Kate Beckinsale: I avoided Harvey Weinstein come ons when I was 17 by saying I ‘had school in the morning’

This may never end.

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Harvey Weinstein has another Hollywood actress claiming he sexually harassed her. Kate Beckinsale said her career suffered for rejecting Weinstein’s advances when she was still a minor.

The 44-year-old star posted a lengthy note to Instagram detailing a story that she alleges took place when she was 17 years old.

That’s right: 17.

kate

She says she was invited to the Savoy Hotel for a meeting with Weinstein but was told to go to his room upon arrival.

“He opened the door in his bathrobe. I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him,” she wrote. “After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed.”

The star’s account is in line with several others detailed recent exposes from The New York Times and The New Yorker in which several women have come forward with similar stories about the 65-year-old Hollywood mogul.

The plot thickens as she describes an occasion years later in which Weinstein asked her if he had tried anything when they first met.

“I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” she wrote.

Beckinsale says that she rejected him professionally for many years, which often resulted in verbal tirades from Weinstein. She claims he would scream at her, call her a “c–t” and make threats. He allegedly would “laughingly” tell people that she lived to say “no” to him.

“It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things, while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself, undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.”

The actress went on to share a story in which, sparked by her account of Weinstein’s actions, a male friend warned a female actress about meeting with Weinstein. However, the male friend later received a call from Weinstein saying he’d never be in “another Miramax film” after the actress allegedly began sleeping with Weinstein and had told him about the warning.

“Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do,” she concluded.

Courtesy: Fox News

Trump clears way for ObamaCare ‘alternatives’ in new executive order, goes around stalled Congress

President Trump on Thursday took executive action on health care, calling for a plan that could let employers band together and offer coverage across state lines as Congress stalls on efforts to overhaul ObamaCare.

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“So this is promoting health care, choice and competition all across the United States,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for and they’re going to be very happy. This will be great health care.”

The president described the executive order as “the first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief.” He said he isn’t giving up on getting lawmakers to repeal the law.

“We are going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of ObamaCare once and for all,” Trump said.

The executive order aims to offer “alternatives” to ObamaCare plans and increase competition to bring down costs, the White House said.

The president was joined at the signing by several Republican lawmakers, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who called it “the biggest free market reform of health care in a generation.”

“This reform, if it works and goes as planned, will allow millions of people to get insurance across state lines at an inexpensive price,” Paul said.

TRUMP’S HEALTH CARE EXECUTIVE ORDER: WHAT TO KNOW

Trump said he will direct the secretary of labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could allow employers to form groups across state lines offering coverage. The White House says these plans could offer lower rates.

“Insurance companies will be fighting to get every single person signed up,” Trump said. “And you will hopefully be negotiating, negotiating, negotiating. And you’ll get such low prices for such great care. Should have been done a long time ago and it could have been done a long time ago.”

Those “association health plans” could be shielded from some state and federal insurance requirements. But responding to concerns, the White House said participating employers could not exclude any workers from the plan, or charge more to those in poor health.

The order also calls on other federal agencies to consider expanding coverage in low-cost, short-term insurance plans not subject to ObamaCare rules.

It’s unlikely to reverse the trend of insurers exiting state markets. About half of U.S. counties will have only one ObamaCare insurer next year, although it appears that no counties will be left without a carrier as was initially feared.

The move comes after congressional Republicans repeatedly have been unable to pass legislation repealing or reforming the Affordable Care Act, which critics say has led to rising premiums and diminishing coverage options – in some cases forcing consumers to lose their previous plans and doctors. Trump’s executive order could clear the way for cheaper, more bare-bones insurance policies.

Trump’s order is likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups and even insurers — the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. They say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps.

Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow for the American Academy of Actuaries, told Fox News that an issue with AHPs is regulation.

“There’s uncertainty of who is going to have oversight in terms of consumer protection. What redress does a consumer have, appeals processes, those kinds of things,” she said.

White House domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg told reporters during a conference call Thursday that the executive order is necessary because ObamaCare has caused “costs to skyrocket.”

Bremberg acknowledged Trump’s order could affect tens of millions of Americans and said the administration also intends to take “additional actions” on health care in the months to come.

The administration is hopeful these actions could be implemented within six months, a senior administration official said, but it could take longer to finalize.

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and Serafin Gomez and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Courtesy: Fox News

Trump’s health care executive order: What to know

After a summer of failed health care reform bills in Congress, the White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump is taking executive action in an effort to provide more “alternatives” to health insurance.

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Trump is signing an executive order that would help people to purchase insurance across state lines, among other changes. The order is seen by critics as an attempt to undermine ObamaCare, a key component of his predecessor’s legacy. But the White House contends it will help expand access and lower costs.

What does the order do?

The plan requests the secretary of labor to expand access to “association health plans” – plans written by trade associations, small businesses and other groups. It allows consumers to go across state lines to purchase insurance that could be more affordable or tailored to a person’s needs.

“We’re going to have great health care across state lines,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night. “People can buy it. It will cost the government nothing.”

The relaxed restrictions could allow AHPs to form through existing organizations or the creation of new groups, according to the White House. However, it wouldn’t allow these plans to base premiums off of pre-existing conditions.

The order also requests the easing of restrictions on short-term insurance policies – which aren’t subject to ObamaCare regulations.

What do supporters say?

Proponents of these plans, like Trump, argue that it will drive down costs with competition.

Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky, said Wednesday that he supports AHPs. He also teased the upcoming executive order earlier this week in a tweet that called it “a great plan” and “a big deal for millions of Americans.”

He said that he’s worked with Trump for months on the plan.

What’s the impact on ObamaCare?

The plan is likely to be opposed by the same coalition of medical groups and even some insurers that advocated against congressional Republicans’ failed attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Critics have argued that the plan will ultimately raise costs for the sick while the lower-premium coverage provided to healthy people would come with significant gaps.

Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow for the American Academy of Actuaries, told Fox News that an issue with AHPs is regulation.

“There’s uncertainty of who is going to have oversight in terms of consumer protection. What redress does a consumer have, appeals processes, those kinds of things,” she said.

Uccello also said that expanding AHPs and increasing short-term insurance policies could be detrimental to the current insurance market that complies with ObamaCare regulations. Healthy people could leave the market, turning it into a high-risk pool, she said.

“If a goal is to provide protections for people with preexisting conditions, this is a step in the wrong direction,” Uccello said.

In a series of tweets, Larry Levitt, of the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, argued that the executive order could “severely destabilize the individual and small business insurance markets.”

“How far this executive order really goes and how much it’s able to undermine the [Affordable Care Act] depends a lot on details that will be in regulations to come,” Levitt told Fox News. “The intent of the executive order is clearly to deregulate the insurance market, but it’s unclear yet how successful it will be.”

What happens next?

Don’t expect to notice a difference in the insurance market immediately; parts of the plan will have to go through the arduous agency rule-making process, which could take months, according to The Associated Press. And experts have said that the order probably won’t greatly impact premiums for 2018 – which are already expected to rise.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

Courtesy: Fox News

Trump warns post-hurricane Puerto Rico, says FEMA won’t stay ‘forever’

President Trump issued a warning Thursday to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying the U.S. territory’s infrastructure was a mess before the storm and warning that federal officials cannot stay on the island “forever.”

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The president made the comments in a series of early-morning tweets.

 “’Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.’ Says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of accountability say[s] the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes,” Trump said.

“Congress to decide how much to spend…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

The president’s comments come just one week after he visited the U.S. territory that is struggling to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century.

Trump’s trip to Puerto Rico was criticized, for among other things commenting on how the storm’s death toll was far lower than that of a “real catastrophe like Katrina” in 2005.

“Sixteen people versus in the thousands,” Trump said. “You can be very proud of all your people.”

The president has repeatedly called for more help “on a local level” from Puerto Rico and has had an intermittent feud with the San Juan mayor, who also has faced criticism for engaging in political combat when other officials on the island are not.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., shot back Thursday at Trump’s latest tweets.

“Why do you continue to treat Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans when it comes to natural disasters?” Schumer tweeted.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, earlier this month, there were more than 10,000 federal officials on the ground on the island.

On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., plans to lead a small bipartisan group, including the chairman and top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee that signs off on spending legislation, to visit Puerto Rico.

Ryan plans to meet with local officials and emergency personnel.

The House is expected to vote this week on an emergency spending package including billions of dollars more in relief for Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida in the wake of deadly storms Maria, Harvey and Irma this hurricane season.

The president asked Congress this week for a $4.9 billion loan to help Puerto Rico pay its bills from the storm. The island faced more than $70 billion in debt prior to the storm, and declared bankruptcy in May.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Courtesy: Fox News

Mass riot kicks off during pro-unity march through Barcelona (VIDEOS)

Mass riot kicks off during pro-unity march through Barcelona (VIDEOS)
Protesters sent chairs and tables flying in a Barcelona plaza during a pro-unity march through the city center on Spain’s national holiday.

Footage from the chaotic scene showed two groups of demonstrators clash in Plaza de Cataluna on Thursday before local police arrived on the scene to separate the demonstrators.

The Spanish unionists rallied against Catalonian independence as the country celebrates Spain’s National Day.

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The protesters threw chairs back and forth as the sounds of smashed glass and sirens rang out in the background.

A separate protest of around 200 far-right supporters and Spanish nationalist groups went uninterrupted as it ended on Barcelona’s Montjuic hill with speeches and the burning of a “Senyera” – the unofficial flag that has become a symbol for Catalonian separatists.

Courtesy: RT

Yemen war ‘unconstitutional,’ says trio of US lawmakers

Yemen war ‘unconstitutional,’ says trio of US lawmakers
A group of Congressmen from both major parties is hoping to force a vote over Washington’s involvement in Yemen, with a resolution invoking the War Powers Act to force the US to stop aiding the Saudi-led coalition in its bombing campaign.

Three members of the US House of Representatives tried to illustrate the horrors of the Yemen conflict by comparing it to a hypothetical war affecting the US state of Washington ‒ with a population of 7.3 million ‒ “on the brink of starvation, with the port city of Seattle under a naval and aerial blockade, leaving it unable to receive and distribute countless tons of food and aid that is waiting offshore.”

“This nightmare scenario is akin to the obscene reality occurring in the Middle East’s poorest country, Yemen, at the hand of the region’s richest, Saudi Arabia, with unyielding support from the US military that Congress has not authorized and therefore violates the Constitution,” wrote Representatives Ro Khanna (D-California), Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) and Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday.

In March 2015, the Obama administration began aiding the coalition led by Saudi Arabia in its war against the Houthis, a rebel group that took control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa. Since then, Washington has supported the coalition’s military campaign in Yemen, by providing the Saudis with logistical support, intelligence and ammunition used in airstrikes.

This has led to the deaths of over 10,000 civilians and has plunged much of Yemen into a humanitarian crisis.

The three lawmakers teamed up with colleague Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) to introduce House Resolution 81, invoking the War Powers Act to guarantee a full House vote to withdraw US armed forces from the unauthorized war.

“We believe that the American people, if presented with the facts of this conflict, will oppose the use of their tax dollars to bomb and starve civilians,” the three representatives wrote.

Several more lawmakers have expressed support for the proposal as well.

Good morning. Good news on the Yemen debate in Congress. (1/x)

5 more Members of Congress are backing the bill to end US involvement in ‘s  War. ().

Here’s who they are:

Under the 1973 law, any proposed Congressional resolution regarding an unauthorized use of force is considered a priority, meaning that the foreign affairs committee must report on it within fifteen days and a vote must be held within three days thereafter.

“It will sit with the Foreign Affairs Committee for 15 calendar days and will then be discharged for consideration by the full House. At that point, any member of Congress can call the resolution up for a debate and floor vote,” Kate Khizer, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Yemen Peace Project told The Intercept.

Courtesy: DW

Weinstein scandal: What it tells us about celebs, politics & Hollywood

Weinstein scandal: What it tells us about celebs, politics & Hollywood
Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal isn’t only an indictment of his twisted soul, but of America’s as well.

The story of Weinstein, the uber-powerful film producer, co-founder of Miramax Films and major donor to Democratic politicians, who got fired from his job as co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company after the New York Times ran an article exposing his serial sexual harassment of female employees, is such a perfect storm of corruption, depravity and hypocrisy that it exquisitely encapsulates the moral decay of America.

The New York Times piece revealed that Weinstein has settled at least eight different sexual harassment lawsuits over the years. The article was just the tip of a really grotesque iceberg, for in its wake a plethora of other claims has surfaced.

In a New Yorkerarticle, written, ironically enough, by Ronan Farrow, son of alleged pedophile Woody Allen, even more claims emerged of Weinstein’s predatory behavior. One of the many lowlights from that article includes Italian actress/filmmaker Asia Argento and two other women claiming that Weinstein raped them.

The most famous women among the sea of those claiming harassment at the hands of the movie mogul are Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette.

The odiousness of this Weinstein scandal is overwhelming, and nearly every public person is going through the Kabuki theater of denouncing Harvey and his lecherousness, but this strikes me as disingenuous at best. All the movie stars, media members, and politicians strongly reprimanding Weinstein now, displayed nothing but egregious cowardice during Harvey Weinstein’s grotesque reign of wanton terror.

Many Hollywood heavyweights like Meryl StreepGeorge ClooneyBen Affleck and Jennifer Lawrence, are feigning ignorance of Weinstein’s disgusting depravity, but the revelation of Weinstein’s repulsive misdeeds cannot possibly come as a surprise. Harvey, the rotund and repugnant Hollywood kingmaker, is notorious in the film industry for his petulant and imperious approach, which includes physically abusing underlings and being a lascivious beast to women. Tales of Weinstein’s bad behavior are so legion that even a complete nobody like me has heard them ad infinitum.

So how did Harvey get away with being such a gigantic creep for so long? The main reason is that he possessed the rarest talent that all of Hollywood covets, the ability to garner Oscar votes for his films. Weinstein produced films have been nominated for Best Picture 26 times in the last 28 years and have been nominated overall for over 300 Academy Awards. In other words, Harvey could make people rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams, which is why so many in Hollywood checked their humanity and ethics at the door and looked the other way when he was being such a troglodyte. To quote Upton Sinclair, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Blind ambition isn’t the only reason Hollywood looked the other way regarding Weinstein, political expediency played a part as well. Weinstein has been a long time supporter of Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in particular, and has donated a lot of money to their campaigns.

A perfect example of someone making a devil’s bargain with Weinstein for political reasons is Lena Dunham. Dunham, a vociferous and vocal Clinton supporter and devout feminist, admitted she knew of Weinstein’s predatory reputation in regards to women, but still shook his hand and performed at a fundraiser he held for Clinton’s campaign. Dunham said she betrayed her feminist values because “she so desperately wanted to support Clinton.

Hollywood liberals were quick to denounce Evangelical Christians for supporting Trump despite his moral turpitude and misogyny, calling them hypocrites. I agree that Evangelicals are hypocrites for supporting Trump, but so are Hollywood liberals for enabling Weinstein. Both sides need to get off their high horse and read Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Speaking of enabling, the Weinstein scandal brought to my mind a line from a U2 song, “if you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air, you’ll hit someone guilty.” When I throw my rock, it often lands on the media, and so it is with this case.

Ronan Farrow published his Weinstein story in the New Yorker magazine, but only because his employer NBC news refused to go with the story. NBC is in business with Weinstein on various film and television projects, and no doubt did not want to ruffle the feathers of such a powerful and litigious man like Harvey Weinstein, so they passed on it, which means this story says just as much about them as it does about Weinstein.

Even the New York Times, which broke the Weinstein story, came out smelling less like a rose and more like a manure pile after it became known the newspaper spiked a similar story regarding Weinstein in 2004 after being pressured by the producer and his lawyers to do so.

The New York Times dropping the ball on an important story in the early 2000’s should come as no surprise to anyone who followed the lead up to the Iraq War or Bush surveillance, but what was shocking was who helped to scuttle the 2004 Weinstein article. Matt Damon, yes, Matt Damon, Mr. Good Will Hunting, and thought-to-be good guy called the Times reporter to defend and vouch for Weinstein to stop the story. So did everyone’s favorite Gladiator Russell Crowe. I wonder how Damon and Crowe sleep at night knowing they were complicit in thirteen more years of Weinstein’s abusing women?

It is uncomfortable to acknowledge, but another group of people who could have stopped Harvey Weinstein but did not were the more famous of his victims, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. These women did not ask to be placed in this terrible position, but they could have stopped him cold if they came forward years ago. The reason I sight them and not the other victims is because they were uniquely positioned to be able to defend themselves and to take on Harvey Weinstein, where the other victims were not. What I mean by that is that Paltrow, Jolie, Sorvino, and Judd all come from entertainment families that are well-known and liked in the industry. They were not powerless because they have strong allies and deep connections in the business. These women, sans Judd, also won Oscars, giving them, even more, credibility and visibility to make their claims. I do not “blame” these women for being harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, I only wish they overcame their ambition and saved others from that awful fate.

The cavalcade of condemnation for Weinstein will continue unabated for the days and weeks to come, and deservedly so, but to see him only as a target of derision diminishes his impact as a cautionary tale. Weinstein is simply a symptom of the wider disease which I call “reality show America,” which sees human beings as disposable and transactional objects whose value is measured in terms of their usefulness for entertainment or pleasure.

The true power of the Weinstein story is not about his personal failings, but that it is symbolic of the fact that “reality-show America”, which thrives across the political and cultural spectrum, is a collection of self-serving, amoral, hypocrites who are quick to attack the failings of their enemy but slow to embrace self-reflection.

Will the denizens of “reality-show America” in Hollywood, Washington and the news media ask themselves how they have contributed to the culture that bred a man like Harvey Weinstein? I sincerely doubt it since deflection, emotional myopia and historical amnesia are as American as apple pie.

This scandal is an opportunity, not only to see Weinstein for who he really is but also to see America for what we have become…an ethically bankrupt and indecent collection of moral cowards allergic to self-reflection and truth.

This “reality-show America”, currently starring the Trumps and Kardashians (with special guest appearance by the Clintons!) and produced by Harvey Weinstein, reveals that America has devolved to the point of shameless obscenity, and regardless of how self-righteous we as liberals, conservatives, Democrats or Republicans may feel, we no longer possess any moral authority because, just like Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood, Washington and Wall Street, we are incapable of being honest with ourselves.

It is difficult to admit, but if we mustered the courage to see ourselves as we truly are, we would recognize that Harvey Weinstein is America, and America is Harvey Weinstein. Both are bloated, entitled, corrupt, bombastic, blindly ambitious bullies, full of fear and loathing, that use their outsized power to exploit the defenseless to indulge their darker impulses and insatiable desires. The sooner we recognize that, the faster we can try to change it.

Michael McCaffrey, for RT

Michael McCaffrey is a freelance writer, film critic and cultural commentator. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he runs his acting coaching and media consulting business. mpmacting.com/blog/

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Courtesy: RT

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