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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.

Musings From Abroad

Germany joins France, Egypt, withdraws troops from peacekeeping mission in Mali. Here’s why

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The trend of breaking diplomatic relations between Mali and the rest of the world has continued.

In the latest on the trend, Germany announced Friday that it was suspending its participation in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Germany’s announcement comes after the West African nation refused to grant a civilian aircraft carrying German troops permission to use its airspace.

According to Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, her Malian counterpart, Sadio Camara, had not adhered to agreements to use its airspace.

Recall that Germany earlier in the year announced that it was drawing down its participation in a European Union military mission in Mali after France pulled out.

Last month, North African country, Egypt also announced plans to withdraw its troops from Mali by mid-August following deadly attacks against its peacekeepers.

But Germany continued to provide troops to the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in the West African nation.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

Berlin has deployed some 1,000 troops to Mali, most of them near the northern town of Gao where their main task is to gather reconnaissance for the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.

Mali has been in the eye of terror storm since  war started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group

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Musings From Abroad

What next? As US Secretary, Anthony Blinken, ends African tour

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The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has concluded three-nation tour of Africa where he articulated the US new strategy for engaging with sub-Saharan African nations as “equal partners”.

Blinken boarded Thursday a plane to leave Kigali, Rwanda, his last stop having visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and attempted to intervene in the diplomatic tension between the East African neighbours.

Despite having seek support from the continent’s 54 countries in efforts to isolate Russia over its Ukraine invasion, the US official in his recent visit said “Uncle Sam” will not dictate Africa’s choices.

Blinken took part in several meetings with members of the Rwandan government, discussing issues such as democracy, human rights concerns and the on-going tensions between Rwanda and the DRC.

“There are very credible reports of support for armed groups by all sides, including the FDLR, by Congolese forces and M23, by Rwandans, US’s top diplomat said. Our position is clear, whoever it’s by, whoever it’s to, that support needs to cease for any armed group.”

Despite a meeting between Kagame and Tshisekedi in Angola last month ties between the neighbors remain strained.

Blinken visit to Africa is the latest in the recent visits by international representatives. Recall  that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel recently visited. Ukraine also announced that its foreign minister will soon be visiting in a yet to be announced that.

 

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