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Scottish actor Alan Cumming said on Friday he had returned a UK state honor in protest at the "toxicity" of the British Empire, 14 years after receiving the award.
Cumming, who is largely US-based, was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2009 in recognition of his acting and his work for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.
But he said he had reflected further on the role of the monarchy after the death last year of Queen Elizabeth II.
That refection, "and especially the way the British Empire profited at the expense (and death) of indigenous peoples across the world really opened my eyes", Cumming said in an Instagram post marking his 58th birthday.
Gay rights had advanced meanwhile in the United States, and any benefit from the award was "now less potent than the misgivings I have being associated with the toxicity of empire", Cumming said.
"So, I returned my award, explained my reasons and reiterated my great gratitude for being given it in the first place. I'm now back to being plain old Alan Cumming again. Happy birthday to me!"
The queen's death also forced a reckoning for Welsh actor Michael Sheen, who handed back his OBE late last year and urged an end to the heir to the British crown being named prince of Wales.
Further back, Beatles songwriter John Lennon returned his MBE medal -- which ranks below an OBE -- in 1969 in protest at UK involvement in a Nigerian civil war and its support for the US war in Vietnam.
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With his trial scheduled to start on Monday, former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro was given a reprieve in federal court on Friday to allow his lawyers to bolster their claims of executive privilege.
CNN is reporting that attorneys for the former Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under Trump were given a hand to firm up their case while prosecutors were instructed to dig deeper into guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel on if Navarro is exempt from prosecution for defying a congressional subpoena.
During the time before both sides need to report back to the court, the former White House officials have to weigh the risks of putting him on the stand if the trial proceeds.
As CNN's Tierney Sneed reported, "With the questions [US District Judge Amit] Mehta is raising about executive privilege, the Justice Department has been put on the spot to clarify its murky interpretations about the scope of presidential immunity."
"On Friday, prosecutors Elizabeth Aloi and John Crabb tried to skirt around Mehta’s hypotheticals about whether such an immunity would have applied to Navarro had he had been given a directive, as the time House January 6 committee demanded his participation in its probe, that Trump was invoking privilege in response to the subpoena," the CNN report states.
Mehta admonished the prosecutors that “it seems to me you ought to have some pretty clear lines before you prosecute someone.”
The judge later added, "You can’t ask someone to parse these OLC opinions the way that you’re suggesting.”
Of concern to Navarro's lawyers, should the trial move on with Mehta's approval, is whether they will allow their client -- known for his outbursts -- to take the stand in his defense.
"Even as they welcomed the delay and the opportunity for more briefing, Navarro’s lawyers were vague on what kind of evidence they would seek to present if given the chance to raise the defense that there had been an invocation of privilege," Sneed reported.
Navarro attorney Stan Woodward reportedly expressed reservations and refused to say if he would call his client to testify, "given the risks that would come with a cross-examination from prosecutors," and joked he would be “... calling my malpractice carrier before I put Navarro on the stand.”
As Business Insider reports, Trump's lawyers claimed this week that the Trump Organization is not an actual business in the traditional sense but is rather a "branding shorthand" that is immune to civil litigation.
"To the extent a response is required, Defendant specifically denies the definitions of 'Trump Organization' and 'Defendants,'" the attorneys argued in their filing. "While the shorthand 'Trump Organization' is utilized by Defendants for branding and business purposes, no entity as such exists for legal purposes."
According to Business Insider, the attorneys make reference to this argument multiple times throughout their 300-page filing, which suggests that convincing a judge that there is no such thing as the Trump Organization is a central tenet of their current defense strategy.
The report goes on to note that this strategy, while certainly creative, might run into some problems given a close examination of the language used in James' lawsuit.
"New York's lawsuit does not specifically sue anything called 'Trump Organization,'" Business Insider writes. "New York's lawsuit names Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, former company CFO Allen Weisselberg and its former payroll executive Jeffrey McConney. It also names 10 entities under the Trump Organization umbrella — including 'The Trump Organization, Inc.,' a registered corporation in New York since 1981."