Stati Uniti d'America
By MIKE CORDER
NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands — International prosecutors announced murder charges Wednesday against four men — three of them Russians with military or intelligence backgrounds — in the missile attack that blew a Malaysia Airlines jet out of the sky over Ukraine five years ago, killing all 298 people aboard.
The case, built with the help of wiretaps, radar images and social media posts, marks the most significant step yet toward tying the tragedy to Moscow, which has backed the pro-Russian separatists fighting to seize control of eastern Ukraine.
In announcing the charges, prosecutors appealed for witnesses to help lead them even further up the chain of command in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Investigators “want to go as far as we can get” because “it’s important to know who can be held responsible for this absolute tragedy,” top Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said.
The trial for the defendants, who also include a Ukrainian separatist fighter, was set for next March in the Netherlands, though it appeared unlikely any of them would be brought before the court, since Russia and Ukraine forbid the extradition of their citizens.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the charges against the Russian citizens as “absolutely unfounded” and accused the investigators of using “dubious sources of information” and ignoring evidence provided by Moscow in order to discredit Russia.
It said, too, that the international team turned a blind eye to Ukraine’s failure to close its airspace to commercial flights despite the fighting that endangered aircraft.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down on July 17, 2014, over eastern Ukraine by what investigators said was a Buk missile from a Russian anti-aircraft unit. Investigators believe the Ukrainian rebels probably mistook the Boeing 777 passenger jet for a Ukrainian military plane.
Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the attack, but eastern Ukraine’s pro-Moscow rebels have relied heavily on Russian military assistance during the separatist conflict that erupted in April 2014 and has claimed more than 13,000 lives.
Associated Press reporters spotted a Buk, an unusually big and sophisticated type of weapon, in the Ukrainian town of Snizhne just hours before the jetliner was shot down, raining debris and bodies down onto farms and sunflower fields.
The investigation team said that even if the four defendants may not have actually pushed the button to launch the missile, they had a role in the preparations.
One of those charged was Russian citizen Igor Girkin, a retired colonel in Russia’s main intelligence agency, the FSB. He led Russian and separatist forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in 2014.
Girkin dismissed the accusations in a telephone interview Wednesday, saying the “insurgents did not shoot down the Boeing.” Girkin lives in Moscow.
The three others charged are Russian citizens Sergey Dubinskiy, identified as a former employee of Russia’s military intelligence service, and Oleg Pulatov, described as a former soldier in military intelligence; and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian citizen who led a combat unit in the Donetsk.
Girkin led a group of Russian men who crossed into Ukraine and occupied the town of Slovyansk, which became the site of major fighting. He wrote on his social media account around the time of the jetliner attack that the rebels had shot down a Ukrainian military plane in the area where the Malaysian aircraft went down. He later deleted that post.
The Joint Investigation Team, made up of detectives from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine, said the trial will begin with or without the defendants in a top-security courtroom near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport under Dutch law, which allows trials in absentia. The men could get life in prison if convicted.
The Netherlands has taken the lead in efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice because nearly 200 of those killed were Dutch citizens.
Investigators have been gathering and analyzing evidence largely without help from Moscow, which dismissed the team as biased because it has no Russian members.
Last year, the team said it was convinced that the Buk missile system used to shoot down the plane came from the Russian army’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, based in the Russian city of Kursk.
Prosecutors appealed for witnesses to come forward to help identify the crew that manned the missile launcher and to take them further up the chain of command to identify those who authorized its deployment.
The team did not reveal much evidence Wednesday, saying the courtroom is the place to lay out the case, but played a wiretap of an alleged conversation between Alexander Borodai, who was rebel leader in the Donetsk in 2014, and senior Kremlin official Vladislav Surkov in which they appear to discuss military aid for the separatists.
Borodai on Wednesday denied discussing military support with Surkov, calling the recording a fake.
Asked to characterize Moscow’s cooperation with the probe, Westerbeke said it “wasn’t too good,” saying investigators had asked plenty of questions, “and a lot of those questions weren’t answered.”
The families of those killed were informed of the trial date at a closed-door meeting.
Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, of the Dutch city of Rotterdam, whose son Bryce was among the dead, expressed relief.
“This is what we hoped for,” she said. “This is a start of it. It is a good start.”
She said she holds Putin responsible for the attack, saying: “He made this possible. He created the situation.” As for Russia’s lack of cooperation, she said, “I think it’s disgusting. They deny everything, they don’t cooperate. Nothing.”
The Ducks formally parted ways with right wing Corey Perry on Wednesday morning, buying out the final two years and $17.25 million of his contract, closing the books on his remarkable 14-season career with the club and ending one era while starting another heading into 2019-20.
General manager Bob Murray attempted to trade Perry, but it’s believed Murray’s options were limited. Perry’s hefty contract, declining production in recent seasons and age were factors in Murray’s inability to move the former Hart Trophy winner.
Compounding matters was the fact Perry underwent knee surgery in September and was limited to only six goals and 10 points in 31 games in 2018-19. He departs the Ducks with 372 goals and 776 points in 988 games, the most in team history.
Wednesday’s move was not unexpected. Murray signaled his intentions to part ways with Perry when news leaked earlier this month that the Ducks were attempting to trade Perry, who turned 34 on May 16. The NHL’s buyout window opened Saturday and runs through June 30.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my 44 years in the NHL,” Murray said in a statement. “Corey gave everything to this franchise for 14 years, never giving an inch to his competitors. While his scoring touch is undeniable, his will to win became his greatest attribute. We thank Corey for everything he’s meant to the Ducks organization. No matter what he elects to do from here, Corey, his wife, Blakeny, and his son, Griffin, will always be a part of the Ducks’ family.”Related Articles
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Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli also praised and thanked Perry.
“We consider Corey’s career to date to be Hockey Hall of Fame worthy, based on his accomplishments with the Ducks and his six separate team championships (including a Stanley Cup championship in 2007 and Olympic gold medals with Canada in 2010 and ’14),” the Samuelis said.
“But we are most proud that winning a championship at every level never changed who he is, a selfless and dedicated individual committed to enriched the lives of youth and those in need.”
More to come on this story.
Laugh with Ron White, party with Kesha and travel to Cuba without the airfare at Southern California casinos this week (June 21-27)
Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage
Diehard fans of Journey, the kind who will find any excuse to start belting out “Don’t Stop Believin’,” may want to make their way to Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa on Saturday. Steve Augeri, who served as a vocalist for the rock band from 1998 to 2006, will perform some of the band’s greatest hits at The Show.
8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. $25-$35. 888-999-1995, aguacalientecasinos.com.
The muscular Aussie cohort known as Thunder from Down Under will appear at Pauma Pavilion not for one, but two evenings.
8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, and 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 777 Pauma Reservation Road, Pauma Valley. Reserved table seat $35, seat $25, 18 and older only. 877-687-2862, casinopauma.com.
The Australians will then round out their visit to Southern California with two nights at Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa as well.
9 p.m. Friday, June 28, and 9 p.m. Friday, June 29, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon. $25, 18 and older only. 951-849-3080, morongocasinoresort.com.Sign up for our Casino Insider newsletter and get the week’s best bets for food, entertainment and fun at Southern California’s casinos. Subscribe here.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California
If you wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, you may want to end your day at Harrah’s Resort Southern California.
Pop star Kesha, who famously sang of feeling like Diddy and brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack in the song “Tik Tok,” is coming to the Valley Center casino on Thursday.
8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. $49-$112. 760-751-3100, harrahssocal.com.
Pala Casino, Spa & Resort
Take a trip to Cuba without the air fare with the latest installment of Pala’s summer pool party series. On Sunday, the Havana Days-themed pool party takes over the complex, complete with all day pool access, grilled costillitas, choice of drink in a souvenir glass and live entertainment from Dano’s Island Sounds. Guests also receive $20 in added play as part of their ticket, if they want to take a break from the pool and try their luck at the slot machines.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 23, 11154 Highway 76, Pala. $40. 877-946-7252, palacasino.com.Related Articles
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Pechanga Resort Casino
If you’re a fan of the 1992 Disney movie, “Newsies,” you can catch the musical theater version at Pechanga Resort Casino. The musical, presented by Theatre Royale, tells the story of the 1899 newsboy strike, where a group of orphan and runaway news delivery boys stands up against major publishers of the day.
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23, 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. $65-$85. 877-711-2946, pechanga.com.
Soboba Casino Resort
Comedian Ron White, the cigar smoking, whiskey drinking comedian known for his wry and observational style of humor, will get audiences chuckling at the Soboba Events Center. The title of the show at Soboba, “If You Quit Listening, I’ll Shut Up” is the same as a recent stand-up special from White on Netflix.
9 p.m., Friday, June 21, 22777 Soboba Road, San Jacinto. $75-$200. 951-665-1000, soboba.com.
At the same time, country Music trio Honey County, which just performed a song dedicated to victims of shootings at The Route 91 Harvest festival and The Borderline Bar & Grill at this year’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival, will perform a free show at the San Jacinto casino’s Cabaret Lounge.
9 p.m. Friday. Free.
“Pose,” the groundbreaking FX drama series just renewed for its third season; “Russian Doll,” the dark comedy starring Natasha Lyonne as a young woman trapped in a seemingly endless time loop; and Amazon’s British tragicomedy “Fleabag” are the leading nominees announced this morning for the 35th annual TCA Awards.
The kudos, voted on by more than 220 television critics and journalists from the U.S. and Canada, will be presented during a ceremony Aug. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event will be hosted by comedy duo Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, stars of a Showtime talk show that bears their name.
“Pose” and “Russian Doll,” which each nabbed four nominations, and “Fleabag” with three were the only shows to earn more than a pair of mentions. Eleven programs — including “Barry,” “Veep” and three others on HBO — received two nominations each.
“Game of Thrones” — which received a highly rated and much-maligned sendoff in May — earned one nomination, for program of the year. That category’s other nominees are “Fleabag,” “Pose,” HBO’s “Chernobyl” and two Netflix entries: “Russian Doll” and “When They See Us.”
“From departing juggernauts that changed the TV game to new shows that test the boundaries of what the medium can do and be, this has been a landmark season for television across all networks and platforms,” Daniel Fienberg, TCA president and chief TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter, said in a news release.
“This strong nomination roster represents a diverse blend of talented performers, many of whom are also creators, and groundbreaking content that made us laugh, cry and gasp,” he added. “Every category is bursting with hard choices, but we couldn’t ask for a better problem to have as we gather together to honor yet another terrific television season.”
With 15 nods, HBO led the network pack this year, followed Netflix with 14. FX ranked third with eight nods, Amazon collected five.
Here are the 2019 Television Critics Association nominees, excluding the Career Achievement and Heritage Award winners, which will be announced at a later date.
Individual Achievement in Drama
- Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects” – HBO
- Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora” – Showtime
- Christine Baranski, “The Good Fight” – CBS All Access
- Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” – BBC America
- Billy Porter, “Pose” – FX
- Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon” – FX
Individual Achievement in Comedy
- Pamela Adlon, “Better Things” – FX
- Bill Hader, “Barry” – HBO
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” – HBO (2014 winner in the category)
- Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll” – Netflix
- Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek” – Pop TV
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag” – Amazon
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information
- “60 Minutes” – CBS (2012 winner in the category)
- “America To Me” – Starz
- “Leaving Neverland” – HBO
- “Our Planet” – Netflix
- “The Rachel Maddow Show” – MSNBC
- “Surviving R. Kelly” – Lifetime
Outstanding Achievement in Reality
- “The Great British Baking Show” – PBS
- “Making It” – NBC
- “Nailed It!” – Netflix
- “Queer Eye” – Netflix
- “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” – Netflix
- “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” – Netflix
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming
- “Arthur” – PBS Kids
- “Carmen Sandiego” – Netflix
- “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” – PBS Kids (2016 winner in the category)
- “Muppet Babies” – Disney Junior
- “Odd Squad” – PBS Kids
- “Sesame Street” – HBO (2018, 2011, 2001 winner in the category)
Outstanding Achievement in Sketch/Variety Shows
- “Desus & Mero” – Showtime
- “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” -TBS
- “I Think You Should Leave” – Netflix
- “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – HBO (2018 winner in the category)
- “Late Night with Seth Meyers” – NBC
- “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – CBS
Outstanding Achievement in Movie or Miniseries
- “Chernobyl” – HBO
- “Deadwood: The Movie” – HBO
- “Escape at Dannemora” – Showtime
- “Fosse/Verdon” – FX
- “Sharp Objects” – HBO
- “When They See Us” – Netflix
Outstanding New Program
- “Dead to Me” – Netflix
- “The Other Two” – Comedy Central
- “Pose” – FX
- “Russian Doll” – Netflix
- “Succession” – HBO
- “What We Do in the Shadows” – FX
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
- “Better Call Saul” – AMC
- “The Good Fight” – CBS All Access
- “Homecoming” – Amazon
- “Killing Eve” – BBC America
- “Pose” – FX
- “Succession” – HBO
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
- “Barry” – HBO
- “Fleabag” – Amazon
- “The Good Place” – NBC (2018 winner in the category)
- “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – Amazon
- “Russian Doll” – Netflix
- “Schitt’s Creek” – Pop TV
- “Veep” – HBO (2014 winner in the category)
Program of the Year
- “Chernobyl” – HBO
- “Fleabag” – Amazon
- “Game of Thrones” – HBO (2012 winner in the category)
- “Pose” – FX
- “Russian Doll” – Netflix
- “When They See Us” – Netflix
By ERIC HEINZ
LOS ANGELES — A group of residents upset over the rise in homelessness in the city will formally begin a drive Wednesday to recall Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, an effort a mayoral spokesman called an unfortunate political stunt.
“The homeless situation is in a state of emergency, and everything that we’ve done has not worked,” Alexandra Datig, the leader of the recall effort, told City News Service. “At this point, I think we need an intervention, and we need to recall this mayor.”
Datig created the website www.recallthelamayor.com, which posts news articles and broadcast clips on homelessness in Los Angeles, and also outlines her reasons for why she believes Garcetti should be removed from office.
She plans to hold a news conference Wednesday announcing the filing of a formal notice of intention with the city clerk, the first step in the city’s recall process. In order to get the recall effort to the point where it is officially certified by the clerk’s office, Datig and her supporters would first have to collect the signatures of nearly 315,000 registered city voters.
Bill Carrick, a campaign consultant for Garcetti, said the recall effort is nothing more than a “political game,” and he insisted the mayor has done significant work to address the city’s homelessness crisis.
“The mayor has invested time, effort, energy and focus to try and deal with what is a city crisis,” Carrick said. “To play games with a stunt-driven recall is just unfortunate.”Alexandra Datig talks about the effort she is leading to recall Mayor Eric Garcetti in a June 17, 2019 interview with NBC4. (Image from NBC4 video) Related Articles
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Datig, who works as a consultant, said she was motivated to initiate the recall drive after the recent release of numbers showing that the city’s homeless population increased by 16% over the past year. The countywide homeless population rose by 12%.
“‘I’ve seen the crisis (expand) because I work and live downtown,” she said. “Everyone is overwhelmed.”
She started a petition on the Change.org website asking people to sign in favor of removing Garcetti from office, and more than 8,000 people had done so as of Tuesday afternoon. The online petition carries no official weight in a recall drive.
Sometimes you get the gig through time-honored channels: Your agent gets an audition, your manager books a stand-up show.
But then there are times, as actress-comedian Sandra Bernhard describes how she ended up on the FX series “Pose,” when it almost seems like fate steps in.
“I ran into the co-creator Steven Canals and one of the writers, Our Lady J, on a flight from L.A.,” Bernhard says of the felicitous way in which she found herself on “Pose” not long after its premiere in June 2018.
“Our mutual friend Judith Light introduced all of us, and I was just talking to both of them by the baggage claim at JFK,” she says. “And I said, ‘I love the show, if anything ever comes up I’d love to do something.’”
As fate would have it, the creative team led by Ryan Murphy, whose previous creations include series such as “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” had just written a role on “Pose” for a nurse working with HIV and AIDS patients. The series is set amid the underground gay and transgender world of ballroom culture in New York City some three decades ago.
“So they went back and spoke with Ryan Murphy, who’s an old fan of mine, and he said, ‘Absolutely,’” Bernhard says. “I think he’d been trying to think of something for me over the years. It’s a great story.”
The moral of which is … hang out at the baggage claim more often?
“Yeah,” Bernhard says, laughing. “Or at least let people know that you’re interested in doing something on a show that you’re a fan of.”
“Pose,” which returned to FX for its second season last week — and was renewed for a third season this week — has been hailed as revolutionary for the world and the people it portrays.
It is set in underground balls of New York City in the late ’80s and ’90s, in which gay and transgender African-Americans and Latinos competed in costumed runway competitions. (The scene first broke through to the mainstream with Madonna’s 1990 song and video “Vogue,” which plays a part in the opening episodes of season two as it brings ballroom culture to the masses.)
While gay and lesbian minorities and transgender men and women have typically had a harder time finding acceptance than white gay men like Murphy and the white bisexual Bernhard, their representation in pop culture and movies and television has been particularly limited before “Pose” came along and cast more trans actresses than any show in TV history.
All of that, and the fact that the series is set in an era that was hugely important in Bernhard’s own life, both personally and professionally, made the guest spots she did in season one and the bump up to series regular for season two exciting, she says.
“I was definitely in New York then,” Bernhard says of the 1990 setting of the second season. “I was doing my one-woman show, “Without You I’m Nothing,” and all kinds of people came to show — from the art world, from the film world, the New York downtown scene.
“So I knew everybody in New York, and you could see the sorrow sort of roll out of people,” she says of the worst days of the AIDS epidemic when the disease was almost always a death sentence. “I had personal friends, old friends, some of whom I’d already lost by that point, who were succumbing to the disease.
“But everybody kept their wits about them, and was doing what they could do to still enjoy their lives as much as possible and support their friends.”
That’s a big part of the way season two begins. Bernhard, as nurse and AIDS activist Judy Kubrak, works with Blanca, the ballroom house mother played by MJ Rodriguez, who in the first season was diagnosed as HIV positive, while also strong-arming Pray Tell, the loquacious ballroom emcee played by Billy Porter, into taking a more active role in demanding rights and treatment for those with HIV and AIDS.
And while that sounds, and is, serious stuff, there’s plenty of humor and tons of heart to leaven the storylines, too, making it a joy to go to work each day, Bernhard says.
“Just to work around these trans actresses, who back in the day would never ever be in this position of being respected and taken seriously, that’s what’s particularly wonderful,” she says. “We’re telling stories of that time when the struggle was not only just to have a day-to-day life, but to have any sort of acknowledgment of who they are.”
Bernhard, whose past roles include a standout performance opposite Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” and a recurring role as Nancy Bartlett, a lesbian, then bisexual character on “Roseanne,” says she’s thrilled that her “Pose” costars are getting well-deserved recognition for their work regardless of their gender or sexual identity off-screen.
“MJ, to me, is just one of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with, period,” she says of Rodriguez, with whom she frequently shares scenes. “Trans or non-trans, she is so committed and so full of joy and life and emotion and pathos. I love working with her.”
Bernhard is also just starting her fourth year as host of Sandyland on Radio Andy, the SiriusXM channel curated by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, though she’s cut back from five days a week to one due to the pace of her work on “Pose.”
“It’s been such a great experience to have a platform every day to go and talk about to me what’s sort of quotidian and mundane about my life but makes me very accessible and human,” she says. “I’ve developed these relationships with the audience who I don’t think every really knew who I was entirely.
“They knew this sort of one-dimensional Sandy, and now they know me in this much broader way,” she says.
The show wasn’t that difficult of a transition from her stand-up career, which reaches back to the mid-’70s. Learning to work without laughter or applause from a live audience took some adjustment, Bernhard says. Avoiding dead air was much easier.
“I mean, I have this uncanny ability to talk a lot,” she says. “It’s very stream of consciousness.”
And, between radio shows and “Pose” shoots, there are other projects to pitch, and hopefully, she says, more acting work in the next few years too. Though stand-up shows will continue to be a regular part of her in-between time.
She’s booked for a night at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach on Sept. 21, and in Palm Springs at Oscar’s two days before that on Sept. 19.
But “Pose” is her biggest thing for now, and the day Murphy reached out to her last summer and told her the character would be a regular this season was a high point of her year.
“Of course I was thrilled,” she says. “And here we are.”Related Articles
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