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South African Policeman Sentenced To 30 Years For Killing Nigerian

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A South African police constable, Austin Reynold, has been sentenced to 30 years in jail by a court for killing a Nigerian man living in that country.

Twenty-four-year Reynold was accused of killing Ebuka Okoli in Durban, a coastal city in Kwa Zulu-Natal province in South Africa.

The court sentenced the policeman on Monday, three days after he was found guilty of shooting the victim at close range and robbing him during an unauthorised raid on a community where Okoli resided.

He was charged with one count of murder and three counts of robbery

Reynold was unlucky as his accomplice in the raid, Brinley Pallo, testified against him while giving his testimony before Judge Shyam Gyanda on Friday.

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US First Lady Wades Into Impeachment Fight To Defend Teen Son

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US First Lady Melania Trump on Wednesday publicly rebuked a scholar who used her 13-year-old son’s name to make a point during a hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into the president.

Constitutional law professor Pamela Karlan invoked Barron Trump, the son of Donald and Melania Trump, to demonstrate how the Constitution imposes distinctions between a monarch’s power and that of a president.

“The constitution says there can be no titles of nobility,” Karlan told lawmakers during the House Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on impeachment, which featured four constitutional scholars.

“So while the president can name his son ‘Barron,’ he can’t make him a baron.”

The pun led to chuckles in the congressional hearing room, but Melania Trump made clear it was no laughing matter.

“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” the first lady tweeted shortly afterwards.

“Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”

President Trump retweeted his wife’s message to his 67 million followers.

As the row snowballed, Karlan quickly tried to stem the damage by expressing her regret.

“I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son,” she told the panel.

“It was wrong of me to do that,” she said, before adding that she also wished “the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong.”

For years, members of both political parties have agreed that the minor children of US politicians, particularly presidents, are off-limits.

During the hearing, Republican congressman Matt Gaetz snapped at Karlan, telling her that invoking Trump’s son “does not lend credibility to your argument. It makes you look mean.”

The incident quickly brought an onslaught of criticism from corners far beyond the hearing room, as Republicans and members of Trump’s re-election campaign voiced grave disapproval.

“Democrats have disgraced themselves by giving a platform to this unhinged, petty kook,” the campaign wrote on Twitter, while its deputy director of communications, Matt Wolking, called Karlan an “unhinged liberal professor” over the comments.

Lawmakers and Trump administration officials followed suit, echoing scathing assessments of Karlan’s words.

“Democrats are so desperate that one of their biased witnesses is now attacking the President’s 13-year-old son. Absolutely disgraceful,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote on Twitter.

Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin, meanwhile, called the episode “reprehensible” while Trump Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway questioned why “Hunter Biden is off-limits but Barron Trump is not?”

The Trump impeachment investigation is looking into pressure Trump placed on Ukraine’s president to investigate 2020 election rival Democrat Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

During a speech Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence told an audience that “one of the Democrats’ witnesses actually used the president and first lady’s 13-year-old son to justify their partisan impeachment. Democrats should be ashamed.”

Melania Trump has taken up the cause of youth wellness in America, and last year launched a public awareness campaign to counter youth cyberbullying and drug use.

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US Defense Secretary Asks For Navy Chief’s Resignation

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US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday requested the navy chief’s resignation amid a dispute over an elite SEAL commando whose demotion for misconduct was reversed by President Donald Trump.

Esper “asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candour over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.

AFP

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Indonesia Ministries Ban Pregnant, Disabled, LGBT Job Seekers – Report

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Several Indonesian ministries are banning pregnant, disabled, or LGBT job hunters in favour of what one called “normal” applicants, the Ombudsman said on Friday, slammed as “arbitrary and hateful restrictions” by a rights group.

The report comes as the world’s biggest Muslim majority country takes applications from millions of candidates who are applying for some 200,000 civil-service jobs nationwide.

Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago of some 260 million, has seen a jump in discrimination against gay and transgender people in recent years — while sexism in the workplace is also prevalent.

On Friday, Ombudsman Indonesia commissioner Ninik Rahayu said an investigation found that the defence and trade ministries as well as the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) were discriminating against candidates in their job advertisements.

“The Defense Ministry prohibits pregnant women from applying for a job, while the AGO and the trade ministry ban transgender people,” Ninik told AFP.

“(The AGO) even made a hurtful statement that said ‘we only accept normal people’,” she added.

“Banning people from applying for a job simply because they are transgender is not acceptable and is a violation of human rights,” she added.

The Ombudsman called on the ministries to revoke their hiring policies but only the trade ministry has so far complied, Ninik said, adding her office first noticed the discrimination this year.

On Thursday, an AGO spokesman told reporters that the institution banned gay and transgender applicants in favour of “normal” candidates.

On the AGO’s website, it said job applicants must not be colour blind, physically or “mentally” disabled including those who have ‘sexual orientation disorders (transgender) or LGBT’”.

The restrictions amounted to a “hate-based policy”, said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia.

“Indonesia should be trying to recruit the best and brightest to its civil service, not applying arbitrary and hateful restrictions,” he said, calling on the respective ministries to ditch the rules.

“This is against both Indonesia’s constitution and its obligations under international human rights law,” he added.

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