EU picks up Trump’s tab, gives Palestinians $52 million in aidBy Leith Aboufadel – 31/01/20180BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 P.M.) – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini announced a €42.5 million ($52.8 million) financial donation for the Palestinian state,
screw you trump ,the EU HAVE STEPPED UP AND GOING TO PAY THE SHORTFALL MAKES YOU LOOK A TWATT DONALD .
Speaking from Brussels on Wednesday.“We have just adopted a new package of 42.5 million euros including activities in East Jerusalem and support to the building of a democratic and accountable Palestinian state through targeted policy reforms, fiscal consolidation reinforcing businesses, small and medium enterprises, strengthening of Palestinian civil society and providing access to water and energy,” she said.“We are thinking first and foremost obviously to the population in Gaza. The daily life of citizens has been very difficult for too long time and this despite large international humanitarian help including by the European Union,” added Mogherini.The promise of aid comes after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold an aid package from the UN body in Palestine.
Celtic fans present £176k cheque for Palestinian charities ahead of Hearts match Celtic fans hand over cheque for Palestinian charities 44 comments
TODAY thousands of Hoops supporters assembled outside their stadium to see a cheque for £176,000 presented to Palestinian charities.Celtic fans handed over the donation ahead of their clash against Hearts.Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) joined the director of the Lajee Centre in Glasgow for the handover of the cheque, which will be split equally between both charities.Celtic fans raised the cash in an attempt to match a Uefa fine for displaying Palestine flags at Celtic Park before the Champions League qualifier with Israeli team Hapoel Be’er Sheva.Medical Aid Palestine delivers health care to those “worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement”, while the Lajee Centre, is a cultural and sports project for children in Bethlehem.
What does Hollywood’s reverence for child rapist Roman Polanski tell us?Roman PolanskiIt’s 40 years this week since the director and convicted sex offender went on the run. What does his continued success reveal about the film world’s true attitude towards sexual assault?Hadley Freeman @HadleyFreemanTue 30 Jan 2018 06.00 GMT Last modified on Tue 30 Jan 2018 21.01 GMT View more sharing optionsShares9,147Comments221
Forty years ago this week, Roman Polanski went from being one of the most celebrated film-makers in the world to becoming the United States’ most notorious fugitive from justice.On 1 February 1978, after 42 days in jail, Polanski fled the US while awaiting final sentencing, having pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. On these facts, everyone agrees. There are no hazy conspiracy theories – we know exactly what happened because Polanski admitted to it and later wrote about it in astonishing detail in his autobiography, Roman by Polanski, published six years after he left the US and went to France, where he still lives. There are some quibbles about who said what, but the generally agreed facts are as follows: in March 1977 Polanski, who was then 43, took a child, Samantha Gailey (now Geimer), who he knew was 13 years old, to Jack Nicholson’s house to take photos of her for a magazine. There, he gave her champagne and, according to her, quaaludes. He then had sex with her, drove her home and, the next day, was arrested.The facts have never altered. What has changed is how this case is discussed in the public sphere. For a long time, the simple – and somewhat simplistic – divide was that while people in mainland Europe viewed Polanski as a tragic artist undone by US prurience and corruption, Americans saw him, as he put it in his autobiography, as “an evil, profligate dwarf”. But, in truth, for many British and US actors, working with Polanski never lost its cachet, and arguably had even more once he became excluded from the US mainstream. Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Winslet and many more have appeared in Polanski movies in the decades since his conviction, and questions about why they were working with a convicted child rapist were seen as tacky, proof of a rigid mind more focused on gossip than art. When Winslet was asked last September whether she had any qualms about working with Woody Allen, another director accused (but, unlike Polanski, never arrested and never charged) of a sex crime against a minor, she replied: “Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth.” Polanski directs Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly in the 2011 film Carnage . Photograph: Alamy Stock PhotoWhen the Harvey Weinstein story broke last October, the reaction among the movie industry was wide-eyed shock that someone so many of them knew and worked with could be a rapist. “I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape,” said Meryl Streep. And yet only a decade and a half earlier, Streep had stood and applauded when Polanski won best director at the 2003 Oscars, not so much tacitly approving rape as explicitly celebrating a convicted child rapist. If only anyone had known about Weinstein they would never – never! – have worked with him, movie insiders say. And yet, for the past 40 years, many of them have been falling over themselves to work with a self-confessed child rapist, even defending him by pointing to his artistic credentials. Debra Winger described Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland in 2009 as a “philistine collusion”. Reactions to Weinstein come soundtracked with the distinct sound of bandwagon-jumping; thanks to the #MeToo campaign, the public mood is firmly on the side of listening to victims, and Hollywood has keenly followed suit. On Sunday night, at the London Critics Circle awards, only months after defending Polanski and Allen, Winslet spoke tearfully about “bitter regrets I have at poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not. Sexual abuse is a crime, it lies with all of us to listen to the smallest of voices.” Yes, if only there had been some way Winslet could have known about these decades-old cases before signing on to work with two directors accused of sex crimes! This kind of hypocrisy about Polanski makes you wonder how serious the industry really is about dealing with this problem, as it claims to be.By the beginning of this century, while the general American public remained firmly set against Polanski, the mood in Hollywood was openly in his favour. There was that applause from Hollywood luminaries when he won the 2003 Oscar (Polanski, of course, did not attend the ceremony, as he was still officially on the lam). In 2008, film-maker Marina Zenovich caught the mood and pushed it further with her documentary, the queasily titled Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which argued that Polanski was the victim of gross judicial misconduct during his case. (In one of those ironies we can only appreciate in retrospect, this documentary, which presents an energetic case for the defence of a sex offender, was produced by the Weinstein Company.)
Zenovich’s movie focuses on how Polanski had the misfortune to come up in front of Judge Lawrence Rittenband, who was obsessed with self-publicity and determined to make an example of Polanski. Rittenband was thought to be considering sentencing him to 50 years in prison, which was when Polanski fled. Much emphasis is made in the movie about how Polanski’s celebrity hurt him during the trial, which is true. But Zenovich does not mention how it also helped him. Polanski was originally indicted on six counts of criminal behaviour, to which he pleaded not guilty. But Gailey became so frightened by the attention the case attracted, because of Polanski’s fame, she tried to withdraw from it entirely. As a result, her attorney arranged the plea bargain, in which five of the charges were dropped and Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape, which was the least serious charge against him.
Like all arguments in Polanski’s defence, the documentary stresses the previous tragedies in his life: his mother, four months’ pregnant, was killed in the Holocaust; his wife, eight months’ pregnant, was brutally murdered by the Manson family. But one can have enormous sympathy for those losses, and also feel that offering up dead women as mitigating factors for raping a girl doesn’t really wash.
I wrote about the documentary for this paper when it came out, as it struck me as astonishingly exculpatory. After all, no matter how badly the legal system failed Polanski, this didn’t cancel out the fact that he raped a child. But I was, it turned out, grossly out of step with the times. Readers, acquaintances and even friends couldn’t tell me enough how wrong I’d got it. By now, celebrities were falling over themselves to defend Polanski. He hadn’t committed “rape-rape,” Whoopi Goldberg said on TV. “Very clearly, and he’s proven this, Roman Polanski is not a predator,” Johnny Depp said, apparently unaware of the child-rape issue. When Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in 2009, where he was jailed for two months and then put under house arrest (the house, in this case, being a chalet in the Alps), Debra Winger claimed “the whole art world suffers”. A petition demanding his release was signed by more than 100 actors and film-makers, including Emma Thompson (who later asked to have her name removed), Yasmina Reza and Tilda Swinton. Harvey Weinstein wrote an open letter in his support, in which he claimed: “Whatever you think of his so-called crime, Polanski has served his time.” Supporting Polanski became like owning a Prius: something any fashionable, well-heeled liberal should do.
In recent months, Polanski’s supporters in Britain and the US, who were once so vocal in his defence, have been notable by their silence. So I decided to ask them how they felt about Polanski now. I start by emailing Zenovich to ask if she feels attitudes towards Polanski have changed since she made her movie and its follow-up, Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, about the Zurich arrest. But she is too busy preparing for Sundance to engage. I then contact 25 actors who have worked with Polanski since his arrest, including Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, Kim Cattrall, Pierce Brosnan and Jodie Foster. Some don’t reply at all, despite repeated approaches. A few will only talk off the record. The rest say they are too busy. Adrien Brody, who won an Oscar for The Pianist, was “unable to participate due to schedule”. Kingsley, who has worked with Polanski multiple times, would “need to pass”.
I then contact the film-makers who signed the 2009 petition demanding Polanski’s release, including David Lynch, Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese. Again, some ignore me, a couple will talk off the record, some are too busy to talk at all. Alexander Payne is currently “focused on his new baby”. Tilda Swinton “would like to graciously pass on being interviewed”. Only one person who signed the petition agrees to speak on the record: the actor Asia Argento, who has since accused Weinstein of abusing her.
I ask why she signed the petition in the first place. “I was asked by friends from the Cannes film festival to sign it. I foolishly went along. That’s no excuse, and it’s a decision I regretted almost immediately and have regretted ever since,” she says. “The more I’ve learned about the original case and subsequent events, the more horrified I have become.”
Since Argento went public with her allegations against Weinstein in October, a lot has been written about how the film industry will no longer cover up abuse. But I ask her how it feels to see Polanski, a convicted sex offender, still held up as a celebrated director, and what it says about the industry’s true feelings about women and girls. “It speaks terribly of the industry,” she replies. “It’s shocking that people like Polanski are still revered, celebrated by actors and fellow film-makers and cinematheques around the world who continue to not only promote their work, but also to work with them. I hope the tide is finally turning.”
While researching this article I had a couple of off-the-record discussions with actors and film-makers about their true feelings about Polanski. One admitted they regretted their previous support, given the new allegations, but couldn’t bring themselves to say so publicly. But mainly I heard people insist their friend is not a rapist. They trotted out the familiar defences: the Holocaust and Sharon Tate, of course. “It was a long time ago” was another one, as was: “He’s served his time.” (Legal experts say if he were tried for that crime today he would likely get three years in jail.) Two said to me that it was a “special situation” because “the girl had been up for it” (this was a common theory at the time. The probation report described Gailey as “physically mature” and “willing”). “Samantha has said that the trauma she has experienced in the past few decades has had a greater impact on her than the original crime,” one said to me, which is doubtless true. But Gailey wouldn’t have had to endure any attention if Polanski hadn’t raped her.
It’s remarkable how much energy Polanski’s supporters have expended defending him, given that the director himself has always been extremely clear about why he did what he did: he is sexually attracted to ‘young girls’, and he has never seen this as a problem. After all, when he was told he was being arrested for rape he was genuinely shocked: “I was incredulous; I couldn’t equate what had happened the day before with rape in any form,” he writes in his autobiography.
The year after he fled the US he gave an interview to Martin Amis, in which he declared: “Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls – everyone wants to fuck young girls!” (Amis, clearly shocked, wrote: “Even Humbert Humbert realised that young girls don’t really know whether they are willing or not. The active paedophile is stealing childhoods. Polanski, you sense, has never even tried to understand this.”) After Tate was murdered in 1969, when Polanski was 36, he spent time in Gstaad, where he slept with schoolgirls aged 16 to 19, who were, he writes, “more beautiful, in a natural, coltish way, than they ever would be again”. In 1976, he met Nastassja Kinski and, according to his autobiography, slept with her. When he then learned she was only 15, he continued to sleep with her for several months, he wrote. In 1986, he met the woman who would be his next wife, the actress Emanuelle Seigner. He was 51. She was 18.
Polanski’s autobiography was written seven years after his arrest, and his account of the crime does not smack of a man overly burdened with feelings of guilt. He describes grooming Gailey on the drive to the photoshoot: “I asked when she’d first started having sex,” he writes, as if that’s a normal thing for a 43-year-old man to ask a 13-year-old girl. At Jack Nicholson’s house, she tells him she’s thirsty, so he gives her alcohol. “We weren’t saying much now,” Polanski writes. “But I could sense a certain erotic tension between us.”
Gailey sensed something different. According to her grand jury testimony, she repeatedly asked him to take her home and she was “afraid of him”. When he started kissing her she told him: “No – keep away.” When he performed oral sex on her she was “ready to cry” and asked him to stop.
Polanski recounts what he describes as “making love” so sexily you can practically hear his heavy breathing. “There was no doubt about her experience and lack of inhibition. She spread herself and I entered her. She was not unresponsive,” he writes.
This is how Gailey recalled the crime: “He placed his penis in my vagina. I was mostly just on and off saying: ‘No, stop.’ But I wasn’t fighting really because there was no one else there and I had no place to go. He didn’t answer me when I said no … Then he lifted up my legs farther and he went in through my anus.”
Afterwards, in Polanski’s car, Gailey cried. But he doesn’t mention that in his book. Instead, he describes trying to arrange a date with her.
Polanski will turn 85 this year, and he has lived almost half his life under the shadow of what Weinstein described as “his so-called crime”. Polanski’s own attitude has remained bullish; in October last year he gave an interview in which he focused his ire on the judges who let him down. “I know what I am, what I have and haven’t done, how things really were and are,” he writes at the end of his autobiography. Thanks to the candour of Polanski, the rest of us have always known, too – including everyone in the film industry who has worked with him since.
• This article was amended on 30 January 2018. An earlier version said that three more allegations emerged against Polanski last year. In fact the number was four.
Brits wanting to live in Spain could have until Dec 2020, pre-BrexitThis would be mean a nineteen-month extension from the current March 2019 deadline after the EU said a little more time will help ease Britain’s exit from the bloc. By Jed Neill – PUBLISHED – 30 Jan, 2018 @ 14:33 LAST UPDATED: 30 Jan, 2018 @ 14:33 0SHARE
BRITS hoping to seek out the good life and head to Spain could have until December 2020 to make a move before new post-Brexit rules come into force. This would be mean a nineteen-month extension from the current March 2019 deadline after the EU said a little more time will help ease Britain’s exit from the bloc.In a statement, the EU said: “According to the EU position, during the transition period the whole of the EU acquis (accumulated legislation) will continue to apply to the UK as if it were a member state.“All existing EU regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures will also apply, including the competence of the European Court of Justice. ”The new deadline is yet to be agreed by the British government so planning a move should be done sooner rather than later.
HAVE YOUR CAKE: Ryanair allows ensaimadas on flights for freeThe traditional Mallorcan pastry can be brought onto a Ryanair planeBy Gillian Keller – PUBLISHED – 30 Jan, 2018 @ 10:15 LAST UPDATED: 30 Jan, 2018 @ 10:15 0SHARE
IT is one of the most common sights while boarding planes at Palma airport.Even Ryanair knows the importance of EnsaimadasNow airline Ryanair has agreed to allow passengers to take a box of ‘ensaimada’ tart on top of their normal hand luggage when flying from Mallorca.This comes despite the airline recently tightening its cabin bag rules, only allowing one small bag, unless passengers have paid for priority boarding.The centuries-old local delicacy made from pastry and powdered sugar is deemed one of the very few European exceptions.The price of checking in a suitcase has dropped from €35 to €25 with the weight allowance going up from 15 to 20kgs.The changes have led to Spain’s air traffic users body ASETRA to ask passengers to boycott Ryanair, which is says is ‘looting’ customers with a new stealth fee.It claims they are not legal and are unfair with the airline dominating many local routes.
REVEALED: The provinces in Spain with the most car collisions – and Malaga is one of themBy Laurence Dollimore (News Editor) – PUBLISHED – 29 Jan, 2018 @ 15:52 LAST UPDATED: 29 Jan, 2018 @ 15:52 0SHARE THE areas in Spain which had the most traffic incidents last year have been revealed.
There were 1.91 million minor traffic accidents in the country last year, an annual increase of 3.14% and the highest amount since 2010, according to TIREA.Malaga province had the fifth highest number of minor accidents – meaning there were no serious injuries – just after Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla respectively.The Andalucia province had a total of 82,062 accidents, 5.38% more than in 2016.Mondays and Fridays saw the most collisions, with an average of 270 on Mondays and 265 on Fridays.Sundays had the least amount of collisions with an average of 122. The regions where collisions increased the most last year were the Balearic Islands (5.62%), Ceuta (5.45%), the Community of Madrid (4.77%) and the Valencian Community (4.71%).The number of accidents only fell in Melilla (-5.87%) and in three of the 17 autonomous communities.They were Galicia (-0.86%), Extremadura (-0.29%) and Castilla y León (-0.16%).The most populated autonomous communities naturally had the highest number of accidents in absolute terms.In Andalucia there were 370,423 crashes in 2017; in Catalunya 292,214; and in the Community of Madrid, 269,517.The picture changes if the number of accidents per 100,000 inhabitants is analyzed.Through this prism, the places where it is most difficult to drive are the Balearic Islands (5,461 collisions), Cantabria (5,019), Melilla (4,959) and the Canary Islands (4,515).The places where the accident rate in relation to the size of its population is lowest are, meanwhile, Aragón (3.177), Ceuta (3.269), País Vasco (3.450) and Castilla-La Mancha (3.515).The most problematic moment of the year was June, when there were 176,619 crashes without injuries.Each month there were 159,224 minor traffic accidents in Spain. This figure exceeds the historical average available for the last two decades.Specifically, between 1999 and 2017, the average stands at 157,039 crashes without injuries per month.
Second Trump-Russia dossier being assessed by FBI Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins,The Guardian•January 30, 2018Exclusive: memo written by former journalist Cody Shearer independently sets out some of the allegations made by ex-spy Christopher SteeleTrump and his supporters have been seeking to cast doubt on the credibility of Mueller’s investigation. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty ImagesMore
The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads.One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier, which has been derided by Trump’s supporters, may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.The revelation comes at a moment when Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers have been seeking to cast doubt on the credibility of the Mueller inquiry and the motivation of the FBI in examining Russian collusion, including unproven allegations that investigators had a bias in favour of Hillary Clinton when the investigation was initially launched before November.Republicans on the House intelligence committee voted on Monday night to release a highly contentious memo, commissioned by the Republican chairman of the committee, Devin Nunes. The memo reportedly claims the FBI had an anti-Trump bias when it sought a warrant from the US foreign intelligence surveillance court to collect intelligence on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign. The Fisa court is a secret court that examines law enforcement requests to surveil Americans suspected of acting as foreign agents.The Republican memo reportedly alleges that the FBI relied on the Steele dossier, which was partly paid for using Democratic funds, in seeking the Carter Page warrant, according to the New York Times.Democrats have said that the Republican allegations are misleading and based on selective use of classified materials. Justice department officials have said the release of the document, because of the classified elements, would be “extraordinarily reckless”.Trump now has five days to decide whether the Nunes document should become public.The Shearer memo was provided to the FBI in October 2016.It was handed to them by Steele – who had been given it by an American contact – after the FBI requested the former MI6 agent provide any documents or evidence that could be useful in its investigation, according to multiple sources.The Guardian was told Steele warned the FBI he could not vouch for the veracity of the Shearer memo, but that he was providing a copy because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.Robert Mueller, the former FBI director leading the investigation. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/ReutersMoreAmong other things, both documents allege Donald Trump was compromised during a 2013 trip to Moscow that involved lewd acts in a five-star hotel.The Shearer memo cites an unnamed source within Russia’s FSB, the state security service. The Guardian cannot verify any of the claims.Shearer is a controversial figure in Washington. Conservative outlets have accused him of being part of a “hatchet man” and member of a “secret spy ring” and within Clinton’s orbit. There is no evidence that the Clinton campaign was aware of the Shearer memo.But other people who know Shearer say he is not just a Democratic party hack and there is no evidence that his memo was ever sought by Clinton campaign officials.Sources say that while he lacks the precision and polish of a seasoned former spy like Steele, Shearer has also been described as having a large network of sources around the world and the independent financial means to pursue leads.The White House has vigorously denied allegations that the US president was ever compromised and has rejected claims that campaign officials ever conspired with the Kremlin before the 2016 election.Steele’s dossier, his motives for writing it and his decision to share it remain controversial among Republicans.He says he approached the FBI about concerns he had about links between Russia and the Trump campaign after he was commissioned to investigate the matter by a private investigative firm called Fusion GPS on behalf of the firm’s clients.Glenn Simp
WHAT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IS THE BLITHERING IDIOTS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TRUMP .THE FACTUAL EVIDENCE CONTINUES TO PILE UP IT CAN ONLY BE THAT THEY ARE OF A SIMILAR ILK TO TRUMP .wE NEED SAVING FROM THESE EVIL PEOPLE .