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South Korea court sentences ex-president Park 8 more years in jail

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A South Korean court sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to eight more years in prison on Friday after finding her guilty on charges of causing loss of funds from the state spy agency and interfering in 2016 parliamentary elections.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Park, who already received a 24-year jail term over separate corruption charges, colluded with her former aides to cause the loss of government funds worth 3.3bn won ($2.91m) from the National Intelligence Service.



“The accused received some three billion won over three years from the three NIS chiefs. Through this crime, the accused incurred a considerable amount of loss to the state treasury,” said senior judge Seong Chang-ho at the Seoul Central District Court.

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Three former NIS chiefs testified they had funnelled the funds to Park on her orders, the court said.

The judge rebuked Park, who denied the charges, for being “uncooperative” throughout the court hearing and questioning by prosecutors.

She was also found guilty of interfering in the then-ruling Saenuri Party’s selection of candidates for the parliamentary election.

Prosecutors had earlier demanded a 15-year sentence for Park. 

Park, 66, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court. She was found guilty by a lower court in April of separate charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion. She was also fined $16m. 

She now faces a total of 32 years in prison. 

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Impeached and removed from office

In December 2016, South Korean legislators overwhelmingly voted to impeach Park but she refused to resign, offering instead an apology while denying any legal wrongdoing.

Three months later, the eight-member Constitutional Court voted unanimously to remove her from office.

She was charged and arrested soon after her dismissal from office in 2017. 

She is the daughter of another former president, Park Chung-hee, who seized power in 1961 and was assassinated eight years later.

Park could potentially get an even longer jail time depending on the rulings of the appeals courts.

Following the earlier ruling in April, prosecutors appealed Park’s 24-year term on charges including bribery and abuse of state power and are now demanding 30 years in prison.

The Seoul High Court will rule on the case on August 24.

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Crime

French president pledges to oust anti-Semitism

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France President Emmanuel Macron has disclosed his intention to end anti-Semitism due to the  rate in which racism is growing.



When addressing the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), he pledge to introduce legislation to oust hate speech and expresses his desire to cooperate with social media firms to identify the authors.

“Our country, and for that matter all of Europe and most Western democracies, seems to be facing a resurgence of anti-Semitism unseen since World War II,” Macron said on Wednesday.

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In addition he said “Behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.”

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French president added that anti-Semitism is based on “radical Islamism” as a rampant ideology in France’s multi-ethnic, poor neighborhoods.

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Crime

Fire out-break leave scores dead in Bangladesh’s Capital, Dhaka.

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Two source knowledgeable with the blaze that broke out on Wednesday evening has confirmed that the incident had claim at least 60 resident in Bangladesh’s Capital, Dhaka.



The fire fighter was seen struggling to bring the blaze under control as the fire wax stronger when it spread to surrounding house filled with plastic and gas cylinder.

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However, many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, duo the authorities has disclose that DNA test will be conducted and has assure the resident that they will conduct an investigate the cause of the fire.

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President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the incident and sympathy with the families of those killed in the fire.

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Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal visited the scene and announced the formation of a committee to investigate the fire, which will submit its report within seven days.

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