Day: January 21, 2019

Cyprus: 2 men missing with baby they allegedly bought

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriot police say they are seeking two men who are missing with a baby girl that they allegedly tried to adopt after a domestic worker purchased the child in the Philippines on their behalf.

Police said Monday the two men, a Greek Cypriot man and a foreign national who are believed to be a couple, face charges including people trafficking, conspiracy and forgery.

Police said the female domestic worker — who had worked for the Greek Cypriot man’s father — had brought the baby back to Cyprus pretending it was hers.

The woman is in custody, but the baby is believed to be with the couple, who have so far evaded arrest.

The Associated Press

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Brad Pitt’s new love Charlize Theron has been involved in a long-running feud with Angelina Jolie.

Pitt, 55, and Theron, 42, have been getting closer to one another over the awards season after being introduced by her former fiance Sean Penn.

However, Jolie, 43, will not be happy about hearing of her estranged husband’s new romance. previously reported that the pair have been “feuding for years” over film roles and can’t stand each other.

Their disagreements started after Jolie was “stalling on committing to a ‘Bride Of Frankenstein’ remake” just to frustrate the Theron.

Radar reported Jolie was “stringing Theron along, refusing to commit to the project, and denying the star the opportunity to accept other roles, as she awaits a decision.”

The source said: “Angie hasn’t made a deal with Universal to do their next monster flick, but the offer’s still on the table. She could use the $20m paycheck. She seems to enjoy sticking it to Charlize, who wanted to do this film and is convinced Angie stepped in to take it off her.”

This led to the two leads battling out for various roles for several years.

Theron was considered for a part in the remake of “Murder On The Orient Express”, which Jolie at first turned down, but then wanted.

In the end neither of them accepted a role for the film, which was later taken by Michelle Pfeiffer.

Jolie also starred in “The Tourist” after Theron turned it down, according to various sources.

“The hate fest between these two started a long time ago and just won’t stop,” the insider told Radar.

“It’s as though directors are getting a buzz out of playing them against each other, by dangling a script to both of them then leaving them to b—- and slug it out.”

Now Pitt is reportedly romancing South African born beauty Theron that could lead to major complications.

He has endured a bitter divorce with Jolie over the past two years that reportedly was nearing completion this year.

But news of his relationship with Theron could further anger Jolie and halt proceedings.

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Christopher Brass and Jason Meilleur Found Guilty Of Jeanenne Fontaine’s Shooting Death

WINNIPEG — A jury has found two men guilty of manslaughter in the high-profile shooting death of a Winnipeg woman inside a home that was then set on fire.

Christopher Brass and Jason Meilleur were charged after Jeanenne Fontaine was killed in March 2017.

A photo of Jeanenne Fontaine taken from her obituary.

She was the cousin of Tina Fontaine, a teenager whose body was found three years earlier in the Red River, and whose death fuelled calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Another man, Malcolm Mitchell, pleaded guilty to shooting Jeanenne Fontaine last month and was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder.

The Crown had argued that Brass and Meilleur should be convicted of manslaughter because they went to the home with Mitchell and were planning to rob Fontaine and her boyfriend when the shooting happened.

The Crown said the three went to collect on a drug debt — about $90 worth of methamphetamine — and Brass and Meilleur should have known the situation would turn violent because Mitchell was armed with both a gun and a knife.

Defence lawyers did not present evidence during the trial, but said during closing arguments that the Crown had failed to prove that a robbery was being committed. A cellphone and other valuables were left untouched.

They also pointed to witness testimony that Mitchell was alone with Fontaine in a bedroom when he shot her. Brass and Meilleur were elsewhere in the house. Mitchell then started the fire.

Latest in a series of tragedies for Fontaine family

The killing was the latest in a series of hardships for the Fontaine family.

A relative testified that Jeanenne, who was 29, only started taking meth after her cousin Tina’s body was pulled from the Red River in 2014.

The 15-year-old’s body had been wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down with rocks. The man accused in her death, Raymond Cormier, was acquitted last year.

Tina Fontaine had also spiralled downward after a family tragedy. Her father, Eugene Fontaine, was beaten to death in 2011. Two men pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Victim impact statements at their trial noted that Tina had a happy childhood but was unable to cope with her father’s death, got into trouble, and drifted away from the people closest to her.

Brass is already serving life sentences for the first-degree murder of Daniel Dipaolo, who was found dead in Regina home in April 2017, and for a second-degree murder conviction in the shooting death of Bryer Prysianzniuk-Settee in Winnipeg in February of that same year.

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Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau told his MPs to stay focused on helping Canadians at home in this coming election year, despite the anxiety created by global turbulence.

The prime minister referred to the China-U.S. trade war and the pending Brexit divorce of Britain and Europe, as well as the threat of climate change and the economic upheaval of lost jobs to Artificial Intelligence.

But Trudeau skirted mention of Canada’s personal list of international woes, including its plummeting relations with China after the RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1 at the behest of the United States.

Days later, China detained Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, on vague allegations of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security.” Last week, a third imprisoned Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, received an upgraded sentence to a previous drug smuggling conviction from a Chinese court — death.

“People across the country — and really, around the world — are anxious about what they see happening on the news, and in their communities,” Trudeau said Sunday at the opening of a two-day caucus retreat for Liberal MPs on Parliament Hill.

“Climate change is an increasingly dire threat, with floods and fires destroying whole towns at a blistering pace. The world’s two largest economies are at odds, and our founding European nations are going through unprecedented political turmoil.”

Trudeau avoided mention of two other major international irritants.

There’s the uncertainty around some significant unfinished economic business with the Trump administration in Washington, D.C., that cuts to the core of Canada’s economic future. This includes ratifying a newly renegotiated North American free trade agreement, and getting rid of punishing U.S. sanctions on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Canada is also in the midst of a falling out with Saudi Arabia, which started in August when the country’s volatile Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was bent out of shape by a tweet from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland calling for the release of political prisoners. Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador, froze investment and recalled its foreign university students.

Earlier this month, Canada accepted 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun as a refugee from Saudi Arabia after she became an internet sensation in Thailand for fleeing what she alleged was an abusive family.

Those international headaches could make it more difficult for the Trudeau Liberals to keep the focus on domestic concerns as they navigate their way through an election year.

He used Sunday’s speech to sharpen what will be his core campaign message when Canadians are expected to go the polls in October in the next federal election.

Trudeau took several partisan shots at the Conservatives, saying they have no plan for tackling climate change and the economy while citing Liberal gains in lowering taxes and unemployment. The prime minister singled out the Canada Child Benefit.

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope, branding his opposition as a party of wedge politics rooted in the ideas of its former leader, Stephen Harper.

“Make no mistake: The Conservatives pretend to be ’for the people,’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is still very much the party of Stephen Harper,” Trudeau said.

“It’s all the same — wedge issues, cuts to services and the will to look backwards. They’ll never change.”

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Ex-Nissan chairman Ghosn asks for bail, promises not to flee

TOKYO — Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn on Monday asked for his release on bail from a two-month detention in Japan, promising he will report to prosecutors daily and wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

“As the court considers my bail application, I want to emphasize that I will reside in Japan and respect any and all bail conditions the court concludes are warranted,” he said in a statement shared with The Associated Press through a representative of Ghosn and his family.

“I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom; nothing is more important to me or to my family,” he said.

Ghosn, 64, and in custody since his Nov. 19 arrest, is due for a bail hearing Monday after his bail request was denied by a Tokyo court last week.

His latest request includes a lease for a Tokyo apartment, where he promises to live. The offer to wear a monitoring device is not standard for Japanese bail but is often included in U.S. bail conditions. No trial date has been set.

In Japan, suspects are often kept in detention until trials start, especially those who assert innocence, in what’s criticized as “hostage justice.” Tokyo prosecutors say Ghosn is a flight risk and may tamper with evidence. Legal experts, including Ghosn’s lawyers, say preparations for trials as complex as Ghosn’s take six months or longer.

Ghosn is also promising to give up his passport and hire security guards acceptable to prosecutors that he would pay for.

He has been charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his compensation from Nissan Motor Co., and breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and pay a Saudi businessman.

Ghosn has asserted his innocence, saying the compensation was never decided, Nissan never suffered losses and the payments were for legitimate services for Nissan’s business in the Gulf.

He has been held in austere conditions at the Tokyo Detention Center, allowed visits only by embassy officials, lawyers and prosecutors. His wife, Carole Ghosn, has expressed worries about his health and appealed to Human Rights Watch about what she saw as his unfair and harsh treatment.

Ghosn led Nissan for two decades, turning it around from near-bankruptcy to one of the world’s biggest and most successful auto groups. A Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, with work experience in the U.S., Ghosn was admired internationally for his managerial skills. He was sent in 1999 by Renault SA of France, which owns 43 per cent of Nissan.

Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa has denounced Ghosn, accusing him of using company money and assets for personal gain. But Nissan’s oversight has raised serious questions about governance at the automaker behind the Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury models.

Nissan’s internal investigation found Nissan purchased homes and furnishings for Ghosn in Lebanon and Brazil, but only a handful of people at Nissan knew, according to people familiar with the probe. Nissan still owns the homes.

The latest development in the investigation was discussed by the board of Nissan’s Japanese alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp. last week, centring on millions of dollars of salary and bonus pay to Ghosn by the automakers’ joint venture in Amsterdam last year, which neither Mitsubishi nor Nissan knew about.

No charges have been filed on these payments, which are separate from the compensation from Nissan cited in the charges already filed.

Ghosn’s compensation was long a sticking point in Japan, where the income difference between executives and workers is so minimal that company presidents are also called “salarymen.” Ghosn has said he deserved pay comparable to other star leaders of global companies.

Ghosn defended his record at Nissan at a Tokyo court earlier this month.

“I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan. I believe strongly that in all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honourably, legally, and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company,” he said.


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Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press

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