Pierce Brosnan, whose fictitious movie character James Bond has been in hot water plenty of times, is now facing heat in real life, charged with stepping out of bounds in a thermal area during a recent visit to Yellowstone National Park.
Brosnan walked in an off-limits area at Mammoth Terraces, in the northern part of Yellowstone near the Wyoming-Montana line, on Nov. 1, according to two federal citations issued Tuesday.
Brosnan, 70, is scheduled for a mandatory court appearance on Jan. 23 in the courtroom of the world’s oldest national park. The Associated Press sent a request for comment to his Instagram account Thursday, and email messages to his agent and attorney.
Yellowstone officials declined to comment. Brosnan was in the park on a personal visit and not for film work, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Wyoming said.
Mammoth Terraces is a scenic spot of mineral-encrusted hot springs bubbling from a hillside. They’re just some of the park’s hundreds of thermal features, which range from spouting geysers to gurgling mud pots, with water at or near the boiling point.
Going out-of-bounds in such areas can be dangerous: Some of the millions of people who visit Yellowstone each year get badly burned by ignoring warnings not to stray off the trail.
Getting caught can bring legal peril too, with jail time, hefty fines and bans from the park handed down to trespassers regularly.
In addition to his four James Bond films, Brosnan starred in the 1980s TV series “Remington Steele” and is known for starring roles in the films “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, was remembered Monday as a trailblazer who never lost sight of how the high court’s decisions affected all Americans.
O’Connor, an Arizona native who was an unwavering voice of moderate conservatism for more than two decades, died Dec. 1 at age 93. Mourners at the court on Monday included Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman to serve in her role, and her husband Doug Emhoff.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke at a private ceremony that included the nine justices and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, as well as O’Connor’s family and court colleagues.
She would often say, ‘It was good to be the first, but I don’t want to be the last,’” Sotomayor said of O’Connor’s distinction as the first woman. She lived to see a record four women serving on the high court.
“For the four us, and for so many others of every background and aspiration, Sandra was a living example that women could take on any challenge, could more than hold their own in any spaces dominated by men and could do so with grace,” Sotomayor said.
O’Connor’s body lay in repose after her casket was carried up the court steps with her seven grandchildren serving as honorary pallbearers. It passed under the iconic words engraved on the pediment, “Equal Justice Under Law,” before being placed in the court’s Great Hall for the public to pay their respects.
Funeral services are set for Tuesday at Washington National Cathedral, where President Joe Biden and Chief Justice John Roberts are scheduled to speak.
O’Connor was nominated in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate, ending 191 years of male exclusivity on the high court. A rancher’s daughter who was largely unknown on the national scene until her appointment, she received more letters than any other member in the court’s history in her first year and would come to be referred to by commentators as the nation’s most powerful woman.
O’Connor had “an extraordinary understanding of the American people,” and never lost sight of how high court rulings affected ordinary Americans, Sotomayor said.
She was also instrumental in bringing the justices together with regular lunches, barbecues and trips to the theater. “She understood that personal relationships are critical to working together,” the justice said.
X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has threatened to sue a group of independent researchers whose research documented an increase in hate speech on the site since it was purchased last year by Elon Musk.
An attorney representing the social media site wrote to the Center for Countering Digital Hate on July 20 threatening legal action over the nonprofit’s research into hate speech and content moderation. The letter alleged that CCDH’s research publications seem intended “to harm Twitter’s business by driving advertisers away from the platform with incendiary claims.”
Musk is a self-professed free speech absolutist who has welcomed back white supremacists and election deniers to the platform, which he renamed X earlier this month. But the billionaire has at times proven sensitive about critical speech directed at him or his companies.
The center is a nonprofit with offices in the U.S. and United Kingdom. It regularly publishes reports on hate speech, extremism or harmful behavior on social media platforms like X, TikTok or Facebook.
The organization has published several reports critical of Musk’s leadership, detailing an increase in anti-LGBTQ hate speech as well as climate misinformation since his purchase. The letter from X’s attorney cited one specific report from June that found the platform failed to remove neo-Nazi and anti-LGBTQ content from verified users that violated the platform’s rules.
In the letter, attorney Alex Spiro questioned the expertise of the researchers and accused the center of trying to harm X’s reputation. The letter also suggested, without evidence, that the center received funds from some of X’s competitors, even though the center has also published critical reports about TikTok, Facebook and other large platforms.
“CCDH intends to harm Twitter’s business by driving advertisers away from the platform with incendiary claims,” Spiro wrote, using the platform’s former name.
Imran Ahmed, the center’s founder and CEO, told the AP on Monday that his group has never received a similar response from any tech company, despite a history of studying the relationship between social media, hate speech and extremism. He said that typically, the targets of the center’s criticism have responded by defending their work or promising to address any problems that have been identified.
Native American nations say the Supreme Court’s rejection of a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act has reaffirmed their power to withstand threats from state governments.
They say the case conservative groups raised on behalf of four Native American children was a stalking horse for legal arguments that could have broadly weakened tribal and federal authority.
“It’s a big win for all of us, a big win for Indian Country. And it definitely strengthens our sovereignty, strengthens our self-determination, it strengthens that we as a nation can make our own decisions,” Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren said Monday.
In fact, the 7-2 ruling released Thursday hardly touched on the children, who were supposed to be placed with Native foster families under the law. The justices said the white families that have sought to adopt them lack standing to claim racial discrimination, in part because their cases are already resolved, save for one Navajo girl whose case is in Texas court.
Instead, the justices focused on rejecting other arguments aimed at giving states more leverage, including sweeping attacks on the constitutional basis for federal Indian Law.
“This was never a case about children,” Erin Dougherty Lynch, senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, told The Associated Press. “The opposition was essentially trying to weaken tribes by putting their children in the middle, which is a standard tactic for entities that are seeking to destroy tribes.”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s majority opinion said these plaintiffs wrongly claimed that “the State gets to call the shots, unhindered by any federal instruction to the contrary.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch spent 38 pages explaining how up to a third of Native children were taken from their families and placed in white homes or in boarding schools to be assimilated. In response, the 1978 law requires states to notify tribes if a child is or could be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe, and established a system favoring Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings.