Justin Bieber and Katy Perry rally in support of bullied boy Keaton Jones – Trending Stuff

Emotional video in which Keaton describes how he is tormented at school has had more than 22m views since Friday

A Tennessee boy has been inundated with support from celebrities on social media after a video of him tearfully recounting being bullied at school went viral.

Keaton Joness mother, Kimberly, posted the minute-long clip of her son apparently sheltering from bullies inside her car on her personal Facebook page on Friday. She wrote that she had filmed Keaton at his request after he had me pick him up again because he was afraid to go to lunch.

Talk to your kids, she concluded. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.

In the video, Keaton says other students called him ugly, made fun of his nose and told him he had no friends. He says milk was poured on him and ham put down his clothes.

Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? he asks tearfully. Whats the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them? Its not OK.

People that are different dont need to be criticised about it. Its not their fault. If you are made fun of, just dont let it bother you.

The video has been viewed more than 22m times on Facebook and has crossed over to Instagram, where it drew the attention of Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham, Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Snoop Dogg and other celebrities, many of whom made offers of friendship and gifts.

Bieber encouraged the boy to send him a direct message and endorsed the anti-bullying message to his 94.6m Instagram followers.

The fact that he still has sympathy and compassion for other people when hes going through it himself is a testament to who he is, Bieber said in a video. This kid is all-time. Hes a legend. Go check him out. His names Keaton.

Biebers own video was viewed nearly 2.7m times in eight hours. The actor Penelope Cruz commented with six clapping emojis.

This broke my

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

How Trump walked into Putins web – Trending Stuff

Trump and Putin at the Apec summit in Vietnam this week. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

In September, Steele went back to Rome. There he met with an FBI team. Their response was one of shock and horror, Steele said. The bureau asked him to explain how he had compiled his reports, and to give background on his sources. It asked him to send future copies.

Steele had hoped for a thorough and decisive FBI investigation. Instead, it moved cautiously. The agency told him that it couldnt intervene or go public with material involving a presidential candidate. Then it went silent. Steeles frustrations grew.

Later that month, Steele had a series of off-the-record meetings with a small number of US journalists. They included the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorker and CNN. In mid-October he visited New York and met with reporters again.

Comey then announced he was reopening an investigation into Clintons use of a private email server. At this point, Steeles relationship with the FBI broke down. The excuse given by the bureau for saying nothing about Trump looked bogus. In late October, Steele spoke to the Mother Jones editor David Corn via Skype.

The story was of huge significance, way above party politics, Steele said. He believed Trumps Republican colleagues should be aware of this stuff as well. Of his own reputation, Steele said: My track record as a professional is second to no one. Steele acknowledged that his memos were works in progress, and was genuinely worried about the implications of the allegations. The story has to come out, he told Corn.

At this point Steele was still anonymous, a ghost. But the ghosts message was rapidly circulating on Capitol Hill and inside Washingtons spy agencies, as well as among certain journalists and thinktanks. Democratic senators now apprised of Steeles work were growing exasperated. The FBI seemed unduly keen to trash Clintons reputation while sitting on explosive material concerning Trump.

One of those who was aware of the dossiers broad allegations was the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, a Democrat. In August Reid, had written to Comey and asked for an inquiry into the connections between the Russian government and Donald Trumps presidential campaign. In October, Reid wrote to Comey again. This time he framed his inquiry in scathing terms. In a clear reference to Steele, Reid wrote: In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors and the Russian government The public has a right to know this information.

But all this frantic activity came to nought. Just as Nixon was re-elected during the early stages of Watergate, Trump won the presidential election, to general dismay, at a time when the Russia scandal was small but growing. Steele had found prima facie evidence of a conspiracy, but by and large the US public knew nothing about it. In November, his dossier began circulating in the top national security echelons of the Obama administration. But it was too late.


The same month a group of international experts gathered in Halifax on Canadas eastern seaboard. Their task: to make sense of the world in the aftermath of Trumps stunning victory. One of the delegates attending the Halifax International Security Forum was Senator John McCain. Another was Sir Andrew Wood, the UKs former ambassador to Russia. Wood was a friend of Steeles and an Orbis associate. Before the election, Steele had gone to Wood and shown him the dossier. He wanted the ambassadors advice. What should he do, or not do, with it? Of the dossier, Wood told me: I took it seriously.

On the margins of the Halifax conference, Wood briefed McCain about Steeles dossier its contents, if true

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump – Trending Stuff

Frances president awards millions of euros to 18 American scientists to relocate in effort to counter Donald Trump on the climate change front

Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as Frances president, Emmanuel Macron, awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trumps presidential term.

The Make Our Planet Great Again grants a nod to Trumps Make America Great Again campaign slogan are part of Macrons efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. Most of the applicants and 13 of the 18 winners were US-based researchers.

Macrons appeal gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do, said winner Camille Parmesan, of the University of Texas at Austin. She will be working at an experimental ecology station in the Pyrenees on how human-made climate change is affecting wildlife.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Parmesan described funding challenges for climate science in the US and a feeling that you are having to hide what you do.

Trump has expressed skepticism about global warming and said the Paris accord would hurt US business by requiring a reduction in climate-damaging emissions.

We will be there to replace US financing of climate research, Macron told the winners in Paris on Monday.

If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science, he said, promising to put in place a global climate change monitoring system among other climate innovations.

The research of the winning recipients focuses on pollution, hurricanes and clouds. A new round of the competition will be launched next year, alongside Germany. About 50 projects will be chosen overall, and funded with 60m ($70m) from the state and French research institutes.

Initially aimed at American researchers, the research grants were expanded to other non-French climate scientists, according to organizers. Candidates need to be known for working on climate issues, have completed a thesis and propose a project that would take between three to five years.

The time frame would cover Trumps current presidential term.

Some French researchers have complained that Macron is showering money on foreign scientists at a time when they have been pleading for more support for domestic higher education.

Macron unveiled the first winners at a startup incubator in Paris called Station F, where Microsoft and smaller tech companies announced projects to finance activities aimed at reducing emissions.

Mondays event is a prelude to a bigger climate summit Tuesday aimed at giving new impetus to the Paris accord and finding new funding to help governments and businesses meet its goals.

More than 50 world leaders are expected in Paris for the One Planet Summit, co-hosted by the UN and the World Bank. Trump was not invited.

Other attendees include Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took a spin on a Parisian electric bike Monday to call attention to health problems caused by pollution.

The Hollywood star and former California governor argued that Trumps rejection of the Paris climate accord doesnt matter, because companies, scientists and other governments can pick up the slack to reduce global emissions.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

House of Cards to resume production in 2018 with Robin Wright as lead – Trending Stuff

The sixth, and final, season will consist of just eight episodes and focus on Robin Wrights character after Kevin Spacey was fired over sexual misconduct allegations

The final season of House of Cards will resume production in 2018 without actor Kevin Spacey.

The star had been filming episodes for the sixth season of the Netflix drama but chief content officer Ted Sarandos has now revealed that as well as firing the actor, the final episodes will be refocused to center on co-star Robin Wright.

We are excited to bring closure to fans, Sarandos said during a conference on Monday, revealing that the 2,000 people who work on the show will get to return to work next year. The final season will be shorter, with just eight episodes. Details of the plot have yet to be released.

Its also been rumored that Netflix is seeking to launch a House of Cards spin-off, eager to extend the franchise of their flagship show.

Spacey was fired after allegations of sexual misconduct on the set of the show and off. The streaming giant similarly decided not to move forward with a film starring Spacey as Gore Vidal.

The actor was also replaced by Christopher Plummer in Ridley Scotts drama All the Money in the World, leading to last-minute reshoots before the films release on 22 December.

Netflix is projected to spend between $7-8bn on original content in 2018. Sarandos revealed that the company will aim to increase animated movies and foreign language productions. Weve been careful to not become a one-brand network. he said at the UBS conference. The way to do that is having a lot of variety, and executing in multiple genres at a high level.

  • This article has been amended on 5 December. Ted Sarandos was originally referred to as the CEO of Netflix but he is in fact the chief content officer.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Anti-Trump protesters risk 60 years in jail. Is dissent a crime?

More than 200 people who were arrested on Trumps inauguration day risk up to 60 years of jail. Meanwhile, the white supremacists in Charlottesville walk free

On the morning of President Trumps inauguration, police trapped and arrested more than 230 people. Some were anti-Trump demonstrators; some were not. The next day, federal prosecutors charged them all with felony rioting, a nonexistent crime in Washington DC. The prosecution then launched a sweeping investigation into the defendants lives, demanding vast amounts of online information through secret warrants.

Prosecutors eventually dropped a few defendants, like journalists and legal observers, but simultaneously increased the charges against everyone else. The most recent indictment collectively charged more than 200 people with felony rioting, felony incitement to riot, conspiracy to riot, and five property-damage crimes all from broken windows.

Each defendant is facing over 60 years in prison.

The prosecution next obtained warrants focused on anti-Trump organizers. One sought a list of all visitors to a website that organizers used to promote Inauguration Day protests. A second sought information on all Facebook friends and related communications of two organizers, the host of a coalition Facebook page, and those who simply liked that page.

Despite legal challenges, a court recently decided to enforce the warrants, requiring only that personally identifiable information be redacted for irrelevant material. This unprecedented prosecution follows a drastic change in local law enforcements response to protest.

The DC Office of Police Complaints issued a report critical of the mass arrest, noting the departure from standard operating procedure and the likelihood that police lacked individualized probable cause to arrest everyone. This is exactly the type of action new policies and statutes enacted in DC were meant to avoid, following a 2002 mass arrest that caused the District to pay over $10m in settlements.

Compare this crackdown with the governments response to the pre-planned, armed violence and rioting by white supremacists and private militia groups in Charlottesville, Virginia.

There was no sweeping online dragnet to identify organizers who conspired to plan, promote, and carry out violence in Charlottesville violence against people, not property.

Nor were all the participants in Charlottesville rounded up and charged with felony conspiracy to commit rioting or charged as accessories to Heather Heyers murder. Instead, federal prosecutors have done little to nothing.

Online activists exposed the identities of a few white supremacists, leading to charges from local law enforcement due to public pressure. But there have been no felony rioting charges, no charges of guilt-by-association, no police raids, no sweeping investigation.

Other riots have gone unchallenged by law enforcement. In 2006, Steelers fans rioted after their team won the Super Bowl, causing over $150,000 in damage (by comparison, prosecutors allege the inauguration defendants caused an estimated $100,000 of damage on 20 January most of which was attributable to a limousine fire that occurred after the mass arrest.)

Police charged some Steelers fans with individualized offenses, but no riot charges. In 2015, University of Kentucky basketball fans rioted after their team lost to Wisconsin; once again, some arrests, but no riot charges.

How do prosecutors decide when to dust off the rioting statutes and whom to charge? Apparently, the reasons for the alleged rioting are important.

Sports riots are people letting off steam. Riots by white supremacists evidently occur with no criminal consequences. And why should law enforcement behave differently? Neither scenario threatens the state itself.

When people stand in opposition to the government, like the demonstrators did on 20 January, the analysis changes; suddenly conduct becomes rioting, deserving of a lifetime in prison.

This is classic content-based discrimination of freedom of speech and assembly, and selective prosecution. The state cracks down when it disapproves of the reasons why a riot occurs, but holds back when rioters are not responding to state violence and oppression. Notably, the first time prosecutors used the riot statutes in DC was to punish protesters following Martin Luther King Jrs assassination.

All this raises the questions who gets to define violence, and what of the permissibility of state-sanctioned violence? Does the state not commit violence when it brutally attacks anti-Trump protesters and arrests them without probable cause? Does the state not commit violence by trying to put hundreds of people behind bars for decades? Does the state not commit violence by failing to intervene against armed force exacted by white supremacists? Does the state not commit violence when it protects hate speech and punishes government critics?

Trials for the inauguration protesters begin mid-November and will continue for a year. As media ramps up coverage, do not forget what these trials are about not rioting, not broken windows, but punishing dissent.

  • Yael Bromberg is a supervising attorney and teaching fellow with the Institute for Public Representation Civil Rights Clinic, of Georgetown University Law Center. She is also a member of the DC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Eirik Cheverud is a local attorney and member of the DC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Eight people killed in New York ‘act of terror’ after truck drives on to bike path – Trending Stuff

Suspect, 29, is in hospital after being shot by officer as mayor says attack being treated as a particularly cowardly act of terror

Eight people have been killed and more than a dozen injured after a man drove a truck nearly a mile down a bike path in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, striking pedestrians, cyclists and a school bus.

New York Citys mayor, Bill de Blasio, said the incident was being treated as a particularly cowardly act of terror. He said a police officer assigned to the area stopped the attacker by shooting him in the stomach.

After smashing into the school bus, injuring two adults and two children, the 29-year-old suspect exited the truck displaying imitation firearms. Witnesses have said the suspect was shouting Allahu Akbar, Arabic for God is great, before he was shot by police, according to the New York police department (NYPD). The suspect was arrested, and a paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene.

The suspect underwent surgery and was in critical condition but was expected to survive. Officials who werent authorised to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the attacker as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek citizen who came to the US legally in 2010. Saipov has a Florida driving licence but may have been living in New Jersey, reports said.

Uber said Saipov was one of its drivers who had passed a background check and had been actively driving for the ride-hailing app for more than six months.

Map of Manhattan truck attack

Police said the truck drove south after entering a pedestrian and bicycle path along the Hudson river on the south-west side of Manhattan, where it struck a number of people, coming to a stop near Stuyvesant High school, not far from the One World Trade Center site and Rockefeller Park.

Six men were pronounced dead at the scene on the cycle lane and two other people were dead on arrival at hospital.

It is a very painful day in our city, De Blasio said.

The victims include a Belgian citizen and five Argentinians. The five men from Argentina Hernn Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damin Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernn Ferruchi were part of a group of school friends who travelled to New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation. Another member of the group, Martin Ludovico Marro, remained in hospital.

The justice department said in a statement that a joint terrorism task force that included the FBI, the NYPD and others was investigating the attack.

There have been multiple and conflicting reports of a note and/or flag showing support for Isis had been found in the truck used in the attack. The reports have not been officially confirmed.

Eight people killed after truck drives on to New York bike path video report

The New York Times reported that handwritten notes in Arabic near the truck indicated allegiance to the Islamic State, while CNN said a note was written in English, also indicating support for Isis, and was found inside the truck. Others including the Daily Mail claimed an Isis flag was found in the truck.

A woman from Cincinnati, Ohio, contacted by the Guardian, who identified herself as Dilfuza Iskhakova, said Saipov had stayed at her home for several months about six years ago, after arriving in the US from Uzbekistan. He seemed like a nice guy, but he didnt talk much, said Iskhakova. He only went to work and came back. He used to work at a warehouse.

Iskhakova said Saipov had been applying for a green card during this time. Ohio state records show he registered a business involving vehicles to her home in May 2011. Iskhakova said her family lost contact with Saipov in recent years. She said she thought he had moved from Ohio to Florida, and then to the New York region, and that he had a wife and two young daughters.

She said she did not know if Saipov was religious. Hes from my country, Iskhakova said. His father knows my husband, and sent Sayfullo here because he didnt know anyone.

Officials in New York said additional resources were deployed around the city, where children would be on the streets late into the evening to celebrate Halloween. The citys landmark Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, about six blocks from where the rampage began, continued as usual.

At a news conference, the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, said these resources were being deployed out of an abundance of caution and that there was no indication of additional threats.

Donald Trump tweeted about the incident: In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Lions next in line of fire as US rolls back curbs on African hunting trophies – Trending Stuff

The Trump administrations lifting of restrictions on importing elephant body parts from Zimbabwe and Zambia is not the last gift to hunting interests

Hunting interests have scored a major victory with the Trump administrations decision to allow Americans to bring home body parts of elephants shot for sport in Africa. Another totemic species now looks set to follow suit lions.

As the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was announcing it was lifting a ban on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, it also quietly published new guidelines that showed lions shot in the two African countries will also be eligible to adorn American homes.

This all suggests that rather than being the protectors of wildlife, the federal government is now a promoter of trophy hunting, said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

They are rolling out the red carpet to the next Walter Palmer, and that same sort of situation will happen all over again, Pacelle added, referencing the Minnesota dentist who sparked an international furore after he shot and killed Cecil, a famous black-maned lion that was lured from a protected reserve in Zimbabwe.

In 2014, American hunters were barred from bringing home parts of elephants shot in Zimbabwe because of concerns over the conservation of the animals in the country. Last year, the FWS, under the Obama administration, also listed the lion as a threatened species and placed tighter restrictions on bringing back heads, paws and other body parts.

The Trump administration has begun to peel away this legacy in unusual fashion by announcing the lifting to the elephant ban at the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, a pro-hunting event held in Tanzania, rather than on its website or in the federal register.

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The event is co-hosted by Safari Club International, an Arizona-based group that lobbies against hunting restrictions and auctions off trips to members to head to Africa to hunt the big five lions, rhinos, elephants, Cape buffalo and leopards. SCI joined with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to legally challenge the ban on elephant trophies.

Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRAs Institute for Legislative Action, said the Trump administration had backed sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting through its decision. Conservation groups fear the administration is now held in the sway of SCI and the NRA to the detriment of species such as lions and elephants both of which have suffered sharp declines in recent years.

This is political fealty to the NRA and SCI, said Pacelle. Here we are telling black Africans they cant kill elephants for tusks but its OK for rich white people to show up and shoot them. Its the height of hypocrisy.

Pacelle said it was a farce that Zimbabwe was now considered a responsible steward for elephants in the midst of an apparent coup by the military against Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president who celebrated a birthday in 2015 by feasting upon a baby elephant.

Zimbabwes elephant population has dropped in recent years with a spate of poaching, including cyanide poisonings, killing thousands of the animals. However, the FWS said the lifting of the trophy import ban was rooted in science and that the situation has changed and improved since 2014.

The agency said Zimbabwe had a new management plan that includes a hunting quota of 500 elephants, with money from wealthy western hunters distributed to rural communities.

There has been a fierce battle between some conservationists and hunting groups over whether funds from shooting trips actually improve the fortunes of endangered species or local communities, but it is clear that the trajectory of almost all megafauna in Africa is one of rapid decline.

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A family group of elephants in Hwange national park in Zimbabwe. All African megafauna are facing rapid decline. Photograph: Alamy

The pro-hunting outlook of the Trump administration has a champion in Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior. Zinke, whose agency also oversees the FWS, has pushed for greater hunting access to public land, reversed a ban on lead ammunition that is linked to the poisonings of bald eagles and is attempting to open a vast wildlife refuge in Alaska to oil drilling.

This agenda dovetails with Republicans in Congress who have taken aim at endangered species protections, putting forward bills that would allow the trapping of wolves in the US and remove non-native species such as lions and elephants from protected status.

The presidents sons are also both keen hunters, with pictures emerging in 2012 of Eric and Donald Trump Jr with a dead elephant, buffalo and other animals while on safari. Donald Jr posed holding a severed elephants tail while the two brothers beamed at the camera while clutching a dead leopard.

Donald Trump Jr, the presidents eldest son, has said he is known as the Fifth Avenue redneck by friends due to his love of hunting and estimates he has killed 15 or 16 species in Africa.

Last year, Donald Jr said the FWS should be encouraging American hunters legally and ethically hunting abroad, not hindering them.

We have to make sure were heard, he said. Lately, weve been a forgotten group. I want to change that now and forever.

And we are going to do whatever we can to make sure that any kind of Trump presidency is going to be the best since Theodore Roosevelt for outdoorsmen, for hunters, for our public lands, and for this country as it relates to anything in the great outdoors.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

men like Matt Damon ‘cannot understand what abuse is like’ – Trending Stuff

Actor calls former co-stars remarks about spectrum of behaviour in sexual misconduct Orwellian and questions defence of disgraced comedian Louis CK

The actor Minnie Driver has told the Guardian that men simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level and should not therefore attempt to differentiate or explain sexual misconduct against women.

Driver was discussing comments by Matt Damon, whom she once dated and with whom she starred in the Oscar-winning 1997 film Good Will Hunting. In an interview with ABC News this week, Damon said alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men involved a spectrum of behaviour.

Damon said there was a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation. Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldnt be conflated.

He added that society was in a watershed moment and said it was wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and its totally necessary. But he said: We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that were going to have to correct enough to kind of go, Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.

In her first response to Damon, Driver wrote on Twitter: God God, seriously?

Gosh its so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about womens differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem.

Drivers response to Damon was shared widely on social media, alongside that of the actor Alyssa Milano, who said: There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But its still cancer.

On Saturday, Driver told the Guardian: I felt I desperately needed to say something. Ive realised that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off in their ability to understand. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level.

I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you cant tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, its galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.

Drivers comments come more than two months into a radical national reappraisal of gender relations begun by accusations against Harvey Weinstein, an executive producer of Good Will Hunting who denies allegations including sexual assault and rape.

Speaking to ABC, Damon compared allegations against Weinstein, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey and the comedian Louis CK, whom he commended for his remorseful response.

Thats the sign of somebody who well, we can work with that, Damon said, adding: I dont know Louis CK. Ive never met him. Im a fan of his, but I dont imagine hes going to do those things again. You know what I mean? I imagine the price that hes paid at this point is so beyond anything …

Driver said that as accusations, suspensions and firings first swept through Hollywood, she initially refrained from comment. She was now moved to expand her initial response to Damon.

I dont understand why Matt would defend Louis CK, she said. It seems to me that he thinks that because he didnt rape somebody so far as we know that what he did do wasnt as bad.

The comedian was accused of misconduct including masturbating in front of a number of women. In response, he said these stories are true but did not specifically apologise.

Matt
Matt Damon attends a screening in New York. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Thats a problem, Driver continued. If good men like Matt Damon are thinking like that then were in a lot of fucking trouble. We need good intelligent men to say this is all bad across the board, condemn it all and start again.

Driver argued that men should not be granted the power to interpret abuse inflicted on women without the risk of redoubling an injustice they can scarcely understand.

I felt that what Matt Damon was saying was an Orwellian idea, we are all equal except that some us are more equal than others, she said. Put abuse in there that all abuse is equal but some is worse.

She added: There is no hierarchy of abuse that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if woman has a penis exposed to her that she didnt want or ask for you cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.

And it certainly cant be prescribed by a man. The idea of tone deafness is the idea there [is] no equivalency.

How about: its all fucking wrong and its all bad, and until you start seeing it under one umbrella its not your job to compartmentalise or judge what is worse and what is not. Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once.

Since the first publication of allegations against Weinstein, a number of women have come forward to detail abuse they have suffered. This week, the actor Salma Hayek wrote a long essay for the New York Times about her treatment by Weinstein.

There is not a woman I know, Driver said, myself included, who has not experienced verbal abuse and sexual epithets their whole fucking life, right up to being manhandled and having my career threatened several times by men I wouldnt sleep with.

Driver did not elaborate on the persons or circumstances involved. But she expressed optimism that as the culture of harassment and abuse that has existed is exposed, men will find a way to support women.

In the same stereotypical way that we see women being supportive of men in their endeavors, she said, I feel thats what women need of men in this moment. They need men to lean on and not question.

Men can rally and they can support, but I dont think its appropriate, per se, for men to have an opinion about how women should be metabolising abuse. Ever.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

My fathers death has given me a love of men, of their vulnerability and tenderness – Trending Stuff

Aisling Bea with her father. Photograph: Aisling Bea

And then there was the letter.

My mother gave us the letter to read the day she told us, but, in it, he didnt mention my sister or me.

I had not been adored. He had forgotten we existed. I didnt believe it at first. When I was 15, I took the letter out of my mothers Filofax and used the photocopying machine at my summer job to make a copy so I could really examine it. Like a CSI detective, I stared at it, desperate to see if there had been a trace of the start of an A anywhere.

I would often fantasise that, if I ever killed myself, I would write a letter to every single person I had ever met, explaining why I was doing it. Every. Single. Person. Right down to the lad I struck up a conversation with once in a chip shop and the girl I met at summer camp when I was 12. No one would be left thinking: Why? I would be very non-selfish about it. When Facebook came in, I thought: Well, this will save me a fortune on stamps.

Sometimes, in my less lucid moments, I was convinced that he had left a secret note for me somewhere. Maybe, on my 16th no, 18th no, 21st no, 30th birthday, a letter would arrive, like in Back to the Future. Aisling, I wanted to wait until you were old enough to understand. I was secretly a spy. That is why I did it. I love you. I love your sister, too. PS Heaven is real, your philosophy essay is wrong and I am totally still watching over you. Stop shoplifting.

This summer was the 30th anniversary of his death. In that time, a few things have happened that have radically changed how I feel.

Three years ago, Robin Williams took his own life. He was my comedy hero, my TV dad he had always reminded my mother of my father and his death spurred me to finally start opening up. I had always found it so hard to talk about. I think I had been afraid that if I ever did, my soul would fall out of my mouth and I would never get it back in again.

Last year, I watched Grayson Perrys documentary All Man. It featured a woman whose son had ended his life. She thought that he probably hadnt wanted to die for ever, just on that day, when he had been in so much pain. A lightbulb moment it had never occurred to me that maybe suicide had seemed like the best option in that hour. In my head, my father had taken a clear decision, as my parent, to opt out for ever.

My father had always seemed like an adult making adult decisions, but I suddenly found myself at almost his age, still feeling like a giant child. I looked at some of my male friends gorgeous idiots doing their gorgeous, idiotic best to bring up little daughters, just like he would have been.

Finally, just after my 30th birthday, a box turned up.

The miserable people he had worked for had found a box of his things filed away and rang my mother (30 years later) wondering whether she wanted them or whether they should just throw them in the bin.

She waited for us to fly home and we opened it together three little women staring into an almost-abandoned cardboard box.

Now, most of the box was horse ultrasounds which, Ill be honest, I am not into. But there was also his handwriting around the edges and, then, underneath the horse X-rays and files, there were the photographs.

Any child who has lost a parent probably knows every single photograph in existence of that parent. I had pored over them all, trying to put together the person he might have been.

The photos in the box had been collected from his desk after he had died. We had never seen them before. They were nearly all of me. He had had all of these photos stuck on his desk. I was probably the last thing he looked at before he died.

My fathers death has given me a lot. It has given me a lifelong love of women, of their grittiness and hardness traits that we are not supposed to value as feminine. It has also given me a love of men, of their vulnerability and tenderness traits that we do not foster as masculine or allow ourselves to associate with masculinity.

To Daddy, here is my note to you:

Im sad you killed yourself, because I really think that, if you could see the life you left behind, you would regret it. You didnt get to see the Berlin wall fall or Ireland qualify for Italia 90. You didnt get to see all the encyclopedias that you bought for us to one day use at university get squashed into a CD and subsequently the internet. You have never got to hear your younger daughters voice it annoys me sometimes, but it has also said some of the most amazing things when drunk. I think you would have been proud to watch your daughter do standup at the O2 and sad to see my mother watching it on her own. Then again, if you hadnt died, I probably wouldnt have been mad enough to become a clown for a living. I am your daughter and I am really fucking funny, just like you. But, unlike you, Im going to stop being it for five minutes and write our story in the hope that it may help someone who didnt get to have a box turn up, or who may not feel in their right mind right now and needs a reminder to find hope.
Aisling

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org

Swedish rape law would require explicit consent before sexual contact – Trending Stuff

Under legislation expected to be approved by parliament, burden of proof would shift from victim to alleged attacker

Sweden is moving to change its rape law to shift the burden of proof from the claimant to the alleged attacker, in a proposal that would require people to obtain explicit consent before sexual contact.

Isabella Lovin, the deputy prime minister, said the recent #metoo anti-harassment campaign had shown the need for the new legislation, which is expected to be approved by parliament on Thursday.

Under current Swedish law, someone can be prosecuted for rape only if it is proven that they used threats or violence. Under the proposal, rape could be proven if the claimant did not give his or her explicit verbal agreement or clearly demonstrate a desire to engage in sexual activity.

Stefan Lofven, the prime minister, said the historic reform, which his coalition has been preparing since taking power in 2014, aims to shift the burden of proof from the claimant in a rape or sexual assault case to the alleged attacker.

Addressing victims, he said: Society is standing by your side.

If the bill is approved, it would go into effect on 1 July.

The proposal is part of a series of initiatives being put forward. Others would make it illegal for Swedes to hire prostitutes abroad and increase sentences for offenders. Buying sex in Sweden is already illegal.

Critics say the proposal would not result in more convictions.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us