Philippine senator dares Duterte to take drug test after marijuana joke

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a joke about using marijuana, which irked critics of his bloody war on drugs. (File/AP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Philippine senator dares Duterte to take drug test after marijuana joke

  • “Now, if he really wants to clear himself, I am calling again on him to take a drug test,” opposition senator Antonio Trillanes said
  • Marijuana is illegal in the Philippines and critics said Duterte’s attempt at humor could upset the relatives of those who died in the anti-drugs campaign

MANILA: A Philippine senator challenged President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday to take a drug test after he joked about using marijuana during a regional summit in Singapore.
Duterte, whose controversial war on drugs has killed nearly 5,000 suspected drug dealers and users since 2016, said on Monday he used marijuana to stay awake — and then said he was just joking.
Marijuana is illegal in the Philippines and critics said Duterte’s attempt at humor could upset the relatives of those who died in the anti-drugs campaign.
“Now, if he really wants to clear himself, I am calling again on him to take a drug test,” opposition senator Antonio Trillanes said in a statement.
Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo told a news briefing the president would not take up the challenge. “He should be the one taking the test,” he said, referring to Trillanes.
In a speech on Monday, Duterte said he used marijuana “to keep me awake” at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore last month, where he skipped several meetings.


Fake German heiress convicted of bilking banks, businesses

Updated 6 min 29 sec ago
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Fake German heiress convicted of bilking banks, businesses

  • Sorokin claimed her father was diplomat and went to extraordinary lengths to have others pay her way
  • She also faces deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa
NEW YORK: A New York jury on Thursday convicted an extravagant socialite who bankrolled an implausibly lavish lifestyle with tens of thousands of dollars she swindled from banks, hotels and friends who believed she was a wealthy German heiress.
The Manhattan jury found Anna Sorokin guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a monthlong trial that attracted international attention. She was acquitted of one count of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. She is to be sentenced May 9.
Sorokin also faces deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa.
Using the name Anna Delvey, Sorokin deceived friends and financial institutions into believing she had a fortune of about $67 million (60 million euros) overseas that would cover her high-end clothing, luxury hotel stays and trans-Atlantic travel.
She claimed her father was diplomat or an oil baron and went to extraordinary lengths to have others pay her way. Prosecutors said she promised one friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco but then stuck her with the $62,000 bill.
She also forged financial records in an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club she wanted to build, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said. She was denied the loan but persuaded one bank to lend her $100,000 she failed to repay.
Her defense attorney, Todd Spodek, insisted Sorokin planned to settle her six-figure debts and was merely “buying time.”