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Weinstein’s day in court
- Jury selection in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein began Tuesday in Manhattan, the day after the Los Angeles district attorney announced four new felony charges against the disgraced media mogul. [NPR / Vanessa Romo]
- Judge James Burke denied a request by Weinstein’s lawyers that jury selection in the New York trial be delayed in light of the publicity stemming from new charges. [NBC / Adam Kuperstein and Daniel Arkin]
- Weinstein also drew Burke’s ire for using his cellphone in the courtroom in defiance of a court order. The judge threatened to jail Weinstein for the duration of court proceedings over the violation. [Vulture / Victoria Bekiempis]
- It’s virtually impossible to pick a jury that hasn’t heard about the allegations against Weinstein already, but the prosecution and defense don’t have to do that — they just need jurors who will make up their own mind in court. [Washington Post / Deanna Paul]
- Weinstein, who has denied all charges of sexual assault, could face a sentence of up to life in prison if he is found guilty in New York. [Vox / Anna North]
- Of eight allegations examined by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, two have resulted in charges. Three more remain open pending review. [LA Times / Richard Winton and James Queally]
- Last month, Weinstein and more than 30 of his accusers reached a tentative settlement for around $25 million. Under the agreement’s terms, Weinstein would not have to pay the settlement himself; instead, insurance companies representing the bankrupt Weinstein Company would be responsible for the payout. [NYT / Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor]
Signed? Sealed? Delivered?
- A draft letter announcing the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq wasn’t just sent to Iraqi officials by mistake — it also included different versions in its English and Arabic translations. [CNN / Meg Wagner and Jack Guy]
- Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi claims to have received a signed copy of the letter, which he is said to be treating as an official declaration of US intent. [Twitter / Liz Sly, Washington Post]
- The letter’s circulation followed a Sunday vote by the Iraqi Parliament to expel US forces from Iraq amid popular anger over the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani from a US airstrike. [NYT / Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Farnaz Fassihi and Steven Erlanger]
- The parliamentary resolution is nonbinding but prompted President Donald Trump to threaten Iraq with severe sanctions should US troops be ordered out of the country. [WSJ / Isabel Coles and Catherine Lucey]
- Soleimani’s killing has already impaired US operations in the region, including in the fight against ISIS. A withdrawal from Iraq could further empower the terrorist group. [CNBC / Weizhen Tan]
“You get dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness and shame and all of these things, and it sometimes seems healthier and wiser to just move on with your life and not allow yourself to be re-victimized.” [Actress Daryl Hannah in a 2017 story on the trauma of speaking out against Harvey Weinstein / The New Yorker]
Watch this: The Middle East’s cold war, explained
Why the rivalry and conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is crucial to understanding the Middle East. [Vox on YouTube / Sam Ellis]
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