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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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News Roundup

Women speak out on abuse by Nassar; Nation’s first Sikh attorney general confirmed; more in U.S. news

Survivors speak

"Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world."

Kyle Stephens, inset, told disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom Tuesday. Stephens was the first of nearly 100 women and girls who planned to speak or have their statements read during a four-day sentencing hearing. Many of them cried as they told their stories of sexual abuse and emotional trauma inflicted by Nassar, a former team physician for USA Gymnastics. Nassar, 54, has pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls but many more — including Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney — have accused him of abuse. Stephens said Nassar repeatedly abused her from age 6 until age 12 and said he later denied it. Her parents initially believed him, and Stephens largely blames her father’s suicide on the shame and self-loathing he felt for defending Nassar.


A home of torture

From the outside, the brown-and-beige four-bedroom home looked fairly orderly. The couple who owned it had purchased the house new in 2014 and soon arrived in the Los Angeles suburb of Perris with their 12 children. They lived there quietly for at least three years and had another baby. Then on Sunday, one of the children jumped out of a window, called 911 and led authorities to what they described as a torture chamber. Sheriff’s deputies said they found 13 children ranging from 2 to 29 years old, some of them chained to furniture, all of them thin and malnourished. The 17-year-old girl who escaped was so tiny that deputies initially mistook her for a 10-year-old. When authorities confronted the girl’s mother, Louise Anna Turpin, she appeared "perplexed" about why officers had come to the home, sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows said. Turpin, 49, and her husband, David Allen Turpin, 57, were jailed on $9 million bail. They were scheduled for an initial court appearance Thursday, and authorities say the pair could face charges of torture and child endangerment.

New Jersey

Nation’s first Sikh AG confirmed

The New Jersey Senate has confirmed the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general. Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal was confirmed Tuesday. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said he believes he’s the first Sikh to serve in such a position. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie tapped Grewal in 2016 to be the prosecutor in Bergen, New Jersey’s most populous county. He’s a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, serving in the criminal division, and he served as a prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York. The Democrat says he’s "honored and humbled" to be attorney general. Grewal has said he wants to show the country and his three daughters, who attended his confirmation, his commitment to working to end intolerance.


Actors renounce Woody Allen

A growing number of actors are distancing themselves from Woody Allen and his next film, heightening questions about the future of the 82-year-old filmmaker in Hollywood. Timothée Chalamet on Tuesday said he will donate his salary from Allen’s upcoming A Rainy Day in New York to three charities fighting sexual harassment and abuse: Time’s Up, the LGBT Center in New York and RAINN. The breakout star of Call Me By Your Name announced on Instagram that he didn’t want to profit from his work on Allen’s film, which wrapped shooting in the fall. "I want to be worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the brave artists who are fighting for all people to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve," Chalamet said. The 22-year-old is just the latest cast member of an Allen production to express regret or guilt about working with him. In recent weeks, Rebecca Hall (A Rainy Day in New York, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Ellen Page (To Rome With Love), David Krumholtz (Wonder Wheel) and Griffith Newman (A Rainy Day in New York) have all distanced themselves from Allen. The rising chorus suggests the road ahead for Allen may be particularly challenging, even for a director whose personal controversies have for decades made him an alternatively beloved and reviled figure. Financial support has not previously waned in part because of the eagerness many stars have for working with Allen. But fielding a starry cast may prove increasingly difficult for him in an industry in the midst of a "Me Too" reckoning. — tbt* wires

What’s for dinner?


calls to U.S. poison control centers in 2017 were due to exposure to laundry pods, says the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The breakout meme of early 2018 goes like this: Tide Pods look like delicious fruity candy, so maybe we should eat them. (Don’t.) It’s not exactly a breaking public health emergency, though. AAPCC data shows the poisonings are even trending downward, by about 14 percent since 2015. While 12,000 poison control calls sounds like a lot, it’s well within the range of calls for common household products.

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