Football superstar Neymar undergoes questioning by Brazil police, denies rape claim

Brazilian football player Neymar arrives on crutches at the Women's Defense Precinct in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 13, 2019 to testify after Brazilian Najila Trindade filed a complaint against him on May 31, saying he sexually assaulted her after inviting her to visit him in Paris. (AFP / ARI FERREIRA)
Updated 14 June 2019

Football superstar Neymar undergoes questioning by Brazil police, denies rape claim

  • Accuser claims Neymar raped her last month at a Paris hotel, but she opted to file the complaint in Sao Paulo
  • Neymar is being investigated separately in Rio de Janeiro for publishing images of his accuser on social media without her authorization

SAO PAULO: Brazilian soccer star Neymar spent about five hours at a police station Thursday to undergo questioning about rape allegations against him.
Prosecutor Flavia Merlini told journalists that the player “denies the accusations and responded (to questions) in a satisfactory way.”
The woman who has accused him of raping her at a Paris hotel last month already spoke with police in Sao Paulo, which is where she filed her complaint.
Neymar was accompanied by his lawyers to the meeting Thursday.
“He answered all the questions,” Merlini said. “From now on the investigator will take other necessary measures until the conclusion of the probe. Since the probe is secret, we cannot tell about those measures.”
Just before departing in the evening, Neymar said, “The truth appears, sooner or later.” He also thanked fans for their support.
Wearing a black suit, the player was using crutches because of an injured right ankle when he arrived at the station at midafternoon. Investigator Juliana Bussacos met him at the entrance amid a media frenzy while a crowd of nearly 200 fans cheered the 27-year-old Neymar, who is Brazil’s most recognizable player.
The player is being investigated separately in Rio de Janeiro for publishing images of his accuser on social media without her authorization.
The Associated Press doesn’t name alleged sexual assault victims unless they make their identities public, which 26-year-old model Najila Trindade did in interviews with Brazilian television.
Also Thursday, Trindade reported that she had picked her fourth lawyer to handle the case. The previous three decided to leave the case.
Neymar’s jet flew into Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport and he was driven to the police station in a black van. The player came from his mansion in the city of Mangaratiba, outside Rio de Janeiro.


Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

Updated 57 min 8 sec ago

Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

  • WHO issues first report on microplastics in drinking water
  • Reassures consumers that risk is low, but says more study needed
GENEVA: Microplastics contained in drinking water pose a “low” risk to human health at current levels, but more research is needed to reassure consumers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
Studies over the past year on plastic particles detected in tap and bottled water have sparked public concerns but the limited data appears reassuring, the UN agency said its first report on potential health risks associated with ingestion.
Microplastics enter drinking water sources mainly through run-off and wastewater effluent, the WHO said. Evidence shows that microplastics found in some bottled water seem to be at least partly due to the bottling process and/or packaging such as plastic caps, it said.
“The headline message is to reassure drinking water consumers around the world, that based on this assessment, our assessment of the risk is that it is low,” Bruce Gordon of the WHO’s department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health, told a briefing.
The WHO did not recommended routine monitoring for microplastics in drinking water. But research should focus on issues including what happens to chemical additives in the particles once they enter the gastrointestinal tract, it said.
The majority of plastic particles in water are larger than 150 micrometers in diameter and are excreted from the body, while “smaller particles are more likely to cross the gut wall and reach other tissues,” it said.
Health concerns have centered around smaller particles, said Jennifer De France, a WHO technical expert and one of the report’s authors.
“For these smallest size particles, where there is really limited evidence, we need know more about what is being absorbed, the distribution and their impacts,” she said.
More research is needed into risks from microplastics exposure throughout the environment — “in our drinking water, air and food,” she added.
Alice Horton, a microplastics researcher at Britain’s National Oceanography Center, said in a statement on the WHO’s findings: “There are no data available to show that microplastics pose a hazard to human health, however this does not necessarily mean that they are harmless.”
“It is important to put concerns about exposure to microplastics from drinking water into context: we are widely exposed to microplastics in our daily lives via a wide number of sources, of which drinking water is just one.”
Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card, a study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF International said in June. That study said the largest source of plastic ingestion was drinking water, but another major source was shellfish.
The biggest overall health threat in water is from microbial pathogens — including from human and livestock waste entering water sources — that cause deadly diarrheal disease, especially in poor countries lacking water treatment systems, the WHO said.
Some 2 billion people drink water contaminated with faeces, causing nearly 1 million deaths annually, Gordon said, adding: “That has got to be the focus of regulators around the world.”