Wednesday 13 November 2019

In brief: Bad-boy Michael admits spell in jail for drug-driving crash was 'karma'

George Michael has said he deserved to be jailed for a month after crashing his Range Rover while high on cannabis, describing it as "karma".

The former Wham! singer said he was "ashamed" to have broken the law repeatedly, adding that he was now in therapy over his drug abuse issues. The singer, whose real name is Georgios Panayioto, was initially taken to Pentonville Prison in north London where former inmates have included Oscar Wilde and Boy George -- one of many fellow celebrities to write to him in prison.

Families clash over mixed romance

EGYPTIAN officials say Christian and Muslim families have clashed south of Cairo in a dispute over a romance between children from the two families. The fathers from both families have been killed and a crowd of Muslims has torched a church.

Mixed relationships are taboo in Egypt, where the Muslim majority and sizeable Christian minority are both largely conservative. Such relationships are often the source of deadly clashes between the faiths.

Officials say a crowd of Muslims encircled the church in Soul yesterday and set the building on fire after police and soldiers took those inside to safety.

Duke to cut ties with paedophile

The Duke of York is to cut his ties with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein following ongoing controversy about their friendship.

Prince Andrew has known the US financier since the early Nineties, and met him as recently as December last.

Epstein, 58, was accused of sex offences by a number of under-age girls and sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Andrew and Epstein were recently pictured walking together in New York's Central Park. Buckingham Palace would not comment on the matter, but a royal source said: "It would be fair to say that you are not going to see photos of the Duke of York with Jeffrey Epstein again."

Swaziland teachers fight pay freezes

The leader of a Swaziland teachers' union says teachers are mobilising against the government's call to freeze civil service salaries for the next three years.

Sphiwe Mazibuko, president of the teachers' union, said yesterday that teachers were using recent turmoil in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia as momentum for mass mobilisation against the government's call to cut salaries. The union did not say when protests would take place.

Six die in Russian test-flight crash

Six people are reported to have been killed in Russia after an Antonov-148 airliner crashed during a test flight.

Reports say the crash took place yesterday morning in the Belgorod region about 350 miles south of Moscow.

The two pilots are understood to have been from Burma. The Interfax-AVN news agency said the Burmese air force has ordered two An-148s, though it was not immediately known if the plane that crashed was to be delivered to the country.

Protests at arrest of Bosnia general

Over 5,000 people protested yesterday against the arrest of a retired Bosnian army general whom Serbia is accusing of war crimes. Jovan Divjak, a Serbian colonel who defected to Bosnia's army at the start of the 1992-95 war between the two sides was detained last Thursday evening at the Vienna airport on Serbia's request.

Yesterday -- the third day of protests -- people yelled "Give us Jova back!" in front of the Austrian embassy before moving to the country's presidency. Sarajevans like Divjak because he is a Serbian who defected and joined the Bosnian Army, claiming "it was the moral thing to do".

Gingrich considers presidential bid

Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich says he expects to be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Gingrich announced last Thursday that he was exploring a run for president, launching a website to collect donations. Gingrich said "my expectation is that by the end of this exploratory process that we'll have an announcement and we'll be in the race". He called the prospect "very daunting, but it's also very exciting".

Ex-troops face war crime charges

A Croatian prosecutor has filed war crimes charges against four former military policemen accused of torturing Serb prisoners during the 1991-95 conflict.

The indictment alleges the four were responsible for "physical and psychological torture and harassment" of 21 Serb prisoners at Kuline military prison in the coastal town of Sibenik in 1992. It is alleged that the accused beat the prisoners on with their feet and hands, or using rubber bats, rifle butts and electric cables.

Madeley gets help for panic attacks

Dancing on Ice contender Chloe Madeley has revealed she is receiving specialist help to cope with her panic attacks while competing in the ITV show.

The 23-year-old daughter of TV duo Richard and Judy told BBC Radio 5 Live Weekend Breakfast she had suffered an anxiety attack during a routine live on air which left her in tears. Madeley said she managed to control the attacks when they began aged 20, but the pressure of performing in the skating contest was "overwhelming".

Model Dahl gives birth to first child

Model Sophie Dahl has given birth to her first child, a daughter named Lyra. Dahl, granddaughter of children's author Roald Dahl, and her husband, musician Jamie Cullum, became parents last week but news of the birth was released only yesterday.

In a brief statement a spokesperson said their daughter Lyra was born on March 2. They are over the moon."

Wikileaks suspect left naked in cell

THE lawyer for a jailed US army private suspected of leaking documents to the WikiLeaks website says his client was stripped of all his clothing at night because he made sarcastic comments to his jailers about using underwear to commit suicide.

Pfc Bradley Manning's clothing have been taken away every night after Manning remarked that if he really wanted to harm himself, he could do that with "the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops".

His attorney has called the treatment degrading.

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