The man who cut short the life and music of rock superstar John Lennon with a burst of bullets nearly 40 years ago, lost his 11th bid to be freed.
The latest rejection means he could spend the rest of his life in prison, a New York prison system spokesperson said on Wednesday.
A parole board denied a request for release from Mark David Chapman, who must wait two more years before he becomes eligible again, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesperson said.
The rationale behind the decision of the Board of Parole panel members who interviewed Chapman on Aug. 19 at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, was not immediately disclosed.
Chapman, 65, who has previously said that he long ago stopped being the troubled young man who shot one of the most famous people in the world to gain notoriety, is serving 20 years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
The assassination-style murder of Lennon, a founder of the Beatles who also had solo hits such as “Imagine” and “(Just Like) Starting Over”, stunned the music world, the British-born musician’s adopted home of New York City and a generation that grew up with “Beatlemania.”
At 40, Lennon had just emerged from a musical hiatus with the release of his “Double Fantasy” album when he went to a nighttime recording session on Dec. 8, 1980.
When he returned to his home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Chapman was waiting for him and shot him four times in front of his wife Yoko Ono.
Since 2000, the first year Chapman was eligible for parole, Ono, 87, has steadfastly opposed his release.
Her attorney, Jonas Herbsman, said she submitted comments to the parole board, which he would only say are “consistent with the prior letters.”
At his previous parole interview in August 2018 Chapman said he was a changed man and a religious Christian who would welcome freedom even though he said he did not deserve it.
A remorseful Chapman, whose 2018 prison photo shows a leaner man than the pudgy 25-year-old who pulled the trigger, remembered being in a “tug of war” with himself over what he was about to do before yielding to the idea of killing for fame.
“I was too far in,” he said in a transcript of the hearing.
Chapman has worked as a porter and wheelchair repairman at the prison hospital and has occasionally been visited by his wife whom he married about 18 months before the murder.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara (NAN)https://nnn.ng/new-york-rejects-11th-parole-bid-of-john-lennons-killer/
Boeing, FAA failures to blame for 737 MAX crashes: United States House report
The crashes “were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event,” the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Democratic majority said in its highly critical report released on Wednesday.
“They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”
The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 near Addis Ababa which killed all 157 aboard.
In October 2018, a Lion Air 737 MAX had crashed in Indonesia killing all 189 on board.
“Boeing failed in its design and development of the MAX, and the FAA failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft,” the report said, detailing a series of problems in the plane’s design and the FAA’s approval of it.
Boeing said it “learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents … and from the mistakes we have made”.
It said it had cooperated fully with the House committee and that revised design work on the 737 MAX had received intensive internal and external review involving more than 375,000 engineering and testing hours and 1,300 test flights.
The FAA said in a statement it would work with lawmakers “to implement improvements identified in its report.”
It added it was “focused on advancing overall aviation safety by improving our organisation, processes, and culture.”
The report said Boeing made “faulty design and performance assumptions” especially regarding a key safety system, called MCAS, which was linked to both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.
The FAA “failed to ensure the safety of the traveling public”, the report said.
Lawmakers have proposed numerous reforms to restructure how the FAA oversees aircraft certification.
A Senate committee will take up a reform bill Wednesday.
Lawmakers suggested Boeing was motivated to cut costs and move quickly to get the 737 MAX to market.
“This is a tragedy that never should have happened,” House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio told reporters.
“We’re going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again as we reform the system.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Van Niekerk wins on return to track in Europe
South Africa’s Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk won on his long-awaited return when he competed in the Gala dei Castelli at the Municipal Stadium in Bellinzona on Tuesday.
Van Niekerk ran 45.58 seconds ahead of Jochem Dobber of the Netherlands and Poland’s Karol Zalewski in a low-key return after recovering from a debilitating knee injury and then COVID-19.
The 28-year-old romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a world record time of 43.03 seconds but, then tore knee ligaments at a charity touch rugby game in October 2017 and made a long return.
He ran a handful of races in South Africa after facing a number of setbacks in his bid to return to the track and a planned comeback outside his home country in Trieste, Italy last month was cancelled when he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts to protest hate speech
Kim Kardashian West is joining other celebrities to freeze her Facebook and Instagram accounts on Wednesday, in a campaign urging the world’s biggest social media company to curb the spread of hate and propaganda.
“Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” Kardashian West wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday expressing support for the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign against Facebook Inc.
Actors including Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence and Sacha Baron Cohen also tweeted on Tuesday, calling on Facebook to do more.
The campaign, launched by civil rights groups this summer, won the support of hundreds of major companies in an advertising boycott of the social media giant in July, although it had little impact on Facebook’s bottom line.
This week, organisers encouraged users to post about the harm Facebook is causing and “freeze” their use of Facebook-owned Instagram for 24 hours on Wednesday.
The embrace of that call by Kardashian West, a businesswoman and reality TV star with one of the top 10 biggest Instagram followings worldwide, threatens a fresh blow to Facebook’s image and careful management of its relationships with celebrities.
The company devotes substantial resources to celebrity “partnerships,” with dedicated teams handling special requests and giving stars early access to new products, according to two former employees familiar with the operation.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company has said it would team up with civil rights groups to develop more tools to fight hate speech, although the groups say executives have shown little commitment to action.
Kardashian West has become an influential powerhouse of social change, raising the issue of climate change to her 188 million followers and lobbying the White House for criminal justice reform.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Netflix argues for free speech in court spat with Indian tycoons over ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’
An Indian court’s decision to stall the release of a Netflix Inc series on four Indian tycoons facing fraud allegations “freezes free speech” and hurts the company financially, the United States streaming giant has argued in a court filing seen by Reuters.
“Bad Boy Billionaires” is a documentary series about liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, Sahara group’s Subrata Roy, Indian IT executive Ramalinga Raju and jeweller Nirav Modi.
Netflix put the show on hold this month on order of a state court where Sahara alleged violation of Roy’s privacy rights.
Roy is currently on bail in a case where he was ordered by court to repay billions of dollars to investors in a scheme which was found to be illegal.
Roy denied wrongdoing in the case and has already repaid investors, his counsel said.
Arguing for free speech in an appeal at the High Court of eastern Bihar state, Netflix said the docuseries was an assimilation of information available in public domain.
The filing has not previously been reported.
The pre-publication injunction granted by the court “freezes free speech,” Netflix said in the filing earlier this month, which was reviewed by Reuters.
It argued it has a right to free speech “on a matter of public interest.”
Some Netflix shows in India have faced court challenges and police complaints for obscenity or for hurting sentiments.
The ongoing legal spat is among the most high-profile ones Netflix has faced in India, one of its key growth markets.
The court in Bihar that gave the injunction earlier had said the series “would certainly damage the reputation” of Roy Sahara and Netflix declined to comment.
Roy could not be reached for comment.
The United States streaming giant has argued it had invested large sums and done worldwide publicity on the series.
The injunction, Netflix argued, resulted in irreparable monetary loss, as well as affected its goodwill and reputation.
Netflix describes “Bad Boy Billionaires” as an “investigative docuseries (which) explores the greed, fraud and corruption that built up – and ultimately brought down – India’s most infamous tycoons.”
Netflix is locked in a legal spat not just with Sahara, but also another businessman Raju whose story was to appear in the series.
Raju, accused of a $1-billion accounting fraud more than a decade ago, had secured a separate state court order against the show’s release, but Netflix has challenged it in a higher court, said A. Venkatesh, a lawyer representing Raju.
Raju will continue to argue against the show’s release, said Venkatesh.
Both Netflix’s appeals are likely to be heard in coming days.
It was not clear if the other two tycoons – Modi and Mallya – have filed petitions against the release of the series.
Modi is facing extradition attempts by India after his arrest in London last year over his alleged involvement in a $2 billion bank fraud.
Mallya, too, is in Britain fighting India’s extradition bid for alleged fraud at his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Modi and Mallya have denied any wrongdoing.
Zulfiquar Memon of Indian law firm MZM Legal, who is part of team representing Modi in his extradition case, said they hadn’t filed any case to halt the release of the series, but were “sitting on the fence” tracking the ongoing proceedings.
A lawyer for Mallya could not immediately be reached for comment.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)