72 hours after surgery for lung cancer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back up and working: Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up and working as she recuperates from cancer surgery, AP reports.
  • A spokeswoman for the court, Kathy Arberg, says that Ginsburg has remained in hospital in New York on Sunday.
  • No information has yet been released on when Ginsburg might be allowed to return home.

Associated Press reports that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is already up and working despite undergoing surgery for lung cancer just 72 hours earlier.

Supreme court spokesperson Kathy Arberg, said that Ginsburg remained in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Sunday, as she recuperates from the cancer surgery.

AP says no information has been released on when Ginsburg might return home.

It was only on Friday that the famously durable 85-year-old US supreme court justice underwent surgery to remove two malignant growths in her left lung. 

Doctors found no evidence of disease elsewhere in her body after the pulmonary lobectomy, and no further treatment is planned, according to an earlier court statement.

READ MORE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a Supreme Court Justice for 25 years — here’s a look at the trailblazer’s life and career

Ginsburg was only just hospitalized in November after she fractured several ribs in a fall. It was while she was being treated for those injuries that doctors identified two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung.

Ginsburg’s health has been an ongoing preoccupation for Democrats across the country in recent years. The court’s conservative-to-liberal ratio is now 5-4 after President Donald Trump appointed justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the seats vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The nodules are Ginsburg’s third encounter with cancer, after being treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, according to National Public Radio.

It has been widely reported that Ginsburg has never missed a day of oral arguments in the 25 years she has spent on the court. The court next meets on January 7.

 

 

SEE ALSO: Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths from her lung, Supreme Court announces

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The Top 18 Media Grinches of 2018 – The New York Times

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CreditCreditTom Grillo

Mediator

The Top 18 Media Grinches of 2018

It’s time for the Grinchy Awards, given to the year’s worst actors in the news media and anyone else who interfered with a free press.

CreditCreditTom Grillo

  • Dec. 23, 2018

I’m usually cheerful during the holiday season. This year? Not so much. My bad list has grown too long, my patience way too short.

So with that, allow me to present what I hope will not have to be an annual Mediator tradition — the Grinchies. It’s an award that doubles as a ranking of the people and institutions who undermined this already troubled industry or actively worked against a free press, and it was devised with high hopes for a better 2019.

Recipients of the Grinchies are ranked on a scale of one to five Grinches. One Grinch denotes an annoyance, and five Grinches go to those who have undermined the news media or the general discourse.


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As if the New York City mayor’s refusal to take reporters’ questions at public events wasn’t bad enough, emails released this year showed him cheering looming staff cuts at The Daily News. “Good for us, right?” Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote. He also rooted for the demise of The New York Post and suggested that his staff “starve” The New York Times. And I thought Rudy Giuliani hated the press when he lived in Gracie Mansion. Hizzoner needs to get a grip.

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You had one job. It was not a very hard job. Find a funny host and put on a show promoting the movie business. But then you hired Kevin Hart without checking his social media feeds or otherwise inquiring about his views. And now nobody wants the job. At this point, hire the Unknown Comic for 2019 and cancel 2020.

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The Philadelphia Flyers this year introduced a mascot named Gritty. Like the city’s less-than-civilized sports fans, this fun-loving orange monstrosity was rude and crude and a little out of control — and the internet couldn’t get enough. Then the anti-Trump resistance claimed him as one of its own. Does everything have to be political these days? (Full disclosure: My late father worked for the team when it was known as the Broad Street Bullies.)

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Benjamin Brafman, a criminal lawyer, said last month that Harvey Weinstein had been “vilified by a vicious media assault.” Oh, the press was vicious to Mr. Weinstein? Is Mr. Brafman aware of how his client sought to undermine reporters looking into the numerous sexual harassment and assault accusations made against him? Does he remember how Mr. Weinstein hired secret agents from Black Cube to sidle up to reporters, gain their confidence and report back to Mr. Weinstein?

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My queue is full. Enough already. Enough shows. Enough with the algorithm (do I look like I’m in a “Love, Actually” mood?). I’m saying this for your own good: Your content gluttony is becoming a problem. Just because you can swallow an entire industry doesn’t mean you should. And when you run movie theaters out of business, Mediator is going to be very upset.

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Who is James Katz? He’s the New York City development official who signed off on a stipulation in the city’s agreement with Amazon that will give the company immediate warning whenever anyone makes a public records request about its arrangement with the de Blasio administration. That proviso was one of many inducements that gave the online giant a swath of Queens. As Politico put it, the city promised to give Amazon “notice sufficient to allow Amazon to seek a protective order” and block any such requests. Ever heard of the public’s right to know? It’s part of this thing we call democracy. Give it a whirl.

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Why would Amazon even want a heads-up from citizens seeking answers? The company’s founder and chief is Jeff Bezos. Mr. Bezos owns The Washington Post. You know, the newspaper with the motto “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Demanding notice of public information requests so that you can stifle them is pro-darkness.

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Pete Hegseth, a “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host, said that the slow-moving “caravan” of migrants making their way toward the United States “looks more like an invasion than anything else.” A frequent Fox guest, Sidney Powell, accused the migrants of bringing diseases with them, and another Fox News guest, David Ward, got more specific, claiming that they would bring to the United States “smallpox and leprosy and TB.” (Smallpox was eradicated as of 1980!) Chris Farrell, a guest on Lou Dobbs’s Fox Business Network show, said that the groups supporting the migration were propped up by the “Soros-financed State Department,” a callback to anti-Semitic tropes about the Hungarian-born liberal financier George Soros, who is Jewish. Fox later condemned the comments and banned the guest from future appearances. But it all played to President Trump’s xenophobic message at the close of the midterm campaign. And more recently, Tucker Carlson, a Fox News prime-time host, said immigration made the United States “poor and dirtier and more divided.”

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In a less heated political environment, the story of a star journalist who was found to have passed off fiction as fact would be worth little more than a chuckle from general readers and a scolding from media critics. But now that people from both ends of the political spectrum routinely accuse reporters of creating “fake news,” this kind of thing hurts journalists everywhere. Claas Relotius, a writer for Der Spiegel, a German magazine known for its fact-checking department, is the latest in a line of fabulists (Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, among others) to have made a name for himself by hoodwinking editors and readers with stories that really were too good to be true. Pick a new field, Herr Relotius. We hear Hollywood’s hiring.

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It wasn’t me, Charter Spectrum — it was you! How many commercials did you run promising higher internet speeds? A million? Well, last week came the news that you have agreed with the New York attorney general that Charter Spectrum did not deliver the speeds it had advertised. Sure, Time Warner, which was previously running the service, started the pattern of bad-faith promises. And the company will try to make good by offering its customers payments of either $75 or $150. But that’s not going to get back the eBay bid that the cursed spinning pinwheel caused me to lose.

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The 2020 race has yet to start in earnest, but in the days before the midterm elections, the Donald J. Trump for President organization managed to do something I’ve never seen any other presidential political team come close to pulling off: It produced a commercial so racist and xenophobic that all the major networks rejected it, after it had aired on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” This piece of propaganda featured footage set to ominous music of an undocumented immigrant bragging in court about his murder of two police officers, followed by images of the caravan that originated in Central America. What other exciting firsts are in store for us in the next 22 months, Trump ad team?

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When reports that she had made homophobic remarks on her old blog surfaced toward the end of 2017, the MSNBC host Joy Reid apologized for her “choice of words and tone.” Fine. But when Mediaite reported on more posts of a similar vein, she claimed they were planted by hackers. When that defense fell apart, she apologized again, saying she still didn’t “believe” she wrote them but her views had changed, anyway. And that was that — no investigation by NBC News, which oversees MSNBC, no further comment from Ms. Reid. Either the blog was hacked or she invented a cover story. MSNBC and Ms. Reid still owe viewers a full explanation.

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Long before Twitter and Facebook, the magazine racks in supermarket checkout aisle were the original platforms. In 2016, those racks featured covers of The National Enquirer as it pilloried Hillary Clinton with false allegations that she had covered up a “child sex scandal,” committed treason and was hiding a deadly illness (from which she seems to have miraculously recovered). The supermarkets arguably played as much of a role in spreading politically motivated misinformation as any online entity swarmed by Russian bots.

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The fish rots from the head. And as a number of articles published over the last year have shown, a culture of sexual harassment pervaded every part of CBS. Its morning show had as a co-anchor Charlie Rose, who was fired after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. Among the network’s prime-time hits was “Bull,” whose star, Michael Weatherly, was accused of sexual harassment by the actress Eliza Dushku, whom the company paid $9.5 million in a confidential settlement. The news division’s standout program, “60 Minutes,” was run by Jeff Fager, who was fired after sending a threatening text message to a CBS reporter looking into allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior against him. The executive suite was the domain of Leslie Moonves, the recently fired company head, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. And the CBS corporate boardroom had a place for Arnold Kopelson, who died in October after dismissing the accusations against Mr. Moonves by saying, “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”

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You know what you did. And didn’t do. And continue to do. And not do. The Russians are still using your platforms. I’m talking to you, Jack Dorsey, Larry Page, Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

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Guy Gilmore is an executive at a subsidiary of the New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which owns a number of newspapers nationwide. In April, Mr. Gilmore spiked an editorial at an Alden-owned publication — The Denver Post — that criticized the company for the steep cost reductions it had imposed on the paper and the further cuts it had planned. Alden was already peeved with The Post’s now-former editorial page editor, Chuck Plunkett, for sneaking through an editorial calling company executives “vulture capitalists.” That editorial noted that the paper was profitable and argued that the cuts were part of a scheme to trade quality journalism for bigger earnings. Helpful hint: If you don’t want to be called a vulture capitalist, don’t act like one.

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Repressive regimes made 2018 a near-record year for the jailing of reporters, and they helped create a climate for an increase in the number of reporters who were murdered, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In the name of the dissident writer — and contributing Washington Post columnist — Jamal Khashoggi, the truth will out, always, eventually.

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And to think: Those regimes see an enabler in the president of the United States. As the Philippine journalist Maria Ressa put it at a recent awards ceremony hosted by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Mr. Trump has given “permission to autocrats like ours to unleash the dark side of humanity and extend their already vast powers with impunity.” Ms. Ressa should know. She faces prison time in the Philippines on dummy charges. Mr. Trump’s “enemy of the people” language has reverberated around the world. And he once again undermined press freedom when he ignored his own intelligence community’s assessment of the role played by the Saudi Arabia crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.

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Mother of jailed NSA contractor rails against Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen: 'Those actually responsible for threatening our election continue to get off easy'

Reality Winner

  • Reality Winner’s mother wrote an op-ed in the Intercept describing the “maddening” experience of watching her daughter” languish” in prison while major figures connected to the Trump-Russia investigation receive what she calls preferential treatment.
  • The now 27-year-old former NSA contractor was sentenced to five years and three months in prison back in August for leaking an intelligence report.
  • Billie Winner-Davis compared the justice system’s handling of her daughter’s case to the treatment of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen.

The mother of former NSA contractor Reality Winner is taking aim at some of the biggest names in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Billie Winner-Davis, who’s now-27-year-old daughter was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet,” published a scathing op-ed in the Intercept on Sunday.

“I am writing now because I am outraged: While my daughter languishes in prison, those actually responsible for threatening our election continue to get off easy,” Winner-Davis wrote.

Winner was accused of leaking an intelligence report about Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election to the Intercept. Winner’s sentence is, to date, the lengthiest ever given for such a federal crime. She was arrested June 3, 2017 and sentenced August 23, 2018.

Read more: How federal authorities identified Reality Leigh Winner as suspect in NSA leak

Winner-Davis singled out a number of figures implicated in the Trump-Russia investigation, writing that it was “maddening to watch my daughter in prison” while Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Cohen received “drastically different” treatment from the justice system.

She specifically blasted the fact that Manafort was permitted to remain outside of prison on bond before he was accused of witness tampering. She also singled Papadopoulos’ 14-day prison sentence and highlighted indications that Flynn will not “receive a hefty sentence.”

“I would have thought that someone of his rank and position within our government, someone who lied about the lucrative work he had done for one foreign government and contacts with another, would be held to a much higher standard than a 25-year-old veteran airman,” Reality-Davis wrote.

Winner herself has spoken out from behind bars several times since her arrest. In August, she described watching the Russia investigation roll out from behind bars as “vindicating but also frustrating.”

But in her op-ed, Winner-Davis said that her daughter’s sentencing is proof of that the justice system protects the powerful.

“It sends the clear message that if you are poor and powerless in this system, you will be abused,” Winner-Davis wrote. “I am outraged. I hope you are too.”

SEE ALSO: ‘I felt really hopeless’: NSA leak suspect Reality Winner explains why she smuggled a classified report

DON’T MISS: Thousands of millennials straight out of high school work for the NSA with top secret information

SEE ALSO: NSA contractor Reality Winner, who leaked classified US report on Russian hacking, thanks Trump for calling her actions ‘small potatoes’

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Lawyer: Michigan State hampered probe of its Nassar dealings – WANE

DETROIT (AP) – A special prosecutor on Friday accused Michigan State University of stonewalling his investigation into the school's handling of the sexual abuse scandal involving disgraced former sports doctor Larry

Nassar and called for "top-down cultural change" at the school.

Bill Forsyth released a report that accuses the school of fighting the release of certain relevant documents and releasing others that were heavily redacted or irrelevant. It says such actions hampered the investigation.

"Their biggest concern was the reputation of the university," Forsyth said at a news conference in Lansing that was livestreamed.

"Just come out with what happened here," he said. "I believe they could disclose some of this without violating attorney-client privilege."

Hundreds of women and girls, most of them gymnasts, accused Nassar of molesting them when they sought treatment during his time working for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trained Olympians. He received long prison terms after pleading guilty to child pornography possession and sexual abuse charges.

Forsyth and his team of prosecutors and investigators have brought criminal charges against three people, including former Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon. She was charged last month with lying to police during an investigation. One of her attorneys has said the charges are baseless.

Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said in a statement the school is "extraordinarily sorry" that Nassar "hurt so many people" and that it is working to change its culture. She also noted that Forsyth's report doesn't level any new criminal allegations.

According to the report, a major piece of the investigation involved interviewing survivors. Of the 280 interviewed, 13 said they reported the abuse to an identified employee at or around the time it happened, it says.

Michigan State softball, volleyball, and track and field athletes have said they told an assistant coach and trainers about Nassar's inappropriate behavior. The school in May reached a $500 million settlement with 332 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Nassar.

Forsyth was appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate the school's handling of Nassar. The investigation is ongoing, though Forsyth said he is stepping down at the end of this month when his contract ends.

Schuette unsuccessfully ran for governor last month and is leaving his office to make way for incoming Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel on Jan. 1. Nessel said in an emailed statement to the Lansing State Journal that she will carry on the investigation into what she called Michigan State's "callous disregard" for victims.

Investigators have said Nassar's crimes were mostly committed in Michigan at a campus clinic, area gyms and his Lansing-area home. Accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas, where Nassar also faces charges, and at national and international competitions.

The U.S. Olympic Committee fired chief of sport performance Alan Ashley this month after an independent investigation concluded that neither he nor former CEO Scott Blackmun elevated concerns about the Nassar allegations when they were first reported to them. The investigation report detailed an overall lack of response when the USOC leaders first heard about the allegations from the then-president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny.

Forsyth's report offered some solace to George Perles, a former Michigan State trustee, football coach and athletic director. A lawsuit accuses Perles of covering up a rape allegation against Nassar when Nassar was a medical student in 1992. The report says investigators "found substantial evidence contradicting" those claims.

Forsyth said his investigation has been limited to investigating the university: "Who knew what, when they knew it and what, if anything, they did about it."

His report says the university has taken steps to improve its sexual misconduct procedures, but the repeated failures were made by people, not policies.

"Until there is a top-down cultural change at MSU, survivors and the public would be rightly skeptical of the effectiveness of any set of written policies," it concludes.
___
This story has been corrected to reflect that Forsyth's team has brought charges against three people, not five people.
 

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What's Happening With Criminal Minds At Midseason On CBS – Cinema Blend

1 week ago

Criminal Minds is one of the longest-running current drama series in primetime, but its future has been uncertain ever since the end of Season 13 when CBS took its sweet time giving the renewal order. The initial order was for only 15 episodes, which is well short of the usual 20+ episode count for new seasons. Now, CBS has an update on the episode count, and it gives an idea of what to expect with Criminal Minds in midseason.

CBS made the official decision not to order any more episodes on top of the initial 15, according to PopCulture.com, which will likely disappoint fans who hoped for a back order based on some of executive producer Harry Bring’s comments on social media. It also means that fans can’t count on months of new episodes in 2019, as they’ve gotten with Criminal Minds in the past. There are two directions the show and CBS could really go with for what is left of Season 14.

The first direction is for the second half of Season 14 to pick up as expected in early 2019 as part of the midseason lineup and then simply come to an end earlier than usual. The Futon Critic currently lists the next episode as airing on December 12 before the show goes on break for a couple of weeks, then picks up again with an episode on January 2. If the dates are correct, episodes will air weekly in January, meaning the end of Season 14 by January 30. Ouch!

A second direction that is likely less appealing to fans is for CBS to hold off on debuting the second half of Season 14 and simply premiere it later in 2019, allowing it to come to an end in late April or May, as usual. It’s not unprecedented for a network to give a series a very long midseason break, and it’s a possibility for Criminal Minds. Still, I’d put my money on Criminal Minds premiering its second half of Season 14 in early January and then ending its run whenever it runs out of episodes.

I do have to wonder now how Criminal Minds will handle the end of Season 14, especially if the folks behind the scenes were counting on a back order for more episodes. Will there be a cliffhanger, or was the production team planning on a spectacular finale with a killer cliffhanger in later episodes that they only recently learned for sure aren’t happening?

It’s also worth wondering if the decision not to order more than the initial 15 episodes is a sign that CBS is ready to give Criminal Minds the axe. Things haven’t looked too hot for the procedural for a while now, and even though it survived the scandal surrounding Thomas Gibson and the subsequent departure of Hotch, the end may be nigh for Criminal Minds. Hey, at least the NCIS franchise is still going strong on CBS, right? And Prentiss will get a little love coming up!

The next episode of Criminal Minds airs on Wednesday, December 12 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. Be sure to tune in just in case Criminal Minds really is ending for good in the not-too-distant future.

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China calls US arrogant and selfish after hacking indictment – WCJB

BEIJING (AP) — China called the U.S. arrogant and selfish on Friday after two Chinese citizens were charged with stealing American trade secrets and other sensitive information on behalf of Beijing’s main intelligence agency.

Hands on a back lit keyboard, Photo Date: 12/26/2013 / Photo: Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 / (MGN)

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said “the Chinese government has never participated in or supported anyone in stealing trade secrets in any way.”

She accused the U.S. of undermining the development of other countries in order to defend its own hegemony.

“The U.S. is a world superpower, and it’s quite arrogant and selfish,” she said during a regular press briefing.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday the indictment of Chinese nationals Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong for allegedly carrying out an extensive cyberespionage campaign against government agencies and major corporations.

Besides the alleged U.S. infiltration, Zhu and Hua are also accused of breaching computers linked to companies in at least 11 other countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom and India.

More than 90 percent of Justice Department economic espionage cases over the past seven years involve China, said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and more than two-thirds of trade secrets cases are connected to the country.

“China’s state-sponsored actors are the most active perpetrators of economic espionage,” FBI Director Chris Wray said in announcing the case. “While we welcome fair competition, we cannot and will not tolerate illegal hacking, stealing or cheating.”

Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said: “They believe that a lie repeated a thousand times will become the truth, but I want to tell them that a lie is still a lie even after it has been repeated ten thousand times.”

In a written statement issued earlier Friday, she said the U.S. was “fabricating facts.”

The whereabouts of Zhu and Zhang are unclear. China does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

“There is some cooperation under the framework of Interpol, but if the Chinese government doesn’t agree with the U.S. charges, there is no way to extradite the accused,” said Li Fangping, a Beijing-based criminal lawyer.

Li said that if Zhu and Zhang travel to other countries that have signed treaties with the U.S., they could be detained for possible extradition, as was the case with Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou’s recent arrest in Canada.

The indictment says the pair worked for the Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company in Tianjin and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s bureau in the northeastern port city.

A public company registry says that Huaying Haitai’s work includes the development of computer software, consulting and business related to a variety of technical equipment.

Among the cyberespionage maneuvers detailed in the indictment is the alleged use of a phishing technique which sent emails that appeared to be coming from legitimate email addresses but were in fact from members of “Advanced Persistent Threat 10,” the China-based hacking group to which Zhu and Zhang purportedly belong.

James Gong, a cybersecurity senior associate at the Herbert Smith Freehills law firm in Beijing, said the mere announcement of charges is likely to affect public perception of China.

“The allegation itself will give rise to some suspicion, at least, among the international public, that these hacking activities are actually supported by the Chinese state,” he said.



___

Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this story.

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Why is the guy who played Carlton on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' suing the makers of 'Fortnite'? The lawyer behind the lawsuit explains.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Will Smith and Alfonso Ribiero)

  • “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro is suing “Fortnite” maker Epic Games.
  • The lawsuit accuses Epic Games of misappropriating Ribeiro’s iconic dance from the “Fresh Prince,” often known as “The Carlton.”
  • “The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially,” Ribeiro’s lawyer told Business Insider. “This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists.”

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro is one of three celebrities currently suing “Fortnite” maker Epic Games over dance moves.

All three claim that Epic Games took dances from them, re-created said dances in “Fortnite” as emotes, and profited from the sale of those emotes without compensating the original creators of the dance moves. In the case of Ribeiro, his dance from “Fresh Prince” is often referred to as “The Carlton” — a reference to the name of his character on the classic NBC sitcom.

Ribeiro has become associated with the dance, and even performed it in 2014 when he was on “Dancing With the Stars”:

But it’s not just about the dance, Ribeiro’s lawyer David Hecht said in a phone interview with Business Insider on Thursday.

“The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially,” Hecht said. “This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists.” 

More specifically: Ribeiro’s legal claim isn’t just to the choreographed dance moves, but to the performance of that dance being tied to his likeness as a celebrity.

That the dance is known in “Fortnite” as the “Fresh” certainly doesn’t hurt Ribeiro’s argument.

Fortnite (Fresh emote)

To buy the “Fresh” emote, you need 800 V-bucks. That’s $8 of real money, but V-bucks can also be earned through playing the game. 

That the emote is sold directly — making it a quantifiable, unique revenue stream — is part of why Hecht is confident that Ribeiro’s claim is sound. “These are dances that are sold with a dollar tag associated with them,” Hecht said. “That to me stands out. That is why they essentially had targets on their backs. Not only were they doing it brazenly, but they’re putting a dollar price tag on it. It was V-bucks, but to do that — to copy something frame-by-frame and then to just sell it — that’s the issue.”

In addition to Ribeiro, Hecht’s firm represents rapper 2Milly and Instagram star Russell “Backpack Kid” Horning in suits against Epic Games. And more suits may be coming. In each case, the damages being sought are unknown; Hecht said that’s a measure of limited public information on how much money “Fortnite” is making. 

“We’re flying blind at this point,” he said. “We know generally from public statistics how much ‘Fortnite’ has made off of these dances, but we don’t have a specific dollar amount until we have that information.”

One demand is clear in all three cases: “The artists wanna be credited. Without that, it’s very much cultural misappropriation.”

SEE ALSO: A ‘Fresh Prince’ star is suing ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games, claiming his dance moves were stolen. Decide for yourself with these comparisons of every dance in the game

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Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case can move forward, judge rules – CBS News

New York — A New York judge has ruled a sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein can move forward, rejecting the latest push from the disgraced film producer’s lawyers to have his indictment thrown out.

Judge James Burke’s ruling buoyed a prosecution that has appeared on rocky ground in recent months amid a prolonged defense effort to raise doubts about the case and the police investigation. The case has been clouded by allegations that police acted improperly in the investigation that led to Weinstein’s arrest. 

Burke made his ruling Thursday after a flurry of court papers in which Weinstein’s lawyers say the case has devolved into chaos and prosecutors argue there’s ample evidence to move forward to trial.

Weinstein, 66, seized on the alleged police misconduct and put forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story. 

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said the case was “irreparably tainted” by police Det. Nicholas DiGaudio’s alleged interference with a witness and an accuser and asked the judge to toss the charges.

Harvey Weinstein Appears In Criminal Court On Rape Charges
Harvey Weinstein arrives with his lawyer Ben Brafman for a court hearing at New York Criminal Court, December 20, 2018 in New York City. 

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


“The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now,” Brafman said in a court filing.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson fired back, saying “there is no possibility” that the allegations against DiGaudio “in any way impaired the integrity of the grand jury or prejudiced the defendant.”

The allegations

Weinstein is accused of raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Weinstein is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, and one count each of rape in the first and third degree.  

The case has been heavily scrutinized in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which exploded last year after numerous women made allegations against Weinstein.

A key ruling

Weinstein arrived at the Manhattan courthouse shortly before 9:30 a.m. to attend the brief hearing, which lasted about 10 minutes. Burke did not discuss his reasoning to deny the defense motion to toss the charges in court. But in a written ruling, Burke said that in order for the charges to be dismissed, Weinstein would have needed to prove that the grand jury would have declined to indict him in absence of the purported misconduct. 

Burke wrote, “this demanding test is met only where the prosecutor engaged in an overall pattern of bias and misconduct that is pervasive and typically willful.”

He also found that prosecutors had no duty to present evidence favorable to Weinstein during the grand jury proceedings. Brafman argued the grand jury should have been shown evidence that Weinstein had exchanged friendly emails with his two accusers after the alleged attacks.

“The Court finds that there is no basis for the defendant’s claim of prosecutorial or law enforcement misconduct in the proceedings, or pervasive falsity in and around the Grand Jury presentation,” the judge ruled.

Burke could have dismissed some or all of the charges, which would have been a major setback for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was criticized for declining to pursue criminal charges against Weinstein when he was accused of groping an Italian model in 2015. Vance cited a lack of supporting evidence at the time, despite the existence of a clandestinely made recording of Weinstein discussing the episode with the woman.

Brafman argued that Vance was under “political pressure” to prosecute Weinstein, but Burke called that “speculative.”

Images of Weinstein, the notoriously bombastic producer of Oscar winners “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient,” in handcuffs last spring were seen by many women as a cathartic moment in the #MeToo reckoning. About half a dozen women supporting Time’s Up, including actresses Amber Tamblyn and Marisa Tomei, were at the hearing Thursday.

“Today, here in New York, we saw the first steps towards justice,” Time’s Up President Lisa Borders said after the judge’s ruling.

Alleged police misconduct

Weinstein’s case started to turn in October when Manhattan prosecutors dropped one of the initial six charges after evidence surfaced that DiGaudio instructed a potential witness in the case to keep some of her doubts about the veracity of the allegations to herself.

Harvey Weinstein accuser’s lawyer “baffled” by dropped sex assault charge

DiGaudio allegedly told the witness last February that “less is more” but kept prosecutors in the dark. That witness never testified before the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.

Prosecutors also disclosed an allegation that DiGaudio urged the 2013 rape accuser to delete private material from her cellphones before handing them over to the DA’s office. Prosecutors said the material didn’t pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

Late last month, Weinstein’s lawyers said they spoke to a woman who said the rape accuser asked her to corroborate her allegations, but the friend wouldn’t “make up a story.”

The friend told investigators that Weinstein and the accuser had been “hooking up” consensually for a while and that she never heard her say anything bad about him until last year, Brafman said in a court filing.

Brafman said after the hearing he’s disappointed by the judge’s ruling but is prepared to go to trial and expects Weinstein will be exonerated. 

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the 2006 accuser, Mimi Haleyi, supported the judge’s decision to allow the case to move forward.

“None of us are ever distracted from the fact that there’s only one person on trial here — it’s not the district attorney, it’s not the police, it’s Harvey Weinstein,” Allred said.  

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The Voice Season 15 Winner Chevel Shepherd's Backup Career Was Inspired by Criminal Minds – TV Guide

It’s official: Chevel Shepherd has won Season 15 of The Voice! The 16-year-old beat out Team Blake’s country artists Chris Kroeze and Kirk Jay along with Team Jennifer’s fierce pop singer Kennedy Holmes in Tuesday’s grand two-hour finale. This marks back-to-back wins for coach Kelly Clarkson, whose artist Brynn Cartelli took home top prize in Season 14.

And while the win came as a surprise to the audience, it was even more shocking to Shepherd, who did not expect host Carson Daly to call her name. “I had no idea what was gonna happen. It could have gone either way,” she told TV Guide. “Carson [Daly] called my name and the pause in between him saying, ‘The winner of The Voice is’ and ‘Chevel Shepherd’ was the longest time of my life. It felt like a year [had passed].”

Discover your new favorite show: Watch This Now!

The spunky teen first impressed Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton with her sweet cover of The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” during the blind auditions and then stunned everyone by choosing to team up with her idol Clarkson over Shelton, the latter being who most country singers flock to. “I went in wanting to choose Blake. But after they all turned [their chairs] and started talking to me, my gut was telling me to go with Kelly and so I did. Any coach would have been great,” she explained.

The bold choice proved to be a smart one and Shepherd remained a strong performer throughout the competition. Her bubbly personality and affinity for country music also earned her the nickname “Country Tinkerbell” from Clarkson and turned her into an immediate fan favorite.

With the Voice trophy officially under her belt, Shepherd says she’s returning to her hometown to “be a normal teenager for a little bit” and thank everyone for their support in person. Plus, you might find her watching a certain CBS procedural in her downtime.

6 Tips Criminal Minds Taught Me to Avoid Being Murdered

“I love Criminal Minds,” she revealed. “I always watch with my mom. I like mystery shows and my backup plan if this doesn’t work out — which I’m hoping it does — I would like to be a forensic profiler. Like putting a puzzle together and figuring out who murdered who and why they did it. That sounds weird but it’s cool.” In case you’re wondering, she’s also super into the CW’s criminally good teen drama Riverdale.

And while her time on The Voice may be over, that doesn’t mean her epic friendship with Clarkson has also ended. “I want her to stick around as long as forever. I love her so much,” she said. “We talked about working on an album together and doing concerts together.”

With Clarkson bringing last season’s winner on tour with her, there’s a good chance we’ll see Shepherd reunite with her Voice coach in the near future.

The Voice returns with new judge John Legend, who replaces Jennifer Hudson, Monday, Feb. 25 at 8/7c on NBC.

Photos: 166 Gift Ideas Inspired by Sansa, Sabrina and More of Your TV Faves

<img src="https://cimg.tvgcdn.net/i/2018/12/19/0b168d20-b4ef-40b8-a927-2590a7b5899c/181220-thevoicechevelshepherd-news.jpg" class="article-attached-image-img" alt="Chevel Shepherd and Kelly Clarkson, The Voice” width=”2070″ height=”1380″ title=”​Chevel Shepherd and Kelly Clarkson, The Voice”>Chevel Shepherd and Kelly Clarkson, The Voice

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Judge to rule on fate of Harvey Weinstein's criminal case | WSB-TV – WSB Atlanta



NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein is due in court in New York as a judge decides on the future of his sexual assault case, which has been clouded by allegations that police acted improperly in the investigation that led to his arrest.

Judge James Burke is expected to rule Thursday after a flurry of court papers in which Weinstein’s lawyers say the case has devolved into chaos and prosecutors say there’s ample evidence to move forward to trial.

Weinstein, 66, is putting on his fiercest campaign yet to get the case thrown out, seizing on the alleged police misconduct and putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, says the case was “irreparably tainted” by police Det. Nicholas DiGaudio’s alleged interference with a witness and an accuser.

“The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now,” Brafman said in a court filing.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson fired back, saying “there is no possibility” that the allegations against DiGaudio “in any way impaired the integrity of the grand jury or prejudiced the defendant.”

Weinstein is charged with raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

The case has been heavily scrutinized in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which exploded last year after numerous women made allegations against Weinstein.

Burke has a few options for his ruling.

He could side with Weinstein and dismiss some or all of the charges, or he could schedule a trial, which would be a win for prosecutors. He could also throw out the indictment, but give prosecutors time to seek a new one.

A dismissal of the charges would be a big setback to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was criticized for declining to pursue criminal charges against Weinstein when he was accused of groping an Italian model in 2015.

Such a ruling wouldn’t rule out prosecutors bringing charges involving other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein in New York.

Burke could also keep the indictment in place, but grant the defense’s request for an evidentiary hearing. There, police investigators could be summoned to court to answer questions about alleged misconduct.

Weinstein’s case started to turn in October when Manhattan prosecutors dropped one of the charges after evidence surfaced that DiGaudio instructed a potential witness in the case to keep some of her doubts about the veracity of the allegations to herself.

DiGaudio allegedly told the witness last February that “less is more” but kept prosecutors in the dark. That witness never testified before the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.

Prosecutors also disclosed an allegation that DiGaudio urged the 2013 rape accuser to delete private material from her cellphones before handing them over to the DA’s office. Prosecutors said the material didn’t pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

Late last month, Weinstein’s lawyers said they spoke to a woman who said the rape accuser asked her to corroborate her allegations, but the friend wouldn’t “make up a story.”

The friend told investigators that Weinstein and the accuser had been “hooking up” consensually for a while and that she never heard her say anything bad about him until last year, Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, said in a court filing.

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Follow Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak

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