Category Archives: Fail!

Ellen Page says Brett Ratner outed her as gay in sexual remark when she was 18

Actor says Ratner urged another woman to have sex with her to ‘make her realize she’s gay’ before Page had come out to herself

Source: Ellen Page says Brett Ratner outed her as gay in sexual remark when she was 18

She said Ratner had made the comment about her being gay during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before filming began: “I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened … This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.”

The actor Anna Paquin, one of the X-Men stars, backed Page’s account on Friday, tweeting, “I was there when that comment was made. I stand with you.”

The Trump Administration Is Keeping a U.S. Citizen Secretly Locked Up Without Charges

For nearly two months, the U.S. military has been detaining an American citizen at a secret jail in Iraq, denying him access to a lawyer and even refusing to release his name. The Trump administration is calling the citizen an “enemy combatant,” claiming he was fighting for ISIS in Syria, but it has not presented any evidence to back up its allegations.We went to court asking a judge to protect the citizen’s constitutional rights, including the right not to be imprisoned without charge and the right to challenge his detention in court. The Trump administration has told the court that it doesn’t have to respect these essential due process rights.The Pentagon and Justice Department ignored our initial request for access to the U.S. citizen so we could advise him of his rights and offer him the opportunity of legal representation. We then filed a habeas corpus petition on the citizen’s behalf in federal court in Washington, demanding that the government justify its detention of the unnamed American. All U.S. citizens have the right to habeas corpus no matter where the government holds them or what it accuses them of. And, as we know from the government’s practices in places like Guantánamo, when it tries to undercut this right it opens the door to abuses, including the arbitrary detention of innocent people.We also asked the court to order the government to connect the citizen with ACLU attorneys because he is facing grave threats to his liberty and possibly his life. The government could continue imprisoning him without charge, force him to confess to crimes he may not have committed, or, as a Human Rights Watch expert warns, hand him over to Iraqi custody, in which he would likely be subjected him to torture, an unfair trial, and possible execution.The government’s response is straight out of “Catch-22.” It is arguing that the ACLU cannot seek relief on the citizen’s behalf because we have never met him and don’t know his wishes. But that is a conundrum of the government’s own creation because it has provided no other way for this citizen to legally defend himself.Instead, the government is piling one speculation on top of another. Maybe, the government suggests, the American could have conveyed his needs to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when it visited him in custody, and maybe that organization could have contacted his family, and maybe his family could have found a lawyer to file a case on his behalf. In fact, the American citizen has made his wishes clear. U.S. officials told The Washington Post that the citizen has repeatedly demanded a lawyer. The government has effectively denied that request. And, as a former ICRC official explains in our latest court filing, there are multiple reasons why the U.S. citizen is unlikely to obtain counsel by going through the ICRC. To begin with, the ICRC’s main purpose is to monitor conditions of detention, not to find lawyers for prisoners. The citizen may not have family he can contact, or he might be afraid of contacting family for fear they will suffer retaliation. It is also possible the citizen’s family might not welcome contact from him, or, even if it did, the family may not know how to navigate the U.S. court system.The bottom line is that the imprisoned American citizen clearly wants a lawyer and doesn’t have one, thanks to the roadblocks the government itself has put in place.Learn More About The CaseThe government also complains that allowing counsel to have access to the citizen wouldn’t be “easy.” But constitutional rights do not depend on the government’s convenience. Federal courts have ruled that citizens have a right to an attorney even when detained as enemy combatants at secure military facilities, whether in the U.S. or abroad. And for more than 13 years, courts have ensured attorney access to non-citizens imprisoned at Guantanamo, rejecting government attempts to restrict it. Even George W. Bush’s attorney general and former federal district court judge, Michael Mukasey, ruled that the government’s national security interests cannot override an American citizen’s right to a lawyer.By opposing the ACLU’s efforts in this case, the Trump administration is taking a very dangerous step: It is blocking an Americans citizen’s access to his own country’s courts. It is also undermining the bedrock guarantees of habeas corpus, which for centuries has served as the greatest check on unlawful government detentions. Now, we’re fighting to stop the government’s unconstitutional attempt to create a new rights-free zone.

Source: The Trump Administration Is Keeping a U.S. Citizen Secretly Locked Up Without Charges

Trump commerce secretary’s business links with Putin family laid out in leaked files

Wilbur Ross stands to profit from company run by Russians, some of whom are under US sanctions

Source: Trump commerce secretary’s business links with Putin family laid out in leaked files



In 2014, Ross led a €1bn takeover of the Bank of Cyprus, a favoured destination for Moscow oligarchs seeking to store their wealth. The bank’s biggest shareholder at the time was the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. In 2008, as the US began to fall into a financial crisis, Rybolovlev bought a Florida mansion from Trump for $95m. The future president had paid $41m for it four years earlier.

Also invested in the bank takeover was the billionaire Russian industrialist Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg, who owns the world’s biggest collection of Fabergé eggs, attended the now infamous December 2015 dinner in Moscow for the Kremlin TV channel RT, where Trump’s future national security adviser Michael Flynn was photographed next to Putin.

Ross sat on the senior leadership team of Bank of Cyprus alongside Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB colleague of Putin’s who is also on the board of several state corporations in Moscow.

And in 2015, while Ross was vice-chairman of the bank, its Russia-based businesses were sold off to Artem Avetisyan, a Russian businessman who had been appointed by Putin to lead an agency responsible for strengthening ties between the Kremlin and business.

It’s no accident that sexual harassers rise up the ranks | Jessicca Valenti

For too long, we’ve lauded men’s domination and aggressiveness as a sign of leadership rather than possible red flags

Source: It’s no accident that sexual harassers rise up the ranks | Jessicca Valenti

Harvey Weinstein, for example, was well-known for being a bully. He yelled and demeaning the people around him, including men. Leon Wieseltier, formerly of The New Republic, was called “thuggish” and “gleefully mean.”

Roy Price, ousted at Amazon for harassment, wasn’t just accused of sexism in his interactions with women but in the way he chose programming. And Mark Halperin, accused by multiple women of harassment, once argued that there was “nothing illegal” about Donald Trump’s alleged groping.

This isn’t to say that we should only be wary of men who yell or hold explicitly sexist views. NPR is arguably one of the most progressive bastions of media around, yet when senior vice president Michael Oreskes was known to harass women, he was simply given a “father-son talking to” by another editor.

What would happen if we stopped viewing these kinds of behaviors as the remnants of men from “another era,” stopped excusing them as less-than-charming side effects of idiosyncratic brilliance?

It’s true, there’s nothing illegal about being a boor or a sexist jerk. You can’t fire someone for being an asshole. But you can notice particular kinds of bad behavior and flag them as a problem, rather than a boon, for a man’s career

No, 30,000 migrants haven’t disappeared in Germany ‘without a trace’

When Bild reported on Thursday that 30,000 rejected asylum seekers had gone missing without a trace in Germany it was soon picked up in the international media. The only problem? It isn’t true.

This is not the first time Bild has produced bogus reporting on refugees this year. In February the tabloid was forced to admit that a report on mass sexual assaults by migrants in Frankfurt over New Year had been completely made up.

Source: No, 30,000 migrants haven’t disappeared in Germany ‘without a trace’

These are the Russian Facebook ads that aimed to influence the US election – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The US House Intelligence Committee releases some of the roughly 3,000 Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives to interfere in the US presidential election.

Source: These are the Russian Facebook ads that aimed to influence the US election – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A Refusal to Compromise? Civil War Historians Beg to Differ – The New York Times – Still trying to normalize slavery and anti-Americanism?

After Reconstruction was rolled back and Jim Crow segregation instituted in the South, a growing number of white Americans depicted the Civil War as a tragic family disagreement, rather than a battle over principle.In 1913, veterans from both sides gathered at Gettysburg for a “Great Reunion,” where President Woodrow Wilson gave an address that included no reference to slavery or secession. The era also saw a surge in the construction of Confederate monuments, including many outside the former Confederacy.Mr. Blight, the author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” said that Mr. Kelly’s remarks were themselves part of this “reconciliationist” tradition.“It reflects a very old set of ideas about the meaning of the Civil War,” Mr. Blight said. “Everybody was right, and nobody was wrong. Everybody was noble, everyone fought for their conscience, you don’t have to worry anymore about what they fought for.”“It takes all responsibility away,” he said. “That’s your compromise.”

Plot behind Caceres murder in Honduras, says legal panel | News | DW | 31.10.2017

Records had shown multiple communications between suspected gunmen and an unnamed DESA official, according to GAIPE findings reported by Associated Press.An international outcry ensued after the murder of Caceres who with her movement Copinh led indigenous Lenca peoples in opposing the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project.Construction was subsequently suspended when investors, including a Dutch bank and a Finnish fund, froze funding.

Source: Plot behind Caceres murder in Honduras, says legal panel | News | DW | 31.10.2017