NSO owner tells Amnesty it will prevent abuse of spyware linked to WhatsApp breach

NSO Group’s owner said it will do whatever necessary to ensure the Israeli firm’s spyware does not undermine human rights, after Amnesty International sought to revoke the export license for NSO, which has been linked to a WhatsApp breach.


Reuters: Technology News

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R. Kelly’s Lawyers Argue He Lost His Sexual Abuse Civil Trial Because He Can’t Read

R. Kelly’s legal team says the reason he didn’t appear at the hearing for his sexual abuse civil case is because he can’t read … and they’re asking for another one.

via TMZ:

Kelly’s attorneys, Zaid Abdallah and Raed Shalabi, filed legal docs claiming even though Kelly was served in the civil case — in which Heather Williams alleges he sexually abused her when she was 16 — he was in Cook County Jail at the time for failing to pay child support and should not have been served there.

More significantly, though, according to the docs … Kelly “suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read,” adding … “in essence he cannot.”

Translation — Kelly had no idea what the legal papers were all about, so he didn’t take the appropriate steps after being served to defend himself.

The new legal docs also blast the fact Kelly was served while incarcerated, claiming Williams’ lawyers could have easily served Kelly’s criminal lawyer or delivered the docs to Trump Towers where he lives. Williams’ lawyer has said security at his residence made that impossible, but Kelly’s attorney calls BS on that.

As we reported … Williams won a default judgment against Kelly when he failed to appear for a hearing in the case.

Kelly’s legal team is asking the court to vacate the decision … so he can properly mount his defense this time around.

If he (and his team) can read documents enough for him to show up for appearances and schedule shows, then there’s no excuse as to why they couldn’t read the document requiring him to show up to court.

The post R. Kelly’s Lawyers Argue He Lost His Sexual Abuse Civil Trial Because He Can’t Read appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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How college students can end up in vicious cycle of substance abuse, poor academics, stress

One negative behavior such as substance abuse or heavy alcohol drinking can lead college students toward a vicious cycle of poor lifestyle choices, lack of sleep, mental distress and low grades, according to new research.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Duane Martin Says Tisha Campbell-Martin Made Up Abuse Allegations

Vivica A. Fox 50th Birthday Celebration

Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

Details in Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell-Martin‘s divorce and bankruptcy cases continue to be revealed, and Martin is now taking a defensive stance. After being accused of physically abusing his estranged wife, Martin says that Campbell-Martin is making it all up.

The Blast reports:

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Duane filed a declaration as part of his bankruptcy case, in which he is denying allegations he hid a $ 2 million home in Chatsworth, California from creditors as part of his bankruptcy.

In his declaration, Duane accuses Tisha and her brother having “manufactured a false claim of alleged domestic violence against the Co-Debtor which they filed with the police. Even Co-Debtor’s family law attorney would not sign his name on such a claim. The police saw the claim for what it was and did not pursue it.”

He adds, “Additional falsehoods were presented to the Family Law court in order for the Co-Debtor to obtain custody of their children. When it was clear that these falsehoods were not going to work, they were dropped and custody was awarded 50-50 to both parents.”

The outlet adds that Campbell-Martin has been cooperative with the bank trustee and handing in her financial records. Martin has said that any reports that he hasn’t done the same in reporting his earning aren’t true.

Martin also accuses Campbell-Martin and her brother of taking his residuals and removing his name from his bank accounts, thus making it so that he can’t cash checks or access funds.

Earlier this year, Campbell-Martin filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Martin.

Photo: Getty

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51 Women are Suing the U.S. Olympic Committee for Failing to Prevent Abuse By Larry Nassar

(DENVER) — Fifty-one women are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee, its board members and a number of former high-ranking officials for failing to prevent their abuse at the hands of imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Denver, details abuse dating to the late 1990s. One of the victims was 8 years old.

Most contend that because they were young and sexually inexperienced, they were not aware they were being abused at the time. Some became aware when other victims began telling their stories at Nassar’s 2018 sentencing hearing for child pornography and sex abuse. Others acted after the release of a report in December that detailed the USOC’s slow response to sex-abuse cases.

The lawsuit alleges the USOC violated Title IX and the constitution by not acting promptly and more forcefully.

The USOC said the federation would have no comment on pending litigation. The governing body has tried to remove itself as a defendant in a number of other similar lawsuits, contending it should not be held legally responsible for Nassar’s crimes. Those lawsuits include USA Gymnastics as defendants, but this one singles out the USOC, which is based in Colorado Springs.

The lawsuit outlines abuse by six other coaches, and the USOC’s slow response to it, though most plaintiffs say they were abused by Nassar.

Many of the plaintiffs’ claims in this lawsuit are similar to those of other victims: Often their parents were present during the examinations but Nassar positioned himself in a way that they could not see what was happening.

One plaintiff described gasping and looking over at her mother when Nassar touched her inappropriately, and Nassar responded by saying “Sorry, cold hands.”

In addition to compensation, the plaintiffs are asking for institutional reform at the USOC. Virtually all the top executives — including the chairman, CEO and sports performance director — have left voluntarily or been fired since Nassar’s sentencing in January 2018.

Sports – TIME

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New R. Kelly Tape Showing Alleged Sex Abuse Handed Over to Authorities

Kamil Krzaczynski/REUTERS

A Pennsylvania man claimed Sunday that he was cleaning an old video collection and found a tape that allegedly shows R.Kelly “sexually abusing underage African-American girls.”

Gary Dennis, who works in a nursing home, said at a press conference in Manhattan that he turned the video over to authorities. His lawyer, Gloria Allred, said they gave it to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

“It appears to me that there is an open investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District,”Allred said, noting going into detail about what the alleged tape shows.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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A Man Reveals the Horrific Childhood Abuse That Led to His Epilepsy | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

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R. Kelly breaks his silence after sexual abuse charges

ABC News

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‘Leaving Neverland’ Part One Recap: 2 Men Say Michael Jackson Used His Fame to Sexually Abuse Them as Boys

The first episode of HBO’s documentary aired Sunday night, describing how he became close to two boys and presenting detailed allegations that he repeatedly had sex with them.
NYT > Arts

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Michael Jackson’s family hits back over sex abuse film

Almost 10 years after his sudden death, Michael Jackson’s legacy is under fresh scrutiny in a documentary about alleged child sex abuse that has been met with outrage by the singer’s family. Edward Baran reports.


Reuters Video: Entertainment

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R. Kelly Has Been Released from Jail After Posting $100,000 Bail in a Sex Abuse Case

(CHICAGO) — R. Kelly walked out of a Chicago jail Monday after posting $ 100,000 bail that allows him to go free while awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused four people dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.

Hours earlier, the R&B star pleaded not guilty to the allegations after spending the weekend behind bars. He said little during the brief arraignment, telling the judge only his name. His lawyers spoke on his behalf.

The singer-songwriter was arrested Friday on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. A judge set bond at $ 1 million, meaning Kelly had to post 10 percent of that amount to be released. Court records show a 47-year-old woman from the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Illinois, posted the $ 100,000 bail and identified herself on the bond slip as “a friend” of Kelly, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Kelly will be forbidden from having any contact with females younger than 18.

The black van that took the entertainer away from the jail stopped in the parking lot of a large downtown McDonald’s. He did not immediately emerge, but some members of his entourage stood outside the vehicle and a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz parked next to it.

The McDonald’s, a popular tourist attraction, was known as Chicago’s Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s before being remodeled and losing its music theme.

The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct, and he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who said he represents two Kelly accusers, said his legal team gave prosecutors a second video Monday that shows Kelly sexually abusing a minor. Avenatti previously gave prosecutors video evidence that he said showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Avenatti said the second video involves a 14-year-old girl. He said the footage from 1999 or 2000 is about 55 minutes long, but he did not say if it was the same 14-year-old girl seen in the first video he turned over to the authorities.

“The conduct in the tape can be described as nothing short of outrageous, illegal. It leaves no question as to Mr. Kelly’s guilt,” Avenatti said.

Avenatti said he is aware of a third tape, but he did not provide details.

Defense attorney Steve Greenberg reiterated at a news conference that Kelly has done nothing wrong and said no one has shown him any evidence to the contrary.

“Everybody is entitled to a defense. Everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence. We should all be taking a step back. Let’s see what happens, what the evidence is and how this plays out,” Greenberg said.

Details of the allegations against Kelly emerged Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documentsone for each accuser — outlining the basis for the charges. The allegations date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.

A girl who attended Kelly’s child pornography trial in 2008 got his autograph after a court session. He later invited her to his home in the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, where they had sex multiple times starting the following May, when she was 16, according to the documents, which said he also slapped, choked and spit on the girl.

In 1998, another girl reported meeting Kelly at a restaurant where she was having a 16th birthday party. Kelly’s manager gave her the singer’s business card and suggested she call Kelly. The girl’s mother heard the exchange, took the card and told the manager her daughter was 16.

But her daughter later retrieved the card from her purse. She contacted Kelly, who told her to take a cab to his studio, where they had sex periodically for a year, the documents said. After the first encounter, she was given an envelope of cash.

In early 2003, a Chicago hairdresser told prosecutors that she thought she was going to braid Kelly’s hair, but he pulled down his pants and instead tried to force her to give him oral sex. The woman, who was 24, was able to pull away, but Kelly ejaculated on her and spit in her face, the documents said.

Kelly’s DNA was found in semen on one of the accuser’s shirts, and semen found on a shirt worn by another was submitted for DNA testing, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said. It was not clear when the accusers turned the shirts over to authorities.

Rising from poverty on Chicago’s South Side, Kelly broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such popular sex-themed songs as “Your Body’s Callin’” and “Bump N’ Grind.” He has written numerous hits for himself and other artists, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.

The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the female allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand.

Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison, making it possible for Kelly to receive up to 70 years. Probation is also an option.

The walls began closing in on Kelly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations that he held women against their will and ran a “sex cult.”


Entertainment – TIME

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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to 10 Counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse

UPDATE 2/25 11:00 a.m. ET: R. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf during an arraignment hearing in Chicago on Monday, February 25. The performer’s next court date is scheduled for March 22.

Original story below:

R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexually abusing young women for more than two decades, was arrested on Friday, February 22.

The “Ignition (Remix)” singer, 52, turned himself in at a Chicago police station at approximately 8:15 p.m., hours after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for alleged incidents that involved four victims and occurred between 1998 and 2010. At least three of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 17.

A Cook County, Illinois, judge had issued a no-bail warrant for Kelly’s arrest earlier on Friday after the four indictments were filed. He is expected to be held in custody overnight before a scheduled appearance in court on Saturday, February 23.

“He is extraordinarily disappointed and depressed,” Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told the Associated Press. “He is shell-shocked by this.”

R. Kelly
R. Kelly’s mugshot. Chicago PD

Attorney Michael Avenatti announced on February 14 that he handed over a newly discovered videotape to Chicago prosecutors that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl. CNN also reviewed the footage and reported that “a naked man who appears to be R. Kelly is seen performing multiple sex acts with the girl,” whom he repeatedly refers to as “14 years old.”

Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse, manipulation and inappropriate behavior since the early 1990s, but he has long maintained his innocence.

In 1994, the three-time Grammy winner illegally married his then-15-year-old protégée, Aaliyah. Their union was annulled months later at the behest of the late songstress’ family. Then in 2002, a video surfaced showing a man who appeared to be Kelly having sex with and urinating on an underage girl. He was subsequently arrested on 13 counts of child pornography, but a jury acquitted him six years later.

Kelly made headlines again in 2017 when BuzzFeed News reported that he allegedly held a group of women against their will in what the site described as an “abusive cult.” He also denied those claims, as have some of the women.

More recently, the R&B performer was the subject of Lifetime’s six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which included more than 50 interviews with his former collaborators and accusers. Activists and celebrities later launched the social media movement #MuteRKelly to call on streaming services to drop his music.

Us Weekly

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R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse

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Iyanla Urges a Mother and Daughter to Break the Cycle of Abuse | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Roger Mathews Claims J-Woww Is Lying About Abuse – Claims She Has Always Been The Violent One

According to a report from Us Weekly, Roger Mathews recently took to his personal website to release a long article about what he considers to be the truth of the matter regarding his bitter – and very public – fight with his estranged wife, Jenni “JWoww” Farley.

In a post encompassing 6,000 words, Roger accused the reality star of lying about physical violence in their relationship, placing the blame on her for what he describes as abuse. The reality star, Roger, said in his blog post that he wonders why nobody ever asked him about the supposed abuse he inflicted on her.

The Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star accused his estranged spouse of bragging about stabbing both of her ex-boyfriends, as well as being the “true aggressor” in their altercations. Roger accused JWoww of even punching him in the face one night.

Moreover, Mathews claimed that the 32-year-old reality star threw a candle as well as a vacuum cleaner at not only him but their two-year-old son, Greyson. However, Roger did admit to shoving her on several occasions but claims his actions were in retaliation against her aggression.

According to Roger, there were moments in their marriage that were truly a “nightmare.” The reality star supposedly has incriminating footage of JWoww but has chosen not to release it because he feels it’s “ethically wrong.”

Roger went on to say that he is not the monster she has portrayed him to be. The reality star’s post went on in the same vein for literally thousands of words, accusing Farley of being the abusive one in the relationship, and in general, offering his side to the story.

As it was reported previously, Farley and Roger’s situation has been quite nasty for the last few months, following Farley’s filing for divorce last year in September after just a three-year marriage. On the 30th of January, Jenni accused Roger of being abusive on her own website.

Furthermore, she released footage online in which it appeared as though Roger shoved her. Mathews accused JWoww of “playing the victim” in the situation.

Celebrity Insider

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Roger Mathews Fires Back at ”Liar” Jenni ”JWoww” Farley’s Abuse Allegations

JWoww, Jenni Farley, Roger MathewsRoger Mathews is defending himself against Jenni “JWoww” Farley’s explosive allegations.
One day after the Jersey Shore star released a lengthy statement accusing her…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

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South Korea’s Rights Commission Will Investigate Allegations of Rampant Sexual Abuse in Sports

(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korea’s human rights commission plans to interview possibly thousands of adult and child athletes about a culture of abuse in sports after a wave of female athletes came forward to say they had been raped or assaulted by their coaches.

The yearlong investigation will cover 50 sports and include children competing for elementary, middle and high schools, Park Hong-geun, an official from the National Human Rights Commission, said Wednesday.

He said the commission aims to interview all minor and adult athletes competing for scholastic and corporate league teams in speedskating and judo, which have been marred with sexual abuse allegations. The investigation, pushed by dozens of government officials and civilian experts, could start as early as next week and could extend beyond a year if needed. It will be the commission’s largest-ever inquiry into sports.

“Education processes will be a key part of the investigation because there are situations where athletes find it hard to disclose what they have been through or even recognize they had been abused or sexually harassed,” Park said. “We will have to discuss with the schools and teams to figure out how to proceed with the investigation in each sport, but we plan to build it mostly around face-to-face interviews.”

South Korean competitive sports in recent weeks have been hit by a growing #MeToo movement, which highlights deep-rooted problems over a brutal training culture and highly hierarchical relationships between coaches and athletes.

It began with two-time Olympic short-track speedskating champion Shim Suk-hee accusing her former coach of repeatedly raping her since she was 17. The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was the national team coach shortly before the Pyeongchang Olympics last year and is now serving a 10-month prison term for physically assaulting athletes, including Shim. Cho’s lawyers said he denies sexually assaulting Shim.

A group representing speed skating athletes said Monday there were at least five more female skaters saying they were sexually abused by their male coaches, but did not reveal their names because of privacy concerns. Encouraged by Shim, female athletes in judo, taekwondo, soccer and wrestling have also accused their male coaches of sexual harassment or assault since.

Experts say abusive treatment of female athletes has long been a problem in South Korea’s elite sports, which are predominantly run by men. Athletes often skip school to compete in athletic events and must live in dormitories, giving coaches often-overbearing control and leaving athletes undereducated and more vulnerable. South Korea has long associated national pride with achievement in the Olympics and other international sporting events, leaving problems overlooked as long as the athletes succeed.

After a previous inquiry into school sports, the human rights commission in 2010 recommended safeguards to the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, including instructions and proposals for preventing abuse and providing better education. Choi Young-ae, the commission’s chairwoman, criticized the KOC for ignoring the guideline for years, which she said worsened the abuse facing athletes today.

“Physical and sexual violence in (South Korean) sports does not happen incidentally, but is generated consistently under a structure,” she said in a news conference on Wednesday. “A culture that puts medals and other awards over everything else has been exonerating violent behaviors and such violence has been closely associated with the sexual violence that occurs.”

Sports – TIME

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Love And Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Tommie Lee Indicted On Child Abuse Charges

An already controversial reality TV show star has been arrested…again. Tommie Lee appears on the last season of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta was accused last October of bashing her young daughter’s head into a locker at school and various other charges including stalking.

The AJC.com reports:

Atasha Chizaah Jefferson, who goes by “Tommie Lee” on the VH1 reality show, was indicted Thursday on charges of aggravated assault, child cruelty, battery, aggravated stalking and disrupting a public school, court records show.\

The charges stem from a few days in the middle of October 2018, according to the indictment.

Jefferson is accused of grabbing one of her children by the hair and shoving their head into a metal locker at Griffin Middle School in Smyrna, according to an Oct. 16 police warrant. She also allegedly slapped the child’s hands with a purse strap and cursed at the child.

Instagram Photo

PHOTO: VH1 Screenshot


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‘Overwatch’ Makes Voice Chat Essential, But is Winning Worth The Online Abuse?

Unlike most team-based shooters, in Overwatch, voice chat is essential if you want to perform well at the upper echelons of competitive play. Ignoring the every player for themselves approach of its contemporaries, Blizzard‘s shooter is refreshingly team-oriented and here working collectively as a team can go a long way. From strategizing to shot-calling, here, communication is always key to winning.

Despite this, bafflingly, lots of Overwatch players actively refrain from using voice chat. Not only do some players decide against talking in the voice channel—some even go as far as to leave it entirely, meaning that they can’t even hear those who are using the feature. Why? <Well, as with many other online games, Overwatch can be a platform that’s plagued with toxicity. While popping on for a quick bit of pew pewery, it’s sadly not uncommon to hear an angry voice yelling personal attacks or even hate speech in the voice channels of Blizzard’s shooter. Like with the rest of the internet, here players revel in the anonymity they’re afforded by voice chat, using the feature as a means of bullying others with little consequence.

So, in an effort to understand why people do and don’t use voice chat, we spoke with Josh Bishop, Aimee Hart, and Natalie Flores. All avid players of Overwatch, they each had their own unique opinions on the pros and cons of voice chat in competitive Overwatch.

Josh’s story



I didn’t use voice chat in the past. It felt really bad whenever I got flamed in Overwatch—I don’t really know why, but in Overwatch specifically, it felt worse than other games. A while back I joined a Diamond/Masters Overwatch team and ever since then I’ve used voice chat because the part I enjoy now is the teamwork aspect. I definitely feel this is the best game out there for teamwork and that not using voice chat does kind of mess up you and your team. Now I don’t care much about what they say and if I get a particularly annoying person in one of my games I just mute them specifically instead of leaving the entire channel.

Back when I would regularly leave voice chat I liked to play Mei. Even if she wasn’t amazing, she was still playable and I definitely won games on her. No one else really agreed with me, though, and the second I would pick Mei everyone would scream at me and want me to switch. I will say that this is for sure the most toxic community I’ve ever been a part of, for reasons just like this. They’re angry all the time for no reason.

It sounds strange to say, but I feel League of Legends’ toxicity isn’t anywhere near as bad. I think it’s because they don’t flame you often for your pick or other dumb things like that—they flame you over whether or not your decisions are correct. This doesn’t bother me as much because I stand by my decisions usually. Plus, it’s all through text. League has no voice chat at all. I just mute their chat and forget they exist. When I’m trying really hard in ranked I just mute chat right when the game starts.

If I’m playing ranked and trying hard to win, that’s what I do. I have a habit of trying to type back when people get toxic. I feel like I have to be the one defending everyone from the flame. Also, in League not much that gets typed is important. I’d say maybe 5% of messages are important.

LoL has a very good system of pings so you can communicate without having to type it all out. You can press one button to bring up a menu of four pings; enemy missing, on my way, be careful, and I need assistance. On top of that, you can ping enemy abilities and items to call attention to them or to ping that they’re on cooldown or whatever else. None of these things get muted when you mute chat.

Flamed for choosing his favorite heroes but receptive of the fact that voice chat is essential for successful team play, Josh has resolved to mute toxic players with a zero-tolerance policy toward toxicity. This is a quick fix and does remove the toxic elements of the game, but it also limits Josh’s ability to communicate with some teammates. In order to block out their toxic behavior, all lines of communication must be severed, which directly impinges on team play.

Aimee’s story


Heroes of the Storm Overwatch Officer D.Va
And just like that a brand new Officer D.Va cosplay was born

It was a while back but I can remember who I was playing and everything because it was just that good, y’know?
I didn’t used to like voice chat, but I used to watch a streamer called RagTagg and he was always like “you’ll do better in competitive if you talk. You may not want to, but you’ve gotta do it if you want to do well.” So, I tried it out myself, and it was pretty hit and miss. Sometimes we’d win, sometimes we’d lose. I found that I was mostly by myself on voice chat, which I didn’t mind because I’m quite shy.

Until it got to that game. It was competitive (Gold) and I was on King’s Row. I was playing D.VA and to be honest, we didn’t have a good team. I can’t remember the full composition, but I know there was a Mercy and a Widowmaker, and I was the only tank. So, it wasn’t great, but I didn’t tell them to change and was like “okay, we’d probably do better if we had another tank and another healer, but if you don’t want to change then that’s okay. Just have fun.” Or…something along those lines.

Like, it was definitely forced positivity at that point, solely because I’d been miserable on competitive before and got real toxic so now I was like “LET’S BE POSITIVE –EVEN WITH DIRE ODDS.”

We’d pushed the payload to the very last point on King’s Row, but we couldn’t complete it.It was the enemy’s turn, and just as we were preparing, someone on our team suddenly left.I can’t remember who it was, but I know it wasn’t Mercy or Widowmaker because I remember them distinctly.

Like I said, I could tell the team was down and we were stumbling a lot. The enemy team took the first point easily and by that time I just knew if we didn’t do something then we’d lose for sure.

At that time I went off voice chat because I could feel myself getting angry and didn’t want to take it out on anyone; but,  just as they went past the first corner of the payload, I was like “ah, f** it” and went back on chat and was like “alright, I know it looks bad but I think we can do this. We’re trickling in at the moment, but I’ve got my ult and if we can get rid of the tank (I think it was Rein) then I can do my ult and we can hold the payload,” or something along those lines. It was a really long time ago—I think Orisa had just been added to the game.

But anyway, we teamed up and managed to get Rein out of the picture and I flew my mech into the enemy team and BAM! Caught them completely unaware and it was a team kill.

Then I think it was Widow or Mercy who came on the voice chat and was like “YES! Go D.VA! We can do this everyone!” He was an American guy for definite, because he had a real thick accent. And honest to GOD we ended up winning. It was so great. Me and the guy were cheering when we won and just spammed thanks. Honestly, it was the best feeling in the world. I’ve not had a comp match like that for ages.
Aimee’s story is warm and uplifting, highlighting the side of Overwatch that players dream of. Aimee is the person you want on your team—the anti-toxic teammates who praises you when you do well and forgives you when you make a mistake. When Aimee told us this, we don’t think she knew that she was the star of the story, but that’s just how it is. If more people were like this, Overwatch’s toxicity problem would be solved in a heartbeat.

Natalie’s Story


Mercy is an essential part of many Overwatch teams. But will these latest changes make Mercy mains think twice?

So basically, sometimes I’ll play overwatch with my friends and I’ll want to play a little more after they take their leave. When that happens, I have to disconnect my headphones, plug in my splitter cable with the headphone jack, and plug my headphones back into that so that I can join voice chat without my own voice getting picked up. This is how I play Overwatch, because voice chat is super important since it’s supposed to be a team-based game.

Sometimes, I’m a little Zenyatta getting focused by the enemy team, but I’d rather frustratingly keep dying and drop in rank—which I honestly take pretty seriously as someone who is really involved with this game—than to go on voice chat with my microphone

I think the last time I went on mic was when I was playing as Mercy in a competitive match on Lijiang Tower. I hadn’t been using my mic for most of the match, but when I got attacked by an asshole for not healing enough (despite healing 8k at that point and doing my best with the other healer on our team that was focusing more on attacking than healing), I got on mic to tell him how much I had healed and that I wasn’t the problem, actually.

He then proceeded to call me a dirty whore and got super aggressive and hostile, and nobody was defending me, so when he said that, I just nodded and told them “Oh, I see how it is. Well, nice game!” and I purposely left the match, which I never usually do.

If it’s not that kind of interaction, then the other interaction in voice chat that I most vividly remember is playing on Eichenwalde with a team of dudes who seemed pretty nice, which made me felt confident going in voice chat and making callouts, strategizing, etc.

Almost immediately after I joined voice chat, this one guy started to fawn over my voice, telling me it was really cute and repeating some of the things I’d say, saying that he just loved my voice. He kept doing that and it was super distracting because I just wanted to focus on the game, but instead I was thinking about how much he was Othering me from the rest of the team.

It was the exact opposite of calling me a dirty whore; it was nice, even if flirtatious, but they both served the same purpose: to other me because I’m a woman. Any reason I should use voice chat for, like strategizing or asking for help since I tend to main supports and the enemy team often focuses me as a result, has never been a risk that compensates for the possible vitriol or othering I will experience.

You can never know—sometimes, a teammate may seem nice and not toxic, but then they’ll say something is “so gay” when we’re in 2018. And, because you can never know, I’d rather not put myself at risk. So that’s how I play Overwatch now: with my splitter cable so that I can listen to people talk but never speak myself. I’m rarely afraid to voice my own opinions, and you know me as someone who definitely doesn’t shy away from doing that, but when it comes to playing online games, I shut down. It’s a bit uncomfortable, because I’d like to speak. I’m used to it—but I can’t do it in Overwatch.

The only times I will join voice chat are when I know another woman is in there. And I’ve had it happen to me, when I used to go into voice chat more often than not, that me speaking leads to another woman in the team plugging in her mic later on and feeling comfortable in speaking. I have almost 1,000 hours played in Overwatch. Maybe less than 30 of those hours have involved me participating in voice chat. And 30 is really generous, frankly.

Natalie brings a whole new issue to the table here. An avid Overwatch player, Natalie takes competitive matches very seriously and tries to use voice chat as much as possible. Tragically, her voice is what makes her teammates either toxic or distracting—purely because she’s a woman. This issue extends the whole way up to professional play, with Shanghai Dragons’ Geguri being the only woman currently playing in the Overwatch League. Alongside the general toxicity that ruins an objectively great game for so many people is a culture founded upon gendered insults and misogyny. The worst thing about Overwatch

Don’t make a stellar teammate like Josh mute you. Aim to be Aimee. Treat Natalie with the same degree of respect that you’d afford your very own friends and family. Overwatchvoice chat is a feature designed to make a team game team-oriented. It’s not for bullying people. It’s for helping them.

We Got Our Mom to Review ‘Overwatch’ Skins

How Noughties Bro Culture Empowered Gaming’s Angriest Voices

The post ‘Overwatch’ Makes Voice Chat Essential, But is Winning Worth The Online Abuse? appeared first on FANDOM.

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Vatican letter undermines US cardinal on abuse

The Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders didn't discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
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Anita Hill: Companies Should Treat Sexual Harassment as an Abuse of Power

After the Congressional testimonies of Christine Blasey [f500link, ignore=true]Ford[/f500link] and Brett Kavanaugh in September, professor Anita Hill met with students at Brandeis University to discuss and process the event.

“There were a range of feelings,” said the attorney, known for her own testimony accusing then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. “Anger, a feeling of disgust with leadership, and unfortunately a feeling of abandonment–a sense that they were not recognized, their experiences weren’t recognized.”

Hill said the students have been very engaged in the effort to combat sexual violence on college campuses, where currently one in four women can expect to be sexually assaulted during their time at school.

“They have put a lot of energy in it and taken a lot of risk to make known the problem of sexual assault for their generation,” she said Wednesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Many women felt rage watching the Kavanaugh confirmation, Hill acknowledged, but disagreed with the idea that the outcome–Kavanaugh was later confirmed–meant no progress had been made in the 27 years since her own appearance on Capitol Hill.

“Maybe the Senate hasn’t changed enough, but we have,” she said. “And there’s a new generation of women coming up who are going to be even more empowered for change.”

That change needs to be large and institutional, Hill told a ballroom of executives, from college campuses to the workplace.

“I think we have to understand the root problem for what it is,” she said. “It’s not just about sexual harassment. In many ways, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It is about the abuse of power that occurs.”

Hill added: “We have to see this as a problem of power–power alignment and abuse, overall.”

If you don’t look at the issue as a comprehensive problem, it’s like playing whac-a-mole attempting to address instances of harassment as they occur, Hill said. Organizations instead need to understand the ways that people in positions of power can, and do, take advantage of others in the workplace.

“One way abuse of power is manifested is through sexual harassment,” she said. “But it’s also manifested through pay inequity. It’s also manifested through lack of leadership opportunities. It’s also manifested just by day to day aggressions that occur.”

It’s the power dynamic that often makes it difficult for people to report sexual misconduct. In the workplace, 75% of employees who report sexual harassment experience retaliation from managers or coworkers.

Because the fear of retaliation is real, companies need to make it clear from the highest levels that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated and create a standard process to rectify reports of harassment, Hill said.

“We need to make sure that we have very clear policies that are accessible and let people know, if they come forward, exactly what is going to happen to them,” she said.

It’s also important an employee knows that there will be an outcome when an issue is raised, rather than it disappearing into a human resources file, Hill added. It will require organizations to implement strong policies and live up to the promises they make to workers to begin to reduce the rates of sexual assault and harassment.

“We have to view this as a cultural problem, not a behavioral problem,” Hill said. “Do not be content with the idea that if we fire one or two high profile people, we’ve changed the culture of an institution. That is just not accurate. It’s not true and it’s not going to be effective.”

Fortune

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Afghanistan suspends officials after women’s soccer team abuse investigation

Afghanistan’s Attorney General has suspended the head of the Afghan Football Federation after a probe into allegations of sexual abuse of members of the national women’s soccer team, a spokesman for the attorney general said on Sunday.


Reuters: Sports News

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Why USA Gymnastics’ Bankruptcy Will Delay Abuse Survivors’ Search for the Truth

USA Gymnastics’ announcement Wednesday that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was in some ways expected. The embattled organization is currently under investigation by Congress and under threat of losing its status as the national governing body for gymnastics by the US Olympic Committee (USOC). It faces more than 100 lawsuits by gymnasts who claim that the organization failed to act to protect them against sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, who for many years was the national team doctor, even after reports of his abuse were made to USA Gymnastics officials.

Board chair Kathryn Carson said in a statement that the move is meant to “expedite resolution of claims by the Nassar survivors.” However, John Manly, the attorney who represents more than 100 of those survivors – including Olympians McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber – says the bankruptcy filing will delay, not speed up resolution of those lawsuits. Manly is currently taking depositions and discovery in some of those suits, which are now on hold because of the bankruptcy filing.

“If the goal is to delay, this is what you do,” he tells TIME. “We have depositions and request for other discovery and subpoenas lined up to get at the meat of what they knew and when they knew it [about the sexual abuse]. Bankruptcy stops that because there is an automatic stay on litigation.”

In its filing, USA Gymnastics lists former CEO Steve Penny, who led the organization during much of the time Nassar abused gymnasts, as the largest creditor, with a nearly $ 340,000 claim. Penny resigned in 2017 as the sexual abuse allegations mounted, and he and the organization were criticized for how they handled the abuse reports. He left USA Gymnastics with a reported $ 1 million severance, approved by the board. And in October, Penny was arrested after he was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence in the Nassar case. Texas law enforcement officials charged Penny with ordering removal of documents from USA Gymnastics’ national training center, the Karolyi Ranch, in 2016.

In her statement, Carson said that any money USA Gymnastics may owe as a result of the lawsuits — when they resume — would be covered by the organization’s insurance policies.

But those athletes with pending lawsuits will have to take yet another legal step because of USA Gymnastics’ decision to file for Chapter 11 protection. The federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis, where the organization is based, will set a time during which all creditors must step forward and file a claim for any funds they are owed by USA Gymnastics. Creditors usually have four to six months to file these claims, and the gymnasts currently suing USA Gymnastics must also file this separate claim for any damages or recompense they feel they are owed.

From the survivors’ perspective, the delay in the litigation means they will continue to search for answers about why the organization they believed was protecting their best interests allowed Nassar to continue to treat them — at competitions, including in hotel rooms, and at training camps — even after many of them had reported his abuse to USA Gymnastics officials.

“I think USA Gymnastics thinks this is now just about money,” says Manly. “My direction from my clients is that we are not discussing money until we get the truth. The bankruptcy definitely makes it difficult; it delays things and is definitely not a win for us. But we have trial dates set, and we are moving toward trial.”

Sports – TIME

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USA Gymnastics Files For Bankruptcy in Wake of Sex Abuse Scandal

USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an effort to ensure its survival.

The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them.

Kathryn Carson, who was recently elected chairwoman of the board of directors, said the organization is turning to bankruptcy to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.

“Those discussions were not moving at any pace,” Carson said. “We as a board felt this was a critical imperative and decided to take this action.”

The filing does not affect the amount of money available to victims, which would come from previously purchased insurance coverage, she said. Carson said the insurance companies “are aware we’re taking this action and our expectation is they will come to the table and pay on our coverage.”

Carson added: “This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization.”

One that USA Gymnastics hopes will buy it enough time to fend off the USOC’s intent to decertify it.

The USOC on Nov. 5 took steps to remove USAG as the sport’s governing body at the Olympic level — a step that’s taken only under the most extreme circumstances. In an open letter to the gymnastics community, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics were more than it was capable of overcoming as currently constructed.

Carson said the legal maneuvering Wednesday delays the USOC’s efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body.

“We always have a dialogue going with them and intend to make it clear with them we have a lot to talk about and we want to keep that going,” Carson said.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky disagreed.

“While we fully understand that USAG believes this restructuring will begin to solve deficiencies we’ve identified, the filing does not impact our Section 8 complaint and that process will move forward,” Sandusky said.

Sports – TIME

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USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy as it seeks to resolve sexual abuse claims

USA Gymnastics filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, which will allow it to continue operating while also resolving the sexual abuse claims made by several athletes against former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar. 
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An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation

According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence. Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Former Michigan State President Charged With Lying to Police About Nassar’s Sexual Abuse

(LANSING, Mich.) —Ex-Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation of the handling of serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar — the third current or former campus official other than Nassar to face criminal charges in the scandal.

Simon, who stepped down under pressure in January, spoke with state police investigators on May 1. She is accused of making two false and misleading statements — that she was unaware of the nature of a sexual misconduct complaint that sparked the school’s 2014 Title IX probe of Nassar, and that she only knew a sports medicine doctor, not Nassar himself, was under investigation at that time.

If convicted of two felony and two misdemeanor counts of lying to a peace officer, the 71-year-old Simon faces up to four years in prison. The Mason resident is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Eaton County near Lansing.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Simon’s attorney, Lee Silver. University spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said Simon — who remains on faculty despite resigning as president — is taking an immediate leave of absence, without pay “to focus on her legal situation.”

Simon is the fifth person to be criminally charged in the wake of Nassar’s convictions for molesting young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or have been sued.

In August, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged former MSU gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages with lying to an investigator when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by Nassar. In March, the ex-dean of the osteopathic medicine school, William Strampel , was charged with neglecting his duty to enforce examining-room restrictions imposed on Nassar after the 2014 Title IX investigation.

That probe, initiated by a patient, resulted in the school clearing Nassar.

In Texas, former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny was charged last month with tampering with evidence while a former sports medicine trainer, Debra Van Horn , was charged in June with “acting as a party” with Nassar in the sexual assault of a child.

Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar molested them when he was a physician, including while he worked at Michigan State and Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. Nassar, 55, last year pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting nine victims and possessing child pornography, and his sentences equate to life in prison.

Sports – TIME

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Ron Galimore, USA Gymnastics COO Tied to Sexual Abuse Scandal, Resigns

Ron Galimore, the last remaining USA Gymnastics official who was in a leadership role during the explosive sexual abuse scandal that emerged in 2016, has resigned.

The organization made the announcement in a two-sentence press release. “The USA Gymnastics Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Chief Operating Officer Ron Galimore. We wish him well in his future endeavors.“

Galimore, a gymnast who competed in the 1980 Olympics and was employed by Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics since 1994, has been a lightning rod for criticism by abuse survivors. His resignation comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Olympic Committee initiated proceedings to remove USA Gymnastics’ status as the sport’s governing body in the country.

The Indianapolis Star first reported in 2016 that USA Gymnastics had received reports of sexual abuse but did not immediately contact law enforcement authorities. Several hundred gymnasts, including the entire Fierce Five 2012 Olympic champion women’s team, later came forward with reports they had been sexually abused by Larry Nassar, who was the organization’s team doctor.

Earlier this year, the Star obtained emails that revealed Galimore was among the USA Gymnastics officials who were involved in finding excuses for Nassar’s absences from events even after the organization became aware of growing reports of Nassar’s abuse beginning in 2015.

Olympian Aly Raisman, who was abused by Nassar, has been vocal in questioning why Galimore remained at USA Gymnastics given his role in the Nassar abuse scandal. Galimore is the only U.S. member of the International Gymnastics Federation executive committee, and at the recent world gymnastics championships in Doha was among those distributing medals.

“Why is Ron Galimore (someone who covered up Nassar’s abuse) allowed to have the honor of handing out medals at world championships? What an awful message this sends to athletes,” she tweeted on Nov. 2.

Raisman has noted that the mass of resignations from USA Gymnastics due to the sexual abuse scandal — the top leadership of its board, two CEOs, and the development training coordinator — are important steps toward rebuilding the organization, but don’t provide any answers for survivors who still want to know how and why Nassar’s abuse was allowed to continue for years.

“USA Gymnastics has not been transparent at all,” she told TIME last month. “There have been so many resignations, and no answers.”

Sports – TIME

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Ex-Wife Of Chicago Cubs Star Addison Russell Describes Years of Alleged Abuse

When Chicago Cubs star Addison Russell hit a home run in the 2016 World Series his wife Melisa Reidy-Russell said she cried – not out of happiness, but relief that he would be in a good mood later.

“I was bawling in the stands,” she said. “Like, ‘Oh my God, thank God, finally. I don’t have to expect him to be grumpy when we go back to the hotel.’”

Reidy-Russell detailed of years of alleged physical and emotional abuse in an interview this week on Chicago TV station WGN-TV.

Major League Baseball suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell 40 games this week for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

ESPN reports Russell, who denies the allegations, accepted the suspension from MLB.

Addison Russell and Melisa Reidy-Russell met when they were both 20 years old. Noticing some red flags soon into their relationship, Reidy-Russell said she tried to break it off with Russell multiple times. He would reassure her and convince her to stay each time, she said.

“The physical stuff wasn’t every day. Or every month,” she said. “It was just when sh-t hit the fan. Fights started getting worse. He started breaking things. He broke my phone in half with his hands one day over something.”

MLB began investigating Russell in 2017 after since-deleted Instagram posts from Reidy-Russell suggested the couple was breaking up; in a separate post, a commenter who was a close friend to Reidy-Russell accused Russell of abusing his wife. The league did not take disciplinary action against Russell at the time.

The investigation picked up again this year after Reidy-Russell wrote a blog post about two weeks ago describing the physical and emotional abuse she says she endured at the hands of Russell. MLB placed Russell on administrative leave on Sept. 21.

“After gaining a full understanding of the situation, I have concluded it’s in the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” he said in a statement. “I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child.”

Sports – TIME

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