UK and US police launch investigation into Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein’s actions are under criminal investigation from the New York Police Department (NYPD) as well as the Metropolitan Police in London, it has emerged. The Metropolitan Police have said they will be looking into a 30-year-old allegation of sexual assault carried out by Weinstein, while the NYPD is reopening an investigation into a 2004 allegation of sexual assault by the film producer. British actress Kate Beckinsale is the latest in a string women who have come forward with stories of harassment or assault on Weinstein’s part. Beckinsale said she was 17 years old at the time of the alleged assault.
US and Israel withdraw from Unesco
Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States’s UNESCO membership over a perceived “anti-Israel bias” in the organisation, it was announced yesterday. The move refers to the agency’s decision to allow Palestine to become a member in 2011, at which point the US cut the majority of its UNESCO funding. Hours after the US pulled out yesterday, Israel also announced plans to leave the agency. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also cited arrears at UNESCO as part of the decision to cancel its membership, which will come into effect in 2018. She said: “We were in arrears to the tune of $550m or so, and so the question is, do we want to pay that money?”
Death toll rises as wildfires spread in California
Thirty-one people have died following widespread wildfires in California, the deadliest fires in California’s history, The Telegraph reports. Since Monday, 21 fires have broken out in the state, formerly 22 before two fires merged together yesterday. Sonoma and Napa counties were hit particularly hard, with smoke billowing through neighbourhoods for days. Mayor of Calistoga Chris Canning has warned all 5,000 of the city’s residents to evacuate, saying, “This is a mandatory evacuation. Your presence in Calistoga is not welcome if you are not a first responder," during a news briefing in the early hours of this morning (local time).
Scores of child-trafficking victims disappearing from care
Large numbers of Vietnamese child-trafficking victims placed in council care after being saved from traffickers have gone missing, many of which, according to The Times, are feared to have returned to the hands of exploitative criminals. Since 2015, over 150 Vietnamese children have disappeared from care, while a further 90 have been reported as temporarily missing. Most incidents took place within two days of children going into care. Children of other nationalities, namely Albanian children, are also considered at risk of disappearing. Almost 9,000 children under local authority care went missing last year.
Hurricane Ophelia to hit Britain next week
Tropical storm Ophelia has strengthened to a category-two hurricane and is headed towards Europe. This will be the 10th storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, the US National Hurricane Center said yesterday. Eleanor Bell, a forecaster at The Weather Channel, said that Ophelia will "move on towards Britain early next week". In the meantime, the Met Office has not issued any hurricane-related warnings this weekend.