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US journalist killed in Ukraine as committee for press seeks justice

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An American journalist was killed near the capital, Kyiv in Ukraine when he and a colleague came under fire, regional police and a government official have said.

Russian troops opened fire on the car of Brent Renaud and another journalist in Irpin, about 10km (6 miles) northwest of the capital, the Kyiv police force said in a statement on Sunday. It said the injured journalist was taken to a hospital in Kyiv.

The adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, Anton Herashchenko, confirmed the incident on a Telegram channel.

The journalist being treated at the hospital said he and a colleague were shot after they were stopped at a checkpoint just after a bridge in Irpin.

Juan Arredondo told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli in an interview from the hospital before being taken for surgery that the colleague who was with him was hit in the neck and remained on the ground earlier on Sunday.

Camilli told The Associated Press news agency that she was at the hospital when Arredondo arrived and that Arredondo himself had been wounded, hit in the lower back when stopped at a Russian checkpoint.

He told Camilli that he and Renaud were filming refugees fleeing the area when they were shot at while in a car approaching a checkpoint. The driver turned around but the firing at them continued, Arredondo added.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists called for the killers to be brought to justice.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of U.S. journalist Brent Renaud in Ukraine. This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York. “Russian forces in Ukraine must stop all violence against journalists and other civilians at once, and whoever killed Renaud should be held to account.”

Musings From Abroad

‘Trapped in Closet’: American singer, R Kelly, sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering, sexual abuses

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American singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, popular known as R. Kelly is now officially “trapped in the closet” of his ugly past as he has been sentenced to 30 years in prison over charges of racketeering and traping teenagers and women for sex.

The presiding judge, Ann Donnelly slammed the singer the term in the Brooklyn federal court nearly a year after the 55-year-old Kelly was convicted by a New York jury.

The was sentence confirmed was confirmed by the the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said in a tweet on Wednesday. “The verdict is in: R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years,”

The District had earlier tweeted that the “United States Attorney Breon Peace will deliver remarks today following the sentencing of R. Kelly”

The prosecutors argued that Kelly still “poses a serious danger to the public, ” and prayed that the artist behind bars for at least 25 years.

Although the disgraced singer lawyers called for a lighter sentence with a maximum of approximately 17 years, R. Kelly was found guilty on all nine charges he faced, including the most serious of racketeering in September.

“His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling, and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

Many of his victims claimed they were assured he could bolster their music industry aspirations. But prosecutors argued all were instead “indoctrinated” into Kelly’s world — groomed for sex at his whim and kept in line by “coercive means of control,” including isolation and cruel disciplinary measures, recordings of which were played for the jury.

In his prime, Kelly was credited with helping to redefine R&B and hip hop, earning nicknames such as “the King of R&B”, “the King of Pop-Soul”, and the “Pied Piper of R&B”.He is known for his extensive discography of hits spanning three decades. His career has however been repeatedly tagged with accusations of sexual abuse with young adults and minors.

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US Supreme Court abolishes abortion right after almost 50-year precedence

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The US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito who wrote for the Majority argued that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which had favoured abortion right “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The ruling comes after leaked draft of Roe vs Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights across the country has caused outrage last month.

The Roe vs Wade, ruling was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Although the supreme court declined comment at the time of the leak in May, the Friday ruling perhaps confirmed the fears of many.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in a series of tweets while reacting to the leak stressed that “an extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has drawn reactions from top politicians in the US. One of such is veteran congressman and Democrat, Benie Sanders who tweeted that “overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.”

American singer, Taylor Swift, also reacted against the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The singer said on twitter.

Also reacting to the ruling is US former president, Barrack Obama, who said “today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Meanwhile, there have also been reactions in support of the abolishing of the nearly 50 years of precedent, notably Americans with ideological sentiment with Republicans.

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