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R. Kelly Appeals His Racketeering Conviction & Hires The Attorney Who Helped Bill Cosby Get Out Of Jail

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R. Kelly’s Music Sales Skyrocket 500% After Guilty Sex Crimes Verdict

R&B singer R. Kelly’s legal team got a shot in the arm Friday as a high-profile attorney who won an appeal of Bill Cosby’s sex abuse case has signed on to challenge Kelly’s racketeering conviction in New York.

Jennifer Bonjean, a New York-based attorney whose legal career began in Chicago, filed her appearance in Kelly’s case in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where Kelly was convicted last month of racketeering and sex abuse charges.

Bonjean told the Tribune she will spearhead Kelly’s post-conviction motions and, should U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly deny Kelly a new trial, work on an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The post-trial motions are due on Monday, but Bonjean has asked for a two-month extension.

Bonjean was the driving force behind Cosby’s appeal of his sex crimes conviction in Pennsylvania and wound up winning the actor’s stunning release from prison. She said she’s “looking forward to getting familiar with the record” in Kelly’s case, which was anchored by Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges that she called a “kitchen sink approach.”

“I am becoming increasingly concerned with how the government is abusing the RICO statute in order to plead around the statute of limitations and essentially put people’s entire lives on trial,” Bonjean said. “It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”

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Bonjean said she saw similar government overreach in another high-profile case she’s handling: NXIVM sex-cult leader Keith Raniere, who was convicted under the RICO statute in the same courthouse as Kelly.

Kelly, 54, was convicted on Sept. 27 of racketeering conspiracy charges alleging he used his music career to further a criminal enterprise. The jury found him guilty of 12 individual illegal acts, including sex with multiple underage girls as well as a 1994 scheme to bribe an Illinois public aid official to get a phony ID for 15-year-old singer Aaliyah so the two could get married.

Kelly, who is currently being held at the federal lockup in Brooklyn, faces 10 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced in May. The other members of his legal team, Deveraux Cannick, Thomas Farinella, and Nicole Blank Becker, will continue to work on sentencing issues, Bonjean said.

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The singer is also charged in U.S. District Court in Chicago with running a yearslong scheme to buy back sex tapes he allegedly made with underage girls and to bribe or coerce witnesses in his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County, which ended in acquittal. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber has set trial for August in that case.

At a hearing earlier this month, Kelly’s Chicago-based attorney, Steven Greenberg, said Kelly was in the process of revamping his legal team in the New York case, which underwent a dramatic shake-up in the weeks leading up to trial. Greenberg and Bonjean have worked together closely on several cases in Chicago and elsewhere.

Greenberg and his co-counsel, Michael Leonard, are also representing Kelly on indictments filed in Cook County in February 2019 alleging the sexual abuse of four victims, three of whom were underage at the time.

 

 

 

 

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Source: GhArticles.com

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Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Bulgaria And Poland

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Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Bulgaria And Poland

The Russian energy giant Gazprom says it has cut off all gas deliveries to both Bulgaria and Poland after both countries refused to start paying for the supplies in roubles.

Earlier, both Polish and Bulgarian energy providers said they had received official notices from the Russian gas supplier that deliveries were due to be cut.

Gazprom’s announcement comes after some confusion earlier this morning, when data showed gas supplies into Poland through Belarus temporarily reduced to zero before resuming.

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Bulgaria’s gas network had also said the country was still receiving Russian gas as of this morning.

We are yet to see any data of gas volumes into Poland or Bulgaria since Gazprom’s announcement just now.

 

 

 

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Source: GhArticles.com

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New Omicron Variant BA.2 Is Now The Leading Version Of COVID-19 And Considered “Highly Contagious”

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JUST IN: Ghana Records Two New Cases Of Omicron COVID-19 Variant

 

BA.2, the new Omicron variant that led to a surge of new COVID-19 cases in Europe, has now overtaken the U.S. as the most dominant version of the virus throughout the country. This latest data estimate is from a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, predicted that BA.2 would quickly become dominate in the U.S

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The first case of the BA.2 was initially identified in the U.S. back in December. Meanwhile, scientists have been closely watching BA.2—which is now the third of the genetically distinct varieties of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The rapid growth of BA.2 is due partially to its eight gene mutations that spike protein on the virus’s surface, something that is not found in the previous strain, BA.1.

Although BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, as of now there are no signs that it causes more severe illness and it’s shown that vaccines continue to protect against the worst outcomes.

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Many U.S. health officials said that they expect cases to rise and are firmly blaming U.S. residents for not doing enough to prevent another potential surge of COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

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Source: GhArticles.com

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JUST IN: China Eastern Plane Carrying 133 People Crashes In Guangxi, Says State Media

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China Eastern Plane

A China Eastern plane carrying 133 people on board has crashed in Guangxi province, Chinese state media is reporting.

The number of casualties and reason for the crash are not yet known.

The crash of the Boeing 737 jet, in a mountainous region, led to a fire in the woods, state media is reporting.

Flight MU5735 was scheduled to leave Kunming at 13:15 local time (05:15 GMT) and was en route to Guangzhou.

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Flight tracking sites report the plane was in the air for just over an hour.

The plane went down near Teng county in Wuzhou province. Guangxi is a southern province neighbouring Guangzhou, a major city in the south-east.

Rescue crews have been deployed to the area, CCTV reported.

According to FlightRadar23 data, the last sourced information on the flight showed it ended at 14:22 local time, at an altitude of 3,225 ft.

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