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Indonesia grants clemency to Canadian teacher convicted of sex abuse

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has granted clemency to a Canadian teacher convicted of sexually abusing students, an official said on Friday, in a case that critics say was riddled with irregularities and threw a spotlight on the Southeast Asian country’s justice system. Neil Bantleman and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinand Tjiong were convicted in 2014 on charges of abusing kindergarten students at the Jakarta Intercultural School, where the children of many expatriates, diplomats and wealthy Indonesians are enrolled. The pair have always maintained their innocence and the lack of transparency in the case was criticised by Canada and the United States, adding to concerns about the lack of legal certainty in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.Sri Utami, director general of correctional affairs at Indonesia’s Law and Human Rights ministry, confirmed in a text message to Reuters that Bantleman had been granted clemency. Bantleman’s brother Guy said in a statement: “I am pleased to confirm that my brother Neil has safely returned to Canada.”Bantleman was cited in the statement as saying: “Five years ago I was wrongfully accused and convicted of crimes I did not commit and furthermore never occurred.” Canadian media said teaching assistant Tjiong remained in jail. The two were originally sentenced to 10 years in jail but were acquitted in August 2015, after nearly a year behind bars, and released.However, Indonesia’s Supreme Court later overturned the acquittal, extended their jail sentence and ordered their re-arrest, a decision the Canadian embassy in Jakarta called unjust.Bantleman in his statement thanked family and friends around the world for their support and “the Government of Canada for their steadfast commitment to seeing us home”. “We are asking for privacy at this time so we can reconnect with family and move forward with our lives,” he said. (Reporting by Angie Teo and Agustinus Beo Da Costa,; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Paul Tait) Asean+ 02 May 2019 Canadian sentenced to death over drugs World 11 Jul 2019 Indonesia to build country’s longest bridge linking islands near Singaporecenter_img Indonesia 09 Jul 2019 Indonesia cancels tsunami alert after quake Related News Related Newslast_img read more

Trumps Labour Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein case

first_img Related News World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. Labor Secretary Acosta says Epstein crimes ‘horrific’ World 09 Jul 2019 Trump defends cabinet member Acosta embroiled in Epstein sex-abuse case Related News World 10 Jul 2019 Trump backs U.S. Labor chief Acosta, says will look into matter amid Epstein casecenter_img WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned on Friday amid fresh scrutiny of his handling of the sex abuse case against financier Jeffrey Epstein, becoming President Donald Trump’s latest adviser to leave the administration in controversy.Acosta, joining Trump at the White House before the president left for a trip to Wisconsin, said he did not want to be a distraction to the administration’s work because of his leadership of the Epstein case more than a decade ago.”As I look forward, I do not think it is right and fair for this administration’s Labour Department to have Epstein as a focus rather than the incredible economy we have today,” Acosta said.Trump, who has fired numerous cabinet and other administration officials during his 2 1/2 years in the White House, said it was Acosta’s idea to step down. “Alex called me this morning and wanted to see me,” Trump told reporters. “I just want to let you know this is him, not me.”Acosta’s resignation is effective in seven days. Trump named Deputy Labour Secretary Patrick Pizzella as the acting secretary of Labour.Acosta has served in Trump’s cabinet since April 2017 and from 2005 through 2009 was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. It was there that he handled Epstein’s first case involving sex with girls, which resulted in a punishment that critics say was far too lenient.”Mr. Acosta now joins the sprawling parade of President Trump’s chosen advisors who have left the administration under clouds of scandal and corruption, leaving rudderless and discouraged agencies in their wake. Taxpayers deserve better,” Democratic U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement.Epstein, a billionaire hedge fund manager, pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in New York this week. Epstein had a social circle that over the years has included Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew.Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had called on Tuesday for Acosta to resign.DEFENDING HIS CASEAcosta responded to the criticism on Tuesday with tweets saying Epstein’s crimes were “horrific” and that he was glad prosecutors were moving forward based on new evidence and testimony that could “more fully bring him to justice.”On Wednesday Acosta held a news conference to defend his handling of the deal, which allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a state charge and not face federal prosecution. Acosta said Epstein would have had an even lighter sentence if not for the deal.Acosta would not say if he would make the same decision regarding Epstein now, considering the power of the #MeToo movement that led to the downfall of several powerful men publicly accused of sex crimes by women. U.S. prosecutors in New York on Monday accused Epstein, 66, of sex trafficking, luring dozens of girls, some as young as 14, to his luxury homes and coercing them into sex acts.Democratic U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee who has called on Acosta to testify on the Epstein matter, said in a statement: “Secretary Acosta’s role in approving the extremely favourable deal for Jeffrey Epstein raises significant concerns about his failure to respect the rights of the victims, many of whom were children when they were assaulted.”The federal prosecutors in New York said they were not bound by the deal arranged by Acosta, which allowed Epstein to plead to a lesser offence and serve 13 months in jail with leave during the day while registering as a sex offender. In February, a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that the 2007 agreement violated the victims’ rights. Epstein’s case and Acosta’s role in the plea deal had come under scrutiny earlier this year after an investigation by the Miami Herald.The Epstein case came up during Acosta’s Senate confirmation hearing but the Republican-majority Senate approved him in a 60-38 vote. He is the latest top Trump administration official to depart under a cloud. The heads of the Interior, Justice, State and Health departments have also either been fired or resigned, among other top staff during Trump tenure so far.Acosta, the son of Cuban refugees and the first Hispanic member of Trump’s Cabinet, previously served on the National Labour Relations Board and in the U.S. Department of Justice under Republican President George W. Bush. (Reporting by Nandiat Bose; additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by David Alexander and Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott) {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

No tiffin for Mumbaikars for 2 days as Dabbawalas take part in

first_imgNo tiffin for Mumbaikars for 2 days as Dabbawalas take part in Pandharpur pilgrimageLord Vitthal’s puja commences in Pandharpur town every year with lakhs of devotees from different states taking part. advertisement Asian News International MumbaiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 12:51 IST Mumbaikars will not receive their lunchboxes on Friday and Saturday as the city’s beloved Dabbawalas will be off duties to take part in the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur on the occasion of ‘Ashadhi Ekadashi’.The tiffin services will resume from Sunday.”The Tiffin services will be halted on July 12 and July 13, ” said President of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, Subhash Talekar.The Dabbawalas will also offer prayers to saint Gyaneshwar later in the day and will then proceed to Pandharpur.Besides Dabbawalas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also offered prayers at Vitthal Temple in Pandharpur in the early hours of Friday.Lord Vitthal’s puja commences in Pandharpur town every year with lakhs of devotees from different states taking part.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday tweeted about Pandharpur and its connection with Ashadhi Ekadashi. “The beautiful town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra has a special link with Ashadhi Ekadashi. Know more in this video,” he wrote alongside a video featuring hoards of pilgrimage and the majestic puja of Lord Vitthal.The occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu across many states in India. Some also observe fast to seek prosperity and attain moksha later in life.Also read: Air India may ban pilots from bringing own food after fight over washing lunchboxALSO WATCH| Gold tiffin, diamond-studded teacup stolen from Hyderabad’s Nizam MuseumFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byIram Ara Ibrahim Nextlast_img read more