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Nassar, trainer charged with sex assault; Karolyis cleared

By David Warren, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Texas prosecutors on Friday filed sexual assault charges against Larry Nassar and a trainer who worked at his side, expanding the worst abuse scandal in U.S. sports history beyond Michigan while also clearing world-renowned gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi whose ranch served as a training site for Olympians. Nassar, a former sports doctor, was charged with sexually assaulting six minors in Walker County, home of the Karolyi ranch, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Houston. A grand jury also indicted former sports medicine trainer Debra Van Horn on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, making her the first person other than Nassar to be charged in direct connection with the assaults. She had worked at Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics for 30 years. Walker County District Attorney David Weeks said Van Horn was charged as "acting as a party" with Nassar. He didn't elaborate. Efforts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful, and the name of her lawyer wasn't immediately known. In Michigan, Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison, after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. They said the abuse went as far back as the 1990s while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. A victim, Mattie Larson, told a judge in January that Van Horn "would be in the room many of the times Larry abused me. If a trainer, a professional trainer, doesn't say anything about it, I should trust her. At least that's what I thought." The Karolyis have denied wrongdoing . They couldn't be reached for comment Friday; a call to the number listed for Bela Karolyi wasn't answered. "The Karolyis were and remain fully cooperative with this investigation. There is no corroborated evidence of any criminal conduct" by the couple, said Stephanie Stroud, a Walker County prosecutor. Stroud said investigators tried to determine if anyone at the ranch knew about Nassar's conduct and didn't report it. But the two-year statute of limitations had already lapsed on any possible misdemeanor charges of failure to report. "That in no way means there was no wrongdoing at the ranch or within the ranks of USAG," Stroud said, referring to USA Gymnastics. "It is our belief that there was a total failure by USAG to protect the athletes that were part of their program and to take appropriate action once they were made aware of Dr. Nassar's actions." In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it is cooperating with Texas investigators and is committed "to doing everything possible to prevent this from happening again." Nassar, 54, probably won't be free again due to his long prison sentences for assault and child pornography crimes. But Weeks, the district attorney, said he still wants to bring him to Texas to face the charges. "There are a number of hoops we have to jump through to get him here," Weeks told reporters. The Karolyis are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, seeking more than $1 million for the canceled sale of their training center near Huntsville — a transaction that tanked in the wake of the Nassar scandal. Several former gymnasts have also filed lawsuits. One of them, Sabrina Vega, filed a lawsuit in May alleging USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Karolyis failed to protect her and other athletes. Vega, who was on the team that won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, alleges the organizations and the Karolyis ignored signs about Nassar's behavior or should have known he posed a risk. She said Nassar molested her hundreds of times during medical treatments from 2008, when she was 12 years old, until 2012. Vega said the abuse occurred during competitions and at the Karolyi ranch. Congress passed a bill in January that makes members of amateur sports organizations, including those that run Olympic sports, mandatory reporters of sexual abuse. It also requires the organizations to implement standard protections for athletes. ___ Associated Press reporters Ed White and Corey Williams in Detroit, Terry Wallace in Dallas and researcher Monika Mathur in New York contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 30th, 2018

Gymnastics doctor facing at least 25 years in prison

DETROIT --- A sports doctor accused of molesting several girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University will plead guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and face at least 25 years in prison, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Tuesday. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss the agreement ahead of a Wednesday court hearing for Dr. Larry Nassar in Michigan's Ingham County and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Nassar, 54, is charged with molesting seven girls, all but one of whom were gymnasts, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic. He's facing similar charges in a n...Keep on reading: Gymnastics doctor facing at least 25 years in prison.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2017

Cleared of corruption? Martires will no longer appeal to Supreme Court

MANILA, Philippines – Another good news for charged public officials. If you're able to win before a lower court, the Office of the Ombudsman will no longer pursue your conviction at the Supreme Court. This is contained in Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ newest office order signed on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

US surgeon and girlfriend charged with sexual assault

US surgeon and girlfriend charged with sexual assault.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Ex-UN climate chief to face sexual assault trial

NEW DELHI, India – Former UN climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri will stand trial in a sexual assault and harassment case 3 years after an employee accused him of inappropriate conduct, a lawyer said Friday. Pachauri, 78, has been charged under various counts including sexual assault, harassment and criminal intimidation, according to the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 14th, 2018

Inspector general reviews FBI handling of Nassar allegations

By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's inspector general is investigating how the FBI handled sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The investigation comes amid allegations that the FBI failed to promptly address complaints made in 2015 against the once-renowned gymnastics doctor. Nassar is now serving decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. USA Gymnastics contacted the FBI about the allegations in July 2015 but it took months before the agency opened a formal investigation. At least 40 girls and women said they were molested over a 14-month period while the FBI was aware of other sexual abuse allegations involving Nassar. Nassar was ultimately charged in 2016 with federal child porn offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan. In the last month, investigators from the inspector general's office have contacted some of the victims whose cases had been reported to the FBI, including former Olympian McKayla Maroney, according to the person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss the situation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. In May, the FBI said it would conduct an internal review of the Nassar investigation. "The FBI holds itself and our operations accountable to the highest standards of integrity. When warranted, the FBI reviews allegations in a fair, accurate and impartial manner," the agency said in a statement at the time. The FBI and federal prosecutors in Michigan, Los Angeles and Indianapolis have refused to meet with Maroney and her attorneys to explain why it took months for federal agents to open an investigation, her lawyer, John Manly, said. He alleged the FBI "concealed" what it knew about Nassar by failing to notify local authorities in Michigan or contacting the medical board. Maroney and several other victims Manly represents are "horrified" that dozens of other girls and women were abused after the FBI was told about the allegations, he said. "They deserved better than what they got," Manly said. USA Gymnastics president Kerry Perry, the latest person to face fallout in the wake of the Nassar allegations, resigned earlier this week. Numerous other people have been criminally charged, fired or forced out of their jobs during the investigations into Nassar. An FBI spokeswoman and a spokesman for the Justice Department's inspector general declined to comment Wednesday on the investigation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018

Prosecutors ask for accusers to testify at Cosby sentencing

PHILADELPHIA (AP) --- Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby asked a judge Tuesday to allow testimony at his sentencing hearing about uncharged criminal conduct. A Montgomery County prosecutor asked permission to present multiple witnesses who he expects will testify that Cosby drugged and or sexually assaulted them. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24, when the judge is also expected to hear arguments on whether to accept a recommendation to classify Cosby as a sexually violent predator. It was unclear who or how many witnesses District Attorney Kevin Steele planned to call, but the filing said Cosby has not been charged with crimes related to their claims....Keep on reading: Prosecutors ask for accusers to testify at Cosby sentencing.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

PO3 charged for hitting traffic enforcer

DASMARIÑAS City, Cavite -- A police officer was charged with direct assault after hitting a traffic enforcer who accosted the driver of a passenger jeep owned by the suspect last Thursday night. PO3 Gerry Lozano, member of the Antipolo City police station, surrendered himself to the Dasmariñas City police after….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsAug 24th, 2018

DOJ charges Peter Lim for drug trade conspiracy

MANILA, Phillippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim with two counts of conspiracy to commit illegal drugs, reversing the earlier controversial decision of its own prosecution panel which cleared Lim. Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, Anna Noreen Devanadera and Prosecution ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Osuna sent to Astros by Blue Jays for Giles in closer swap

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Swapping a closer with on-field problems for one with off-field troubles, the World Series champion Houston Astros traded Ken Giles to the Toronto Blue Jays along with a pair of pitching prospects for Roberto Osuna on Monday. Houston also sent right-handers David Paulino and Hector Perez to Toronto as part of the deal, a day before the deadline for trades without waivers. The Astros lead the AL West, but were set to begin a series at Seattle having lost a season-high four in a row. They also acquired reliever Ryan Pressly from Minnesota last week. The 23-year-old Osuna is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday after a 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. He has made six scoreless one-inning appearances in the minors since July 14, the last three at Triple-A. Osuna has not pitched in the majors since May 6, two days before he was put on administrative leave when he was charged with one count of assault in Toronto — which remains pending. "This has been exceptionally difficult," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a conference call. "... This was a negotiated agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' association." Astros pitchers Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. voiced disdain for domestic abusers in March when video leaked of former Astros prospect Danry Vasquez beating his girlfriend. Vasquez was released by Houston following an arrest for the incident in 2016. KRIS-TV in Houston obtained and aired the video, which showed Vasquez, still partly in uniform, hitting his girlfriend in a stairwell at Double-A Corpus Christi's stadium. "(Middle finger emoji) you man," Verlander tweeted. "I hope the rest of your life without baseball is horrible. You deserve all that is coming your way!" "This is the reality of domestic violence," McCullers wrote. "It's always brutal, always sickening. We must fight for the victims, video or not. He should be in jail. If you need help, find it. People care." Osuna is 0-0 with nine saves in 10 chances and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games this season. He was an All-Star last year, when he went 3-4 with 39 saves and a 3.38 ERA. The right-hander would be eligible to pitch in the postseason, unlike players suspended under the drug policy this year, such as Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, who is ineligible. Osuna lost 89 days' pay, which comes to $2,536,022 of his $5.3 million salary, and the suspension delayed his eligibility for free agency by one year until after the 2021 season. "The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior, has proactively engaged in counseling, and will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. In a statement released by Houston, Osuna said: "I thank Jeff Luhnow and the entire Astros organization for believing in me. I will not let them down." The 27-year-old Giles is 0-2 with 12 saves and a 4.99 ERA this season, and was currently in the minors. Giles punched himself in the face this season while heading to the dugout after giving up a three-run, ninth-inning homer to the Yankees' Gary Sanchez on May 1. He was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on July 11, a night after the hard-throwing righty appeared to curse at manager A.J. Hinch when he lifted him from the game. Atkins said Giles has shown "he's willing to be accountable for those actions." "It's unfortunate," the GM said. "I'm sure that contributed to him being available." The 27-year-old Giles had 34 saves in 38 chances with a 2.30 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings for the Astros last season. Houston won its first World Series title, but he struggled in the postseason. He allowed two runs in three innings against Boston in the AL Division Series. He surrendered three more runs, taking the loss in Game 4 of the League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and allowed five runs in a pair of World Series appearances against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Giles entered Game 4 in the ninth with the game tied at 1 and allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. Giles took the loss and did not appear again in the series. Giles has a $4.6 million salary and is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. The 24-year-old Paulino is 2-1 with a 6.25 ERA in nine games with the Astros this year and has a 4.67 ERA in seven games for Triple-A Fresno and the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Astros. The 22-year-old Perez is 3-4 with two saves and a 3.73 ERA in 21 games at Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi. "This made sense for the organization from a baseball perspective," Atkins said. "We had the opportunity to trade Roberto for three players we're excited about." ___ AP Baseball Writers Ben Walker and Ronald Blum contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

3 indicted for kidnapping ‘Halloween’ actress, actor

LOS ANGELES: Three people have been formally charged for kidnapping “Halloween: Resurrection” actress Daisy McCrackin and actor Joseph Capone, holding one naked in a bathtub for 30 hours while demanding the other pay a $10,000 ransom. Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal were charged with 17 felony counts, including kidnapping, assault with a [...] The post 3 indicted for kidnapping ‘Halloween’ actress, actor appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

UK police probing 6 assault claims against Kevin Spacey

LONDON --- British police are investigating six claims of sexual assault or assault by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, three more than previously disclosed. British media reported earlier this year that London's Metropolitan Police force was investigating allegations against the former "House of Cards" star. Police in Britain don't name suspects until they are charged. Asked about Spacey, the force did not identify him by name but said Wednesday that detectives were investigating allegations of sexual assault alleged to have taken place in London's Westminster borough in 1996 and the western England city of Gloucester in 2013. The force says three other complaints of s...Keep on reading: UK police probing 6 assault claims against Kevin Spacey.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

Sylvester Stallone under scrutiny in sexual assault case

LOS ANGELES — US prosecutors have launched a probe to determine whether film star Sylvester Stallone should be charged in connection with a sexual assault reported last year, a spokesman said Wednesday. The post Sylvester Stallone under scrutiny in sexual assault case appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Harvey Weinstein set to plead innocent in NY

NEW YORK: Fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was expected to plead innocent Tuesday to rape and sexual assault charges in New York, opening a legal battle for the #MeToo movement that dreams of seeing him behind bars. The 66-year-old Weinstein was charged with rape and a sex crime in New York late last month, nearly [...] The post Harvey Weinstein set to plead innocent in NY appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Djokovic s next French Open foe was cleared of match-fixing

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — In his record 12th French Open quarterfinal, Novak Djokovic will face a man he knows well, even if the rest of the world does not. What a tale Marco Cecchinato (it's pronounced Cheh-key-NAH'-toe) can tell, though. He is a 25-year-old from Sicily who once was handed a match-fixing suspension that later was thrown out on appeal. His tour-level career record was 4-23 before this season. His Grand Slam record was 0-4 before last week. Yet here he is, earning the right to face Djokovic for a spot in the semifinals at Roland Garros by eliminating the No. 8-seeded David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 on Sunday. How surprising is this run? Cecchinato's ranking of No. 72 is the lowest in a decade for a man in the final eight at the French Open. Asked whether he could have envisioned, even as recently as April, that he would get this far at a major tournament, Cecchinato answered with one word, "No," before breaking into as wide a smile as can be. "For me," he continued, "this is the best moment of my life." Cecchinato and Djokovic, who meet Tuesday, have crossed paths often in Monte Carlo. Djokovic, a 12-time major champion, lives there; Cecchinato has worked on his game at an academy there. "I have known of him for many years," Djokovic said after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 30 Fernando Verdasco. "I know now his game and I practiced with him. I watched him play. For sure, he's playing the tennis of his life." Yes, Djokovic was thrilled to get back to a ninth consecutive quarterfinal in Paris after dealing with elbow trouble for more than a year and needing surgery in February. And in other men's action Sunday, No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev was relieved to win a third consecutive five-setter — after trailing 2-1 in sets each time — to get to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal, where he will face No. 8 Dominic Thiem. But one of these is not like the others. At all. In July 2016, Cecchinato was one of three Italian players initially suspended by their national tennis federation for allegedly influencing the outcome of matches. He was banned for 18 months and fined 40,000 euros (about $45,000), accused of losing on purpose during a lower-tier Challenger event at Morocco in 2015. Cecchinato appealed, and the Italian Olympic Committee announced in December 2016 that the sanctions were dropped entirely. Asked Sunday whether he wanted to explain what happened, Cecchinato replied in Italian: "Right now, I want to enjoy this moment. That year was a tough time. I want to think about the present. Maybe we can talk about it after the tournament. Now I want to enjoy the fantastic moment that I am living. And I think that's good enough." Fact is, his French Open probably should have ended in the first round. Cecchinato dropped the opening two sets that day against someone named Marius Copil, a Romanian ranked 94th, and then was two points from losing, right then and there. But Cecchinato came all the way back, winning 10-8 in the fifth set. And so the journey began. Next came a straight-set win over 190th-ranked Marco Trungelliti. The "lucky loser" made the 10-hour, 650-mile drive with his 88-year-old grandmother, mother and younger brother from his home in Barcelona to Paris once he realized there was a spot in the field available because someone else withdrew. That was followed by a four-set upset of 10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, and then the surprising win over Goffin. "When he made me run, he was actually dictating the rallies," said Goffin, whose right elbow was looked at by a trainer during the match, "so it was hard for me to have the upper hand." Cecchinato certainly appeared to be appreciating every moment of his time on Court Suzanne Lenglen. He chatted with himself during changeovers — "I like to talk," he said later — and dropping down onto the red clay after one last backhand winner on match point. And what a beautiful, one-handed backhand that is. A reporter wanted to know whether he thinks that shot of his is more like Gustavo Kuerten's or Stan Wawrinka's, a pair of past French Open champions. "Honestly," came the reply, "I want to be like Cecchinato.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sex crimes by New York police

NEW YORK, USA (UPDATED) – Disgraced Hollywood powerbroker Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged Friday, May 25,  with rape and sex crimes on two women, nearly 8 months after his career imploded in a blaze of assault accusations that triggered the global #MeToo movement. The former mogul – once the toast ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 26th, 2018

$500M settlement in Nassar case won t be shared equally

By Ed White and David Eggert, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — The $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and hundreds of Larry Nassar's victims will be divided up after weighing many factors, including the date and victim's age when the sexual assaults occurred and the impact it had on their lives, lawyers say. The school, where the sports doctor worked for nearly 20 years, announced Wednesday that it would set aside $425 million for 332 women and girls who say Nassar abused them and another $75 million to cover future claims. But it won't have a role in determining how much each victim will receive. That will likely fall to one or two former judges or experienced mediators who will be selected by lawyers to oversee the process, said John Manly, who represents roughly 200 victims in the worst sexual abuse case in sports history. "This can be wrapped up in four or five months," he predicted. Simple math says $425 million divided by 332 people would be $1.28 million each. But it's not "share and share alike," said attorney David Mittleman, whose Lansing-area firm represents 111 victims. Indeed, claims must be evaluated in many ways. Manly said some people could receive "substantially" more than $1.28 million while others get much less. Attorneys will also get a share of any award under agreements they have with clients. "The age of the abuse, the duration of the abuse," Manly said, listing the likely factors. "Treatment in the future and the past. Have you lost earnings? Are there things about a particular case that are aggravating or mitigating." Mittleman said the dates of the assaults will be important. Older abuse probably will be worth less because without the settlement, Michigan State could have been shielded by a statute of limitations. New York attorney Michael Barasch is not involved in the Nassar case but has represented hundreds of victims sexually abused by New York priests. He said a pool of money is "definitely the way to go." "You've got to have a sensible, systematic and transparent solution," Barasch said. "Who better than a fair mediator accepted by everybody? ... Some of these people are going to be disappointed — guaranteed. But I can tell you from my church abuse cases, the vast majority are so appreciative of having finality." Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. The school had insisted that no one covered up assaults, although Nassar's boss was later charged with failing to properly supervise him and committing his own sexual misconduct. In a statement Thursday, his first since the settlement, Michigan State President John Engler apologized, calling Nassar an "evil doctor" whose assaults "shocked our campus and the nation." The former Michigan governor was hired as interim leader after Lou Anna Simon's sudden resignation in January. Michigan State hasn't disclosed how it will pay for the settlement besides leaning on insurance companies. Engler told reporters in Lansing on Thursday that he doesn't plan to ask state lawmakers for money. Dianne Byrum, a member of the school's governing board, said Michigan State likely would borrow money, tap savings, delay big projects and consider budget cuts. She said a tuition increase tied specifically to the Nassar case is unlikely. Nassar, 54, will be locked up for the rest of his life under three decades-long sentences for molesting athletes with his hands and possessing child pornography. He's at a federal prison in Arizona. In addition to working at Michigan State, Nassar worked with Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. His assaults were mostly committed in Michigan at his Lansing-area home, campus clinic and area gyms, but his accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas and at national and international competitions. The settlement applies only to Michigan State. Lawsuits are still pending against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing-area. The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar agreement covers far more victims. ___ Eggert reported from Lansing......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

MMA’s Conor McGregor in custody after van-smashing rampage

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor was in custody in New York on Friday, charged with assault and criminal mischief after a van-smashing rampage at a UFC press event in Brooklyn that was caught on video, the New York Police Department said......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York City

NEW YORK --- Ultimate fighting star Conor McGregor is facing criminal charges in the wake of a backstage melee he allegedly instigated that has forced the removal of three fights from UFC's biggest card of the year. Video footage appears to show the promotion's most bankable star throwing a hand truck at a bus full of fighters after a Thursday news conference for UFC 223 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The New York Police Department says McGregor was charged and awaiting a court appearance Friday, facing three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. It was not immediately known if McGregor has an attorney. Video showed McGregor with a group of people causing cha...Keep on reading: UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York City.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018

UNAIDS deputy chief, accused of sex assault, to step down

GENEVA, Switzerland – The deputy head of UNAIDS, accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague but cleared of wrongdoing by an internal United Nations probe, announced his decision to step down on Friday, February 23.  Luiz Loures "has communicated his wish to the UNAIDS executive director not to seek the renewal ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

SABAH IS OURS! ‘Malaysia tightens grip on mineral-rich island of Sulu sultanate’

MALAYSIA HAS tightened its grip on Sabah which is being claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu following a proposal – by a member of the Philippines’ 25-man consultative committee tasked with reviewing and proposing amendments to the Constitution – to include the mineral-rich island as the country’s 13th federal state. Former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr made the proposal while Filipino lawmakers are preparing to amend the 1987 Constitution and shift from presidential to federal form of government. He said the Duterte administration should continue to push for the country’s claim to Sabah in a way acceptable to international laws. “There should be a way that is acceptable under international laws to assert our claim to Sabah. I think we can defer it a little bit more, but to say that we stop doing it is not in the context of my proposal,” he told ABS-CBN Television recently. He also wanted Scarborough and Spratlys – which is being claimed by China and other ASEAN countries as theirs – to be part of the federated states of the Philippines.  Pimentel has also proposed the following to form part of the federal states Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Bangsamoro and Metro Manila as its capital. “Eventually once we have asserted our sovereignty and rights over Sabah, we should include Sabah. Not only Sabah, but also Scarborough, Benham Rise, and Spratlys,” Pimentel said. According to a report by Channel News Asia, Kuala Lumpur has strongly rejected Pimentel’s proposal to include Sabah as a federal state of the Philippines. “Malaysia is aware of remarks made by Mr Aquilino Pimentel Jr, a member of the Philippines’ Consultative Committee, which appeared in the media on the claim on Sabah recently,” it said, citing Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman as saying in a press statement. “The Government of Malaysia reiterates its position that Malaysia does not recognise and will not entertain any claims by any party on Sabah. Sabah is recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Federation on 16 September 1963,” Anifah said. “Therefore, statements such as these will only expose the ignorance of history and international law of those who make them, as well as potentially harming the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy.” Death Sentence Just last month, Malaysia’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for 9 Filipinos who were charged with waging war against the Malaysian King during the 2013 assault on Lahad Datu in Sabah. The Filipinos have been identified as Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 65; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42; Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77. Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif said the January 15 decision of the five-man panel of the Federal Court was unanimous, according to reports by The Star and Asia News Network, adding, the panel agreed with the Court of Appeal that the death sentence was the most appropriate based on the findings of the facts of the case. The other judges were Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjun, and Justices Ramly Ali and Azahar Mohamed. Basad Manuel is the son of the Jamalul Kiram III, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, who died from multiple organ failure in Manila in 2013. The bloody incursion by some 200 followers of Kiram from the southern Philippines in February 2013 was inspired by the supposed sultan’s claims of historical dominion over Sabah. The two-month siege was the most serious security crisis faced by Malaysia in years, involving armed conflict between the Sultan’s loyal followers and the Malaysian armed forces sent to root them out. The panel also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of 14 men on the charge of waging war against the King and terrorist-related offences linked to the intrusion from Feb 12 to April 10, 2013, the reports further said. Chief Justice Md Raus said the panel has no reason to decide otherwise and affirmed the decision by the Court of Appeal delivered last June. At the height of fighting between Kiram’s followers and security forces, Malaysia deployed armoured vehicles and combat helicopters, including naval boats in an effort to flush out the Filipinos on the oil-rich island being claimed by both sides. About a dozen armoured personnel vehicles arrived in the town of Lahad Datu to support ground troops hunting down at least 50 members of the Sultanate of Sulu headed by Raja Muda Agbimuddin, the sultan’s younger brother. The group intruded Sabah in February 2013 to exert claim over Sabah, citing historical and legal claims, but Malaysia rejected this and launched a massive assault on about 200 of the sultan’s men following a deadline for them to surrender peacefully. The assault by Malaysian jets and ground artilleries left at least 62 intruders dead, but the fighting between the two groups also killed and wounded 18 Malaysian policemen and soldiers. Malaysia arrested more than 300 Filipinos who are suspected of supporting or aiding Raja Muda Agbimuddin’s group under a strict anti-terrorism law. More than 2,000 Filipino Muslims have returned to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces after fleeing Sabah in 2013 for fear they would be arrested in a massive crackdown launched by Malaysian on illegal immigrants and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018