Former Michael Jackson lawyer to defend Cosby

In this June 17, 2017 file photo, Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Cosby's spokesman announced Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, that Cosby has hired Michael Jackson's former lawyer, Tom Mesereau, to represent him at his November retrial on sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania. (AP)
Updated 22 August 2017
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Former Michael Jackson lawyer to defend Cosby

NEW YORK: The onetime attorney of late pop icon Michael Jackson will now defend disgraced television icon Bill Cosby in his upcoming re-trial for sexual assault, the actor’s spokesman said Monday.
After Brian McMonagle quit earlier this month, his California-based co-counsel Angela Agrusa also filed a motion asking to be taking off the trial. The pair helped Cosby secure a hung jury on trial for sexual assault in June.
Los Angeles-based Tom Mesereau — known for his flamboyant style and long white hair — will now lead Cosby’s legal team, spokesman Andrew Wyatt said in a statement.
Also on Cosby’s team will be Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver, the statement said.
The 67-year-old Mesereau is known for getting an acquittal for Jackson in June 2005 after a four-month trial on child molestation charges.
He will now defend Cosby, the pioneering African American actor and comedian who is due to go back on trial in November for allegedly drugging and molesting former Temple University basketball official Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial in June when a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on three counts of aggravated indecent assault after more than 50 hours of deliberations in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
The deadlock was a victory of sorts for Cosby, now frail and isolated, who risked spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
But the trial irrevocably damaged the once towering icon of US popular culture, loved by millions as “America’s Dad” and best known for his seminal role as a father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 TV series “The Cosby Show.”
Around 60 women have publicly accused the Emmy-winning actor of being a serial sexual predator, but the trial was the only criminal case brought against Cosby as most of the alleged abuse happened too long ago to prosecute.
Cosby has maintained his innocence, saying his relations with Constand were consensual.
Mesereau is due in court on Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing, Wyatt said.
In a July interview about the case to celebrity news website TMZ, Mesereau said the trial was a “waste of time” as prosecutors had “a very weak case.”


ISS astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Updated 21 July 2018
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ISS astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

  • Video posted Saturday by the European Space Agency shows German astronaut Alexander Gerst “dropping in” for a live performance
  • Using a tablet computer with a virtual synthesizer, Gerst played a duet of Kraftwerk’s 1978 song “Spacelab”

BERLIN: Kraftwerk fans are used to hearing otherworldly tunes, but the German electronic music pioneers took it to another level at a gig in Stuttgart.
Video posted Saturday by the European Space Agency shows German astronaut Alexander Gerst “dropping in” for a live performance from the International Space Station.
Using a tablet computer with a virtual synthesizer, Gerst played a duet of Kraftwerk’s 1978 song “Spacelab” with the band Friday night to cheers from the audience.

He’s not the first space musician. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and played a duet with the Barenaked Ladies while 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the Earth in 2013.
American astronaut Ron McNair planned to play saxophone from orbit with Jean Michel Jarre in 1986 but died in the Challenger tragedy.