‘There are simply no words’ – Anthony Molloy on the death of Mary Ellen

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The uncle of tragic nurse Mary Ellen Molloy who was killed in a freak accident in Australia has spoken of his family’s heartache and their wish to get her home.

Donegal All-Ireland winning GAA captain Anthony Molloy said there are simply no words to describe how his family are feeling right now.

Mary Ellen was killed when the branch of a tree fell on the taxi in which she was travelling on Friday evening last in Melbourne.

The beautiful 26-year-old had been working there as a nurse having left her native Ardara sixteen months ago.

Anthony, who was also Mary Ellen’s Godfather, said there is just a numbness which has embraced the family and the community since word of Mary Ellen’s tragic death broke on Friday last around 5.30pm.

“It’s so hard to put it into words. It was just such a freaky thing to have happened. We received word from local Gardai around 5.30pm last Friday. We couldn’t believe what they were telling us and it’s still difficult to believe it now,” he said.

Mr Molloy, a Fianna Fail county councillor, described Mary Ellen as a beautiful person “both on the inside and out.”

He said “I think she was always destined to be a nurse, even from a young age. She had that caring nature and loved looking after people, especially older people.

“You can see from her pictures that she was a beautiful-looking girl but her beauty was also inside and anybody in Ardara or who came into contact her in any way will tell you that.”

Mr Molloy said Mary Ellen’s parents Terence and Angela are coping as best they can and are comforting their two other sons John and Karl.

He says Christmas will never be the same again after the tragedy but said the community and people in general have been marvellous.

He paid tribute to Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher for his efforts in helping to repatriate Mary Ellen.

“You cannot describe how the family are feeling. It’s impossible to put it into words because there are simply no words for it. They just want to get her home now and Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, a close personal family friend for many years, is doing trojan work to that end.

“Mary Ellen was the eldest and Terence and Angela were so proud of her and delighted of the young woman she had become.

“It’s impossible to put into words the feeling that is there. This should be a happy time of year for the family at Christmas but all there is is a sense of numbness and sorrow at what has happened,” he added.

Meanwhile plans to repatriate Mary Ellen’s remains back to Ireland to her native Ardara for burial are continuing.

The repatriation is being co-ordinated by Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher who paid tribute to all those working behind the scenes to bring Mary Ellen home.

“This is a very difficult time for everyone especially the Molloy and Gillespie families.

“All that can be done is being done and I would like to pay tribute at this time to the Australian authorities and to the undertaker who are doing tremendous work in helping to bring Mary Ellen home to her family.

“We will know a lot more in the coming days,” added Deputy Gallagher.

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Facebook, free speech, and political ads – Columbia Journalism Review

A number of Facebook’s recent decisions have fueled a criticism that continues to follow the company, including the decision not to fact-check political advertising and the inclusion of Breitbart News in the company’s new “trusted sources” News tab. These controversies were stoked even further by Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at Georgetown University last week, where he tried—mostly unsuccessfully—to portray Facebook as a defender of free speech. CJR thought all of these topics were worth discussing with free-speech experts and researchers who focus on the power of platforms like Facebook, so we convened an interview series this week on our Galley discussion platform, featuring guests like Alex Stamos, former chief technology officer of Facebook, veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher, Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, and Stanford researcher Kate Klonick.

Stamos, one of the first to raise the issue of potential Russian government involvement on Facebook’s platform while he was the head of security there, said he had a number of issues with Zuckerberg’s speech, including the fact that he “compressed all of the different products into this one blob he called Facebook. That’s not a useful frame for pretty much any discussion of how to handle speech issues.” Stamos said the News tab is arguably a completely new category of product, a curated and in some cases paid-for selection of media, and that this means the company has much more responsibility for what appears there. Stamos also said that there are “dozens of Cambridge Analyticas operating today collecting sensitive data on individuals and using it to target ads for political campaigns. They just aren’t dumb enough to get their data through breaking an API agreement with Facebook.”

Ellen Goodman, co-founder of the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law, said that Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the first to have to struggle with tensions between free speech and democratic discourse, “it’s just that he’s confronting these questions without any connection to press traditions, with only recent acknowledgment that he runs a media company, in the absence of any regulation, and with his hands on personal data and technical affordances that enable microtargeting.” Kate Klonick of Stanford said Zuckerberg spoke glowingly about early First Amendment cases, but got one of the most famous—NYT v Sullivan—wrong. “The case really stands for the idea of tolerating even untrue speech in order to empower citizens to criticize political figures,” Klonick said. “It is not about privileging political figures’ speech, which of course is exactly what the new Facebook policies do.”

Evelyn Douek, a doctoral student at Harvard Law and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, said most of Zuckerberg’s statements about his commitment to free speech were based on the old idea of a marketplace of ideas being the best path to truth. This metaphor has always been questionable, Douek says, “but it makes no sense at all in a world where Facebook constructs, tilts, distorts the marketplace with its algorithms that favor a certain kind of content.” She said Facebook’s amplification of certain kinds of information via the News Feed algorithm “is a cause of a lot of the unease with our current situation, especially because of the lack of transparency.” EFF director Jillian York said the political ad issue is a tricky one. “I do think that fact-checking political ads is important, but is this company capable of that? These days, I lean toward thinking that maybe Facebook just isn’t the right place for political advertising at all.”

Swisher said: “The problem is that this is both a media company, a telephone company and a tech company. As it is architected, it is impossible to govern. Out of convenience we have handed over the keys to them and we are cheap dates for doing so. You get a free map and quick delivery? They get billions and control the world.” Zittrain said the political ad fact-checking controversy is about more than just a difficult product feature. “Evaluating ads for truth is not a mere customer service issue that’s solvable by hiring more generic content staffers,” he said. “The real issue is that a single company controls far too much speech of a particular kind, and thus has too much power.” Dipayan Ghosh, who runs the Platform Accountability Project at Harvard, warned that Facebook’s policy to allow misinformation in political ads means a politician “will have the opportunity to engage in coordinated disinformation operations in precisely the same manner that the Russian disinformation agents did in 2016.”

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Today and tomorrow we will be speaking with Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute, Claire Wardle of First Draft and Sam Lessin, a former VP of product at Facebook, so please tune in.

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Pendulum : Social Media And President Buhari’s Imaginary Wedding Of The Century By Dele Momodu

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Fellow Nigerians, these are very interesting and humorous times indeed! Barely one week after the Big Brother Naija show was concluded, ending our light relief, some restless Nigerians have started their own nebulous reality show in earnest. To say Nigerians are well endowed with fecund imaginations and fantastic creativity would be an understatement. This is why rumourmongering is big business in this climate.

Let me reassure you that it didn’t just start today. Many are blaming the proliferation of social media and the affordability of internet data for this unusual surge in the wild speculations and stories flying everywhere today, but I wish to disagree with this theory. This is a major aspect of my research work at The African Studies Centre, University of Oxford.

Society Journalism is not new to Nigeria or Africa. This genre thrives on wild rumours and fertile imaginations. It was once described as junk journalism. And society loves junk generally because it is like fast food. People love to read and hear and discuss society people. Society people or newsmakers themselves love to gobble up junk stories, no matter how ridiculous they may be or sound. More often than not, the stories are untrue, but society still feeds on them.

Let me take you down memory lane. In May 1989, a wild rumour surfaced that nearly sent the government of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida packing. The content of the rumour was so bizarre, but even intelligent people still believed the story. It was what led to what was tagged THE SAP RIOTS. SAP was the acronym for Structural Adjustment Program which President Babangida had introduced at the time. Then came the news, which was made believable by the participation of the famous social critic, Dr Tai Solarin, who swore by Jove that the story was impeccably true. What was it all about? It turned out that this tale was what he had learnt from a brief but hasty trip to a public toilet where he had overheard a conversation in which the lurid allegations were made.

It was reported that while Nigerians were being asked to tighten their belts and lives, Babangida’s family allegedly owned some of the most exclusive and expensive boutiques in Europe. Since there was no social media to help project, propel and distribute the gossip, the promoters had to improvise by typing the tales by moonlight on stencils and printing them as leaflets.

Unlike today, that was a time when we had no social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, it therefore remains a mystery how they were able to make those leaflets go so viral in 1989. From Lagos to Edo State and around the South West axis, the stories developed wings and began to spread across Nigeria like wildfire in harmattan. The more people tried to douse the fire, the higher the fire took a major leap of its life. And sadly, people believed the campaign of calumny against the government of the day which led to the youths taking to the roads and streets screaming “Babangida must go…” Anyone who said anything contrary was instantly considered an enemy of the people and friends of the looters. The situation was not so much different as it is today, but social media has since made such stories readily available to a willing, gullible and sometimes ignorant market.

I was away from our office at the Weekend Concord newspaper when the news broke on a horrible Wednesday. I returned on Friday afternoon by which time the first edition of the tabloid had gone to bed and already printed. The screaming headline was BLACK WEDNESDAY IN LAGOS. I immediately disagreed with my boss, Mr Mike Awoyinfa, that the headline was rather weak for a Saturday paper. He then challenged me to come up with a better headline and I picked up the challenge and came up with my own: RUMOURS THAT FUELLED THE RIOTS! My Editor was over the moon with his Deputy Editor, Mr Dimgba Igwe (now of blessed memory).

The next problem was how to write a good story to justify my new headline without getting into trouble with the military government of the day. Trust me, I offered to be the lamb of God who would carry the sins of the world. Interestingly, this was 30 years ago, in 1989. I ordered a bottle of beer and raised one of my legs on the table while I pumped the alcohol into my brains to emit some powerful words for one of the biggest stories of my journalism career. That was when the famous columnist, May Ellen Ezekiel, who had just lost her job at Quality magazine and was now working on her own publication, Classique magazine, but kept a column in Weekend Concord, which I edited, sauntered in and saw me drinking while writing. First it was strange, and almost sacrilegious, to find anyone drinking in the main offices of Concord newspapers, except at the popular Bush Canteen, earmarked for such purpose, and then to be writing a satanic story at that. May Ellen approached me and said “shuo, what’s going on here?” I explained the delicate story I was working on and she was excited too. That was the day her respect for me quadrupled and she started making moves to headhunt and poach me to her magazine, to which I fell yakata about a year later.

Fortunately, that evening, our Chairman, Chief Moshood Abiola, returned from a trip to Europe and brought us copies of the Ebony magazines which was allegedly supposed to have carried the stories of the Babangida’s outlandish ownerships of expensive shops and choice properties abroad while Nigerians languished in excruciating pains. Nothing of the sort was ever published by Ebony. That was not the type of gossipy stuff Ebony would normally disseminate. So, I first regurgitated all the fictional anecdotes before revealing that we had laid our hands on recent editions of Ebony and nothing of the sort was contained therein. And we published a bromide of the Ebony on the cover to prove the authenticity of our claims. I believe our second edition on Saturday morning reportedly sold over 80,000 copies in Lagos and its environ alone. And I earned a double promotion that May 1989, when I moved straight from Staff Writer to Literary editor. Six months later, I was promoted News Editor, and it was such a meteoric rise for me. Our Managing Director, Dr Doyinsola Hamdat Abiola, who had handpicked me for the job at weekend Concord as a pioneer staff, from my former post at the African Concord magazine, was very proud of her decision.

Thus, you can imagine how I feel today, 30 years after, with another round of incredible fictionalisation, this time, about a former military ruler, now a civilian President, Muhammadu Buhari. The difference this time, I must reiterate is that the youths of today are much more audaciously creative, and largely emboldened by their smartphones from where they can operate even more clandestinely and incognito.

No one knows how the rumours of President Buhari’s supposed whirlwind romance with one of his new Ministers surfaced and blew out of proportion such that everyone is talking about it authoritatively. Different versions of invitation cards have been designed and printed online. Some people claimed the wedding was definitely taking place and procured their own “aso ebi”, a special uniform dress for special guests, friends and relatives. By Thursday night, I had reached out to several impeccable sources within and outside the Presidential villa and was told categorically that no such event would take place on Friday, October 11, 2019. I also confirmed that the supposed bride was not even anywhere near Nigeria. She was away overseas on national assignments.

But some new videos, purportedly showing the supposed arrival of the reportedly estranged First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, who has made England her new home and base these past months, were going viral. One of them was a loud voice lamenting how some parts of the villa had been locked up and the woman in the video was practically stridently lamenting and soliloquising about how she was being treated shabbily. “Enough is enough” was her bitter assertion in that particular video. There were other videos of the new bride dancing and being sprayed with crispy notes in what looked like a traditional wedding party. All the videos of the alleged returnee wife and the supposed incoming bride turned out to be old footage obtained from God knows where and how.

My investigations further revealed that the First Lady was also out of the country. I therefore, tweeted that there was no way such a wedding would take place in secret, but many still disagreed with me. President Buhari is a man well known for his strong convictions and would not hide behind one finger, if and when he decides to take another wife. It is not an offence against his culture and religion to marry more than more wife, so there is nothing that can stop or discourage him, if he really wants another wife. What I find odd and strange is that his handlers allowed the silly rumours to fester beyond redemption. A simple statement would have killed the unbridled rumour in its infancy.

By yesterday afternoon, the rumour came up with renewed vigour as the day of reckoning loomed with some people running commentaries like football commentators from the “wedding venue”. I have never felt so entertained and titillated in my life. My name even came into one of these spoofs. These guys are downright hilarious!

Someone created the account, Uncle Demola @OmoGbajabiamila, and ran this commentary:

“Burna Boy is giving us ‘when the gbedu de enter body’ “…

“Oshiomhole don off shirt.”

“LMFAOOOooo… Chris Ngige is doing breakdance to Burna Boy’s song. Anambra people can disappoint sha!”

“Adebayo Shittu is finally here.”

“When Baba see strippers, E just de shout ‘Astagafurillahi, Astagafurillahi, Astagafurillahi!’ “

“I’m hearing noise outside. Let me go and check what’s happening.”

“There is a serious problem outside between Rochas and DSS.”

“Apparently, Rochas Okorocha came with a giant statue of Buhari and he wants to bring it inside but the DSS guys won’t allow it. Where’s Abba Kyari FFS???

Rochas just came in and he’s complaining bitterly about the DSS guys not allowing him bring the statue in.”

“Wait! Dino Melaye has been allowed to enter as Naira Marley’s backup singer. Smart man!” #BUSA19

“Naira Marley has not even started singing, Lauretta Onochie is already twerking… DSS, heissss DSS. Do your job naaau!”

“Shehu Sani is on low cut. Baba wan disguise enter. ABBA Kyari catch am. DSS is taking him away already!”

“Apparently, someone told Dele Momodu that the party had been called off. So, he didn’t bother to come. Baba dey Twitter now de lament as e see say groove don begin.”

“LMFAOOOOooo… ABBA Kyari don bounce Dino Melaye.”

“Elrufai don show!!!”

“Goodluck Jonathan came with his own Sapele water. Ijaw man himself. Hennessy na like Sprite for am.”

“Garba Shehu de in charge of Barbecue.”

“Be like Femi Adeshina de suspension.”

“…Dem don wake Ganduje, make E come go sleep upstairs. Be like Baba don de snore.”

“Amaechi and Wike are also here but the two of them are on handcuffs so that there won’t be any fighting between them.”

“Akeredolu with this his baggy trousers sha. Who is his tailor nitori Olorun?”

“Buhari has collected the mic from Naira Marley. Looks like he doesn’t like the Soapy song. Not sure Abike Dabiri will like this!”

“Rauf Aregbesola is drinking Malt.”

“Fashola is calling NEPA boys to bring light. Be like fuel don low for gen and Mele Kyari nor remember to buy fuel.”

“Femi Gbajabiamila is here on a Gucci up and down. Iyalaya anybody!”

“Femi Otedola and Dangote are forming big boys. Nonsense!”

“I think I have been reported. The DSS guys are looking at me wan kain…” That’s the narrator, Uncle Demola himself.

For me, that was the height of comic relief that attended this silliness and maybe it came at the right time of acute stress everywhere. It certainly alleviated my feeling of gloom and doom. The solution is certainly not to ban or criminalise fake news. That was not done in 1989 by the more authoritarian, dictatorial military regime of Ibrahim Babangida. It should not be done now, when we are in a constitutional civilian democracy! For me, as a journalist, the freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution is sacrosanct and, in any event, there are extant laws available to deal with any abuse or infraction. Any new law will only be used by those keen to muzzle critics and presumed opponents of government like the so-called “wailing wailers”!

My conclusion is that nothing can ever shock Nigerians again so that even if this story had been true, we would have taken it in our stride. Our proclivity for absorbing shocks is infinitesimal. The world is waiting and watching how alleged family feuds, rebellion and relationships involving the leadership, domestic and other staff would end eventually.

Will this national drama ever lead to a denouement? Time will tell.

The post Pendulum : Social Media And President Buhari’s Imaginary Wedding Of The Century By Dele Momodu appeared first on TheNigerialawyer.

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Rosanna Arquette: They said I was a pain in the ass. Its not true

Ever since she was abused by Harvey Weinstein, Rosanna Arquette says she has lived in fear. She talks about harassment, the collapse of her career and the thin line between caution and paranoia

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Rosanna Arquette sounds panicked. She thinks someone wants to stop our conversation taking place. For 30 minutes, a BBC publicist has tried to patch us into a conference call; now, Arquette has taken matters into her own hands and phoned me directly. This is what happens! All the time! she says, her voice rising. There are no pleasantries. Its as if we were already talking before I picked up.

Why is it disconnecting every time? she asks. There is something strange here. Really strange. I dont understand whats happening. Why cant we get on the phone with each other? She laughs, a nervous sort of placeholder laugh.

I hesitate before going along with her idea that we have been sabotaged. I had assumed a minor technical hitch. Who would want to stop her talking to me? About a Harvey Weinstein documentary? she scoffs. A lot of people!

It would be easy to put Arquettes panic down to paranoia. But as the BBC documentary Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein shows, paranoia is an utterly reasonable response to what she has been through. Directed by Ursula Macfarlane, the film explores how Weinstein deployed power, right back to his school years. Along with fellow actors and former employees of Weinstein, Arquette contributes her own experience of his alleged sexual abuse. I guess you have to say allegedly, she says. Weinstein denies any non-consensual sexual encounters.

What Arquette didnt know, until one of the producers took the finished film to her house, was that the Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube had put together a profile of her for Weinstein. Phones and getting into computers and emails disappearing that stuff continues, she says (she doesnt suggest Black Cube is involved). She is grateful to Macfarlane for a great job. But a lot of people have made a lot of money on the backs of our pain, she says, with the same sad laugh. I think the word pain has triggered the laugh, and she could be crying.

Arquette was one of the first women to share details of Weinsteins abuse, with Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker and in the New York Times with Jodi Kantor, in October 2017. When the makers of Untouchable contacted her, Everybody was in so much fear, they didnt want to speak, she says. But how do you not?

Arquette
Star on the rise Arquette with Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985. Photograph: Allstar/ORION PICTURES

On camera, she tells of the time in the early 1990s when she arrived at the Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles for a meeting with Weinstein. As she does and this is something other interviewees in the film do she grabs her own wrist and jerks her body back, her hands rising defensively as she mimics his voice; acting, in short, as if Weinstein is physically there, and that she must also play his part.

Thats what trauma is, she says to be recurrently plunged back into the moment that Weinstein, in his white bathrobe, tried to draw her hand first to his achy neck, then his penis. What a relief it must have been to reach the safety of the lift.

I was never safe, she counters. From the moment I was told that I was supposed to have dinner with him and then I was told: Mr Weinstein will see you upstairs. My heart started racing. Mmmmm. She makes a sound, a sort of verbal malfunction, an alarm that wont stop. Of course she didnt feel safe. She doesnt feel safe now.

Arquette stayed rooted in the doorway of Weinsteins room. She did not go in. That would have been fucked. Game over! But before she fled, he warned her she says this in a deep voice Rosanna, youre making a very big mistake. She says he named two women whom he claimed had gone along with him in order to advance their careers. One has since told her own story, making it clear that she in fact rebuffed Weinstein, so Arquette sees no harm in naming her.

Gwyneth Paltrow, she says. He said to me: Look what Ive done for Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth Paltrow was with Brad Pitt! She had a career! Theres no way she made a deal with Harvey!

But the claim must have weighed on Arquette because, she says, two years ago, when Farrows investigation appeared, she phoned Paltrow.And I said: I just needed you to know what he said to me.

And what did Paltrow say?

She laughed. She said: Yeah, Ive heard that!

Of course, many people had heard many things about Weinstein. Silence was never the problem. I told many people, Arquette says. Who? I told Jane Fonda years ago. She listened to me and she was concerned I talked. I didnt stop talking.

Weinstein
Weinstein in court in a clip from Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein. Photograph: Getty/BBC/LT2 Films LTD

Rose McGowan talked, too, because Arquette heard her account of being raped by Weinstein long before Farrows article in 2017; Arquette shared her own experience with a third party, who shared it with McGowan. All these semi-private conversations built a kind of common knowledge, and that was why Farrow knew to approach her, she says. But we were in such a fearful place. Even as she walked away from Weinsteins corridor and returned to the lobby in the lift, she thought: Hes going to take me down.

Arquette has appeared in more than 70 films but the notable ones are Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), The Big Blue (1988), Pulp Fiction (1994) and Crash (1996) all long ago. Well, like Mira Sorvino says, [Weinstein] took a big chunk of our time in our lives There was a significant drop in careers. Weve gone from the top of A-lists to bottom of the C-minus list within minutes. Gossip … A dinner party Be careful, shes a pain in the ass People listen to that. And its not true!

Pulp Fiction (produced by Weinsteins company Miramax) did come two years after the alleged assault; Arquette wanted to work with Quentin Tarantino. But I never made a penny from it, she says. Im the only famous actor who didnt have a back-end deal [a share of the profits]. And this was a time when I should have

You were A-list, I say. I hate saying that, she says. I suspect she finds it immodest.

She has no evidence that Weinstein warned others against her (though Peter Jackson has admitted to blacklisting Sorvino and Ashley Judd under pressure from Weinstein). And there was always work. Even if it was a bad television movie shooting up in Canada, she says with that same dry laugh. You have to pay the bills when youre a single mum. (Her daughter, Zo Bleu Sidel, is 24 and, according to Arquette: She can run circles around any Arquette as an actor. Zos father, restaurateur John Sidel, was the second of Arquettes four husbands. She has been married to Todd Morgan, an investment banker, since 2013.)

In Hollywood, Arquette always felt isolated. For a long time, she had no agent, though she has a wonderful one now. I never really played the game, doing what it takes to be a star, to keep your mouth shut. I wonder if the other Arquette siblings Patricia, David (whom she says she speaks to most often), Alexis and Richmond shared her sense of isolation? Well, I dont think Patricia does! she shoots back. Shes right there at the top of the field in the game right now.

The speed of her response makes me wonder if it was a competitive household growing up; all the siblings acted. But she says: Ive never experienced that in our family. Theres a pause. Wait a minute, what am I saying? My dad [Lewis Arquette] had a kind of weird competitiveness with me that I never felt was super-supportive. Everybody would say: Your dad is so proud of you! And Id say: Oh, he is? Well, thats nice! But he was a struggling actor who never really made it and then his kids all became, you know, stars.

Acting
Acting is in the family (l to r) Alexis, Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and David, 2006. Photograph: SGranitz/WireImage

When her trans sister Alexis wanted to be a woman, I always had a joke. I said: You think you have a hard time getting work as an actor? Wait till youre a woman! We had a big laugh over that.

A long outward breath ripples down the phone. Im just trying to get my thoughts in order, she says quietly. Its really hard not to be paranoid when you find out that youve been spied on. She goes back to the earlier hitch with the phone call. So what happens is, I realise in myself, you get so triggered. The trauma of it. This high anxiety happens, along with a strong morning coffee, and you feel like: Whats going on here? She laughs again, but sounds more relaxed.

It was Arquette who, as the eldest sibling, launched the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation after Alexis died from an HIV-related heart attack in 2016. I felt really moved to do something, she says. Patricia contributed, got a couple of good donations. But the family appeared to disagree about which pronoun to use: Richmond chose he in his Facebook post, Patricia she.

This is whats so great about Alexis, Arquette says. Alexis was a they before the they pronoun existed. So which pronoun does the family use now? I go with what Alexis wanted and that was her choice, and her choice was it didnt matter, Arquette says. So we in our family say she. But at the end, Alexis, you know, had a beard. And I said, because Alexis was very ill, I said: Do you want to be buried in a beautiful, beautiful dress and be made up? Is that what you want? It doesnt matter, Ro. It doesnt matter. Male or female, Im just me. We got to have that conversation. So I know that Alexis would be they now, if she were alive.

Activism was always central to Arquette family life. Their mother, Brenda Denaut, was an activist. Alexis campaigned for trans rights. Patricia used her Oscars speech in 2015 to call for wage equality. Way back in 2002, Rosanna made a documentary, Searching for Debra Winger, about the shortage of film roles for older women. This is in our DNA, she says. I suspect even those words are part of the genetic makeup, because Patricia says exactly the same.

Arquette tries not to dwell on the kind of career she might have had. This is my karma. Its for the greater good that it happened to me, because what has become more important in my life is the activism, and being a voice for the voiceless. One of the voices for the voiceless, she amends. She is scrupulously modest.

The next step is the healing, she says. To this end, she is constantly working on her trauma in therapy, and talking with other women all the time, every day about their experiences. Dont these conversations require her to dwell in the moment of abuse?

Its not dwelling, she says. Its still really new. And we have to be diligent and on top of it at all times, because I think men think this is a phase women are going through, and were here to tell you, this is never going away. So many women have been abused, and its been normalised. We cant normalise this. Its not normal!

Still, I worry about the healing part. Arquette seems to feel all allegations of abuse personally. The day after the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, she woke up with shingles. Because the stress was so It was just too much when he got off!

And she finds it meaningful that Jeffrey Epstein died on her 60th birthday, as if their fates were entwined. Certainly, she spent her whole birthday dealing with a lot of women who were really affected by the fact that Jeffrey Epstein died. Thankfully, she had a total rocknroll love festival in her backyard later, attended by activists including Bamby Salcedo, Doctor Astrid Heger, Monica Ramirez and Joni Mitchell. Ellen Barkin was there in all her glory.

Patricia couldnt make it she was getting over the flu. But Arquettes daughter Zo gave a beautiful speech about how she appreciated me and I was always there for her, Arquette says. And Susanna Hoff from the Bangles played Eternal Flame and Walk Like An Egyptian and Take Me With U by Prince. Arquette is singing it now, quietly: I dont care pretty baby, take me with you

Still, the healing process cant have been helped by her recent tweet that she was sorry she was born white and privileged. Afterwards, she received so much abuse on social media that she contacted a really important person who does risk assessments on these sorts of threats. He wants her to be very careful about how I say things, she says, before launching into a clarification. Im defending what I said, and if it pisses people off Yes, just by the nature of the colour of my skin, I was born with privilege. And it is unfair. And thats what I meant to say … Why is it that I was born with privileges just because of the colour of my skin?

She is fighting on so many fronts. She flits from Weinstein to Epstein to Charles Manson to Kavanaugh, mostly in exclamatory bolts. Bearing in mind the threat specialists advice, I wonder if she ever considers …

Do I ever feel like I should shut the fuck up? she jumps in. I dont know how to not speak out. I think as a human being, its my job.

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein is on Sunday 1 September at 9pm on BBC Two

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Millennials abandoned cereal: General Mills is betting that kids and older people will bring it back

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New York (CNN Business)General Mills has a cereal problem. It thinks children and aging boomers can help solve it.

To strengthen the category, General Mills is trying a number of different things, like leaning into nostalgic, sugary cereals and exploring new food trends. It’s also banking on changing demographics in the United States to help boost sales, said Jonathon Nudi, group president of North America retail for General Mills, during a recent investor day presentation.
General Mills is betting that kids and older people will help save cereal - CNN
According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the population of children in the United States has been declining or about flat for the past several years. In 2010, there were 74.1 million children in the US. In 2017 that figure was 73.7 million. The group projects that number will tick back up to 74.1 million in 2020, and hit 75 million in 2025.
    Meanwhile, the US population is aging rapidly. The Census Bureau predicts that in 2035, older adults will outnumber kids for the first time in the United States.
    Those groups have “some of the highest levels of per capita cereal consumption,” Nudi said. By catering to these customers, the company can “drive further category improvement,’ he said.
    While Millennials have generally turned away from cereal as a meal -— instead snacking on it during the day or swapping it out for dessert on occasion — kids and older adults who eat cereal still like it for breakfast.
    The stronger preference for cereal among older adults and children has been going on for “decades,” said Mike Siemienas, a spokesperson for General Mills (GIS).
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    Cereal is popular among parents looking for an easy, convenient way to prepare breakfast for kids, said Alexander Esposito, research analyst at Euromonitor International. And the sweet flavors tend to appeal to children, he added.
    For people over 55, cereal is attractive because it offers certain nutritional benefits, like fiber. While Millennials and younger adults tend to care about “ethical labels,” like organic certifications and may try avoid foods that use genetically-modified organisms, for older adults “the health implications are a bit more real,” Esposito said.
    Plus, people who grew up eating cereal tend to eat less when they enter the workforce and start eating breakfast on the go, noted John Baumgartner, an analyst who covers food for Wells Fargo. When they hit retirement age, they may return to the habit, he added.
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    General Mills uses Cheerios in particular to advertise to customers concerned about heart health. A “hearts matter” page on the Cheerios website notes that the Honey Nut Cheerios “makes heart health enjoyable.” The company is doubling down on that messaging this year, Nudi said, “to clearly communicate the health benefits of this product to boomers.”
    Honey Nut and regular Cheerios perform well both with children and older adults, said Siemienas. Two other brands that do well with children are Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms, he added. Older adults prefer Wheaties and Fiber One.
    To capitalize on the trend, General Mills is trying to appeal to both age groups.
    Cheerios is continuing a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres to try to reach to her fans. Reese’s Puffs, geared toward a younger audience, has partnered with rapper Travis Scott. General Mills has also revamped the look of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, decorating the box with “Cinnamojis.”
      Baumgartner pointed out that General Mills just needs to keep cereal sales steady to do well, because it relies on other parts of its business, like snacks and pet food, for growth.
      “They don’t really have to have the cereal category be a growth category,” he said. “As long as it’s flat to slightly up, I think that’s all they really need.”

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