Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amsterdam may ban pot shops in Red Light district

Amsterdam may ban pot shops in Red Light district: People walk through the Red Light district, known as De Wallen, in Amsterdam, in 2011. The city now has court permission to ban marijuana cafes in its famous district.

Amsterdam has won court permission to ban marijuana cafes in its famous Red Light district, stepping up a crackdown on the city's freewheeling lifestyle.


Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but possession of small amounts is not prosecuted and it is sold openly in "coffee shops." Prostitution is legal. But Mayor Eberhard van der Laan argues the district's brothels and coffee shops generate criminality, and he has sought to have many closed.

 

Coffee shop owners argued that laws were being selectively enforced against them.

 

 

In a ruling published Wednesday, the Amsterdam District Court sided with the mayor, saying he "has the freedom to carry out policies he considers desirable to protect public order."

 

 

The city has shuttered 192 out of 482 brothels where prostitutes work behind windows in the Red Light district since 2006, or around 40 percent of the total — after winning court support for its argument that the high concentration of brothels made them hard to regulate. The plan for coffees shops is to close 26 out of the 76 now in business.

Prosecutors: No immunity for pop star Chris Brown's bodyguard in DC assault case

R&B singer Chris Brown, left, and his Attorney Mark Geragos appear during a court hearing at Los Angeles Superior court in Los Angeles Monday, July 15, 2013. A Los Angeles judge has revoked Chris Brown''s probation after reading details of an alleged hit-and-run accident and his behavior afterward, but the singer was not ordered to jail.: R&B singer Chris Brown, left, and his Attorney Mark Geragos appear during a court hearing at Los Angeles Superior court.

 

Prosecutors say they won't grant Chris Brown's bodyguard immunity to testify for the singer, a potential hurdle in starting his trial on an assault  charge.

Brown's trial had been scheduled for Monday and was rescheduled for Wednesday so lawyers would have time to address bodyguard Christopher Hollosy's potential testimony.


Both men were arrested in October after police say they punched a man outside a hotel. Hollosy was convicted of assault Monday.


Brown's attorneys want Hollosy to testify. Hollosy would be expected to say that he, not Brown, punched the man.


Unless prosecutors grant Hollosy immunity, testifying could affect the appeal he plans in his conviction.


Prosecutors say in a court document that they won't grant immunity because he's refused to speak with them after his conviction and they have concerns he would lie.


 

 

Lupita Nyong'o named People's 'Most Beautiful'

Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.: Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

 

The 31-year-old actress, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "12 Years a Slave," tops the magazine's list, announced Wednesday.

Commenting on being selected for this year's cover, Nyong'o says: "It was exciting and just a major, major compliment. I was happy for all the girls who would see me on it and feel a little more seen."

FBI: Man dies after being shot by marshal in court

Defendant shot by Marshal: This February 2012 photo, provided by the Utah Department of Corrections, shows Siale Angilau.

A defendant died after being shot by a U.S. marshal on Monday during an attack on a witness during a trial in a new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, the FBI said.

Siale Angilau, 25, died at a hospital after he was shot in the chest as he rushed the witness with a pen in an "aggressive, threatening manner," the FBI said in a news release.

Angilau was shot several times in front of a jury that had been selected on Friday.

Angilau was one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2010 accusing gang members of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offenses.

Under standard procedures, Angilau was not restrained in the courtroom, the FBI said.

Perry Caldwell, who was in the courtroom with his adult daughter, said Angilau was shot several times as he lunged toward the witness stand.

At least six shots were fired, he said.

The witness, who was not injured, appeared to be in his mid-20s and was testifying about gang initiation, Caldwell said. The person was not identified.

Caldwell and his daughter were in court to support his mother, Sandra Keyser, who was punched in the face during a holdup in 2002 and was scheduled to testify.

"It was kind of traumatizing," Sara Jacobson, Caldwell's daughter, said of the shooting.

Prosecutors said Angilau robbed convenience stores and assaulted clerks in Salt Lake City on five occasions from 2002 to 2007. A clerk was shot in the final robbery, according to the indictment.

Angilau was accused of assault on a federal officer with a weapon and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence on Aug. 11, 2007.

Angilau was the last defendant in the case to stand trial, U.S. attorney's office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said.

A mistrial was declared after the shooting. In her order, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell said members of the jury were visibly shaken and upset.

Angilau's attorney, Michael Langford, declined to take questions as he left the courthouse.

Angilau was in Utah state prison from September 2007 until he was handed over to U.S. marshals on Friday, said Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams.

He was arrested in August 2007 for a probation violation and pleaded guilty a year later to obstruction of justice and failure to respond to a command of a police officer, court records show.

His trial in the robbery case was among the first at the new $185 million federal courthouse opened just one week ago in downtown Salt Lake City next door to a century-old federal courthouse. The towering building is designed to withstand blasts and also contains bulletproof glass in some areas.

The security measures include separate routes in and out for judges, prisoners and the public. In the old courthouse, they all used the same hallways.

The courthouse was temporarily closed after the shooting and later reopened.