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R. Kelly’s ex-manager jailed for stalking abuse victim

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R. Kelly’s former manager has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for stalking and harassing one of the singer’s victims.

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Donnell Russell pleaded guilty in July to using threats and intimidation to silence one of the women Kelly abused.

Using an alias, he published explicit photos of her online in an attempt to stop her testifying against his client.

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Kelly was ultimately convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Russell, a self-described manager, advisor and friend to Kelly, used “reprehensible” tactics against the unnamed victim and her mother, after she filed a civil case against the singer in 2018.

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He continued to harass them when it became clear that she was cited in New York State’s criminal case against Kelly, and was likely to testify.

Between November 2018 and February 2020, Russell threatened to reveal sexually explicit photographs of the woman; sending texts that read: “Pull the plug or you will be exposed”.

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In 2019, he created a Facebook page under the alias Colon Dunn, and posted screenshots of text messages between Kelly and the victim, including the same sexually explicit photographs.

He later appeared on two separate YouTube broadcasts defending Kelly, where he again displayed the photographs.

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Ahead of his sentencing, Russell’s lawyers argued he should not receive jail time, saying he had led an “otherwise exemplary life” before “crossing the line in his attempts to curry favour with Robert Kelly”.

But prosecutors disagreed, saying it was important to show victims the law was on their side.

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“The punishment meted out to the defendant today is a victory for crime victims, particularly those of sexual assault and abuse, who are often reluctant to come forward to law enforcement or pursue legal recourse, given the trauma and fear of retaliation associated with publicly discussing their experiences,” said Breon Peace, US Attorney for the eastern district of New York.

Separate from the stalking charges, Russell was also convicted in July of making a hoax call, claiming that a gunman was about to open fire on a Manhattan theatre that was about to premiere the Surviving R Kelly documentary that ultimately prompted criminal charges against the singer.

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He will be sentenced on those charges next week.

Kelly was one of the biggest R&B stars of the 1990s and 2000s, scoring hits like I Believe I Can Fly, Ignition (Remix) and Bump N’ Grind.

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Although rumours of sexual misconduct followed him for years, he evaded charges until 2019’s Surviving R Kelly documentary prompted prosecutors to appeal for victims to come forward.

After being found guilty in New York last year, the star faced a separate trial in Chicago over the summer, where he was found guilty on three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor.

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Sentencing is due in that case in February 2023.

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Foreign

School staff locked up child with no food until they started eating their own faeces

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A former Liberty ISD teacher and two instructional assistants have been arrested for allegedly isolating a student with no food until they were forced to eat their own feces and drink their urine.

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Melody LaPointe, 47, of Baytown; Tarah Tinney, 33, of Liberty; and Augusta Costlow, 27, of Liberty, have been charged with four counts of abandoning or endangering a child.

As per court documents, the incident took place at Liberty Independent School District, Texas, in 2021, when the workers placed a pupil in isolation and deprived them of food until they started eating their feces, The Mirror reported.

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The teacher and school assistants had placed a pupil in isolation and deprived them of food until they started eating their faeces and urine, according to court documents.

A school spokesperson said the two teaching assistants were placed on administrative leave whilst police investigated the allegations.

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However, LaPointe had recently been working as a teacher for Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School in Houston, Texas – despite being under investigation.

The primary school sent parents an email on November 17 informing them the teacher had been arrested.

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It said: “In an effort of full transparency, we want to inform our families of an incident that occurred yesterday during dismissal.

Certified French Tutor in Nigeria with Years of Experience – Ms Blessing Akpan

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“A teacher at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School was arrested yesterday by Liberty County constables.

“The cause for arrest occurred in Liberty County and is not affiliated with Goose Creek CISD in any way.

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“The teacher is currently placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation, after which the District will take appropriate disciplinary action.

“As this is a pending legal matter, Goose Creek CISD will allow the legal process to proceed and refrain from further comment.

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“We want to ensure our families that the safety and security of your children is our 1 concern. We thank you for your continuous support of our campus and our district.”

The email led to furious parents questioning why their children were allowed to be taught by LaPointe given an investigation into her conduct at her former school was taking place.

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Amanda Henry, who has a six-year-old daughter at the school, told ABC 13 : “I am scared to send my daughter to school.

“You are supposed to send them there to be protected, and they hire this lady who apparently they did not do an extensive background check on and hurt a child, left this child locked up in a room, having to eat his own faeces and drink his own urine. It’s disturbing.”

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The school tried to reassure parents but failed to address why she was allowed to teach whilst under investigation.

A spokesperson for Goose Creek said: “We immediately reported the matter to law enforcement and CPS, removed the educators who continued to work for us from the classroom, and conducted a comprehensive investigation.

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“Based upon our investigation, we reported the educators to the State Board for Educator Certification and shared our results with law enforcement officials.”

According to LaPointe’s education certificate, she had an investigatory flag on her file, the Texas Education Agency said.

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Adolf Hitler was a demonic figure – Joe Biden

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*Calls out antisemitism after Kanye West’s ‘I like Hitler’ comment

By Francesca Iwambe

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The United States President Joe Biden has called on political leaders to reject antisemitism “wherever it hides”.

He made the call on Twitter, a day after rapper Kanye West went on a tirade praising Adolf Hitler and Nazis.

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Biden wrote in a tweet: “I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity.”

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Kate Middleton wears Meghan and Harry’s ‘Montecito mansion on her neck’ at Earthshot Prize ceremony

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By Francesca Iwambe

Kate Middleton looked spectacular as she arrived to attend the Earthshot Prize ceremony in Boston along with husband Prince William.

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The Princess of Wales was spotted wearing a necklace worth more than $15 million at the ceremony.

Reports have it that the dazzling deco choker was gifted to Diana by Queen Elizabeth who inherited it from her grandmother Queen Mary.

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It is pertinent to mention here that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle purchased their Montecito mansion for $14.7 million.

“She’s wearing the Montecito mansion on her neck,” a royal fan quipped.

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Harry and Meghan live in their stunning house which is only a six-minute drive from Oprah’s Promised Land estate.

In mid-June 2020, Meghan and Harry purchased their multimillion-dollar estate in Santa Barbara County for $14.7 million (£12.8m).

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Since stepping back from official duties and making America their home have relocated to a beautiful mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara where they are raising their two children, Lilibet and Archie.

The Earthshot ceremony where Billie Eilish will lead a lineup including Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and the Beyoncé proteges Chloe x Halle performing at the MGM Music Hall in Boston, will bring to a close the Waleses’ first visit to the US in eight years.

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