R. Kelly's latest accuser alleges the singer paid her to keep quiet about an abusive, underage sexual relationship

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In the latest R. Kelly-related investigative report by BuzzFeed News, Jerhonda Pace, an alleged victim of the R&B singer, claims she received “cash settlements” from the singer in return for “signing nondisclosure agreements” crafted to cover up a sexual relationship she had with Kelly that turned abusive when she was 16 years old.

Pace, now 24, says she felt the need to violate her nondisclosure agreement to speak out against Kelly following a July report by BuzzFeed News that alleged that the singer was keeping women against their will in a “cult.” 

“I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him,” Pace told the outlet. “He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson.”

One of the women in Kelly’s alleged cult has since denied the previous report, saying that she is of age and in a relationship with the singer on her own free will. Kelly’s representatives have repeatedly denied all allegations.

According to the new report, Pace met R. Kelly outside of his 2008 child-pornography trial. As a 15-year-old fan of Kelly’s, she says she faked being 18 to sneak into the trial, and she even defended the singer to MTV News while standing outside of the courtroom. After R. Kelly was acquitted of all charges in the trial, Pace says that a friend of the singer’s invited her to a party at his home in Olympia Fields, Illinois. She then began an allegedly abusive relationship with Kelly as a 16-year old. 

Pace alleges that the singer would film their sexual encounters and make her ask permission “to shower, eat, go to the bathroom, and leave the property” of his mansion. When she violated his “rules,” Pace says she was “mentally and physically abused,” according to BuzzFeed.

Pace left the relationship in 2010 after an alleged instance of abuse, and she contacted Susan E. Loggans, a Chicago lawyer. Pace claims the lawyer “negotiated a large settlement with Kelly” in return for her signing “a nondisclosure agreement and declining to pursue any charges or other claims against Kelly.”

Though her agreement included a “non-disparagement clause,” Pace is speaking out against Kelly for the first time, and she says she is now considering filing criminal charges against the singer. 

Kelly’s camp has since refuted the claims with the following statement:

“The allegations against Mr. Kelly are false, and are being made by individuals known to be dishonest. It is clear these continuing stories are the result of the effort of those with personal agendas who are working in concert to interfere with and damage his career. Mr. Kelly again denies any and all wrong doing and is taking appropriate legal action to protect himself from ongoing defamation.”

You can read BuzzFeed News’ full interview with Pace here.

SEE ALSO: R. Kelly is holding 6 women against their will in a ‘cult,’ according to their parents

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A California Senator wants to make it illegal for VCs to sexually harass entrepreneurs

Senator Beth Jackson

A California senator is hoping to create a new law to end sexual harassment in the venture capital world. 

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is introducing a bill this week that would explicitly prohibit sexual harassment by venture capitalists as an amendment to a current civil rights law. 

The bill, SB 224, comes in response to accounts from women tech entrepreneurs who have described how they were sexually harassed while seeking funding from venture capitalists. 

The proposed bill would amend the Unruh Act, a civil rights law in California that protects against sexual harassment in business relationships. The current law lists doctors, landlords, teachers and others as liable for sexual harassment. This bill would amend the law to clarify that consequences exist for investors too, and provide protections for entrepreneurs who are harassed.

“If we want to see the venture capital industry change and an end to sexual harassment of women in technology, we need strong legal protections. No matter how well intentioned, decency pledges and promises are not enough.” said Senator Jackson in a statement.

Jackson was referring to a public plea made by LinkedIn founder and Greylock partner, Reid Hoffman, that asked firms to sign a Decency Pledge, a promise to treat the relationship between a VC and an entrepreneur like a manager and employee.

Hoffman proposed the idea after dozens of female tech entrepreneurs came forward in recent weeks with accounts of being sexually harassed while seeking funding for their ideas and startups. Prominent investors like Dave McClure of 500 startups and Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital have resigned in the wake of such allegations.

But self regulation like a decency pledge isn’t the same as ensuring VCs are covered under the Unruh Act.

“We need to be clear there are consequences for this type of behavior,” said Jackson. “The idea is to take a very strong position, and make it very clear that this is the kind of intersection between power and opportunity where we are not going to tolerate sexual harassment.”

So far, Jackson says the response to the bill has been overwhelmingly positive. Because the current legislation sessions ends soon, in September, she plans to move the bill forward when the legislation reconvenes in January, and expects to have a vote on it by the end of that month. 

SEE ALSO: DEAR VCs: Here’s why everyone thinks Silicon Valley has a problem with women

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More Americans are calling for Trump's impeachment than ever — here's how that would play out

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A new poll by PRRI released Thursday reveals rising support for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, with four in 10 Americans hoping to see the president removed from office.

That number is larger than it was six months ago, according to the poll.

The poll followed widespread outrage for Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where an apparent white supremacist plowed a car into counter protesters, killing one woman.

Trump made multiple statements after the violence, at first blaming “many sides” Saturday, before issuing an explicit condemnation of white nationalists and neo-Nazis on Monday. During a Tuesday press conference, Trump reverted back to blaming both sides.

“You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said Tuesday. “Nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it.”

In the wake of the press conference, #ImpeachTrump became a top trending topic on Twitter this week.

Here’s how impeachment would work:

What does it mean to be impeached?

An impeachment is essentially a formal indictment of a government official. Being impeached does not remove an official from office — rather, it means formal charges are being brought against them.

Two US presidents have been impeached: Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson.

Clinton was impeached in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice — he was accused of lying under oath about his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He eventually was acquitted.

Johnson was impeached in 1868 on the primary charge of violating the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton and trying to replace him with Lorenzo Thomas. Johnson was also acquitted.

President Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment proceedings could begin.

What charges can the president be impeached on?

At the federal level, the president, vice president, and “all civil officers of the United States” can be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to Article II of the US Constitution.

While all felonies are impeachable, the Supreme Court has never formally ruled on what constitutes an impeachable offense.

“After Watergate, many people said that an impeachable offense is whatever the House and Senate think it is,” Robert Deitz, a former top counsel for the National Security Agency and CIA, told Business Insider. “So I could imagine people saying: ‘Look, I don’t give a damn whether what [the president] did is felonious or not. But the comment or conduct itself has brought disgrace upon the White House, and therefore we think [the president] should be impeached for that.'”

Keith Whittington, an expert on presidential impeachment and a professor of politics at Princeton University, said: “It may be that he’s acting completely within his legal authority and yet still has abused his office in ways that might rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

“But that would have to be something that would need to be explored through congressional hearings,” he said.

US President Bill Clinton looks over to his wife Hillary January 28, during a memorial service on Capitol Hill for Lawton Chiles, a former senator who was governor of florida when he died in December. The impeachment trial of Clinton in the Senate is temporarily on hold as senators attempt to work out the details of deposing witnesses.

How does the impeachment process work?

In the case of a presidential impeachment, the onus is on Congress to bring a charge.

The House of Representatives drafts an article of impeachment, while the Senate holds the trial.

Any representative can initiate the presidential impeachment process.

The House Judiciary Committee typically reviews resolutions calling for the impeachment of a person, while the Rules Committee presides over resolutions calling for investigations into whether certain conduct is impeachable. It sends that resolution to the Judiciary Committee if it feels the conduct is objectionable.

The Judiciary Committee ultimately decides whether there are grounds for impeachment. If a majority of its members agree, the committee drafts a formal article of impeachment, which lays out a charge being brought against an official. That article is then brought and debated before the full House.

The House can consider each article individually or look at the resolution as a whole. If a simple majority votes to impeach based on any article or the full resolution, the impeachment goes to the Senate.

The Senate holds the trial for the charges. Typically, the vice president oversees Senate trials, but in a presidential impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides.

The trial unfolds in the same way a criminal trial would in a courtroom. Representatives act as the prosecutors, while the official is defended by an attorney or attorneys of their choosing.

The Senate then deliberates in private, the way a jury does. For an official to be removed from office, two-thirds of senators must vote to convict them.

If that official is convicted, they are immediately removed from office and may be prohibited from holding office in the future. A conviction also opens the door for a possible a criminal prosecution.

SEE ALSO: POLL: 40% of Americans now say they want Trump impeached

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Photos show thousands of counterprotesters descending on Boston to drown out a right-wing 'free speech' rally

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Roughly 40,000 people descended on Boston Common on Saturday to protest a controversial right-wing “free speech” rally that had been planned.

The event came one week after violence and chaos erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia during a white nationalist rally. One woman died after an apparent white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

In contrast, Saturday’s demonstrations in Boston remained largely peaceful, despite some skirmishes with police. Twenty-seven people were ultimately arrested, police told media.

Here’s how the day unfolded:

SEE ALSO: Trump labels Boston protesters ‘anti-police agitators,’ then praises them for ‘speaking out against bigotry and hate’

A right-wing rally for ‘free speech’ had been planned for Saturday

But many feared it would draw white supremacists and neo-Nazis

Roughly 40,000 people showed up to protest against the rally

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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2 dead, 6 injured in Finland stabbing, police say

finland police stabbing

Two people are dead and six more are injured after a stabbing in Finland’s western city of Turku on Friday. Police shot the suspect in a leg and detained him Friday, police said, adding that authorities were looking for more potential suspects.

Finnish broadcaster YLE says several people were seen lying on the ground in Puutori square in central Turku. On Twitter, police urged people to avoid that part of Turku.

One person has been “apprehended,” Finnish police said, adding “several people had been stabbed” in two squares in the city. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat says six people were injured, one man and five women, and that a woman with stroller was attacked by a man with a large knife.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila said the government was closely monitoring the ongoing police operation and holding an emergency meeting later Friday.

Witness Laura Laine told broadcaster YLE that she stood approximately 20 meters (65 feet) from where the stabbing took place.

“We heard that a young woman was screaming. We saw a man on the square and a knife glittered. He was waving it in the air. I understood that he had stabbed someone,” Laine was quoted as saying.

Police planned a news conference at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT; 12 p.m. EDT) in Turku, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of Helsinki, with Finland’s interior minister and the national police chief.

Finnish television channel MTV said security had been heightened at Helsinki’s international airport but didn’t give details.

“Police have told us not to go to the city center so we are in this coffee shop a few blocks away from the city center,” said Vanessa Deggins, an American who is studying business in one of Turku’s three universities. She didn’t witness the actual attack, but heard sirens going past.

“This is a safe country by American standards. I have gone home alone at 2-3 a.m. … I feel safe. This is a safe country.”

SEE ALSO: Barcelona terror attack: Van suspect named, death toll rises to 14, police kill 5 suspects in 2nd Spanish city

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Internet rights group slams Google and GoDaddy's 'dangerous' decision to ban a neo-Nazi site

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. August 11, 2017. Alvarez/News2Share via REUTERSA prominent Internet rights group has condemned Google and GoDaddy for refusing to manage the domain registration for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization that defends digital civil liberties, issued a blistering statement on Thursday slamming the domain gatekeepers for using their power to silence speech. 

After Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, The Daily Stormer ran a post mocking her for her physical appearance and using various offensive epithets. This prompted widespread outrage on Twitter, and led GoDaddy to investigate and, ultimately, ban The Daily Stormer for violating its terms of service. 

Following this, the neo-Nazi site attempted to register a domain with Google, but that attempt was quickly blocked as well.

Though many around the web were pleased to hear these companies were making an effort to eliminate hate speech from the web, the EFF claims taking such actions sets a dangerous precedent. 

“Because Internet intermediaries, especially those with few competitors, control so much online speech, the consequences of their decisions have far-reaching impacts on speech around the world,” the EFF’s post explains.

Though it harshly condemns hate speech of any kind, the EFF’s post goes on to argue that domain suspension is too broad of a weapon to use against hate speech, because it “makes everything hosted [on the domain] difficult or impossible to access,” and has a high likelihood of blocking speech that wasn’t targeted.  

The main concern expressed by the EFF is that eliminating websites full of hate speech is a slippery slope. 

“We might well face a world where every government and powerful body would see itself as an equal or more legitimate invoker of that power,” the statement reads. “That makes the domain name system unsuitable as a mechanism for taking down specific illegal content as the law sometimes requires, and a perennially attractive central location for nation-states and others to exercise much broader takedown powers.”

Following Google and GoDaddy’s decision to drop The Daily Stormer, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince decided to drop them as a customer, after which the website was soon hit with a DDoS attack. Prince said it made him “deeply uncomfortable” to know he had so much power to limit speech. 

“The ability of somebody to single-handedly choose to knock content offline doesn’t align with core ideas of due process or justice,” Prince told Business Insider on Wednesday. “Whether that’s a national government launching attacks or an individual launching attacks.”

The Daily Stormer was briefly hosted on a Russian server, but was kicked off of that as well. Founder Andrew Anglin announced on the Gab social network that the site would take refuge on the dark web. 

Read the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s full statement here. 

SEE ALSO: Cloudflare CEO explains his emotional decision to punt The Daily Stormer and subject it to hackers: I woke up ‘in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet’

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Sheriff David Clarke is being sued by family of an inmate who died after not receiving water for a week

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The family of a man who died from dehydration in jail back in April 2016 has filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee county and Sheriff David Clarke.

Terrill Thomas, 38, was found dead on the floor of his cell at the Milwaukee County Jail eight days after he was admitted in April 2016.

Three months after an inquest jury recommended charges for seven prison officials, Thomas’ family has filed a lawsuit against both Milwaukee County and Clarke, who runs the jail.

According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, other defendants named in the lawsuit include eight jail supervisors, 14 correctional officers along with medical professionals who worked at the jail at the time of Thomas’ death.

Post-death examination found that three prison officers turned off Thomas’ water as punishment for bad behavior and trying to flood his cell after being admitted to jail. According to the Sentinel, they never restored the water or notified a supervisor of their actions.

Thomas had a history of mental illness and bipolar disorder, but instead of moving him to a special needs union, the officers also allegedly left him without water or adequate food supply from April 17 until his death on April 23, according to the Sentinel.

“The change in Mr. Thomas’ condition was obvious to every jail employee who looked into his cell, including multiple defendants,” reads the lawsuit. “However, not a single one bothered to call for help until it was too late to save Mr. Thomas’ life.”

By the time of his death Thomas had allegedly lost more than 34 pounds.”By April 23 he was too weak to yell or bang on his window. He was simply lying naked on his cell floor, barely able to move, severely dehydrated, literally dying of thirst,” the lawsuit reads.

prison

While lawsuits have alleged Clarke’s negligence towards his duty in running a jail over the last year, Clarke hit the campaign trail with Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, Clarke regularly made appearances endorsing Trump on conservative media networks while decrying President Barack Obama and Black Lives Matter on Twitter.

Clarke’s loyalty to Trump did not go unnoticed in Wisconsin, where many accused him of abandoning law enforcement in his home state to seek fame and power.

“He has to run a law-enforcement department, which has very specific responsibilities, and a city that has had a really, really tough year,” Charlie Sykes, a recently retired conservative Wisconsin radio host who has known Clarke for more than 20 years, told Business Insider. “And when he gets involved, it often has an almost gratuitous, grandstanding sense to it.”

Jails run by Clarke have repeatedly been called out for its inmate treatment — Milwaukee County auditors launched an investigation after four inmates died in custody at the county’s two jails within the span of months.

SEE ALSO: Prosecutors say an inmate at the jail Sheriff David Clarke runs died of dehydration after not receiving water for a week

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'I think he's a greedy little man': Prospective jurors revealed contempt for 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli

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Martin Shkreli was found guilty on two counts of securities fraud earlier this month, but the process of selecting a jury for the case against the former pharmaceutical CEO and hedge fund founder appeared to be as lively as the trial itself.

Some of the 200 potential jurors apparently did not hold back their views toward Shkreli during court interviews held over the course of three days in June. Their court interviews were compiled by Harper’s Magazine ahead of its September issue.

“I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him,” Juror No. 1 said. “I think he’s a greedy little man.”

When asked by the court if the juror agreed that jurors were obligated to “decide the case based only on the evidence,” Juror No. 1 responded with: “I don’t know if I could. I wouldn’t want me on this jury.”

“He’s the most hated man in America,” Juror No. 47 said. “In my opinion, he equates with Bernie Madoff … My parents are in their eighties. They’re struggling to pay for their medication. My mother was telling me yesterday how my father’s cancer drug is $9,000 a month,” the person claimed.

The court, emphasizing that the case would have to be considered with “an open mind,” dismissed Juror No. 47, who said, “I would find that difficult.

“When I walked in here today I looked at him, and in my head, that’s a snake — not knowing who he was,” Juror No. 52 said. “I just walked in and looked right at him and that’s a snake.”

Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s attorney, quipped, “So much for the presumption of innocence.”

“From everything I’ve seen on the news, everything I’ve read, I believe the defendant is the face of corporate greed in America,” Juror No. 77 said.

“We would object,” Brafman responded.

“You’d have to convince me he was innocent rather than guilty,” Juror No. 77 continued.

“I heard he bought an album from the Wu-Tang Clan for a million dollars,” Juror No. 144 said, referring to an exclusive single-copy album the hip-hop group released. Shkreli paid $2 million for the record in 2016. 

“The question is, have you heard anything that would affect your ability to decide this case with an open mind,” said the court. “Can you do that?”

“I don’t think I can because he kind of looks like a dick,” Juror No. 144 responded.

Juror No. 59, after being called upon to address the court, came out of the gates storming: “Your Honor, totally he is guilty and in no way can I let him slide out of anything because —” Juror No. 59 began, before being cut off.

“Okay,” the court interjected. “Is that your attitude toward anyone charged with a crime who has not been proven guilty?”

“It’s my attitude toward his entire demeanor, what he has done to people,” Juror No. 59 responded.

“All right,” the court said. “We are going to excuse you, sir.”

But Juror No. 59 wasn’t done: “And he disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.”

Read the full transcript here »

SEE ALSO: Investor says Martin Shkreli reminded him of ‘Rain Man’

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Uber agrees to outside audits of its privacy program for the next 20 years to settle FTC charges it 'deceived customers'

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Uber has reached a settlement with the U.S. government following charges it “deceived customers” by not properly protecting their private information. One of the results of Uber’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is that Uber has agreed to third-party audits of its privacy program for the next 20 years. 

The FTC’s complaint alleged that the ride hailing service “rarely monitored internal access to personal information about users and drivers,” despite claims to the contrary. This genesis of this complaint dates back to 2014, when an Uber manager was revealed to have used the “god view” tool to track a reporter’s location

In addition, the FTC alleged that Uber was at fault for the May 2014 data breach that saw an intruder gain access to to more than 100,000 names and driver’s license numbers stored on a third-party cloud provider operated by Amazon. The FTC’s complaint said the San Francisco-based company “did not take reasonable, low-cost measures that could have helped the company prevent the breach.” 

In a statement, FTC acting chairman Maureen K. Olhausen said that Uber had failed its customers in two ways. 

“First by misrepresenting the extent to which it monitored its employees’ access to personal information about users and drivers, and second by misrepresenting that it took reasonable steps to secure that data,” she said. “This case shows that, even if you’re a fast growing company, you can’t leave consumers behind: you must honor your privacy and security promises.”

Under the agreement, Uber will be “prohibited from misrepresenting how it monitors internal access to consumers’ personal information” and “prohibited from misrepresenting how it protects and secures that data.” In addition, the company will have to implement a new, comprehensive privacy program that directly addresses the risks related to new and existing products. 

If Uber violates the agreement it will be hit with steep financial penalties.  

Read the FTC’s full press release here. 

 

SEE ALSO: Benchmark, in open letter to all employees, says it’s suing Uber’s ex-CEO because of ‘behavior that was utterly unacceptable’

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A San Francisco Bay Area police department retweeted a white nationalist and people are wondering why

Alameda County Sheriff Richard Spencer

The official Twitter account for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office retweeted a posting from alt-right founder and white nationalist Richard Spencer on Monday.

The retweet is a video of a press conference Spencer held earlier in the day, in which he panned assertions that President Donald Trump was disavowing a white supremacist rally that turned deadly on Saturday. During that press conference, Spencer called Trump’s comments “kumbaya nonsense,” and said “only a dumb person would take those lines seriously.”

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Twitter account responded to a reporter who asked why the department was retweeting Spencer. The account replied, “That was an accidental retweet and was in no way done intentionally,” but the retweet was not immediately deleted.

A follow-up tweet read: “We are working to take this accidental retweet down. It is not showing up in our feed for is is [sic] to delete.” The posting was finally deleted around midnight local time.

The department was not immediately available when contacted by phone.

SEE ALSO: White nationalist Richard Spencer: Trump ‘didn’t condemn us,’ and ‘only a dumb person’ would take his statement seriously

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