The shock overturning of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction elicited a range of mixed reactions on Wednesday, with some greeting the release of the 83-year-old comedian and others sharply denouncing it.
On Wednesday afternoon, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ordered Cosby to be freed from prison after overturning his 2018 conviction for aggravated indecent assault.
One of the first to greet the news was Phylicia Rashad, Cosby’s co-star on The Cosby Show who played Clair Huxtable, the wife of Cosby’s iconic character Cliff Huxtable. In a Twitter post that was sent out minutes after the initial report, Rashad was ecstatic.
“Finally!!!!” she tweeted. “A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
Following a backlash from Twitter users, she later tweeted:
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
Attorney Lisa Banks, who has represented a number of prominent clients in sexual harassment and abuse cases, offered her own take on the release in an interview.
“Certainly the optics of this are terrible,” Banks said. “But the message has to be very clear and simple — that this was a mistake by prosecutors, a very unusual one and a technicality that is unlikely to happen again.”
Talk show host and Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera blamed “mob” justice for Cosby’s conviction in his own Twitter post.
“Told you so on Bill Cosby,” Rivera wrote. “He was convicted by a court so tainted by public opinion and social pressure that it allowed obviously prejudicial evidence and improper witnesses. He may be a bad guy, but in this case, he was railroaded by the mob.”
However, a number of female celebrities expressed their disturbance and anger over the “sickening” release of Cosby.
“I know many young women and men who are so afraid to press charges against their rapist and Re traumatize themselves I am heartbroken today to hear of the news of Cosby’s release,” tweeted actress Rosanna Arquette. “This is sickening. My heart is with my sister survivors. We have work to do.”
While comedian Kathy Griffin said that the release sent the wrong signal to women suffering sexual abuse, asking: “WHEN will things get better for women and girls regarding sexual assault, sexism, misogyny, and ageism? What will it take? So discouraged.”
Rapper Ice T posted a photoshopped image of a yoked out Bill Cosby covered in tattoos and posing with the caption: “SMH…”
50 Cent threw caution and nuance to the wind in outright celebrating Cosby’s release, referring to the elderly actor’s critics as hoe’s in a since-deleted Instagram post of a Jell-O pudding pops ad with the caption: “My son Bill beat that case, These hoe’s be tripping. LOL check out FOR LIFE on IMDb Tv now!”
Meanwhile, Indiana hip hop artist Freddie Gibbs kept his message simple, noting that accused sex trafficker and R&B star R. Kelly would be “definitely calling Bill Cosby lawyers right now.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.