News Blog




Harvey Weinstein: Matt Damon denies ‘killing’ 2004 story


Harvey Weinstein: Matt Damon denies 'killing' 2004 story

Image copyright REX/Shutterstock
Image caption Damon worked with Weinstein on films including Good Will Hunting

Actor Matt Damon has denied trying to "kill" a story about Harvey Weinstein's behaviour when it was investigated by a reporter 13 years ago.

Sharon Waxman has said she looked into rumours that an employee of Weinstein in Italy was procuring women for him.

She said Damon and Russell Crowe called her to vouch for the employee.

But Damon has said he did not know the detail of the allegations. "I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that," he told Deadline.

"I just wouldn't do that. It's not something I would do, for anybody."

Waxman, who then worked for the New York Times, was ultimately unable to publish any allegations relating to Weinstein's sexual behaviour.

  • Harvey Weinstein: The accusers' stories
  • Bafta suspends disgraced mogul
  • Weinstein's wife leaves him
  • The horror of Weinstein's casting couch
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sharon Waxman accused the New York Times of "gutting" her story

Weinstein had asked Damon and Crowe to call her, she told BBC Newsnight.

"That was Harvey's attempt to beat the story back," she said.

"They were calling me to vouch for this executive. They were calling me to say that they knew the guy, they hung out with him in Italy, and he seemed like a good guy."

Damon said Weinstein told him the New York Times story would be claiming the Italian executive "had no professional experience". He said the producer asked him to "tell her that he was a professional and you had a good experience, and that was it".

He said: "I was never conscripted to do anything. We vouch for each other, all the time."

Damon added: "I'm sure I mentioned to her that I didn't know anything about the rest of her piece, because I didn't."

'We didn't all know'

The accusations that have now come out against Weinstein are "the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night", Damon said, adding that he had never seen inappropriate behaviour during time spent making films with Weinstein.

"I think a lot of actors have come out and said, 'everybody's saying we all knew'. That's not true," Damon said.

"This type of predation happens behind closed doors, and out of public view. If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn't see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it."

Crowe hasn't commented.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor claims groping

Ben Affleck apologises for 'groping' TV host

Waxman claimed the 2004 New York Times story was "gutted" after "intense pressure" from Weinstein. The paper went on to break the story of the latest allegations at the weekend.

The New York Times's executive editor Dean Baquet, who wasn't working for the paper in 2004, said: "It is unimaginable to me that The Times killed a story because of pressure from Harvey Weinstein, who was and is an advertiser."

'Pursuing better path'

Weinstein is currently facing a number of allegations involving sexual harassment and assault.

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heather Graham and Ashley Judd are among those to have accused the film producer of harassment.

Three actresses, including Asia Argento, accused Weinstein of sexual assault in a report by the New Yorker.

In a statement, Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.

"Mr Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path."

It was also announced on Tuesday that Weinstein's wife, Marchesa co-owner Georgina Chapman, is leaving him.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected]

Source –


Catalonia: Spain takes step towards direct rule


Catalonia: Spain takes step towards direct rule

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMr Rajoy accused the Catalan leader of creating confusion

Spain's prime minister has put Catalonia on notice that it could impose direct rule on the region.

Mariano Rajoy said his government had asked the regional government to clarify whether or not it had declared independence.

The move is the first step towards suspending Catalonia's autonomy under the constitution.

Catalan leaders signed a declaration of independence on Tuesday but halted implementation to allow for talks.

Spain has been in turmoil since the separatist government held a disputed referendum in Catalonia on 1 October which was declared invalid by the country's Constitutional Court.

Almost 90% of voters backed independence with a turnout of 43%, Catalan officials say. Anti-independence voters largely boycotted the ballot and there were several reports of irregularities.

National police were involved in violent scenes as they tried to stop the vote taking place.

  • Catalans' verdicts on latest turmoil
  • The view from Barcelona v Madrid
  • What are the options now?

Mr Rajoy accused Catalan President Carles Puigdemont of having created "deliberate confusion" and said he wanted to restore "certainty".

"This call – ahead of any of the measures that the government may adopt under Article 155 of our constitution – seeks to offer citizens the clarity and security that a question of such importance requires," Mr Rajoy said.

"There is an urgent need to put an end to the situation that Catalonia is going through – to return it to safety, tranquillity and calm and to do that as quickly as possible."

Mr Rajoy was speaking after holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the government's next steps.

Speaking later in parliament, Mr Rajoy said Spain was facing the most serious threat to its 40-year-old democracy.

He accused the separatists of hatching an "anti-democratic plan foisting their will on all the people of Catalonia", and said the Spanish government had had no choice but to restore order.

"It falls to the Catalan leader to restore constitutional normality," he told deputies, rejecting any suggestion of outside mediation in the dispute.

He added that he was willing to negotiate on the issue of regional autonomy and changes to the constitution – but this had to be within the framework of the law.

What happens next?

Katya Adler, BBC Europe editor, Madrid

Spain's prime minister tried today to put the ball back in the Catalan court. He's asked the Catalan president to clarify if he is making a declaration of independence or not.

There is no official timeframe for the response, although political sources and Spanish media are now talking about five days (and then there is an argument about whether that includes the weekend and Thursday's national holiday).

In the meantime, sources in the Senate (Spain's upper house of parliament, where Prime Minister Rajoy's Popular Party has a majority) say the request has been made to trigger Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, under which Mr Rajoy would be able to suspend Catalan autonomy – possibly immediately, or bit by bit.

Prime Minister Rajoy has threatened to use Article 155 if Catalan independence is declared but the article has not yet been activated.

Article 155 has never been used before, so we are in a kind of Brexit situation before Article 50 was triggered. The article legally exists but there are disagreements about how far-reaching it is, how it would/should work (and how quickly) in practice.

Reports in Spanish media suggest that if the Spanish prime minister activates Article 155 in the absence of a response from the Catalan president, pro-independence parties in the Catalan parliament will then declare independence.

The leader of the opposition Socialists, Pedro Sanchez, told reporters that his party and the government had agreed to examine the possibility of using constitutional reform to end the crisis.

This would be focused on "how Catalonia remains in Spain, and not how it leaves", he added.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCatalan leader seeks talks to secure independence

Addressing the Catalan parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday evening, Mr Puigdemont said the autonomous region had won the right to be independent as a result of the vote.

He urged the international community to recognise Catalonia as an "independent and sovereign state".

He said the "people's will" was to break away from Madrid but he also said he wanted to "de-escalate" the tension around the issue.

With this in mind he announced that he was "suspending the effects of the declaration of independence" for more talks with the Madrid government, which he said were needed to reach a solution.

He and other Catalan leaders then signed the declaration of independence. It is not clear if the declaration has any legal status.

  • The man who wants to break up Spain
  • Would Catalonia be a viable country?
  • Catalan crisis: Six things you need to know

Crowds of independence supporters in Barcelona cheered Mr Puigdemont's initial remarks but many expressed disappointment as he clarified his stance.

Catalonia is is one of Spain's wealthiest regions but a stream of companies has announced plans to move head offices out of the province in response to the crisis.

The European Union has made clear that should Catalonia split from Spain, the region would cease to be part of the EU.

Are you in Catalonia? What do you think of the latest developments? E-mail us at [email protected]

You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
  • Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international)
  • Please read our terms & conditions

Or use the form below

Source –


Ebay paid UK corporation tax of £1.6m in 2016


Ebay paid UK corporation tax of £1.6m in 2016

Image copyright PA

The UK arm of eBay paid only £1.6m in corporation tax last year, even though its US parent had total revenues from its UK operations of $1.32bn (£1bn).

Ebay's UK accounts record only £200m in revenues, which came entirely from a Swiss parent firm, seemingly for acting as its advertising agency.

The company declined to explain how its UK revenues were not booked though its UK business.

However, an eBay spokesman said its tax affairs were entirely legal.

"In all countries and at all times, eBay is fully compliant with national, EU and international tax rules including those of the OECD, including the remittance of VAT to the appropriate authorities," he said.

The pre-tax profit eBay UK made on its revenues in 2016 was £7.7m, according to the accounts, and it was on this figure that the UK corporation tax was levied.

Ebay is a huge international business that makes money mainly from advertisers and the commission on sales made through its auction site.

The total revenues of $1.32bn that the parent US business generated from the UK included those from subsidiaries such as the Stubhub ticket exchange and Gumtree classifieds site.

Within the group, the UK arm of eBay is wholly owned by eBay International, which is based in Switzerland and is itself owned by eBay in the US.

The firm's UK accounts describe the role of eBay UK as providing "services to eBay International by recommending market penetration and advertising strategies for the UK internal marketplace and related third party advertising sales in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Australia".

The seeming ability of the company to shelter most its UK profits from the UK tax authorities raises again the ability of big international companies to route their revenues to the countries with the most favourable tax regimes.

This has led in the past few years to intense scrutiny of the tax practices of big firms such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Starbucks.

Ebay in the US, whose international revenues hit $9bn last year, acknowledged that its tax affairs were under scrutiny in several countries, which may leave it with more tax to pay.

"The material jurisdictions where we are subject to potential examination by tax authorities for tax years after 2002 include, among others, the US (Federal and California), Germany, Korea, Israel, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada," its US accounts said.

Source –


Asteroid close approach to test warning systems


Asteroid close approach to test warning systems

Image copyright NASA
Image caption Scientists say the asteroid, shown in this illustration, will safely pass by the Earth

An asteroid the size of a house is set to pass close to the Earth on Thursday.

The space rock will hurtle past our planet at a distance of about 42,000km (26,000 miles), bringing it within the Moon's orbit and just above the altitude of communication satellites.

Nasa scientists say there is no risk of an impact, but the flyby does provide them with the opportunity to test their asteroid-warning systems.

A global network of telescopes will be closely monitoring the object.

Paul Chodas, manager of Nasa's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, told BBC News: "We are going to use this asteroid to practise the system that would observe an asteroid, characterise it and compute how close it is going to come, in case some day we have one that is on the way inbound and might hit."

'No threat'

The asteroid, called 2012 TC4, was first spotted five years ago.

It is estimated to be between 15m and 30m (50-100ft) in size, which is relatively small.

However, even space rocks on this scale are dangerous if they strike.

Nasa search programmes are getting better and better at finding asteroidsPaul Chodas, Centre for Near Earth Object Studies

When a 20m-wide asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk in central Russia in 2013, it hit the atmosphere with energy estimated to be equivalent to 500,000 tonnes of TNT, causing a shockwave that damaged buildings and injured more than a thousand people.

Nasa scientists who have spent the last two months tracking this new rocky visitor say their calculations show that it will safely clear the Earth and poses no threat.

Instead, they will use this close approach to rehearse for future potential strikes.

More than a dozen observatories, universities and labs around the world will be watching 2012 TC4 as it flies past.

This will help them to refine how asteroids are tracked and provide a chance to test international communication systems.

Dr Chodas said that while the risk of an asteroid hit was small, it was prudent to plan ahead.

"Nasa search programmes are getting better and better at finding asteroids," he explained.

"It's been a priority to find the large asteroids first. So far the Nasa surveys have found 95% of the asteroids that are one kilometre and larger – these are the ones that could cause a global catastrophe.

"Now we are working our way down to the smaller ones – 130m in size and larger – and we are around 30% on that.

"This little one – we are not trying to find all of the ones of this size. It is just a convenient asteroid coming by that we can practise our tracking techniques on."

He added that if an asteroid was discovered to be heading for the Earth, scientists were looking at different techniques to avert a disaster.

"If we had enough warning time – five or 10 years – then we could do something about it, especially if it's on the small side.

"We could go up and move it, change its velocity years ahead, and that would be enough to move it away from a collision course."

Asteroid TC4's closest approach to Earth on Thursday will be over Antarctica at 05:42 GMT (06:42 BST; 01:42 EDT).

Follow Rebecca on Twitter.

Source –


California fires: Scores missing as death toll rises to 17


California fires: Scores missing as death toll rises to 17

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFire survivor: 'I don't have any neighbours any more.'

More than 150 people are missing in wildfires that have ravaged northern California's wine region, police say.

At least 17 people are now confirmed dead and more than 2,000 buildings have been destroyed by the fires which broke out on Sunday.

Eleven of the deaths have been in Sonoma County.

One of the worst affected towns there is Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, where entire districts have been destroyed.

The Sonoma County sheriff's office said 155 people were still unaccounted for, although that could be due to the chaotic pace of the evacuations.

In neighbouring Napa County, victims included 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his 98-year-old wife, Sarah, police said.

  • Wildfire's 'dark' skies at Disneyland
  • Life as an elite wildfire fighter
  • The prisoners fighting wildfire

The fires are among the deadliest in California's history and have sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 60 miles (100km) away.

Image copyright Google/Getty
Image caption Santa Rosa Hilton Hotel
Image copyright Google/Getty
Image caption Journey's End Trailer Park in Santa Rosa

California fire chief Ken Pimlott told the BBC on Tuesday that more than 17 fires had burned about 115,000 acres (26,000ha) in the past 24 hours.

He said his officers were trying to track down those unaccounted for but he feared the death toll could rise.

"We're very hopeful that they're just staying with family or friends or left town to get away and we just haven't been able to make that contact," he said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionConditions that firefighters and police face in Sonoma County

"But these fires move so quickly – there are just hundreds and thousands of acres out there that we haven't had a chance to pour through and adjudicate."

There was some good news when winds that had been fanning the flames eased, helping firefighters to bring some of the blazes under control.

In Santa Rosa, a Hilton hotel and a mobile home park were destroyed. Tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents have fled, authorities said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionResidents return home: 'It looks like a nuclear bomb went off'

At least four wineries had suffered "total or very significant losses", Napa Valley Vintners said, with nine others reporting some damage to buildings or vineyards.

More than 91,000 homes and businesses are without power.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Sonoma, Napa and five other counties.

US President Donald Trump has also approved a disaster declaration, allowing federal emergency aid to be disbursed.

Source –


20 Times Relationships Were Hilariously Unpredictable


Relationships are an extremely important part of any human being. Everybody has some people in their life with whom they want to spend their entire life. Relationships which nourish you and push you to become a better person are a blessing from God. People who meet such people in their life are indeed very lucky. Their life becomes full of fun and they enjoy each moment of their life. Some of the examples of very unpredictably hilarious relationship situations are given below:

20. Missing Boyfriend:

Image Credits: Reddit

We had to catch a flight and I was all ready to leave for the airport. We left at the right time but when we reached there we came to know that our flight was delayed. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, I found my boyfriend sitting with children and watching cartoons in the children’s room.

19. Hidden Candy:

Image Credits: imgur

You would not have seen such an amazing way of hiding candies before.

18. Shower:

Image Credits: Reddit

Such a superb way of knowing whether my boyfriend took a bath or not I need not know this. When I entered the bathroom, I saw this and I got the point.

17. Crying Wife:

Image Credits: Reddit

I was searching my wife for a very long time in the whole house. When I reached her wardrobe I saw her sitting on the ground and crying. When asked for the reason, she said she did not have anything to wear.

16. Blanket Castle:

Image Credits: Imgur

It was my birthday last week. I was so excited about it and my husband made me a blanket castle. I felt very special and felt overwhelmed about it.

15. Love Your Girlfriend:

Image Credits: Pikabu

There are many ways of showing love for your girlfriend. If you love your girlfriend, show it this way.

14. Sexy Dress:

Image Credits: Reddit

My girlfriend came in front of me and said she has got a new dress which she loved. And when she came in front of me, this is what she was wearing.

13. Baby Daughter And Husband:

Image Credits: Reddit

This is the way my husband plays with our little baby daughter.

12. Dirty Secrets:

Image Credits: Reddit

I recently got to know the place where my wife used to hide all her hidden secrets. Take a look.

11. Tailor-Made Doormat:

Image Credits: Imgur

I asked my husband to order a tailor-made doormat and this is what he ordered.

10. Baby Preparation:

Image Credits: themetapicture

We are going to have a baby soon. When my wife asked me how I was preparing for our baby, this is what I replied.

These 12 Simple Exercises Will Help You Attain Shocking Transformation

9. Petrified Of Heights:

Image Credits: Imgur

My girlfriend is so much petrified of heights. When I asked her to climb the tower with me, she agreed and then this happened.

8. Husband’s Workplace:

Image Credits: Reddit

One day I surprised my husband at his office and when I reached there this is what I saw.

7. Stages Of Despair:

Image Credits: Reddit

This was the state of my wife when we missed our ice cream truck.

6. Broken Dryer:

Image Credits: Reddit

My girlfriend wanted to dry her bra and her dryer was broken. So, this is what she did.

5. Too Much Light:

Image Credits: Imgur

There was so much light in the room and my husband was feeling disturbed but he found a solution very soon.

4. Broken Vacuum Cleaner:

Image Credits: Pikabu

I was cleaning the room and the vacuum cleaner suddenly broke down. When my girlfriend came and asked why and how it broke down, this is what I showed to her.

3. Photo Of My Girlfriend:

Image Credits: Twitter

I was not able to find a picture of my girlfriend to put inside the rocket. So, I found the best solution by just drawing her picture and putting in inside the locket.

2. Birthday Party:

Image Credits: Reddit

I had to go for my birthday party and when I asked my girlfriend to help me out, this is what she did.

1. Consequences:

At times, we do not think about the consequences and the situation turns out like this.

LIKED THIS? READ THIS! Tattoo Artists Cover Breast Cancer Survivors Scars With Beautiful Tattoos


The post 20 Times Relationships Were Hilariously Unpredictable appeared first on Born Realist.

Source –


Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews says executive molested him


Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews says executive molested him

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Terry Crews (right) says he was with his wife Rebecca (left) when the alleged incident occurred at a Hollywood function last year

US actor Terry Crews has said he was sexually molested by a Hollywood executive last year.

In a series of tweets, Crews said the executive, whom he did not name, had groped his "privates" in front of Crews's wife at a function.

But the actor said he had neither retaliated nor taken further action as he had feared repercussions.

Crews said he had been spurred to speak out by the claims of sexual harassment made against producer Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein lost his job and his wife has left him after actresses made a string of allegations against him.

  • Weinstein's wife Georgina Chapman leaves him
  • Weinstein and the media's shame

Crews is a former football player who went into acting in the 1990s and is currently appearing in the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He is married with five children.

Crews said Weinstein was not the man who had allegedly assaulted him.

The executive in question "knows who he is", he said, and had apologised for his behaviour. But Crews appeared not to discount future action against him, saying "sumtimes Uhav2 wait & compare notes w/ others who've been victimized in order 2gain a position of strength".

Crews began his thread of 16 tweets by saying the "thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD" (post-traumatic stress disorder):

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Source –


Dow Jones: ‘Google acquires Apple’ news was ‘error’


Dow Jones: 'Google acquires Apple' news was 'error'

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The fake news appeared on the Dow Jones financial newswire for two minutes

A bombshell appeared on the Dow Jones financial newswire on Tuesday: "Google to buy Apple for $9bn".

But the story, that the acquisition had been suggested in the will of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was bogus.

It was removed after two minutes, though Apple's shares did briefly rise in value.

Dow Jones said the news appeared as the result of a "technical error" and should be ignored.

The unintentionally published fake news described the acquisition as "a surprise move to everyone who is alive" and quoted Google employees as saying "Yay".

It also stated that Google would move into "Apple's fancy headquarters".

A statement from the firm, which is owned by News Corp, said the headlines were published between 09:34 and 09:36 New York time following a technical error.

"All of those headlines are being removed from the wires.

"We apologise for the error."

The incident occurred during a technology test, according to a statement from Dow Jones chief executive William Lewis.

Source –


Mexico prison riot leaves 13 dead


Mexico prison riot leaves 13 dead

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Relatives gathered outside to wait for news

Thirteen people have been killed in a riot at a Mexican jail, authorities in the northern state of Nuevo Leon say.

Eight others were severely injured in the disturbance at Cadereyta prison. Local media report that 250 inmates battled security forces.

A spokesman for the state government said lethal force had been used to regain full control of the facility.

It is the latest in a string of bloody clashes in Mexico's jails, which are often dominated by drugs gangs.

Tensions also rose outside the jail, near Monterrey, as prisoners' friends and relatives clashed with police.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Relatives of inmates burnt police gear grabbed from a truck

Many anxiously awaited news, banging on the side of vans which left the site carrying the injured.

Authorities say an initial fight – reportedly between rival gangs – was quashed on Tuesday morning but violence re-erupted later when prisoners started fires.

Black smoke was seen rising over the facility and helicopters were sent to dampen the flames.

  • Mexico riot jail had 'luxury cells'
  • Mexico's most-wanted: A guide to the drug cartels

One inmate died in the initial fire.

Aldo Fasci, a spokesman for the Nuevo Leon government, told reporters prisoners had taken three guards hostage and security forces had entered after attempts to mediate failed.

In 2016, a riot at Topo Chico prison, in the same state, left 49 people dead.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A helicopter dropped water to extinguish a fire at the prison

Source –