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Opera legend Placido Domingo defends himself against sexual harassment claims

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Opera great Placido Domingo defended himself against multiple allegations of sexual harassment Tuesday, insisting that he believed all interactions and relationships throughout his long career “were always welcomed and consensual.”

In a report by the Associated Press, several accusers, one of whom was identified, accused Domingo of trying to use his position as one of opera’s most celebrated singers to pressure them into sexual relationships.

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Eight singers and a dancer told the news agency that they were sexually harassed in incidents going back to the 1980s. One said Domingo had put his hand down her skirt while three said he had forcibly kissed them.

Some said they felt their careers had been damaged by rejecting his advances.

“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate,” Domingo said in a statement sent to AFP via his publicist.

“Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable ? no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions,” he added.

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Spanish-born Domingo was one of the most recognized tenors of the 20th century, starring in the Three Tenors alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.

In recent years the long-time married singer has transformed himself into a baritone and still performs to packed audiences at the age of 78.

“I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone,” he said.

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“However, I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are ? and should be ? measured against today are very different than they were in the past.

“I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards,” he added.

Domingo has made more than 100 albums and picked up 14 Grammy awards. Earlier this year he celebrated his 4,000th performance in a career that stretches back 60 years.

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Domingo has spent most of his later career in the United States as director general of the Los Angeles opera.

The allegations against Domingo are the latest in a series of sexual harassment claims made against high-profile entertainment personalities, which have become known collectively as the #MeToo movement.

They have seen television icon Bill Cosby jailed, with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein awaiting the start of his trial next month.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

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Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

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Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

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President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

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Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

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Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

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