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Entertainment
AP
Beyonce presents Kaepernick with SI's Muhammad Ali Award

NEW YORK — Beyonce presented Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday night, and Kaepernick promised that “with or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people.”

Beyonce was brought out as a surprise presenter by comedian Trevor Noah. She said she was “proud and humbled” to present the award.

“Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion,” Beyonce said. “Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people of color.”

Last year’s Ali Award winner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, called Kaepernick a “worthy recipient” during a video tribute.

“He fully embraced the risk to his career in order to remind Americans of the systemic racism that was denying African-Americans their opportunities to equal education, jobs, health and even their lives,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a wave of protests by NFL players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn’t been signed by another team. He filed a grievance against the NFL in October alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests.

He spoke Tuesday about continuing Ali’s legacy for fighting social injustice, saying the boxing great “mentored me without ever meeting me.”

“The footprints he leaves are large,” Kaepernick said, “and his life is and has been a multi-textured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I’m taking steps toward walking on the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow.”

Kaepernick skipped the red carpet prior to the show and was not available for questions. The awards show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

Kaepernick also recently was honored by the ACLU of Southern California with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and was named GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” for his activism, which included pledging $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities.”


National
AP
6 women file lawsuit alleging 'Weinstein Sexual Enterprise'

NEW YORK — Six women sued Harvey Weinstein and men who served on the board of his film company Wednesday, accusing them of functioning like an organized crime group that used agents, producers and others to prey on young women seeking a break in a breakneck industry.

The racketeering lawsuit in federal court in New York sought to represent “dozens, if not hundreds” of women who say they were assaulted by Weinstein after being isolated in close quarters such as a hotel room after bystanders were sent away.

Lawyers for the women say Weinstein used his company to supply himself with a steady stream of victims, and to cover up his misbehavior — an effort they dubbed the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise.”

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, mirrored one filed in Los Angeles last month that did not identify plaintiffs by name.

It said the “proverbial ‘casting couch’ was Harvey Weinstein’s office of choice” in an arrangement condoned by defendants Miramax LLC, The Weinstein Co. Holdings LLC. It said the companies had a duty to stop Weinstein from groping, harassing or assaulting women seeking employment in their films.

A Weinstein lawyer declined comment Wednesday, but Weinstein’s representatives forwarded a statement saying Weinstein “has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.”

“There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred. Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic,” it said.

Other defendants in the suit included 11 current or former board members of the Weinstein Co., including Robert Weinstein, Dirk Ziff, Tim Sarnoff, Marc Lasry, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg, Paul Tudor Jones, Jeff Sackman and James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks.

The lawsuit said each was personally aware of Weinstein’s conduct toward women, though it offered no specific evidence to back up that claim.

Several board members have said publicly that they were unaware of any allegations of sexual assault, though some acknowledged being aware of financial settlements between Weinstein and women. All 11 did not respond to phone or email messages Wednesday.

In an email to the staff of his company, Jones, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist, said he knew nothing about the allegations until they were reported in the media.

“They were 100 percent a surprise to me,” Jones wrote. “I joined the Weinstein Company Board as an unpaid, outside member in late 2015, after the internal company debate about Harvey’s contract renewal. I never knew about those discussions or any of the revelations until they began to surface publicly, and I resigned two days later.”

The lawsuit was filed hours after The New York Times published an article scrutinizing the actions of people around Weinstein who either didn’t act on warnings or actively worked to keep allegations quiet.

Miramax, headquartered in Santa Monica, California, said in a statement that Miramax “joins the entire film community in condemning Harvey Weinstein and his unspeakable actions.” It said it has been completely independent of Weinstein since he created The Weinstein Co.

The Weinstein Co. Holdings, based in New York, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Weinstein was ousted from the movie company he founded following a barrage of sexual harassment allegations that began in early October.

At least 75 women have come forward in the media to detail accounts of assault, harassment and inappropriate conduct. Police in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London are investigating.

According to the lawsuit, actresses and other women in the film industry were lured to industry events, hotel rooms, Weinstein’s home, office meetings or auditions under the pretext that they were to discuss a project.

If women did not meet his sexual demands, Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, payoffs and legal threats to suppress their voices, the lawsuit said.

Also Wednesday, it was reported that actress and writer Lena Dunham claims that she warned Hillary Clinton’s communications director about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior, The New York Times reported in an expose that includes new details about the lengths Weinstein went to cover-up his alleged behavior. The details led the powerful Hollywood talent agency C.A.A. to apologize for its role in the scandal.

Dunham told the Times that when she worked with the Clinton presidential campaign last year, she tried to warn them about rape allegations against the mogul. Dunham said she also told Clinton spokeswoman Adrienne Elrod about Weinstein.

“I just want to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist, and this is going to come out at some point,” Dunham said she told Kristina Schake, the campaign’s deputy communications director. “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fundraisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”

Magazine editor Tina Brown also said she cautioned the Clinton campaign about Weinstein.

Weinstein was a significant contributor to Democratic candidates and helped fund-raise for Clinton.


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Today in History

Today’s Highlight:

On Dec. 7, 1941, during a series of raids in the Pacific, Imperial Japan’s navy launched a pre-emptive attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, killing 2,400 people, about half of them on the battleship USS Arizona. (The United States declared war against Japan the next day.)

On this date:

In 43 B.C., Roman statesman and scholar Marcus Tullius Cicero was slain at the order of the Second Triumvirate.

In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.In 1842, the New York Philharmonic performed its first concert.

In 1909, chemist Leo H. Baekeland received a U.S. patent for Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic.

In 1917, during World War I, the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.

In 1967, the Beatles opened the Apple Boutique in London; the venture proved disastrous, and the shop closed the following July.

In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant who was shot dead by her bodyguards.

In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.

In 1993, a gunman opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six people and wounding 19. (The shooter was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.)

In 1995, a 746-pound probe from the Galileo spacecraft hurtled into Jupiter’s atmosphere, sending back data to the mothership before it was presumably destroyed.In 2004, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.

Ten years ago: Congressional Democrats demanded a full Justice Department investigation into whether the CIA had obstructed justice by destroying videotapes documenting the harsh 2002 interrogations of two alleged terrorists. Two window washers fell 47 stories from a Manhattan skyscraper when their scaffolding failed; Edgar Moreno was killed, but his brother, Alcides, miraculously survived (and is still alive).

Five years ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for $60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Superstorm Sandy (lawmakers ended up passing a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure in addition to a $9.7 billion bill to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program).One year ago: President-elect Donald Trump selected retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon, to run the Small Business Administration and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to be the new U.S. ambassador to China. Time magazine named Donald Trump its Person of the Year. A Pakistan International Airlines commuter plane crashed in the north of the country, killing all 47 people on board. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Indonesia’s Aceh (ah-cheh) Province, killing more than 100 people. NBC broadcast a live, three-hour production of the musical “Hairspray.”

Today’s Birthdays: Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 89. Bluegrass singer Bobby Osborne is 86. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 85. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is 80. Broadcast journalist Carole Simpson is 77. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 70. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 70. Country singer Gary Morris is 69. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 68. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 65. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 61. Actress Priscilla Barnes is 60. Former “Tonight Show” announcer Edd (cq) Hall is 59. Rock musician Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) is 59. Actor Patrick Fabian is 53. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 52. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 51. Actress Kimberly Hebert Gregory (TV: “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”) is 45. Producer-director Jason Winer is 45. Former NFL player Terrell Owens is 44. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 43. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 42. Latin singer Frankie J is 41. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 41. Actor Chris Chalk is 40. Actress Shiri Appleby is 39. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles (bah-REHL’-es) is 38. Actress Jennifer Carpenter is 38. Actor Jack Huston is 35. Singer Aaron Carter is 30.

Thought for Today: “The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.” — Thornton Wilder, American playwright and author (born 1897, died this date in 1975).


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Birthdays

Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 89. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 85. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 70. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 70. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 68. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, is 65. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 61. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 51. Producer-director Jason Winer is 45. Former NFL player Terrell Owens is 44. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 43. Actor Chris Chalk is 40. Actress Shiri Appleby is 39. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles is 38. Actress Jennifer Carpenter is 38. Singer Aaron Carter is 30.