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  • Since The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, multiple men in entertainment, media and politics in the U.S. and beyond have faced allegations ranging from inappropriate behavior to forced sexual misconduct to rape.To be sure, prominent men have faced sexual misconduct claims before. But the accusations against Weinstein have opened a floodgate, sparked an international conversation and put new pressure on companies, industries, and political leaders to respond. President Donald Trump has condemned some of the accused, been more muted about others, and found himself again being asked about sexual harassment and misconduct allegations leveled against him during last year's presidential campaign. The Republican says they're fake.The #Metoo moment is also prompting re-examination of past sexual misconduct claims against powerful men, including Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He was impeached and then acquitted of perjury and obstruction of lawmakers' investigation into his sexual encounters with a White House intern, and he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit stemming from his time as Arkansas governor.A look at some of the men accused since the Weinstein accusations emerged:Entertainment:— Celebrity chef John Besh — Accused by 25 women of sexual harassment. He has stepped down from the company he founded.— Singer Nick Carter — Accused by pop singer Melissa Schuman of raping her approximately 15 years ago. Carter has denied her allegations.— Comedian Louis C.K. — Accused by five women of sexual misconduct. Planned release of film 'I Love You, Daddy' halted. Netflix special canceled. He says the allegations are true and has apologized.— Cinefamily executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai — Accused of sexual misconduct. Movie theater shut down in the wake of allegations due to crippling debt.— Actor Richard Dreyfuss — One woman alleges sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.— Film producer Adam Fields — Accused of offering a promotion to a woman at his former employer, Relativity Media, in exchange for sex. He has denied the allegations.— Director-producer Gary Goddard — Accused by one man of sexually molesting him when the man was 12. He denies the allegation.— Casting employee Andy Henry — Admitted to urging women to take off their clothes during coaching sessions in 2008 while working on the 'CSI' series. He was fired by his current employer.— Actor Dustin Hoffman — Accused by woman of sexual harassing when she was 17. He has apologized for his behavior.— Actor Robert Knepper — Accused by one woman of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.— Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg — Accused by 19 women of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. The 'Supergirl' and 'Arrow' showrunner has been suspended by Warner Bros. Television Group. He told Variety he has made comments on women's appearances and clothes 'but they were not sexualized.'— Pixar and Disney Animation chief John Lasseter — Accused by several women of unwanted touching and has announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence. He has acknowledged some 'missteps' with employees and apologized for any behavior that made workers uncomfortable.— Actor Jeremy Piven — Accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He denies all allegations.— Filmmaker Brett Ratner — Accused by at least six women of sexual harassment. Playboy shelved projects with Ratner and Ratner stepped away from Warner Bros. related activities. He denies the allegations.— Comedy festival organizer Gilbert Rozon — Accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or sexually assaulting them. Rozon stepped down as president of Montreal's renowned 'Just for Laughs' festival and apologized 'to all those I have offended during my life.'— Producer Chris Savino — Accused of harassing up to 12 women. Fired from Nickelodeon. He has apologized for his behavior.— Actor Steven Seagal — Accused by two women of rape. He denies the allegations.— Def Jam Records mogul Russell Simmons — Accused by model Keri Claussen Khalighi of coercing her to perform a sex act and later penetrating her without her consent in his New York apartment in 1991. Simmons has disputed her account, saying the relationship was consensual.— Actor Tom Sizemore — Accused of groping an 11-year-old actress in 2003. Utah prosecutors declined to file charges, citing witness and evidence problems. He denies the allegation.— Actor Kevin Spacey — Accused by at least 24 men of sexual misconduct or assault. London police reportedly investigating two sexual assaults. Fired from 'House of Cards' and replaced in Ridley Scott's completed film 'All the Money in the World.' Massachusetts prosecutors are investigating one allegation. His former publicist has said he is seeking unspecified treatment.— Actor Jeffrey Tambor — Two women — an actress on his show 'Transparent' and his assistant — allege sexual misconduct. He denies the allegation, saying in a statement that he has 'never been a predator — ever.' Tambor said this week he doesn't see how he can return to the Amazon series.— Actor George Takei — One man alleges sexual assault. He denies the allegation.— Writer-director James Toback — Accused by hundreds of women of sexual harassment. Beverly Hills police investigating complaints. He has denied the allegations to the Los Angeles Times.— 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.— Producer Harvey Weinstein — Accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment or sexual assaults, including rape. Fired by The Weinstein Co. and expelled from various professional guilds. Under investigation by police departments in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but he has apologized for causing 'a lot of pain' with 'the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past.'— Actor Ed Westwick — Accused by two women of sexual assault. The BBC pulled an Agatha Christie adaptation from its television schedule and halted production on a second sitcom starring the former 'Gossip Girl' actor. Los Angeles police are investigating. He denies the allegations.___Media, publishing and business:— Billboard magazine executive Stephen Blackwell — Accused of sexual harassment by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.— Penguin Random House art director Giuseppe Castellano — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. Penguin Random House is investigating. Castellano has not commented.— New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish— Multiple sexual harassment allegations. He has resigned from the magazine.— Journalist Mark Halperin — Accused of harassing about 12 women while at ABC News. Book contract terminated. Fired from job at NBC News. He has denied some of the allegations.— Artforum publisher Knight Landesman — Accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and sued by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.— NPR news chief Michael Oreskes — Accused of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment by at least four women while at The New York Times, NPR and The Associated Press. He has been ousted from NPR.— Amazon executive Roy Price — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He resigned from Amazon.— PBS and CBS host Charlie Rose — Accused by several women of unwanted sexual advances, groping and grabbing women, walking naked in front of them or making lewd phone calls. He has apologized for his behavior, but has questioned the accuracy of some of the accounts.— New York Times White House reporter Glenn Thrush — Accused of making drunken, unwanted advances on women. He disputes some of the accusations but has said he had had a drinking problem and apologized for 'any situation where I behaved inappropriately.'— Webster Public Relations CEO Kirt Webster — Accused of sexual assault by one woman. Firm renamed and Webster is 'taking time away.'— Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner — Accused by one man of sexual harassment. He says he did not intend to make the accuser uncomfortable.— New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier — Accused of sexually harassing numerous women. Removed from the masthead of The Atlantic magazine. He has apologized for his behavior.— NBC News booker Matt Zimmerman — Accused of inappropriate conduct by multiple women at the network. He was fired from NBC.___Politics:— Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel — Accused of sexually inappropriate comments and behavior toward a number of women, Bittel resigned. Meanwhile, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens resigned after a report that he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist, and Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala is being investigated by the Senate over allegations of harassment and groping. Latvala has denied the allegations.— Former President George H.W. Bush — Accused of patting seven women below the waist while posing for photos with them in recent years, well after he left office. The 93-year-old Republican has issued repeated apologies through a spokesman 'to anyone he has offended,' with the spokesman noting that the former president uses a wheelchair and that his arm sinks below people's waists when they take photos with him.— U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) — Accused of sexual harassment toward staffers in his office, and has settled one claim of harassment. He has denied the allegations, even the one he settled.— Two Minnesota state lawmakers — Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish — said they would resign after they were accused of misdeeds that ranged from groping colleagues to persistent unwanted sexual advances and sexting.— British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon — Accused of inappropriate advances on two women, the Conservative resigned. Sexual harassment and assault allegations have also emerged against a number of other U.K. political figures. Labour Party legislator Carl Sargeant is believed to have taken his own life after harassment allegations cost him his post as the Welsh government's Cabinet secretary for communities and children. He had asked for an independent inquiry to clear his name. Also, Labour Party member Ivan Lewis has been suspended over an allegation of sexual misconduct; Lewis disputed the account but apologized if his behavior had been 'unwelcome or inappropriate.'— U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) — Accused of forcibly kissing Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden while rehearsing for a 2006 USO tour; Franken also was photographed with his hands over her breasts as she slept. He also has been accused by three other women of touched their buttocks. Franken has apologized, though hasn't admitted to groping or other inappropriate touching. He has acknowledged that some women felt that he had done something offensive during their encounters. He faces a Senate ethics investigation for improper conduct.— Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover — Stepped down as speaker this month after news surfaced that the Republican had settled a sexual harassment claim from a GOP caucus staffer. Hoover denied the harassment allegation but said he sent consensual yet inappropriate text messages. He remains in the Legislature.— U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R.-Ala.) —Accused of sexually assaulting two women decades ago when they were teenagers; about a half-dozen other women have accused Moore of inappropriate conduct. The former state Supreme Court chief justice denies the allegations. He has rebuffed pressure from national Republican leaders to step aside; the state GOP is standing by him.— Johnny Anderson, a staffer for Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards — The deputy chief of staff for programs and planning resigned to avoid becoming a 'distraction' to the governor. Accused of sexual harassment, he denies any wrongdoing.___Sports:— International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady — Accused by two women of rape and by two others of inappropriate conduct. Gilady denied the rape accusations, said he didn't recall one of the other allegations, but acknowledged a claim he'd propositioned a woman during a job interview 25 years ago was 'mainly correct.' He stepped down as president of an Israeli broadcasting company he founded. The IOC has said it is looking into the allegations.— Former South African soccer association president Danny Jordaan — Accused by former member of parliament Jennifer Ferguson of raping her in 1993. Jordaan denies the accusation.
  • President Donald Trump is feuding with LaVar Ball and LeVar Burton is taking the hit on Twitter.Burton is an actor best known for playing Lt. La Forge in 'Star Trek' on TV and film and for championing kids' education through the 'Reading Rainbow' series. Ball is the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball, one of three student players recently arrested in China for shoplifting.Trump tweeted that Ball was an 'ungrateful fool' for not being more appreciative of presidential intervention in LiAngelo Ball's case. Some of the president's followers in turn attacked Burton on Twitter, with one calling him a 'has been actor with a thief for a son.'Burton and Ball haven't let the controversy interrupt their holiday plans — both tweeted Thanksgiving wishes to their followers Thursday.
  • Uma Thurman has wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving — everyone except disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.In a cryptic Instagram post Thursday , the actress wishes her followers a happy Thanksgiving, but adds, 'except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators.' She says she's 'glad it's going slowly — you don't deserve a bullet.'Dozens of actresses have alleged Weinstein harassed or assaulted them, including Rose McGowan and Asia Argento. But Thurman has said she's waiting to speak when she's less angry.She plays an assassin in the Weinstein-produced 'Kill Bill.' She also starred 'Pulp Fiction,' another of his films.
  • Armenia's foreign-language film submission to the Academy Awards for this year invites viewers to imagine a world without war, according to its director.Anahid Abad, the director of 'Yeva,' said at the Iranian premiere of her debut movie on Thursday, 'The world without any war is much more beautiful, even for warmongers.'The film tells the story of a young woman who escapes her influential in-laws with her daughter, Nareh, after her husband's tragic death and takes refuge in a village in the Karabakh region.Criticizing war, Abad said its consequences are long lasting. 'I was not directly in frontline of any war, but war was a part of my life,' said Abad.Abad has a long track record working in Iranian cinema as an assistant director.Her film is a joint production between the National Cinema Center of Armenia and the Iranian Farabi Cinema Foundation in Tehran, where the Iranian premiere was held.The foundation also submitted Iran's foreign-language film entry to the Academy Awards for this year, another anti-war film by a female director, Narges Abyar's 'Nafas (Breath).'Alireza Tabesh, the managing director of the foundation, told The Associated Press that both countries submitting anti-war films by female directors this year was 'an invaluable coincidence'.'Launching co-production projects with countries in the region... is one of the main goals of this foundation', Tabesh said, 'It offers the opportunity of entering into new markets and enables film producers to share their visions.'Iran has one of the largest Armenian communities in the world.
  • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a surprise appearance at the Alcatraz Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering on Thursday, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. >> Read more trending news A tradition in California since 1975, the annual dawn festivities, also known as Unthanksgiving Day, commemorate the occupation of Alcatraz by American Indians from November 1969 to June 1971, Newsweek reported. During that time, 89 American Indian activists and leaders occupied the island and former penitentiary and demanded it be turned into an Indian cultural center and school. Kaepernick, who remains an unsigned free agent, spoke to the thousands gathered on the island, the Chronicle reported. His words evoked cheers and applause. “Our fight is the same fight,” Kaepernick told the crowd, in a message he also posted on Twitter. “We’re all fighting for our justice, for our freedom. And realizing that we are all in this fight together makes us all the more powerful.” Kaepernick has been criticized by President Donald Trump for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a protest against racism in the U.S.

News

  • Atlanta police have been handing out the flyers across the city telling people that a permit is needed to give food to the homeless. The fliers are being used as a warning to those trying to help the homeless. Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon found one group who received more than a warning. Instead of getting praise for helping Atlanta’s homeless, Adele Maclean and Marlon Kautz say they’re getting punished for it. “We’re looking at a citation,” Maclean said. Channel 2 Action News’ cameras were there when police wrote the pair a ticket for handing out food to the homeless without a permit. “I mean outrageous, right? Of all the things to be punished for, giving free food to people who are hungry?” Maclean told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses The pair said they give food to the homeless every Sunday in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, and have never heard of needing a permit. “It seems ridiculous to me that they would be spending their time and resources on stopping people from feeding the homeless,” said Maclean said. Wilfon contacted the city to find out what was going on. A city representative said the Fulton and DeKalb County boards of health both require permits to give food to the homeless and the city of Atlanta enforces those requirements. While the requirements aren’t new, Atlanta police told Wilfon they recently started more strictly enforcing them for several reasons. The city believes there are better ways to help the homeless, like getting them into programs and shelters. They are also taking issue with the litter the food distributions leave behind. Ben Parks, who runs a nonprofit for the homeless, told Wilfon he can see the argument from both sides. “I understand where the city’s coming from. I understand when they see groups come in and leave a bunch of trash behind,' Parks said. While this ordinance is also on the books in DeKalb County, DeKalb police told Wilfon Wednesday that they are not using police to enforce it. They’re leaving that up to the health department.
  • A candidate for mayor says she has always wondered if the current mayor of Atlanta won his seat fair and square. Mary Norwood lost to current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009. Make sure to tune in to WSB-TV as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood go head-to-head in a live runoff debate moderated by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer, LIVE on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.  Norwood told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston that she never spoke publicly about the accusation because what she said she knew what happened wasn't significant enough to upset the entire system.  [WATCH: Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] But our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a copy of a transcript of a private June meeting where she brought up the 2009 election.  'I just want you to be who you say you are, live where you say you live and vote once,' Norwood told Huddleston.  [WATCH: Mary Norwood speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] Norwood raised concerns about the 2009 election, which she lost to Reed by a couple of hundred votes.  TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses She told Huddleston that she always suspected there was voter fraud.  'I know there are instances where individuals were asked to vote in the election,' Norwood said.  She said individuals who didn’t live in Atlanta still voted in the mayor's race.   [SPECIAL SECTION: The Atlanta Mayor’s Race] Norwood said she's never talked publicly about the accusation, but privately has mentioned it to several groups, including last June, at a meeting that was recorded and leaked to the AJC. 'I have spoken privately to many groups, including last night to the NAACP, about the fact that I did not go public with some things I was concerned about with that election,' Norwood said.  ATLANTA MAYOR QUICK FACTS The city’s last five mayors have been African-American The last 27 have been Democrats There have only ever been two Republican mayors of Atlanta Shirley Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta. The next mayor will be the second Only four former Atlanta mayors were born in Atlanta Click here for more facts about Atlanta mayors Huddleston contacted Reed for a comment on this story Wednesday. His spokesperson responded and said in part: “If Mary Norwood had proof that the election results were invalid in 2009, she should have stepped forward and challenged the results then. She did not because she could not. She has no evidence to back up her claims. She has been a public official for the past four years and never raised any concerns about the integrity of our voting system.' Norwood said after the 2009 race, she joined the Fulton County Elections Board to get a new director on staff.  She told Huddleston that she's confident the Dec. 5 mayor's race will be fair, accurate and impartial.
  • Beyond the slick, Hollywood-style cinematics, the Islamic State is targeting Western recruits with videos suggesting they, too, can be heroes like Bruce Willis' character in 'Die Hard.'That's the conclusion of The Chicago Project on Security and Threats, which analyzed some 1,400 videos released by IS between 2013 and 2016. Researchers who watched and catalogued them all said there is more to the recruitment effort than just sophisticated videography, and it's not necessarily all about Islam.Instead, Robert Pape, who directs the security center, said the extremist group is targeting Westerners — especially recent Muslim converts — with videos that follow, nearly step-by-step, a screenwriter's standard blueprint for heroic storytelling.'It's the heroic screenplay journey, the same thing that's in Wonder Woman, where you have someone who is learning his or her own powers through the course of their reluctant journey to be hero,' Pape said.The project at the University of Chicago separately has assembled a database of people who have been indicted in the United States for activities related to IS. Thirty-six percent were recent converts to Islam and did not come from established Muslim communities, according to the project. Eighty-three percent watched IS videos, the project said.The group's success in using heroic storytelling is prompting copycats, Pape said. The research shows al-Qaida's Syria affiliate has been mimicking IS' heroic narrative approach in its own recruitment films. 'We have a pattern that's emerging,' Pape said.Intelligence and law enforcement officials aren't sure the approach is all that new. They say IS has been using any method that works to recruit Westerners. Other terrorism researchers think IS' message is still firmly rooted in religious extremism.Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks messaging by militant groups, agrees that IS makes strong, visual appeals resembling Hollywood movies and video games, making its media operation more successful than al-Qaida's. And IS videos can attract hero wannabes, she said.'However, these features of IS media are only assets to a core message it uses to recruit,' Katz said. 'At the foundation of IS recruitment propaganda is not so much the promise to be a Hollywood-esque hero, but a religious hero. There is a big difference between the two.'When a fighter sits in front of a camera and calls for attacks, Katz said, he will likely frame it as revenge for Muslims killed or oppressed somewhere in the world. The message is designed to depict any terror attack in that nation as justified and allow the attacker to die as a martyr, she said.The promise of religious martyrdom is powerful to anybody regardless of whether they are rich or poor, happy or unhappy, steeped in religion or not at all, she said.Pape said he knows he's challenging conventional wisdom when he says Westerners are being coaxed to join IS ranks not because of religious beliefs, but because of the group's message of personal empowerment and Western concepts of individualism.How else can one explain Western attackers' loose connections to Islam, or their scarce knowledge of IS's strict, conservative Sharia law, he asked. IS is embracing, not rejecting, Western culture and ideals, to mobilize Americans, he said.'This is a journey like Clint Eastwood,' Pape said, recalling Eastwood's 1970s performance in 'High Plains Drifter' about a stranger who doles out justice in a corrupt mining town. 'When Clint Eastwood goes in to save the town, he's not doing it because he loves them. He even has contempt for the people he's saving. He's saving it because he's superior,' Pape said.'That's Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard.' That's Wonder Woman. ... Hollywood has figured out that's what puts hundreds of millions in theater seats,' Pape said. 'IS has figured out that's how to get Westerners.'Pape said the narrative in the recruitment videos targeting westerners closely tracks Chris Vogler's 12-step guide titled 'The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers.' The book is based on a narrative identified by scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama and other storytelling.Step No. 1 in Vogler's guide is portraying a character in his 'ordinary world.'An example is a March 25, 2016, video released by al-Qaida's Syria branch about a young British man with roots in the Indian community. It starts: 'Let us tell you the story of a real man... Abu Basir, as we knew him, came from central London. He was a graduate of law and a teacher by profession.'Vogler's ninth step is about how the hero survives death, emerging from battle to begin a transformation, sometimes with a prize.In the al-Qaida video, the Brit runs through sniper fire in battle. He then lays down his weapon and picks up a pen to start his new vocation blogging and posting Twitter messages for the cause.Matthew Levitt, a terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says it doesn't surprise him that IS would capitalize on what he dubs the 'zero to hero' strategy because the organization is very pragmatic and accepts recruits regardless of their commitment to Islamic extremism.Heroic aspirations are only one reason for joining the ranks of IS, he said. Criminals also seek the cover of IS to commit crimes. Others sign up because they want to belong to something.'I've never seen a case of radicalization that was 100 percent one way or the other,' Levitt said.
  • A Georgia mother whose toddler has been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life was gifted a car on Tuesday -- hours before a kidney donor was found. >> Read more trending news  Carmellia Burgess brought her son home from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Nov. 8, where he’d been since Oct. 29.  Burgess’s son, AJ, battled a potentially deadly infection, contracted pneumonia, had surgery to implant a new port for his dialysis treatments and received blood transfusions before he was released from the hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. MORE: Toddler heads home from hospital to wait for kidney transplant But his mother didn’t have a car to get AJ to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week, she wrote on Facebook. That trouble ended Tuesday, when actor Tyler Perry gifted Burgess with a new car. The family later learned a deceased donor kidney would be given to AJ this week, attorney Mawuli Davis said.
  • A federal lawsuit set to go to trial next month marks the latest legal action brought against former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio over allegations that he pursued a trumped-up criminal case to get publicity and embarrass an adversary.The political opponent in this case: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.One of Flake's sons filed a malicious-prosecution lawsuit, saying Arpaio pursued felony animal cruelty charges against him and his then-wife in a bid to do political damage to the senator and gain publicity.Austin Flake and his wife were charged in the heat-exhaustion deaths of 21 dogs in June 2014 at a kennel operated by his in-laws. The Flakes were watching the dogs when the in-laws were out of town.The dogs died when an air conditioning unit failed in a small room where the animals spent the night.The case against the Flakes was dismissed at the request of prosecutors, and the owners of the kennel pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an expert determined the air conditioner failed because the operators didn't properly maintain it.The lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial on Dec. 5, alleges that Arpaio was intent on linking the Flakes to the deaths, going so far as to conduct surveillance on the senator's home. The suit also says Arpaio's investigators examined phone records to see if the younger Flake called his father during the time he was watching the dogs.Lawyers for Austin Flake and his then-wife have said the senator disagreed with Arpaio over immigration and was critical of the movement questioning the authenticity of then-President Barack Obama's birth certificate.In a deposition, Arpaio didn't accept responsibility for bringing the charges against the couple and was unable to cite any evidence to support the allegations. But he still expressed confidence in his investigators.'I am going by what my detectives accomplished during their investigation,' Arpaio said during the July 2016 deposition. 'They had the nuts and bolts already. I defend my people. I have confidence in them. I don't have to know everything that's going on.'Arpaio and Jeffrey Leonard, an attorney representing Maricopa County and the former sheriff, declined to comment on the case.Stephen Montoya, an attorney for Austin Flake and his former wife, Logan Brown, said the sheriff's office didn't have evidence showing his clients intended to hurt the dogs, yet still charged them with crimes that devastated them and contributed to the demise of their marriage.'It splashed their names across the internet as the murderers of 21 dogs. It really ravaged them emotionally,' Montoya said, noting that Austin Flake was 21 and his wife was 20 at the time.A ruling in August by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dismissed a defamation allegation from the lawsuit but determined investigators didn't have probable cause to charge the couple.'A factfinder could thus reasonably find that the prosecutors initially charged the Flakes based on pressure from Arpaio,' Wake wrote.The prosecutor who brought the allegations said in a court filing that she wasn't pressured by Arpaio's office to prosecute the couple and that the decision to present the case to a grand jury was made by her and her supervisors. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office isn't named as a party in the lawsuit.The lawsuit doesn't specify how much money the younger Flake and his ex-wife are seeking. But they previously sought $4 million in a notice of claim — a precursor to a lawsuit.It isn't the first time Arpaio has been accused of trumping up charges in an animal cruelty case.He launched an investigation against a police officer from the Phoenix suburb of Chandler over a 2007 death of a police dog that was left in a hot vehicle for 12 hours in blistering summer heat.The officer was charged with animal abuse but eventually acquitted. He filed a lawsuit alleging Arpaio brought the criminal case so the sheriff could exploit the publicity.Taxpayers paid $775,000 to the officer to settle the case.___Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/jacques%20billeaud .
  • Two-game winning streaks have given much-needed midseason boosts to Tampa Bay and Atlanta.Now it's time to see which team is ready for the tough NFC South.The Falcons (6-4) have moved into playoff position with back-to-back wins over Dallas and Seattle. Atlanta plays five of its last six regular-season games against NFC South rivals, including Sunday's visit from the Buccaneers.The Buccaneers (4-6) have won two straight over the Jets and Dolphins. Four of their last six games will be against NFC South opponents, including two against Atlanta.Tampa Bay faces a tough climb up the NFL's only division with three teams with winning records. The two straight wins have come with Ryan Fitzpatrick subbing for injured quarterback Jameis Winston . Fitzpatrick, who will make his third straight start against Atlanta, says the wins have helped boost morale.'It's definitely changed a little bit, a little more upbeat, but it's still businesslike attitude,' Fitzpatrick said. 'We know we've dug ourselves a big hole and we still have a long way to go.'Asked what Fitzpatrick has brought to the offense, Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said 'Toughness. Smarts. Competitiveness. Desire to win. Calming influence. How's that off the top of my head?'The Falcons have the same record through 10 games as they did in 2016, when they won the NFC championship before losing to New England in the Super Bowl. Last week's 34-31 win at Seattle left Atlanta in position for a wild card, even though they still trail New Orleans (8-2) and Carolina (7-3) in the division.'I knew it was going to be a battle,' said Falcons coach Dan Quinn of the division. 'That would be certainly the case this weekend. ... We had real regard for the division before the season started. As you go through and look at the different matchups and how some of the teams play, that's certainly the case.'While the Buccaneers' surge has come without Winston, the Falcons have had starting running back Devonta Freeman for only two snaps of their two straight wins. Freeman left the 27-7 win over Dallas with a concussion after only two plays and was held out last week.Freeman was still in the concussion protocol for the start of practice this week and is expected to miss his second straight game, leaving Tevin Coleman as the starter.Here are some things to watch as the Buccaneers and Falcons renew their NFC South rivalry:RYANS EXPECTING TWINS: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife, Sarah, are expecting twins. For Ryan, the news brings more significance to his jersey number 2.'There is something about 2,' Ryan said, smiling. 'Before, I just liked it. Now I have something for it. It's cool.'Ryan said the twins are due 'in a couple months. We're just very happy, very excited.'REAL MCCOY: Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is tied with Arizona linebacker Chandler Jones for the NFL lead with 20 quarterback hits. McCoy is tied with Atlanta's Grady Jarrett with 10 tackles for loss, tied for the most among defensive tackles. He leads the Bucs with 5.0 sacks.GOODBYE GEORGIA DOME: This will be the Falcons' first home game since their old home, the Georgia Dome, was imploded on Monday . Koetter, the former Falcons offensive coordinator, is eager to see the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was built beside the old facility.'I've heard it's awesome,' Koetter said. 'I am anxious to see it. I always thought the Georgia Dome was dark and had bad acoustics. I couldn't hear a word anybody said in there.'90-GAME MILESTONES WITHIN REACH: Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is on the brink of setting new NFL standards for catches and yards receiving in the first 90 games of a career. Jones has 551 catches. He needs eight receptions to pass Anquan Boldin's record of 558. Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown is second with 554.Jones has 8,396 yards receiving. He needs 107 yards to pass Lance Allworth's 90-game record of 8,502.WARD VS. WARD: Terron Ward moved up the depth chart with Freeman's concussion. As Coleman's top backup, there is a greater chance he'll go against older brother T.J. Ward, Tampa Bay's backup safety. The head-to-head competition is rare for the brothers.'We never played against each other,' said Terron Ward of the brothers' childhood, noting he is 5 years younger than his 30-year-old brother and the two would play together against cousins.'We used to get out there at Thanksgiving and Christmas, two on two,' he said. '... It would go back and forth so it's always been fun.'___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL