Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Boo Tea Leoni, Yea Jodie Foster

I can't stop laughing while reading this article about Whoopi Goldberg leaving Twitter:

Goldberg follows in the footsteps of other celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Sara Bareilles, Shonda Rhimes, Mick Foley, and Tea Leoni, who have also quit Twitter in recent weeks. Many other prominent figures have also discussed leaving in the near future.

What a huge list of nobodies.  Whoopi actually has a following on Twitter.  Gigi used to.  Used to.  The others?  Nope.  And I laughed the hardest at Tea Leoni.  I remember when they brought Sandy Duncan onto VALERIE'S FAMILY after they fired Valerie Harper and a TV critic said something like, "Sandy Duncan?  She was yesterday's mashed potatoes thirty years ago."  That's how I think of Tea Leoni -- a massive failure.  She was going to be a CHARLIE'S ANGEL but FOX refused to pick up that reboot.  But they did hold a big press conference and Tea was present and acting like an idiot.  That's pretty much her entire career.  The first season of THE NAKED TRUTH was good and she was great in FLIRTING WITH DISASTER but that's it.  The rest of her career is one long embarrassment.  And she also looks awful with that fake blond hair. She hasn't made a film in 11 years, she hasn't done TV in 3.  I think most of us realize that her career is over. 

Let's note some good news via UPI:

HBO confirmed in a press release Tuesday that the new season, titled True Detective: North Country, has started production in Iceland.

Season 4 stars Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, John Hawes, Christopher Eccleston, Fiona Shaw, Finn Bennett, Anna Lambe, Aka Nivi├óna, Isabella Star Leblanc and Joel D. Montgrand.

"When the long winter night falls in Ennis, Alaska, the eight men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station vanish without a trace. To solve the case, detectives Liz Danvers (Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Reis) must confront their pasts and the dark truths lying underneath the Arctic ice," an official synopsis reads.

Jodie is so gifted and I can't wait to see season four.  I love her, she's one of my all time favorite actresses.

I need you to go read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: A romanceless romance -- who's policeman is it..." which is perfection.  I need you to go read Betty's "I'm not crying for Cry Baby Kit Connor" (and she's interviewing C.I. in this, by the way).  And read Mike's "THE GOLDBERGS."  Those are some great pieces.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, November 8, 2022.  Today we note the murder of Stephen Troell in Baghdad, the death of Canadian military member Eric Cheung and the conviction of a United Nations worker who drugged and raped women.

Violence never ends in Iraq.  Most of the time, however, the US media ignores it.  Today, they're interested because one of the dead is an American citizen, Stephen Troell.  Morgan Winsor (ABC NEWS) reports:

An American aid worker was gunned down in Baghdad on Monday, officials said.

Millennium Relief and Development Services, a Texas-based international aid group, confirmed in a statement that one of its workers was "shot and killed by armed attackers as he returned to this home on Monday evening." His name has not yet been released.

"We are greatly saddened by the tragedy that took the life of our colleague, near his home in Baghdad, Iraq," Millennium said. "An investigation is ongoing and details on the assailants and the motivation for the attack are not known at this time."

ALJAZEERA notes, "Police sources also said that the man’s wife and child were in the car with him but were not hurt.  The attack occurred after the man was cut off while driving in the streets by one car, while assailants in another car shot him dead."  

Along with the Tweets above, RUDAW also identifies the man murdered as Stephen Troell.  I have no idea why the American press continues to go with "unidentified."

The murder came up in yesterday afternoon's press briefing at the US State Dept:

[Spokesperson Ned] PRICE: Happy Monday.

QUESTION: Before I get to a question on Russia, I just want to ask real quick – because I don’t think you’ll have a lot on this, but I just want to make sure – and that is the murder of a USAID worker in Baghdad. Have you –

MR PRICE: You’re right. We don’t have much to offer on this publicly just yet. We’re of course aware of these reports. We’re looking into these reports. There is a process that we would need to undertake, if and when we are in a position to confirm that an American has been killed. We would of course first notify the next of kin before making any public comment. So, we’re still looking into these reports to determine what we can regarding these allegations.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, does that mean that you’re – that you don’t even know if someone has been – has been killed in the circumstances that were described?

MR PRICE: There is no reason to doubt that someone has been killed, as the reports indicate. But we want to be thorough in determining that the victim in this case was in fact a U.S. citizen, and of course then undertaking any necessary efforts to notify next of kin.

As that took place, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre held a 58 minute press briefing and the murder never came up.  "Now, let that sink in for a second.  Let that sink in for just a second." 58 minutes and she never raised the issue nor did the press.  An aid worker had been murdered, an American citizen and she wanted to play cutesy about MEET THE PRESS and other garbage.  Does she understand her job?  She offered nothing but garbage and she violated The Hatch Act repeatedly while repeatedly shouting out "Hatch Act" -- like it was "Tag, your it!" -- but she couldn't be bothered with the murder of an American citizen in Iraq.

It's that kind of garbage that's resulted in the very bad image this administration has -- a bad image that crosses party lines.

When Joe Biden is talking about his son -- who died in Maryland, not Iraq -- he tears up and cries and we're all supposed to be so touched.  But this administration can't even make a moment's time in White House press briefing to note an American aid worker who actually did get killed in Iraq?  

An Iraqi police major (unnamed) tells REUTERS,   "Our initial investigation and eyewitnesses showed that armed men were trying to kidnap the American citizen."  THE INDEPENDENT adds, "Iraq’s prime minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said that a committee will be formed to 'investigate the circumstances of the killing of an American citizen in the capital'."  And AP notes, "The streets of the middle class, mixed Christian and Muslim neighborhood where the victim reportedly lived were empty of residents but heavily patrolled by police Monday night. Such attacks against individuals in the Iraqi capital have been rare since the defeat of the Islamic State group in the country in 2017 but rockets are sometimes fired toward the U.S. Embassy."

In a separate report, AP also notes:

A little known group calling itself the Ahl al-Kahf Brigades issued a claim of responsibility on Tuesday for the murder of the American man, according to Iraqi media reports. The group was said to have claimed the attack as retaliation for the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of a pro-Iran group, who were both killed in the same U.S. airstrike at the beginning of 2020.

The American is not the only foreign national killed in Iraq in the last days.  THE CANADIAN PRESS reports, "Capt. Eric Cheung, 38, died Saturday under what the military is calling 'non-operational related circumstances,' though the exact details are now under investigation."

Cheung had been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2009, most recently as an operations officer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group headquarters, based in Winnipeg.

He was in Baghdad as part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, a militant group fighting to establish an Islamist state, when he died.

Canada has had troops in Iraq since 2014, when ISIS first captured a large swath of territory and declared an Islamic caliphate.

Let's drop back a week for Karim Elkorany because at least one of his rape victims was an Iraqi woman.  AP reported last week:

The sentencing of a former United Nations communications specialist to 15 years in prison Thursday was punctuated by the tears and eloquence of some of his 13 sexual assault victims who said being drugged and raped by a man who first befriended them left them shattered and hopeful that justice might help them heal.

When they were finished speaking, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald told Karim Elkorany that it was particularly heinous that he engaged in the “raping of women who believed he was their friend” as she sentenced him to the maximum he could face after he pleaded guilty to three charges in May.

The UN opened an investigation into Elkorany after a victim reported being sexually assaulted in 2016 in Iraq, according to the SDNY statement.

Nearly a year later, special agents with the New York FBI field office interviewed Elkorany in November of 2017 outside his New Jersey residence where he denied the allegations, according to the statement.   

       Prosecutors say investigators found that Elkorany “engaged in a pattern of similar conduct involving many other women,” including sexually assaulting a UN contractor in the United States and Iraq, among other locations, on multiple occasions.

From around 2009 to around 2016, Elkorany sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault at least five victims after the women were rendered unconscious from consuming alcoholic drinks he had prepared for them, according to the statement.    

The US Justice Dept issued the following statement:

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Former United Nations Employee Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Drugging And Sexually Assaulting Victims

Throughout Nearly Two Decades, Karim Elkorany Drugged 20 Victims and Sexually Assaulted at Least 13 of Those Victims

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that KARIM ELKORANY, a former communications specialist with the United Nations (“UN”) in Iraq, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by United States District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald to 15 years in prison for drugging and/or sexually assaulting 20 victims.  ELKORANY previously pled guilty on May 24, 2022, to sexually assaulting an internationally protected person and making false statements to cover up another sexual assault.  In connection with the plea, ELKORANY also admitted that he drugged and/or sexually assaulted 17 additional victims. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Karim Elkorany perpetrated monstrous acts against multiple women over nearly two decades.  At today’s proceeding, Elkorany was held accountable by the Court and also by his victims, a number of whom confronted him with powerful statements about the grievous harm he caused through his horrific conduct.  We express deep gratitude to all of the victims for their bravery in coming forward and remain committed to doing all we can to bring perpetrators like Elkorany to justice.”

According to the Superseding Indictment, public court filings, and statements during court proceedings:

Since at least in or about 2005 up to at least in or about April 2018, ELKORANY worked in international aid, development, and/or foreign relations.  From in or about October 2013 up to in or about April 2016, ELKORANY worked for the UN Children’s Fund (commonly known as UNICEF) in Iraq.  From in or about July 2016 up to in or about April 2018, ELKORANY worked as a Communications Specialist for the UN in Iraq. 

In or about November 2016, ELKORANY drugged and sexually assaulted a woman (“Victim-1”) in Iraq, where he was stationed while working for the UN.  ELKORANY drugged Victim-1 and brought Victim-1 to his apartment.  While at ELKORANY’s apartment, ELKORANY sexually assaulted Victim-1 while she was unconscious.  In or around December 2016, Victim-1 reported the sexual assault to the UN.  The UN initiated an investigation, through which ELKORANY was notified of the substance of Victim-1’s allegations against him.

On or about November 3, 2017, special agents with the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) conducted a voluntary interview of ELKORANY outside of his residence in New Jersey.  During that interview, ELKORANY expressed familiarity with the nature and substance of the allegations made by Victim-1 to the UN but falsely stated that the drugging and sexual assault by ELKORANY that Victim-1 had reported to the UN did not occur. 

ELKORANY also engaged in a pattern of similar conduct involving many other women.  Between in or around 2014 and in or around 2019, ELKORANY drugged and sexually assaulted a woman (“Victim-2”), who was a contractor for a UN organization at relevant times, in the United States and Iraq, among other locations, on multiple occasions. 

In addition to Victim-1 and Victim‑2, ELKORANY drugged and/or sexually assaulted 18 additional victims between in or around 2002 and in or around 2016. 

*                *                *

In addition to the prison sentence, ELKORANY, 39, of West Orange, New Jersey, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in amounts to be determined. 

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Amanda L. Houle, Daniel C. Richenthal, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.

Violent Crime
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 27, 2022

From all the bad news above, let's move over to the comedy classic of 2022, BROS.

The following sites updated:

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