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Drug use in Australia at HIGHEST LEVEL in almost 20 years, survey shows. What’s behind the alarming rise? - rt

Drug use in Australia at HIGHEST LEVEL in almost 20 years, survey shows. What’s behind the alarming rise?

Drug use in Australia is at the highest level since 2001, according to a new report issued by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – and the media and Covid-19 could be to blame.
rt - 14 minutes ago
Facebook suffers major legal setback as top European court strikes down US-EU data sharing pact - rt

Facebook suffers major legal setback as top European court strikes down US-EU data sharing pact

The European Union’s Court of Justice has invalidated an agreement that allowed Facebook and other tech firms to transfer data from EU states to the US. The ruling calls for better privacy protections.
rt - 19 minutes ago
Iron levels in the blood could be key to slowing down ageing, new major genetic study finds - rt

Iron levels in the blood could be key to slowing down ageing, new major genetic study finds

Using genetic data from over a million people, researchers have found that just ten regions of the genome, responsible for metabolizing iron in the blood, could be the key to longer, healthier lives.
rt - 20 minutes ago
There Are 127,000 Coronavirus Cases in Georgia and the Governor Just Banned Mask Mandates - vice

There Are 127,000 Coronavirus Cases in Georgia and the Governor Just Banned Mask Mandates

“It is officially official,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson tweeted. “Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us.”
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Trump Just Replaced His Campaign Manager As He Trails Biden By 15 Points - vice

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Danish ice cream maker Hansens Is will rebrand its ‘Eskimo’ desserts over apparent racist connotations, following complaints by a politician from Greenland. The move was met with mixed reaction online.
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Device fitted to washing machines could stop 80% of microfibres getting into the environment

Considerable potential for environmental benefits
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Sarcastic memes rain down on Twitter after company asks for patience amid ‘security incident’

Twitter’s support account has been bombarded with snarky replies after the company acknowledged that users may be experiencing issues due to a massive security breach.
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Apple, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Elon Musk ‘hacked by Bitcoin scammers on Twitter’

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Uyghurs bussed across China for forced labour in factories – new footage

The US State Department announced new sanctions today on some employees of Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, for their involvement in human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region; home to the country's persecuted Uyghur community.
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vice
Harvey Weinstein’s Closing Argument: Women Need to Take Responsibility for ‘the Men They Flirt With’

Harvey Weinstein’s Closing Argument: Women Need to Take Responsibility for ‘the Men They Flirt With’

vice - 5 months ago

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As Harvey Weinstein’s defense wrapped up its case Thursday, lead attorney Donna Rotunno stuck to the story her team has been trying to tell since Day One of the trial: that the disgraced Hollywood producer’s relationships with the women accusing him of sexual assault were transactional, but ultimately consensual.

“In the alternative universe that prosecutors have created for you, Harvey Weinstein is a monster,” Rotunno told the jury of seven men and five women, according to the Associated Press. “In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they accept, the jobs they ask for help to obtain.”

“In this script, the powerful man is the villain, and he is so unattractive and large that no woman would want to sleep with him,” Rotunno added, Variety reported.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, but Weinstein is facing five sex crime charges stemming from alleged encounters with just two: Miriam Haley, who says Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006, and Jessica Mann, who says Weinstein raped her in 2013. However, a total of six women testified against Weinstein during the trial, in an effort by prosecutors to detail Weinstein’s alleged pattern of abuse.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers sought to portray his accusers as failing to distance themselves from him — something that all real assault victims do, the defense intimated. (A forensic psychiatrist who testified for the prosecution explained that it’s common for victims to continue to talk to their abusers, particularly if the two already know each other.)

In her remarks Thursday, Rotunno tried to hammer Haley and Mann for continuing to communicate with Weinstein even after the alleged assaults. She read out emails that Mann sent to Weinstein; after reading one where Mann asked if Weinstein would be in Los Angeles around her birthday, Rotunno called the message “another thing you don’t send your rapist,” according to BuzzFeed News. (Women who were sexually abused may try to avoid dealing with the abuse, the psychiatrist said, in an attempt to curtail its devastation. They may believe the abuser’s good qualities outweigh the bad.)

Rotunno also tried to cast doubt on Mann’s behavior during the alleged rape. Mann has said that Weinstein physically blocked her from leaving the hotel room, then commanded her to undress. She felt like she had to follow his orders.

“What does she do?” Rotunno said, according to Variety. “She gets naked, and she lays on the bed. This is not a rape. This is someone who agrees to do what has been discussed.”

The major witnesses

Two of the biggest moments for the defense came on Monday, when social media influencer Claudia Salinas and actress Talita Maia gave testimony that seemed to contradict two of Weinstein’s accusers’ stories.

Lauren Young said that she was locked in a hotel bathroom with a masturbating Weinstein. Salinas, according to Young, was the one who closed her in the bathroom.

But when Salinas took the stand, she said that “never happened.”

"If I had done that, I would have remembered,” Salinas testified. “I have never closed the door behind anybody, ever."

When Salinas was shown photos of the hotel suite where the assault allegedly happened, Salinas said she’d never been there.

When a prosecutor cross-examined Salinas, the prosecutor said Salinas had told investigators she didn’t recall exactly what happened, the New York Times reported. “It could have happened, but it doesn’t mean I was there,” Salinas added.

Maia, on the other hand, had previously been friends with Mann. Maia had allegedly been in the other room of a hotel suite when Weinstein allegedly forced oral sex on Mann; when the pair emerged from the other room, Maia said Mann did not seem upset.

Maia and Mann also had breakfast with Weinstein after Weinstein allegedly raped Mann. “Did she seem like herself to you?” Rotunno asked Maia, who has since fallen out with Mann.

“Yes,” Maia replied.

Another witness, former Hollywood agent Paul Feldsher, was called in an apparent effort to cast doubt on Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s. While Sciorra’s allegation was deemed too old to be tried separately, prosecutors hope that it could help convince jurors to convict Weinstein of “predatory sexual assault” — meaning, essentially, that he committed serious sexual assaults against at least two people.

A conviction on that charge could land Weinstein behind bars for life.

Feldsher testified that he was a close friend of Sciorra during the time of the alleged rape. At the time, he’d understood that Sciorra had “fooled around” with Weinstein but nothing suggested the encounter was nonconsensual, NPR reported.

"I remember Annabella saying to me that she [had] done this crazy thing with Harvey," Feldsher said.

"There were no components about what she was saying [that] I found shocking or alarming," he went on. "I don't recall it being stressful."

Though Weinstein briefly huddled with his lawyers on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of getting on the stand himself, the fallen producer ultimately decided against it.

Cover image: Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in his rape trial, in New York, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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