Day: October 29, 2019

U.K. Poised For First December Election In Nearly A Century

A December general election is all but certain in the U.K. after Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn announced he would back a snap vote.

The Labour Opposition leader said on Tuesday he would vote for a pre-Christmas showdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives now that a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 was “off the table.”

Corbyn’s remarks came only hours before Prime Minister Johnson was set to ask U.K. lawmakers for a fourth time to approve an early election, saying voters must have the chance to break the Brexit deadlock in British Parliament.

“We’re launching the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to build a country for the many, not the few. It’s time,” Corbyn said.

Johnson will introduce a short bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday to trigger an election. Labour’s shadow cabinet met Tuesday morning to decide whether or not to back the move. 

There is still wrangling over the exact date of the election. The government wants it to be held on Dec. 12. But the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have demanded it be held on Dec. 9, arguing more students will still be at university and able to vote on the earlier date.

A source at 10 Downing Street, the British prime minister’s official residence, indicated Johnson was willing to compromise on the date. The source suggested the government was willing to accept a compromise date of Dec. 11, and would agree to amend the early parliamentary election bill on Tuesday to specify this.

“I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a no-deal Brexit being off the table,” Corbyn told the shadow cabinet Tuesday morning.

“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to Jan. 31 has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met,” he continued.

“We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”

‘Sheer madness’

Labour has been divided over whether or not to back an election. Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman tweeted it was “sheer madness” to hold an election in December.

Kevan Jones, the MP for North Durham, said he would not be voting for an early election as the Brexit “impasse” could only be overcome by further debate of Johnson’s Brexit deal.

The prime minister called for an election after being forced to break his pledge to leave the EU by Oct. 31 because he could not get his Brexit deal through the House in time.

On Monday night, he was denied the two-thirds Commons majority he needed for a snap election in a vote on a Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) motion.

But Johnson responded by backing a Lib Dem/SNP plan for legislation to get around the FTPA, meaning only a simple majority of MPs was required to trigger an election.

The prime minister also promised to drop his Brexit deal, almost guaranteeing SNP and Lib Dem support while forcing Labour into backing the early parliamentary election bill or face being dragged into an election against its will. 

The view outside 10 Downing Street in London is seen here on Tuesday as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for a pre-Christmas general election in the U.K.

It effectively pitches the first winter election in decades as a battle for Brexit. The last December election in the U.K. was in 1923. 

Johnson took office in July vowing to “get Brexit done” after his predecessor, Theresa May, resigned in defeat. Parliament had rejected her divorce deal three times, and the EU had delayed Britain’s scheduled March 29 departure, first to April, and then to the end of October.

The EU on Monday agreed to extend the Brexit deadline for a third time, this time until Jan. 31.

Johnson, who said just weeks ago that he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than postpone the U.K.’s leaving date past Oct. 31, was forced to seek the extension on Parliament’s orders to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would damage the economies of both Britain and the EU.

“We cannot continue with this endless delay,” Johnson said Monday.

Here's a look Boris Johnson's early parliamentary general election bill.

With files from The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law October 29, 2019 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:09 a.m. EDT

National security official twice raised concerns on Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A military officer at the National Security Council twice raised concerns over the Trump administration’s push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden, according to testimony the official is prepared to deliver Tuesday in the House impeachment inquiry.

Alexander Vindman, an Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and, later, as a diplomat, is prepared to tell House investigators that he listened to President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with new Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskiy and reported his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel.

“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman will say, according to prepared testimony obtained Monday night by The Associated Press. “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

Vindman will be the first current White House official set to appear as the impeachment inquiry reaches deeper into the Trump administration and Democrats prepare for the next, public phase of the probe.

The 20-year military officer will testify that he first reported his concerns after an earlier meeting July 10 in which U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland stressed the importance of having Ukraine investigate the 2016 election as well as Burisma, a company linked to the family of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

___

Not over yet: New US Syria mission after al-Baghdadi death

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pivoting from the dramatic killing of the Islamic State’s leader, the Pentagon is increasing U.S. efforts to protect Syria’s oil fields from the extremist group as well as from Syria itself and the country’s Russian allies. It’s a new high-stakes mission even as American troops are withdrawn from other parts of the country.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper says the military’s oil field mission also will ensure income for Syrian Kurds who are counted on by Washington to continue guarding Islamic State prisoners and helping American forces combat remnants of the group — even as President Donald Trump continues to insist all U.S. troops will come home.

“We don’t want to be a policeman in this case,” Trump said Monday, referring to America’s role after Turkey’s incursion in Syria. In the face of Turkey’s early October warning that it would invade and create a “safe zone” on the Syrian side of its border, Trump ordered U.S. forces to step aside, effectively abandoning a Kurdish militia that had partnered with U.S. troops.

Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at a Pentagon news conference to cheer the successful mission by U.S. special operations forces Saturday that ended with IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blowing himself up. Esper called al-Baghdadi’s death a “devastating blow” to an organization that already had lost its hold on a wide swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Milley said the U.S. had disposed of al-Baghdadi’s remains “appropriately” and in line with the laws of armed conflict. He also said U.S. forces retrieved unspecified intelligence information from the site, which he described as a place in northwestern Syria where the IS leader had been “staying on a consistent basis.”

___

IS leader’s death ushers in new phase for the group

BEIRUT (AP) — One of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s last audio messages was an appeal for his followers to do everything in their power to free Islamic State detainees and the women being held in jails and camps in northeastern Syria.

With news of the extremist group’s leader’s death, Kurdish security forces worried about the possibility of attacks or rioting have been tightening security at these facilities, which hold more than 80,000 members and supporters of the militant group, including women and children.

Fear of chaos already was running high over the fate of those detained after this month’s Turkish military invasion of northeastern Syria, which ushered in major troop changes in the area about two weeks after al-Baghdadi’s message. Kurdish officials said they needed to divert fighters and logistics to the front line to ward off the Turkish offensive. Turkey moved troops into areas along the border, while Syrian border guards were deployed in others.

A shaky cease-fire is in place and an agreement to redeploy Kurdish forces away from the borders.

While news of al-Baghdadi’s death had not been announced in the camps on Monday, many of his supporters living in detention facilities and camps in Syria have telephones and they most likely heard the news.

___

North Carolina judges block current congressional map

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges on Monday blocked the state’s congressional map from being used in the 2020 elections, ruling that voters had a strong likelihood of winning a lawsuit that argued Republicans unlawfully manipulated district lines for partisan gain.

The panel of three Superior Court judges issued a preliminary injunction preventing elections under the district lines, starting with the March 3 primary.

The judges halted the use of these districts less than two months after they struck down state House and Senate districts. There they found extreme political manipulation of the lines similar to what voters suing over the congressional map also say occurred.

In the ruling Monday, the judges — Paul Ridgeway, Alma Hinton and Joseph Crosswhite — agreed that “there is a substantial likelihood that plaintiffs will prevail on the merits of this action by showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the 2016 congressional districts are extreme partisan gerrymanders” in violation of the North Carolina Constitution.

The judges gave no date by which a new map must be drawn, but suggested lawmakers could redraw them on their own quickly to ensure congressional primaries be held as scheduled. The State Board of Elections has said lines needed to be finalized by Dec. 15.

___

Wildfire forces residents, celebrities to flee

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wildfire swept through the star-studded hills of Los Angeles on Monday, destroying several large homes and forcing LeBron James and thousands of others to flee. Meanwhile, a blaze in Northern California wine country exploded in size.

The flames that roared up a steep hillside near the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles’ Brentwood section illustrated the danger the state faces as high winds batter both ends of California and threaten to turn any spark into a devastating inferno.

At least eight homes were destroyed and six damaged in the LA-area blaze, fire officials said.

No deaths from either blaze were reported, but a firefighter was seriously injured in the blaze in Sonoma County wine country. Authorities later said he was in stable condition.

Some 2.2 million people lacked electricity after California’s biggest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, shut it off over the weekend in the northern part of the state to prevent its equipment from sparking blazes during windy weather. More deliberate blackouts are possible in the coming days because another round of strong winds is expected.

___

Man arrested in Texas shooting that left 2 dead, 12 hurt

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A man suspected of opening fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, killing two people and injuring 12 others, was arrested Monday.

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, of Greenville, Texas, was taken into custody less than 48 hours after Saturday’s shooting, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said. Gonzales, who was arrested at the auto dealership where he worked, was booked into the Hunt County jail on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons. Bond was set at $1 million. In a television interview Monday, Gonzales maintained he is innocent.

The shooting happened around midnight Saturday outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometres) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System. Authorities believe the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people, and that others may have been shot at random, Meeks has said.

Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas and Byron Craven Jr. of Arlington, both 23, were killed, authorities said.

The shooting took place at a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce at a facility called The Party Venue, according to Meeks, though officials said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

___

Leader of protest-hit Hong Kong warns of recession risk

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader says the city is at risk of falling into a recession as it enters its fifth month of pro-democracy protests, and she says her priority was ending violence first before a political resolution.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that if third quarter data due for release on later this week shows negative growth, then the semiautonomous Chinese city’s economy will have entered a technical recession.

Hong Kong has been gripped for more than four months of protests, with demonstrators and police frequently in violent street clashes. The unrest has hit the city’s tourism and retail industries.

Lam told reporters before weekly Cabinet meeting that finding political solutions to the problem would take a backseat to authorities’ efforts to quell the violence.

___

S&P 500 hits all-time high as market extends recent gains

The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high Monday, extending a recent string of gains in what’s mostly been a solid month for the market.

The benchmark index closed at 3,039.42, around 14 points above its previous record set on July 26. The S&P 500 notched its latest milestone after weeks of hovering just below its prior high.

Investors have been balancing worries over the impact that the costly trade war between the U.S. and China is having on corporate profits and the global economy against renewed optimism that negotiations that got underway this month could lead to some kind of resolution in the conflict.

“U.S.-China is not going away any time soon,” said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer of EventShares. “The market’s sentiment tends to swing from overly fearful to overly exuberant, and we’re probably starting to swing a little to the exuberant side right now. There are still a lot of risks out there.”

Monday’s rally came at the beginning of a busy week of corporate earnings and economic reports and with investors expecting another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

___

Robert Evans, iconic producer of ‘Chinatown,’ dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Evans, the protean, fast-living Hollywood producer and former Paramount Pictures production chief who backed such seminal 1970s films as “Chinatown,” ”The Godfather” and “Harold and Maude,” has died. He was 89.

Evans publicist, Monique Moss, confirmed that Evans died on Saturday. No other details Monday were immediately available.

His career was a story of comebacks and reinventions. Evans had launched a successful women’s clothing line with his brother, Charles, and was visiting Los Angeles on business when actress Norma Shearer saw him sunbathing by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She persuaded producers to hire the handsome, dark-haired 26-year-old to play her late husband, movie mogul Irving Thalberg, in “Man of a Thousand Faces,” a film about horror movie star Lon Chaney.

After acting roles faded, Evans re-emerged at Paramount and quickly converted the studio from a maker of mediocre films to the biggest hit machine in Hollywood, home to “The Godfather” and “Love Story” among others.

For decades, and with many flops in between, the ever-tanned, large glasses-wearing Evans was one of Hollywood’s most outsized and flamboyant personalities, encapsulating the romance of a now bygone movie era where films were greenlit more on instinct than market research. He was married and divorced seven times. He was the model for Dustin Hoffman’s petty-minded Hollywood producer in the 1997 satire “Wag the Dog.”

___

Steelers overcome slow start, drop winless Dolphins 27-14

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers stopped beating themselves long enough to keep the Miami Dolphins winless.

James Conner ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Mason Rudolph overcame a shaky start to throw for 251 yards and two scores as the Steelers pulled away for a 27-14 victory on Monday night.

Pittsburgh (3-4) spotted the Dolphins (0-7) a 14-point first quarter lead before steadying itself to win consecutive games for the first time since ripping off six straight in the middle of last season. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, acquired in a trade with Miami last month, picked off Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, and Pittsburgh forced four turnovers in all to avoid an embarrassing loss that would have effectively ended the competitive portion of its season.

Rudolph completed 20 of 36 passes, including a 45-yard touchdown to rookie Diontae Johnson late in the second quarter and a 26-yard strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter that put the Steelers in control. Smith-Schuster caught five passes for 103 yards, his first 100-yard game of the year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 190 yards with two touchdowns and two picks, but a rare hot start couldn’t prevent Miami from staying winless through seven games for the first time since 2011. The Dolphins have dropped 10 straight dating back to last season.

The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law October 29, 2019 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:09 a.m. EDT

National security official twice raised concerns on Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A military officer at the National Security Council twice raised concerns over the Trump administration’s push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden, according to testimony the official is prepared to deliver Tuesday in the House impeachment inquiry.

Alexander Vindman, an Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and, later, as a diplomat, is prepared to tell House investigators that he listened to President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with new Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskiy and reported his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel.

“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman will say, according to prepared testimony obtained Monday night by The Associated Press. “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

Vindman will be the first current White House official set to appear as the impeachment inquiry reaches deeper into the Trump administration and Democrats prepare for the next, public phase of the probe.

The 20-year military officer will testify that he first reported his concerns after an earlier meeting July 10 in which U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland stressed the importance of having Ukraine investigate the 2016 election as well as Burisma, a company linked to the family of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

___

Not over yet: New US Syria mission after al-Baghdadi death

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pivoting from the dramatic killing of the Islamic State’s leader, the Pentagon is increasing U.S. efforts to protect Syria’s oil fields from the extremist group as well as from Syria itself and the country’s Russian allies. It’s a new high-stakes mission even as American troops are withdrawn from other parts of the country.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper says the military’s oil field mission also will ensure income for Syrian Kurds who are counted on by Washington to continue guarding Islamic State prisoners and helping American forces combat remnants of the group — even as President Donald Trump continues to insist all U.S. troops will come home.

“We don’t want to be a policeman in this case,” Trump said Monday, referring to America’s role after Turkey’s incursion in Syria. In the face of Turkey’s early October warning that it would invade and create a “safe zone” on the Syrian side of its border, Trump ordered U.S. forces to step aside, effectively abandoning a Kurdish militia that had partnered with U.S. troops.

Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at a Pentagon news conference to cheer the successful mission by U.S. special operations forces Saturday that ended with IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blowing himself up. Esper called al-Baghdadi’s death a “devastating blow” to an organization that already had lost its hold on a wide swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Milley said the U.S. had disposed of al-Baghdadi’s remains “appropriately” and in line with the laws of armed conflict. He also said U.S. forces retrieved unspecified intelligence information from the site, which he described as a place in northwestern Syria where the IS leader had been “staying on a consistent basis.”

___

IS leader’s death ushers in new phase for the group

BEIRUT (AP) — One of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s last audio messages was an appeal for his followers to do everything in their power to free Islamic State detainees and the women being held in jails and camps in northeastern Syria.

With news of the extremist group’s leader’s death, Kurdish security forces worried about the possibility of attacks or rioting have been tightening security at these facilities, which hold more than 80,000 members and supporters of the militant group, including women and children.

Fear of chaos already was running high over the fate of those detained after this month’s Turkish military invasion of northeastern Syria, which ushered in major troop changes in the area about two weeks after al-Baghdadi’s message. Kurdish officials said they needed to divert fighters and logistics to the front line to ward off the Turkish offensive. Turkey moved troops into areas along the border, while Syrian border guards were deployed in others.

A shaky cease-fire is in place and an agreement to redeploy Kurdish forces away from the borders.

While news of al-Baghdadi’s death had not been announced in the camps on Monday, many of his supporters living in detention facilities and camps in Syria have telephones and they most likely heard the news.

___

North Carolina judges block current congressional map

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges on Monday blocked the state’s congressional map from being used in the 2020 elections, ruling that voters had a strong likelihood of winning a lawsuit that argued Republicans unlawfully manipulated district lines for partisan gain.

The panel of three Superior Court judges issued a preliminary injunction preventing elections under the district lines, starting with the March 3 primary.

The judges halted the use of these districts less than two months after they struck down state House and Senate districts. There they found extreme political manipulation of the lines similar to what voters suing over the congressional map also say occurred.

In the ruling Monday, the judges — Paul Ridgeway, Alma Hinton and Joseph Crosswhite — agreed that “there is a substantial likelihood that plaintiffs will prevail on the merits of this action by showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the 2016 congressional districts are extreme partisan gerrymanders” in violation of the North Carolina Constitution.

The judges gave no date by which a new map must be drawn, but suggested lawmakers could redraw them on their own quickly to ensure congressional primaries be held as scheduled. The State Board of Elections has said lines needed to be finalized by Dec. 15.

___

Wildfire forces residents, celebrities to flee

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wildfire swept through the star-studded hills of Los Angeles on Monday, destroying several large homes and forcing LeBron James and thousands of others to flee. Meanwhile, a blaze in Northern California wine country exploded in size.

The flames that roared up a steep hillside near the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles’ Brentwood section illustrated the danger the state faces as high winds batter both ends of California and threaten to turn any spark into a devastating inferno.

At least eight homes were destroyed and six damaged in the LA-area blaze, fire officials said.

No deaths from either blaze were reported, but a firefighter was seriously injured in the blaze in Sonoma County wine country. Authorities later said he was in stable condition.

Some 2.2 million people lacked electricity after California’s biggest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, shut it off over the weekend in the northern part of the state to prevent its equipment from sparking blazes during windy weather. More deliberate blackouts are possible in the coming days because another round of strong winds is expected.

___

Man arrested in Texas shooting that left 2 dead, 12 hurt

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A man suspected of opening fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, killing two people and injuring 12 others, was arrested Monday.

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, of Greenville, Texas, was taken into custody less than 48 hours after Saturday’s shooting, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said. Gonzales, who was arrested at the auto dealership where he worked, was booked into the Hunt County jail on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons. Bond was set at $1 million. In a television interview Monday, Gonzales maintained he is innocent.

The shooting happened around midnight Saturday outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometres) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System. Authorities believe the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people, and that others may have been shot at random, Meeks has said.

Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas and Byron Craven Jr. of Arlington, both 23, were killed, authorities said.

The shooting took place at a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce at a facility called The Party Venue, according to Meeks, though officials said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

___

Leader of protest-hit Hong Kong warns of recession risk

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader says the city is at risk of falling into a recession as it enters its fifth month of pro-democracy protests, and she says her priority was ending violence first before a political resolution.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that if third quarter data due for release on later this week shows negative growth, then the semiautonomous Chinese city’s economy will have entered a technical recession.

Hong Kong has been gripped for more than four months of protests, with demonstrators and police frequently in violent street clashes. The unrest has hit the city’s tourism and retail industries.

Lam told reporters before weekly Cabinet meeting that finding political solutions to the problem would take a backseat to authorities’ efforts to quell the violence.

___

S&P 500 hits all-time high as market extends recent gains

The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high Monday, extending a recent string of gains in what’s mostly been a solid month for the market.

The benchmark index closed at 3,039.42, around 14 points above its previous record set on July 26. The S&P 500 notched its latest milestone after weeks of hovering just below its prior high.

Investors have been balancing worries over the impact that the costly trade war between the U.S. and China is having on corporate profits and the global economy against renewed optimism that negotiations that got underway this month could lead to some kind of resolution in the conflict.

“U.S.-China is not going away any time soon,” said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer of EventShares. “The market’s sentiment tends to swing from overly fearful to overly exuberant, and we’re probably starting to swing a little to the exuberant side right now. There are still a lot of risks out there.”

Monday’s rally came at the beginning of a busy week of corporate earnings and economic reports and with investors expecting another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

___

Robert Evans, iconic producer of ‘Chinatown,’ dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Evans, the protean, fast-living Hollywood producer and former Paramount Pictures production chief who backed such seminal 1970s films as “Chinatown,” ”The Godfather” and “Harold and Maude,” has died. He was 89.

Evans publicist, Monique Moss, confirmed that Evans died on Saturday. No other details Monday were immediately available.

His career was a story of comebacks and reinventions. Evans had launched a successful women’s clothing line with his brother, Charles, and was visiting Los Angeles on business when actress Norma Shearer saw him sunbathing by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She persuaded producers to hire the handsome, dark-haired 26-year-old to play her late husband, movie mogul Irving Thalberg, in “Man of a Thousand Faces,” a film about horror movie star Lon Chaney.

After acting roles faded, Evans re-emerged at Paramount and quickly converted the studio from a maker of mediocre films to the biggest hit machine in Hollywood, home to “The Godfather” and “Love Story” among others.

For decades, and with many flops in between, the ever-tanned, large glasses-wearing Evans was one of Hollywood’s most outsized and flamboyant personalities, encapsulating the romance of a now bygone movie era where films were greenlit more on instinct than market research. He was married and divorced seven times. He was the model for Dustin Hoffman’s petty-minded Hollywood producer in the 1997 satire “Wag the Dog.”

___

Steelers overcome slow start, drop winless Dolphins 27-14

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers stopped beating themselves long enough to keep the Miami Dolphins winless.

James Conner ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Mason Rudolph overcame a shaky start to throw for 251 yards and two scores as the Steelers pulled away for a 27-14 victory on Monday night.

Pittsburgh (3-4) spotted the Dolphins (0-7) a 14-point first quarter lead before steadying itself to win consecutive games for the first time since ripping off six straight in the middle of last season. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, acquired in a trade with Miami last month, picked off Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, and Pittsburgh forced four turnovers in all to avoid an embarrassing loss that would have effectively ended the competitive portion of its season.

Rudolph completed 20 of 36 passes, including a 45-yard touchdown to rookie Diontae Johnson late in the second quarter and a 26-yard strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter that put the Steelers in control. Smith-Schuster caught five passes for 103 yards, his first 100-yard game of the year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 190 yards with two touchdowns and two picks, but a rare hot start couldn’t prevent Miami from staying winless through seven games for the first time since 2011. The Dolphins have dropped 10 straight dating back to last season.

The Associated Press

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Mother of slain Hamilton teen says schools need to ‘believe the child’ when it comes to bullying

The mother of a 14-year-old student fatally stabbed outside his Hamilton school hopes a proposed community panel on bullying is “not a band aid solution.”

Wearing a button with a photo of her son, Devan Selvey, and the words “I stand against bullying” written in purple lettering, Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey told CTV News Toronto that the current zero tolerance bullying policy at schools is not enough.

“Zero tolerance, to me, used to mean that the schools were safe. Zero tolerance means someone is going to step in and stop it from happening, but that isn’t the case. It doesn’t mean anything,” she said. “It’s just there. It’s just putting a label on something that nobody is following through with.”

Devan Selvey

On Monday night, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board recommended the creation of a community panel to address bullying prevention, intervention and reporting. Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey said that she hopes the panel will discuss tougher consequences when dealing with incidents of bullying.

“Believe the child when the child is telling you something is wrong and dealing with the children that are doing it,” she said. “Make the consequences a little tougher for them. I don’t know how you could possibly do that, but that’s what needs to be done. If there are no consequences, then there is no fear. And obviously no fear, they do what they want.”

She also said that neither the school nor the school board has reached out to her, other than to send her a condolence card, since her son’s death. She has not been asked to speak at the meeting Monday night—adding that if she was contacted, she is not sure how she would handle it.

CTV National News: Remembering Devan Bracci-Selvey

Earlier this month, emergency crews were called to Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, located near Parkdale Avenue South and Main Street East, for reports of a violent incident. When they arrived at the school, they found Devan Selvey suffering from multiple stab wounds.

The teen was transported to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries a short while later.

Two suspects, an 18-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, both from Hamilton, were taken into police custody in connection with the incident. They have each been charged with first-degree murder.

‘Listen to your children and then fight like hell’

Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey said that ever since her son started Grade 9 in September, he had been the victim of bullying. She said he missed many of his classes and would sometimes call her to come pick him up.

Devan Selvey

The director of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has previously acknowledged that incidents of bullying were reported to the administration.

“How many times do I have to go sit in the principal’s office or go down to a police station?” Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey said on Monday ahead of the school board meeting. “The sign out front says ‘we all belong’ and they have zero tolerance, then why did I have to go there numerous times in one month to try and rectify this before it got to this point?”

Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey said that she has heard “a lot of heartbreaking stories” since her son’s death. While she said a better support system is needed in schools, she also had a more personal piece of advice for parents whose children may be having difficulties at school.

“Fight like hell and if that doesn’t work, move your child to a different school. Even if you have to relocate to a different city. Do anything you possibly can to keep your children safe because you don’t know if it will go to the extreme it got to at Devan.”

Board of trustees say bullying is ‘complex’

The chair of the HWDSB committed on Monday to implementing any recommendations made by the independent panel, but also made it clear that bullying was a broader, community issue rather than one that should be dealt with at the school level alone.

“We are doing this because we need to do better. Bullying is complicated and is extremely serious and is rampant in our society. From social media to our places of work, the concept itself is often portrayed as simple, but as educators we know the solution is far more complex,” Alex Johnstone said. “We know it often starts in our schools and we need to do more to protect and support our children. That is what the panel will be tackling in the coming months.”

Manny Figueiredo, the director of the board, went on to say that building positive relationships and intervening in bullying earlier is the “key to having bullying be eradicated.”

Neither the chair nor the director of the board would comment on why the Selvey family had not been contacted regarding the panel or the meeting Monday, saying only that the board is working with police as they conduct their criminal investigation.

“Our plan is in response to the broader community,” Figueiredo said of the panel.

He also said that once the police investigation is complete, the school board will be conducting their own independent investigation into the events that occurred on Oct. 7.

It is not known who would conduct that independent review.

The “Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel” is expected to deliver its report in May 2020.

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source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mother-of-slain-hamilton-teen-says-schools-need-to-believe-the-child-when-it-comes-to-bullying-1.4659451

By The Wall of Law October 29, 2019 Off

Victim of alleged gang sex assault at Little Italy bar says she woke up screaming from nightmares

TORONTO – The victim in an alleged gang sexual assault at a former Little Italy bar returned to the witness stand on Monday, testifying that following that winter night, she had nightmares that would end in her waking up screaming.

“It felt like a movie, like a dream, it was coming back in bits and pieces,” she told a Toronto courtroom during her second day of testifying.

The fashion photographer was 24 years old when she was visiting Toronto in December 2016 for a work event. At the time, she had gone to the College Street Bar to meet a friend who worked there, the court heard on Thursday. Her identity is protected under a publication ban.

Gavin MacMillan, an owner at the former bar, and DeJesus Carrasco, a manager, have both pleaded not guilty to gang sexual assault, administering a stupefying drug and forcible confinement.

After the woman’s friend left the bar, and it closed for the night, the Crown alleges the two men sexually assaulted her for at least six hours in various rooms of the establishment.

Eight security cameras inside the bar captured the events being discussed throughout the trial.

Following the jury watching hours of captured video, the woman is testifying via CCT camera from another room inside the courthouse.

During her testimony on Monday, she said she was “terrified” to speak with officials. She said she was worried about her family finding out and was concerned about the whole process of having to testify at a trial.

She told the Crown her body was full of bruises and marks on her arms from “being held.”

She could not get off her couch for a month after that night, she testified.

The trial is set to continue on Monday afternoon as the defence lawyers are expected to begin their cross examination.

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source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/victim-of-alleged-gang-sex-assault-at-little-italy-bar-says-she-woke-up-screaming-from-nightmares-1.4658857

By The Wall of Law October 29, 2019 Off