Fmr. Obama official arrested for harassing Muslim street vendor.
Fmr. NY Gov. Cuomo, NYC Mayor Adams, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jamie Foxx and Sean “Diddy” Combs sued for sex assault.
Hostages exchanged in Israel; IDF shoots Gazans attempting to return home during ceasefire.
Fmr. Obama official arrested for harassing Muslim street vendor
This week, shocking videos circulated of a man hurling vile abuse at an Egyptian worker at a street food kiosk in New York. On one occasion, the man asked the vendor “Did you rape your daughter like Mohammed did?”, referring to the prophet of Islam. On another, he taunted the vendor, saying “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what, it wasn’t enough”, referring to Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. The man also threatened the vendor by suggesting he’d be deported back to Egypt and that he and his family would be tortured.
It turns out the man in the video was Stuart Seldowitz, who served in the State Department during the Obama administration where he was deputy director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs.
Gotham Government Relations, a lobbying firm Seldowitz had been working for, immediately cut ties with Seldowitz. David Schwartz, Gotham’s founder and president said he was “absolutely outraged” by the video and offered to represent the vendor for free if he decided to sue Mr. Seldowitz. The vendor, identified as Mohamed Hussein, 24, has apparently decided to take Mr. Schwartz up on his offer.
Now the NYPD announced that Seldowitz has been arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including aggravated harassment, hate crime and stalking,
Fmr. NY Gov. Cuomo, NYC Mayor Adams, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jamie Foxx and Sean “Diddy” Combs sued for sex assault
The window closed yesterday for victims to file suit against perpetrators under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. The law opened a one-year window to file such cases even if the statutes of limitations had run out. The deadline sparked several high profile lawsuits this week against musicians Sean “Diddy” Combs (once known as Puff Daddy), who had three suits filed against him this month, and Guns N Roses front man Axl Rose; actors Jamie Foxx and Cuba Gooding, Jr., who has two suits; current New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and just today former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In the year that the Adult Survivors Act was in force, about 2,500 lawsuits were filed. One of the very first suits under the act was filed by E. Jean Carroll, who had previously accused former Pres. Trump of raping her at a Manhattan department store in the 1990s. Advocacy groups are calling for a similar law to be made permanent since short windows tend to favor clients who already have money to hire lawyers or who can argue for institutional liability, which might entice some firms to represent a client on a contingency basis.
Hostages exchanged in Israel; IDF shoots north Gazans returning home during ceasefire
Today, Hamas released 24 of the hostages taken on Oct. 7, including 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino national. Among them was an 85-year-old woman and children aged two, four, six and nine. Hostages were to be transferred to hospitals in Israel where children will be reunited with families and adults will be questioned by the IDF.
Israel also released 39 people (24 women and 15 teenaged boys) who had been held in administrative detention, a renewable form of military detention that affords detainees no due process.
As part of the deal, there is supposed to be a four-day ceasefire in Gaza to allow in humanitarian aid. The ceasefire may be extended if Hamas releases more hostages. However, Israeli officials say that they will resume fighting and that they will likely be bombing even more targets than before. According to Euro Med Monitor, the IDF has killed 20,031 people in Gaza of whom 18,460 were civilians. Among them were 4,112 women and 8,176 children.
When the ceasefire began today, many civilians who had been forced to evacuate from north Gaza to south Gaza attempted to return home. The IDF shot them, killing two and wounding eleven others.