Weinstein charged with rape, sex abuse

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been taken to a New York City courthouse in handcuffs after surrendering himself at a police station to be charged with rape, sex abuse and other crimes involving two women.

The charges come months after he was toppled from Hollywood’s most powerful ranks by scores of women accusing him of misconduct.

More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax film studio and Weinstein Co of sexual misconduct with some allegations dating back decades.

The accusations, first reported by the New York Times and the New Yorker last year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of misconduct.

Weinstein is charged with rape, sexual misconduct, sex abuse and the committing of a criminal sex act against two women, the New York Police Department said on Friday in a statement, which did not identify the women.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

The 66-year-old gave a weak smile as he arrived at a Lower Manhattan police station at about 7.25am local time on Friday wearing a dark jacket over a blue sweater and white open-collared shirt and dark jeans.

Police officers escorted Weinstein inside the station as scores of journalists pushed up against barricades for pictures and video, while three helicopters hovered overhead.

Just before 9am Weinstein left the station in handcuffs and escorted by officers to head to a Manhattan court for arraignment.

A judge is expected to release him on bail, according to media reports.

Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer and his lawyer Benjamin Brafman both declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday on the charges.

The victim in the rape case has not been identified, the Times reported, but Weinstein will be charged with first-degree and third-degree rape. The other case involves allegations by Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actor who told the New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004, the Times reported.

Entertainment industry heavyweights have distanced themselves from Weinstein since the accusations became public. The board of the Weinstein Co fired him and the company filed for bankruptcy in March.

In 2017, he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars.

A former fixture in the most elite entertainment circles of Manhattan and Los Angeles, Weinstein has spent time in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the New York Times said he sought treatment for sex addiction.

London’s Metropolitan Police have said they are also investigating an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein, while prosecutors in Los Angeles said in February they were reviewing three accusations of sexual assault against him.

Brafman said in a May court filing that federal prosecutors in New York had opened a separate criminal investigation into the allegations.

Actress Rose McGowan, among the first in Hollywood to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said in a statement on Thursday that his alleged victims were now “one step closer to justice.”

Elliott turns down money for love of Dogs

Adam Elliott says he turned down offers from rival NRL clubs becasue of his love for the Bulldogs.Canterbury back-rower Adam Elliott has revealed he turned his back on big money offers from rival NRL clubs because he knew his beloved Bulldogs were headed for tough times in 2018.

When Elliott sat down with his manager in the middle of last year, he saw a storm was brewing at Belmore.

Within the club, it was well known they were about to feel a salary cap squeeze – which looks set to force out several senior players at the end of the year.

As well, then-coach Des Hasler was hanging by a thread – before he was ultimately replaced by Dean Pay.

With so much uncertainty and bigger and better contracts on the table from Parramatta and the Warriors, most other players would have taken the money and run.

But not Elliott, whose loyalty runs deep.

“I was really close to making the decision to leave,” Elliott told AAP.

“I had really good contracts on the table from the Warriors and Parramatta.

“It just came to a point where Josh Jackson, he’s one of my really good mates, he was the number one person that I was speaking to through my contract negotiations.

“One day I had everyone’s final offers on the table. I think a few people would have taken the offers to leave.

“But after talking to Jacko and realising where we were, the love I have for this club, I thought not only was it the best thing for me to stay footy-wise but it was the best thing to do, to help build this club I’ve loved and supported my whole life. Help them get out of the rut we’re in.”

A Bulldogs fan since childhood Elliott was initially offered development deals by St George Illawarra and Canberra when he showed promise as a junior.

However when an offer came in from the Bulldogs when he was 14, he jumped at the opportunity.

So when he sat down in June last year to decide his future, he thought long and hard about his love for the club.

“It was the first year (in six seasons) we hadn’t made the top eight, we knew there was a bit of a storm ahead of us when it came to salary cap issues, coach handovers and that sort of stuff,” Elliott said.

“I just thought it wasn’t the right time for me to leave. There’s a lot more left for me to do at the Bulldogs.

“Growing up my number one dream was playing for the club.

“In my heart I know I made the right decision.”

Exposto sure she’ll beat death sentence

The Sydney grandmother sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug smuggling has told her lawyer not to worry as they will win their appeal case because “it’s obvious I’m innocent”.

An appeal court in Malaysia on Thursday sentenced Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto to death by hanging after overturning her earlier acquittal on drug smuggling charges.

The three judges sitting in Kuala Lumpur unanimously found the 54-year-old guilty but said she had a right of further appeal on the methamphetamine charges and wished her luck.

On Friday Exposto’s legal team lodged an application to appeal the ruling in the Federal Court.

“I can confirm a notice of appeal has been filed with the court,” a lawyer with Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represents Exposto, told AAP.

Her lawyer told Network Ten on Friday that his client had “told me something very encouraging”.

“She said, ‘Not to worry, we got another appeal, and with your team …we will win the case … because I’m innocent. It’s obvious I’m innocent’.”

In a statement on Thursday Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said ” opposes the death penalty in all circumstances for all people” and Exposto would continue to receive full n consular assistance.

On December 27 last year Exposto was acquitted of drug trafficking but faced a prosecution appeal against the acquittal on charges of trafficking 1.5kg of methamphetamine into Malaysia.

She had claimed she was the victim of a set-up after she was found with the drugs in her bag after arriving on a flight from China in 2014.

She was acquitted after the judge found she was scammed by her online boyfriend and was unaware she was carrying the drugs stitched into her bag.

The prosecution in the appeal argued Exposto had been wilfully blind, that her defence was made up and she had engaged in a “sly game”, News Corp reported.

Dodgier exporters will fill sheep void

Countries with lower animal welfare standards may step in if stops live exportsAgriculture officials admit if abandons live sheep exports to the Middle East, competitor nations with even worse animal welfare standards will simply fill the void.

Horrific footage emerged last month of sheep dying in their own filth on a Middle East-bound ship in August last year.

On day 15 of the voyage, temperatures soared, killing 900 sheep. A further 1000 died in the following two days.

Major importer Al Mawashi has opened talks with other countries after NSW MP Sussan Ley introduced a private bill to end live sheep exports.

“We certainly expect Gulf countries we are currently exporting to, if our exports were to cease, they would seek their live sheep from other markets,” Agriculture department deputy secretary Malcolm Thompson told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday night.

“Our sense is the welfare standards in many of those countries are lower than .”

Horn of Africa countries, South Africa and Eastern European nations were identified as ‘s main competitors.

Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston flagged there could be increases of boxed and chilled n sheep meat into those markets, if live exports stopped.

Government backbencher Barry O’Sullivan said it was hypocritical for ns to be up in arms over live exports to the Middle East.

“I know the little piggy doesn’t want to go to market, but if you’ve got to go to market, you’re better off being a little n piggy going to market than you are coming from some darker destinations,” he told the hearing.

Senator Ruston responded the n public expected animals to be treated properly and the footage had been damaging to the industry’s reputation.

The department’s culture and capability is under review following the controversy, as part of Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s push to clean up the under-fire trade.

Mr Littleproud introduced a bill to parliament on Thursday to punish dodgy exporters with up to 10 years’ jail and multimillion-dollar fines.

Enever replaces Arnold in Brumbies team

Blake Enever has filled the Brumbies’ vacant lock position for the Super Rugby clash with the Bulls.The battle for Rory Arnold’s Brumbies starting position has been won by Blake Enever.

The move into the No.4 jersey for Saturday night’s Super Rugby clash with the Bulls will help Enever’s claims for a Wallabies berth in the Test series against Ireland in June.

The vacancy arose after Arnold was sent off for a high tackle against the Lions last week, resulting in a three-game suspension.

Arnold’s twin brother, Richie, started in the Brumbies’ round win against the Sunwolves but he will come off the bench.

Despite losing five straight games, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar isn’t willing to wield the axe, with the only other change also being forced.

Teenager Rob Valetini will have another stint on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury for the second time this season.

The exciting back-rower endured a medial ligament injury against the Lions but the Brumbies are still hopeful he can return before the end of the season.

Valetini’s replacement at blindside flanker is the experienced Lachlan McCaffrey, who is working his way back from a serious elbow injury.

The Brumbies will look to regain some pride in this clash as they are on track for their worst season since 2011.

They sit 14th on the overall ladder with a 3-8, only a game clear of Japanese franchise the Sunwolves.

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Andrew Muirhead, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Powell, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Lachlan McCaffrey, Sam Carter, Blake Enever, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Faingaa, Scott Sio

Res: Connal McInerney, Nic Mayhew, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Richie Arnold, Tom Cusack, Matt Lucas, Wharenui Hawera, Andrew Smith

Eels close to winning formula after loss

Bevan French unluckily had a try disallowed for a forward pass as Eels lost to Brisbane.It may have been another heartbreaking loss for Parramatta but coach Brad Arthur reckons he may have found their winning formula in their 18-10 NRL defeat in Brisbane.

The Eels slumped to a 2-10 season start on Thursday night after little went right for the visitors.

Centre Michael Jennings bombed two tries when he dropped the ball over the line and Bevan French crashed over in the 75th minute, only to be called back due to a forward pass.

Yet Arthur could see light at the end of the tunnel after his gamble to swap fullback Clint Gutherson and pivot Corey Norman worked.

Arthur said he would stick with the combination after Norman looked dangerous at No.1 despite nursing a foot complaint while co-captain Gutherson revelled in his hands-on role at five-eighth.

Norman was playing fullback for the first time since round 19, 2015.

He threatened to break the game open when he set up Tepai Moeroa early, only to be held up then later looked to have sent French try-bound before officials ruled a forward pass.

“I am (sticking with the position switch). They were busy and they were in the game – I thought they were both good,” Arthur said.

“Normie put a pass on for Tep (Moeroa) there early when Tep got held up over the line and we dropped two over the line.

“With 15 minutes to go (Norman) probably should have come off. He was carrying a foot injury but he wanted to stay out there.”

Gutherson said the positional change agreed with him.

“It didn’t change too much for me. I just got my hands on the ball a lot more which I liked,” he said.

“I had to make few more tackles but I liked it. I got to get into the game a bit more and stamp my authority.

“And Normie is a footy player, he will play well wherever he is. He was excellent at the back – he had a silky touch back there.”

It marked Parramatta’s fourth straight loss.

The Eels have also lost their past eight away games.

“We wanted to see them play for each other and they did,” Arthur said.

“The game comes down to taking your chances and when we are down and out like we are at the moment, we are not nailing them.

“But I thought we played really well. It sounds silly but it’s the truth.

“We’ve just got to make sure we don’t give up, we keep coming with the right attitude and make it (fortunes) turn.”

Win ensures no tough week for Bennett

Wayne Bennett celebrated his 496th win of his career after Broncos beat Parramatta.Tough week? What tough week?

Wayne Bennett was at his unflappable best after Brisbane celebrated his record 800th game with a stirring 18-10 NRL win over Parramatta, brushing aside a tumultuous build-up.

In his 32nd season, Bennett’s future at his beloved Broncos is up in the air for the first time after Brisbane CEO Paul White confirmed this week that they were pursuing off contract Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy.

Not that anyone could tell after Brisbane secured their fourth win in five games to keep Bennett on track for the 27th finals series of his career.

Bennett was his usual stoic self post-match, denying any of the Bellamy speculation had been a distraction.

He said his players were so oblivious of the off-field controversy that they didn’t even know White had held a press conference at Broncos training on Wednesday to address the Bellamy speculation.

Asked if it was a tough week, Bennett said: “I don’t think it was tough.

“The players don’t know what is going on. It’s an issue within the club but no issues that impact on these guys.

“They didn’t know a press conference was going on (Wednesday), they were too busy training.

“They are men enjoying themselves and playing footy.”

In fact Bennett reckoned the biggest challenge was getting his team ready mentally to back up from their inspirational last round win over Sydney Roosters.

“You don’t understand how hard it is sometimes to get back up after an outstanding game like last week,” he said.

“A lot of those young guys were fighting battles in their minds about how they were going to play but they won that battle fortunately.”

The milestone match marked Bennett’s 496th win of his career.

Bennett didn’t want to talk about game No.800 before the match and didn’t change his tune after it.

Asked if he had been able to get his head around the landmark, Bennett said: “No.”

Broncos skipper Darius Boyd marvelled at the way his young team had been able to block out the Bennett dramas.

“We are under scrutiny and pressure the most and there are a lot of young guys in the team who don’t feel it,” he said.

“The things we constantly go through and still come out and perform, I am really proud of the group.”

Leading the way were Tevita Pangai (171m), Joe Ofahengaue (122m) and Jaydn Su’A (118m) in a starting backrow depleted by Test forwards Matt Gillett (neck) and Josh McGuire (ankle) and Kiwi Alex Glenn (knee).

“It (injuries) is not what you want but if they handle it the way they have it’s great – it is invaluable for the club,” Bennett said of their impressive depth.

Scans await off-contract Carlton skipper

Carlton skipper Marc Murphy will undergo scans on his troublesome left foot on Friday.Scans are set to shed more light on Marc Murphy’s foot injury but the Carlton skipper’s AFL contract situation is no closer to being resolved.

Murphy will miss Saturday’s AFL clash with Geelong after again hurting his troublesome left foot.

The 30-year-old missed five games with a plantar fasciitis injury and injured the same foot in his return to action last weekend.

He was initially thought to have disrupted scar tissue in his foot but Murphy, who was on crutches at Princes Park on Thursday and will undergo scans on Friday, conceded it could be something more serious.

“At the moment I’m not really too sure what’s going on with it,” he told the Seven Network.

“It could be scar tissue, it could be a re-rupture, so not too sure yet.”

Murphy will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and pundits have suggested the veteran should consider joining a rival club given the bottom-placed Blues are little chance of success during his final years.

The dual club champion said on Thursday he was yet to make a decision on his future.

“I love this footy club. There’s a bit of thinking to do but hopefully I can get this foot right and make a call on that pretty soon,” Murphy said.

“My manager’s working through that with the club at the moment. I was more just focused on getting this right and playing some footy. Unfortunately I had a little bit of a setback.”

Brothers Charlie and Ed Curnow will return for Saturday’s game at Kardinia Park along with swingman Jacob Weitering and David Cuningham.

Jarrod Garlett is among three omissions for the Blues, who copped a 109-point drubbing from Melbourne last weekend.

Geelong have also swung the axe following their 34-point loss to Essendon.

Ruckman Rhys Stanley returns with Zac Smith one of four players omitted.

Morgan Freeman accused of harassment

At least eight women have accused Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman of subjecting them to inappropriate behaviour or harassment on film sets or at promotional events, CNN reported on Thursday.

As part of its investigation of the 80-year-old actor, CNN said it had spoken with 16 people, some of whom also alleged inappropriate behaviour by Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.

A young production assistant who worked on Going in Style – the 2015 comedy starring Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin – alleges the US actor subjected her to unwanted touching.

She also alleges that Freeman would comment on her figure and clothing on a regular basis, and that he would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back.

In one instance, she said Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” At one point, she recalled, “Alan made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”

A female senior production staffer of Freeman’s 2012 film Now You See Me reported a similar pattern of behaviour. She said Freeman sexually harassed her and other female assistants by commenting on their bodies.

“He did comment on our bodies,” she said. “We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that (were) fitted.”

Each of the women said they didn’t report him, most citing that they feared for their jobs.

Freeman said in a statement that he was sorry to anyone who had been made to feel uncomfortable or disrespected.

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

Freeman, whose career has spanned 50 years and more than 100 movies, won an Oscar in 2005 as best supporting actor for his role as a former boxer in the film Million Dollar Baby.

Following the CNN report, credit card company Visa said in a statement that it was suspending its “marketing in which the actor is featured.” Freeman has been the longtime voice of Visa television advertisements.

Pies recall tagger to face Macrae’s Dogs

Levi Greenwood has been recalled by Collingwood for their AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs.Recalled tagger Levi Greenwood looms as the man to put the clamps on Jack Macrae when Collingwood face the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

Greenwood has been named for his first AFL game of the season, having played the past three weeks in the VFL on return from a knee injury.

Key defender Ben Reid and youngster Josh Daicos will also line up at Etihad Stadium, with the trio replacing Alex Fasolo (ankle), Daniel Wells (rested) and Sam Murray (omitted).

The 10th-placed Magpies looked in good touch during a convincing 28-point win over St Kilda last weekend, while the Bulldogs (13th) registered a dire scoreline of 2.14 (26) during their 37-point, wet-weather loss to Adelaide.

But the Dogs have a trump card in the form of ball magnet Macrae, who’s having a breakout season averaging 34 disposals a game.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley has been reluctant to use a hard tag on even the most prolific ball-winners, preferring to back in his midfield as a collective.

But Greenwood’s return suggests Buckley may be prepared to sacrifice an offensive weapon in the hopes of restricting Macrae’s influence at the stoppages.

Collingwood midfielder Adam Treloar hinted that Greenwood wouldn’t necessarily be deployed as a tagger.

“It’s death by a thousand cuts with Jack Macrae,” Treloar told the club’s website.

“The more he gets, the more he hurts you.

“Don’t be surprised if we send someone to him … but I think he (Greenwood) has gone back to play down in defence.”

Star recruit Josh Schache is set to make his Bulldogs debut after being named alongside Tory Dickson and Roarke Smith.

Mitch Wallis, Josh Dunkley and Lukas Webb have been omitted.