April Trial Set for Cuba Gooding Jr. in Bar Groping Case

Two women who have accused Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual misconduct will be allowed to testify at his trial on charges that he groped three other women at Manhattan bars in 2018 and 2019, a judge ruled Wednesday.
An April 21 trial date was set for Gooding, who previously pleaded not guilty to an updated indictment that covers the three accusations of groping.
Prosecutors said they had 19 other women who could testify that the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” actor was also inappropriate with them in similar settings, bars, hotels and restaurants, as far back as 2001.
Gooding has denied the charges. His defense attorney, Mark Heller, previously called the allegations “incredulous “and assailed the prosecution as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Gooding and his attorneys left Wednesday’s proceeding without commenting.
The brief hearing at Manhattan criminal court came as opening statements began in the same building in the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein, a landmark moment for the (hash) MeToo movement.
Heller has called the charges against Gooding a “distorted overreaction pandering to the current hypersensitive climate where innocent commonplace gestures are now misperceived and mischaracterized as offensive.” He has accused prosecutors of amplifying long-ago allegations to bolster an otherwise weak case.
Attorneys in the case are expected to return to court next week for a hearing on a protective order governing discovery.
Prosecutors wanted an earlier trial date, but Gooding’s defense team said it needed more time to examine the evidence.
Prosecutors asked Judge Curtis Farber to allow a parade of witnesses to testify that Gooding violated them in bars, hotels and restaurants as long ago as 2001. None of those claims resulted in criminal charges, but state law allows prosecutors to call accusers not involved in the criminal case as witnesses in an effort to show a pattern of misconduct.
Gooding prosecutor Jenna Long said in a court filing that the previous incidents make clear that Gooding’s “contacts with (women’s) intimate parts are intentional, not accidental, and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent.”
Farber, in a written ruling, said “the admission of all 19 uncharged prior incidents would result in undue prejudice.” He added that admitting a “limited selection of incidents outweighs such prejudice.”
Farber also denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that Gooding was not allowed to testify to the grand jury. The judge wrote that prosecutors “had no obligation to inform the defendant that a grand jury proceeding

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In Britain, Trying to Help Children Vulnerable to Drugs, Gangs

In parts of Britain, thousands of children have fallen victim to so-called “county lines,” drug networks run by gangs, with many forced to sell drugs in small towns and rural areas. Helping affected children in the $600 million illegal narcotics industry is a long and difficult process.Officials estimate that some 46,000 children are involved with gangs across Britain, and many of them are exploited through drug networks and routes termed “county lines.”The children are groomed and forced to travel across the country to sell heroin and crack cocaine, using dedicated mobile phone lines.The children exploited through the “county lines” witness a lot of violence and intimidation.Tamsin Gregory works with the St. Giles Trust, an organization that offers support to youngsters who have been affected by “county lines.”Gregory says it is common to see post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD among the young people they work with.”It takes a lot of care and kindness, and non-judgmental support to help young people overcome those kinds of experiences,” Gregory said. “And it’s not a quick process. What we often find is that young people, they don’t stop their ‘county lines’ activity overnight. So they will reduce it over a period of time. And then eventually over maybe a period of a year or so we can help them fully accept that lifestyle and put them back in touch with things such as helping them get back into education.””County lines” have been around for a long time, but the number of people involved in selling drugs in rural areas has grown in recent years. There are currently about 2,000 operational “county lines.”Anton Noble was a gang member as a teenager. Although not personally involved in “county lines,” he witnessed it. After almost ending up in jail, he says he turned his life around.Noble founded the organization Guiding Young Minds in 2018 to warn young people in Britain about the dangers of gangs and “county lines.””This generation they’re ain’t no level, they’ll go to any level,” Noble said. “They’ll go to four-year-olds, they’ll go to six-year-olds, they’ll do anything just to move their product. It’s not a gang anymore, it’s a business. Money is the motive but obviously I educated the kids to say to them money don’t make you happy.”While its mostly vulnerable youngsters who end up being exploited, children from a variety of backgrounds are targeted. The children are victims but often end up in the criminal system for selling drugs or committing violent acts.Noble says he has seen through his work as a youth mentor that it takes time to connect with young people and change their mindset. He says the root causes of the drug epidemic must first be address.If you take a drug runner off the road, it replaces itself, it’s a business,” Noble said. “But if you take the root out, it’s gone. It won’t grow again.”The British government announced it would spend nearly $33 million to tackle drug networks, mostly through strengthening law enforcement.Critics of that approach note that austerity policies in the last decade have led to thousands of British police and social workers losing their jobs, and the closing of hundreds of youth centers across the country.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this month he wanted “county lines” to be stopped because “they are killing our children.” 

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Sources: EU Nations Can Restrict High-Risk Vendors Under New 5G Guidelines

EU countries can restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers from core parts of their telecoms network infrastructure under new guidelines to be issued by the European Commission next week, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The non-binding recommendations are part of a set of measures aimed at addressing cybersecurity risks at national and bloc-wide level, in particular concerns related to world No. 1 player Huawei Technologies.
The guidelines do not identify any particular country or company, the people said.
“Stricter security measures will apply for high-risk vendors for sensitive parts of the network or the core infrastructure,” one of the people said.
EU digital economy chief Margrethe Vestager is expected to announce the recommendations on Jan. 29.Other measures include urging EU countries to audit or even issue certificates for high-risk suppliers.EU governments will also be advised to diversify their suppliers and not depend on one company and to use technical and non-technical factors to assess them.
Europe is under pressure from the United States to ban Huawei equipment on concerns that its gear could be used by China for spying. Huawei, which competes with Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson has denied the allegations.

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‘Naughty Boy’: Monty Python Star Terry Jones Dies at 77

Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python troupe who was hailed by colleagues as “the complete Renaissance comedian” an d “a man of endless enthusiasms,”  has died after a battle with dementia.Jones’ family said the 77-year-old died Tuesday evening at his home in London. In a statement, his family said he died “after a long, extremely brave but always good humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.”
Jones’ wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, said “we have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.””His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath,” they said.Born in Wales in 1942, Jones attended Oxford University, where he began writing and performing with fellow student Michael Palin.After leaving university, he wrote for seminal 1960s comedy series, including “The Frost Report” and “Do Not Adjust Your Set.” At the end of the decade he, along with Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, formed Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose irreverent humor — a blend of satire, surrealism and silliness — helped revolutionize British comedy.FILE – From left, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones of the comedy group Monty Python pose for photographers during a photo call in London, June 30, 2014.Jones wrote and performed for the troupe’s early-70s TV series and films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in 1975 and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” in 1979.Playing the mother of Brian, a hapless young man who is mistaken for Jesus, he delivered one of the Pythons’ most famous lines: “He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”Jones played many of the Pythons’ female characters, as well as a grinning nude organist, Spanish Inquisitor Cardinal Biggles and the explosively gluttonous restaurant patron Mr. Creosote.Cleese tweeted: “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away.”He added: “Two down, four to go,” a reference to the six members of the troupe. Chapman died of cancer in 1989.As well as performing, Jones co-directed “Holy Grail” with Gilliam, and directed “Life of Brian” and the 1983 Python film “The Meaning of Life.”FILE – From left to right, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, three of the six creators of the hit British TV comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” are shown in New York, March 12, 1975.During the 1970s, Jones also created the show “Ripping Yarns” with Palin and wrote sketches for comedy duo The Two Ronnies.After the Pythons largely disbanded in the 1980s, Jones wrote books on medieval and ancient history, presented documentaries, wrote poetry and directed films, including “Personal Services,” about a suburban brothel madam, and the comedy adventure “Erik the Viking.” He also scripted the Jim Henson-directed fantasy film “Labyrinth,” which starred David Bowie.In 2014, more than three decades after their last live performance, the five surviving Pythons reunited for a string of stage shows that revived their old skits for adoring audiences.Two years later, Jones was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which gradually robbed him of the ability to write and speak.”Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full,” Palin said in a statement.”He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation. He was the complete Renaissance comedian — writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have,” Palin said.Jones is survived by his wife, his ex-wife Alison Telfer, and three children.

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НБУ послабив гривню на 7 копійок щодо долара

Національний банк України встановив на 23 січня курс 24 гривні 33 копійки за долар, це на 7 копійок більше за курс на 22 січня.

За даними Finance.ua, торги на українському міжбанківському валютному ринку завершилися на рівні 24 гривні 41–45 копійок за долар.

«На торгах по долару пожвавлення. Щоб закрити незадоволений попит на валюту, на ринок виходив Нацбанк і продавав долар по 24,45–24,50 гривні. За нашими оцінками, регулятор продав поки близько 30–40 мільйонів доларів і цим остаточно погасив ажіотаж», – так оцінили фахівці сайту «Мінфін» перебіг торгів станом на 16:00.

У наступні два дні тижня на валютний ринок не впливатиме чинник продажу доларів нерезидентами для розрахунку за українські ОВДП. Це означає, що можливе продовження послаблення національної валюти, яке відбуватиметься під контролем НБУ.


Національний банк України з 13 грудня 2019 року встановив облікову ставку на рівні 13,5%, знизивши її одразу на 2%. Також регулятор збільшив обсяг щоденного викупу валюти на міжбанку до 50 мільйонів доларів з попереднього рівня 30 мільйонів доларів.

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Top Judge Elected as Greece’s First Female President

Greece’s lawmakers elected their country’s first female president Wednesday, with an overwhelming majority voting in favor of high court judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Speaking after being formally informed of the parliament vote, Sakellaropoulou said she would aim for the “broadest possible consensus” in the course of carrying out her duties.
In her first comments as president-elect, the judge noted the  “difficult conditions and challenges of the 21st century, including the financial crisis, climate change, the mass movement of populations and the consequent humanitarian crisis, the erosion of the rule of law and all manner of inequalities and exclusions.”
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis nominated Sakellaropoulou as a non-partisan candidate who would enjoy broad support from across the political spectrum. All major parties voted in favor of the nomination, with Sakellaropoulou being elected to the largely ceremonial post in a 261-33 vote, well above the 200 votes required. Six lawmakers were absent.
Greece has a historically low number of women in senior positions in politics, and Mitsotakis had been criticized for selecting a nearly all-male Cabinet after he won general elections in July 2019. In the current Greek Cabinet, all but one of the 18 senior positions are held by men.
Speaking after the vote, Mitsotakis described Sakellaropoulou, 63, as a “great jurist, a great judiciary personality who unites all Greeks from the minute this procedure began.”
He said he sought to nominate a candidate who would “symbolize the youth of the Greek nation, and I am glad that the result confirmed that on the big issues, we can finally agree.”
European officials congratulated Sakellaropoulou, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcoming the election of Greece’s first female president in a tweet that said the country was “moving ahead into a new era of equality.”  
European Council head Charles Michel also tweeted congratulations, saying it was “a great signal to elect the Republic’s first female head of state.”
Sakellaropoulou, who has headed the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, since 2018, is to begin her five-year term in March, when the term of the current president, veteran conservative politician Prokopis Pavlopoulos, expires.

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UN Calls for Probe Into Possible Hacking of Bezos’ Phone

The phone of Amazon billionaire and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked after receiving a file sent from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Nations experts alleged Wednesday.The experts called for an “immediate investigation” by the United States and others into information they received that suggests that Bezos’ phone was hacked after receiving an MP4 video file sent from the Saudi prince’s WhatsApp account.Bezos went public about the incident after allegedly being shaken down by the National Enquirer tabloid, which he said threatened to expose a “below-the-belt” selfie he’d taken and other private messages he’d exchanged with a woman he was dating while still married at the time.A forensic report that was commissioned by Bezos and shared with the U.N. experts assessed with “medium to high confidence” that his phone was infiltrated on May 1, 2018, via the MP4 video file.Saudi critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October that same year. The Post was highly critical of the Saudi government after his killing.“The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia,” the independent U.N. experts said.“At a time when Saudi Arabia was supposedly investigating the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, and prosecuting those it deemed responsible, it was clandestinely waging a massive online campaign against Mr. Bezos and Amazon targeting him principally as the owner of The Washington Post,” the U.N. experts said.The U.N. experts reviewed the 2019 digital forensic analysis of Bezos’ iPhone, which they said was made available to them as U.N. special rapporteurs, which are independent experts appointed by the world body.The experts said that records showed that within hours of receipt of the video from the crown prince’s account, there was “an anomalous and extreme change in phone behavior” with enormous amounts of data from the phone being transmitted over the following months.The Financial Times has seen the forensic report that was done by FTI Consulting, the private firm hired by Bezos. The newspaper said the forensic report “does not claim to have conclusive evidence,” and “could not ascertain what alleged spyware was used.”

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A #MeToo Moment: Harvey Weinstein Trial Set to Open

Harvey Weinstein spawned the (hash)MeToo movement. Now, the former film titan is starring in the biggest trial of its era – a landmark moment in a global reckoning that has empowered women while shining a light on power dynamics in workplaces from Hollywood Boulevard to Main Street.Opening statements and the first witness testimony are expected Wednesday in Weinstein’s New York City rape trial, where the possibility of life in prison looms for the once-celebrated “Pulp Fiction” producer now vilified as a predator by scores of women.Weinstein’s accusers include some well-known actresses who plan to testify or attend the trial and others who are looking to the New York case for a form of justice because their allegations haven’t resulted in criminal charges.”This trial is so important because the enormity of Harvey Weinstein’s international power and fame offers an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the rampant abuse of power that permeates our culture on a global level,” actress Jessica Barth said Tuesday.”Not only the outcome of this trial, but the trial as a whole, is precedent setting,” said Barth, a star of the “Ted” films who says Weinstein once invited her to his hotel suite and demanded a naked massage.Weinstein’s trial could take more than a month, Judge James Burke said. Judging from an arduous two-week  jury selection that netted a panel of seven men and five women, it could be a hotbed of protests and intense media coverage.Extra court officers have been lining the front of the Manhattan courthouse where Weinstein, 67, has been ambling in and out with a walker that his lawyers say was necessitated by a summer car crash and subsequent back surgery.In a failed last-minute push to get the trial moved, Weinstein’s lawyers said a flash mob’s chanting “the rapist is you!” at street level could be heard in the courtroom, 15 floors above.Adding to the drama, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is due at the same courthouse Wednesday for a hearing in a case in which several women have accused him of groping. He’s denied  all allegations of wrongdoing.Though dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them over the years, his New York trial involves just a pair of allegations: that he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulted a different woman in 2006.Backed by expected testimony from four other accusers, prosecutors will attempt to portray Weinstein as a monster who used his power to ingratiate himself with women, sometimes promising a film role or other career advancement, before sexually assaulting or raping them.One of them, actress Annabella Sciorra will testify  that Weinstein forced himself inside her Manhattan apartment and raped her in 1993 or 1994 after she starred in a film for his movie studio.While Sciorra’s allegations are outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges, the judge has said her testimony can be used to prove predatory sexual assault charges, which carries a maximum life sentence and requires prosecutors to show a pattern of misconduct.Weinstein’s lawyers say any encounters were consensual. They plan to go on the offensive, pointing to dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails to Mr. Weinstein'' they say show he and some of his accusers were in consenting relationships. Defense lawyer Damon Cheronis said some of the womenalso bragged about being in a sexual relationship with him.’’Once trailed by whispers in Hollywood circles, Weinstein was met with an explosion of allegations from dozens of women after The New York Times and The New Yorker published separate exposes about his behavior in October 2017.After opening statements, prosecutors are expected to call a former member of the board of directors at Weinstein’s old movie studio to testify about how the company handled allegations against him.One issue that has remained unresolved in the trial is the defense’s objection to a juror who wrote an upcoming novel about young women that includes, according to the book’s publicity materials, descriptions of their relationships with predatory older men. If she is removed and replaced as a juror, that’ll leave just two remaining alternates for the trial.Once the New York trial is over, Weinstein faces additional rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles. Those charges were filed this month as jury selection in his New York trial was getting underway.

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Последние новости России и мира, экономика, бизнес, культура, технологии, спорт

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Давос: Трамп і Тунберг, штраф для українців і «шапки Шевченка»

21 січня у швейцарському курортному містечку Давос розпочався 50-й Всесвітній економічний форум. На форумі вже виступили президент США Дональд Трамп і екологічна активістка Грета Тунберґ. Дехто ж з українців відзначився в Давосі штрафом за неправильне паркування. Україну на форумі представлятиме президент Володимир Зеленський, прем’єр-міністр Олексій Гончарук, народні депутати

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або на email: pravdaua@email.cz
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Прощальная многоходовочка. Конституцию России переписали за четыре дня

Прощальная многоходовочка. Конституцию России переписали за четыре дня.

Рабочая группа по изменению Конституции, созванная президентом России Владимиром Путиным, заявила, что подготовила поправки к Основному закону, которые затронут не менее 14 его статей

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Долар зміцнився на чотири копійки – НБУ

Долар зміцнився на чотири копійки, свідчать дані на сайті Національного банку України.

Довідкова вартість долара встановлена на рівні 24 гривень 30 копійок.

За останній місяць долар суттєво зміцнився: 21 грудня 2019 року він коштував 23 гривні 33 копійки.

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