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Kuzma/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Harvey Weinstein's fate remains in the hands of jurors, as the third day of deliberations begins.

On Thursday morning, the jury's day is starting with their review of Paul Feldsher's testimony. He was the first defense witness who challenged Annabella Sciorra's claim that she was raped by Weinstein in the winter of 1993-94.

Jurors will also take a look at PowerPoint slides from the testimony of Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychologist who studies the behavior of sexual assault victims.

They will also review correspondence between Weinstein and Black Cube -- the Israeli private spy agency hired to keep tabs on the Hollywood mogul's accusers.

Weinstein stands charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman, who has since identified herself as former Weinstein production assistant Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi, in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims any sexual encounters were consensual.

In addition to the two women behind those charges, four others, including Sciorra, testified in support of prosecutors' efforts to demonstrate a pattern of sexual predation.

On Wednesday, the jury sent a note to the judge asking for a re-reading of actress Rosie Perez's testimony. Perez took the stand in January, offering testimony in support of actress Sciorra's allegations against Weinstein.
They had also requested the testimony transcript from Haleyi, as well as all emails from any of Weinstein's email addresses to Haleyi.

The jury began its first day of deliberations on Tuesday, asking Manhattan Supreme Court Judge James Burke for a blueprint of Weinstein's former Manhattan apartment where Haleyi alleges she was sexually assaulted in 2006. They also requested legal clarification of the charges that could send the movie mogul to prison for the rest of his life.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


DNY59/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Roger Stone, the longtime friend and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, is being sentenced Thursday morning at federal court in Washington amid speculation that Trump could pardon him depending on what happens.

His fate took on new significance last week when the career prosecutors who handled the case recommended a sentence of seven to nine years for Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering in November.

After Trump tweeted that recommendation was a "miscarriage of justice," Attorney General William Barr overruled the prosecutors, and the Justice Department called on Judge Amy Berman Jackson to give Stone a much lighter sentence. Shortly after, in an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas, Barr warned Trump to stop tweeting and commenting on the case, saying he was making it "impossible" to do his job. Sources have told ABC News that Barr, who called the Stone prosecution "righteous," is seriously considering resigning.

Stone was convicted of misleading congressional investigators on several key elements of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including communications he had with the Trump campaign about discussions he had about the WikiLeaks dissemination of damaging documents stolen from Democrats during the campaign.

Here is how the story is unfolding:

11:23 a.m. Judge takes break in proceedings, Stone says he won't speak on his own behalf

"At this point I want to take a short break," Judge Jackson says.

It is not clear whether she will announce the sentence immediately upon reconvening.

After his defense counsel concluded an impassioned plea for a sentence with no incarceration, Roger Stone rises to say he chooses not to speak on his own behalf.

We are now in a 10-15 minute break.

11:16 a.m. Judge demands government explain sentencing recommendation confusion

The new government prosecutor on Stone's case takes to the lectern to "apologize to the court for any confusion" caused by the Justice Department's dual sentencing recommendation memorandums.

"This confusion was not caused by the original trial team," Crabb says. "There was nothing in bad faith about the prosecution team's recommendation."

Jackson interrupts to ask several questions about who ordered the new memorandum, why an additional memorandum was filed, and what caused any discrepancies in the two documents.

Crabb says the first memorandum was approved by the U.S. attorney.

"What I understand is, there was a miscommunication between the U.S. attorney's office and main Justice," Crabb says, referring back to comments Attorney General Barr made in his interview with ABC News.

Seemingly unsatisfied, Jackson asks Crabb to continue.

"This prosecution was - and this prosecution is - righteous," Crabb says. He then urges the court to impose a substantial term of incarceration.

Pressed by Jackson about how the second memorandum was crafted, Crabb says he could not "engage in a discussion about the internal deliberations."

He refuses to say whether he wrote the memorandum -- even though he signed it. Asked if he was ordered to write the second memoradum, Crabb again says he would not discuss it.

Seth Ginsburg, defense counsel for Stone, then takes the lectern to make his case for leniency, calling Judge Jackson's attention to Stone's age and family situation: "He just became a grandfather."

"Mr. Stone has many admirable qualities," Ginsburg adds.

11:04 a.m. Judge Jackson blasts Stone over his social media posts, including those about her

Another proposed sentence enhancement, another win for prosecutors.

Judge Jackson blasts Stone for his out-of-court conduct ahead of his trial, specifically social media posts that criticized the court, the judge, and the government prosecutors.

"It's important to note he didn't just fire off a few intemperate emails ... it wasn't accidental," Judge Jackson says. "He knew exactly what he was doing."

"This is intolerable for the administration of justice," Jackson says. "We had to waste considerable amount of time ... to get the defendant to comply with court orders."

"Therefore I'm going to add the two levels and we are now at a Level 27," Jackson concludes.

Judge Jackson then lists a few mitigating factors before turning to the sentencing grid, which dictates which sentence is appropriate after all sentence enhancements and downward departures are considered.

Both parties will now have an opportunity to speak.

10:55 a.m. Judges sides with defense on proposed sentence enhancement for obstructive conduct

On a third proposed sentence enhancement, Judge Jackson sides with defense counsel -- alleviating some pressure on Stone.

"I'm not going to add two more levels for that," Jackson says, after hearing arguments about a proposed enhancement for additional obstructive conduct.

She is now addressing an additional sentence enhancement -- specifically related to Stone's controversial social media postings about Judge Jackson herself.

10:43 a.m. Judge appears to side with government on seriousness of Stone's witness tampering

In a blow to Stone, Judge Jackson has twice sided with prosecutors, who have sought to invoke sentence level increases based on a statute accounting for physical threats.

After an exchange about the veracity of prosecutors' claims that Stone did, in fact, threaten his longtime associate, Randy Credico (and Credico's therapy dog, Bianca), Jackson sides with the government.

Justifying her decision to side with prosecutors, she recites several specific quotes -- many of which include expletives -- that reflect Stone's threats against Credico and his dog.

ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas points out that Judge Jackson is taking her time, asking both sides to clarify positions taken in their sentencing memorandums.

She is meticulously taking note of arguments made by both parties and asking for explanations where she perceives ambiguity.

10:24 a.m. Stone's defense lawyer pushes back on charge of witness tampering

Judge Jackson, reading from a piece of paper, ticks through the counts Stone was found guilty of at trial. She runs through an explanation of her sentencing process, interrupting herself briefly to ask a member of the audience to remove his or her sunglasses.

"For those who woke up last week and became persuaded that the guidelines are harsh," Jackson says.

A lawyer for Stone, Seth Ginsburg, then rises to make the case that Stone's conduct and words carried little weight, particularly those used in the charge of witness tampering.

"Even though the words on their face could be read as threatening," Ginsburg says, "it's our position is that the words themselves did not constitute a threat at all."

"Stone is known for using rough, hyperbolic language. Mr. Credico knew that. He knew that it was Stone being Stone. All bark and no bite," Ginsburg continues, referring to Randy Credico, a mercurial radio host, comedian and impressionist who was a key witness in the government’s case against Stone. Stone is accused of threatening him and his dog.

Reminded by Judge Jackson that she has the power to impose a sentence lower than called for in sentencing guidelines, Ginsburg shoots back: "Yes, and I hope you will!"

10:12 a.m. Judge Jackson addresses the Justice Department's sentencing recommendations

Judge Jackson addresses the sentencing memorandum controversy in perfunctory terms -- noting the existence of both the case prosecutors' original recommendation and the subsequent Justice Department recommendation of a much shorter sentence. She stops short of editorializing.

"I also received the government's supplemental memorandum," Jackson says. "I note that the initial memorandum has not been withdrawn."

Jackson goes on to explain additional materials filed as part of the case, including the slew of letters written on Stone's behalf by friends and supporters urging the judge to grant him leniency.

10:05 a.m. Court proceedings have begun

Attorneys for each side have introduced themselves.

“We are here this morning for Roger Stone’s sentencing,” Judge Jackson says.

8:45 a.m. Stone arrives amid protests outside courthouse

Stone arrived with his wife, lawyers and entourage at the federal courthouse. Known for his sometimes flashy attire, he wore a fedora and sunglasses, smiled but said nothing.

Protesters held up a large banner that said "#PardonRogerStone."

Overnight, despite Barr's warning not to comment on the case, President Trump at about 2 a.m. tweeted a clip of Fox News host Tucker Carlson calling the Stone case a “shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice.” Trump pinned the tweet on his feed.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020

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cmannphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A Staten Island, New York man is set to plead guilty Thursday to charges he tried to bribe college basketball players to fix games, his attorney said.

Federal prosecutors said that Benjamin Bifalco concocted a "scheme to fix an NCAA college basketball game." Investigators learned of the alleged crime in December 2018 as part of an organized crime investigation.

Bifalco, 25, allegedly has purported ties to the Colombo crime family and was caught on an FBI wiretap telling a family capo about a plan to pay thousands of dollars to players of an unnamed team, according to his indictment.

The players were to throw the NCAA Division 1 game, the indictment claimed.

Bifalco allegedly encouraged the Colombo capo to place a big bet on the game but the indictment said there were no wagers placed.

He is now prepared to plead guilty to a charge of sports bribery, according to his attorney Vincent J. Martinelli.
Bifalco had previously worked for the office of Assemblywoman Nicole Milliotakis, but was swiftly fired when he was arrested last October.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


anouchka/iStock(NEW YORK) -- After nearly six decades, founder and CEO Leslie Wexner will step down from his executive role at L Brands, the company announced Thursday.

L Brands -- the conglomerate behind mall staples Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and Pink -- will also separate into two companies. Bath & Body Works will become a standalone public company, and Victoria's Secret, Victoria's Secret Beauty and Pink are going private as a single brand, L Brands said.

"We believe this structure will allow Bath & Body Works -- which represents the vast majority of 2019 consolidated operating income -- to continue to achieve strong growth and receive its appropriate market valuation," Wexner said in a statement Thursday. "The transaction will also allow the company to reduce debt."

He added that they believe Victoria's Secret going private "provides the best path to restoring these businesses to their historic levels of growth and profitability."

Victoria's Secret will become a privately-held company majority-owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners. As part of the deal, Sycamore will purchase a 55% interest in Victoria's Secret for approximately $525 million, and L Brands will retain a 45% stake in the lingerie company.

Wexner, 82, has led L Brands since 1963. He will continue at the company in the non-executive role of chairman emeritus of the board.

In recent years, Wexner has come under fire for his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide while awaiting trial in a New York jail in August.

Wexner acknowledged his ties to Epstein during a call with investors in September, saying he was "embarrassed" by them. 

Management at Victoria's Secret has also courted controversy in recent years. L Brands' chief marketing officer Ed Razek stepped down in August 2019 after coming under fire for comments that he didn't want to cast transgender models in the fashion show because they might ruin its "fantasy" appeal.

The company also canceled broadcasting its once-iconic fashion shows in 2018.

Andrew Meslow, currently the COO of Bath and Body Works, has been promoted to the CEO of Bath and Body Works and will become the new CEO Of L Brands after the transaction is closed, the company said. Nick Coe, the current CEO of Bath and Body Works, has been named Vice Chairman of Bath and Body Works Brand Strategy and New Ventures.

"We are pleased to name Andrew as CEO of Bath & Body Works and have Nick step into this new, more focused role as the team propels the brand and business forward," Wexner said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rich Fury/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Like a lot of women, Drew Barrymore has obsessed over her weight.

However, in a candid Instagram post Wednesday, the former Santa Clarita Diet star revealed that after years of beating herself up over her body, she's finally found "that elusive B called BALANCE."

Admitting that she's "stood in my closet and just cried" while trying to pick out an outfit, she warned women -- particularly new mothers -- about comparing themselves to images of actresses on red carpets and magazine covers.

Looking good in public, she said, "takes so much."

"If I looked decent on anything I have done since I had my two kids, I have clawed my way there. You can too! However, it is hard to sustain and can take a lot of the joy out of life with food," she wrote. "I have to eat just right and Work my ass off! I cannot fight the fact that I have the propensity to be the Pillsbury dough boy! (Now all I can think about is crescent rolls) So DON’T Be fooled by what you see when people are thin right after baby."

Barrymore shared in her new post that becoming a mother gave her a new appreciation for her body, as the "single most important purpose for me being on this planet is for them." To stay in shape, she added, she works out with Marnie Alton, the founder of M/BODY barre studio in Los Angeles. And while her body isn't perfect, she added, "It's me."

Barrymore, 45, is the mother of two daughters with her ex-husband, Will Kopelman: Olive and Frankie, who are seven and five, respectively.  

"It is a true miracle I was able to have these two girls," Barrymore wrote. "So whatever the aftermath on my body, well bring it on!"

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 


welcomia/iStock(HANAU, Germany) -- A mass shooting in Germany that left 11 people dead, including the suspected gunman, appears to have been motivated by racist, right-wing extremist views, authorities said.

The massacre in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau erupted around 10 p.m. Wednesday at two hookah bars in the city of fewer than 100,000 people.

"Racism is poison, hatred is poison and this poison exists in society and it is to blame for far too many crimes," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday morning. "There are many indications at the moment that the perpetrator acted on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hatred towards people of other origins, religions and appearance."

The mass shooting follows a series of right-right extremist attacks in Germany, including one in October at a synagogue in Halle that left two people dead and the June assassination of pro-migrant politician Walter Lubcke by a suspect with right-wing links who confessed to the murder.

The killing rampage on Wednesday in Hanau was carried out by 43-year-old man authorities would only identify as Tobias R.

German federal prosecutors said Thursday that they are taking charge of the investigation.

Investigators are examining a video the suspect posted online in which he allegedly expressed right-wing conspiracy theories, German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank said at a news conference, along with writings.

"In addition to confused thoughts and conspiracy theories, [the video and writing] shows deeply racist attitudes," Frank said. "That is why I have taken over the investigation in this case."

Authorities cautioned that investigators have not established a clear link between the online videos and Wednesday's attack.

While German police said they believe the deceased suspect is the lone person responsible, federal investigators are looking into whether the suspect received support in the attack, adding that they are attempting to clarify the alleged gunman's background and contacts both in Germany and abroad.

Shots were fired at two separate hookah bars in Hanau, according to a statement from local authorities. The city is located about 15 miles east of Frankfurt.

Kemal Aydin, Turkey's ambassador to Berlin, told reporters that five Turkish nationals were among those killed.

The alleged perpetrator was later found dead at his home. It was there that police said they found another dead body, officials said.

Nine others died after incidents at the Kurt-Schumacher-Platz and Heumarkt areas.

Witness accounts said a vehicle fled the scene of the shootings, which led authorities to the alleged suspect's home.

The shooting comes less than three years after an 18-year-old gunman killed nine people at a shopping mall in Munich before taking his own life. Bavarian authorities said the July 2016 attack was "politically motivated" and said the teenage suspect had "radical right-wing and racist views."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Natalia Vavilina/iStock(MADISON, Ind.) -- Two teachers and three students from an Indiana high school have been hospitalized with suspected vaping-related illnesses.

Michael Gasaway, principal of Madison Consolidated High School (MCHS), said the teachers fell ill while monitoring an area in the school’s C-wing. They were taken to hospital as an apparently precautionary measure along with three other students who also displayed minor symptoms.

A vaping device was later discovered in a classroom close to where the illnesses occurred and an unnamed student is reportedly being disciplined by the school.

It’s not the first time MCHS has had a problem with e-cigarettes. Over a five-day stretch earlier this month, nine other students were taken to hospital with alleged vaping illnesses.

“In some cases, the students who were transported were treated because they were not breathing, their hearts had stopped beating,” said Resource Officer Tim Armstrong last week. “This is a very dangerous, potentially deadly situation."

That incident prompted a police investigation into the vaping devices and identified three chemicals potentially responsible for the hospitalizations. Further tests are currently underway at the Indiana State Department of Toxicology.

The Department of Homeland Security performed an air quality test after Tuesday’s hospitalizations, but Gasaway stated the results did not show anything of concern.

“We are not putting our heads in the sand," he told MCHS students in a letter. “We will continue to diligently investigate this matter and are committed to keeping this campus safe”. He pledged to “continue to battle” what he called “this ongoing, nationwide vaping epidemic,"

The news comes despite a $2 million anti-vaping campaign launched by the Indiana State Department last November. “Behind the Haze” is designed to curb the use of e-cigarettes by students and the program is targeting 32,000 students across 52 schools,

As of Feb. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that vaping-related lung injury has hospitalized a total of 2,758 people nationally and resulted in the deaths of 64.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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