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Britney Spears asks to address court over controversial conservatorship case

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Stock photo via Flickr

US pop singer Britney Spears has requested to speak in court in the controversial legal battle over her father’s conservatorship. The 39 year old was placed under conservatorship of her father back in 2008 when she apparently had a mental breakdown, which was widely publicised. Now, after 13 years, adamant fans are demanding for her conservatorship to end amid speculations that her father is using it to control her. A #FreeBritney online campaign has been circulating, calling for an end to the legal ties between her and her father.

A documentary that was released in February “Framing Britney Spears,” which focused on her mental health issues and her father’s legal guardianship over her finances, has helped spur a movement by her fans to “free” her. But Spears has made little public comments over the documentary, except to say that she was “embarrassed by the doc’s portrayal of her.

Spears filed to remove her father, Jamie Spears from the conservatorship and give sole power of her financial estate to a financial institution. Her court-appointed lawyer noted that she was “afraid” of her father. In February, a court gave power jointly to Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust, denying his request to solely control her investments. The case, however, is ongoing. Jamie Spear’s lawyers say, in his defense, that he has done an excellent job of managing his daughter’s finances.

Jamie Spears also accused his ex-wife Lynne Spears of having “exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit,” in the latest round of the exes slinging accusations against each other.

The singer’s request to address the court comes with no known reason, but a Los Angeles judge has set a hearing for June 23 to allow her to speak. It has been more than 2 years since Spears has spoken in court with the last time being on May 10, 2019. That address was sealed, with none of what she said being made public.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/USA Today

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Law

Australia sets worldwide precedent by passing pay‐to‐play legislation for social media giants

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In a landmark decision, Australia is now requiring global digital giants, such as Facebook and Google, to pay for using local news content on their websites. The move sets a precedent that many global companies have been anticipating.

The law passed yesterday after Facebook and Google reached an agreement to pay local Australian news organisations for using their stories on their websites. 1 week ago, Australians woke up to a blackout after Facebook temporarily banned local news, which included emergency notifications. The blackout was in response to the legislation being put forth for approval, with Facebook spokespeople saying it seemed to be their only choice at the time.

The new law sets the stage for other countries worldwide to gain more revenue for local media companies by making such social media giants pay to use content. Google’s “Showcase” product will now feature paid local news with Facebook showing such paid news under its “News” category.

Companies like Google and Facebook pushed back against the legislation, saying such a law could threaten their companies’ business models, with Google saying it could make their search engine website “unworkable.”

But local news organisations have rebuked the reasoning, citing that social media giants claim a large percentage of online advertisin, leaving local news companies out of the revenue game. Citing that news is gathered by reporting and fieldwork, the companies say it is unfair for social media companies to profit largely off of the work of local, smaller companies.

The law, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, aims to protect such local companies and to sustain public interest journalism. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs over the past decade as local media outlets have seen the bulk of their advertising revenues flow to digital companies’ sites after using their content.

Australia’s competition watchdog says that for every $100 invested by Australian advertisers, $49 is sent to Google and $24 to Facebook. Now, both online businesses say they will each invest around US $1 billion in local news content globally in the next 3 years. Facebook and Google now have 2 more months to reach solid agreements before being subjected to binding arbritations.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Thailand

3 Bangkok venues shut for violating Covid-19 prevention measures

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PHOTO: Department of Disease Control

Bangkok officials say 3 venues were ordered to temporarily close for allegedly violating Covid-19 control regulations, including Insanity Nightclub which will remain shutdown for the next 5 years.

The Insanity Nightclub on Sukhumvit Soi 11 was raided in December and 150 people were arrested after reports that the club was selling baraku and operating without a permit. Police also say the club also did not follow coronavirus prevention measures.

With a new wave of Covid-19 infections leading to tighter disease control measures, health officials from the Department of Disease Control inspected various restaurants and entertainment venues around Bangkok. They found that some still serve alcohol, allow customers to smoke inside and remain open after curfew hours.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced the 3 venues that allegedly violated Covid-19 control regulations over the past 2 months…

  • Taj Cafe, Soi Sukhumvit 3, also known as Soi Nana Nua in Wattana district: The café was closed for 14 days from January 17-30 for allegedly violating rules on curfew hours, the limit on the number of customers and not abiding by disease control measures.
  • Insanity, Soi Sukhumvit 11 or Soi Chaiyot in Wattana district: The venue was ordered to close for 5 years and food vendor license was revoked for violating curfew hours, a number of customers, failure of preventive measures, and serving alcoholic drinks.
  • Raan Nung Tor on Suwinthawong Road, Minburi district: The restaurant was ordered to shut for 14 days from January 25 to February 7. They were accused of serving alcohol drinks.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand | DDC

 

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Thailand

600 factories ordered to monitor emissions to help reduce air pollution

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PHOTO: CNN Newsource

To reduce air pollution, hundreds of factories across Thailand are ordered to monitor their emissions. Air quality in Bangkok has reached unhealthy to even hazardous levels in recent weeks due to the excessive levels of the ultra-fine dust PM2.5, according to IQ Air.

Under the new regulations set by the Industry Ministry, factories that are most likely to emit PM2.5 dust are ordered to install continuous emission monitoring systems, or CEMS, that will closely monitor emissions 24/7. Around 600 factories, mostly steel and stone mills as well as factories in petroleum industries, are under the order. The factories that don’t properly monitor their gas emissions fine of up to 200,000 baht.

Currently, 74 factories in Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi as well as 5 in the industrial estates in Eastern Thailand already have the CEMS. The government is expected to have more factories installed with the CEMS to better cope with the air pollution problem.

Air quality in most parts of Bangkok is expected to drop on Monday because the changing wind patterns this week will likely trap dust particles over the city.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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