Pistorius back in court for sentencing hearing

first_img#OscarPistorius during break OP, still looking like he’s hardly slept, shares a moment with uncle and brother. Photo via @johnrayitv Oscar Pistorius returned to court Tuesday a day after being described as a “broken” man who should be hospitalised rather than jailed, as he attended sentencing for the murder of his girlfriend three years ago.The double-amputee killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.Pistorius tried to greet Steenkamp’s relatives as he entered the court on Tuesday but they did not respond.On Monday, the 29-year-old “Blade Runner” was red-eyed and tearful on the first day of his sentencing hearing at the High Court in Pretoria.“He has developed a serious psychiatric condition which has become worse in the past two years,” psychologist Jonathan Scholtz, called by the defence, told the court on Monday. Pistorius has shunned the media during years of intense coverage since Steenkamp’s killing, but his family have revealed that he has given his first interview, due to air on British broadcaster ITV later this month.The interview drew a sharp attack on Monday from state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who said it proved that Pistorius was capable of testifying.“He would rather give his version to the TV than to court,” said Nel, who accused psychologist Scholtz of being biased.Pistorius was released from jail last October to live under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria after serving one year of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide.Since being convicted of murder, Pistorius has been on bail and allowed to leave his uncle’s house at set times, but not travel further than 20 kilometres (12 miles) without permission.The hearing — held in the same courtroom as the original trial — is scheduled to last one week.Pistorius has always denied killing Steenkamp in a rage and, during his dramatic seven-month trial in 2014, sobbed in the dock as details of his lover’s death were examined in excruciating detail.The year before he killed Steenkamp, Pistorius became the first double-amputee to race at Olympic level when he appeared at the London 2012 games.Share on: WhatsApp Steenkamp’s parents were both in court, and her father Barry may take the witness stand to ask the court to impose a lengthy punishment.If he does, it will be the first time that one of Steenkamp’s parents has testified in the case. “Further imprisonment would have a detrimental effect on him.”Scholtz said that during recent interviews Pistorius had displayed signs of “post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder and depressive disorder”.In March, Pistorius’s lawyers failed in their legal bid to reverse a Supreme Court of Appeal judgement that upgraded his original conviction from culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter — to murder.The original trial judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to pass a new sentence after hearing arguments from both prosecution and defence.Pistorius faces a minimum 15-year jail term for murder, but his sentence could be reduced due to time already spent in prison and mitigating factors, including his disability.last_img read more

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Amid pandemic, Trump administration asks Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare

first_imgJPecha/iStockBy DEVIN DWYER, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In the midst of a pandemic and without an alternative health plan of its own, the Trump administration formally called on the U.S. Supreme Court to completely strike down the Affordable Care Act.The administration makes the case in a legal brief filed Thursday in the case brought by 20 Republican-led states that want to completely invalidate the law. The justices will hear oral arguments as soon as October, which is just weeks before the general election.Two lower federal courts have ruled that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional after the GOP Congress in 2017 zeroed out the penalty for going without health insurance. Both courts called into question the viability of the entire law without the mandate.“The individual mandate cannot be severed from the remainder of the ACA,” writes Trump solicitor general Noel Francisco. “The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate.”California and 19 other Democrat-led states are defending the law.Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Obamacare Thursday at a campaign stop focused on health care, saying doing away with the ACA during a pandemic could be particularly harmful to many that need health care the most.“I think it’s cruel. It’s heartless. It’s callous. And it’s all because, in my view, he can’t abide the thought of letting stand on one of President Obama’s greatest achievements, the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said of the administrations’ lawsuit.Biden warned those who have survived COVID-19 and have subsequent health issues could be especially at-risk.“They would live their lives caught in a vise between Donald Trump’s twin legacies: his failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus and his heartless crusade to take health care protections away from American families,” Biden said.The ACA has sharply reduced the number of uninsured Americans since 2010, covering 20 million more people than if the law had not taken effect, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement late Thursday night, calling the Trump administration’s decision “unfathomably cruelty” to “rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.”“There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care,” she said.Industry groups and independent health care analysts say abruptly wiping out Obamacare would mean a highly disruptive shift in the health care of millions of Americans.An estimated 52 million Americans have preexisting health conditions that insurers could have denied coverage to under pre-ACA rules in most states, the foundation said.Preexisting condition protections and Obamacare insurance subsidies remain in place, for now, as the case continues, but could be at risk.The case marks the third time the justices will consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act since it was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012 famously cast the decisive vote, siding with the court’s liberal justices to uphold the law. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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The Ultimate Grooming Bible

first_imgIt isn’t just enough to look good, it takes hard work and passion to look beautiful and feel powerful and this is what ‘The Beauty Pageant’s Greenroom’ is all about. This ultimate grooming bible by the leading industry expert Rita Gangwani provides a plethora of life skills to readers- from personality enhancement, polishing social etiquette, being articulate to projecting an image that stands out in the crowd. The book guides a beauty pageant contestant, smoothly and swiftly through the entire process of entering a pageant right from filling up the form to winning the glittering Tiara. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe author has been honoured with prestigious awards time and again including Woman of the Year-2005, Mahilla Gaurav Samman-2006, Rajdhani Rattan -2007, Apar Vashisht Sewa Samman-2008, Jewel of India 2009, Women Achievers Award in Education-2010, Kesari Woman Award 2011, and Achiever’s Award 2012.The book, which has its foreword written by Former miss universe and Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen provides every aspect of grooming to the readers at any age. On the event of unveiling the book, Rita Gangwani said, “It took me three years to write this book. As I was training the students, I realised that there are a lot of places with loopholes and they were unable to give their best. So, that’s the reason the book has come up.  The best part is that the book can also be used by a common person as a personality development bible because it contains a lot of chapters which can be used to groom yourself.” The book is a gamut of nuances of life skills for everyone who wishes to shine by grooming themselves just by holding a book without having to attend grooming workshops.last_img read more

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5 Free and LowCost Tools for Improving Social Media Productivity

first_img Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer SAN FRANCISCO — For busy business owners, managing your brand on a growing list of social networks can be time consuming, if not stressful and frustrating. The good news is that there are a small army of tools and apps that can help simplify the process.”Social media. Productivity. Efficiency. These words don’t always go together, but they should,” said Lisa Buyer, president and CEO of online public relations, social media and SEO agency The Buyer Group, based in Hollywood, Fla. Buyer spoke yesterday at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco about tools and strategies for optimizing your social media efforts without spending a ton of money doing it.Related: 3 Ways to Make Your Social Media Efforts More ProductiveHere’s a look at five of the low-cost tools Buyer suggested online marketers add to their social media arsenal: 1. TrackyTracky is a free app that combines separate tools such as email, to-do lists, chat, file sharing and more all on one social, task-management platform. Access to individual projects can be limited to specific users by changing settings from public to private, and users can share information within the app via their Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest accounts.”I also really like Tracky because it lets you involve people who might be outside of your organization [in the collaboration process], so you can look for new ideas and resources,” Buyer said.Related: This New Tool Could Be the Future of Measuring Sentiment on Social Media2. BlitzMetrics Instead of having to collect analytics across every social network your brand is on, BlitzMetrics allows users to track and analyze all those stats in one convenient dashboard. “For $1 a day … it eliminates the need to create multiple reports for everyone at your company who needs to know how your social media is performing,” Buyer said.3. Pitch EngineEntrepreneurs want to get the word out about their companies and the special events or promotions they’re putting on, but they don’t always have the time to create a social media strategy or call individual news outlets and make the pitch. Instead, Pitch Engine allows you to create a 1-page website to tell your story visually with videos and engaging images for free. You can share the page via email or social media, or integrate it into your own website. A basic plan, which comes with features like search optimization, costs $19 per month.4. WildfireRecently acquired by Google, Wildfire is an app that allows you to easily create contests and sweepstakes on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It also offers comprehensive dashboards and reports for your social marketing pages, tabs and campaigns.Basic plans start at $5 for one promotion with unlimited participants, plus $1 for each day the promotion runs. Related: How Social Media Startup Wildfire Was Bought By Google for $250 Million5. BufferBesides marketing your own brand, one important function of social media is to share timely, important and engaging content with your customers and followers. One easy way to do that is by using an app called Buffer, Buyer said. It allows you to collect interesting articles, videos and pictures from around the web and automatically schedule them to post on your social networks throughout the day. Pricing starts at $10 per month. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now min read August 15, 2012last_img read more

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Wedding group promotion new with ACV

first_img Thursday, February 1, 2018 Wedding group promotion new with ACV Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Destination Weddings, Promotions Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Destination wedding clients who book their wedding groups with Air Canada Vacations by March 4, 2018 will receive a $500 credit for room or flight upgrades, valid for Mexico, Caribbean, Europe, cruise and North America packages for departures April 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2019.Group booking perks include free flights and stays, block seat selection on flights, Group Price Drop, Group Price Match, no deposit for 90 days, dedicated group coordinators, and access to the Maple Leaf lounge, as well as Business Class or Premium Rouge upgrades.ACV also offers additional perks to newlyweds such as a complimentary site inspection, free seat selection, two free upgrades, access to the Maple Leaf lounge and private transfers.The new group offer includes a $300 air credit for bachelor or bachelorette getaways (minimum 8 passengers) booked by March 4, 2018. This offer applies to Mexico, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, London and Paris.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaUsing ACV’s online group booking tool, all files can be booked directly in the system and travel agents can earn extra commission while providing their clients with free seat selection.ACV says it can also provide Air Canada Jetz quotes to groups seeking an extra special, high-end experience.With the ACV&ME loyalty program, travel agents who book hotels, cruises and groups will receive 600 points per room for packages of 7+ nights; 400 points per room for packages of 3-6 nights; 600 points per stateroom for Air & Cruise packages; and 300 points per passenger for Groups.last_img read more

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Pilot pleads not guilty to indecent exposure at airport

center_img Tags: Funny, United Airlines Share DENVER — Raise your hand if you like walking around naked in your hotel room.For those with your hands in the air, you may want to reconsider after hearing the plight of the United Airlines pilot who was accused of indecent exposure while staying at the Denver International Airport.The Denver Post reports that 54-year-old Captain Andrew Collins pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge Wednesday in County Court after he was seen naked at the window of his 10th-floor hotel room.Collins says he did not willfully expose himself, however a police probable cause statement says the pilot did, in fact, “knowingly and willfully” expose his genitals to the general public at the Westin Hotel in September.The Virginia man maintains he did not know people could see him when he opened the curtains to look at the landscape.United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson said last month that the pilot had been suspended pending an internal review.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaA trial has been scheduled for March.With file from The Associated Presslast_img read more

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