Cosby can call witness to undercut sex assault accuser, judge rules

HARRISBURG, Pa., (Reuters) – Defense lawyers at Bill Cosby’s retrial on sexual assault charges can call a witness they say will undermine his accuser’s credibility, a Pennsylvania judge said yesterday, reversing his ruling that barred the same witness from the first trial of the comedian once known as “America’s Dad.” The ruling to allow Margo Jackson’s testimony came on the second day of jury selection for the second trial where the 80-year-old entertainer will face charges that he sexually assaulted a staffer more than a decade ago at his alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia.

‘Shape of Water’ wins big at Oscars on activism-fueled night

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – Romantic fantasy “The Shape of Water” won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, the film industry’s most prestigious honour, on a night where themes of female empowerment and activism almost overshadowed the awards.

‘Shape of Water’ wins big at Oscars on activism-fueled night

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – Romantic fantasy “The Shape of Water” won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, the film industry’s most prestigious honour, on a night where themes of female empowerment and activism almost overshadowed the awards.

Oscars’ ‘#MeToo’ dilemma

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – The Academy Awards, the glitziest night in show business, takes place on Sunday, but the biggest drama may be not on the Dolby Theatre stage but behind-the-scenes moves to tackle the sexual misconduct scandal that has rocked the industry.

At 89, French director Varda in running for second Oscar

PARIS/NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – A few months shy of her 90th birthday, French film director Agnes Varda is in the running for a second Oscar in a year, thanks to an unlikely partnership with street artist JR in a documentary spotlighting everyday life in small-town France.

French actresses launch own “Time’s Up” with white ribbons

PARIS, (Reuters) – Over 100 actresses and film professionals in France, including Vanessa Paradis and Diane Kruger, launched their own movement on Wednesday against sexual violence, and said they would sport white ribbons at a French awards event this week.

Father of South African jazz Hugh Masekela dies aged 78

JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – Trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela, known as the “father of South African jazz” who used his music in the fight against apartheid, has died from prostate cancer, his family said on Tuesday.

Raids and rescues: Nobel laureate Satyarthi film exposes India child slavery

NEW YORK,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Forget jargon-filled monologues, raids to rescue enslaved Indian children inject drama into a documentary about Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who hopes the film will inspire viewers to play a part in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery.

Russian premiere of ‘Death of Stalin’ film called off -TASS

MOSCOW,  (Reuters) – The Russian premiere of “Death of Stalin, a dark, satirical movie from British director Armando Iannucci, was called off yesterday after a private pre-release viewing drew ire from government figures, TASS news agency reported.

‘Three Billboards’ biggest winner at female-flavored SAG awards

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – Dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won three prizes at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday in a ceremony marked by women and their stories amid the sexual misconduct scandal that has swept Hollywood.

Hollywood stars back #TimesUp war on harassment as donations roll in

LONDON,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Hollywood stars including Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Natalie Portman have backed a campaign against sexual harassment called Time’s Up as donations flood in for a multi-million dollar legal fund to fight abuse cases in the workplace.

NBC says Hoda Kotb to replace Lauer as ‘Today’ co-anchor

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Television host Hoda Kotb was named the new co-anchor of the NBC News “Today” show on Tuesday, replacing former co-host Matt Lauer several weeks after the longtime anchor was fired for inappropriate sexual behaviour, according to a network statement.