Saatchi downplays photos
Former advertising tycoon Charles Saatchi on Monday downplayed photographs in which he is shown grabbing his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, around the neck, saying it was just a “playful tiff.” Britain’s Sunday People newspaper published photographs of Saatchi with his hands around his wife’s neck, and with her in tears, while they were having dinner on the terrace of a London restaurant. The 70-year-old was also photographed pinching 53-year-old Lawson’s nose before walking away from the restaurant on June 9. Saatchi, who writes a column for The Evening Standard, told the newspaper that he recognized the impact of the pictures, but said they conveyed the wrong impression. “About a week ago, we were sitting outside a restaurant having an intense debate about the children, and I held Nigella’s neck repeatedly while attempting to emphasize my point,” he said. “There was no grip. It was a playful tiff.” He said the couple made up by the time they reached home, but acknowledged that Lawson had moved out, saying this was for her privacy.
Court invalidates voter law
The US Supreme Court on Monday invalidated a law that required people to show proof of nationality when registering to vote in the state of Arizona. The law in the Republican-ruled state, put in place to keep undocumented immigrants from casting ballots, required documents that the federal government does not ask for when people complete a federal voter registration form. Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote on behalf of the panel’s majority. This decision only affects Arizona. However, four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar laws. Twelve additional states envisage doing the same. The ruling is a victory for activists who saw it as a new infringement on the rights of minorities.
Broadcaster gets 15 months
The attorney general is to review the 15-month jail term given to broadcaster Stuart Hall on Monday for a series of sex attacks on girls as young as nine. Hall, 83, described by the Crown Prosecution Service as “an opportunistic predator,” abused his 13 victims over a period of two decades from 1968. Within minutes of Hall being led from the dock at Preston crown court there were calls for the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, to examine if the sentence was “unduly lenient.”
Moths mass on Madrid
Millions of moths have engulfed Madrid in a population explosion blamed on spring rains, a sudden blast of summer heat and winds that have wafted them in as unwelcome guests to the city. No one is sure of precisely where they came from. Many flew to the capital from southern Spain, but others may have migrated from northern Africa on a long journey across the Gibraltar Strait to destinations across Europe.