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

This combination of file photos shows actresses, from left to right, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Shonda Rhimes. Witherspoon, Aniston and Rhimes are among hundreds of Hollywood women who have formed an anti-harassment coalition called Time’s Up. (AP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Hollywood stars back #TimesUp war on harassment as donations roll in

LONDON: 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.
In an open letter in the New York Times, they said they particularly wanted to “lift up the voices” of women in low-wage industries whose lack of financial stability left them vulnerable to exploitation.
“I stand with ALL WOMEN across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, marginalization and underrepresentation,” tweeted Witherspoon who won an Oscar for the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line.”
The campaign comes after a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year sparked the #MeToo campaign, with women and men using social media to talk about their experiences of harassment.
More than 300 show business figures including actors, writers and directors launched the Time’s Up initiative with a full page advert in the New York Times on New Year’s Day, pledging to support workers in all industries fight sexual misconduct. “Let’s all make this resolution for the year: No more accepting sexual harassment and inequality at work as normal. It’s NOT normal,” tweeted actress Jessica Biel. By early Tuesday the initiative, also backed by Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, had raised nearly $14 million of a $15 million target for a legal fund to help victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. “We stand with all those who have endured sexual harassment: those who have come forward and those who have decided to remain quiet. It’s time for change, and we must act now,” the group said on their gofundme page. “The voices of those affected in every industry have been silenced for too long.” They said harassment often continued because those responsible and employers never faced consequences and because of systematic gender inequality. “The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” they said. The campaign with hashtag #timesup will also push for legislation to penalize companies that tolerate harassment and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims, according to the New York Times. “Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment or abuse,” Oscar winner Portman wrote on Instagram.
Actors are being encouraged to wear black at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday to protest against sexual harassment.


Alaska moose poacher fined $100,000, sentenced to jail

In this June 2001, file photo, a bull moose crosses a logging road near Kokajo, Maine, on the eastern side of Moosehead Lake. (AP)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Alaska moose poacher fined $100,000, sentenced to jail

  • A bull moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds (725 kilograms) and feed a family for months with meat free of chemicals and hormones

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: An Alaska man who poached three moose and left most of the meat to rot has been sentenced to nine months in jail and fined more than $100,000.
Rusty Counts, 39, of Anchor Point, shot the moose near his community over two weeks in September. He pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to 21 misdemeanor wildlife counts and violations, including wanton waste, exceeding bag limits and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Hunting regulations near the Kenai Peninsula community require moose to have antlers measuring 50-inches (127-centimeters) wide to be harvested. None of the three moose had the required spread, said Aaron Peterson, an assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case.
“The working theory is that he realized they were sublegal and decided not to stick around to salvage the meat,” Peterson said Monday. He called the case one of the most egregious poaching events ever seen by Alaska state wildlife troopers.
Alaska officials take seriously the harvesting of moose and salvaging of meat, Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said.
A bull moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds (725 kilograms) and feed a family for months with meat free of chemicals and hormones. A successful hunt is also a source of pride, Marsh said.
“It’s a really important part of our culture and tradition, and people take that seriously,” he said.
The case began Sept. 2 with a tip to wildlife troopers that a sublegal moose with antlers of about 45 inches (114 centimeters) was shot and abandoned. Counts was the suspected shooter, witnesses said.
A second tip came in Sept. 14. A teacher reported a second dead moose shot the day before. The moose had an antler spread of just 25 inches, (63.5 centimeters), half the legal requirement. The teacher recognized one of the hunters, a former student, with an adult.
Troopers interviewed the boy, who is Counts’ nephew. He confirmed that his uncle had shot the two moose plus a third with a 26-inch (66-centimeter) antler spread on Sept. 7 when he was not with his uncle. Both hunters left their rifles in the woods Sept. 13 to avoid being caught, the boy said.
Troopers interviewed Counts, and he admitted shooting the three moose.
Jeff Selinger, a department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist in Soldotna, said the 50-inch antler requirement extends the hunting season and protects younger mature moose, ensuring that they will be around for future breeding.
Hunters can educate themselves on determining a legal moose by reading regulations and watching department videos. If there’s doubt, Sellinger recommends passing up the shot.
“You’re going to pass up some legal moose doing that, but you’re not going to shoot a sublegal moose,” he said.
Peterson backed the hefty penalties for Counts as a deterrent to others. If Counts had salvaged meat from the first moose, he likely would have been penalized for a single hunting violation.
“That meat goes to shelters, food banks. It goes to people who need it,” Peterson said. “Instead, we have three bull moose that fully go to waste.”
Counts was fined $97,650 and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution. He forfeited his rifle and an all-terrain vehicle and was sentenced to 270 days in jail.
“If you do the right thing in the field, this kind of thing doesn’t happen. But if you poach and leave moose, these are the appropriate sanctions, in the state’s view,” Peterson said.