R. Kelly reportedly faces a new criminal investigation after Lifetime’s docuseries

criminal investigation

After 25 years’ worth of accusations of sexual misconduct against R. Kelly, the R&B legend may be about to face legal consequences again.

Following the airing of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, a six-part docuseries about the singer and the persistent allegations that he has abused young women and girls, the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, has reportedly opened a new investigation into Kelly’s alleged abuse.

(Kelly has denied the idea that he is holding anyone against their will, and some of the women in question have told the police that they live with Kelly voluntarily. Their families argue that they have been brainwashed.)

An attorney for the family of Jocelyn Savage, one of the women who is allegedly being held by Kelly, told CNN that he was contacted by the Fulton County district attorney shortly after Surviving R. Kelly aired. The office of the district attorney has not commented on the matter, and no warrant has been issued against Kelly.

However, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Kelly’s manager James Mason, who police say has threatened Kelly’s accusers. The police have been unable to find Mason.

And in Illinois, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has asked any of Kelly’s potential victims to come forward. “There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without cooperation between victims and witnesses,” Foxx said. “We cannot do this without you.”

criminal investigation

Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly appears to have effectively focused attention back on Kelly and the question of his alleged misconduct. The series was highly watched, with each of the six episodes averaging 2.1 million viewers, and after it aired, two Dallas radio stations announced that they would no longer support Kelly’s music. “If the courts won’t take care of [Kelly] in terms of punishing him, then we’ll stop playing his music as punishment,” said radio host DeDe McGuire.

Many of Kelly’s fans continue to support him, however, and Spotify has reported that after Surviving R. Kelly aired there was a 16 percent spike in streams of Kelly’s music.

Kelly has not officially commented on the series, but his lawyer described it as “lies” and threatened to sue before it aired. According to TMZ, Kelly is planning to “expose” his accusers with a website and Facebook page called “Surviving Lies,” but the website has yet to go up, and Facebook removed the Surviving Lies page for violating its community standards.

The controversy over laws punishing Israel boycotts, explained

Israel boycotts

S 1, the very first bill the new US Senate considered in 2019, had nothing to do with ending the partial shutdown and reopening the government. It was instead a grab bag of different proposals related to the Middle East, and a controversial one at that. Most of the debate centered on Title 4 of the bill, a provision that would give states a legal blessing to punish companies that choose not to do business with Israel or Israeli-owned enterprises, a key demand of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Twenty-six states have adopted laws that punish companies that choose to boycott Israel. Defenders of the law see them as necessary to protect an ally from hostile activists, while critics argue that the laws are unconstitutional infringements on free speech. So far, the only two federal courts to consider such bills have sided with the critics; Title 4 is designed to provide more legal cover for state BDS laws in future hearings.

Historically, pro-Israel bills have sailed through the Senate (and the House). But this time, there was a twist: The bill, written by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), lost a vote on the Senate floor on Tuesday night. Forty-three Democrats banded together to filibuster it, enough to block the bill from moving forward for the time being.

The immediate reason for the bill’s defeat was the shutdown: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is refusing to pass anything until the government is reopened. But the controversy that surrounded it also speaks to the larger concerns about how state-level anti-BDS laws, which can apply to individuals working as independent contractors, have been used to repress free speech rights.

Israel boycotts

Even more broadly, the fact that this bill was controversial at all reveals how the politics surrounding Israel is changing. Support for Israel, so long a bipartisan issue, is becoming polarized, with Republicans willing to back Israel virtually unconditionally while Democrats are more willing to question Israeli policy and US support for it.

The two parties’ approaches to Israel are changing, and faster than some may have anticipated. The fight over the anti-BDS bills shows how.

What anti-BDS bills do

BDS, a loose movement that dates back to roughly 2005, aims to force Israel to change its approach to the Palestinians through external pressure. BDS activists want companies to stop doing business in Israel, consumers to stop buying Israeli products, and academics and cultural figures to stop collaborating with Israeli colleagues. The movement’s supporters bill it as the spiritual heirs of the boycotts targeting apartheid South Africa in the 1980s; its opponents bill it as an anti-Semitic campaign aimed at the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

Golden Globes Award – How to Watch and What to Expect

Golden Globes Award

The 76th annual Golden Globes will air live on NBC on Sunday, January 6, at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg and Killing Eve star Sandra Oh will co-host the show, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

What makes the Globes, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPFA), special is that it’s a major televised awards show that recognizes achievement in both television and film — usually, those modes of entertainment are recognized separately at the Emmys and Oscars. The awards are also considered to be the kickoff of the annual Hollywood awards season that concludes with the Oscars in late February, and a place where frontrunners can emerge.

Here’s what to expect at the 2019 awards, and how to watch them.

Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg will host the 2019 Golden Globes

Oh and Samberg are the first duo to host the Globes since Amy Poehler and Tina Fey co-hosted for a three-year run in 2013 to 2015. (Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers hosted solo in 2016, 2017, and 2018.) Going into the ceremony, the vibe of Oh and Samberg’s promotional clips indicates that the two likable stars will be spoofing the idea that they’re best friends in a way that two very good friends who respect each other’s work and talent might do.

“I like playing off someone else and having there be a looseness to it and the ability to try things that are not necessarily just straight jokes to [the teleprompter],” Samberg told Oh in a feature for the Hollywood Reporter in which they interviewed each other ahead of the awards. “That’s why I’m excited to do it with you, ’cause you’re such an incredible performer.”

In the same interview, Oh hinted that the 2019 Globes may be light on political commentary and more about celebrating achievement in movies like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians and how the arts can change culture.

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