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Posts Tagged ‘charge’

S.Africa judge drops drugs charge against Paris Hilton

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2010 at 8:05 am

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, July 3, 2010 (AFP) – American party girl Paris Hilton was arrested for possession of marijuana at a World Cup match Friday, but a South African judge tossed out the charges against her.

(FILES) A picture taken on May 18, 2010 shows Paris Hilton arriving to attend the World Music Awards in Monaco. AFP

Hilton and her friend, former Playboy Playmate Jennifer Rovero, were arrested for carrying a joint at the Brazil-Netherlands quarter-final match in the southern city of Port Elizabeth.

They appeared in one of South Africa’s special World Cup courts at 12:20 am Saturday (2220 GMT Friday), about six hours after the match, where Hilton was named “Accused No. 1” in the case.

“The charges against you, Accused No. 1, are dropped,” magistrate Xolile Dlulisa said.

“Thank you, your honour,” Hilton replied and left the court, after the three-minute hearing.

She arrived at the courthouse about 30 minutes earlier and appeared relaxed, smiling at court officials with her blonde hair pulled into two ponytails and wearing a white t-shirt with a lion on the front, green trousers and brown boots.

While she waited for the hearing, people with FIFA badges were seen bringing her seven pizzas, 12 cold drinks and six waters in an antechamber.

Her friend 31-year-old Rovero was found guilty of possession of marijuana and ordered to either spend 30 days in jail or pay a 1,000 rand (128 dollar, 100 euro) fine. She paid the fine.

Their lawyer Terry Price told AFP the charges were dropped against Hilton, 29, because Rovero was actually holding the joint when they were arrested.

“They got the wrong fucking blonde,” an agitated Price said afterwards as he left the courthouse.

Rovero’s website says she was a Playboy Playmate of the month for July 1999, but is now producing photo shoots. She was described in court as a freelance photographer, with two children, aged eight and three.

The judge, who was sweating and wiping his head during the hearing, seemed almost apologetic in handing down his verdict.

“It’s very difficult for a human being to decide the fate of another human being. There’s no magic formula,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that while you’re a visitor to this country you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.”

South Africa set up the World Cup courts to quickly handle crimes dealing with foreigners during the tournament. They operate in normal courtrooms but keep staff working late into the night.

A darling of the tabloids, Hilton, the great-granddaughter of the Hilton hotel chain’s founder, shot to fame in 2003 when her boyfriend leaked a video of their sexual escapades on the Internet.

She became a television star with the reality show “The Simple Life” alongside her real-life friend, Nicole Ritchie, in which the celebrity princesses lived at a country farm in a lifestyle neither would likely ever otherwise encounter.

Hilton has since appeared in films and made musical recordings, but her efforts have only been greeted with three “Razzie Awards” — parodies of the Oscars doled out for the worst screen performances.

In 2007, Hilton was jailed for 23 days for violating probation over an alcohol-related reckless driving conviction triggering a media frenzy in the United States.

In March, Brazilian regulators forced changes to a beer ad in which Hilton appeared in suggestive poses, after banning the original spot as sexist.

Source: SGGP

Robin Hood leads Cannes charge against the rich

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm

CANNES, France, May 9, 2010 (AFP) – Hollywood blockbusters that take aim at greed provide the razzmatazz at Cannes this year as the French Riviera braces for its annual film frenzy mixing megastars with more obscure arthouse movies.

Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood,” starring Russell Crowe as the medieval English archer who robs the rich to help the poor, and fellow Australian Cate Blanchett as his love interest Maid Marian, opens the festival on Wednesday.

Russell Crowe as Robin Hood

Later in the week Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” sees Michael Douglas reprise his 1987 role as rogue stockbroker Gordon Gekko now getting out of jail and warning Wall Street of impending financial doom.

Gekko was the man who coined the phrase “Greed is good” back in the avaricious 1980s, but he has now seen the error of his ways.

Denouncing greed is a theme that runs through the notoriously extravagant festival this year, with the documentary “Inside Job” probing the financial crisis of 2008 that brought the world to the brink of economic collapse.

“Cleveland vs. Wall Street” meanwhile stages a mock trial in which small-town victims of the subprime crisis fight it out with bankers and mortgage brokers.

Douglas, Crowe and Blanchett will be among the A-list celebrities sashaying up Cannes’ fabled red carpet, along with stars like Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Javier Bardem.

They will be on La Croisette to attend gala premieres of films by Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Japan’s Takeshi Kitano, veteran US director Woody Allen and New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard.

Fears of a real-life drama rippled along the Riviera last week when a freak storm hit Cannes, sending giant waves crashing over cafes and festival installations on the beachfront La Croisette, causing millions of euros’ (dollars’) worth of damage.

But organisers say the show will go on.

The show that first began in 1946 this year sees “Alice in Wonderland” director Tim Burton preside over a jury that will present the coveted Palme d’Or top award to one of the 18 films in the main competition.

This year’s crop is marked by austerity and a distinct lack of frivolity.

It includes works from the likes of Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami, who makes his first foray into European cinema with “The Certified Copy,” starring French actress Juliette Binoche.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s “The Screaming Man” brings Chad for the first time to the Palme competition, whose results will be announced on May 23, while Ukraine also makes a debut in the main category with Sergei Loznitsa’s “My Joy.”

Asia has a strong showing, with two entries for the Palme from South Korea — “Poetry” by Lee Chang-dong and Im Sang-soo’s “The Housemaid” — and China, Japan and Thailand also represented.

France has three films in the main race that last year was won by Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon.”

The United States has just one.

“Fair Game,” by “The Bourne Identity” director Doug Liman, looks at the bid by former US president George W. Bush’s administration to discredit CIA agent Valerie Plame.

The prestigious Directors’ Fortnight competition, taking place in parallel to the race for the Palme d’Or, promises some lively fare, with documentaries on disabled Congolese street musicians and ageing rockers The Rolling Stones.

But Cannes would not be Cannes without a controversy and this year a row has already started over a film about France’s colonial past in Algeria, “Outside Of The Law” by Rachid Bouchareb.

Far-right groups said they will protest outside the film’s screening and a French member of parliament condemned it as a “negationist” rewriting of history.

Around 10,000 movie industry types, 4,000 press and thousands of film lovers and celebrity watchers are due to attend the 12-day gig whose heady cocktail of commerce, glamour and high art makes it the top film event of the year.

“In Cannes you have both a major film from a (Hollywood) studio for the opening, and a totally unknown Ukrainian filmmaker with an experimental film in the competition,” said festival director Thierry Fremaux, summing up the event’s diversity.

Source: SGGP

Thai police charge Philippines woman over cocaine haul

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

BANGKOK, March 24, 2010 (AFP) – Thai police said Wednesday they had arrested a Filipina at Bangkok’s main airport for trafficking cocaine worth 247,000 dollars.

Rivera Maria Elenita, 40, was detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport late Monday after she arrived from Lima, Peru on an Emirates airline flight, according to a statement from the Narcotics Suppression Police.

Officers acting on a tip-off found 3.2 kilograms (7.0 pounds) of cocaine in two plastic bags, hidden in special compartments of her luggage.

Elenita told police she had been hired by a Western African drug gang in Bangkok to smuggle the cocaine for Thai clients, they said.

“She said she was paid some 1,000 dollars and would get more money when she delivered the drugs to a gang member,” the police added.

The street value of the confiscated cocaine was estimated at 8.0 million baht (247,000 dollars).

Drugs trafficking officially carries the death penalty in Thailand although executions are rare.

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Gov’t shouldn’t charge poor for healthcare: official

In Vietnam Health on January 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

In the midst of public discontent over new State-issued health insurance regulations, the Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Social Insurance Office Cao Van Sang has said he disapproves of poor patients having to pay for medical care. The underprivileged and those with chronic or incurable diseases simply cannot afford to pay treatment fees, he said.

Cao Van Sang, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Insurance Company expresses his disapproval of insured patients co-pay treatment fee

Under the new regulations, which took effect January 1, disadvantaged patients are required to pay 5 percent of medical treatment charges; but for many who barely make ends meet, this is still too high, Mr. Sang said.

The Insurance Company director said HCMC has done a good job of implementing the new policies and that over four million new insurance cards have been issued.

Healthcare workers have complained, however, of ambiguity and difficulty in executing the new regulations.

For instance, the Health Insurance Department (under the Ministry of Health) said insurance cardholders could still use their old cards one last time, but must then replace them.

Many complained that this was not made clear before the new rules took effect and thus led to much confusion.

Mr. Sang said that in the past, the law stipulated that patients must pay a portion of treatment fees, but this was later abandoned. The new regulations have brought the fees back, but policymakers and the National Assembly ought to have rejected this, he said.

Parents are also now charged for a portion of their children’s medical treatment, while insurance covers only up to around VND29.2 million (US$1,578). The cost of heart surgery for a child can run up to tens of millions of dong, however. Families that can’t afford such surgery must ask for support from district governments.

Tong Thi Song Huong, head of the Health Insurance Department, said at a recent meeting of the Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Insurance Company that while many difficulties have arisen, medical staffs have done a good job of easing patients’ concerns.

The conference, held in Hanoi on January 21, discussed the first 20 days of implementing the new insurance policies and what was left to be done.

During the meeting, Ms. Huong proposed using the charitable “Fund 139” to help poor patients who are unable to afford hospital fees.

Following Ms. Huong’s proposal, the ministry will ask the government to allow the Fund 139 to assist the poor in covering treatment charges. Hospitals throughout the country will compile information on poor patients and submit a report to the ministry for consideration. The ministry has said it will change the law if necessary to help poor people afford healthcare.

Related article:
Frustration mounts over new health insurance policies
Kids, chronic patients suffer most with new health insurance

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Genocide charge for Khmer Rouge former head of state

In World on December 18, 2009 at 4:52 am

File photo taken July 3, 2009 shows former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan in the courtroom of the court in Phnom Penh (Photo: AFP)

PHNOM PENH, Dec 18, 2009 (AFP) – Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court Friday charged Khmer Rouge former head of state Khieu Samphan with genocide, a tribunal spokesman told AFP.

The 78-year-old former leader was charged over the regime’s slaughter of Vietnamese people and ethnic Cham muslims during the 1970s, said spokesman Lars Olsen.

“This morning Khieu Samphan has been brought before the court and informed that the charges against him have been extended to include genocide against the Chams and the Vietnamese,” Olsen said.

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