09.10.2018

George Papadopoulos, former 2016 presidential campaign aide to Donald Trump, receives a prison sentence of 14 days for lying to investigators regarding his ties to Russian contacts. He also receives a fine, probation and a community service obligation. (CNN)

Tesla stock drops 9% the day after CEO Elon Musk was seen drinking whiskey and smoking cannabis in California while discussing space colonization, life after the technological singularity and whether reality is a simulation on The Joe Rogan Experience, and two executives resign. (AP) (Space.com)

ASIA ARGENTO FLIPS THE SCRIPT

Soul-sucking part-time actress Asia Argento was recently featured in these pages flip-flopping in her story of exactly what happened between her and 17-year-old Jimmy Bennett in a Marina del Rey motel room back in 2013.

At first she denied that anything sexual had ever happened between the two. Then, when text messages leaked that showed her quite clearly saying, “I had sex with him, Argento, who had known Bennett since he was seven, said that she didn’t know he was a minor until receiving a “shakedown letter” that her dead boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain—who appears to have killed himself after being distraught at seeing Ms. Asia cavorting with a man less than half his age—paid off to the tune of $380,000 just to keep things quiet while she was parading as an anti-rape activist.

Last week Argento’s lawyer Mark Jay Heller—who appears to have been sculpted entirely from chopped liver—is flipping the script and claiming that Bennett was the sexual predator in the equation:

Asia at no time initiated a sexual encounter with Bennett and in fact as she stated in her response to the New York Times article, concerning their past history, ‘I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett…but rather the relationship was a long distance friendship over many years.’…

Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.

It appears that Heller is trying to say that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 as hush money so he wouldn’t tell the world that he raped her.

It’s time for us to go curl in a ball on the shower floor and cry all the pain away.

 

The Incessant Pendulum Swing
by Theodore Dalrymple

The case of Ariana Grande and the bishop who was a little too familiar with her reminded me of my adolescence. In those far-off days, when even vulgarity was more genteel than it is now, my companions and I learned how to turn even the most innocuous of statements into something salacious by the mere addition of seven words in parenthetical conclusion: “as the actress said to the bishop.”

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

CBS chief Moonves out amid sexual misconduct allegations CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is leaving the company, effective immediately, CBS announced Sunday. In July, The New Yorker published the accounts of six women accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct, and the magazine reported additional allegations on Sunday. CBS hired two law firms to investigate the accusations, and it won’t begin negotiating a severance package until the probe is finished. CBS and Moonves will donate $20 million to organizations that promote equality for women and the #MeToo movement, money that will be deducted from any financial package Moonves may receive. Moonves, who has run CBS since 2006, has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct while acknowledging three of the encounters, saying they were consensual. Source: CBS News

Far-right party gains in Sweden, moving government toward gridlock Sweden’s ruling center-left Social Democratic Party won the greatest share of votes in Sunday’s parliamentary elections but just barely, winning about 28.4 percent. The Social Democrats’ ruling coalition earned a combined 40.6 percent of the vote, for about 144 seats in the 349-seat Riksdag, or Parliament, while the center-right Alliance coalition, led by the Moderates, got 40.3 percent, for about 142 seats. The biggest gain was by the far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who got 17.6 percent of the votes, for about 63 seats, from 49 seats in the 2014 election. It’s unclear how either the center-left or center-right coalition will form a government, as both reiterated after the vote that they won’t form a government with the Sweden Democrats. Source: Reuters, The Associated Press

With 99% of the votes counted, the center-left parties that form the current government obtain 40.6% of the vote, the center-right alliance winning 40.3%. The far-right Sweden Democrats gain 17.6%. A long process to form a coalition government now seems likely. (CNN)

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov says that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a letter to meet North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters)

The Russian presidential office confirms that mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin is reelected for a second and last term. (Sputnik via Urdupoint)

The Wall Street Journal reports that National Security Advisor John Bolton is expected to announce today the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organizationoffice in Washington. (Bloomberg)

Hurricane Florence regains strengthens into a category 2 hurricane and is expected to grow into a major hurricane this week, and to threaten the East Coastnear the Carolinas. (Upi)

Sunday, Sept 9, 2018

The prosecutor in Abkhazia says that the driver of the car that probably initiated the deadly accident of Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennady Gagulya yesterday was under the influence of drugs and has been detained. (News.am)

Moldovan President Igor Dodon is involved in a highway accident when his official motorcade is struck by a truck coming from the opposite direction. Several passengers, including the president and members of his family, suffer moderate injuries and are hospitalized. Reports indicate that the Moldovan head of state is in good health. (BBC)

Dozens of people are killed in four separate attacks by the Taliban. An army base is destroyed in Baghlan Province. (The New York Times)

North Korea celebrates its 70th anniversary with a military parade in Pyongyang with the absence of its international ballistic missiles. (New York Times)

About 200 Kosovo Albanian veterans from the Kosovo War block the road to Banje near Drenica and prevent a planned visit by the President of Serbia. (Reuters)

Swedish media report voter harassment by members of the neo-Nazi movement Nordic Resistance Movement. The far-right Alternative for Sweden party is reportedly “shouting loud” on social media. (The Washington Post)

 

Saturday,  Sept 8, 2018

The Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennadi Gagulia dies in a car accident in Abkhazia after returning from a trip to Syria. (RFE/RL) (TASS)

The WTC–Cortlandt subway station in lower Manhattan opens for the first time since being destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001. (The New York Times)

A pneumonia outbreak in Brescia and Mantova, Italy, infects at least 150 people. The deaths of two other people are suspected connected to the disease. The cause is a suspected bacterium in the water. (Corriere della Sera)

A South Korean man is diagnosed with the potentially deadly MERS virus and is being treated at a hospital in Seoul, the first such case in three years. (Reuters)

Iran’s judiciary executes three Iranian Kurdish prisoners, including Ramin Panahi, for terrorism offences. Two United Nations special rapporteurs condemn the executions and Amnesty International alleges their trials were unfair, due to the denial of legal counsel and confessions obtained through torture. (Reuters)

A court in Egypt sentences 75 people to death for participating in a pro-Morsi sit-in protest in a Cairo suburb in 2013. The breakup of that protest at Rabaa Square by Egyptian authorities resulted in over 600 deaths. Of the 739 defendants, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 46 others are sentenced to life in prison, 374 receive 15-year jail terms, 22 are sentenced to 10 years and 215 people, including Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan), to five years in jail. (France 24)

 

Friday,  Sept 7, 2018

The presidents of Russia and Iran disagree with the Turkish president’s proposal for a ceasefire in Idlib after meeting in Tehran, because it would not include the Islamist militants those nations aim to defeat. (Reuters)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, to attempt to discuss peace with the Taliban, which has declined such talks with the Afghan government. (UPI)

Starbucks opens its first shop in Italy, in the city of Milan. The 25,000 square-foot Reserve Roastery creates 300 jobs. (Fortune via Yahoo!)

Energy specialists and executives say a power outage from the earthquake could have been lessened if Hokkaido Electric did not rely so exclusively on the Tomato-Atsuma coal plant. The company has restored electricity to just over half of its affected customers. (Reuters)

Protesters storm the Iranian consulate in Basra, in protest of corruption and misrule by Iraq’s political elite, damaging the consulate’s offices and shouting anti-Iranian slogans while others briefly take workers hostage at a nearby oilfield. (Reuters)

The End