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Four more Journalists Charged after Covering Inauguration Riot

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Four more journalists have been charged with felony charges after covering riots during President Trump’s inauguration.

The total number of journalists that have been arrested totals six.  If they are found guilty they could face 10-year prison sentences and face fines up to $25,000.

The journalists include a documentary producer, photojournalist, live – streamer, and a freelance reporter.  All four have been charged with the most serious level of laws against rioting.  All four were caught up in the violence that occurred during the inauguration.

On Monday, it transpired that two journalists were charged with the same offence.  Evan Engel of Vocativ, and Alex Rubinstein of RT America were arrested while covering the riots.

According to court filings, all six were arraigned in superior court on Saturday and will face further hearings in February and March.  The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) stated that the charges against the journalists who were covering the riots should be dropped.

Carlos Lauria of the CPJ said, “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests.  We call on authorities in Washington to drop these charges immediately.”

One of the arrested journalists, Jack Kelly a documentary filmmaker for Story of America, said he was detained for 36 hours after being arrested by police.  They arrested him despite telling officers he was press.

While Matt Hopard who is an independent journalist was live-streaming the riots was arrested on Friday.  He denies the charges against him as well.

Aaron Cantu, a freelance journalist, and Shay Horse, a freelance photographer were also arrested and deny doing anything wrong.

None of the arrest reports for the journalists cite specific charges.

On Friday around two hundred people were arrested as the riot caused property damage to some areas of Washington.  Police say that six officers suffered minor injuries.

 

Granit Xhaka Arsenal Midfielder to face Racial Abuse Probe

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Arsenal midfielder, Granit Xhaka, 24, is at the centre of a racial abuse probe after it is alleged he called a member of British Airways staff a “f*****g white b***h”.  He was interviewed under caution on Monday night.

Xhaka, is a Swiss international and has an appalling disciplinary record.  It is believed that the player will sit down for serious talks over his conduct with manager Arsene Wenger over this issue.

Xhaka is believed to have been at Heathrow Terminal 5 when he saw a friend off from the airport.  His friend Leonard Lekaj, 26, plays for German six division side, FC Monchengladback and it is believed he is related to Xhaka’s fiancée Leonita Lekaj.

Late for Flight

It is reported that Mr Lekaj was late for his flight and was stopped from boarding it.  At this point, Xhaka became angry and shouted a stream of abuse at airline staff.

The accusation has been backed up by more than one British Airways staff.  Xhaka is denying that he made the comment.

Police officers were called to the scene and witness statements were taken.

A spokesman for the police said, “Police were called at 19:29hrs on Monday, 23 January following an allegation that a member of staff had been racially abused at Heathrow Airport, Terminal Five.

“The allegation was made by a third party.  Officers attended and spoke with a man in his 20s. He was not arrested. He voluntarily attended a west London police station where he was interviewed under caution. Enquiries continue.”

A spokesman for the airline declined to comment.

Xhaka is of Albanian descent but grew up in Switzerland has had a poor disciplinary record while playing for Arsenal in the English Premiership.

He was dismissed during his last international appearance and was sent off last Sunday for a two-footed tackle.  This was his second red card in 20 appearances.

Xhaka may face racial abuse charges as a result of the police investigation.

What would J-Lo say? Drake spotted having dinner with a porn star

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Hotline Bling singer Drake, 30, has been dating actress and fellow musician Jennifer Lopez since the end of last year. However, the Canadian rapper has been spotted having dinner with porn star Rosee Divine in Amsterdam.

The singer-songwriter was seen greeting Rosee outside the restaurant, before the pair headed inside for a meal. And, Drake certainly wasn’t trying to go low key during the evening, as he was wearing his trademark bring yellow padded coat for his outing. He and Rosee were seen chatting over dinner and, at one point, she leaned over to give him a hug, placing her hand on his arm.

Drake’s dinner date follows the revelation that he and American Idol judge Jennifer have been dating for a number of weeks. According to sources, Jenny from the Block is already smitten with her new toy boy.

Recording together

A friend said that while it was early days in the relationship, Jennifer was “really into him”. It has also emerged that Jennifer and Drake have been in the studio recording a new track together. Jennifer confirmed that Drake had asked her to collaborate on a song together, adding: “We’ll see if it’s on his next album”. It is thought that Jennifer was keen to keep their relationship casual because she was worried he might be something of a player. However, she has soon fallen for his charms.

Drake was previously in an on-off relationship with fellow music superstar Rihanna. The Umbrella singer was also a good friend of Jennifer’s, and had even sent J-Lo a pair of boots from her own collection. However Rihanna unfollowed her former friend on social media when her burgeoning relationship with Drake became public.

Jennifer, meanwhile, is mum to eight year old twins Emme and Max, with her former husband Marc Anthony and has recently spoken out about how lucky she feels to have such “wonderful people” in her life.

 

 

 

Stuntman Accidentally Shot Dead While Filming Music Video

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Stuntman actor Johann Ofner was accidentally shot dead while filming a promo for the Australian hip hop group “Bliss n Eso.”

A 28-year-old stuntman, Johann Ofner, was accidentally shot in the chest while filming a music video for the Australian hip-hop group “Bliss n Eso.”

The Announcement

The hip-hop band released a statement confirming Ofner’s death.

“We are able to confirm the death of a person occurred today at the filming of a Bliss n Eso music clip,” the statement read.

“The band were not on site at the time. The video production crew and our team are currently working with the police in their investigation and we are unable to provide further comment at this time,” they continued.

“We would like everyone to know that none of our staff were involved in the incident and everyone is safe, and we are doing everything we can to help the police investigation at this time.”

The Police Investigation

Police have confirmed that a number of firearms were discharged in the city bar that was rented out for the music video. Police say it remains unclear how many of these firearms were real guns.

Further details of the incident have not yet been released, and a police investigation is currently taking place to understand more about the unfortunate event.

After the shooting, the film crew performed CPR on Ofner until the paramedics arrived. However, they couldn’t revive him on time and he was later pronounced dead.

Queensland Police have  ensured that the shooting was “accidental” and there was “no current risk to the public

Tributes on Social Media

Many of his devastated friends took to social media to pay tribute.

One Facebook post read: “Rest in peace beautiful. You will be missed dearly xxx.”

Passports to be Replaced With Facial Recognition Technology in Australia by 2020

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The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced that a new Self-Processing System will soon be using facial recognition and fingerprints to replace passports at Australian airports by 2019-2020.

The technology will be introduced later this year.

According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced a new self-processing system will be introduced later in the year, that will use facial recognition and fingerprints to replace passports at Australian airports by 2019-2020.

Benefits of the Upcoming System

According to the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, the aim of this new technology is to avoid paperwork or manual processing by staff. The system is expected to reduce this by 90 percent.

“In many cases that will mean people, whilst they’ll still have to carry their passport, may not have to present their passport at all in the long term,” Dutton said.

“But in the immediate term, this will make it easier, it will make it quicker, for people going in and out of our airports.”

Dutton also mentioned that the $78 million upgrade would also boost security at Australian borders, as threats will be more detectable through an automated system.

“Already we know from the money we’ve invested into biometrics collections that that is a much more reliable collection than we have with people just scanning passports manually,” he explained.

“So there is the ability through this technology to improve detections of people that might be coming into our country to do the wrong thing.”

The reduced processing times will also likely boost tourism, Dutton says. He said the government is keeping an open mind for what the technology could be used for.

Other Countries Using Such Programs

Australia is not the first country to attempt to introduce such a program. This was already used by the US Customs and Border Protection, and in two airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport in 2015 and 2016.

However, this hasn’t been used to replace passports before.

Syrian Peace Talks Get off to Bad Start

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The Syria peace talks held in Astana, Kazakhstan, got off to a bad start when rebels refused to negotiate with Bashar al Jaafari of the Syrian government face to face.  The Syrian delegation branded this as insolent and provocative.

The negotiations are sponsored by Turkey, Iran, and Russia and aim to end the five-year long Syrian conflict.  Some are saying this is a test of Russia’s influence in the Middle East.

A leaked document shows that broadly speaking the talks support the U.N process.  It calls for joint action to defeat terrorist groups such as Islamic State, and it wants to implement a trilateral process to monitor the ceasefire.

These talks to bring peace in Syria are unique as for the first time opposition delegation is not drawn from political representatives, but the armed rebel groups themselves.  A move designed to build trust between the parties.

Opposition Demands

Leader of the opposition delegation, Mohammed Alloush, stated that peace talks were more difficult as Iranian-sponsored militia were fighting alongside Syrian troops.  He called for them to leave the country and for the release of prisoners from government jails, citing 13,000 women were being held in arbitration.

The opposition’s demand of the departure of Assad and Iranian militias before the peace process can begin puts them at odds with the regime.

A spokesman for the rebels said the first talks were not held face to face due to continued bombardment by the Syrian regime on an area near Damascus.

Russia’s Great Hope

Russia has placed a lot of hope in these peace talks.  They believe as the Obama administration is no longer involved and the opposition defeat in Aleppo the talks stand a chance of succeeding.  This has been strengthened by the fact that Turkey, once an opponent of Assad no longer sees him as an obstacle to reaching a lasting agreement.

 

Dog shot 50 times in the face finds a new forever home

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A poor dog which was shot 50 times at point blank range with a shotgun has found a forever home after being adopted. English bull terrier Eric was left with 50 lead pellets stuck underneath his skin and in his bone.

His new owner Liz Haslam only discovered the pellets after taking him to the vets. He must have been injured at some point in Turkey before 2015, before she adopted him took him home to Britain. Ms Haslam runs a dog rehoming centre called Beds for Bullies and took Eric to the vet when the inside of his mouth swelled up. She thought that he must have an abscess, but when he was examined, vets decided to carry out an x-ray and found the pellets.

Losing his sight

The pooch is nearly blind, which is thought to be a result of his injuries. He was also found to have half a tooth from another dog stuck in his mouth. It is believed that the hound could have been forced to take part in dog fights before he was rescued.

Ms Haslam, said that his life before must have been “truly horrific,” adding that it broke her heart to think about what Eric had been through. Taking on Eric means that Ms Haslam is now caring for 14 other English bull terriers she has rescued. All of them have health or behavioural problems which could mean they would find it difficult to find homes with a family.

She found out about Eric in 2015 and managed to raise £2,500 necessary to give him his injections and bring him to her home in Norfolk. Since he has arrived, in September that year, she says she is doing her best to give him a good life, but that he is now almost blind. The shotgun pellets will have to remain lodged in his head for the duration of his life, because vets say it is too dangerous to remove them.

Outrage after Roman Polanski Selected to Lead Jury in French Oscars

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An outcry has erupted after Roman Polanski, a well renowned film director was selected to lead the jury during the French Oscars.

Polanski has a rather controversial background as he escaped from the United States due to allegations of indulging in sexual acts with a minor.

Both women’s groups along with the art minister of France, Lawrence Rossingnol have condemned Polanski’s appointment as heading the jury for the Cesars.

Mme Rossingnol expressed her shock and disgust on this matter as she says she finds it rather deplorable “that a rape case counts for little in the life of a man.”

Conflicting Emotions

Meanwhile the Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques in France who run the entire show of the French Oscars have expressed absolutely no regret or remorse for their selection.

Alain Terzian, the head of the organization described Polanski as a filmmaker, a writer, an actor, a producer and several more terms, adding that he can go on as to how to define such a prominent figure.

Mr. Terzian then stated that there is only one way they can express their utmost “admiration and enchantment,” which was a sincere “thank you, Mr. President.”

A Guilty Past

Polanski, now 83 years old, fled from the United States upon the convictions back in 1978 and since then the American authorities have been engaging on him.

France served as a country of interest for Polanski since the three European countries of Poland, France and Switzerland are not involved in the extradition treaty that is affiliated with the United States.

As a result, Polanski may work and live freely amongst these three countries, with Poland being the country where he was born.

The Polish Supreme Court has announced last month that the director may visit Poland without fears of being deported or arrested on arrival.

British Prime Minster Theresa May Denies Fawning at President Trump

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British Prime Minister Theresa May as said she won’t be afraid to tell President Trump should he say something that she feels is unacceptable.

The two are due to meet on Friday.

Former Scottish National Party Leader, Alex Salmond has said May appears to be “fawning” in relation to the US administration.

In an interview, she told the BBC that the special relationship between Britain and the U.S. will enable her to say what she feels.

Protestors against Trump numbered in their millions on Sunday, and marched in key cities around the world, most protesting his comments on women and race.

May said she was looking forward to meeting President Trump and building strong relations between the two countries.  When asked if she would raise issues highlighted in protests, she replied,  “I have already said that some of the comments Donald Trump has made in relation to women were unacceptable.  Some of those he himself has apologised for.”

She cited laws around modern slavery and domestic violence, stating she had a record of defending women’s interests.

She added, “I will be talking to Donald Trump about the issues we share and how we can build on the special relationship.  It is the special relationship that allows us to say when something is unacceptable.  Whenever there is something I find unacceptable, I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump.”

She continued to say that she was not too worried about his America first rhetoric saying that all leaders prioritised their own nation first, “He and people around him have also spoken of the importance of a trade arrangement with the United Kingdom and that is something they are looking to talk to us about at an early stage.

“There are issue, that we will work on together in the future – the importance of Nato and defeating terrorism.  These are issues where we share the challenges and see the threats, where we have worked together in the past and will do so in the future.”

The two meet on Friday.

 

 

 

Football legend Alan Shearer suing financial adviser for £6million over pension he claims was mis-sold

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Former England football captain Alan Shearer is suing a financial adviser to the tune of £6million, over claims that he was mis-sold pensions. The 46 year old former Newcastle United striker, is understood to have invested pension cash in an offshore fund incorporated in the British Virgin Islands after taking advice from former insurance salesman Kevin Neal.

However documentation shows that Neal is alleged to have made false statements about the Fortress Fund, claiming that the fund did not invest in such high risk products. As a result, insurers took the decision to remove his professional indemnity, which then left his clients with no protection.

Spurious

However 58 year old deal, who is facing being struck off from the financial profession, claims that Mr Shearer has not lost any money and that the investments he has made will “come good”. Since retiring from the game itself, Mr Shearer has worked as a football pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day. He was first introduced to Neal by his mate and former team mate Rob Lee. Neal has sent text messages to newspaper reporters, saying that Mr Shearer’s legal action is spurious while Mr Shearer himself and Mr Lee, who was a business associate of Neal’s have not commented.

Mr Shearer became the most expensive football player in the world in 1996 to come back to Newcastle United. The club paid a whopping £15million transfer fee to get the player back to St James’ Park. While it was a record amount at the time, it has since been dwarfed by other huge transfer fees for talented players around the globe. At the time though, Mr Shearer was dubbed the world’s first nine figure footballer.

He has recently signed a new contract to remain as a pundit on Match of the Day until 2020, having become a familiar face on the show.

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