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Republic of Ireland Education

James (Jon) Castle - 7 December 1950 to 12 January 2018

Over four decades Captain Jon Castle navigated Greenpeace ships by the twin stars of ‘right and wrong’, defending the environment and promoting peace. Greenpeace chronicler, Rex Weyler, recounts a few of the stories that made up an extraordinary life.

Captain Jon Castle onboard the MV Sirius, 1 May 1996

James (Jon) Castle first opened his eyes virtually at sea. He was born 7 December 1950 in Cobo Bay on the Channel Island of Guernsey, UK. He grew up in a house known locally as Casa del Mare, the closest house on the island to the sea, the second son of Robert Breedlove Castle and Mary Constance Castle. 

Young Jon Castle loved the sea and boats. He worked on De Ile de Serk, a cargo boat that supplied nearby Sark island, and he studied at the University of Southampton to become an officer in the Merchant Navy. 

Jon became a beloved skipper of Greenpeace ships. He sailed on many campaigns and famously skippered two ships during Greenpeace’s action against Shell’s North Sea oil platform, Brent Spar. During his activist career, Jon spelt his name as "Castel" to avoid unwanted attention on his family.

Right and wrong

Jon had two personal obsessions: he loved books and world knowledge and was extremely well-read.  He also loved sacred sites and spent personal holidays walking to stone circles, standing stones, and holy wells.  

As a young man, Jon became acquainted with the Quaker tradition, drawn by their dedication to peace, civil rights, and direct social action. In 1977, when Greenpeace purchased their first ship - the Aberdeen trawler renamed, the Rainbow Warrior - Jon signed on as first mate, working with skipper Peter Bouquet and activists Susi Newborn, Denise Bell and Pete Wilkinson.

In 1978, Wilkinson and Castle learned of the British government dumping radioactive waste at sea in the deep ocean trench off the coast of Spain in the Sea of Biscay. In July, the Rainbow Warrior followed the British ship, Gem, south from the English coast, carrying a load of toxic, radioactive waste barrels. The now-famous confrontation during which the Gem crew dropped barrels onto a Greenpeace inflatable boat, ultimately changed maritime law and initiated a ban on toxic dumping at sea.

After being arrested by Spanish authorities, Castle and Bouquet staged a dramatic escape from La Coru?a harbour at night, without running lights, and returned the Greenpeace ship to action. Crew member Simone Hollander recalls, as the ship entered Dublin harbour in 1978, Jon cheerfully insisting that the entire crew help clean the ship's bilges before going ashore, an action that not only built camaraderie among the crew, but showed a mariner's respect for the ship itself. In 1979, they brought the ship to Amsterdam and participated in the first Greenpeace International meeting.

In 1980 Castle and the Rainbow Warrior crew confronted Norwegian and Spanish whaling ships, were again arrested by Spanish authorities, and brought into custody in the El Ferrol naval base.

The Rainbow Warrior remained in custody for five months, as the Spanish government demanded 10 million pesetas to compensate the whaling company. On the night of November 8, 1980, the Rainbow Warrior, with Castle at the helm, quietly escaped the naval base, through the North Atlantic, and into port in Jersey.

In 1995, Castle skippered the MV Greenpeace during the campaign against French nuclear testing in the Pacific and led a flotilla into New Zealand to replace the original Rainbow Warrior that French agents bombed in Auckland in 1985.

Over the years, Castle became legendary for his maritime skills, courage, compassion, commitment, and for his incorruptible integrity. "Environmentalism: That does not mean a lot to me," he once said, "I am here because of what is right and wrong. Those words are good enough for me."

Brent Spar   Action at Brent Spar Oil Rig in the North Sea, 16 June 1995

One of the most successful Greenpeace campaigns of all time began in the summer of 1995 when Shell Oil announced a plan to dump a floating oil storage tank, containing toxic petroleum residue, into the North Atlantic. Castle signed on as skipper of the Greenpeace vessel Moby Dick, out of Lerwick, Scotland. A month later, on 30 April 1995, Castle and other activists occupied the Brent Spar and called for a boycott of Shell service stations.

When Shell security and British police sprayed the protesters with water cannons, images flooded across world media, demonstrations broke out across Europe, and on May 15, at the G7 summit, German chancellor Helmut Kohl publicly protested to British Prime Minister John Major. In June, 11 nations, at the Oslo and Paris Commission meetings, called for a moratorium on sea disposal of offshore installations.

After three weeks, British police managed to evict Castle and the other occupiers and held them briefly in an Aberdeen jail. When Shell and the British government defied public sentiment and began towing the Spar to the disposal site, consumers boycotted Shell stations across Europe. Once released, Castle took charge of the chartered Greenpeace vessel Altair and continued to pursue the Brent Spar towards the dumping ground. Castle called on the master of another Greenpeace ship, fitted with a helideck, to alter course and rendezvous with him. Using a helicopter, protesters re-occupied the Spar and cut the wires to the detonators of scuppering charges.

One of the occupiers, young recruit Eric Heijselaar, recalls: "One of the first people I met as I climbed on board was a red-haired giant of a man grinning broadly at us. My first thought was that he was a deckhand, or maybe the bosun. So I asked if he knew whether a cabin had been assigned to me yet. He gave me a lovely warm smile, and reassured me that, yes, a cabin had been arranged. At dinner I found out that he was Jon Castle, not a deckhand, not the bosun, but the captain. And what a captain!"

With activists occupying the Spar once again, Castle and the crew kept up their pursuit when suddenly the Spar altered course, heading towards Norway. Shell had given up. The company announced that Brent Spar would be cleaned out and used as a foundation for a new ferry terminal. Three years later, in 1998, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) passed a ban on dumping oil installations into the North Sea.

"There was no question among the crew who had made this possible, who had caused this to happen," Heijselaar recalls. "It was Jon Castle. His quiet enthusiasm and the trust he put into people made this crew one of the best I ever saw. He always knew exactly what he wanted out of a campaign, how to gain momentum, and he always found the right words to explain his philosophies. He was that rare combination, both a mechanic and a mystic. And above all he was a very loving, kind human being."


After the Brent Spar campaign, Castle returned to the South Pacific on the Rainbow Warrior II, to obstruct a proposed French nuclear test in the Moruroa atoll. Expecting the French to occupy their ship, Castle and engineer, Luis Manuel Pinto da Costa, rigged the steering mechanism to be controlled from the crow's-nest. When French commandos boarded the ship, Castle stationed himself in the crow's-nest, cut away the access ladder and greased the mast so that the raiders would have difficulty arresting him.

Eventually, the commandos cut a hole into the engine-room and severed cables controlling the engine, radio, and steering mechanism, making Castle's remote control system worthless. They towed the Rainbow Warrior II to the island of Hao, as three other protest vessels arrived. 

Three thousand demonstrators gathered in the French port of Papeete, demanding that France abandon the tests. Oscar Temaru - leader of Tavini Huiraatira, an anti-nuclear, pro-independence party - who had been aboard the Rainbow Warrior II when it was raided, welcomed anti-testing supporters from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Philippines, and American Samoa. Eventually, France ended their tests, and atmospheric nuclear testing in the world's oceans stopped once and for all.

“Moral courage”

Through these extraordinary missions, Jon Castle advocated "self-reflection" not only for individual activists, but for the organisation that he loved. Activists, Castle maintained, required "moral courage." He cautioned, "Don't seek approval. Someone has to be way out in front... illuminating territory in advance of the main body of thought."

He opposed "corporatism" in activist organisations and urged Greenpeace to avoid becoming "over-centralised or compartmentalised."  He felt that activist decisions should emerge from the actions themselves, not in an office. We can't fight industrialism with "money, numbers, and high-tech alone," he once wrote in a personal manifesto. Organisations have to avoid traps of "self-perpetuation" and focus on the job "upsetting powerful forces, taking on multinationals and the military-industrial complex."

He recalled that Greenpeace had become popular "because a gut message came through to the thirsty hearts of poor suffering people ... feeling the destruction around them."  Activists, Castle felt, required "freedom of expression, spontaneity [and] an integrated lifestyle."  An activist organisation should foster a "feeling of community" and exhibit "moral courage." Castle felt that social change activists had to "question the materialistic, consumerist lifestyle that drives energy overuse, the increasingly inequitable world economic tyranny that creates poverty and drives environmental degradation," and must maintain "honour, courage and the creative edge."

Well loved hero

Susi Newborn, who was there to welcome Jon aboard the Rainbow Warrior way back in 1977, and who gave the ship its name, wrote about her friend with whom she felt "welded at the heart: He was a Buddhist and a vegetarian and had an earring in his ear. He liked poetry and classical music and could be very dark, but also very funny. Once, I cut his hair as he downed a bottle or two of rum reciting The Second Coming by Yeats."

Newborn recalls Castle insisting that women steer the ships in and out of port because, "they got it right, were naturals." She recalls a night at sea, Castle "lashed to the wheel facing one of the biggest storms of last century head on. I was flung about my cabin like a rag doll until I passed out. We never talked about the storm, as if too scared to summon up the behemoth we had encountered. A small handwritten note pinned somewhere in the mess, the sole acknowledgment of a skipper to his six-person crew: ‘Thank You.’” Others remember Castle as the Greenpeace captain that could regularly be found in the galley doing kitchen duty.

In 2008, with the small yacht Musichana, Castle and Pete Bouquet staged a two-man invasion of Diego Garcia island to protest the American bomber base there and the UK's refusal to allow evicted Chagos Islanders to return to their homes. They anchored in the lagoon and radioed the British Indian Ocean Territories officials on the island to tell them they and the US Air Force were acting in breach of international law and United Nations resolutions. When arrested, Castle politely lectured his captors on their immoral and illegal conduct.

In one of his final actions, as he battled with his failing health, Castle helped friends in Scotland operate a soup kitchen, quietly prepping food and washing up behind the scenes.  

Upon hearing of his passing, Greenpeace ships around the world - the Arctic Sunrise, the Esperanza, and the Rainbow Warrior - flew their flags at half mast.

Jon is fondly remembered by his brother David, ex-wife Caroline, their son, Morgan Castle, born in 1982, and their daughter, Eowyn Castle, born in 1984. Morgan has a daughter of eight months Flora, and and Eowyn has a daughter, Rose, who is 2.   

On Wednesday morning, sexual assault survivors all over the world sighed a breath of relief after a Manhattan judge declared that former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — convicted of rape and a forcible sexual act — would be sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Inside the Manhattan courtroom, the group of six women who accused Weinstein of assault and testified during the months-long trial — Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young — embraced one another in tears as they heard that Weinstein would be behind bars for close to the maximum possible sentence. And on the opposite coast, mornings were punctuated by the ping-ping-ping of notifications from survivor group texts containing all-caps messages expressing joy and victory.

“I had just got out of the shower and I was like, ‘What the heck?'” Weinstein silence breaker Louise Godbold told TheWrap in Los Angeles, where she was in the midst of hosting an annual conference for Echo, an organization that specializes in education about trauma and empowering survivors. “I was pleasantly surprised that he got 23 years because, first of all, he deserved every single one of those years.”

Before Wednesday, accusers said they were anxiously awaiting the sentencing decision: Would Weinstein be allowed to spend the minimum sentence of five years in prison, as his attorneys had requested, because he was a first-time offender and because of his poor health? Or would the judge take into consideration the numerous accusations against Weinstein when determining the producer’s sentencing?

To many accusers’ relief, the judge did the latter.

“I will say, although this is a first conviction, it is not a first offense,” Justice James Burke said in his 15th-floor courtroom.

Lauren Young, Jessica Mann, and Dawn Dunning walk out of the courthouse after Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 23 years in prison. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

For actress and Voices in Action co-founder Caitlin Dulany, who said Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the winter of 1996, the near “symmetry” of the sentencing length and the years since her assault was not lost on her.

“Harvey Weinstein will probably — will spend the rest of his life in [prison],” Dulany said, before pausing. “It’s heavy but just.”

“There’s this idea how difficult it is to see justice for sexual assault victims, particularly of a powerful man like him. So anything less would have felt a little bit like his influence and power had played a part in it,” Dulany continued. “It’s really a new day for survivors of sexual assault. … It’s a new reality and a new world. And we all did this by speaking out.”

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein Gets an Ending Even He Couldn't Have Scripted

Weinstein’s sentencing, in many ways, is the end of a long chapter for the more than 100 women who have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, harassment and other forms of misconduct.

“Knowing that you’ve been sexually assaulted, knowing that so many people have, knowing that there’s nothing that can be done, everyone through the years tells you, ‘I’m sorry that happened but what can you do,’ you feel like [you’re] on one side of it forever, which is the side of defeat,” actress and silence breaker Katherine Kendall told TheWrap. “And now, there’s this new path opened, which is the side of victory. And I feel like people can step over into victory now. A road has been paved.”

Thus, the producer’s sentencing also serves as the beginning of a new chapter and a reminder of all the change that still needs to happen both within Hollywood and outside of it. But the cultural progress that has already begun — evidenced, in part, by how the Manhattan jury convicted Weinstein based on the testimonies of the women and the emergence of laws and workplace policies designed to help protect employees and empower potential victims of sexual harassment — cannot be understated.

And the precedent set by Weinstein’s conviction and sentencing has “changed the game” for survivors of sexual violence and set a new precedent for how victims can seek justice through the law, said Jessica Barth, an actress, Weinstein silence breaker, and co-founder of Voices in Action.

“I feel like not enough of these cases get prosecuted and that the standards that they are held to are unreasonable,” Barth said. “I hope that prosecutors understand that this is a new era and a new day. Juries will convict serial predators and victims are being believed.”

Also Read: How Harvey Weinstein's Guilty Verdict Could Shape the Future of #MeToo Cases

Within the criminal justice system, Godbold — a trauma specialist — said that there is more work to be done to minimize the amount of retraumatization done to survivors of sexual assault who seek justice through the law.

“That is an unavoidable flaw that you probably will have to tell it a couple of times,” Godbold acknowledged. But what can be avoided, she said, is educating investigators and attorneys to be more trauma-informed in the way they do their work — work that she said is already happening in countries like Ireland and Canada.

For example, that education could begin with a better understanding of how the brain processes traumatic events and how the recall of those events is affected by that trauma, Godbold said.

“For the first 72 hours, your stress hormones are in your body, and you’re probably in ‘survival brain.’ And so the higher part of your brain, which includes being able to have chronological memory, it’s not online,” Godbold said. “So not understanding that, defense lawyers have been able to make a lot of, ‘She said this, and then she said that, and she’s changing her story.’ And the truth is that you’re not going to have a good recall — it’s going to be fragmented, at the beginning.”

“Even understanding that would at least allow the sexual assault survivors to feel like they were being believed, rather than being disparaged for an inability to create a coherent timeline,” she added.

Also Read: LA District Attorney Begins Harvey Weinstein's Extradition Process for 2nd Trial

In the entertainment industry — and any other industry, for that matter — still remains the mountain of shifting how power is wielded over others and, in some cases, abused to devastating effect.

“This was a man that really worked his entire career to manipulate people, intimidate people, scare people. That was what made him so dangerous,” Lauren Sivan, a reporter and silence breaker who said Weinstein exposed himself to her, told TheWrap. “If he didn’t have the power, if he didn’t run Hollywood, if he wasn’t who he was, I don’t know that he would have been able to rack up as many victims as he did.”

Another Weinstein silence breaker, actress Larissa Gomes, said that bystanders should also feel emboldened to speak up if they witness sexual misconduct taking place and unions should ensure they allow their members to have places to report behavior without fear of retribution. Further, children working in the business who are often the most vulnerable need to be protected from sexual abuse, Gomes added.

Gomes also acknowledged that the “strong message” sent by Weinstein’s sentencing and the broader #MeToo movement might be confusing for some men in the industry.

“I’ve heard some people talking about, ‘How am I supposed to comport myself now? I feel scared that I might say something wrong or do something,'” Gomes said. “Well, it’s quite simple. Everyone just wants to feel safe in their work environment. Treat people with respect, and that’s it.”

“There’s this new path opened, which is the side of victory. And I feel like people can step over into victory now. A road has been paved,” said actress and silence breaker Katherine Kendall

All this is to say that the ripple of the Weinstein story — from when the alleged assaults took place, to when the first stories were broken by the New York Times and the New Yorker, to his criminal trial and verdict, and, now, to his 23-year prison sentence — will likely not still for a long while.

“So many people worked to get this day to happen,” Kendall said. “That’s how change happens, is these little increments, and then it looks like it’s one big change, but it was little things along the way, and I think it’s going to take a lot of people still working at it. And then one day, hopefully, it will be different.”

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The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced on Monday the lineup for the 35th edition, which will run January 15 to 25, 2020. The festival will feature 47 world premieres and 71 U.S. premieres from 50 countries, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions and free community education and outreach programs.

SBIFF 2020 will start with the Opening Night Film on Wednesday, January 15, at the historic Arlington Theatre with the U.S. Premiere of “A Bump Along The Way” directed by Shelly Love and starring Bronagh Gallagher, Lola Petticrew, Mary Moulds, Dan Gordon and Brendan Farrell.

“A Bump Along The Way” is female-led, feel-good, comedy drama set in Derry, Northern Ireland, about a middle-aged woman whose unexpected pregnancy after a one-night stand acts as the catalyst for her to finally take control of her life and become the role model her teenage daughter needs and craves.

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver to Receive Performers of the Year Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival

For the festival’s Closing Night Film on Saturday, January 25, they will put the spotlight on Santa Barbara to highlight a series of short documentaries by local filmmakers. This distinctive selection of films covers a range of iconic people and places in the Santa Barbara area including immigrant farm workers, an aging bronc rider, a female cyclist that defied all odds, backpackers exploring the Los Padres National Forest, artists documenting the breathtaking landscapes of the Carrizo Plain, and a celebrated local guitarist who performs in parking garages and public spaces throughout downtown Santa Barbara. The Closing Night Film is sponsored by Winchester Mystery House.

The festival will also present tributes to a number of awards contenders including, Renée Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern and Brad Pitt.

22 WORLD PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)

Amazing Grace, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Lynn Montgomery

Americaville, USA, China – World Premiere

Directed by Adam Smith

Bastard’s Road, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Brian Morrison

Born in a Ballroom, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Clara Lehmann and Jonathan Lacocque

By Hand, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Kellen Keene

The Delicacy, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jason Wise

Exploring the Pacific Northwest, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ian A. Nelson

Faith Based, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Vincent Masciale

The Lafayette Escadrille, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Darroch Greer

Man in the Field: The Life and Art of Jim Denevan, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Patrick Trefz

Medicating Normal, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Lynn Cunningham and Wendy Ractliffe

Mentors – Tony and Santi, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Andrew Davis

The Mustangs: An American Story, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Steven Latham

The Naturemakers, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Scott Saunders

The Night, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Kourosh Ahari

The Oratorio, USA, Italy – World Premiere

Directed by Mary Anne Rothberg

Overland, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Elisabeth Haviland James and Revere La Noue

The Prison Within, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Katherin Hervey

The Restoration (La restauracion), Peru – World Premiere

Directed by Alonso Llosa

Sergio Mendes in the Key of Joy!, UK – World Premiere

Directed by John Scheinfeld

Tell My Story, USA – World Premiere

Directed by David Freid

A Worm in the Heart, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Paul Rice

For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit or the SBIFF app.

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The disqualification of Nigeria’s “Lionheart” in the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category is not a case of the Academy being unfair to Nigeria.

Instead, it’s a case of the Nigerian committee that submitted the film not following clear rules in the category.

And the people who are now lobbying for those rules to be changed may be inadvertently advocating for a category in which a non-U.S.-produced film like “The Favourite” might have won last year and “The King’s Speech,” “Dunkirk,” “The Theory of Everything” and lots more English-language movies would be nominees and likely winners.

That’s a category that would really push out countries like Nigeria.

Also Read: Academy Disqualifies Nigeria's Oscar Entry 'Lionheart'

If the minor tempest that followed Monday’s disqualification — a tempest that included a tweet from director Ava DuVernay and expressions of support from her followers — shows anything, it’s that the Academy might have moved too hastily when it changed the name of the category earlier this year from its former name, Best Foreign Language Film.

In trying to avoid the loaded word foreign and recognize that the Academy is an international organization, it may have muddied the waters and set up an expectation that language is no longer a factor in determining eligibility for the category.

But that’s not true. The category’s rules didn’t change, and they spell it out clearly, defining an international feature film as one “produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

“Lionheart” is partially in the Igbo language, but it is mostly in English, which is the official language of Nigeria.

Also Read: Ava DuVernay Calls Out Academy for Disqualifying Nigeria's First Oscar Submission

Diane Weyermann, the co-chair of the International Feature Film Award Executive Committee, told TheWrap that the category name was changed because “there are now political connotations to the word foreign. These filmmakers are not foreigners — these are our peers in the international film community.”

Her co-chair, Larry Karaszewski, added that the tipping point came when Alfonso Cuarón accepted the foreign-language Oscar for “Roma” in February and talked about how he’d grown up loving foreign-language films … like “Jaws,” “Citizen Kane” and “The Godfather.”

“It was so obvious,” Karaszewski said. “I think Diane and I looked at each other and said, ‘You know, we’re supposed to be in charge here. We could actually do something about this.'”

But the name change, which was announced last April, did not change the rules for qualifying in the category. Except for the United States, countries in which English is the official language are free to submit films, provided those films are not in English.

Also Read: Oscars International Race 2019: Complete List of Films

This year, for instance, the U.K. submitted Chiwetel Ejiofor’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” which is set in Malawi and is largely in the Chicewa language (along with a fair amount of English); Ireland submitted “Gaza,” a documentary set on the Gaza Strip with predominantly Arabic dialogue; and Australia submitted “Buoyancy,” in which the main languages are Khmer and Thai.

But if the disqualification of “Lionheart” was a simple case of the Academy responding to a clear rules violation (which the Nigerian submission committee now acknowledges), there are ways in which AMPAS could have handled it better.

For one thing, it could have moved more quickly. In the past, the executive committee has often checked on the eligibility of films before the list of qualifying films is announced. But this year, even though three or four films clearly needed further vetting, with “Lionheart” at the top of that list, it did not do so until after the film had been announced as a contender and placed on the Academy’s screening schedule.

Also Read: Oscars Shake Up Voting in the Best International Feature Film Category

I watched it on Netflix before the announcement of eligible films had been made and turned it off after an hour because it so clearly wouldn’t qualify — and then, when it did make the list, I watched the rest of it and knew it would only be a matter of time before it was eliminated from contention.

Obviously it’s difficult to vet submissions from 93 different countries, but “Lionheart” had red flags from the start and should never have gotten as far as it did.

And then there’s the matter of that category name. Yes, Best International Feature Film is a more inclusive title, without the U.S.-centric feel of Best Foreign Language Film. But by taking the subject of a film’s language out of the title, it allows the mistaken impression that maybe language is no longer a determining factor.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards’ comparable category is called Best International Feature, but it allows English-language films to compete: “The Favourite” was a nominee last year and “Lady Macbeth” the year before, while past winners have included “The King’s Speech,” “An Education” and “Once.”

The Academy clearly doesn’t want to go down that road, which is possible at the Spirit Awards because those films aren’t eligible in the Best Feature category.

Meanwhile, the British Academy Film Awards, handed out by BAFTA, have what might be the most accurate category title, Best Film Not in the English Language.

That’s awfully clunky, but it’s an accurate description of what the BAFTA category and the Oscar category are intended to be. And it’s an accurate description of why “Lionheart” deserved to be disqualified.

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During a speech at Brown University on Monday, New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger told a story about an Egypt-based Times reporter nearly getting arrested in August 2017.

President Trump’s administration’s intended to “sit on the information” rather than intervening, Sulzberger said.

Here is what Sulzberger said about the incident and its precedent in full:

Two years ago, we got a call from a United States government official warning us of the imminent arrest of a New York Times reporter based in Egypt named Declan Walsh. Though the news was alarming, the call was actually fairly standard. Over the years, we’ve received countless such warnings from American diplomats, military leaders and national security officials.

But this particular call took a surprising and distressing turn. We learned the official was passing along this warning without the knowledge or permission of the Trump administration. Rather than trying to stop the Egyptian government or assist the reporter, the official believed, the Trump administration intended to sit on the information and let the arrest be carried out. The official feared being punished for even alerting us to the danger.

Walsh, who is currently the Cairo bureau chief for the Times, was not arrested, according to Sulzberger, who lamented that the Times was “unable to count on our own government to prevent the arrest or help free Declan if he were imprisoned.” Instead, diplomats from Walsh’s home country of Ireland were able to escort him to an airport.

Also Read: New York Times en Español Shuts Down

“Unable to count on our own government to prevent the arrest or help free Declan if he were imprisoned,” he said.

A representative for the White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

On Twitter, Walsh reacted to Sulzberger telling the story publicly for the first time and subsequently publishing his remarks as an article. Walsh wrote, “The incident occurred in August 2017 after @NYTmag published my story about Giulio Regeni, an Italian student found dead in Cairo. Italy accuses Egypt of involvement, and Egypt denies. It’s a sensitive issue.”

“I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t received that timely warning. Possibly nothing, and possibly a major problem. The workings of Egypt’s security apparatus are notoriously opaque under Mr. el-Sisi, even to Egypt experts,” he added. “Lastly, I owe a belated thanks an Irish diplomat who rushed to help in a tight spot. He was cool, swift and fearless. And to someone in Washington who took a risk to reach out.”

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Instagram has expanded hiding “likes” to six new countries, months after the Facebook-owned app launched its initial test in Canada.

On Wednesday, Instagram rolled out the test in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. Users will still be able to see how many like their posts get, but when someone else goes to their post, the total number of likes will be absent.

“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” Facebook director Mia Garlick told the BBC.

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The larger test comes only a few months after Instagram head Adam Mosseri told BuzzFeed News the company wants users to focus less on their like counts. Mosseri said he wanted to create “a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” rather than an environment where people delete posts that don’t rack up enough likes.

The test also comes as there’s mounting evidence likes are detrimental to mental health.

A 2017 study from the U.K. Royal Society for Public Health reported Instagram was the social app most detrimental to mental health for people 14-24, often exacerbating their depression, anxiety or body image issues. Instagram in particular makes young women “compare themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered and Photoshopped versions of reality,” the report said.

“The brain responds to likes like any other reward or thing that excites the brain like food, sex or gambling,” Cal State University professor Ofir Turel  recently told TheWrap. “When you get likes, the reward system lights up and releases dopamine, making us feel good.”

Also Read: Tech Execs on How to Balance What's Good for Society and Shareholder Obligations

That good feeling can become fleeting, though, as users get hooked on checking their phones for social validation after posting a picture or video. Turel, who has studied the impact of social media on the brain for more than a decade, said users habitually check their phones — including 40% of Americans while driving — because Instagram and other platforms have created a “variable reward,” something best associated with betting in a casino.

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