Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

Icetruck

Icetruck

World

Amtrak Washington train crash: Deaths as carriages fall on US motorway

p05rgl5k

Amtrak Washington train crash: Deaths as carriages fall on US motorway

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPassenger describes the train crash: 'We could feel cars crumpling'

A US passenger train on its inaugural run in Washington state has derailed, with carriages crashing on to the motorway below at the height of the morning rush hour.

Police say there were "multiple" fatalities on board the train, which hit vehicles on the I-5 highway below.

Images from the scene show that all the carriages of the high-speed train appear to have left the track.

It was Amtrak's first passenger service to run on a new, shorter route.

Train 501 had left Seattle, heading south for Portland, at 06:00 local time (14:00 GMT). The derailment happened on a section of track, south of Tacoma, previously only used for freight trains.

Follow latest updates here

Reports suggest 77 people have been taken to hospital.

Authorities quoted by Associated Press spoke of at least six people killed, although the number was expected to rise.

Several cars on the highway were struck by the derailed carriages. Aerial images show the train's carriages littered across the ground, on both sides of the bridge carrying the railway over the motorway.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Aerial images show the carriages on both sides of the track

Pierce County Sheriff's department spokesman Ed Troyer said there were "multiple" fatalities on the train but no motorists had been killed.

The fire department had taken many people out of the train and they had been transported to hospitals, he added.

President Donald Trump's first reaction to the derailment was to tweet that it showed the need for his forthcoming infrastructure plan.

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

He later added that his thoughts and prayers were with those involved.

Washington's governor has declared a state of emergency in two counties.

Image copyright Washington State Patrol
Image caption One carriage was hanging from the tracks, while another was upside down

Passenger Chris Karnes, on board the train, said his carriage had careened down an embankment then come to a stop: "We could hear and feel the cars crumpling and breaking apart, and water came out from the ceiling."

"In order to get out… we had to kick out the emergency window," he added.

Amtrak said approximately 78 passengers and five crew members had been on board the train.

Governor Jay Inslee said he was praying for the many injured.

Skip Twitter post by @GovInslee

Today’s tragic incident in Pierce County is a serious and ongoing emergency. Trudi and I are holding in our hearts everyone on board, and are praying for the many injured.

— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @GovInslee

Officials have set up a family reunification centre at DuPont city hall, and asked people not to come to the scene of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Skip Twitter post by @PierceSheriff

Photos from scene of amtrak passenger train derailment pic.twitter.com/gd09MzLCC6

— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @PierceSheriff

Are you in Washington? Did you witness the train crash? If it's safe to share your experiences then please email [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285
  • Send pictures/video to [email protected]
  • Upload your pictures / video here
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

Or use the form below


Source – bbc.com

World

Trump: Russia and China ‘rival powers’ in new security plan

_99261225_gettyimages-894913976-1

Trump: Russia and China ‘rival powers’ in new security plan

Image copyright Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has outlined his new national security strategy, labelling China and Russia the primary threats to US economic dominance.

His speech – which was based on his platform of "America First" – attacked the "failures" of past foreign policy.

He criticised Pakistan and North Korea, and how previous administrations approached other world powers.

The US faces a new era of competition, the US president said at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington.

Russia and China are "rival powers", he said, but the US must attempt to build a "great partnership with them".

The document itself, published before the speech, used harsher language to criticise China and Russia, calling them "revisionist powers".

Mr Trump described "four pillars" to his new National Security Strategy, but made no mention of human rights or climate change, his critics noted.

The four themes are protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, demonstrating peace through strength and advancing American influence.

The 68-page document, which White House officials began work on 11 months ago, suggests a return to Mr Trump's campaign promises.

It explicitly states that "the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump will renew his call for a wall on the southern border

Referring to his election victory during the speech, he said that in 2016 voters chose to "Make America Great Again".

Previous American leaders had "drifted" and "lost sight of America's destiny" he said standing before a backdrop of American flags.

"Now less than one year later I am proud to report that the entire world has heard the news and has seen the signs," he said.

"America is coming back and America is coming back strong."

He named the US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal among his successes in office.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDonald Trump: 'America first, America first'

Mr Trump also pointed to cyber-hacking as an emerging threat and criticised North Korea, Pakistan, and the Iran nuclear deal.

The new policy stresses economic security but does not recognise climate change as a national security threat.

His predecessor Barack Obama in 2015 declared climate change an "urgent and growing threat to our national security".


Source – bbc.com

Business

Bosses urge PM for clarity on Brexit terms

2ac6c391fe1192d62c02ea060d94dbe9d96090c9f31b6fe6df3a44a37531dbf1_4082430
Bosses want answers from Theresa May on immigration rules after Brexit

Company bosses are urging Theresa May to provide more clarity on a possible new customs union and future immigration rules, as her Cabinet prepares to hold talks about the UK's post-Brexit economy.

In a letter to the Prime Minister seen by Sky News, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said it was seeking answers to 12 questions relating to the UK's future trading relationship with the European Union.‎

Stephen Martin, the IoD director-general, told Mrs May that more clarity "would be immensely helpful… for example, knowing whether the Government plans to negotiate any new customs union with the EU is important for many firms who have little to no knowledge of dealing with rules of origin".

He added that while IoD members were "relieved to see that pragmatism has come out on top" in securing an agreement to move negotiations forward with the EU, there remained enormous uncertainty about future arrangements.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 29: Two men dressed as customs officers take part in a protest outside Stormont against Brexit and it's possible effect on the north and south Irish border on March 29, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. British Prime Minister Theresa May will address the Houses of Parliament later today as Article 50 is triggered and the process that will take Britain out of the European Union will begin. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Protests in Northern Ireland about the possible effect of Brexit on the north-south border

"IoD members will be particularly heartened to hear the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU assert that the chances of a 'no-deal' Brexit have fallen dramatically," Mr Martin wrote in the letter, which was copied to the Chancellor, as well as the Brexit and Business Secretaries.

"As Cabinet meets tomorrow, the business community now needs to see the government engaging collectively with the substance of our future trading relationship."

EU27 leaders applauded the Prime Minister at the dinner in Brussels
The Prime Minister will meet her Cabinet on Tuesday to discuss post-Brexit trade deals.

The list of questions outlined by the IoD underlines the extent of ongoing business anxiety‎ about the terms of Brexit.

They spanned subjects ranging from a new customs union, whether ministers will pursue continued membership of the EU's VAT area, and the policing of future immigration.

Mr Martin also asked "what preparation is being put in place to build the infrastructure needed to manage immigration and customs at our ports and borders, as well as improve the Government's migration monitoring data after we leave".

More from Business

  • Fears for Toys R Us future grow as PPF balks at rescue plan

  • Ikea facing state aid probe after tax rulings

  • PM outlines wish to sign trade deals during Brexit transition

  • Ryanair pilots suspend pre-Christmas strike after O'Leary union offer

  • China tells web giants they must accept limits to access

  • Why investors have turned against spread-betting shares

The IoD's letter‎ addresses many of the technical questions being raised by private sector executives as they try to plan for the period after transitional arrangements come to an end.

Mrs May said on Monday that while the UK would not be a member of the EU single market or customs union after it leaves in 2019, she would attempt to strike new trade deals before a transition period was over.

More stories

  • Next article Fears grow for Toys R Us future over PPF demands


Source – News.sky.com

World

Jerusalem: US vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump’s declaration

_99263243_mediaitem99260897

Jerusalem: US vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump's declaration

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nikki Haley said the US had been "forced to defend its sovereignty"

The US has vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution rejecting President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The text put forward by Egypt affirmed that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem had "no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded ".

The 14 other members of the council voted in favour of the motion.

The US permanent representative, Nikki Haley, described it as an "insult" and warned that it would not be forgotten.

"It's one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli Palestinian conflict," she added.

"Today, for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did so proudly."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWhy the city of Jerusalem matters

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Israel occupied the east of the city, previously occupied by Jordan, in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state and its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries currently maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. However, President Trump has told the US state department to start work on moving the US embassy.

  • Trump Jerusalem shift puts counter-terror efforts at risk
  • Anger in Ramallah and delight in West Jerusalem
  • The view from one street

The draft resolution avoided any specific mention of the US or Mr Trump in order to gain maximum support, says the BBC's Nada Tawfik in New York.

It instead urged "all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the holy city of Jerusalem".

It also demanded that "all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognise any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions."

A veto by Washington was inevitable, our correspondent adds, But the four other permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia and the UK – and 10 non-permanent members voted in favour.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Ms Haley on Twitter for using the veto.

Skip Twitter post by @netanyahu

Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley. pic.twitter.com/zFIiStoait

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @netanyahu

But a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the move "unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it".

"The international community must work now to protect the Palestinian people," Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP news agency.

The Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, said he would call an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Before the vote, the UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, warned that the security situation had become more tense in the wake of President Trump's decision.

There had been an increase in incidents, he said, with rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces.


Source – bbc.com

World

South Africa’s ANC picks Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

p05rgj6h

South Africa's ANC picks Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWho is Cyril Ramaphosa?

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has selected Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the party's leader.

The country's deputy president defeated former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Zuma's ex-wife, after a marathon voting process.

Mr Ramaphosa is in a strong position to become president in 2019 polls.

The leadership battle caused fierce political infighting, raising fears the party might split before the election.

Mr Ramaphosa defeated Ms Dlamini-Zuma by 2,440 votes to 2,261, an ANC spokesperson announced.

The result triggered celebrations among party delegates in Johannesburg and also on the streets of the city.

  • How the vote happened

Media reports said earlier that the announcement had been delayed, with Ms Dlamini-Zuma's camp demanding a recount.

The voting process started on Sunday.

Cyril Ramaphosa at a glance:

Image copyright AFP
  • Born in Soweto, Johannesburg, in 1952
  • Detained in 1974 and 1976 for anti-apartheid activities
  • Launched the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982
  • Chairman of the National Reception Committee which prepared for Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990
  • Became an MP and chairman of constitutional assembly in 1994
  • Moved full-time into business in 1997, becoming one of South Africa's richest businessmen
  • On Lonmin board during 2012 Marikana massacre
  • Became South Africa's deputy president in 2014
  • Elected ANC leader in 2017

Cyril Ramaphosa: Unionist to boss

What were the differences between the two candidates?

Mr Ramaphosa, 65, has spoken out strongly against state corruption and has the backing of the business community.

He campaigned as the anti-Zuma candidate, promising to target corruption, and his victory could mean that the ANC decides to recall Mr Zuma as national president in the next few weeks.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Jacob Zuma (l) may not really welcome the victory of Cyril Ramaphosa (r)

The ANC recalled Mr Zuma's predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, in 2008 after Mr Zuma replaced him as ANC leader the previous year.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma, 68, had been critical of the enduring power of white-owned businesses and had pledged to tackle what she said was continued racial inequality.

Analysts said that Mr Zuma had backed his former wife.

Electric atmosphere

Lebo Diseko, BBC News, Johannesburg

To say the atmosphere inside the plenary was electric would be quite the understatement – the singing inside the hall reached crescendo point as it was announced that Cyril Ramaphosa is the new president of the ANC.

There was a touching moment when Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma came on stage and hugged the man who beat her – by less than 200 votes – to the top job in the party, and put a halt to her ambition to be South Africa's first female president.

Image copyright EPA

The ANC has been torn apart by infighting of late, and the leadership battle was particularly bitter.

There is much work ahead for the new leader of the liberation movement.

Not only does Mr Ramaphosa need to unite his party, he also needs to convince the electorate that the ANC still represents the issues of the people it fought to hard to bring freedom to.

What next for Zuma?

Andrew Harding, BBC News, Johannesburg

Mr Zuma's future looks uncertain.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There were huge celebrations after the result was announced

In theory he could remain South African president until national elections in 2019, restricting Mr Ramaphosa's room for manoeuvre.

But it's extremely likely that a victorious Mr Ramaphosa will seek the "recall" of President Zuma by the ANC.

If that happens, then things could move very quickly, and a President Ramaphosa would probably move fast to remove Mr Zuma's allies from key positions.

The heads of the National Prosecuting Authority and the state power utility have, for instance, faced particular criticism.

Opinion polls suggest that the ANC stands a better chance of shoring up its waning popular support and winning the 2019 elections under Mr Ramaphosa's leadership.

Read more from Andrew:

What Ramaphosa victory means for South Africa

The trials of Jacob Zuma


Source – bbc.com

World

Washington train crash: Deaths as rail carriages fall on US motorway

p05rgl5k

Washington train crash: Deaths as rail carriages fall on US motorway

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPassenger describes the train crash: 'We could feel cars crumpling'

Train carriages have plummeted on to a motorway in Washington state, causing "multiple" fatalities, police say.

The train derailed and the carriages fell on to the I-5 highway below.

Images from the scene show emergency services treating people on the ground. It appears that at least four carriages have left the track; one of them is upside down on the highway.

Several cars on the highway were struck by the derailed carriages, the Pierce County Sheriff's department says.

Latest updates

Sheriff department spokesman Ed Troyer said that there were "multiple" fatalities on the train, but no motorists had been killed.

The fire department had taken many people out of the train and they had been taken to hospitals, he added.

Image copyright Washington State Patrol
Image caption One carriage was hanging from the tracks, while another was upside down

Passenger Chris Karnes, on board the train, said the carriage he was on careened down an embankment then came to a stop: "We could hear and feel the cars crumpling and breaking apart, and water came out from the ceiling."

"In order to get out… we had to kick out the emergency window," he said.

Amtrak said that there were approximately 78 passengers and five crew members on board the train.

The incident happened near DuPont, which is southwest of Tacoma.

Officials have set up a family reunification centre at DuPont city hall, and asked people not to come to the scene of the crash.

The was the first time an Amtrak train carrying passengers southbound had run on a new section of track running parallel to I-5, called the Point Defiance Bypass.

The crash occurred around 07:30 (15:30 GMT), about 45 minutes into train 501's journey between Portland and Seattle.

Image copyright Washington Transporation Board
Image caption All traffic on I-5 has been stopped

Before the crash, it was travelling at more than 80mph (130km/h).

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Skip Twitter post by @PierceSheriff

Photos from scene of amtrak passenger train derailment pic.twitter.com/gd09MzLCC6

— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @PierceSheriff

Skip Twitter post by @wsdot_tacoma

All SB lanes of I-5 blocked near Mounts Road in Pierce County due to derailed train car. Avoid area! pic.twitter.com/SBH7dCc6yg

— WSDOT Tacoma Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @wsdot_tacoma

Are you in Washington? Did you witness the train crash? If it's safe to share your experiences then please email [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
  • Send pictures/video to [email protected]
  • Upload your pictures / video here
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

Or use the form below


Source – bbc.com

World

ESPN president John Skipper resigns citing substance addiction

_99260972_mediaitem99260971

ESPN president John Skipper resigns citing substance addiction

Image copyright AFP

ESPN president John Skipper has announced his resignation, citing a problem with substance addiction.

Former ESPN president George Bodenheimer, who worked for the sports media company for more than 30 years, will step in as interim president.

The changes are effective immediately.

Mr Skipper said in a statement: "I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down."

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

Mr Skipper had led ESPN since 2012 and recently signed an extension to his contract to the end of 2021. He had worked at ESPN since 1997.

The company, owned by Disney, has been facing challenges as the number of people in the US with pay-TV subscriptions has fallen. It has undergone several rounds of layoffs in recent years.

Mr Skipper's departure comes a few says after Disney struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox for $52.4bn.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who has extended his stay at the company until the end of 2021 to oversee integration of Fox's businesses, offered Mr Skipper well wishes.

"I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family," he said in a statement.

Staff support

ESPN is key to Disney's plan to offer its own online streaming services, in an effort to fend off competitors such as Netflix. A new ESPN Plus streaming service is set to launch in 2018.

Mr Iger and Mr Bodenheimer said they will work to ensure a smooth transition.

"I've stayed in close contact with John, and I believe in the direction he's taking ESPN," Mr Bodenheimer said in a statement.

Mr Skipper started at ESPN as general manager of its magazine.

He has led ESPN to a series of long-term, multi-platform agreements with major sports rights holders, including the National Basketball Association and the Major League Baseball.

In Twitter posts, ESPN staff expressed shock at the news.

Skip Twitter post by @jemelehill

John Skipper is one of the finest people I’ve ever worked for. He’s been incredibly supportive throughout my career at ESPN. This isn’t company-speak. I seriously cannot express how much respect I have for him.

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 18, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @jemelehill

Jemele Hill, a co-host of one of ESPN's flagship programmes, called Mr Skipper "one of the finest people I've ever worked for".

"He's been incredibly supportive throughout my career at ESPN. This isn't company-speak. I seriously cannot express how much respect I have for him," wrote Ms Hill.

She was suspended by ESPN earlier this year after a controversy over comments she made about US President Donald Trump, whom she called a "white supremacist".


Source – bbc.com

World

Ukraine crisis: Russian truce monitors to leave

_98892034_ukrarmourafp

Ukraine crisis: Russian truce monitors to leave

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ukraine's government soldiers (pictured) face heavily armed pro-Russian rebels

Russia is to withdraw its military officers from a joint Russia-Ukraine centre monitoring a fragile truce in the conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

Russia's foreign ministry accused Ukraine of preventing the officers from carrying out their duties, saying they would leave on Tuesday.

Kiev said the move was a "provocation", seriously undermining deals to end the conflict with Russian-backed rebels.

It said three Ukrainian soldiers were killed by rebel shelling on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the separatists accused Ukraine's military of firing hundreds of shells on the rebel-held areas over the past 24 hours. They reported no casualties.

The UN says more than 10,000 people have died in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions since the conflict erupted in April 2014, soon after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

  • Eastern Ukraine conflict: A new, bloody chapter

In a statement (in Russian), the Russian foreign ministry accused the Ukrainian side of the joint centre of "creating a tense moral and psychological" situation for the Russian officers.

It also cited restrictions on visiting the line of division and bans on contacts with the local population.

Ukraine's foreign ministry responded, saying in a statement (in Ukrainian): "We consider this unprecedented step by Russia as a new provocation which considerably undermines the Minsk agreements", referring to the Western-brokered deals to end the conflict.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's military warned that Russia's decision to pull out its officers could further escalate the conflict.

"The enemy may resort to aggressive offensive actions along the entire line of division," it said in a statement (in Ukrainian). citing information from the country's intelligence officers.

The joint Russia-Ukraine centre was set up in September 2014 to monitor compliance with the ceasefire regime.

Ukraine and Western nations accuse Russia of helping the rebels with regular troops and heavy weapons.

The Kremlin denies that, while admitting that Russian "volunteers" are helping the separatists.


Source – bbc.com

World

Saudi Prince bin Salman ‘was mystery buyer’ of $320m house

_99253023_chateaulouisxiv

Saudi Prince bin Salman 'was mystery buyer' of $320m house

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The luxurious mansion was sold in 2015 to a mystery buyer for $300m

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was the mystery buyer of a luxury French house, according to reporting by the New York Times.

The newspaper says a paper trail from a 2015 purchase leads back to him through several shell companies.

The house, near Versailles, has a wine cellar, a cinema and a moat with koi, sturgeon and an underwater chamber.

It cost €275m ($320m, £240m) and Fortune magazine called it the world's most expensive house.

The buyer was unknown at the time.

But the New York Times reports that documents showed the house was owned by an investment company managed by Prince Mohammed's personal foundation.

The Saudi government has declined to comment on the report.

A spokeswoman for the Saudi embassy in Washington accused New York Times journalists of "subjective reporting" and serving a "personal agenda".

Skip Twitter post by @FatimahSBaeshen

In spite of this subjective reporting that self serves their personal agenda, the silver lining here is that there’s even more motivation to continually engage with the Press to share KSA’s amazing transformational story under the guidance of our current leadership. https://t.co/uLuwM4p8tO

— Fatimah S Baeshen (@FatimahSBaeshen) December 16, 2017

Report

End of Twitter post by @FatimahSBaeshen

In recent months, Prince Mohammed has been leading an unprecedented drive against corruption and abuse of power and privilege in Saudi Arabia.

He has had dozens of prominent Saudi figures, including princes, ministers and billionaires, locked up in Riyadh's five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel.

  • Life inside Saudi Arabia's 'five-star prison'

From the exterior, the Chateau Louis XIV appears to be a 17th-Century chateau, constructed in a similar style to the nearby palace at Versailles.

On closer inspection, however, this is not the case: it was built after developer Emad Khashoggi demolished a 19th-Century building that had previously stood on the 57-acre (23-hectare) site and is modern inside. According to reports, its fountains and air conditioning, as well as lights and music, can be controlled by smartphone.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFive things about Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

A local official told the New York Times: "The idea is tacky, and then once you visit it isn't."

In 2015, Prince Mohammed reportedly bought himself a yacht from a Russian businessman for $590m.

The New York Times has also reported that he was the true buyer of the Leonardo da Vinci painting Salvator Mundi, which was sold earlier this year for a record $450m (£341m). It will be displayed at the new Louvre Abu Dhabi and although its buyer was anonymous at first and was then thought to be a different Saudi prince, the paper says it was actually bought by Prince Mohammed.


Source – bbc.com

Entertainment

Matt Damon draws backlash for comments on sexual harassment and assault

damon-abc-ml-171023_12x5_992

Matt Damon draws backlash for comments on sexual harassment and assault

PlayABC News

WATCH Matt Damon on Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment and confidentiality agreements

Matt Damon has drawn heated criticism for his comments on ABC's "Popcorn" in which he said all men accused of sexual harassment and assault shouldn't be lumped together because "there's a spectrum of behavior."

"There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" he told host Peter Travers Thursday while speaking about the national reckoning on sexual misconduct taking place in Hollywood, politics, the media and more. "Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?"

Matt Damon opens up about Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment and confidentiality agreements Alyssa Milano on #MeToo campaign: 'We are going to be vocal until this stops'

Alyssa Milano and Damon's "Good Will Hunting" co-star Minnie Driver strongly disagreed and chastised Damon for categorizing various forms of sexual misconduct.

"I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt," Milano, who helped spark the #MeToo movement, wrote on Twitter Friday. "And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted — even welcomed — misogyny."

PHOTO: Alyssa Milano attends an event on Jan. 8, 2017, in Los Angeles.Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images
Alyssa Milano attends an event on Jan. 8, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Milano addressed Damon in a series of tweets, comparing sexual misconduct to cancer. "There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But it’s still cancer," she wrote.

We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal. We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long.

— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017

Sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence is a systemic disease. The tumor is being cut out right now with no anesthesia. Please send flowers. #MeToo

— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017

PHOTO: Matt Damon responds to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that is rocking Hollywood in an interview with ABC News Michael Strahan. ABC News
Matt Damon responds to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that is rocking Hollywood in an interview with ABC News' Michael Strahan.

Driver also responded on Twitter.

God God, SERIOUSLY? https://t.co/NDZFrLDXil

— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) December 15, 2017

She later elaborated on her reaction in an interview with The Guardian published on Sunday.

I don’t just speak for myself in this article, I speak for too many friends and co-workers as well. – Minnie Driver: men like Matt Damon 'simply cannot understand what abuse is like' https://t.co/Z9M120C6XZ

— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) December 17, 2017

"I felt I desperately needed to say something. I’ve realized that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off in their ability to understand. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level," the British-born actress told the newspaper.

"I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it’s galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not."

In his interview, Damon said Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken, who recently stepped down following sexual harassment allegations, should not be compared to Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of multiple allegations of sexual harassment, assault and even rape. He also commended Louis CK, who was accused by multiple women of masturbating in front of them, for taking "personal responsibility" for his actions.

Franken apologized for his actions and acknowledged some wrongdoing. Weinstein has acknowledged inappropriate behavior, but has denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex or retaliation against women for refusing his advances. Louis CK acknowledged that "these stories are true" and expressed regret for the hurt caused.

"We live in this culture of outrage and injury, and, you know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, 'Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect,'" Damon said.

Milano seized on Damon's comment, defending the rage that women and other victims feel.

We are in a “culture of outrage” because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous. And it is righteous.

— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 16, 2017

Driver said what is needed now is for "good intelligent men to say this is all bad across the board, condemn it all and start again."

Beyond that, she urged them to be quiet and listen.

"Let women do the speaking up right now," she told The Guardian. "The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once."

  • Star


Source – abcnews.go.com