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Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Trial: Latest News From Today, 20 May

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source: en.sa.com

After a week-long break, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard returned to court this week to continue the trial.

The case relates to accusation made publicly by Heard regarding their marriage, in a op-ed in the Washington Post, that led Depp to sue for $50 million in damages and has denied ever being physically violent. Heard is counter-suing for $100 million.

On Thursday, actress Ellen Barkin, who Depp was involved in a casual relationship with during the early 90s, took to the stand as a witness for Heard. She claimed that even then, Depp had an issue with substance abuse and “was drunk all the, most, a lot of the time”.

Depp threatened to sue Chris Hanley over Amber Heard’s ‘nude scenes’

The court was shown an email which Depp sent to his agent Tracey Jacobs dated 29 August 2015 in which he threatened to sue Chris Hanley’s production company, Muse Productions, unless Amber Heard’s ‘nude scenes’ from the film London Fields were cut.

Depp’s email instructed Jacobs in his email: “NEED YOU to go to the f**king harleys (Hanleys, the film producer) regarding LONDON FIELDS!!! they are going to be PREMIERING IT AT THE LONDON TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL. It is in Amber’s contract there will be NO NUDITY and her f**cking agents are weak and inspid. …will you PLEASE CALL THESE MOTHERF**CKERS and you and Jake get on this IMMEDIATELY!!!???

A second email, written entirely in capital letters, read: “IT MUST BE SHUT DOWN OR I WILL SUE THEM EIGHTEEN WAYS FROM F**KING SUNDAY!!! THEYSE (sic) PEOPLE ARE NOBODYS IN THIS BUSINESS AND THEY SHOULD BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE WILL RUIN THEN INSTANTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The nude scenes were apparently shot not with Heard but with a body double.

Former talent agent Tracey Jacobs is testifying about Depp and his reputation in the industry. This witness testimony is that Depp’s ‘star had dimmed’ based on his behavior and reputation, including lateness, alcohol & drug use..’people were talking’ she testified.

Former agent: “Depp demanded $20million”

Tracey Jacobs, one of the leading agents at Beverley Hills-based United Talent Agency, represented Depp from the mid-80s until she was fired by the actor in October 2016. It was claimed at the time that Depp was suffering financial difficulties and was not happy with the commissions which Jacobs was taking so he switched to Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for a better deal.

On Thursday, Jacobs, 62, gave an account of when Depp turned up at her office and demanded that she give him $20million.

“He needed the money. He just expected us to do it. Actually it was I want you to give me $20million. The question was not asked as a loan”. Depp was told that United Talent Agency “was not in a position to give our clients that kind of money. We’re not a bank”.

The trial was due to end yesterday, 19 May but has been extended while more evidence and testimonies are given. The new end date for the trial is Friday 27 May when the final arguments will be heard. This won’t be the end of proceedings, as the jury will still need to give their verdict on whether Heard did defame Depp in her Washington Post article.

Testimony will resume on Monday 23 May.

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AU official calls out Germany over leopard jibe that left some offended

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A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hannover, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. - Copyright © africanews Michael Sohn/AP2011

Germany apologized on Thursday (Jan. 26) for using a leopard emoji in a tweet refering to the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to Africa. The post that was regarded as offensive by some users was called out by the spokeswoman for the African Union chairman Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The German foreign ministry attempted to poke fun at Russia’s top diplomat during his tour of Africa when it tweeted that he wasn’t there looking for leopards, but using the trip to try and justify Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet, and the leopard emoji the foreign ministry used on its official account, apparently sought to play off Germany’s decision to send some of its advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to back its military fight off Russian forces.

An African Union official questioned the use of emoji, pointing it could be interpreted as the continent being portrayed once again as only about wild animals.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted back to the German government account questioning if Africa, its people and its wildlife was “just a joke to you?”

“Foreign policy is not a joke nor should it be used to score cheap geopolitical points by illustrating an entire Continent with colonial tropes,” Kalondo wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The German foreign ministry apologized and said that the tweet wasn’t meant to offend, but rather “to call out the lies that Russia uses to justify its imperialist war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Lavrov has visited South Africa, Eswatini, Angola and Eritrea this week, where he has repeated his claims that the United States and its Western allies are using Ukraine as a tool in a “hybrid war” against Russia.

Many African nations hold historical ties with Moscow. South Africa was one of several to abstain from a U.N. vote last year condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Eritrea voted against the resolution alongside Russia, Belarus, North Korea and Syria.

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Bomb injures at least a dozen people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo

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Congolese Defense Forces soldiers inspect the scene of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kms (20 miles) from Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Friday July 23, 2021.

A bomb exploded at a market in eastern Congo on Wednesday (Jan. 25), injuring at least a dozen people, authorities said.

An unknown person detonated a bomb inside a bag in North Kivu’s Beni town, said Tharcisse Katembo, a local official.

“Damage was documented (and) at least 12 people were injured. They were injured in the lower limbs, others in their upper limbs and others were hit in the head,” he told reporters in Beni.

The victims were taken to the hospital and an investigation was underway, Katembo said.

No one claimed responsibility for the bomb. However, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces, which is believed to be linked with the Islamic State extremist movement, have been increasing in North Kivu, according to the United Nations.

Deadly violence

Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in Kasindi town, which was claimed by Islamic State. It said in its Aamaq news outlet that it planted an explosive device inside the church and detonated it while people were praying.

Since April, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces have killed at least 370 civilians, and the group has abducted several hundred more, including a significant number of children, the U.N. says.

The explosion Wednesday (Jan. 25) occurred in a local market next to a cassava mill, witnesses said.

Danny Syaghuswa, 16, said he was sitting on his motorcycle when a man in a striped shirt put a small bag behind a door, saying he would come back for it, according to an interview with local reporters heard by The Associated Press. “Less than five minutes after he left the bomb exploded,” Syaghuswa said.

Images of the attack circulating on chat groups show people lying on the floor. One woman in blood-stained clothes was carrying a small child.

Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defense militias fight for land and power. Nearly 6 million people are internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

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Somalia: Al-Shabaab terrorists storm mayor’s office, killing six

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Al-Shabaab terrorists set off a bomb and stormed a government building in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.  The Al-Qaeda-backed terror group has stepped up bombings in the country.

At least six people were killed on Sunday in an attack by Al Shabaab militants at the mayor’s office in central Mogadishu, police said.

A suicide bomber set off a huge blast that tore through building near the office complex with gunfire erupting afterwards, Somali police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said at the end of the four-hour siege.

“All the six attackers died. Five of them during the fire exchange with the security forces and one of them detonated himself,” Dudishe told reporters.

“Six civilians also died during the attack and the situation is back to normal.” All the staffers at the mayor’s office were rescued, the police added.

Al 0Shabaab, a militant group allied with Al Qaeda claimed, responsibility for the attack via its communication channels, saying its fighters “made their way inside the targeted building after killing the security guards.” Witnesses said the initial explosion damaged nearby buildings and gunfire could be heard in the vicinity of the mayor’s office.

The area was quickly cordoned off by security officers, a witness who runs a business near the offices said.

Another witness, Omar Nur, said he was inside a nearby mall when the explosion went off and “was lucky to have escaped safely.” The Al Shabaab militants have been waging a bloody insurgency against the frail internationally backed central government for 15 years, carrying out attacks both in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

The latest attack comes days after seven soldiers were killed on Friday at a military camp in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu. The US military said the attack — in the Somali town retaken by the army this week — involved more than 100 Al Shabaab jihadists.

“The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defence strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty Al Shabaab terrorists killed” the US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Source: Dawn

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