TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby Made a Deal With the National Enquirer Over a Sex Allegation

Bill Cosby
This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows entertainer and Navy veteran Bill Cosby speaking during a Veterans Day ceremony, at the The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke — AP

The comedian admitted under oath in 2005 that he gave an exclusive interview in return for the hushing of charges

Bill Cosby admitted under oath in 2005 that he gave an exclusive interview to the National Enquirer in exchange for the paper’s promise to drop an interview with onetime model Beth Ferrier, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.

The New York Times reports that the admission was made during a Sept. 2005 deposition at the Federal District Court in Philadelphia. The court documents containing the comedian’s testimony had been sealed, but were released on Wednesday in response to media requests.

“I would give them an exclusive story, my words,” Cosby testified, according to the documents, when asked about the agreement with the Enquirer. The paper, on their part, “would not print the story of — print Beth’s story,” he said.

More than a dozen women have, over the past two weeks, publicly claimed that Cosby had sexually assaulted, harassed or raped them. Cosby has denied all allegations.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME weather

Thanksgiving Storm Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without Electricity

Wintry Weather Connecticut
An over-turned automobile on Interstate 84 snarls traffic, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 in Vernon, Conn. Jared Ramsdell—AP

Heavy snow plunged at least 248,000 Americans into darkness from West Virginia to Vermont

Heavy snow that disrupted travel plans for many Americans left at least 248,000 properties without electricity on Thanksgiving morning.

Power outages were reported from West Virginia to Vermont early Thursday — including 94,000 customers in Maine, 53,000 in New York, 41,000 in Massachusetts and 27,000 in New Jersey.

More than 700 flights were canceled — with almost 5,000 others delayed — and there were 125 accidents on snow-slicked roads in a single state on Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME United Kingdom

Ferguson Protests Spread to Britain

People gather outside the US embassy in Central London,
People gather outside the US embassy in Central London, supporting the protests in Ferguson on Nov. 26, 2014. Andrea Baldo—LightRocket/Getty Images

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. embassy in London on Wednesday night.

Several hundred people marched in London in solidarity with protestors in the U.S., condemning the decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Demonstrators held candles and placards outside the U.S. embassy and observed a minute’s silence before marching across central London to the Houses of Parliament, BBC reports. Many held their hands up and chanted the slogan of American campaigners: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” The protest was peaceful and no arrests were made.

The protest was attended by relatives of Mark Duggan, a young black man shot dead by a police officer in London in 2011 and Sean Rigg, a black musician who died in police custody in 2008.

MORE: The one battle Michael Brown’s family will win

Carole Duggan, Mark’s aunt, told the crowd: “We know the pain of losing somebody at the hands of the police. We stand in solidarity with the community of Ferguson. I feel they are very strong and brave people.”

[BBC]

TIME Crime

Calm in Ferguson While Police Arrest 130-Plus in L.A. and Oakland

Police detain protesters during a march in Los Angeles, California
Police detain protesters during a march in Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 2014 Lucy Nicholson—Reuters

Cold and calm descended on Ferguson, Missouri, late Wednesday after two nights of violent protests against a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in unarmed teen Michael Brown’s shooting death. But demonstrators in Los Angeles, Oakland and elsewhere across the country again took to protesting by blocking roads and, in some cases, clashing with police.

Police arrested about 130 demonstrators who had been marching through downtown Los Angeles after police determined the protesters were becoming a hazard to motorists. Police declared an unlawful assembly and later surrounded the group to begin making arrests …

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Culture

Watch President Obama Pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey

Gobble gobble

U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned this year’s Thanksgiving turkey Wednesday to continue a White House tradition that goes back 67 years.

“It is a little puzzling that I do this every year, but I will say that I enjoy it because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office it’s nice once in a while just to say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,'” said Obama.

The 50-lb. turkey named Cheese was voted to escape the knife this year by the public on Twitter.

Cheese, and his alternate Mac, were raised by the National Turkey Federation.

Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME Aviation

Drones Are Beginning to Pose a Real Threat to Flight Safety Says FAA Data

Agribotix, a start-up in Boulder, manufactures drones for agricultural use.
The Kestrel Cinematix drone takes photos and video from the air. Agribotix, a start-up in Boulder, manufactures drones for agricultural use and hopes to grow the business as restrictions are lifted on their use. Kathryn Scott Osler—Denver Post/Getty Images

There have been 25 near-collisions with aircraft reported since June 1 this year

The small, remote-controlled drones that have recently grown in popularity are beginning to pose a significant threat to flight safety in the United States, according to new data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The data, released Wednesday at the request of the Washington Post and various other news outlets, reveals 25 near-collisions with airborne drones reported by commercial and private pilots since June 1. Many of these incidents reportedly occurred near New York and Washington, and several of them took place at major U.S. airports.

Drones, often mounted with cameras for aerial photography (although Amazon wants to use them to deliver goods as well), are becoming an everyday object. However, people who operate them often exceed the altitude limits set by the FAA, bringing them dangerously close to aircraft and helicopter flight paths.

“All it’s going to take is for one to come through a windshield to hurt some people or kill someone,” Kyle Fortune, a private pilot, told the Post. Fortune said he suddenly spotted a drone 100 feet underneath his aircraft during a Sept. 22 flight.

Other pilots said that drones getting sucked into engines, rotors or propellers could cause potentially fatal accidents.

[Washington Post]

TIME Opinion

Why Ferguson Should Matter to Asian-Americans

A female protester raises her hands while blocking police cars in Ferguson
A female protester raises her hands while blocking police cars in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 25, 2014. Adrees Latif—Reuters

Ferguson isn’t simply black versus white

A peculiar Vine floated around social media Monday evening following the grand jury announcement in Ferguson, Mo. The short video shows an Asian-American shopkeeper standing in his looted store, with a hands-in-his-pockets matter-of-factness and a sad slump to his facial expression. “Are you okay, sir?” an off-screen cameraman asks. “Yes,” the storeowner says, dejectedly.

The clip is only a few seconds, but it highlights the question of where Asian-Americans stand in the black and white palette often used to paint incidents like Ferguson. In the story of a white cop’s killing of a black teen, Asian-Americans may at first seem irrelevant. They are neither white nor black; they assume the benefits of non-blackness, but also the burdens of non-whiteness. They can appear innocuous on nighttime streets, but also defenseless; getting into Harvard is a result of “one’s own merit,” but also a genetic gift; they are assumed well-off in society, but also perpetually foreign. Asian-Americans’ peculiar gray space on the racial spectrum can translate to detachment from the situation in Ferguson. When that happens, the racialized nature of the events in Ferguson loses relevance to Asian-Americans. But seen with a historical perspective, it’s clear that such moments are decidedly of more colors than two.

VOTE: Should the Ferguson Protestors Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

Michael Brown’s death has several parallels in Asian-American history. The first to come to mind may be the story of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American killed in 1982 by a Chrysler plant superintendent and his stepson, both white, both uncharged in a racially-motivated murder; like Brown, Chin unified his community to demand protection under the law. However, most direct parallels have often had one distinct dissimilarity to Ferguson: they have not spurred widespread resistance, nor have they engraved a visible legacy.

There is the story of Kuanchang Kao, an intoxicated Chinese-American fatally shot in 1997 by police threatened by his “martial arts” moves. There is Cau Bich Tran, a Vietnamese-American killed in 2003 after holding a vegetable peeler, which police thought was a cleaver. There is Fong Lee, a Hmong-American shot to death in 2006 by police who believed he was carrying a gun. None of the three cases resulted in criminal charges against the police or in public campaigns that turned the victim’s memory into a commitment to seek justice. One op-ed even declared how little America learned from Tran’s slaying.

While Ferguson captures the world’s attention, why do these Asian-American stories remain comparatively unknown?

One possible answer could be found in the model minority myth. The myth, a decades-old stereotype, casts Asian-Americans as universally successful, and discourages others — even Asian-Americans themselves — from believing in the validity of their struggles. But as protests over Ferguson continue, it’s increasingly important to remember the purpose of the model minority narrative’s construction. The doctored portrayal, which dates to 1967, was intended to shame African-American activists whose demands for equal civil rights threatened a centuries-old white society. (The original story in the New York Times thrust forward an image of Japanese-Americans quietly rising to economic successes despite the racial prejudice responsible for their unjust internment during World War II.)

Racial engineering of Asian-Americans and African-Americans to protect a white-run society was nothing new, but the puppeteering of one minority to slap the other’s wrist was a marked change. The apparent boost of Asian-Americans suggested that racism was no longer a problem for all people of color — it was a problem for people of a specific color. “The model minority discourse has elevated Asian-Americans as a group that’s worked hard, using education to get ahead,” said Daryl Maeda, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “But the reality is that it’s a discourse that intends to pit us against other people of color. And that’s a divide and conquer strategy we shouldn’t be complicit with.”

Through the years, that idea erased from the public consciousness the fact that the Asian-American experience was once a story of racially motivated legal exclusion, disenfranchisement and horrific violence — commonalities with the African-American experience that became rallying points in demanding racial equality. That division between racial minorities also erased a history of Afro-Asian solidarity born by the shared experience of sociopolitical marginalization.

As with Ferguson, it’s easy to say the Civil Rights movement was entirely black and white, when in reality there were many moments of interplay between African-American and Asian-American activism. Japanese-American activist Yuri Kochiyama worked alongside Malcolm X until he was assassinated in front of her. Groups protesting America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, like the student-run Third World Liberation Front, united resisters across racial lines under a collective radical political identity. W.E.B. DuBois called on African Americans to support the 1920s Indian anti-colonial resistance, which he compared to whites’ oppression of blacks. Chinese-American activist Grace Lee Boggs, who struggled as a female scholar of color, found passion in fighting similar injustices against African-Americans alongside C.L.R. James in the 1950s. Though Afro-Asian solidarity wasn’t the norm in either groups’ resistance movements, the examples highlight the power of cross-racial resistance, and what hardships they shared as non-whites.

The concept of non-whiteness is one way to begin the retelling of most hyphenated American histories. In Asian-American history, non-whiteness indelibly characterized the first waves of Asians arriving in the mid-1800s in America. Cases like People v. Hall (1854) placed them alongside unfree blacks, in that case by ruling that a law barring blacks from testifying against whites was intended to block non-white witnesses, while popular images documented Asian-American bodies as dark, faceless and indistinguishable — a racialization strengthened against the white supremacy of Manifest Destiny and naturalization law. Non-whiteness facilitated racism, but it in time also facilitated cross-racial opposition. With issues like post-9/11 racial profiling, anti-racism efforts continue to uphold this tradition of a shared non-white struggle.

“This stuff is what I call M.I.H. — missing in history,” said Helen Zia, an Asian-American historian and activist. “Unfortunately, we have generations growing up thinking there’s no connection [between African-Americans and Asian-Americans]. These things are there, all the linkages of struggles that have been fought together.”

The disassociation of Asian-Americans from Ferguson — not just as absent allies, but forgotten legacies — is another chapter in that missing history. In final moments of the Vine depicting an Asian-American shopkeeper’s looted store, the cameraman offers a last thought in their conversation that had halted to a brief pause. “It’s just a mess,” the cameraman says. The observation, however simplistic, has a truth. That, as an Asian-American who’s become collateral damage in a climate often black-and-white, he, like all of Ferguson, must first clean up — and then reassess the unfolding reality outside.

TIME weather

Over 4,000 Flights Delayed or Canceled Around U.S. Due to Winter Storms

Winter Storm Causes Delays For Thanksgiving Holiday Travelers
A group of friends traveling to San Francisco, Calif., walk through the terminal at Philadelphia International Airport Nov. 26, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania William Thomas Cain—Getty Images

Large swaths of the country face beastly conditions on one of the busiest travel days of the year

A wintry mix of snow and rain that crept up the East Coast on Wednesday slowed travel on one of the busiest days of the year.

According to the website Flightaware.com, 4,548 flights were delayed into, within or out of the U.S. Wednesday and 731 were canceled. While this isn’t a particularly large number of delays, so many people are traveling at present that accommodating stranded passengers could prove problematic, CNN reports.

Winter Storm Cato dropped over a foot of snow in some Mid-Atlantic states with snow also expected in New England, The Weather Channel reports. In parts of Maine, between three and five inches of snow had fallen by Wednesday evening. In West Virginia, according to CNN, up to 18 inches of snow has fallen. The adverse weather conditions mean bad news for drivers who faced slick roads across swaths of the East Coast and Midwest.

An estimated 46 million Americans were expected to travel over 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving, according to the AAA, the highest level since 2007. The majority are expected to travel by car.

As a precaution, governors in New York and New Jersey took steps to ensure traveler safety on Wednesday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo restricted commercial traffic along I-84 and other parts of the New York State Thruway. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie issued a precautionary state of emergency and sent more than 1,900 vehicles to plow and treat roads.

Thanksgiving Day looks clearer for most of the country, though the Pacific Northwest are set to face some wet weather that could snarl traffic on Turkey Day.

TIME Companies

Labor Group Plans Strike of Walmart Stores on Black Friday

Operations Inside A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Location Ahead Of Black Friday
Employees assist shoppers at the check out counter of a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location ahead of Black Friday in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 Bloomberg—Getty Images

For the third year in a row, OUR Walmart is planning a massive strike on Black Friday

Employees at Walmart stores in at least six states and Washington, D.C., plan to strike on one of the busiest shopping days of the year to protest workers’ wages and hours.

OUR Walmart, an employee labor group, announced earlier in November that workers across the country would walk out over “illegal silencing of workers who are standing up for better jobs.” The group has been hosting Black Friday strikes since 2012, but promises this year’s will be the largest yet.

The group has the support of some of the nation’s labor unions including UFCW, a grocery and retailers union, the American Federations of Teachers in New Mexico, and AFL-CIO. In a statement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “the entire labor movement will proudly stand with the brave workers at Walmart as they lead the largest mobilization to date for better wages and schedules.”

Added Trumka: “Their courage is inspiring and powerful in the fight for all workers.”

Employees are calling for consistent, full-time work as well as a living wage of $15/hour. In a press release, Our Walmart boasts that its previous efforts against the retail giant have led the company to agree to increase minimum wages for its lowest paid workers as well as program that provides workers with greater access to open shifts.

Late Wednesday, social media reports began circulating of workers in Washington, D.C., and other cities who had already started participating in sit-ins and strikes. The group also accuses Walmart’s owners of growing wealthy on the backs of their low-wage workers.

“While many Walmart workers are unable to feed and clothe their families, the Walton family takes in $8.6 million a day in Walmart dividends alone to build on its $150 billion in wealth,” read a statement. “Walmart brings in $16 billion in annual profits.”

TIME Crime

Darren Wilson’s Lawyers Say He Has No Plans to Apologize to Michael Brown’s Family

“Even if he gave the most heartfelt apology, they’d still not like it"

The legal team of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., igniting violent protests in the St. Louis suburb and a national conversation on race, said Wednesday that he has no specific plans to apologize to the family of Michael Brown.

“Even if he gave the most heartfelt apology, they’d still not like it,” one of his lawyers, James Towey, told the Washington Post. The long-awaited announcement this week that a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the Aug. 9 killing prompted rioting and arson around Ferguson, as well as large demonstrations across the country.

Wilson spent months in hiding following the incident, rarely going out in public and bouncing between homes to stay under the radar. When he settled on an undisclosed location, according to his lawyers, he used disguises whenever he did mundane activities like go to the movies, which they said he prefers because of the darkness.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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