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France Condemns Assassination Of Haiti President, Jovenel Moise

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France on Wednesday condemned the “cowardly assassination” of Haiti president Jovenel Moise, urging restraint and calm in the Caribbean nation in the wake of his killing.

“All light must be shed on this crime, which takes place in a political and security climate that has severely worsened,” said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“I urge all those in Haitian politics to act with calm and restraint,” he added.

Moise was assassinated and his wife wounded early Wednesday in a gun attack at their private residence, tipping the impoverished and crisis-hit Caribbean nation into a renewed state of political uncertainty.

Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a “state of siege” and said he was now in charge of the country, urging the public to remain calm while insisting the police and army would ensure public order.

As international outrage and shock spread over the killing, the capital Port-au-Prince was quiet early Wednesday with no extra security forces on patrol, witnesses reported.

“The president was assassinated at his home by foreigners who spoke English and Spanish,” Joseph said of the assault that took place around 1:00 am (0500 GMT). “They shot and killed the president, and wounded his wife.”

The president’s wife Martine was being treated at hospital.

Moise had ruled Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, by decree, after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed in the wake of disputes, including on when his own term ends.

In addition to the political chaos, kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the country.

Haiti also faces chronic poverty and recurrent natural disasters.

 

Credit: AFP

 

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Foreign News

Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock Packs Out Of Marital Home After Video Of Him Kissing Aide Went Viral

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Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has been pictured packing his belongings and moving out of his family home after his affair with his aide was exposed.

Matt, who resigned in June after CCTV footage of him kissing his aide was released by The Sun, was seen collecting bags and boxes containing his personal belongings.

Hancock was caught cuddling and kissing his aide Coladangelo in his office at the Department of Health on May 6 – prompting his resignation and the end of his 15-year marriage.

Hancock and Coladangelo, who has three children with her husband Oliver Tress, both left their spouses after their illicit liaison was uncovered.

On Thursday, July 29, Hancock, who was not wearing his wedding ring, was pictured collecting his belongings from his marital home in London.

Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock seen packing out of his marital home after video of him kissing his aide went viral

Witnesses say his wife Martha was handing him the belongings during the visit to their home, The Sun reports.

Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock seen packing out of his marital home after video of him kissing his aide went viral

He arrived at 4pm but she did not let him into the house, with the pair only speaking on the doorstep.

Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock seen packing out of his marital home after video of him kissing his aide went viral

 

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Foreign News

Over 50 People Dead As Philippine Military Plane Crashes With 96 People Aboard

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Fifty people have been confirmed dead when a Philippine Air Force plane crashed in the southern Philippines on Sunday.

It is the country’s worst military air disaster in decades as the C-130 military plane, transporting troops from Cagayan de Oro, in Mindanao, to Sulu province missed the runway on the island of Jolo, CNN reports.

The news agency cited Armed Forces Chief Cirilito Sobejana saying the plane, which was carrying 96 military personnel and crew, crashed into nearby Patikul village at 11:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.

“Minutes after the crash, troops and civilian volunteers rushed to the site for search and rescue.

“Per eyewitnesses, a number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash,” according to a press release by Joint Task Force Sulu.

All victims have now been accounted for. Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, a spokesman for the military said 47 army personnel died, while 49 survived the crash and are being treated in hospitals. Three civilians on the ground were killed and four were injured, Arevalo said.

He added that the soldiers on the flight were fresh graduates and had just completed military training.

An investigative team arrived Monday to look for the plane’s flight data recorder and probe what caused the crash.

A similar crash happened recently in Nigeria killing the country’s topmost military officers, including its Chief of Army Staff.

 

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Bill Cosby Released From Prison After Court Overturns Sexual Assault Conviction

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Bill Cosby was freed on Wednesday after nearly three years in prison following a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn his 2018 conviction on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.

The 83-year-old comedian and actor has long maintained his innocence in the case, which stems from an accusation that he drugged and had sex with a Temple University employee in 2004.

The court ruling on Wednesday resulted from an agreement Mr Cosby struck with a district attorney, Bruce Castor, in 2005 wherein Mr Castor declined to prosecute Mr Cosby in exchange for the comedian’s testimony during a civil trial. Mr Cosby served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia.

Mr Cosby shared a statement on social media: “Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.” The statement included an image of Mr Cosby punching the air.

Mr Cosby “must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred,” they wrote. “We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled.”

Mr Cosby was released on Wednesday afternoon, a short time after the court’s decision was made public.

The current district attorney of the jurisdiction where the trial took place, Montgomery County, told ABC News in a statement that Mr Cosby “was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime”.

The shocking news comes a year after Mr Cosby’s parole was denied after he declined to participate in a sexual violence program conducted in the prison, with his attorneys arguing at the time that participation in such a program would make their client appear guilty.

Mr Castor previously made a name for himself earlier in 2021 as the lead attorney presenting the defense of President Donald Trump during his second Senate impeachment trial.

According to the documents and testimony reviewed by the Court, Mr Castor agreed to not prosecute Mr Cosby after deciding that there was not enough evidence to go further with prosecution, and in the hopes that Mr Cosby would testify at a civil trial without the benefit of Fifth Amendment protections.

During depositions for that trial, Mr Cosby made incriminating statements that led to his subsequent conviction when the criminal case was reopened years later, but the Supreme Court’s justices ruled that it didn’t matter because of the 2005 decision by Mr Castor not to prosecute.

The high-profile status of Mr Cosby, once known as “America’s Dad” and star of the hugely popular and influential 1980s The Cosby Show , drew national attention to the case. In 2015, President Barack Obama commented on the news, telling reporters: “I’ll say this, if you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape. And I think this country, any civilised country, should have no tolerance for rape.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on the case specifically at Wednesday’s news briefing, while touting President Joe Biden’s belief that women should be heard when they raise claims of sexual misconduct committed by men.

 

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