Trump withdraws lawsuit
Donald Trump is withdrawing his lawsuit against television host and comedian Bill Maher seeking US$5 million that Maher said he would give to charity, in a seemingly facetious offer, if Trump could prove he was not the son of an orangutan. The lawsuit stems from comments Maher made during an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show in January in which he said an orangutan’s fur was the only thing in nature that matches the shade of Trump’s trademark hair.
Transgender man to appeal
A transgender man who made worldwide headlines after he married and gave birth to three children will appeal an Arizona judge’s ruling denying him a divorce from his wife of 10 years, his attorneys said on Tuesday. Thomas Beatie, 39, was born a woman, but began living as a man in his 20s, initiating hormone treatments, undergoing breast-removal surgery and legally changing his name, though he kept his female reproductive organs.
Rio bus plunge kills seven
A passenger bus plunged from a 10m-high viaduct in central Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and closing Avenida Brasil, a major thoroughfare. At least six people were injured in the accident, said Sergio Simoes, who heads Rio state’s Civil Defense department, adding that number of injured was likely to rise. Simoes said the dead were five men and two women. The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but Globo television network cited eyewitness as saying that a dispute between a passenger and the driver might have helped spark the crash.
Bieber gets pet deadline
Authorities have given Justin Bieber four weeks to pick up his pet monkey or else it will be placed in permanent care. The capuchin monkey was seized by German customs last week when the singer failed to produce the necessary customs documents after landing in Munich. The animal shelter where the monkey is being kept in quarantine said in a statement on Tuesday that the 14-week-old animal should not have been taken away from its mother until it was a year old.
Warplanes strike Gaza
Israeli warplanes struck targets early yesterday in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire toward southern Israel, the first air strikes launched by Israel since an informal ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza. An Israeli military statement issued yesterday said its planes targeted “two extensive terror sites” with “accurate hits.” Palestinian officials said no one was hurt in the air strikes and no damage was reported in northern Gaza. The air raids followed the third successful rocket attack on Israel since the November ceasefire.
Voice of Elmo sued again
A puppeteer who was the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street is being sued for the fifth time, accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy. In a federal lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday, 25-year-old Kevin Kiadii says he was 16 when he met Kevin Clash in an online chat. Kiadii attorney Jeff Herman says Clash sent a limousine to pick up the teen and take him to his Manhattan apartment for sex. Herman represents four other people who filed similar lawsuits. He acknowledges his clients were compliant, but says the 52-year-old puppeteer took advantage of them by playing father to them.