The prosecution in the long-standing case against Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee and five other City Harvest Church members has claimed that the accused manipulated transactions and raised the church's budget deficit to $1.8 million in order to continue financing the popstar career of singer Ho Yeow Sun, Kong's wife.
"Essentially, you were prepared to increase the church's expenses by $630,000, causing the church deficit to rise to $1.8 million for 2007, to ensure that you were able to continue financing Sun Ho's music career. Correct?" Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong asked former CHC finance manager Serina Wee Gek Yin on Tuesday, The Straits Times reported.
Wee, Kong, and four other CHC members are being tried for misusing church money by secretly funneling funds by way of sham bond investments into a company called Xtron, which was in charge of Ho's career. more >>
Fox News host Megyn Kelly blasted her colleague Bill O'Reilly Tuesday night for insisting that Pamela Geller was wrong to hold a free speech event critical of Islam, specifically radical factions within the faith, where people were encouraged to submit depictions of Muhammad, which some Muslims consider to be insulting and blasphemous.
The two FNC hosts discussed the terror attack at the "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest" in Garland, Texas, Sunday that left two suspects dead and one security guard injured. O'Reilly took the stance that the event's organizers, Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, provoked the attack.
Kelly, however, retaliated and stated that Geller had the right to organize and hold the event under the protection of the First Amendment. more >>
President Barack Obama made his final appearance on the "The Late Show" with David Letterman on Monday, mixing comedy with talk on some serious issues, such as the riots that broke out last week in Baltimore. Obama said that African-Americans are angry at poverty and unemployment, but added that most Americans want to work together to solve these issues.
"What you have are pockets of poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of education all across this country, and too often we ignore those pockets until something happens, and then we act surprised," Obama said of the broader problem behind the riots and burning of homes and businesses.
"There are cities across the country who work with police, clergy and others and say we want to get beyond the status quo, and I'm confident we can see improvement," he added. more >>
Short of calling the attack on the "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest" in Texas an act of terrorism, three Muslim leaders held a press conference Monday to denounce the acts of two gunmen who shot and injured a security guard outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Sunday before they were shot dead.
A Sunni Muslim leader from an Irving mosque that opened up the first known Islamic Tribunal in the U.S. in February, was joined by Alia Salem of CAIR and Azhar Azeez of the Islamic Society of North America to condemn both the two men who carried out the attacks, as well as Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative for hosting the event that included a $10,000 prize for the best artistic depiction of Muhammad, which some Muslims consider to be blasphemous.
While Salem said the North Texas Muslim community condemns "the actions of the violent criminals who opened fire at [the Curtis Culwell Center], and are equally horrified by the fact that "the violence was committed by people identifying themselves as Muslim," Azeez, president of ISNA, accused Geller of "disrupting peace and inciting hatred." more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from a convicted murderer in Massachusetts seeking an estimated $50,000 taxpayer-funded sex change surgery without comment Monday and gay rights advocates are not happy about it.
The convicted murderer, born Robert Kosilek but now identifies as a female named Michelle Kosilek, is serving a life sentence for killing her spouse, Cheryl Kosilek, in 1990.
Over the weekend, noted Harvard Law professor and criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz made headlines attacking Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby for allegedly overcharging the Baltimore police officers blamed for Freddie Gray's death and for placing "politics and crowd control" over the interests of justice. Here's the core of Dershowitz's argument:
"I understand why the mayor and state attorney want to prevent riots . . . but that's not the job of the justice system . . . You cannot allow police officers or any other defendants to become scapegoats for crowds demanding a continuation of rioting . . There's no plausible, hypothetical, conceivable case for murder under the facts that we now know them. You might say that conceivably there's a case for manslaughter. Nobody wanted this guy to die, nobody set out to kill him, and nobody intentionally murdered him."
"The worst-case scenario is a case for involuntary manslaughter or some kind of reckless disregard, but the idea of without further investigation coming down with murder indictments . . . This is a show trial. This is designed to please the crowd. It's designed to lower the temperature." more >>