Saturday, 1 August 2015
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been found guilty of assault following her encounter with a paparazzo photographer in August 2009. The photographer, Gaetano Di Giovanni, accused Naomi of scratching his eye and hitting him with a handbag when he attempted to take pictures of her and her former Russian billionaire boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin as they walked through the Sicilian island of Lipar in 2009.
Di Giovanni said Naomi noticed he was taking photos of her and Vladimir and attacked him with her handbag. She scratched one of his eyes and he needed medical treatment following the incident and took three days to recover, he testified in court.
Naomi was convicted of assault by a Sicilian court yesterday Friday July 31st and received a six months suspended prison sentence.
The question of what should be done about prostitution is as old as the profession itself, but the issue is now front and center again, as a leading human rights group proposes decriminalization, while some countries push toward harsher penalties for those who pay for sex.
In France, England and Ireland, lawmakers are considering new measures — and in the cases of Northern Ireland and Canada, are enforcing new laws — that decriminalize prostitution, but impose penalties on clients, using a model adopted in Sweden in 1999.
But the effort to crack down on a largely male clientele while sheltering a mostly female work force is taking place just as the human rights group Amnesty International is advocating a new course: decriminalizing all sex work, both for buyers and sellers.
At an international conference next week in Dublin, about 500 Amnesty delegates from more than 80 countries will vote on whether to advocate the elimination of all penalties for sex work, on the grounds that it is a matter of privacy between consenting adults.
The proposal has been denounced by women’s groups like the New York-based Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and celebrities like Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Gloria Steinem.
“Prostitution has always been considered a domestic matter and now Amnesty could elevate it to a point of international human rights law,” said Francis A. Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois and a former Amnesty board member in the United States. He called that development “significant.”
“But why is the resolution so broad?” he asked. “Everything should be organized around that basic principle of protecting the women and girls. We should be protecting human beings, and not sex work.”
In June, the French National Assembly voted to support a law to penalize clients of prostitutes. The legislation still faces a vote in the Senate, which rejected an earlier version last year that would have imposed 1,500-euro fines (about $2,050 a year ago) for buyers and offered social services for prostitutes.
Last month, Northern Ireland started enforcing new regulations that carry 1,000-pound fines (about $1,500) and prison terms for buyers. Canada also instituted similar laws this year.
Politicians in England and Ireland are also exploring the so-called Swedish or Nordic model to make cash for sex a crime.
For many countries, the notion of penalizing customers is tempting. Since Sweden passed its pioneering law 16 years ago focusing on buyers, street prostitution in major Swedish cities has declined, dropping by more than half since 1995. The number of men who said they purchased sex fell, as well, by more than 40 percent in that time period, according to a report this year by a Swedish government agency.
But Amnesty International, formed in 1961 to bring attention to political prisoners, argues that sexual desire is a fundamental need and that punishing buyers “may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and undermine the rights to free expression and health.”
The group also cites the benefits for buyers with physical and psychological disabilities who “feel safe to express their sexuality” and “develop a stronger sense of self with their relationships with sex workers, improving their life enjoyment and dignity.”
Amnesty also sides with the argument, made recently by sex workers in France, that penalizing customers would drive prostitution further underground, making the workers more vulnerable to dangers.
The policy vote comes as greater attention is being paid to human trafficking, which for women often results in forced prostitution, or sex work as a means of survival. Pope Francis has been outspoken on the issue, calling it a plague on humanity and urging the passage of new legislation to penalize traffickers and help rehabilitate victims.
The decriminalization stance has roiled some of Amnesty’s two million paying members. Some complain that the draft policy was conceived at Amnesty’s headquarters in London. Over the last two years, versions have been reviewed by the organization’s national chapters, and a consensus emerged supporting decriminalization for just the prostitutes, according to minutes of organizational meetings.
The issues raised by the Swedish model are all relevant, said Thomas Schultz-Jagow, a London spokesman for Amnesty, who added that the organization is not discounting it.
“We are looking at decriminalization of sex work in a very comprehensive way that goes beyond the Nordic model,” he said. “We have looked at the pros and cons of various models and these things will be considered.”
If a majority approve the decriminalization proposal at next week’s conference, it will be shaped into a final form by Amnesty’s board. On a practical level, the stance will not have any immediate impact, except it will be the organization’s official position as it lobbies on issues in various countries.
Nevertheless, women’s groups have been sharply critical, arguing that such a position by an organization of Amnesty’s stature could sway policy and ultimately result in legalized brothels and owners free to recruit women from poorer countries as prostitutes.
”It really undermines the whole concept of human rights to call it the right of man to buy other human beings for sex,” said Jessica Neuwirth, a former Amnesty member and the founder of Equality Now, an international women’s rights group based in New York and London.
She said there are suspicions among the opposition groups that the sex industry helped shape the proposal.
Last year, Amnesty’s English chapter issued a denial in response to questions about the role of a male escort named Douglas Fox, who claimed credit for pressing for decriminalization through the chapter in Newcastle, England. Amnesty said, though, that he had not been a member for years and had “zero input” on its sex work proposal.
In an interview, Mr. Fox described himself as a male escort, and denied that he owned an escort service company operated by his partner. After joining Amnesty in 2008, he said that he lobbied the group to decriminalize sex work. He said he quit the organization the following year after it sent him letters asking him to stop promoting himself as a member.
“The fact that they are looking to decriminalize is basically what we were proposing,” he said. “They are supporting it for all the same reasons.” He added that the Swedish model to target buyers amounted to “manufactured moral panic.” He said: “They think that if you are a foreign sex worker that you are trafficked. We feel they are actually economic migrants.”
Niki Adams, a spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes in London, said that her group has submitted information to Amnesty’s chapters in England and Scotland to support decriminalization for all. The organization, which represents women in the sex industry, has also organized a petition drive that is backed by the actor Rupert Everett.
“The really crucial element,” she said, “is that it defines sex workers as exchanging sex for money as opposed to characterizing them as victims of violence.”
But some women who are former prostitutes say they feel betrayed. Rachel Moran, the author of “Paid For,” which describes her seven-year experience as a prostitute in Ireland, is involved with a group of women who are organizing to oppose Amnesty’s proposal.
“It’s wrong because decriminalizing pimps and johns has been shown to massively inflate the market,” she said. “With an inflated market you have more abusers and, as an obvious consequence, more abuse. This has played out in Nevada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany and everywhere else the sex trade has been legalized.”
Culled from New York Times.
Bin Laden family on Blackbushe Airport crash plane 11 minutes ago From the sectionEnglandMedia caption.
The 'devastating' scene after the jet plane crash near Blackbushe Airport was captured on film.
Family members of Osama Bin Laden were killed in a private jet crash in Hampshire on Friday, the Saudi Arabian embassy in the UK has said.
It came down near Blackbushe Airport, close to the Surrey border, killing the pilot and all three passengers.
In a statement, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, offered condolences to the Bin Laden family.
The embassy said it was in contact with the British crash investigators.
The statement said: "His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud... has paid his condolences to the family and relatives of Mohammed bin Laden at Blackbushe airport in Britain for the great loss they have suffered as a result of the crash of the plane that was carrying the family."
The embassy added that it was working with the British authorities to ensure the speedy handover of the bodies for funerals and burials in Saudi Arabia.
The plane - an Embraer Phenom 300 - is reported to have belonged to an aviation firm owned by the Saudi-based family of the former al-Qaeda leader.
Aviation enthusiast Geoff Pierce took this photograph of the aircraft moments before it crashedEyewitnesses described a thick plume of smoke following the crash
The plane, which was arriving from Milan, Italy, crashed into a British Car Auctions site at the airfield shortly after 15:00 BST, exploding on impact.
Eyewitnesses at the scene said there had been a "ball of flames" and "several explosions".
The pilot and all three passengers were killed but no-one on the ground was injured, Hampshire Police said.
In a statement, the force said: "We do believe three of the deceased to be the mother, sister and brother-in-law of the owner of the aircraft, all of whom are from the Bin Laden family, but formal post-mortem examinations are ongoing.
"They were Saudi Arabian nationals and visiting the UK on vacation."
It is carrying out a joint investigation with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and has urged anyone with pictures and videos to get in touch on 101.
A spokeswoman for AAIB said a team had been deployed to the site.
In a statement, Blackbushe Airport, in Yateley, which is currently closed, said the jet had crashed near the end of the runway while attempting to make a landing.
Phil Giles, a former air accident investigator, said: "It suggests that the plane either landed too late or tried to take off again when the pilot realised it wasn't going to make the end of the runway.
"Or it may have been a problem with the brakes."
The Bin Laden family treeOsama Bin Laden's father Mohammed was originally from Yemen and moved to Saudi Arabia in the 1910sHe became the head of a construction empire that is behind some of the biggest building projects in Saudi ArabiaMohammed Bin Laden, who died in a plane crash in 1968, had many wives, and is estimated to have had at least 50 childrenHis eldest son, Salem Bin Laden, also died in a plane crash in Texas in 1988The Bin Laden family - many of whom live in the US - severed ties with Osama before disowning him after the 11 September attacks
A spokeswoman for Milan Malpensa Airport confirmed the plane had left at 13:30 BST on its way to Hampshire.
The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation tweeted that the plane was a Saudi-registered private aircraft, and said it would support the UK's AAIB in its investigation.
Geoff Pierce, an aviation enthusiast from Fleet in Hampshire, was at Blackbushe airfield and saw the plane come down.
He said: "I've seen that type of aircraft land a number of times at the airport. At first I didn't realise what was happening, I was taking photos at the time."
He said the plane did not seem to make a normal approach and appeared to be going at high speed.
"The next thing I knew the siren was wailing on the control tower and then I saw a big plume of black smoke."
39-year-old father of 3, Ekpeyong Essien, who raped a 9 year old girl blamed his 2 sons, whom he alleged are witches, for pushing him to commit the crime.
Essien, who hails from Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, had on July 12, raped 9 year old Bright Benjamin, at Hawkins Primary School in the Calabar South area of the state capital.
He said the girl had approached him for money to pay her fares home, but he simply instructed her to follow him to a nearby primary school where he defiled her with his fingers.
Essien said his life became useless after his two sons were bewitched by one of his neighbours.
Essien is currently in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Cross River State Police Command at Diamond Hill in Calabar and would soon be charged to court.
Narrating how he defiled the little girl, he said:
“It was the handiwork of witches. Someone bewitched my children and my children in turn used what they have been given to affect my life negatively. The person who bewitched my children lives in our compound. What my children are doing with the witchcraft is to ensure that I become useless in life.
“When I saw the girl, I called her and she followed me. I touched her a little before she followed me to Hawkins Primary School area in Calabar South. The place is close to the Hawkins cemetery and when I saw her, she was actually behind some group of persons that were going to the cemetery to bury someone.
“She wanted me to give her transport fare back to her home. That was how I lured her with a promise to give her money. I have grown up children older than her. I do not know how she got attracted to me at that moment because I believe I was under the spell of my children’s devilish practice.
“When I took her to one side of the school, I started romancing her. I did not force her to follow me, she did willingly. It was raining at that time. I had not seen her before. I only saw her on that day. I only fiddled with her private part, we had not really started making love before one security man in the school raised the alarm and I was caught.”
He said he was a footballer with a local team before his children made him become useless.
“I used to play football in one of the local clubs but my children stopped me through their devilish practice. I am not the only one that is accusing my children of practising witchcraft; other tenants in the compound also know,”.
Essien, who regretted his action, is pleading with the parents of the girl to forgive him.
“I wish I could see the girl’s father to beg him. I am willing to pay any amount that they have spent on her in the hospital. I am really regretting my action because I have never had a criminal record before,” he said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, said the medical report after the incident showed that the girl had been defiled.
“Because the suspect tried to penetrate and could not succeed, he used his fingers to defile her and based on the medical report, the girl has been defiled. The report showed bruises all over her vagina.
“He actually heard the footsteps of someone coming and he ran away. The security man raised the alarm and he was caught. He is still under investigation and will soon be charged to court as soon as that is completed.”
I think it was just a mutual agreement. We’re still really good friends.”I can’t really support a man on tour any more. I kinda did that already, and I’m just not in a space where that’s what I really wanna do. I just need to focus on my son and my business. I’m dating other people and just having a good time.”she saidThere have been rumors going around that she's been messing with 22-year-old, NY Giant's wide receiver- Odell Beckham. They recently followed each other, and Amber recently went to New York for a couple of days and they were both at Rosenburg's Bday party. He has however, denied dating Amber Rose.