How street demonstrators scored a victory against Poland’s government

Protesters shout slogans during a protest on Sunday in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw.

Janek Skarzynski, AFP/Getty ImagesProtesters shout slogans during a protest on Sunday in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw.

If an illiberal government — democratically elected, but determined to change the rules — tries to do something unconstitutional, what can the public do? What can the political opposition do? This is a dilemma we now know from several countries — Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, and possibly soon Greece. The prospects are pretty gloomy, as I’ve argued before, for those who want to stay within the bounds of the law.

One partial answer is peaceful street demonstrations, though that is a frustrating path. Most people don’t have time to stand in a crowd every day or every evening; the chants and speeches can be repetitive; and, more to the point, the government has no obligation to listen. The effort can seem pointless, and it often is — unless it can move the hearts and minds of the leaders of the ruling party. In Poland, over the past week, that’s exactly what just happened.

To briefly recap a complicated story: Poland’s nationalist government had already chalked up a series of constitutional violations and undemocratic decisions, including the politicization of public media, the army, the prosecutor’s office, the civil service and the constitutional tribunal. A few days ago, it passed three laws that would have allowed the current government to dissolve the Supreme Court, fire several dozen judges and replace them with those it preferred.

Mass demonstrations all over the country followed, every night for the past week, in all of the major cities and many small ones, too. Tens of thousands — probably hundreds of thousands — of people sang Pink Floyd, the national anthem and anti-communist protest songs from the 1980s. They stood in front of courthouses with candles. They chanted “Here is Poland,” …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

Former Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Irvin won’t be charged with sexual assault

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin will not be charged with sexual assault after Florida prosecutors said Monday that hotel video and other evidence aren’t sufficient to prove his accuser’s allegations.

Broward County Assistant State Attorney Christine Adler wrote in a report that without additional corroboration of the accuser’s account, prosecutors “would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual battery occurred.”

A 27-year-old woman accused Irvin of drugging and sexually assaulting her at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale in March. The 51-year-old Irvin, who lives in Texas, denied the allegations. Irvin, who settled a sexual assault lawsuit in 2011, is scheduled to have a Monday afternoon press conference. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007 and has worked as an analyst on the NFL Network.

According to Adler’s report, the accuser told investigators she had known Irvin for about seven years but they had a platonic relationship. The woman, whose name has been redacted, said she had texted the former University of Miami wide receiver a few weeks before their encounter and he told her he would be in Fort Lauderdale soon and would call her.

She said that on the day of their encounter, they agreed to meet at a bar at about 10:30 p.m., where she had two glasses of wine with Irvin, his friend who owned the bar and a friend of hers. She said about 2 a.m. the foursome went to another bar, where she had two more glasses of wine. She said that she, Irvin and his friend went back to Irvin’s hotel room. Irvin’s friend left shortly after.

She said she felt sick and thinks someone drugged her drink. She said she fell asleep on the room’s couch and woke up to Irvin on top of …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

Rachel Revealed Why The Fantasy Suite Was So Important On The Bachelorette

Spending the night with a new would-be partner can be a big relationship step. For current Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, she took that step with three suitors in the famous Bachelorette Fantasy Suite — and spilled to Entertainment Tonight about what it was like to reach that major milestone.

Fans already know that Rachel is engaged to one of the men from The Bachelorette, and now that we’re down to the final three — Peter, Bryan, and Eric are all vying for Rachel’s heart — we know that one of them will officially “put a ring on it.” However, before they do, we’ll see the trio meet with Rachel in the Fantasy Suite — meaning one will be spending the night with their soon-to-be bride.

As for Rachel, she told ET ‘s Lauren Zima that the Fantasy Suite meant a lot to her because it was one of the only times she could talk to the guys she’s dating sans camera.

“Fantasy suites were huge for me. I walked in with a list of questions I had. You can’t cover everything with the limited amount of time you have,” she explained to ET. “It’s the first time you have extended time with this person, for me, it’s like, if I’m taking the next step, I have a list of questions.”

She added:

“I need to see if the person is the same off camera that they are on camera… [Peter, Bryan, and Eric] were all the same.”

As for who she got intimate with? While Rachel didn’t confess any scandalous details to ET, she did tell Zima that she definitely “didn’t do it with everyone.”

Rachel realized the importance of the Fantasy Suite when she was a contestant on The Bachelor. Though her feelings for Nick Viall were strong, she told People that the …read more

Source:: Refinery29