Paris remains on high alert as the Seine continues to swell and the Louvre prepares to close its doors amid the third-wettest French winter in over a century. The river had risen 4.3in over a period of 24 hours by Saturday evening, more than 13ft above its normal height, causing problems for commuters as well as people living near its overflowing banks.Tourists suffered too with the capital’s famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft out of service, and only emergency services authorised to navigate the Seine.The Vigicrues flooding agency believe the river will continue to rise, peaking at 13.1ft on Sunday night or Monday, but not quite reaching the 2016 high of 20ft, when the Louvre museum was forced to close its doors for four days.
Men in France could be fined €350 (US$435) if they follow women in the street, whistle at them, make loud comments about their appearance or ask for their phone numbers, according to a draft proposal to combat “sexual contempt.”
The new report will be presented to the French government in the coming days, local media report. The plans come from a parliamentary working group set up by France’s secretary of state for equality, Marlene Schiappa. The politicians behind the proposal suggest that men who “violate women’s freedom of movement in public space” should face a minimum fine of €90 for those who can pay on the spot. If the fine is delayed, it could reach €350, the report says. The document will be presented to Schiappa, Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet, and Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb.
A lawyer for Donald Trump arranged to fork over $130,000 in hush money to an ex-porn star a month before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged hookup she had with the future president, a new report said Friday.
Graham says he confronted Trump over ‘comments’
MLK’s nephew: Trump isn’t racist, just ‘racially ignorant’
Haitian president ‘shocked’ by Trump’s ‘shithole’ slur on earthquake anniversary
Trump extends Iran nuclear deal
Michael Cohen, a longtime lawyer for the Trump Organization, set up the payment to Stephanie Clifford — whose nom de smut was Stormy Daniels — after her lawyer negotiated a nondisclosure agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Clifford alleged that the hookup with Trump took place in July 2006 after the pair met at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe — a year after Trump married his third wife, Melania.
The White House minimized the salacious revelation — one of many alleged incidents of inappropriate behavior with women the president has faced and denied.
“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official told the paper.
The official wouldn’t answer questions about the reported deal with Clifford — who performed in about 150 porn films, including “Dirty Deeds,” “Nymphos” and “Good Will Humping,” an XXX-rated spoof of the flick “Good Will Hunting.”
Cohen wouldn’t talk about the $130,000 payment but said in a statement that “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”
The president has repeatedly said that all of the more than a dozen women who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct or assault are liars.
“This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client. You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011,” Cohen added in his statement to the Journal.
The paper had previously reported that Clifford, 38, had huddled with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the fall of 2016 about an appearance to discuss Trump, citing people familiar with the matter.
Cohen also sent a brief statement “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” and signed by “Stormy Daniels” denying that she had a “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump.
“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement said.
The payment was made through Clifford’s lawyer, Keith Davidson, with the money sent to Davidson’s client-trust account at City National Bank in Los Angeles, sources told the paper.
“I previously represented Ms. Daniels,” Davidson said. “Attorney-client privilege prohibits me from commenting on my clients’ legal matters.”
The same month the deal was cut, the Washington Post published the infamous “Access Hollywood” video, in which Trump boasts about groping women, saying he could “grab them by the p—y.”
Trump dismissed the comments as “locker room talk.”
Clifford was a top star in the porn world when she met Trump at the American Century Championship in 2006, held at Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Nevada.
Another adult-film star, Jessica Drake, alleged in an October 2016 news conference that Trump kissed her and two other women without permission after the same 2006 golf event.
She said in a statement that she never sought or received any hush money from Trump or his people.
(San Francisco) In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.
This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” Twitter responded to the video with a statement shortly after that release, stating “the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent of speak for Twitter.” The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.
On January 3rd 2018 at a San Francisco restaurant, Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter Software Engineer explains a strategy, called “shadow banning,” that to his knowledge, Twitter has employed:
“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”
Twitter is in the process of automating censorship and banning, says Twitter Software Engineer Steven Pierre on December 8th of 2017:
“Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking.”
Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:
“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”
Former Twitter Engineer Conrado Miranda confirms on December 1st, 2017 that tools are already in place to censor pro-Trump or conservative content on the platform. When asked whether or not these capabilities exist, Miranda says, “that’s a thing.”
In a conversation with former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai on May 16th, 2017, we learned that in the past Twitter would manually ban or censor Pro-Trump or conservative content. When asked about the process of banning accounts, Norai said, “On stuff like that it was more discretion on your view point, I guess how you felt about a particular matter…”
When asked to clarify if that process was automated Norai confirmed that it was not:
“Yeah, if they said this is: ‘Pro-Trump’ I don’t want it because it offends me, this, that. And I say I banned this whole thing, and it goes over here and they are like, ‘Oh you know what? I don’t like it too. You know what? Mo’s right, let’s go, let’s carry on, what’s next?’”
Norai also revealed that more left-leaning content would go through their selection process with less political scrutiny, “It would come through checked and then I would be like ‘Oh you know what? This is okay. Let it go.’”
Norai explains that this selection process wasn’t exactly Twitter policy, but rather they were following unwritten rules from the top:
“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”
“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”
At a San Francisco bar on January 5th, Pranay Singh details how the shadow-banning algorithms targeting right-leaning are engineered:
“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.”
When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, “I would say majority of it are for Republicans.”
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe believes the power over speech Silicon Valley tech giants has is unprecedented and dangerous:
“What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers of the ‘way people talk?’ This investigation brings forth information of profound public importance that educates people about how free they really are to express their views online.”
Project Veritas plans to release more undercover video from within Twitter in the coming days.
Mr. O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018.
Pre-order James O’Keefe’s new book – a treatise on modern media, a true crime spy thriller, and a rollicking adventure story. Follow James and his undercover journalists as they expose mainstream media outlets like CNN and the New York Times and reveal dirty political tricks during the 2016 national elections.
A Project Veritas undercover investigation has revealed a senior network security engineer at Twitter suggesting that his company turns over the private communications and deleted tweets of President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. If true, it is yet unknown whether Twitter is voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order. Twitter is currently in the midst of defending itself from left-leaning criticism that President Trump hasn’t been removed from the enormous m
(CNN) — Two days after the Golden Globes and a speech that had everyone talking, Oprah Winfrey’s thoughts are not on her presidential prospects but with her neighbors in Santa Barbara, California, where heavy rains have caused dangerous mudslides and led to fatalities.At least 13 people have died and officials in Santa Barbara County say that number could rise.A number of homes have been destroyed and first responders have rescued at least 50 people.“Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara,” Winfrey wrote late Tuesday, sharing photos of her mud-soaked backyard and helicopters making rescues in the area.
France’s most revered actress Catherine Deneuve hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.
She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted women over decades.
They claimed that the “witch-hunt” that has followed threatens sexual freedom.
“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.
“Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss,” said the letter, which was also signed by Catherine Millet, author of the hugely explicit 2002 bestseller “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”.
Men had been dragged through the mud, they argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”
The letter attacked feminist social media campaigns like #MeToo and its French equivalent #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig) for unleashing this “puritanical… wave of purification”.
– ‘Witch-hunt’ –
It claimed that “legitimate protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives”, had turned into a witch-hunt.
“What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite — we intimidate people into speaking ‘correctly’, shout down those who don’t fall into line, and those women who refused to bend” to the new realities “are regarded as complicit and traitors.”
The signatories — which included a porn star-turned-agony aunt — claimed they were defending sexual freedom, for which “the liberty to seduce and importune was essential”.
Oscar-nominated Deneuve, 74, is best known internationally for playing a bored housewife who spends her afternoons as a prostitute in Luis Bunuel classic 1967 film, “Belle du Jour”.
Deneuve has made no secret of her annoyance at social media campaigns to shame men accused of harassing women.
“I don’t think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive,” she said last year, referring to the #MeToo hashtag. “After ‘Calling our your pig’ what are we going to have, ‘Call our your whore?'” she said.
“Instead of helping women, this frenzy to send these (male chauvinist) ‘pigs’ to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty — religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries,” the collective of women who signed the letter said.
“As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality.”
They insisted that women were “sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”
Oprah Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020 after her stirring Golden Globes speech that addressed race and the #MeToo movement brought the crowd to its feet and raised speculation the media mogul would launch a White House bid, CNN reported on Monday.
The cable network said close friends of the billionaire businesswoman said her confidants are urging her to run and that discussions have been ongoing for months but Winfrey has not made up her mind yet.
Her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, said she’s game.
“It’s up to the people,” Graham, 66, told the Los Angeles Times after the speech. “She would absolutely do it.”
Her best friend, CBS anchor Gayle King, said the speech was “incredible. I got goosebumps.”
Winfrey, 63, quickly got the endorsement of multiple Oscar winner Meryl Streep.
“She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president,” Streep told the Washington Post. “I don’t think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn’t have a choice.”
Winfrey began her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement by remembering how her life changed when she watched Sidney Poitier receive the best actor Oscar in 1964.
”Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that,” said Winfrey.
She went on to tell “the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”
She defended the “under siege” press, emphasized the need for “uncovering the absolute truth” and praised the women who have come forward to “share their personal stories.”
The address then moved into the realm of a political stump speech, offering a personal message of comfort, inspiration and empathy.
“In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave,” she said. “To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome.”
The speech was hailed as presidential and Winfrey was urged to run against President Donald Trump.
It also generated an Oprah 2020 hastag on Twitter.
“She’s running. A new day is on the way,” “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. posted on Twitter.
Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer and daughter of Gloria Allred, who also represents Trump accusers, arranged payments for women to publicly accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before the election. Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell the story to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off the accuser’s mortgage, and attempting to secure as much as $750,000 to another woman who ultimately declined. The unidentified woman had an email from Bloom indicating that a Clinton Super PAC would help finance her legal costs if she agreed to do it. Earlier this year, Bloom was shamed into dropping Harvey Weinstein, asexual predator and alleged rapist, as a client. -GEG
President Trump mocked women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred after her client, Beverly Young Nelson, admitted Friday she added “notes” to what she says is Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s signature in her yearbook in 1977.
“So, did you see what happened today? Do you know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump continued. “Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”
…California began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Monday, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada. Massachusetts and possibly Maine are expected to begin sales this year.
…“It puts the industry on notice in these states who thought they had cover from the states and the feds,” he said. “All these people are going to wake up today with a bit of a heartache because they thought were scot-free, when in reality, they’re not.”
Random Events, Free Will, Pre-destiny or Something Darker ?