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French star Deneuve apologizes to sexual abuse victims

French star Deneuve apologizes to sexual abuse victims

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WATCH 'Me Too' movement takes center stage at Golden Globes

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Film star Catherine Deneuve has apologized to victims of "odious" acts of sexual abuse, after she signed a much-criticized letter saying men are being unfairly accused of sexual misconduct.

The letter, signed by 100 French women, says the wave of accusations against powerful men since the Harvey Weinstein scandal has gone too far. The letter prompted a backlash in France and beyond.

In response, Deneuve wrote a letter published Monday by daily Liberation apologizing to abuse victims. However she also defended her view that men are becoming victims of a "media lynching" and that the current atmosphere threatens sexual freedom.

She denounced abuse of power and called for better justice against proven abusers. She also defended her feminist credentials, noting that she publicly backed legalizing abortion in France.

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World

North Korean orchestra, maybe joint hockey team at Olympics

North Korean orchestra, maybe joint hockey team at Olympics

The Associated Press
A bus carrying the South Korean delegations passes as South Korean soldier salutes at Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The rival Koreas agreed to discuss a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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North Korea's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea will include a 140-member art troupe, the two sides agreed Monday, while discussions continue over fielding a joint women's hockey team.

The two Koreas met Monday for the second time in a week as they try to hammer out details for the North's participation in next month's Games, which the South sees as a way to calm tensions caused by Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea said the art troupe will comprise 80 orchestra members and 60 members who sing and dance. The North Koreans will perform twice — once in Seoul and the other in the city of Gangneung, where some of the Olympic competitions will be held, according to South Korean delegates who attended the meeting.

Separately, South Korean Sports Ministry spokesman Hwang Seong Un said that the two Koreas have agreed in principle to field a joint women's ice hockey team. The proposal requires International Olympic Committee approval. If realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified Olympic team ever.

Officials from both Koreas are to meet with the International Olympic Committee at its headquarters in Switzerland on Saturday. The two sides agreed Monday to meet again at their border on Wednesday for working-level talks ahead of the IOC meeting.

North Korea last week agreed to send an Olympic delegation and hold military talks aimed at reducing frontline animosities in its first formal talks with South Korea in about two years. The North has said its delegation to the Feb. 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang would include the art troupe along with officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and a taekwondo demonstration team.

The reasons for North Korea's softer approach are not clear, though some analysts say the North may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington as a way to weaken pressure and sanctions on the country. North Korea carried out nuclear and missile tests last year that triggered harsher U.N. sanctions and worldwide condemnation.

Others speculate the North wants to use the Olympics to show it's a normal country despite possessing nuclear weapons.

North Korea has insisted its talks with South Korea won't deal with its nuclear and missile programs, saying those weapons primarily target the United States. Critics question how long the warmer mood can last without any serious discussion on the North's nuclear disarmament.

The North issued a veiled threat Sunday that it could cancel its plans to send an Olympic delegation to protest what it called South Korea's "sordid acts" that chilled the prospect for inter-Korean reconciliation.

"They should know that (the) train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said. "The South Korean authorities had better ponder over what unfavorable results may be entailed by their impolite behavior."

KCNA criticized remarks by South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week that credited President Donald Trump for getting the North to sit down with the South. It also accused Seoul of letting Washington deploy strategic assets like an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula on the occasion of the Olympics. The United States is beefing up its presence around the peninsula in what it describes as routine training and scheduled upgrades.

The warning is relatively milder than the North's typical fiery, bellicose rhetoric and it didn't appear to put the recent signs of warming Korean ties in imminent danger.

The North Korean art troupe being sent South is to play folk songs and other classic masterpieces that are well-known to both Koreas and can go with the theme of unification, chief South Korean delegate Lee Woo-sung said. He said more discussions are expected to work out details of North Korean performances.

The art troupe would be larger than the previous six that North Korea has sent to South Korea since 1985. The North last sent such a group in 2002, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

A joint statement after Monday's meeting didn't mention North Korea's well-known Moranbong Band, an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

One of the North Korean delegates to the talks was Hyon Song Wol, the head of the band, fueling speculation that North Korea might send the band.

Since its first stage debut in 2012, the band is hugely popular at home and has been dubbed by outsiders as "North Korea's only girl group" for its Western-style performances featuring women in mini-skirts and high heels dancing and singing odes to Kim.

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Entertainment

Michelle Williams responds to controversy over pay gap with Mark Wahlberg

williams-wahlberg-gty-er-180110_12x5_992

Michelle Williams responds to controversy over pay gap with Mark Wahlberg

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WATCH Mark Wahlberg donates $1.5M after pay gap controversy

Michelle Williams is responding to the controversy over a pay gap in which she was paid less than 1 percent of what her male co-star, Mark Wahlberg, received for reshoots of the film, "All the Money in the World."

The actress spoke out Saturday after Wahlberg, 46, announced in a statement that he's giving his $1.5 million fee from the reshoots to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in Williams' name. Wahlberg's agency, William Morris Endeavor, also donated another $500,000, bringing the total gift to $2 million.

The legal defense fund aims to "subsidize legal support for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation in the workplace," its website reads.

In contrast to Wahlberg's pay, Williams, 37, was paid $80 per diem for a total of less than $1,000 for reshoots for the film.

"Today isn’t about me," Williams' statement began. "My fellow actresses stood by me and stood up for me, my activist friends taught me to use my voice, and the most powerful men in charge, they listened and they acted."

She added, "If we truly envision an equal world, it takes equal effort and sacrifice. Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment. Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours."

PHOTO: Michelle Williams poses for a portrait while promoting the movie All the Money in the World in Los Angeles, Dec. 16, 2017.Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Michelle Williams poses for a portrait while promoting the movie "All the Money in the World" in Los Angeles, Dec. 16, 2017.

Union weighs in on wage gap between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams Kevin Spacey being replaced by Christopher Plummer in upcoming film

Rapp, 46, publicly alleged in an October Buzzfeed article that one-time "All the Money in the World" star Kevin Spacey attempted to seduce him at a party back in 1986 when Rapp was 14.

Spacey issued an apology in the wake of Rapp's accusations, saying, "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

After Rapp's allegations became public, other claims of Spacey engaging in sexual misconduct followed.

PHOTO: Mark Wahlberg attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Entertainments All The Money In The World at Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Dec. 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Mark Wahlberg attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Entertainment's "All The Money In The World" at Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Dec. 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 58-year-old "House of Cards" actor was replaced by Christopher Plummer in "All the Money in the World," which centers on the story of the 1973 kidnapping of billionaire J. Paul Getty's grandson. The change came less than two months before the film's scheduled release.

Rapp responded to Williams' statement on Twitter Saturday night, writing: "I’m very moved by Michelle Williams’ kind words."

I’m very moved by Michelle Williams’ kind words.

— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) January 14, 2018

Earlier Saturday, Wahlberg explained in a statement obtained by ABC News why he was donating his fee from the film.

“Over the last few days my reshoot fee for 'All the Money in the World' has become an important topic of conversation. I 100% support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5M to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name," he said.

His agency, WME, added in a separate statement, "The current conversation is a reminder that those of us in a position of influence have a responsibility to challenge inequities, including the gender wage gap."

"It’s crucial that this conversation continues within our community and we are committed to being part of the solution," the statement added.

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World

The Koreas schedule more Olympics talks amid warnings from the North

The Koreas schedule more Olympics talks amid warnings from the North

PlayThe Associated Press

WATCH North, South Korea schedule more Olympics talks

Officials from North and South Korea will meet this week to discuss again North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics amid cooling tensions between the two, but the North warned it could choose to cut off its cooperation at any time.

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North Korea today proposed the working-level talks for Wednesday during a meeting between the two sides, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry, which said it accepted the proposal.

Officials from the two Koreas met today to iron out details about the North’s plan to send a delegation to the South during next month’s Winter Olympic in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

A bus carrying the South Korean delegations passes as South Korean soldier salutes at Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The rival Koreas agreed to discuss a North KThe Associated Press
A bus carrying the South Korean delegations passes as South Korean soldier salutes at Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The rival Koreas agreed to discuss a North K

During today’s talks, a follow-up to a breakthrough meeting with high-level officials from both sides last week, North Korea said it would send three delegates to attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The two sides met today on the southern side of Panmunjom, a demilitarized zone known as the truce village. It was the second such meeting in less than seven days.

But the relationship between the two Koreas is still a complicated one, which North Korea proved Sunday when it indirectly threatened to pull out of the Olympics to protest what it called South Korea's "sordid acts of chilling" reconciliation efforts, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

In this photo provided by South Korea Unification Ministry, the head of South Korean delegation Lee Woo-sung, right, and the head of North Korean delegation Kwon Hook Bong, left, arrive for their meeting at the North side of Panmunjom in North Korea,The Associated Press
In this photo provided by South Korea Unification Ministry, the head of South Korean delegation Lee Woo-sung, right, and the head of North Korean delegation Kwon Hook Bong, left, arrive for their meeting at the North side of Panmunjom in North Korea,

"They should know that train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang," Korean Central News Agency said. "The South Korean authorities had better ponder over what unfavorable results may be entailed by their impolite behavior."

The Korean Central News Agency also criticized South Korean president Moon Jae-in for suggesting that President Donald Trump deserved credit for bringing the two sides together.

“The South Korean leader shouldn’t be caught up in illusions,” the media agency said, referring to Moon's comments on Trump. “We will, as ever, strive to improve the North-South ties but will never remain an onlooker to sordid acts of chilling the efforts.”

ABC News' Kate Lee Hakyung contributed to this report.

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World

Report: Engine speed surge caused Turkish plane to skid

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Report: Engine speed surge caused Turkish plane to skid

The Associated Press
A Boeing 737-800 of Turkey's Pegasus Airlines is seen in Trabzon, Turkey, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. A commercial airplane that skidded off a runway after landing in northern Turkey dangled precariously Sunday off a muddy cliff with its nose only a few feet from the Black Sea.Some of the 168 people on board the Boeing 737-800 described it as a "miracle" that everyone was evacuated safely from the plane, which went off a runway at Trabzon Airport. (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

A Turkish media report says the pilots of a plane that skidded off the runway and down a slope toward the sea have told investigators that the plane's right engine experienced a sudden surge of speed that forced it to swerve to the left.

The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800, with 168 people on board, went off the runway at Trabzon Airport, northern Turkey, late on Saturday, stopping at an acute angle only a few meters away from the Black Sea. All passengers and crew were evacuated and no one was injured.

The private Dogan news agency said Monday the pilots told investigators that the plane landed normally but that the engine's sudden increase in speed caused them to lose control.

Authorities at Trabzon Airport on Monday were making preparations to tow the plane off the slope.

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Entertainment

Couric breaks silence about Lauer scandal: ‘Disturbing, distressing, disorienting’

WireAP_eeb1356979ef497dbf0531c5552f0240_12x5_992

Katie Couric breaks silence about Matt Lauer scandal: 'The whole thing has been very painful for me'

PlayThe Associated Press

WATCH Matt Lauer fired from NBC News

Disgraced former "Today" show host Matt Lauer's longtime colleague Katie Couric has broken her silence about Lauer's firing in late November from NBC for "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace."

"The whole thing has been very painful for me," Couric told People magazine in an interview published Saturday. "The accounts I've read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it's completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment."

Following Lauer's firing, multiple women anonymously accused Lauer of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in stories published by The New York Times and Variety.

NBC News fires Matt Lauer for alleged 'inappropriate sexual behavior' New questions about Matt Lauer's firing over alleged sexual misconduct What Matt Lauer's former co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb said about his termination

Lauer said in a statement immediately following his firing, "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC."

He continued, "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”

PHOTO: Co-anchors Hoda Kotb, left, and Savannah Guthrie embrace on the set of the Today show, Nov. 29, 2017, in New York, after NBC News fired host Matt Lauer.Craig Ruttle/AP
Co-anchors Hoda Kotb, left, and Savannah Guthrie embrace on the set of the "Today" show, Nov. 29, 2017, in New York, after NBC News fired host Matt Lauer.

Couric, who co-hosted "Today" for 15 years with Lauer, told People, "I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left. I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew. Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. It’s still very upsetting. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very difficult situation.”

Couric acknowledged Lauer's firing in an Instagram post in November, writing, "It’s incredibly upsetting and I will say something when I’m ready to. Thanks for your interest.”

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Technology

Lava flowing from Philippine volcano, thousands evacuated

WireAP_19d0b93a776e4fa6812959e417182b9e_12x5_992

Lava flowing from Philippine volcano, thousands evacuated

The Associated Press
In this Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, photo provided by Earl Recamunda, an orange glow is seen at the cloud-shrouded crater of Mayon volcano at Legazpi city, Albay province, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines. The Philippines' most active volcano rumbled back to life Sunday with lava rising to its crater in a gentle eruption that has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of villagers. (Earl Recamunda via AP)

Nearly 15,000 people have fled from villages around the Philippines' most active volcano as lava flowed down its crater Monday in a gentle eruption that scientists warned could turn explosive.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology increased the alert level for Mount Mayon late Sunday to three on a scale of five, indicating an increased prospect of a hazardous eruption "within weeks or even days."

Lava flowed at least half a kilometer (less than half a mile) down a gulley from the crater on Monday morning and ash clouds appeared mid-slope as lava fragments rolled down, said Renato Solidum, who heads the volcano institute. It was hard to track down the lava flow given the thick clouds shrouding the volcano.

Molten rocks and lava at Mayon's crater lit the night sky Sunday in a reddish-orange glow despite the thick cloud cover, leaving spectators awed but sending thousands of residents into evacuation shelters.

Disaster-response officials said more than 14,700 people have been moved from high-risk areas in three cities and four towns in an ongoing evacuation. People in the danger area have put up huge white crosses in the past in their neighborhoods, hoping to protect their lives and homes.

"There are some who still resist but if we reach alert level four, we'll really be obligated to resort to forced evacuation," Cedric Daep, an Albay emergency official, told The Associated Press. Level four signifies the volcano could erupt violently within days.

Mayon lies in coconut-growing Albay province about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila.

Three steam-explosions since Saturday have spewed ash into nearby villages and may have breached solidified lava plugging the crater and caused lava to start gushing out, Solidum said.

With its near-perfect cone, Mayon is popular with climbers and tourists but has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years, sometimes violently.

In 2013, an ash eruption killed five climbers, including three Germans, who had ventured near the summit despite warnings of possible danger.

Experts fear a major eruption could trigger pyroclastic flows — superheated gas and volcanic debris that race down the slopes at high speeds, incinerating or vaporizing everything in their path. More extensive explosions of ash could drift toward nearby towns and cities, including Legazpi city, the provincial capital, about nine miles (15 kilometers) away.

The bulletin sent Sunday night said a hazardous eruption was possible within weeks or even days. It said the glow in the crater signified the growth of a new lava dome and that the evacuation zone should be enforced due to the dangers of falling rocks, landslides or a collapse of the dome.

Airplanes have been warned not to fly close to the volcano.

Mayon's first recorded eruption was in 1616. The most destructive in 1814 killed 1,200 people and buried the town of Cagsawa in volcanic mud. The belfry of a Cagsawa church juts out of the ground in a reminder of Mayon's deadly fury and has become a tourist attraction.

———

Associated Press writer Jim Gomez contributed to this report.

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World

UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flight; Doha denies it

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UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flight; Doha denies it

The Associated Press
FILE- In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman, left, walks with Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, right, at the monarch's vacation home in Tangiers, Morocco. Exiled Sheikh Abdullah, once promoted by Saudi Arabia amid its ongoing dispute with Doha, appeared in an online video posted Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, and aired by Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera, claiming he's being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates, an allegation denied by an Abu Dhabi official. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

The United Arab Emirates on Monday claimed that Qatari fighter jets intercepted one of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, an allegation promptly denied by a Doha official.

The UAE's two major airlines declined to immediately comment.

The claim could further escalate tensions between Qatar and the four Arab nations that have been boycotting it for months, among them the UAE, home to the world's busiest international airport. It also follows two complaints by Qatar to the United Nations about Emirati military aircraft allegedly violating its international airspace amid the diplomatic crisis.

The UAE's state-run WAM news agency made the claim on Monday, citing the country's General Civil Aviation Authority.

"The GCAA received a message from one of the UAE's national carriers on Monday morning that one of its aircraft on a flight to Manama on a normal route had been intercepted by Qatari fighters," the report said. "The flight was a regular, scheduled service on a known flight-path that met all the required and internationally recognized approvals and permits."

WAM did not identify the carrier involved, nor did it elaborate on details of the purported encounter.

Saif Al Thani, a Qatari government spokesman, denied the UAE's claim on Twitter, calling it "completely untrue." He promised a detailed statement would come later Monday.

The UAE is home to two major national carriers, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Dubai-based Emirates. Both airlines declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.

U.S. Air Force Central Command, which is based at the sprawling al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, also did not immediately have any report about any incident involving a commercial aircraft in the region, said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman. However, Pickart cautioned that U.S. forces don't routinely monitor the flights and operations of the Qatari air force.

The Qatar crisis began June 5 with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cutting off Doha's land, sea and air routes over its alleged support of extremists and close ties with Iran.

Qatar has long denied funding extremists. It recently restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore natural gas field that made the country and its about 250,000 citizens extremely wealthy.

Recently, Qatar accused Emirati military jets of violating its air space in December and January in two incidents, filing a complaint to the United Nations.

On Sunday night, an exiled Qatari ruling family member once promoted by Saudi Arabia amid its ongoing dispute with Doha appeared in an online video, claiming he's being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates, an allegation denied by Abu Dhabi.

The video of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, a little-known ruling family member until the Qatar crisis, also offered new fuel to the stalemated dispute. It also recalled the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri while on a trip Riyadh, a Nov. 4 decision that was widely perceived as Saudi-orchestrated at the time.

———

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap . His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz .

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