The troubles of veteran US actor Will Smith, is not about to end anytime soon as he has been slammed with a 10 year ban by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, organisers of the Oscars, following his altercation with comedian Chris Rock, leading to the now famous ‘Oscar Slap.’
As a result of the ban, Smith will not attend any event organised by the Academy for the next 10 years either physically or virtually, as a result of his slapping Rock on stage during this year’s Oscars ceremony after the comedian’s nasty joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett, over loss of hair due to a health condition known as alopecia.
A statement by the Academy on Friday announcing the ban on Smith said:
“The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” the statement signed by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, said.
The decision to ban Smith, according the Academy, was made during a Board of Governors meeting held on Friday in Los Angeles, after an initial scheduled meeting for April 18 was expedited after Smith announced his resignation from the Academy last week.
After receiving the ban notice, Smith issued a quick and short statement which reads;
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the actor said.
What went down at the Oscars?
During the Academy Awards on March 27, Rock who was on stage to present an award, had made a joke about Jada Smith’s close-cropped hair, which Smith found offensive and stormed the stage in a fit of anger to smacked the comedian.
After a lot of public outcry, Smith publicly apologized to Rock the day after the incident via social media.
Smith also reached out the next morning to the show’s producer, Will Packer, apologized and expressed his embarrassment over his behaviour.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Will Smith from attending all Academy events, including the Oscars, for the next 10 years, multiple news outlets reported Friday, following his slap of comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony. pic.twitter.com/VbSDgdoG2q
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 8, 2022
To further express his regret, Smith had tendered his resignation from the Academy but entertainment aficionados had predicted that further actions would be taken against him.
WHO ‘very worried’ over spread of Mpox varieties in Congo DR
A senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO), Rosamund Lewis, has said that the body is “very worried” about the spread of a variety of Mpox that has killed nearly 600 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year.
This year alone, Congo DR has reported 13,000 cases, which is more than twice as many as during the last peak in 2020, with the disease occurring in almost every province. The WHO is working with the authorities on the response and a risk assessment.
The dangerous clade mpox outbreak was the subject of a warning released by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday.
“The virus variant is known to be more virulent. If it adapts better to human-to-human transmission, that presents a risk,” Lewis, WHO’s mpox lead, told journalists.
WHO in May announced that the disease was no longer a global health emergency after which its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the end of the emergency status for the disease.
Most reported cases of the disease were identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary healthcare facilities, and involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.
A less severe form known as clade II started to spread around the world last year, mostly through male-to-male sexual contact, prompting WHO to declare a public health emergency.
Lewis expressed concern over new evidence suggesting that clade I can also spread through sexual contact. According to her, mumps can also infect humans through contaminated animals or family members living together in a home. Children and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable; in up to 10% of cases of clade I, illness results in death.
“We have very little information of who is dying of mpox [in DRC] other than age,” said Lewis, adding more data was needed.
The viral infection known as mpox spreads by intimate contact and results in lesions filled with pus and flu-like symptoms. Although most cases are mild and can be fatal.
Sudan Conflict: US insists all warring parties guilty of war crimes
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has maintained that neither party in the ongoing conflict in Sudan can be exonerated from war crimes.
The position was made known on Wednesday as the US continues pressure on the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to end fighting that has caused a humanitarian crisis. The US also insisted that the RSF and allied militias committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
“The expansion of the needless conflict between the RSF and the SAF has caused grievous human suffering,” Blinken said, referring to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). In West Darfur, the RSF has also been charged with spearheading an ethnic massacre; in the capital city of Khartoum, locals have accused the paramilitary group of raping, stealing, and detaining civilians.
“Masalit civilians have been hunted down and left for dead in the streets, their homes set on fire, and told that there is no place in Sudan for them,” Blinken said. The Masalit are a non-Arab tribe.
“Detainees have been abused, and some have been killed at SAF and RSF detention sites,” Blinken added.
A war broke out in mid-April between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over plans for a political transition and the integration of the RSF into the military, four years after longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown in an uprising.
Blinken, however, maintained that the position did not rule out the possibility of other determinations in the future as more information became available.
“The United States is committed to building on this determination and using available tools to end this conflict and cease committing the atrocities and other abuses that are depriving the Sudanese people of freedom, peace, and justice,” Blinken said.
Over 6 million people have fled their homes as a result of the conflict, and about 1.2 million of them have entered neighbouring countries, severely straining the resources of Sudan and its neighbours.
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