World AM News Briefs For Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Good Morning Australia!! - The flood gates have opened in Hollywood's biggest sex harassment scandal - Is the US Media looking at the Hollywood scandal with politicized eyes? - Officials fear a higher death toll in the Wine Country wildfires - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The President of Catalonia backed down. Rather than declare independence for his region of Spain, Carles Puigdemont told the local parliament that he will seek negotiations with Madrid with the mandate from last weekend's referendum in which 90 percent of voters demanded secession. Spanish police reportedly had a strike force assembled and ready to go arrest him if Puigdemont had actually declared independence, as many had expected. Catalonia is the northeast corner of Spain around Barcelona; it has its own language and culture and already has a small level of autonomy from Madrid written into the constitution. It's highly unlikely that Madrid will ever negotiate an exit for Catalonia.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of this month's election re-run. The 8 August election was invalidated by the Supreme Court based on alleged irregularities. Mr. Odinga claims pulling out will give the electoral commission enough time to introduce reforms that will help deliver a more credible election, but it's feared that a boycott could lead to more violence.
At least thirteen people are dead in the Wine Country wildfires in Northern California, stunningly vicious blazes that burned entire neighborhoods in urban areas as well as wealthy vintner estates. "There (are) a lot of burned homes and a lot of burned areas, so it's just logical that we're gonna find more people," said Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano of the death toll. The soot and smoke unleashed into the atmosphere has fouled the air in much of the densely populated San Francisco Bay Area - monitors say the air quality is "very unhealthy" in the north bay, and "unhealthy" in Oakland and San Francisco all the way down to Silicon Valley.
Disgraced Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein is now accused of raping some actresses, as even worse allegations begin to flood out of the entertainment industry. In a long-awaited interview with The New Yorker magazine, actress and director Asia Argento accused Weinstein of forcing oral sex on her in a 1999 assault. Another actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez said she was assaulted by Weinstein, wore a wire for the New York City Police Department to get his confession on tape, but the case wasn't prosecuted and her career was ruined by a series of bad items about her in the gossip columns. Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino admitted she was sexually harassed by Weinstein, but didn't go public because her story paled in comparison to some of the assaults she heard about in Hollywood.
After the story in The New Yorker came out, the New York Times published stories of even more harassment featued accusations from megastars: "This way of treating women ends now," Gwyneth Paltrow said of Weinstein, who boosted her career and helped her win an Academy Award - but who also allegedly harassed her and threatened retaliation if she talked. Angelina Jolie said, "I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did." Rosanna Arquette said she lost roles after refusing Weinstein's sexual advances.
Later, Weinstein released a statement in which he "unequivocally denied" any allegations of non-consensual sex and claimed "there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances". He had already been fired by his namesake production unit The Weinstein Company over the weekend, after the first round of accusations appeared in print. Weinstein says he'll focus on his family, an anti-gun foundation named after his mother, and a scholarship for aspiring female film directors.
Aussie actress Nicole Kidman did not accuse Weinstein of inappropriate behavior, nor actually mention him by name. But in a statement she said, "I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power - be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce," adding, "We need to eradicate this behavior." Kidman worked with Weinstein on films including "Cold Mountain", "The Others", "Nine", and most recently "Lion" for which she was nominated for an Oscar.
Former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned Weinstein in her first public comments on the matter since reports of his alleged predatory behavior broke five days ago. "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," Clinton said in a statement. "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior." Weinstein has raised millions of dollars for Clinton and other Democratic candidates - but that doesn't make Hillary responsible for his vile alleged behavior, despite the US corporate media's great desire for a "gotcha" story about her.
Meanwhile, a foul-mouthed admitted sexual harasser is actually INSIDE the White House, screwing up foreign policy, unable to get along with his own staff, challenging his own Secretary of State to an IQ contest, feuding with members of his own party in Congress, and destroying environmental regulations.