8-14-19 Steve King: Rape and incest 'aided population growth'
Democrats are calling for a Republican congressman to resign after he defended abortion bans by saying that humankind might not exist but for rape or incest. Without rape or incest "would there be any population of the world left?" nine-term lawmaker Steve King asked the Des Moines Register newspaper. Mr King was defending anti-abortion legislation that does not make exceptions for rape or incest. Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders soon demanded he step down. "You are a disgrace. Resign," Ms Gillibrand wrote on Twitter. Her remarks were quickly echoed by other 2020 Democratic hopefuls Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke and Julián Castro. A Republican lawmaker, Iowa state Senator Randy Feenstra, also criticised Mr King's remarks. "I am 100% pro-life but Steve King's bizarre comments and behaviour diminish our message," he wrote on Twitter. On Wednesday, Mr King told the Des Moines Register that the Republican leadership had stopped bills he sponsored banning abortions from advancing through the US House of Representatives. "What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" Mr King said on Wednesday. "Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that." (Webmaster's comment: Brute males have always defended rape and incest. Anything to get off!)
8-14-19 Plácido Domingo accused of sexual harassment
The opera singer Plácido Domingo has been accused of sexually harassing several women over a number of decades. Eight singers and a dancer claim they were sexually harassed by the Spanish tenor from the late 1980s, according to the Associated Press news agency. Only one of the women, mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, agreed to be named. Domingo has denied the accusations, and the Los Angeles Opera - which he directs - has pledged to investigate with the help of "outside counsel". "Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions," continued Mr Domingo. "People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone." Six other women also claim the tenor made them feel uncomfortable by making "sexual overtures" towards them, AP reported. Ms Wulf said he didn't physically touch her but would come up close to her every time she walked off stage and ask if she "had to go home tonight". Another woman said Domingo put his hand down her skirt on one occasion. Three others said he forcefully kissed them. The incidents are said to have taken place in different venues including a dressing room, a hotel room, during a meeting and at opera companies where Domingo held managerial positions. "A business lunch is not strange," one of the singers told AP. "Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange or putting their hand on your knee is a little strange. He was always touching you in some way, and always kissing you." Domingo was due to appear at the Philadelphia Orchestra's opening night concert on 18 September but the organisation said, in the light of the allegations, it had withdrawn its invitation.
8-13-19 Whitney Cummings, US comedian, tweets nipple photo to stop extortion
A US comedian has tweeted a photo of her own nipple after followers used it to try and extort money from her. Whitney Cummings said she accidentally posted the image on Instagram in April, but deleted it soon afterwards. Someone took a screenshot and sent it to her, with the message: "How much would it cost to not share this photo?" Re-posting the photo, Cummings wrote: "If anyone is gonna make money or likes off my nipple, it's gonna be me. So here it all is, you foolish dorks." People later posted their own embarrassing photos with the hashtag #IStandWithWhitney - including comedian Bert Kreischer, who tweeted a picture of his injured testicles. Cummings had posted an Instagram story of herself eating a lychee fruit in the bath, without realising that part of her breast and nipple were in the frame. After noticing, she deleted it. Posting on Twitter, Cummings wrote: "In April I accidentally posted an insta story that showed nipple. Once I realised, I deleted. The people who took screen grabs are trying to get money from me, some said they have offers to sell them, some are asking for money to not post the photo. "They all must think I'm way more famous than I am, but they also must think I'm way more easily intimidated than I am." She then posted a screenshot of one of the messages she had received, along with the photo itself. "When a woman in the public eye is extorted, we have to spend time, money and energy dealing with it, hiring lawyers and security experts, and living with a pit in our stomach about when and how we will be humiliated," she added. "Y'all can have my nipple, but not my time or money anymore." A few hours later she tweeted that she was receiving threats from people claiming to have access to photos of her stored on her iCloud. I'll be honest, I stand by most of my nudes," she wrote. "Frankly I'm way more embarrassed by all the inspirational quotes I've screen grabbed." (Webmaster's comment: Only in America do the males do this crap to women.)
8-11-19 This underground network helps Yemeni women to safety
The group uses WhatsApp to help facilitate a safe escape. Azal held her breath and hoped the burqa she was wearing would be enough to evade detection at the nearly two dozen checkpoints that lay ahead. If everything went according to plan, she would soon be in Sudan. Getting in the back of a pickup truck with a strange man posing as her husband was just the beginning of her harrowing escape from Yemen. "I never imagined this would be my life," said Azal, who asked that her last name be withheld for her family's safety. More than four years of war between the Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government has ripped Yemen apart and led to the world's worst humanitarian disaster. Houthis, backed by Iran, have captured large swaths of the country, including the capital city, Sanaa, from pro-government forces. In those areas, rights groups say Houthis have escalated their crackdown on public displays of dissent. In October 2018, Houthis arrested Azal, then 21, along with dozens of other university students who attended a protest against poor living conditions in the capital, according to Rasha Rashid Jarhum of the Peace Track Initiative. In prison, guards severely beat her and accused Azal of belonging to ISIS. Released after 12 hours with a bloodied face and a warning, Azal knew she needed to leave her city — and fast. "The Houthis [then] asked my university to hand me over. They were outside my house day and night," she remembered. "I was driven out of the country, forced to run from one house to the next." Some 6,000 miles away in Ottawa, Canada, Rasha Rashid Jarhum had begun coordinating Azal's escape through the messenger service, WhatsApp. "We were asking her, what are the options? We told her, once you think you can safely relocate and once you arrive in Marib, just contact us," Jarhum said.
8-9-19 Cuba Gooding Jr to face trial over 'grope'
Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr will stand trial over claims he groped a woman in a New York bar in June. A judge dismissed his plea to have the case thrown out, saying the Boyz N The Hood star had not "provided compelling reasons to warrant dismissal". Gooding Jr was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree after allegedly grabbing a woman's breast during a night out. His lawyer said he was "confident" his client would be "totally exonerated". The 51-year-old star of Jerry Maguire and The People vs OJ Simpson could face up to a year in prison if convicted. The trial is scheduled to start on 3 September.
8-6-19 Misogyny and murder often go hand-in-hand
We probably should have seen Connor Betts coming. Betts killed nine people — including his own sister — during a shooting spree Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. He harbored violent fantasies about raping women and killing classmates. And his dark predilections were no secret. His friends knew. One says she urged him to get counseling. His school knew. He reportedly was once suspended for compiling a hit list of people he wanted to kill. "This isn't a mystery to me," a middle school classmate told reporters. But nobody stopped him from obtaining a firearm and committing a massacre, even though the red flags were there for everybody to see. There is a danger that, like the warning signs, Betts' murderous misogyny will go unrecognized. The Dayton killings took place just hours after the mass casualty shooting in El Paso, Texas — an event that was ultimately more deadly and, because of that shooter's racist intent, more intimately bound up in the current political debates. The national discussion is mostly centered on white nationalism — and President Trump's relationship to it — which leaves less bandwidth for a discussion of Betts' apparently murderous misogyny. But we can't let this happen. We can't talk about mass-casualty violence in America without examining toxic misogyny and violence against women. As Mother Jones reported earlier this summer — before the Betts attack — at least a third of 22 mass shootings since 2011 featured perpetrators who "had a history of domestic violence, specifically targeted women, or had stalked and harassed women." Together, those attacks claimed 175 lives and injured scores more. There is a "strong overlap between toxic masculinity and public mass shootings" the magazine reported. The same is true of toxic masculinity and acts of violence closer to home. Recent research suggests that "intimate partner violence" — when somebody kills their spouse or romantic partner — has been on the uptick in recent years, rising from 1,875 deaths in 2014 to 2,237 deaths in 2017. The victims, unsurprisingly, are overwhelmingly female.
8-1-19 TV host AJ Calloway leaves Extra over sexual assault allegations
AJ Calloway, the long-time co-host of US TV show Extra, has left the role after facing multiple allegations of sexual assault, according to reports. Calloway appeared on the showbiz news show for 14 years until Warner Bros Television suspended him in February. When the allegations emerged, Calloway's lawyer said he "vehemently denies that he ever assaulted anyone". Warner Bros has now said it and the presenter have "mutually agreed to part ways" after an internal investigation. Calloway was accused of assaults in New York, New Jersey and California between 2003 and 2013, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a statement to US media including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Warner Bros said: "The company has investigated the claims made into Mr Calloway's conduct and he and the company have mutually agreed to part ways." Following his suspension, Calloway's attorney Lisa E Davis told The Hollywood Reporter: "Mr Calloway maintains that these unsubstantiated allegations are patently false. He vehemently denies that he ever assaulted anyone and looks forward to clearing his name." The Emmy-winning Extra goes out nightly across the States, mainly on NBC stations, and boasts "British TV sensation" Mark Wright as one of its correspondents.