Jolie, Pitt agree to settle divorce in private

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Updated 10 January 2017
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Jolie, Pitt agree to settle divorce in private

LOS ANGELES: Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt, once Hollywood’s most celebrated couple, have reached an agreement to keep details of their high-profile divorce and child custody dispute private, US media reported on Tuesday.
The estranged Hollywood film stars have “signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues,” Jolie and Pitt said in a statement obtained by CNN.
“The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification.”
Jolie and Pitt have been in the midst of a bitter public divorce and custody battle over their children, some of which has played out on gossip television and in the tabloids.
Jolie, 41, who filed court papers in September to end their marriage, is seeking sole custody of the couple’s six children.
Pitt was cleared by the FBI and social workers over allegations that he struck one of his children during a flight that month from France to Los Angeles.
Pitt, 53, who won a best film Oscar for producing “12 Years a Slave,” is seeking joint legal and physical custody.
He has been granted visits supervised by a therapist as part of a temporary custody agreement.
Under a current arrangement, Jolie has physical custody of the children — three of whom are adopted — at a rented LA house.
The A-listers — given the celebrity moniker “Brangelina” — got married in France in August two years ago, but had been a couple since 2004.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 27 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”