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What is your view of sexual harassment?
I am strongly against it 100%  100%  [ 6 ]
I approve, it's natural and fun 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Sexual harassment doesn't exist 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Sexual harassment is a pretext used to get back at someone 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Women (men) are asking for it at work 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No opinion 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 6
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Ex-Albanian mayor jailed for sex harassment of city employee
12 January 2017

TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- An Albanian court has sentenced a former mayor to 32 months in jail for abusing his post and sexually harassing a young woman who worked at City Hall.

The Serious Crime Court in Albania's capital on Thursday sentenced former Peshkopi mayor Shukri Xhelili after he was found guilty of having fondled and kissed the 20-year-old woman in his office while she resisted, then taken her to a hotel room in Tirana and promised a pay rise in exchange for sexual favors.

The woman recorded the encounter with her cellphone and a private television station, Ora News, broadcast some of the footage. Xhelili was immediately fired from the government, arrested and then replaced in early elections held a few months later. Peshkopi is located 155 kilometers (96 miles) east of Tirana.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Air Force officer's sexual assault sentence called lenient
February 26, 2017

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- An Air Force noncommissioned officer convicted of misconduct with eight women, including three who accused him of sexually assaulting them, was sentenced to three months confinement and another month of hard labor, a punishment a victims' rights advocate called "shockingly light."

Tech. Sgt. Anthony Lizana, 35, also was reduced in rank to airman first class and was given a dishonorable discharge Saturday night at his trial at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the jury of two officers and five senior noncommissioned officers could have sentenced Lizana to nearly 38 years in prison for his conviction on four charges and eight specifications of misconduct that included dereliction, adultery, assault consummated by battery and sexual assault. Military prosecutors originally lodged seven charges and 17 specifications of misconduct against him. Conviction on all those charges could have resulted in more than 87 years in prison. Lizana's attorneys presented no witnesses in his defense.

Women testifying against him accused Lizana, in the Air Force for 15 years and a married father of two young children, of unwanted sexual misconduct. The most serious charges involved sexual assaults against three women. He was convicted on only one of the specifications, for touching a senior airman's crotch in 2015 without her consent. He was drunk at the time, according to prosecutors.

In testimony, another airman said she was disturbed when Lizana twice bear-hugged her at a surprise off-base birthday party for her and hinted that he bought a sex toy as her birthday present. Testimony also showed two women said they had affairs with him and weren't aware at first that he was married and a father. "The person I was 16 months ago is not the person who stands before you today," Lizana told jurors in a statement that asked for mercy. The statement also referred to his alcoholic parents, an older brother in prison for murder and his own time as a heavy drinker.

Lizana's civilian attorney, Tom Fleener, told jurors a dishonorable discharge "has a lasting effect forever" and was enough punishment. Prosecutors asked for nine years and reduction to the lowest rank. "I think it reflects that there is a massive need for reforming the way we do sentencing in the military," Don Christensen, a former Air Force judge and president of Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group for military sexual assault survivors, told the newspaper. "I would say this is more the norm than the exception that we get shockingly light sentences for serious misconduct in the military. It reflects the military's inability to take sexual misconduct that strikes at the heart of good order and discipline seriously."

Lizana worked in a medical supply warehouse at Lackland and was accused of giving shoulder massages, hugging and kissing young, lower-ranking women and three sexual assaults. The senior prosecutor, Capt. Bradley Palmer, said most of the victims were first-term airmen out of high school and were inexperienced, vulnerable and uncertain how to handle some situations.

Palmer said their first job out of technical training school was the Lackland warehouse where Lizana was "the guy in charge, the guy who is supposed to be the adult in the room, creates the environment." The dereliction in performing his duties with three women occurred from Sept. 1, 2014, to Dec. 1, 2015. He also was convicted of kissing an airman on her forehead in 2014 and 2015.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Authorities could have prevented Cologne attacks
17 March 2017

BERLIN (AP) — German media report that lawmakers believe hundreds of attacks that occurred in Cologne during New Year 2015/16 could have been prevented.

Prosecutors received more than 1,200 criminal complaints, including for over 500 sexual assaults, in the weeks after the attacks. Police said most of the suspects were of North African origin, prompting a heated debate in Germany about migration.

Cologne daily Express on Friday cited a draft report by state lawmakers that found the attacks could have been "largely prevented" if police had acted more decisively on the night. Lawmakers reportedly concluded that city officials and police were badly prepared. They also accused authorities of providing the media and public with "false and misleading" information.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:32 pm 
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Brazil soap star Jose Mayer apologizes for sexual harassment
By RENATA BRITO
4 April 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- A top soap opera star in Brazil on Tuesday apologized for sexually harassing a female colleague on set, doing an about-face after days of claiming the woman was confusing his villainous character with reality.

In an open letter Tuesday, Jose Mayer acknowledged treating fashion stylist Susllem Tonani inappropriately. "I was mistaken in what I did, what I said and what I thought," he wrote. "I am a product of a generation that learned, incorrectly, that sexist and abusive attitudes can be camouflaged as jokes."

In a blog post last week, Tonani, 28, accused 67-year-old Mayer of sexually harassing her. Tonani said that the abuse included touching her inappropriately while on set of Globo TV soap opera "Law of Love." Tonani wrote that Mayer "placed his left hand on my genitalia" and would say to her, "I stare at your butt and imagine your breasts," among other offensive comments.

Mayer, who has a wife and daughter and has appeared in dozens of internationally known soap operas, initially denied the accusations. He told local media in interviews over the weekend that Tonani had confused the villainous character he was playing in the soap opera with reality.

Those denials were met with indignation, and on Monday Globo suspended Mayer indefinitely and removed him from the cast of a new soap opera that began airing this week.

Latin America's largest nation has long struggled with sexual harassment and domestic violence. Brazilian soap operas, known for their larger-than-life characters and unbelievable plots, are often translated into other languages and viewed around the world, particularly in Latin America.

On Tuesday, Globo actresses and staff shared photos on social media wearing T-shirts in support of Tonani. "Mess with one, mess with all. #EnoughHarrassment," read the shirts.

In a statement Tuesday, Globo said it "rejects all and any form of disrespect, violence or discrimination," and that the matter was being dealt with. The network also apologized to Tonani and said it regretted that the harassment had occurred in her workplace.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:23 pm 
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Harassment headlines spotlight change - and the lack of it
By ADAM GELLER
April 6, 2017

The accusations - of an Uber manager propositioning an engineer via instant message on her first day in his department, of the top-rated host at Fox News calling female co-workers to talk about sex - are so lurid they sound like outliers.

But years after companies and courts began insisting sexual harassment has no place on the job, it continues to fester - particularly when employers tolerate it, experts say.

While the allegations are unproven, reports that Fox, Uber and other organizations may have allowed such treatment to go unchecked, push back against assumptions that sexual harassment has diminished, even as it has been labeled unacceptable.

The effort to change workplace dynamics "feels like it's been going on a long time, but 30 years in the history of male-female relationships is less than the blink of an eye," said Louise Fitzgerald, a psychologist who in the 1980s developed a survey long used by the U.S. military and other employers to measure their workers' specific experiences of sexual harassment.

"We keep having to rediscover this over and over again, and every time we're shocked."

Last year, Fox News' CEO Roger Ailes resigned amid allegations that he pressured female employees to have sex. Now, the company and top-rated host Bill O'Reilly are under fire for paying women to drop suits accusing him of much the same.

In February, a former Uber employee posted a detailed account accusing the company of ignoring complaints by her and other women of managers pressuring them for sex. CEO Travis Kalanick issued a statement declaring there was "no place for this kind of behavior" in the company, then soon after came under scrutiny for a report he took employees to a Korean escort bar.

But they are hardly alone.

More than 200 workers at the company that owns the Kay and Jared jewelry chains claimed in declarations filed in private arbitration that managers groped subordinates and pushed them to have sex in exchange for job opportunities. A class action, certified to cover all 69,000 women employed at the company from 2004 to the present, alleges discrimination against women in pay and promotions.

The company says the accusations are unfounded.

"We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind," the chairman of Signet Jewelers Limited, Todd Stitzer, said in a statement last month announcing the formation of committee of directors to conduct a review of company policies.

The Marine Corps is trying to clamp down on private Facebook groups set up by male current and former servicemen, who collected and shared nude photos of their female colleagues.

Sexual harassment has always been most common in workplaces with relatively few women compared to men, researchers say, particularly in fields where jobs themselves are considered masculine. Industries where top performers bring in big dollars will sometimes overlook their behavior.

But tolerance by top managers is the single biggest factor.

"Corporate culture matters," said Emily Martin of the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group. "That idea that this is how we do things here is really quite powerful. It effects what both supervisors and supervisees understand as normal behavior."

It's hard to know how prevalent sexual harassment is in workplaces, but it is widespread, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission task force concluded in a report last year.

Statistics kept by the Department of Defense show that more than 6,000 sexual assaults were reported in the service branches in 2015, a slight decline from the previous year, but more than twice the figure recorded a decade ago.

That is despite more than three decades of attempts to identify sexual harassment and weed it out of U.S. workplaces.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that sexual harassment is a violation of civil rights, in a case pitting a bank teller against a Washington, D.C., bank and the boss she said coerced her into sex.

The Navy was enveloped in scandal over accusations that aviators assaulted dozens of female colleagues at their Tailhook Association gathering in Las Vegas in 1991. That same year, government lawyer Anita Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had graphically talked to her about sex during work; Thomas vehemently denied it. A few years later, women who had worked at broker Smith Barney filed a lawsuit alleging harassment by male colleagues, some of whom retreated to a raucous party chamber, the Boom Boom Room, inside a branch office.

The attention fueled a sharp rise in complaints of sexual harassment, and saw many companies mandate behavioral changes by employees and pledge to treat women more fairly. But longtime observers are skeptical about how much change has really occurred.

"There's a big difference between what companies say and what they do," said Susan Antilla, whose book "Tales from the Boom Boom Room" chronicled sexual harassment at Wall Street firms in the 1990s and the legal battles to curb it. She says talk of diversity initiatives and employee training ring hollow.

"I think that companies hide behind these things," she said.

Some things have changed.

Many companies now require employees to sign agreements not to sue if subjected to harassment, and to instead pursue a remedy in private arbitration. That such complaints are kept out of the public eye may contribute to an impression that fewer allegations are being made.

The rise of social networking has created new means of intimidating and belittling fellow workers. At the same time, cellphones that record audio and video, and computers that easily capture screenshots of messages give victims of harassment a way to seize on proof that could force an employer to act.

"The shocking thing is that after decades of sexual harassment being illegal, such dazzlingly open sexual harassment continues to emerge in both companies and the Marines, and in other arenas," said Joan Williams, founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California. "The thing that's changed is that once these allegations become public, they become a very public embarrassment." And that can rapidly have an impact on a company's finances.

That is evident in the announcements by more than a dozen companies that were pulling their advertising from O'Reilly's show on Fox.

Fitzgerald, the researcher, said it's hard to know whether there is more or less sexual harassment than a generation ago. But the newest headlines, with accusations of executives who knew of harassment and took little action, remind her of why it persists.

"So the men learn it's OK and the women learn ... that it's part of the culture and climate," Fitzgerald said. "It explains that whole thing of: Does this company take this seriously? Obviously, culture is something that starts at the very, very top."

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Mexico City metro's 'penis seat' sparks debate
By Vicky Baker
31 March 2017

When a new style of seat suddenly appeared on Mexico City's metro system, it was labelled as inappropriate, uncomfortable, humiliating and embarrassing.

It was supposed to be. The seat, moulded to include a protruding penis and chest, was designed to highlight sexual harassment experienced by female passengers. The explanation next to the men-only label read: "It is uncomfortable to sit here, but that is nothing compared to the sexual violence that women suffer on their daily journeys."

The seat is not a permanent fixture, but part of a campaign launched by UN Women and the Mexico City authorities called #NoEsDeHombres, which aimed to highlight sexual harassment on public transport.

But the response has been mixed. Underneath a video of the stunt, which has been seen more than 700,000 times in the past 10 days, some viewers praised the idea, while others called it "sexist" and unfair to men.

Gendes is a Mexican civil society organisation that focuses on working with men to promote equality and combat sexual harassment, which remains a major problem in the country. Rene Lopez Perez, who heads their research programme, praised the campaign for taking an important issue and making it a talking point. But he also stressed the importance of not seeing all men as attackers. "It's important not to stigmatise all men as violent and potential attackers of women," he said.

Holly Kearl, who founded the US-based website Stop Street Harassment, said there was something to be said for turning the focus away from women for once. When she attended the UN Women Safe Cities Global Leaders' Forum in Mexico City last month, she noted the onus of change was often put on women. "Too often initiatives around women's safety focus on what women should or should not do, so it is refreshing to see a creative campaign aimed at men," she said.

The Mexican capital's public transit system has long had a bad reputation for women's safety. In 2014, UK polling company YouGov conducted a survey about harassment on public transportation worldwide. For verbal and physical harassment, Mexico City's metro was voted the worst.

Over the years, the city has tried various strategies to make women feel safer. Trains have separate carriages for women. Women-only buses were also launched. An art collective, known as Las Hijas De Violencia (The Daughters of Violence), saw women responding to street harassment by blasting back at attackers with punk music and a confetti cannon.

Last year, the city's mayor caused controversy by announcing another new strategy: women were to be offered a small, city-branded whistle that they could toot when they felt threatened. The plan was largely derided for not getting to the root of the problem. "If screaming doesn't help, how will this?" wrote Mexico-based journalist Andrea Noel on Twitter.

Another Twitter user parodied the idea by suggesting the mayor's office also created a set of maracas to shake when you come across a case of corruption.

Ninde, who does not want to be known by her full name, says she has no trust in the female-only carriages after she was assaulted in one last year when a man ejaculated over her. She tries not to use the metro now, and will only do so if accompanied. She would like to see more done to improve the service for women, but she does not think the "penis seats" help. "It seems to ridicule sexual harassment. A real sexual assault is nothing like this," she says. "I feel a little outraged that there are no real actions to eradicate the problem."

Source: BBC

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Sexual harassment: Cat-callers face fines in Buenos Aires
8 December 2016

Forms of sexual harassment in public in the Argentine capital could now land perpetrators with a $60 (£47) fine.

Cat-calling and other types of harassment are seen as normal by some in Buenos Aires, but the city council voted on Wednesday to draw a line. "Direct or indirect comments referring to a person's body" are among offences which could attract punishment.

Argentina has seen an increase in campaigning by women to change the way they are viewed by society. The rape and murder of 16-year-old Lucia Perez in the city of Mar del Plata in October prompted widespread outrage. Thousands of women marched in protest and many staged strikes.

One of the main groups campaigning against violence against women in Argentina, NiUnaMenos (Not One Less), says a woman is killed there every 30 hours simply because of her sex. Such crimes are seen by many as arising from cultural tolerance of disparaging attitudes to women, including casual harassment.

The Buenos Aires law against harassment takes in offences including making images of genitalia without consent, unwanted physical contact, pursuing someone, and public masturbation and indecent exposure. Offenders could also be made to do community service. The law envisages public education campaigns, too, to try to change attitudes.

"Some forms of sexual harassment in public are accepted as a traditional part of our culture," said Pablo Ferreyra, the lawmaker behind the bill.
"That should not be a reason to tolerate this abuse."

President Mauricio Macri received relatives of victims of sexual violence at the presidential palace in November. But he was himself criticised by his daughter after once suggesting that women liked to be told: "What a nice ass you have". He later apologised.

Source: BBC

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:40 am 
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Indian woman cuts off genitals of her alleged rapist
20 May 2017

NEW DELHI (AP) -- A 24-year-old woman in southern India cut off the genitals of a Hindu holy man who tried to rape her and who she alleged has been sexually assaulting her for the past eight years, police said Saturday.

G. Sparjan Kumar, a police officer in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala state capital, said the woman fled her home after the incident Friday night and called police. The alleged attacker, 54-year-old Gangeshananda Theerthapada, who claims to be a spiritual healer, was reported to be in stable condition after reconstructive surgery.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the state's chief minister, told reporters on Saturday that it was brave of the woman to take such action. "It's a courageous and strong act by the woman," he said.

The New Delhi Television news channel said the woman's family knew Theerthapada, who used to visit their home to cure her bed-ridden father. She told police that he would rape her whenever he got an opportunity. When he again visited her home on Friday night and tried to force himself on her, she got hold of a knife and attacked him, Kumar said.

Violent crimes against women have been on the rise in India despite tough laws enacted by the government.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Puerto Rico mayor accused of sexual harassment resigns
June 5, 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- A Puerto Rico mayor accused of sexually harassing a policewoman who filed a complaint against him is resigning.

Hector O'Neill submitted a letter Monday stepping down after more than two decades as mayor of the wealthy city of Guaynabo just southwest of the U.S. island's capital. His action came months after Puerto Rico's governor and many of its citizens demanded his resignation. Officials last month indefinitely suspended O'Neill and demanded he turn over any government property, including cars and cellphones.

Authorities are investigating claims that O'Neill paid nearly a half million dollars to the police officer and her boyfriend. O'Neill has said that the case was privately resolved and that no public funds were used.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Customs officers hazing included 'rape table'
September 13, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Three U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are accused of using a 'rape table' to haze two of their colleagues at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Federal prosecutors say the officers were arrested Wednesday and are due to make their initial court appearances later in the day. All three officers are charged with forcibly assaulting, impeding, intimidating and interfering with the two victims. It's not known if they've retained lawyers.

Officials have said senior officers would allegedly take newer officers into a secure room, throw them on a table and grind against their genital areas. Officers who have reported being hazing victims say the abuse happened for years. The officers arrested include 38-year-old Tito Catota, of Newark; 40-year-old Parmenio Perez, of Paterson, and 32-year-old Michael Papagni, of West Orange.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:18 am 
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Weinstein allegations swell as film industry faces scrutiny
by Veronique DUPONT, with Michael Mathes in Washington
October 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The avalanche of assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein broadened Wednesday as more actresses came forward with explosive charges against the movie mogul, whose lurid behavior has opened a Pandora's Box of Hollywood harassment and hypocrisy.

The new claims landed as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Cannes film festival organization declared the abusive behavior repugnant, but also as film figures warned that such actions have gone virtually unchecked in an industry that for years has seen itself in a progressive light.

The Weinstein revelations are just "the tip of the iceberg," comedy actor and director Rob Schneider told TMZ. "There's not one actress who doesn't have a story," he said, adding that he himself experienced sexual harassment by a male director when he was younger.

Amid the gravity of the situation, the Academy, which has awarded 81 Oscars to Weinstein films produced by Miramax and then the Weinstein Company, announced it would convene a meeting on Saturday to "discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy." Weinstein, 65, has denied all charges, according to a statement from his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister. On Wednesday she offered "no comment" when asked about reports Weinstein was heading to Europe to enter a rehabilitation facility.

The scandal has rocked Hollywood, with the list of the Oscar-winner's harassment victims also reportedly now including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and French actress Judith Godreche. But a new angle to allegations emerged Tuesday when three women, including an Italian film star, claimed that Weinstein raped them.

The Weinstein Company board has sacked him, and his wife Georgina Chapman told celebrity magazine People she was leaving Weinstein, with whom she has two children.

The latest allegations portray Weinstein as a ruthless sexual predator, who on at least one occasion sought to engage an actress in a threesome with another woman. "He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction," actress Cara Delevingne, who is also a fashion model, said in an Instagram post detailing an encounter at a hotel. When Delevingne got up to hurriedly leave, she wrote, "he walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips."

The bluntest accusation came from Lea Seydoux, an award-winning French film star who wrote a devastating first-person account of her run-ins with Weinstein and others in an industry that essentially turned a blind eye to the abuse. "That's the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything," Seydoux wrote in The Guardian. She said she quickly figured out Weinstein's motives when they met. "He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex," she wrote. "He's big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted."

Some of the worst misconduct allegations emerged in a New Yorker magazine investigation published Tuesday, which details charges by Italian actress Asia Argento that Weinstein forced oral sex and intercourse on her 20 years ago. She told the publication she had maintained her silence until now for fear that Weinstein would "crush" her.

Another instance involved model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, whom the New Yorker said Weinstein met in March 2015. According to the New Yorker, Gutierrez says Weinstein "lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt" at a meeting in his offices in Tribeca. She reported the incident, and the New York Police Department asked her to wear a wire. In the audio of their conversation which was released by the magazine, Weinstein can be heard apologizing for grabbing her breast and then repeatedly pressuring her to come into his hotel room.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance decided at the time not to press charges after it emerged the young woman had attended one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties. Amid concerns about potential criminality, Vance appeared before reporters Wednesday to justify the decision. "Our sex crimes prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case, and so the decision was made not to go forward," Vance said. "Obviously he has some serious issues, and the tape is terrible."

The abundance of charges have sent tremors through the Democratic Party, whose heavyweights Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand accused of having waited too long after the revelations broke to disavow their friend and party donor. Republicans have launched withering accusations that liberal elites were protecting one of their own, as those in President Donald Trump's party demanded that Democrats jettison contributions by the movie mogul. Since 1990, Weinstein and his wife have personally donated more than $1.4 million to various Democratic candidates or groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:41 am 
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Weinstein ousted from Oscar-granting club over sex scandal
15 October 2017

Los Angeles (dpa) - Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who in 10 days has fallen from his position as a celebrated Hollywood titan to disgraced outsider over sexual assault accusations, was expelled Saturday from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy's 54-member board said in a statement provided to dpa that it "voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy." The statement added that the board took the action to "send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over."

An avalanche of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein prompted the Academy to call the emergency meeting at its headquarters in Beverly Hills, California. The decision follows Weinstein's suspension on Wednesday from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The Academy had signalled its mood in a statement issued earlier this week, which called the allegations against Weinstein "repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the academy and the creative community it represents."

But the Academy was a major contributor to Weinstein's success in the past two decades. He won an Oscar in 1999, sharing it with other producers, for the movie "Shakespeare in Love." Films produced and distributed by Miramax, the company he founded with his brother, and The Weinstein Company, their subsequent venture, have won 81 Oscars altogether, according to Forbes magazine. He was ousted from The Weinstein Company a week ago.

The 65-year-old, who according to news reports left Los Angeles on Friday for a rehab facility in Arizona, suffered the colossal fall from grace after a New York Times report on October 5 said he had paid off at least eight women after they alleged Weinstein had sexually assaulted them. The women said he asked for massages during business meetings, appeared naked in front of them, made them watch while he masturbated in front of them and made other unwanted advances.

In the past few days, numerous female actresses, models and collaborators have come forth with additional accusations against Weinstein ranging from sexual misconduct to rape. Among the list of actresses who have spoken out are Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heather Graham, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne and Lea Seydoux. Rose McGowan's charge of rape is the most serious.

Prominent industry colleagues also distanced themselves from Weinstein as the scandal unfolded. Film stars such as Meryl Streep, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio have said they were shocked by the alleged sexual assaults and abuse of power. The scandal also has touched US political circles. Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose presidential campaign last year reportedly accepted donations from Weinstein, said on Tuesday she was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations. Former vice president Joe Biden said Thursday that Weinstein used the power he had to make or break the careers of a number of actors in "disgusting and immoral" ways. "Sexual assault is not about sex, it's about power," Biden said at an event held by a programme he and former president Barack Obama formed in 2014 to prevent sexual violence on college campuses.

Weinstein's spokeswoman said he is seeking treatment and denied any allegations of non-consensual sex. Beyond "Shakespeare in Love" some of his other major movies are "The Crying Game," "Good Will Hunting," "Django Unchained," "The King's Speech" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

Source: dpa

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:40 pm 
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French women flood Twitter to 'squeal on pigs'
15 October 2017

The hashtag #balancetonporc, or "squeal on your pig", rapidly became on Sunday a way for thousands of French women to share stories of sexual harassment at work.

Friday the 13th boded ill for the patriarchy: that afternoon, Sandra Muller, a French journalist riding the post-Harvey Weinstein wave of pent-up frustration, launched a Twitter call for women to “#balancetonporc,” or “squeal on your pig”, by posting names of men who had sexually harassed them at work and details of their behaviours. She began with her own story, naming her former boss who had once told her, “You have big breasts. You’re my type of woman. I’m going to make you come all night long.”

As of Sunday, the hashtag remains the number one trending hashtag in France, and number three worldwide, as thousands of women join in. Stories from journalists and others who work in the media were among some of the most frequently posted.

Giulia Fois, a radio journalist, recounted a disturbing encounter in a widely re-shared tweet: “An editor-in-chief, major radio station, small hallway, grabbing me by the throat, ‘one day I’m going to have sex with you, whether you want it or not.'” She added that at the time she had filed a complaint and had been “neither believed nor heard.”

A journalist for the TV station BFM wrote that when she was a young intern at another company, “a producer told me while staring at my butt, ‘walk in front of me so that I can see you. It works well with your heels.’” Another journalist, Anne-Claire Huet, wrote: “23 years old. Short term contract. An editor-in-chief calmly put his hand on my thigh while in a car leaving for a reporting trip.”

Though far less frequent, tweets from men often recounted their observations of harassment of colleagues. Matthieu Bidan, a video journalist wrote that during an internship at a “major TV channel,” he overheard a permanent employee say of a fellow intern that “she would merit a screw in the corner.”

Universities and even high schools also figured prominently among the #balancetonporc stories. “This university professor who offered tutoring sessions in exchange for nude pictures. Complained. Never investigated,” wrote a woman from Lyon. “The phys-ed teacher who put his hands on my butt to correct my posture in gym class.”

A writer for Adweek posted that a former boss once told her, “you have a lot of promise, you succeed at what you do” and then “he took my hand and placed it on his erect penis.”

The humanitarian sector has also come under fire. Manon Aubry, senior advocacy officer at Oxfam France and lecturer at Sciences Po, wrote: “#Balancetonporc in the nonprofit world as well. A Chief of Mission for an NGO on the ground made advances towards women on the team, and used his role as manager to make life impossible for the ones who refused.”

According to a study of the French government in 2014, 20% of women in France will experience sexual harassment at work during their lifetime, and 30% of those women will never say anything.

Source: France 24

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:46 pm 
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Singer Bjork tells of sexual harassment by director
15 October 2017

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Icelandic pop singer Bjork said Sunday she was sexually harassed by a film director, saying she was inspired to speak out by the flood of separate allegations against US producer Harvey Weinstein.

In a post on her Facebook page, the singer-songwriter said she "became aware" that "it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it". The 51-year-old musician, a former leader of The Sugarcubes post-punk group, did not name the film maker, but said he had "a staff of dozens who enabled ... and encouraged" his behaviour. "When I turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me" and "framed (me) as the difficult one," she said.

Bjork said she was able to walk away from the incident with her career relatively intact, because she had "no ambitions in the acting world" but said she "worried" for other actresses who did not. The singer of "Venus As A Boy" and "Human Behaviour" whose career has spanned four decades said she was inspired to come forward "by the women everywhere who are speaking up online" about sexual assault.

In the separate case of Weinstein, an avalanche of claims have surfaced since the publication of a report by the New York Times alleging a history of abusive behaviour by the US producer dating back decades. Bjork has previously lashed out at the media for its "sexist" views and news coverage of women.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:06 pm 
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France to impose instant fines for street harassment of women
16 October 2017

PARIS (AFP) - A new law will impose on-the-spot fines for harassment of women in the streets of France, a minister said Monday, as the sex scandal engulfing Hollywood honcho Harvey Weinstein encouraged French women to tell their stories.

The legislation is being piloted by 34-year-old Marlene Schiappa, a feminist and early supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron who wants to tackle sexist male attitudes in public spaces. "It's completely necessary because at the moment street harassment is not defined in the law," she told RTL radio on Monday in an interview to outline the law, which is to be voted next year.

The escalating scandal over Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults on a string of actresses -- including four French actresses who have revealed their encounters with the producer -- has made the issue of sexual harassment resurface in France. The #MeToo hashtag has encouraged thousands of women around the world to share their experiences of abuse on Twitter, with French women also using #balancetonporc ("Expose the Pig").

Schiappa, asked about the difficulty of drawing a line between street harassment and flirtation, replied: "We know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street." She cited examples such as when a man invades a woman's personal space -- "by talking to you 10, 20 centimetres from your face" -- or follows a victim for several blocks, or "asks for your number 17 times."

A cross-party taskforce composed of five MPs has been asked to work with police and magistrates to come up with a definition of harassment that can be enforced by officers on the streets. "The level of the fine is part of our discussions," Schiappa said, adding that neighbourhood police would act on complaints brought to their attention by women. "The symbolic value of laws that outlaw street harassment is very great," she said.

The legislation will include provisions such as lengthening the amount of time women have to lodge sexual assault complaints dating from their childhood and toughening laws on sex with minors.

Source: AFP

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