawyer in Epstein case speaks of suffering sexual abuse ||Sources: Nets extend LeVert for 3 years, $52.5M |
Bloom, representing two alleged victims of financier, says being a survivor ‘has enabled me to have a lot of compassion’Lisa Bloom in London, on 8 May 2017. Photograph: Tom Nicholson/REX/ShutterstockLisa Bloom, the powerhouse lawyer who has risen to prominence in the MeToo era, has spoken of suffering sexual abuse herself.The experience, she said, left her feeling suicidal.“I blamed myself,” Bloom told the Guardian. “I thought it was my fault. I had no idea who to talk to, or what to say.”At the age of 18, she said, she found her way to a therapist.“I think experience as an abuse survivor has enabled me to have a lot of compassion and understanding for my clients,” she said. “I know everything they’re going through because I’ve gone through it myself.“I understand the shame and fear, but I also understand how empowering and liberating it is to tell your story. I tell my clients ‘this happened to you, but it does not define you.’”In recent years, Bloom and her mother and fellow attorney Gloria Allred have stood prominently counter to a parade of mostly white, middle-aged and famous men accused of sexual misconduct.Both are media-savvy practitioners of the law of women’s rights. Both are veterans of the courtroom and press-call soundbite. Both have, in one way or another, stood against the crimes or alleged but uncharged conduct of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose and Donald Trump.In an email to the Guardian, Bloom named her alleged abuser. The Guardian was however not immediately able to contact the man for comment.“I don’t know if he is still alive,” Bloom wrote, in part. “I assume so. I have spoken about being sexually assaulted/abused but I have not named him before publicly.” ‘A good measure of justice’Amid a slew of MeToo cases, Allred and Bloom have remained prominent. Where there is no criminal case, often because the statute of limitations has expired, there is still the court of public opinion. There is a news conference to name the alleged perpetrator, followed by relentless media coverage. Eventually the scales tip, advertisers are spooked and, in the case of many media figures, corporations are forced to act.A case in point was Bloom’s takedown of the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told the Hollywood Reporter, recounting the claims of an African American Fox staffer. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”> We still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for Epstein's victimsFor Bloom, “Operation O’Reilly” culminated when she said the nickname her client said O’Reilly gave her: “Hot Chocolate”. Amid a deluge of reports of settled sexual harassment suits, TV’s most feared pro-Trumper was toast.Bloom is now representing two alleged victims of Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender who was friends with the rich and powerful but who killed himself in a Manhattan jail two weeks ago.Speaking in New York during her lunch break on Friday – from litigating, she said, a sexual harassment case she was confident would result in multimillion-dollar judgement – Bloom said her mission in representing the alleged Epstein victims was “to deliver justice that was denied when jail authorities allowed Epstein to kill himself”.Bloom has filed suit against Epstein’s estate and an alleged co-conspirator, named in court documents as Sue Roe. The suit alleges that two hostesses at the Coffee Shop in New York City’s Union Square were approached regarding “opportunities” to “perform what they thought were massages on [Epstein] for cash payments”.Unbeknown to the women, the suit says, the financier went on to “sexually touch” them “against their will and force them to watch him masturbate”.Epstein’s death, Bloom says, meant the women “were denied accountability in the criminal justice system. But we still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for his victims from his estate.”Money, she said, “is a good measure of justice in many ways”.“It makes a big difference. It’s a deterrent for people who do bad things and it can help victims get therapy, pay medical bills, go back to school, pay off debt and start a new life. It’s very meaningful to to them.”Epstein faced federal charges more than a decade ago but in a controversial deal pleaded guilty to a lesser state charge in Florida and was permitted to serve a 13-month sentence in which he spent six days out of seven at his office. It now appears he continued to receive visits from young women. His sentence completed, he returned to public life, largely unscathed.For offenders who enjoy the protective cocoon of extreme wealth, Bloom reasons, the only thing that really makes a difference is a loss of privilege.“Power corrupts and extreme wealth corrupts,” she said. “Wealthy people believe they are above the law because in many cases they are above the law. Look at Jeffrey Epstein. He got away with this for years. He had a system of recruiters to bring underage girls to him. Anytime a predator gets away with this, they feel impervious to legal consequences.” ‘Represent the underdogs’Bloom’s initiation into the world of women’s rights and the law came through her mother, an attorney who achieved celebrity herself. Among her high-profile cases, Allred was the first woman to challenge the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, because she was denied certain benefits of membership. She also sued the archdiocese of Los Angeles over sexual abuse by Catholic priests and represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, the murdered ex-wife of OJ Simpson.Lisa Bloom and Janice Dickinson announce a settlement in their defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby in Woodland Hills, California, on 25 July. Photograph: Frederick M Brown/Getty ImagesBloom attended Yale Law School, she has said, because she “wanted to represent the underdogs”. She and her mother have worked well together: they were once profiled in W magazine under the headline “Defenders of Women in 2017”.Bloom’s practice is now 100% for the victims of sexual misconduct and she has given up representing accused men. That decision came after she found herself on the wrong side of the Weinstein story.While her mother took on two of Weinstein’s alleged victims, in initial stages of the case Bloom advised the accused. It was a surprising choice: Weinstein had optioned her book about the slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.> The pendulum needs to keep swinging … because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault> > Lisa BloomBloom initially defended her work, saying the former Hollywood producer was trying to change his ways.Now, she said: “The problem was that Harvey Weinstein ended up being about a great deal more than inappropriate language. When the first woman accused him of sexual assault I was out of there. When the deluge came, I just felt mortified I’d ever associated with him.”Some suggest famous men accused of sexual misconduct have lost the right to clear their name, given the highly public cases of Weinstein, O’Reilly, Ailes, Cosby and others.Bloom recognizes that men have been going through their own awakening to the realities of sexual harassment. But she doesn’t believe the pendulum has swung too far.“The pendulum needs to keep swinging in favor of women because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault,” she said. “I believe the MeToo movement is long overdue and profoundly important.”Ultimately, she said, it’s a question of due process, of going to court and trying cases there.“I love being in that environment where there has to be evidence and witnesses,” she said, “not just people swinging allegations back and forth. The brave women who are standing up now are sending a message to predators that their day of reckoning is coming.”
| Nets guard Caris LeVert has agreed to a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension, league sources told ESPN. |
|UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland China ||Taggart names Blackman Seminoles' starting QB |
A British consulate employee in Hong Kong has been freed by China after being detained for 15 days on the mainland amid rising tensions between the former British colony and Beijing. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on his way back from a work trip in Shenzhen, a neighbouring Chinese city. It was not until after the UK expressed “extreme concern” about his disappearance that China’s foreign ministry broke its silence, confirming Mr Cheng had been detained without releasing further details. On Saturday, his family announced that he had come back. "Simon has returned to Hong Kong; thanks you everyone for your support! Simon and his family wish to have some time to rest and recover, and will not take any interview,” they said in a statement. An activist holds an illustration of Simon Cheng during a gathering outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong Credit: AFP Chinese police in Shenzhen confirmed that Mr Cheng had been detained for violating public security management regulations, and was released after that period on Saturday. Police also said he had “confessed to the facts of his illegal activity,” without saying what those activities were. Mr Cheng was not formally charged or tried in court, and his family rejected allegations in Chinese state media that he had been detained for visiting prostitutes. On Friday the UK issued a warning to all travellers to Hong Kong about increased scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings. The warning added that mobile phones and electronic devices were being checked by border patrol. Mr Cheng’s mysterious disappearance highlights China’s murky legal and judicial system – something that help kicked off mass protests early June in Hong Kong. Many fear freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, guaranteed for at least 50 years under an agreement that became effective when the former British colony was returned to Beijing, are fast-disappearing under China’s ruling Communist Party. Hong Kong crisis | Comment and analysis Millions first took to the streets against a now-suspended extradition proposal that would have sent people to face trial in mainland China, where Communist Party control of the courts contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate. Forced confessions are also common with suspects paraded on state television. “What happened to Simong Cheng – this is a common tactic used by the central government to put pressure on people,” said Kammy Yang, 50, an office clerk at a protest on Saturday. “Many Chinese activists were accused of prostitution or tax scams; this is their strategy in China, trying to suppress freedom.” Thousands of protesters on Saturday engaged in a series of skirmishes, throwing projectiles from bricks to petrol bombs at police who responded with sprays of tear gas and rubber bullets. It was the first time tear gas had been deployed in 10 days, a period of relative calm as protesters recalibrated their approach in an otherwise tumultuous, violent summer. Demonstrators join hands to form a human chain during the Hong Kong Way event in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, on Friday Credit: Bloomberg “The reasons why protesters are building roadblocks, surrounding police stations, and throwing bricks – it’s because the government doesn’t respond to us,” said Vaso Chan, 28, an office clerk. “It’s not fun for any of us to come out during summer break.” Protesters spray painted slogans like “Give me liberty or death,” Chinazi,” and “HK popo Gestapo,” on sidewalks and highways. As the political movement has grown, so have protesters’ demands, who are now calling for an independent inquiry into police handling of the protests, the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and direct leadership elections. City leaders however have made no concessions, instead thrusting the police to the front lines to handle the situation, further angering protesters. Demonstrations are occurring nearly every day now in the financial hub, disrupting traffic and public transportation. On Saturday, several stations closed along a planned march route. But despite growing unrest, public support for the protesters has stayed strong, with marches and strikes planned through September. “No matter whether those protesters are peaceful protesters or protesters that are standing in the ‘front lines’, no matter what they do, we will support them,” said Mr Chan.
| Florida State coach Willie Taggart announced Sunday night that James Blackman will be the Seminoles' starting quarterback. |
|Montana is back among states without state-funded preschool ||Under oath: Judge delivers on home run promise |
Montana enters the upcoming school year back among the handful of states without publicly funded preschool, and the unions and education groups that are otherwise staunch allies of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock are a big reason why his fledgling pre-kindergarten program fizzled. The state briefly broke from those ranks with a 2017 budget item that provided funding for preschool programs through 10 school districts and seven private providers. Bullock, who is now running for the Democratic nomination for president, touted it as a major win for one of his top priorities of his final term: early childhood education.
| Aaron Judge delivered on his pregame promise to John Brown, father of Yankees bullpen catching coach Jason Brown, with his third-inning home run off Clayton Kershaw. |
|CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘We Can't Tiptoe’ Around Trump’s Mental Instability ‘Anymore’ ||Ortiz enlists ex-police commish to probe shooting |
CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter called on media outlets to focus more coverage on what he feels is President Trump’s obvious mental instability, saying Sunday morning that it is an issue we can no longer “tiptoe around.”“He’s getting worse,” Stelter said at the top of his weekend show focussing on the media CNN’s Reliable Sources. “We can see it. It’s happening in public but it’s still a very hard, very sensitive story to cover. I’m talking of course about President Trump, about his behavior, about his instability.”Noting that several prominent conservative figures—notably, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband—are pleading with the press and Republicans to take the president’s erratic behavior more seriously, the CNN host then ticked off a list of the president’s comments and actions that have raised eyebrows.“Look, all of these stories are covered in the moment, individually, by reporters,” Stelter said. “News outlets use words like erratic, volatile, unstable but rarely are Trump’s words and actions covered as a whole and rarely do news outlets take it to that next level. Okay, what he just said seems crazy—what does that reveal about him? We rarely see it go to that next step.”Pointing out that Trump will always have a chorus of supporters backing him up and defending him, the CNN media analyst added that Trump’s “Fox fans pretend the worst episodes didn’t happen at all or blame the media for bad coverage.”While Stelter went on to credit CNN and MSNBC for doing a decent job of showing the “ugly reality” with their on-screen graphics, he also stated that there is not “really a vocabulary” or a “format” for covering concerns about a president’s mental well-being. “It’s really a series of questions that no one is able to answer,” he declared. “Why does he make it all about himself even after visiting a hospital after a massacre? Why does he lie so often? Is there a method to the madness or is something wrong? Is he suffering from some sort of illness? It’s questions, questions and then just more questions.”Prior to bringing on two psychiatrists to debate the ethics of media outlets openly discussing the president’s mental fitness, Stelter ended his monologue by noting “we can’t tiptoe around it anymore.”“We’ve got to talk about this,” he concluded. “So let’s talk about it. Let’s do it.”This isn’t the first time that Stelter has taken to the air to speculate about the president’s mental health. In Aug. 2017, the CNN personality wondered aloud why more journalists weren’t asking the “uncomfortable questions” about whether Trump was fit for office or “suffering from some kind of illness.” And in Jan. 2018, called on reporters to do “more reporting” on Trump’s possible mental instability. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
| Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has hired a firm headed by ex-Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis to look into the details surrounding the June shooting of Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. |
Lima Local News
Lima Views and Opinions
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy
Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to â€œcriticize the government and other organizations.â€ So why would that be relevant in a democracy?
Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?
â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.â€ -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One
Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nationâ€™s military, the mindâ€™s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagonâ€™s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.
Capitalism and The Wealth Gap
When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.
Living Wages Are A Global Problem
The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.
Ukraine: Not What It Seems
After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.
Coup Or Civil War In Egypt
The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.