Lady Gaga says won’t work again with singer R. Kelly

Lady Gaga said she believed the women and found the documentary “absolutely horrifying.” (File/AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Lady Gaga says won’t work again with singer R. Kelly

  • The comments followed a new television documentary in which multiple women accuse R. Kelly of sexual misconduct
  • Gaga in 2013 released a duet with Kelly called “Do What U Want (With My Body.)“

LOS ANGELES: Lady Gaga has vowed to remove a duet she recorded with R&B singer R.Kelly from streaming services and never collaborate with him again.
Her comments, in a lengthy Instagram post late on Wednesday, followed a new television documentary in which multiple women accuse Kelly of sexual misconduct, sometimes with minors.
Kelly, 52, the Chicago singer and record producer best known for hit song “I Believe I Can Fly,” has repeatedly denied accusations in recent years of abuse, including those made in the new documentary.
The Grammy-winning singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008.
His attorney has not responded to Reuters requests for comment about the six-hour documentary “Surviving R.Kelly,” broadcast last week on the Lifetime channel.
It features interviews with several women making on camera allegations of sexual, mental and physical abuse by Kelly, as well as interviews with some of his former managers and producers.
Reuters is unable to independently verify the accusations.
Gaga said she believed the women and found the documentary “absolutely horrifying.”
“I stand behind these women 1000 percent, believe them, and know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she said in her Instagram posting.
Gaga in 2013 released a duet with Kelly called “Do What U Want (With My Body.)“
“I intend to remove the song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she wrote on Wednesday. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
A Chicago prosecutor on Tuesday urged anyone alleging abuse by Kelly to come forward so claims could be investigated.
“There is nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told a news conference.
The US entertainment industry has been roiled for more than a year by scores of allegations of sexual misconduct against producers, actors and directors, many of whom have lost their jobs or been forced to step down.


Ancient Afghan citadel collapses, cultural heritage sites at risk

Updated 15 June 2019
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Ancient Afghan citadel collapses, cultural heritage sites at risk

  • The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years
  • The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites in Afghanistan in urgent need of protection

GHAZNI, Afghanistan: An ancient tower dating back 2,000 years in the historic Afghan city of Ghazni collapsed this week, local officials said, raising concerns about the vulnerability of the country’s cultural heritage and the government’s ability to protect them.
The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years due to decades of war, heavy rain and neglect.
The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites in Afghanistan — ranging from the pre-Islamic Buddhist center in the Bamyan valley to the 12th century minaret of Jam in a remote area of Ghor province — in urgent need of protection.
Officials in Ghazni, which nearly fell to the Taliban last year in some of the heaviest fighting seen in the war, said the tower collapsed on Tuesday following heavy rain. A short video posted on social media shows it crumbling but local residents say negligence also contributed to its collapse.
“The government paid no attention to the sites and didn’t build canals to divert flood water,” said Ghulam Sakhi, who lives near the citadel.
“We have warned the government about the dire condition of the citadel but no one visited,” Sakhi said.
Mahbubullah Rahmani, acting director of culture and information in Ghazni, said heavy rain and recent fighting had contributed to the tower’s collapse but said the government was working on a plan to protect the site from complete destruction.
He said a German archaeologist had worked at the site as recently as 2013.
Ghazni, a strategically vital center on the main highway between Kabul and southern Afghanistan and two hour drive from the capital, is home to a range of cultural and archaeological artefacts, some of which date back to pre-Islamic period.
The province and its cultural heritage was officially declared as Asian Capital of Islamic Culture in 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a Morocco-based body created in 1981, supported by UNESCO.
The collapse of the tower in Ghazni follows concern over the condition of the 900-year-old Minaret of Jam, in Ghor, which has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
The Taliban during their austere regime from 1996-2001, before they were toppled by the US and coalition force in late 2001, blew up two giant Buddha statues in central Bamiyan province, calling them idols.