Citing cash woes, R Kelly asks judge for OK to fly to Dubai

Singer R. Kelly faces 10 counts of sexual abuse crimes against four women. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 March 2019
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Citing cash woes, R Kelly asks judge for OK to fly to Dubai

  • The motion said Kelly is scrambling to pay child support, legal fees and everyday expenses because of the cancelation of US gigs and contracts
  • Wednesday’s filing argued Kelly is no flight risk

CHICAGO: Cash-strapped R. Kelly asked a judge Wednesday to let him travel to the Middle East to perform several concerts, according to a new court filing that said he has struggled to get work in the US since his February arrest on sex abuse charges.
The R&B singer hopes to do up to five concerts next month in Dubai, according to a motion filed in Cook County Circuit Court. It doesn’t specify venues or how much Kelly could earn from the concerts, which the filing contends were arranged prior to Kelly’s arrest.
The concerts seem to be private events, as no publicity has been released about the singer performing in the city.
The motion said Kelly is scrambling to pay child support, legal fees and everyday expenses because of the cancelation of Illinois concerts and a record contract, as well as the removal of his songs from streaming services.
“He cannot work, and consequently cannot make a living if he is confined to Illinois, or even the United States,” according to the five-page court document. “Mr. Kelly needs to generate income.”
A judge could rule on the travel request at a Friday pretrial hearing.
Wednesday’s filing also criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, accusing her of using the case “to thrust herself into the spotlight of the #metoo movement” and to boost her nationwide profile.
A Foxx spokeswoman said prosecutors would respond to the defense filing at the Friday hearing but declined further comment.
Kelly grew up in a Chicago public housing project and went on to become an internationally-acclaimed singer. But amid abuse allegations, music industry executives and fans have started keeping their distance. Lawsuits and tax issues have also hurt him financially.
Kelly was charged Feb. 22 with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman. He has denied ever abusing anyone.
Defense lawyer Steve Greenberg joked to a judge the next day at a bond hearing that, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly” — a reference to the singer’s hit “I Believe I Can Fly.”
But Wednesday’s filing said that for a worldwide star like Kelly, travel is essential.
It took the Grammy winner days after his arrest to raise the $100,000 required on $1 million bond to win release. In a separate case earlier this month, Kelly was briefly jailed again until he paid $160,000 in back child support.
Among the bond conditions in his sex abuse case was that he surrender his passport and that he not travel outside Illinois without the judge’s permission.
Wednesday’s filing argued Kelly is no flight risk, noting how he was permitted to travel before his 2008 child pornography trial and always appeared for pretrial hearings. Jurors later acquitted him on all counts.


Revamped ‘Crash Team Racing’ is wildly addictive

Updated 22 June 2019
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Revamped ‘Crash Team Racing’ is wildly addictive

  • The new CTR is a revitalized version of the 1999 classic, developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation
  • Publisher Activision has been on a roll lately with their remakes of retro PlayStation game

RIYADH: Crash Bandicoot fans, it’s time to get back in the kart. “Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled” (CTR) released worldwide on Friday, available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

The new CTR is a revitalized version of the 1999 classic, developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation. The original was an immediate hit with audiences despite its single-minded intensity. Held together by the barest threads of a plot, the story is hardly as entertaining as the racing itself.

The gameplay, on the other hand, is wildly addictive. Track after track of intense twists and turns, a revolving cast of characters ranging from cute to evil and hidden trophies and collectibles, it was surprisingly sophisticated for a simple racing game.

And now the game has been revitalized with incredible new graphics, better sound (a recurring point of criticism of the old game) and new features like full kart customization and character skins. The remake also introduces an online mode where players no longer have to be sharing the same console to race each other.

Gaming purists can opt for the “Classic” campaign mode, which adheres to the same rules of the original game. The new “Adventure” mode allows for more customization and introduces difficulty settings.

Those uninterested in unlockables and trophies can just dive right into the action with battle modes, time trials and local multiplayer races.

Publisher Activision has been on a roll lately with their remakes of retro PlayStation games. Back in November, Activision released their remake of the original Spyro trilogy, with all three games bundled together as “Spyro: Reignited.” The year before, they published a remake of the original much-loved Crash Bandicoot trilogy, remade as the “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.”

Both remakes have received favorable reviews from critics, with many applauding the effort to preserve these beloved classics for the older generation of gamers whilst also appealing to younger players.

Activision has also gone the extra mile and localized the game in Arabic in the MENA region, just as they have for the Spyro Reignited trilogy.

All in all, the question remains: Is the new CTR worth getting? In this reviewer’s opinion, it’s a resounding “yes.”