Elon Musk did not defame British cave explorer Vernon Unsworth by calling him a “pedo guy” on Twitter, a Los Angeles jury found Friday.
The case has pitted a 64-year-old financial adviser earning a salary of about £25,000 ($33,000) against one of the richest and most famous men in the world. The dispute stems from the Tesla and SpaceX chief’s ancillary involvement in the Tham Luang cave rescue in June and July 2018, which saw 12 young football players and their coach successfully extracted from a flooded cave system by a team of British cave divers.
On 13 July 2018, after the successful completion of the rescue, Unsworth said in an interview with CNN that the rescue pod Musk had delivered to the cave site was a “PR stunt”, adding that he should “stick his submarine where it hurts”. A video clip of the interview went viral, drawing the ire of Musk.
The billionaire entrepreneur responded in a series of tweets on 15 July, suggesting that Unsworth’s presence in Thailand was “sus[picious]” and calling him “pedo guy”.
Musk eventually deleted the tweets and apologized to Unsworth.
The jury was tasked with determining whether a reasonable person would understand the tweets to mean that Musk was calling Unsworth a pedophile.
Musk’s attorneys argued that the tweet was not a statement of fact, but an insult, which is considered protected speech. They also attempted to show that Unsworth’s reputation had not been seriously damaged.
Unsworth’s attorneys introduced evidence of the broad dissemination of Musk’s tweets, which were reported in 490 English-language articles on 361 websites in 33 countries.
They also introduced evidence of Musk’s behavior after the 15 July tweets, including his hiring of a private investigator to seek proof of Unsworth’s “nefarious behaviour”.
Lib Dem leader said leaders should be ‘very careful’ about relationship with US president, ahead of his arrival for Nato
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The Institute for Fiscal Studies has published a briefing on the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat plans for local government funding. This is not an issue that has attracted much attention in the campaign so far, but it deserves some focus because councils provide vital services – and the gap between what’s on offer from the Tories and Labour is vast.
Although the Conservatives claim to be a low-tax party, under their plans it is more likely that council tax would have to rise, the IFS suggests.
The money allocated by the Conservatives would not be sufficient to meet rising costs and demands over the next parliament even if council tax were increased by 4% a year, necessitating a further retrenchment in services or unfunded top-ups to the plans set out.
The Labour party has allocated more than enough money to meet rising costs and demands, allowing increases in service provision and quality, although not enough to restore them to 2010 levels. That is true even if council tax were frozen – although Labour has no plans for such a freeze.
In her BBC phone-in Nicola Sturgeon said she would like to see the SNP represented in the talks with the EU that would take place if Labour formed a government and negotiated a new Brexit deal. This issue came up in response to a question about fishing. Asked if the SNP would want to have someone negotiating alongside Labour on this, Sturgeon replied:
I want to make sure, in any of these discussions, the interests of the fishing industry were absolutely paramount, and that’s a commitment I would make on behalf of the SNP.
I think Scotland should be at the table in any of these discussions, all of the time, rather than being shut out by Westminster. And fishing is an example of the particular interests we have that mean that we should be much more represented.
A vote allowing a sex abuser to remain a fellow at a prestigious educational society has provoked a fierce internal backlash and demands for the organisation’s reform.
Scores of fellows at the Society of Antiquaries of London, a charity that promotes the study of the past, are up in arms about the vote, which has allowed Hubert Chesshyre to continue as a fellow.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) heard evidence that Chesshyre, an expert on heraldry and genealogy who held a number of senior positions within the royal household, was found to have sexually abused a teenage chorister over the course of three years in the 1990s.
The 2015 finding was made following a “trial of the facts”, which is held when someone is considered unable to plead due to their poor mental and physical health. As a result, despite being found to have committed the abuse, Chesshyre – who is said to have dementia – was given an absolute discharge.
The finding saw fellows at the society, one of Britain’s oldest educational institutions, granted a royal charter in 1751, table a resolution demanding his removal. But a majority of fellows who voted backed Chesshyre, a former president of its elite dining club, the Cocked Hat Club.
In an open letter published on Sunday in the Observer, many fellows expressed outrage at the decision.
Pledging their support to the victim, they signalled their “determination to reform the organisation so that it reflects the values and behaviours that should be expected from any public organisation or individual”.
They add: “The voting arrangements were such that only around 100 of the society’s 3,000 fellows were able to attend the vote, which due to the existing governance structures of the society only allowed voting in person on a weekday afternoon. This disenfranchised a large number of fellows unable to attend at such a time.
“The 76 fellows who voted against the proposal to remove Mr Chesshyre’s fellowship do not represent us, and do not represent the values and behaviours of any organisation we are willing to be members of.”
Paul Drury, the society’s president, denied that the vote showed it had “stood by” Chesshyre. “We are committed to acting in ways which are consistent with our status as an educational charity operating for the public benefit, and as an institution which confers public recognition of the achievements of its fellows,” he said in a statement on its website.
“We are therefore actively working on the reform of our statutes, to enable swift action to remove fellowship from those who do not live up to the society’s expectations of integrity and good character.”
Drury added: “The society unreservedly apologises to the victim for any hurt the defeat may have caused.”
A mum-of-two nearly died from serious allergic reaction triggered by a £50 hair dye product.
Shannon Thurston, of Essex, ended up in hospital with swollen forehead ‘like an alien’ and breathing difficulties after failing to carry out a patch test.
The swelling forced her eyes fused shut and her airways started to close up.
Now, the 24-year-old is determined to raise awareness of the dangers of PPD (paraphenylenediamine), a common chemical used in many hair dyes.
The student social worker says: “I feel so stupid for not realising that your body can develop an allergy to ingredients even after being exposed to them before.
“I’m lucky I was treated in time. It almost killed me.”
Shannon has been dyeing her hair since 2007, when she was 12.
She’s coloured her natural light brown hair every shade from pink to bleach blonde, to chocolate brown.
She says: “I loved changing my style. My aunt Sharon, 47, was a hairdresser and she’d apply the box dye to my hair.
“I always did a patch test when I used a new box and I coloured my hair every two months.”
But in February 2012, when Shannon was 16, she wanted to dye her hair a dark chocolate brown.
She says: “I’d used the box before, it was a Nice ‘n’ Easy Perfect 10 dye. As I’d used it before, I told Sharon not to bother with a patch test.
“When Sharon applied the dye as usual, my head felt itchy, but I ignored it.
“I loved my new dark-brown hair, but the next day, I had red bumps along the bottom of my neck. Again, I wasn’t worried as I figured it was just irritation.”
The following day, Shannon woke up and her left eye was badly swollen.
Throughout the day, it worsened and her mum, Kay, 46, who works in sales, took her to A&E at Basildon Hospital.
By the time the pair arrived, Shannon’s eye was completely shut and her airways were beginning to close.
Doctors revealed she’d had an allergic reaction to PPD, and they gave her a nebuliser to open her airways.
They also administered steroids and antihistamines to control the swelling.
By this point, even her forehead was swollen.
Shannon says: “It was terrifying – l looked like an alien. The next morning, both my eyes and neck were swollen.
“My scalp was burning – it felt like it was on fire.
“I was in hospital for around four days, as doctors couldn’t get the swelling under control. Nurses tried to wash out the dye from my hair.
“They even suggested shaving my hair off to stop the reaction, but I begged them not to. I couldn’t bear the thought of having no hair.
“I was struggling to breathe and doctors told me that if I’d have waited to go to hospital, I could have died.
“My forehead looked like a water balloon and my eyes were completely shut, so I was temporarily blind.”
Eventually Shannon was discharged from hospital, but her face remained swollen for four weeks.
She also took steroids for a further three months.
She says: “Classmates pointed at my face and jeered at me.
“They even took pictures of me, it was so humiliating, but I was pleased to have survived my ordeal.
“I’ve never dyed my hair since then. It’s not worth it.
“I only get highlights now and make sure I get a patch test every time. My aunt felt so guilty, but I reassured her that it wasn’t her fault.
“Always do a patch test and leave it on for the recommended 48 hours. It could save your life.”
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A spokesperson for Clairol said: “The safety of the people who use our products is our first and most important priority, so we’re very concerned to hear about Ms Thurston’s experience with Nice’n Easy.
“It is imperative patch tests are conducted at least 48 hours before colouring, details of how to perform this test are included with each of our products to help minimise risk to consumers.
“Allergic reactions are very rare and hair colourants are extensively researched to ensure they are safe when used as directed.”
Butler says we need to be honest about what Britain did wrong in the past.
When people ask why people can’t get over this, they don’t realise how offensive that is.
Turning to the Windrush scandal, she refers to the case of Hubert Howard, a Windrush victim who died recently without having had compensation or an apology. Butler says the system that created that injustice is still in place.
Butler is now talking about the value of diversity.
She says Norman Tebbit used to talk about the cricket test as a way of evaluating if people were loyal to the country. But this year England won the cricket world cup with a team that included a West Indian, a Pakistani, a South African, an New Zealander and an Irishman.
She says Labour will establish an independent review into the rise of the far right.
And it will ensure more black history is taught in schools. Because black history is British history, says says.
She says, within a month of taking power, Labour would launch a review into the shortage of BAME teachers in schools.
Jeremy Corbyn says he is just the warm-up act for Dawn Butler, the shadow minister for women and equalities.
Butler takes to the stage. She says there are people trying to divide the country. She says a video has gone viral of a man and his children receiving antisemitic abuse on a train. It is unsettling to watch, she says. She says some of the people on the train did not intervene. But it was a woman in a hijab who intervened, she says. She says the woman said she knew what it was like to be abused like this.
Butler says all forms of racism are wrong.
She says after Boris Johnson compared Muslim women to letterboxes the number of incidents of Islamophobia went up by 375%.
Corbyn says antisemitism ‘will not be tolerated in any form whatsoever’ under Labour
Corbyn says sometimes when people are challenged they are asked if they are “tolerant” of others. He does not like the word, he says. He prefers the idea of being respectful, he says.
He says abuse has no place in our society. Attacks on people, and attacks on churches or synagogues or mosques, are attacks on all of us, he says. He says Labour would ensure there was full protection for places of worship. And attacks on places of worship would count as aggravated crimes, he says.
Antisemitism in any form is vile and wrong. It is an evil in our society … It grew in Europe … and ultimately led to the Holocaust … Under a Labour government it will not be tolerated in any form whatsoever.
He says Labour has a rapid process for dealing with these complaints. That process is constantly being reviewed. And Labour supports educating people about the problem, he says.
Corbyn says he wants to work with people of all faiths and none. It has always been his pride and his pleasure to do this, he says. In government, his door will be open to all faith leaders, he says.
He says the chief rabbi will be very welcome, as will be the archbishop of Canterbury, and leaders from other faiths.
Corbyn says he thinks history may be the most important thing children learn at school.
Labour would promote the emancipation education trust, to ensure that children learn more about slavery. It should not just be taught during black history month. It should be taught all year round, he says.
Corbyn says there is not proper BAME representations at the top of public life. There are only 25 black female professors in British universities. He says a Labour government would carry out a review to ensure BAME people are properly represented at the top of the education system.
Corbyn speaks at launch of Labour’s race and faith manifesto
Jeremy Corbyn is now speaking at the Labour race and faith manifesto launch. He starts by thanking Alf Dubs for what he said, and for all his campaigning on behalf of immigrants.
He is speaking at the Bernie Grant arts centre in Tottenham. Corbyn says he knew Grant very well, and is proud to be speaking at an arts centre named after him. He says Grant taught people a lot about the impact of Britain’s colonial past.
He says N15, the postcode area where he is speaking, is the most diverse in Britain. He says 150 languages are spoken here.
Chief rabbi’s attack on Corbyn over antisemitism ‘unjustified and unfair’, says Lord Dubs
Lord Dubs is speaking now at the Labour event.
He says he is “bitterly disappointed” at what the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, said about Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism. He does not accept a lot of what Mirvis said, although Dubs says he thinks Labour should have addressed the problem more quickly. But the chief rabbi’s comments were “unjustified and unfair”, he says.
Q: Why won’t you take part in the Channel 4 News debate on the environment on Thursday?
Johnson says he is taking part in other debates. He says as mayor of London he showed how emissions could be cut without the economy being harmed. But Labour would take a sledgehammer to the economy, he says.
Q: Do you think Nicola Sturgeon should consider the chief rabbi’s comments before propping up a Labour government?
Johnson says Corbyn has not been able to stamp out antisemitism in his party. That is part of a wider failure of leadership, he says. He says you cannot be PM and refuse to take a position on Brexit. He says you cannot be neutral on that any more than you can be neutral on antisemitism.
One witness told Mirror Online: “That’s probably one of the scariest moments of my life. Me and my sister were in a queue to watch frozen, loads of little kids there, all dressed up and everything, then these girls jumped on another girl and loads of these kids just started fighting.
“Armed police came with Tasers. All the people that were fighting run off into the cinema. There’s about 15 to 20 police cars. I’m shaking.
“The police were very aggressive there was lots of little kids there. My sister is 11 and they was pointing the Tasers in our face.”
Another witness said: “This is the most horrifying thing I’ve been involved in I’m scared and I’m 45 little girls dressed in frozen dresses crying and screaming appalling behaviour all over a gangster film set in London.”
Choleigh Mcguire, who was at the complex, told Mirror Online: “I have never seen police so aggressive. Everyone dressed up. They were all crying.
“It was a group of girls started on this one girl. Someone separated it at first.”
People are reporting that around ‘20 police cars’ dashed to Star City to deal with the suspected riot, which is thought to have broken out around 6pm today.
Mr Khan, manager of Pepe’s Restaurant at Star City told said: “I heard shouting and screaming outside the restaurant. I understand a big fight started in the cinema.
“There were so many people running past the restaurant, I’d say around 60 to 70 were involved.
“The police escorted everyone out.
“We’ve heard that the cinema has had to empty the screens and are not letting anyone else in. I guess people who have bought tickets will get a refund.
“Our restaurant is still open, as is the restaurant next door.”
The police are yet to comment on the disturbance.
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Police are redirecting people away from the area and it’s having a knock-on effect on motorists on Watson Road and all roads surrounding the entertainment complex.
People are being advised to steer clear of the area and try to find alternative routes.