World The boundless life of Gérard Depardieu
French actor Gérard Depardieu breaks silence after being charged with rape and sexual assault: 'I am innocent'
Gérard Depardieu has broken his silence after he was charged this week with rape and sexual assault in connection with a 2018 case. The French actor issued a statement through Italian newspaper La Repubblica, telling the publication the accusations made against him are "totally baseless". "There is no proof, there is nothing against me," the 72-year-old said. "This is why I have always been very serene in the knowledge that the accusations are totally baseless. "Me, a rapist? They are only falsehoods and the judge will believe me." © Getty Gérard Depardieu at the International Film Festival in 2016.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has castigated police forces over stop and search, saying that 35 years after the power was introduced they were still unable to explain why black people are more likely to be targeted.
The watchdog said in a long-awaited report published on Friday that public trust was in danger, with police unable to provide evidence ofthan white people in England and Wales.
HMIC said the most common reason given for stops was drug possession and questioned whether this was an effective use of the power or police time, given that so little was found. Drug searches on black people were also more likely to be carried out without intelligence, with officers recording weaker grounds for doing so and less likely to find anything.
French actor Gerard Depardieu charged with rape, old case revived
Film star was not detained when he was handed the preliminary charges on December 16. The Paris prosecutor’s office addressed the charges after the case was leaked to French media. French media reports said the charges relate to allegations made by an actress in her 20s that date back to 2018. An initial inquiry against the star was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence, but was later revived. French newspaper Le Parisien and BFM TV said the actress and dancer alleged that Depardieu assaulted her on August 7 and August 13, 2018 at his home in Paris.
The watchdog said forces may be acting unlawfully, because the power was disproportionately used on certain ethnic groups without apparent evidence as to why. “Unjustified use of handcuffs is unlawful and could amount to an assault,” it said.
The report said: “Over 35 years on from the introduction of stop and search legislation, no force fully understands the impact of the use of these powers. Disproportionality persists and no force can satisfactorily explain why.”
Barely one in 10 stops were based on intelligence, most relying on officers’ suspicions, according to the report. Its author,, said: “Everyone has biases. If officers are carrying out predominantly self-generated searches rather than intelligence-based searches, forces have to guard against being accused of unlawful discrimination.”
Dramatic celebrity hair transformations
How many times have you thought about chopping your long locks in favor of a new shorter hairdo? Many celebrities had that same impulse, and went for it. Demi Lovato has experimented a lot with her appearance over her career, but her latest dramatic chop is the one with the most meaning. "I feel so free. I feel more authentic to who I am," Lovato said. She admitted to Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show, "I used to use my hair to hide behind. It would cover my body. So when I started doing all this work on myself, I thought, 'What is something that I've been holding onto my whole life that I need to let go of?' And it was that. I feel more myself now." Click through to see which other celebrities who have undergone dramatic hair makeovers.
Stop and search. A series of incidents last year in which innocent black people were stopped and , including the , put community relations under significant strain.
Forces, and particularly the Metropolitan police – which carries out 48% of stops in England and Wales - would have been hoping for some vindication of their belief that stop and search.
Instead, the report says, “more needs to be done to prevent unfair behaviour”. In her foreword, Williams writes: “Without a proper explanation, members of the public may see the disproportionate use of powers as a sign of discrimination, and so police legitimacy may be undermined.”
HMIC said forces would face further inspections on race, including on recruitment, ethics and techniques to avoid conflict. There will also be a full inspection of diversity across policing.
French film giant Depardieu protests innocence after rape charge
French acting legend Gerard Depardieu told an Italian paper on Thursday he had "nothing to fear" from "totally baseless" rape charges against him. Depardieu, 72, has been charged in France with rape and sexual assault allegedly committed in 2018 against an actress in her 20s, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday. "I thought the case was closed, I am innocent and I have nothing to fear," the 72-year-old actor told La Repubblica newspaper. "ThisDepardieu, 72, has been charged in France with rape and sexual assault allegedly committed in 2018 against an actress in her 20s, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday.
The findings put pressure on the government,. That is in sharp contrast with Theresa May, who as prime minister and home secretary urged the police , believing it corroded community relations.
HMIC said it was not convinced by police justifications. It said some forces believed the disproportionate use of the power was driven by a large number of minority ethnic people coming in from outside their area or being involved in gang or “county lines” crime, “but they have been unable to show us sufficient evidence to verify these assumptions”.
It also said there had been some improvements and examples of good practice, but that recommendations from previous reports had been implemented too slowly. “We have been urging the police to improve their understanding in this area for years now,” it said.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for stop and search, deputy assistant commissioner Amanda Pearson, said: “We hold the power of stop and search on behalf of the public, so it is vital our communities have confidence in the way it is used and that officers have the confidence to use it effectively and appropriately.
Meatless menu in the canteens of Lyon: Gérald Darmanin denounces a "scandalous ideology"
© GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP Gérald Darmanin, February 15, 2021 in Poissy (Yvelines). Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, reacts to the decision to set up a single, meat-free menu in the canteens of Lyon, to streamline service in times of Covid-19. He denounces a "scandalous ideology". In addition to the unacceptable insult to French farmers and butchers, it is clear that the moralist and elitist policies of the Greens exclude the popular classes.
“It is clear from the report that forces are improving in training, monitoring and scrutiny of stop and search. But we know there is more to do to address the concerns about disproportionality in stop and search and we are committed to doing so. We will consider the recommendation around the best approaches to tackling drug crime.”
Williams welcomed the report and its recommendations, but said: “What is shocking is how little progress there has been in tackling racist policing. For literally decades now, police forces and police watchdogs have been complicit in allowing racism to go unchecked. I’m not sure what the impact of this report will be, but change can’t come soon enough.”
The former, who led for the Met on stop and search and later on diversity, described the report as damning. “This report is strong evidence that the police service uses the tactic of stop and search as a strategic tool to reinforce structural racism,” he said. “I believe that the time has come for government, academics, civil society, the college of policing and the police to have a root-and-branch review of police use of stop and search.”
Andy George, president of the National Black Police Association, said the report “dispels some myths that are used to justify the disproportionate targeting of black communities” and that he hoped it would “allow police leaders to admit that racism is still present in our systems and processes”.
“We want to see determined, accountable and transparent action being taken to remove disproportionality and bias from policing,” he said.
The former Met superintendent, whose experience fighting prejudice in the ranks , said: “Police cannot stop and search its way out of the rising violent crime problem … The erosion of safer neighbourhood teams, citizen-focused units, means the police have lost touch with … the black community, resulting in the lowest level of trust and confidence for over 20 years.
“I don’t say this lightly, but the look and feel of policing reminds me of a pre-Macpherson era. This has got to stop, otherwise we will be getting reports like this for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”
Michael Gudinski dead: Russell Crowe, David Campbell, Richard Wilkins and more pay tribute to the Australian music icon .
The music industry is mourning the death of Aussie music promoter Michael Gudinski, who has died at the age of 68. Gudinski, who formed the Australian record company Mushroom Records in 1972 and Frontier Touring in 1979, signed huge artists like Kylie Minogue, the Skyhooks, The Choirboys, Split Enz, Eskimo Joe and Evermore, and was a leading figure in the Australian music industry. "It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Gudinski AM overnight. The much-loved Australian music legend died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne, Australia," Mushroom Records confirmed in a statement.