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Evan Rachel Wood Reveals More Horrifying Allegations Against Marilyn Manson In New Documentary 

Phoenix Rising is a new documentary regarding the life and career of Evan Rachel Wood, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance film festival. In the documentary, Wood accused rock musician Marilyn Manson of raping her on the set of his ‘Heart-Shaped Glass’ music video in 2007. 

Wood revealed that she was fed absinthe and was barely conscious on the set of the video, in which she plays a character styled to look like Lolita. Wood knew that her and Manson would be participating in a “simulated sex scene” for the video, but stated that once the camera’s were rolling Manson began penetrating her “for real.” 

Wood said that she had “never been on a set that unprofessional in my life up until this day. It was complete chaos and I did not feel safe. No one was looking after me. I didn’t know how to advocate for myself or say no because I had been conditioned and trained to never talk back – to just soldier through. The crew was very uncomfortable and nobody knew what to do.”

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She said that the alleged incident made her “feel disgusting and like I had done something shameful. I was coerced into a commercial sex act under false pretenses. That’s when the first crime was committed against me and I was essentially raped on camera.”

She also revealed that after the video wrapped Manson gave her “really clear instructions on how  to describe the video to journalists. I was supposed to tell people we had this great, romantic time and none of that was the truth.”

“But I was scared to do anything that would upset Brian in any way. The video was just the beginning of the violence that would keep escalating over the course of the relationship.”

Wood was in a relationship with Manson from 2007 to 2010. She previously accused him of grooming her as a teenager which led to her experiencing “horrific” abuse for years. “I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.” Wood initially met Manson when she was 18 and he was 38. 

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Wood is not the only woman to come forward with intense allegations against Manson. Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco recently accused Manson of sexual and physical violence involving torture.

Manson is currently facing up to four lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, battery, and harassments, as well as an investigation into claims of domestic violence. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department raided his home back in November 2021 over these claims as well. 

In February 2021 Vanity Fair published an article with the first public allegations made against Manson; he was quickly dropped by his record label, Loma Vista, after the article was released. 

Phoenix Rising will air on HBO in the US this March. The film follows the creation of the Phoenix Act, which is a piece of legislation Wood led in an attempt to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of domestic violence to pursue charges against their abusers. The Act was signed into law in October 2019.

Biden 2020

Congress Certifies Joe Biden’s Presidential Victory After Capitol Riot

This time yesterday Congress was gearing up to count the Electoral College votes and confirm Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States when a mob of violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building after the current President spoke with the crowd and encouraged them to not back down.

Police

Police Commissioner Wants Victims Of Domestic Abuse To Know The Police Can Still Help

Sue Mountstevens is a police and crime commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police who prides herself in being a “voice of the people who will hold the police accountable in order to ensure every community need is met.”

Gun Violence Sign

Gun Violence is On the Rise in Toronto

Canada is well-known for having much lower rates of gun violence than the United States, thanks to tighter gun control laws among other factors. However, in the past several years, the city of Toronto has seen more gun violence than ever before, according to Toronto police. Last year, 760 people were shot in the city, and 44 of these people died from their wounds, which is triple the number of shooting victims in 2014. Understandably, city officials are concerned by these statistics, and are scrambling to determine what caused the massive spike in gun violence and how best to address it. 

Multiple theories have been proposed to explain the recent surge. Canada does not have the equivalent of the American second amendment in its constitution, making it much easier for the government to enact laws restricting access to firearms. Between 2006 and 2015, the country’s Conservative Party controlled the government, and during that time the government dismantled a national gun registry, which until 2012 required gun owners to sign a list indicating that they owned a firearm. After the dismantling of this registry, the country underwent a spike in imports of firearms from the U.S., letting nearly 2 million guns into the country. The Conservative government made it much easier to import restricted weapons, like semi-automatic rifles and handguns, meaning that there are not only many more guns in the country but that they are more dangerous as well.

According to Wendy Cukier, the head of the Toronto-based Coalition for Gun Control, when gun control laws were strengthened in Canada a reduction of incidents of gun violence—particularly suicideoccurred, and when the Conservative government dismantled these restrictions, gun violence rose again. The removal of the national gun registry coincided with a 40% increase in rates of gun violence throughout the country, according to Canada’s government statistics agency.

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Others blame rising economic inequality for the recent violence. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has blamed the gun violence on gang activity, which he thinks is on the rise due to the city’s growing numbers of poor people, who are most likely to be involved in the illegal drug trade. While Toronto is currently a very economically successful city, much of the city’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of very few, leaving much of the city’s population without the opportunities afforded to middle- and upper-class citizens of the country. People with fewer life opportunities are more likely to resort to drugs or gang activity, creating a drain on the society at large.

While the liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently re-elected, the Trudeau government has failed to institute gun control measures for fear of alienating rural citizens who are more likely to be gun owners. However, given the severity of the increase in gun violence across the nation, this is likely to change soon. In fact, the Trudeau government plans to introduce legislation next year for a ban on military-style assault rifles and a plan to buy assault rifles back from cooperating gun owners. As a parliament containing a majority of liberal members was recently elected, such a law is likely to pass fairly quickly.

Gun

American Firearm Ownership Increases to at Least 423 Million

A recent industry report has revealed the number of firearms that were either imported or produced for private ownership in America between 1986 and 2018 has reached nearly 423 million.

However this is only a conservative estimate as firearms produced before 1986 have not been included while the amount of guns that have been removed from circulation have also not been taken into consideration.

However the report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade group for the firearms industry, has discovered that more than 17.7 million modern sporting rifles – a term meaning any semi-automatic rifle including the AR-15 – were imported or produced between 1990 and 2017.

In a press release relating to the study, President of the foundation Joe Bartozzi commented:

“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes. The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

There have been many calls to place a ban on owning guns as well as stopping the sale of these kinds of “assault weapons,” though it is clear from this report that these kinds of guns are common throughout the United States. Only two years ago, over half of all rifles produced in America were modern sporting rifles.

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Yet the production of domestic weapons has gone up and down dramatically in recent years. Although there was a dip in the amount of firearms being produced in 2010 there has been a constant growth in the production of guns since 2005.

However from 2014 the numbers dropped again, this time by 15 percent, before seeing a small increase over the next few years, before seeing a drop of more than 25 percent in 2017.

The interim estimate for 2018 shows that this drop in production is set to continue, with the industry producing around 7.6 million firearms which is slightly lower than the year before.

Cultural and political events, both big and small, have been a major influence in the way the market fluctuates with the amount of gun sales varying depending not only on the mood of the nation, but also whether the country is in an election year.

A report from the Connecticut Post highlighted the fact that the number of handguns that were sold rose slightly during the period directly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s 2012 shooting, while sales saw a significant increase just before the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 30 percent of American adults now own a gun while 11 percent live in a property where at least one other adult has a firearm. It is also claimed that the biggest group to own guns are white men with nearly 50 percent confirming they own at least one. However only a quarter of non-white men and white women own guns.

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The report could not have come at a better time as Congress has promised to put $25 million towards federal research into the country’s gun violence, the first time that the government has agreed to look in to the problem in over twenty years.

As part of a $1.4 trillion spending spree the research has come at a time when America is still trying to come to terms with the growing number of mass shootings, especially around schools.

The House Appropriations Committee managed to gain the funding and the chair, Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, confirmed in a statement:

“With this investment, the best public health researchers in the country will be put to work to identify ways to reduce injury and death due to firearms.”

However, although the research funding has been agreed by the House it still needs to be approved by the Senate before finally making its way in front of President Trump to be signed off.

The news has brought praise from many sections of America including the American Public Health Association with executive director Dr. Georges C. Benjamin acknowledging the funding, saying:

“We applaud Congress for finally providing the critical funding we have been requesting. This will support public health research that is essential to answering questions about the best ways to reduce the morbidity and mortality from firearms in the United States.”

Meanwhile Dr. Robert McLean, president of the American College of Physicians has also expressed his delight commenting that “the alarming rate of injuries and deaths related to firearms brings to light the glaring lack of research and data. For over twenty years, we’ve desperately needed up-to-date research about firearm violence and intervention and prevention strategies to reduce physical as well as emotional injuries caused by firearms.”

Football

Sport Teams United In Grief After Shooting

Supporters at a high school football game in New Jersey were forced to run to safety when gunfire broke out.

The match between home team the Pleasantville Greyhounds and the Camden Panthers had attracted a good family crowd when shots were heard at 8:30pm on a friendly Friday evening, an hour outside of Philadelphia.

And while a 27-year-old man was left needing surgery he was confirmed to be in a stable condition. However, the police found a gun in his possession and he now faces weapons charges over the incident.

A 15-year-old boy was also treated in hospital for a graze wound.

Unfortunately 10-year-old Micah Tennant was also caught in the crossfire and sadly passed away from his injuries in hospital just 5 days later.

Police have already arrested and charged five suspects in connection with the shooting with Alvin Wyatts being charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Wyatt’s accomplices – Tyrell Dorn, 28; Vance Golden, 26; Michael Mack, 27 and Shahid Dixon, 27 – have also faced charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a weapon.

Damon G. Tyner, Atlantic County Prosecutor announced:

‘We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tennant family on the tragic passing of Micah. Words at this time seem so insufficient to portray the anger and outrage that our community feels regarding his loss. However, his spirit will live on in so many people.’

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A ‘devastated’ Gov. Phil Murphy also released a statement announcing:

‘No child deserves to have their promising life cut short, especially by indiscriminate and senseless gun violence. No parent deserves to bury their child. We will hold [Michah’s] memory close, and we will remember his name, as we continue our work to make New Jersey safer for all of our families.’

A Facebook post by the Pleasantville Police Department confirmed they were sending their ‘deepest sympathy’ and ‘strongest possible support’ to Micah’s family.

In response to the postponed game, the neutral ground of The Philadelphia Eagles hosted the suspended playoff match.

And only hours after young Micah lost his life, Lincoln Financial Field Stadium held a moment’s silence in his memory, with both teams locking arms and some athletes wearing the number 10 out of respect on their uniforms.

The stadium’s announcer informed spectators ‘our thoughts are with his family, his loved ones and all impacted by this news. Today, we join Micah’s family and this community to demonstrate that acts of violence do not win’.

The scoreboard then had 4:58 entered to show how much time had been left of the game before it was brutally cut short, a reminder that it does not matter where you are, no venue is safe from gun violence.

A stark difference to the words the young players often hear from their coaches. With sport being used as a tool to keep teens away from gang culture, Camden’s coach Dwayne Savage revealed how ‘we always preach to our guys, that’s our safe haven. We forget about all our problems on the football field.’

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A GoFundMe page was created to raise much needed medical funds for ‘Dew’ as he was affectionately known and has already had over $30,000 donated. However the news of his death has seen money continue to pour in.

CNN affiliate WPVI appears to show the chaos in the aftermath of the shooting, with both athletes and attendees running away from the gunfire. As well as diving under bleachers and hopping over fences, some people were seen lying down on the field.

Sadly with an apparent increase in gun crime this incident is not a rarity and Micah Tennat was not the only casualty of gun violence this week.

In November we have seen two people killed and three injured at a high school in California; four people died and a further six were wounded at a party, also in California while three people – possibly including the gunman – were killed at a Walmart in Oklahoma.

These incidents occurred within 5 days of each other leaving many Americans asking what is being done about gun violence.

So far there has been 370 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is classed as an ‘incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed’.

This is equal to around eight mass shootings per week.

However mass shootings only equate to a small percentage of death by shooting. In 2017 40,000 people died as a result of a shooting incident – including suicide – which works out to an average of 109 per day.

That’s more than four people being killed by guns every hour.

Hong Kong Protest

Hong Kong Protests Escalate As 1,000 Citizens Detained at University

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been ongoing for several months now and show no signs of slowing anytime soon, and are in fact escalating in intensity as a Hong Kong university was transformed into a battlefield between police and demonstrators, which ended with hundreds of young people jailed. Roughly a dozen protestors remain inside the school after heavily armed police officers surrounded the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, arresting many protestors who eventually surrendered to the authorities. Some students were able to escape without being captured by police by rappelling from a bridge to be rescued by motorbike drivers, while others unsuccessfully attempted to use a sewage pipe to escape. 

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The protests began as a response to proposed legislation to make it easier to extradite Hong Kong residents to China which was feared to impact Hong Kong’s independence and political freedoms. While the legislation in question has since been withdrawn, the aim of the protests has expanded to demand a stronger democracy in Hong Kong, further independence from China, and greater police accountability. The police have escalated their attempts to quell the protestors, using live ammunition on multiple occasions. These actions have only emboldened protesters, who have used bows and arrows and homemade weapons such as molotov cocktails in their ongoing battles with the police. At PolyU, police used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets against protestors, who retaliated with violence. As the battle at the university concluded, protestors were searched by police and those who were older than 18 were arrested. According to Carrie Lam, the city’s chief executive, around 200 of the protestors were minors.

The recent events at PolyU resulted in the greatest number of arrests in a single day since the protests began several months ago, and many protesters received serious charges such as rioting and possession of offensive weapons

The dozen protestors who remain, many of whom are high school and university students, have said that they will neither leave the university nor surrender to police, in essence waiting for officers to enter the university and arrest them. Except for the few remaining protesters, the campus has been totally deserted, with debris littered throughout, and unused petrol bombs and pro-democracy grafitti were found on the campus. Roughly 80 people were treated for injuries at the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, and around 200 people were sent to other hospitals. Protesters have set fire to bridges connecting the university to a nearby train station and have destroyed other property as well. The recent events at PolyU resulted in the greatest number of arrests in a single day since the protests began several months ago, and many protesters received serious charges such as rioting and possession of offensive weapons, which carries the threat of serious prison time, leading to reluctance on the part of protesters to surrender to police.

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Last week, protestors clashed with the police at another university, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Over 3,900 Molotov Cocktails were seized at this university, and Kwok Ka-chuen, a spokesman for the police, described the university as a “manufacturing base” for these weapons. At the same time as this drama unfolded at these Hong Kong universities, a Hong Kong court overturned a ban on face masks instituted by Beijing in an attempt to curb the tremendously disruptive protests. The Hong Kong High Court found that this ban violated the constitution of the Hong Kong territory, which is called the Basic Law. The Congress has taken the unusual step of criticizing the court’s decision, saying that the finding “seriously weakened the lawful governing power” of Hong Kong’s government. While this would be an extreme step, the National People’s Congress has the authority to change the Basic Law, meaning they could institute changes that would make the face mask ban legal, potentially having broader implications for civil liberties in the territory generally. 

Protest Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protests Escalate, Threatening Society

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have only grown more intense as time has progressed, despite the introduction of measures designed to curb frequent and massive demonstrations such as the withdrawal of a bill that would have allowed extradition of political dissidents to China and the instatement of a face-mask ban and curfews designed to discourage dissent. While the loosely-organized but nonetheless formidable protestors remained non-violent for several months, recent escalations by both demonstrators and police have led to the development of a more dangerous and confrontational relationship between the two, with no signs of de-escalation anytime soon. In fact, the situation has become so precarious that Hong Kong police worry about the impending collapse of the rule of law, particularly in the aftermath of the shooting of one protestor and the setting on fire of a supporter of Beijing on Monday.

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After five months of intense protests and the ongoing failure of the Hong Kong government to satisfy most of the protestors’ demands, demonstrators remain unrelenting despite growing increasingly frustrated with government inaction, creating an environment more hospitable to violence and other anti-social behavior. As the protests went on, police resorted to increasingly-violent counter-protest strategies, deploying tear gas and using water cannons and rubber bullets against demonstrators who threw bricks and molotov cocktails, destroying property. October 1st of this year marked a turning point in the use of violence against protestors in Hong Kong, as police shot an 18-year old protestor in the chest at point-blank range, leaving him in critical condition. 

As neither demonstrators nor the government seem willing to compromise or relent, the ongoing intense protests are bound to gradually erode Hong Kong society for as long as they continue.

Yesterday, police again used live rounds against a protestor, firing at point-blank range in an area where demonstrators were blocking traffic, after which police deployed pepper spray to disperse protestors as onlookers accused them of murder. In a separate, unrelated incident yesterday, protesters doused a man who was criticizing the protests with gasoline and lit him on fire. Both individuals survived the attacks and are being treated in hospitals, in serious condition. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has been ramping up her rhetoric against the protests, warning that they could “take Hong Kong to the road of ruin” and placing blame squarely on pro-democracy advocates, calling them “the enemy of the people” and accusing them of selfishly paralyzing the city. She added that she thought it was extremely unlikely that more protests would lead to further concessions from the government. In addition to physical violence, the unrest has included property destruction, as protestors have swarmed universities, destroying windows and fixtures by throwing bricks and setting things on fire. Throughout Hong Kong, classes at many universities were canceled as officials grappled with repairing the damage and preparing for future unrest.

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Nine people have committed suicide in connection with the protests, as political frustration and the erosion of democratic norms have caused mental health issues among Hong Kong’s youth, many of whom are deeply politically engaged. In addition, a man died after sustaining serious injuries during a fall in a car park where police were using tear gas to break up protests. Though no one has yet been directly killed by police or protestors, further deaths are all but inevitable as long as protests continue. Police say that in the last week they have arrested 266 people in connection with the protests, and as the number of active protesters is estimated to be in the millions, the number of arrests is sure to climb. Furthermore, months of protests have had a destructive effect on Hong Kong’s tourism industry and economy more broadly, as the once-safe city is now subject to frequent, violent interruptions to everyday life, and critical city infrastructure remains in a state of disrepair. 

Hong Kong is scheduled to hold local elections this month. Due to Hong Kong’s political structure, however, the outcome of these elections are unlikely to have a strong impact on the government, and are especially unlikely to appease protestors. As neither demonstrators nor the government seem willing to compromise or relent, the ongoing intense protests are bound to gradually erode Hong Kong society for as long as they continue. 

Protests

Escalation of Protests Threatens Citizen Unity in Hong Kong

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been ongoing for several months now, and show no signs of stopping, as government officials continue to push back against protestors’ demands and demonstrations only escalate in size and frequency. The protracted duration of these protests, however, is leading to a fracturing among activist groups, as some protestors are changing their tactics in response to continued inaction from elected officials and China. Incidences of property destruction and even violence are becoming more frequent as some activists see this behavior as a necessary response to a realization that peaceful protests have not been effective. However, not all protestors are onboard with this approach, as many activists continue to insist upon continuation of non-violent civil disobedience. As such, there exists a divide in the philosophical approach of Hong Kong activists, and while the two factions tolerate each other’s tactics for the moment, the lack of unity among protestors threatens the movement overall.

It’s worth noting that the majority of violence during Hong Kong protests comes from the local police, who use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse what they call “riots.” Though Hong Kong is generally considered safe, with low rates of violent crime, increasing amounts of violence during protests make visiting Hong Kong currently a dangerous proposition. Police action against protestors is non-lethal, but water cannons and other methods of crowd control still have potential to cause serious injury. Additionally, protest leaders are at risk of being jailed, leading protestors to use encrypted apps like Telegram to communicate and organize, and causing protestors to adopt a more decentralized approach. While this approach makes it harder for the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to stop protests, it can also lead to a divergence of tactics among protestors, as some protestors prefer a more destructive approach than others.

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These protestors commit acts such as using makeshift battering rams to break into legislative buildings, destroying computers and vandalizing the walls with graffiti. Additionally, protestors have moved from throwing umbrellas and water bottles at police to throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails, in addition to petrol bombs. Protestors who resort to these tactics view them as a necessary evil, and consider their actions non-lethal and a response to the escalation of violence committed first by police. Angry mobs of protestors have even gone so far as to detain Chinese officials, and prevent ambulances from providing first-aid to injured people. Police, on the other hand, have claimed that they don’t resort to violence unless it is initiated by protestors, but in the chaos and confusion of a violent protest it can be hard to determine who is at fault for initiating dangerous and harmful conduct.

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A survey conducted by Chinese academics in June indicated that roughly half of protestors felt that non-violent protests were no longer effective. Now, after several months have passed and the government has not budged, that percentage is even higher, even though protestors who favor violence threaten to alienate their fellow pro-democracy citizens. Many of the protestors are students and young people, who are more prone to engaging in reckless behavior and endangering their own safety and the safety of others. But young people also have the most to lose if protests are not successful, as control of Hong Kong is set to return to Beijing in 2047, when these teenagers will still be fairly young.

Protestors have adopted various elements of popular culture as symbols to express their discontent. A phrase from the popular Hunger Games series of books, “if we burn, you burn with us,” has been used to describe the philosophy of many protestors, who feel that maintaining their freedom is so important that it is worth risking destruction. A popular meme references Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” series of films, where the word “bill” is a pun referring to the controversial extradition bill which initiated the recent protests in Hong Kong. And protestors in the streets have sung the song “Do You Hear the People Sing,” featured in the musical Les Miserables.