Drugs, death and stock trading – what became of the Goonies child stars | Buzz.ie

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Produced by Steven Spielberg, and directed by Richard Donner, The Goonies has become a Sunday afternoon TV classic – but 35 years on, what has become of its amazing cast?

Child stars may seem to have it all but the pressures – and dangerous opportunities – of fame can be a toxic mix when you’re at an impressionable age.

Adventure comedy classic The Goonies was released in 1985, and the past 35 years have been something of a rollercoaster ride for its young stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Jonathan Ke Quan, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton.

And let’s not forget John Matuszak’s memorable turn as Sloth

Some Goonies alumni have managed to maintain steady showbiz careers, some have tasted the dark side of fame, and a few have turned their backs on show business altogether.

24 Martha Plimpton today is barely recognisable as the young girl who lost her glasses in the secret cave (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Sean Astin (Mikey)

Sean is a Hollywood baby, son of Valley of the Dolls star Patty Duke and adoptive son of her husband – Addams Family star John Astin.

The Goonies was Sean’s first film, and after that, he went on to appear in a string of movies, including War of the Roses, Memphis Belle and Toy Soldiers.

Abuse Sean Astin is still acting today (Image: Warner Bros.)

He achieved new levels of fame when he played Sam in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy forming a lasting bond with co-stars Elijah Wood and Billy Boyd.

Since Lord of the Rings, Sean’s main success has been in TV. He’s added a second string to his acting bow with a number of high-profile voice acting rifles in animated series as well as showing up in Stranger Things, Supergirl, 24 and The Big Bang Theory.

act Sean’s best known for his work in the Lord of the Rings saga (Image: FilmMagic)

Sean’s personal life seems to have been relatively trouble-free. he married former beauty queen Christine Harrell in 1992, taking her Lutheran Christian faith in 2013, and they have three daughters together.

While younger readers may have no idea what The Goonies even was, they’ll know Sean as the voice of Reginald from Minecraft.

Martha Plimpton (Stef)

Martha is another Goonies star who just kept going. As well as starring in hit US sitcom raising Hope she’s appeared in everything from The Good Wife to Frozen II.

She’s had her greatest successes on stage though, receiving three consecutive Tony Award nominations and starring in innumerable Broadway hits.

Like Goonies co-star Sean Astin, Martha also pops up as a character voice in Minecraft.

actor These days, Martha focuses on stage work (Image: Warner Bros)

Corey Feldman (Mouth)

Corey Feldman became an Eighties icon. Alongside his showbiz mate Corey Haim, he appeared in cult vampire movie The Lost Boys as well as its belated sequel The Tribe.

The pair also appeared together in a fictionalised reality show – The Two Coreys – where the pair pursued an Odd Couple relationship with Feldman coming across as relatively clean-living and Haim playing the slob.

age Corey Feldman struggled to cope with the pressures of child stardom (Image: Warner Bros)

Haim’s hedonistic lifestyle caught up with him in 2010 when he died aged just 38. Feldman too has had problems with booze and drugs. By the time he was 19, he’d been arrested three times for heroin.

Feldman has hinted, more than once that the reason he and Haim were driven to drink and drugs was a secret subculture of abuse in Hollywood.

All Corey says that dark forces in Hollywood are out to get him after he spoke out about a paedophile ring (Image: Getty Images)

In 2013, he told US TV’s The View (their equivalent of Loose Women) that a massive organised paedophile ring wielded massive power in the entertainment industry.

Feldman was also a close friend of Michael Jackson, who invited him to his Neverland estate and showered him with expensive gifts. But, he insists, the disgraced star never approached him sexually.

Josh Brolin (Brandon)

amazing Josh is the son of James Brolin, star of the original Westworld (Image: Warner Bros)

A Hollywood wild child, Josh Brolin ran with a rough crowd in his youth. He stole cars to pay for drugs, and had a flirtation with heroin.

He said: “I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing. I’ve had 19 friends who died. Most of those guys I grew up with, they’re all dead now.”

avengers Josh Brolin grew up with a movie star dad, but had a troubled childhood before finding his feet as an actor (Image: Getty Images)

Brolin survived and went on to have a long and successful career in movies. Debuting in The Goonies he has appeared in No Country For Old Men, Sicario, Deadpool 2 and as Thanos in the massively successful Avengers series of films.

He also has a sideline trading in stocks and shares, and even considered giving up movies for the stock market at one point

Jonathan Ke Quan (Data)

Jonathan was already famous when The Goonies opened, having played Indiana Jones’s sidekick Short Round in the Temple of Doom.

While he continued to act for a while after Goonies, he increasingly used his martial arts knowledge to pick up work as a fight choreographer.

baby Jonathan was the highest-profile member of the Goonies gang when the film opened (Image: Warner Bros)

Kerri Green (Andy)

Kerri, like many of the Goonies stars, made her debut in Steven Spielberg’s treasure-hunting comedy thriller.

But, unlike some of her co-stars, she struggled to sustain her early success. She earned good reviews for her role in romcom Lucas, where she played opposite Cory Feldman’s partner in crime Corey Haim, but after that, the big roles dried up.

Beauty Kerri spends her time writing and directing these days (Image: Warner Bros)

She made a few appearances on TV shows such as Murder, She Wrote and ER, but hasn’t done much acting since the 1990s.

Kerri spends her time behind the camera these days, with her own production company and a series of writing and directing credits.

Jeff Cohen (Chunk)

Jeff was suffering from chickenpox when filing on The Goonies started but kept quiet about it to avoid being dropped from the production.

broadway Jeff worked hard to slim down after The Goonies (Image: Warner Bros)

After the film wrapped, Jeff got heavily into college football in a bid to shed some of Chunk’s weight. He made a few more movies but then, according to a 2014 profile, “puberty hit and forced Cohen into early retirement.”

He moved from acting to entertainment law. Partly, he says, “because I get to go to the parties but I don’t have to audition.”

business Today, Jeff is a hugely successful media lawyer (Image: Getty Images)

John Matuszak (Sloth)

Older than most of the other Goonies stars, Matuszak was already an established American Football player when the call came to play disfigured misfit Sloth in The Goonies.

camera John Matuszak (Sloth) Older than most of the other Goonies stars, Matuszak was already an established American Football player when the call came to play disfigured misfit Sloth in The Goonies.

The makeup, which took five hours to apply every day, disguised his appearance but Matuszak’s own face appeared in countless TV shows such as M*A*S*H, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team and Miami Vice.

Tragically, Matuszak died young – succumbing to a mix of opioids and cocaine in 1989. He was 38.


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Nigerian Youths Should Choose Life, Not Death — Emmanuel Onwubiko

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Statistically, the global authority on health issues known as the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a highly frightening but realistic rate of suicides committed by members of the global humanity per annum. It says that close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

Suicide the World Health Organisation observed succinctly, is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan.

It reckons that effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.

Suicide is a global phenomenon; in fact, 79% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2016. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016, so says the global agency on health matters also known as World Health organization in its website just visited by this writer.

I must state that although the fact remains that suicide is a worldwide trend, but for us in Nigeria just like in other African nations, the death of someone is a huge loss not just to the immediate family but to the society and the nation at large. Given the African set up of the typical family tree, members of a given family belong to both the nuclear and the extended family units. So the matter of suicidal demise of any member brings about phenomenal amount of sorrows to a greater percentage of people in Nigeria.

However, due to a number of factors not unrelated with psychological, emotional, financial and sociological factors, a lot of young Nigerians have fallen into the traps of suicide in the last couple of years particularly in the last one year. Around June of last year, Samuel Elias, 25, a final year student of Department of Religion and Culture, University of Nigeria Nsukka allegedly committed suicide by drinking sniper.

The mother of the deceased, Mrs. Kate Elias a staff of the university, told the News agency of Nigeria that the unfortunate incident happened on Monday June 17, around 5.30pm in her house at Justina Eze Street Nsukka.

Elias said she came back from work on that fateful day and discovered that the mood of her first child was bad and he was staggering when he came to collect a bottle of coke from the fridge

“I followed him immediately to his room and started talking to him but he could not respond and when I looked closely, I discovered that his teeth had tightened up.

“As I looked around, I saw an empty sniper bottle; at this point I raised alarm and my other children rushed to the room and we tried to give him red oil but his tightened teeth did not allow the oil to enter his mouth,” she said.

According to her, he was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually died.

“We immediately rushed him to Faith Foundation Hospital, Nsukka and were later referred to Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, where he eventually died.

The mother of seven said her son could have died of depression, noting that he had been lamenting his inability to graduate from UNN because of his final year project, which he has been working on.

“I know two things he usually complained, his inability to graduate from UNN since 2016 because of the project that he has not finished as his classmates have all gone for their National Youth Service Corps.

“Also, how his father’s family in Ihechiowa in Arochukwu Local Government of Abia State abandoned us since their father died.

“Whenever he complained of these things, I usually advised him to trust God, who is capable of solving every problem.

“I do not know why he will go to this extent of committing suicide. I have seven children and he was my first child.

“It is still like a dream to me that my first son and first child has died,” she said in tears.

Reacting to this incident, Prof. Tagbo Ugwu, the Head of Department of Religion and Culture in UNN, said somebody called him and told him about the unfortunate incident.

“I received the news with shock and surprise.

“I will find out from his supervisor what is wrong from the project that has stopped him from graduating,” he said.

When contacted Mr Ebere Amaraizu, the Police Public Relations Office, in Enugu State, confirmed the incident and said police would investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

“The police is aware of Samuel Elias’ death. He was a final year student of the Department of Religion and Culture in UNN, who committed suicide on Monday by drinking sniper.

“Police will investigate circumstances surrounding the death,” he said.

It would be recalled that barely five weeks after Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of Department of English and Literary Studies in UNN ended his own life after taking a bottle of sniper. In August of last year, from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), came the story that the school community was thrown into mourning mood following the death of a final year student, Opeyemi Dara. The deceased was said to be a student of Faculty of Arts, Department of English Language, who allegedly committed suicide after taking a suspected dose of lethal substance popularly known as “sniper”. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that she allegedly took her life following her poor academic performance, although the details of the incident were still sketchy.

The media stated that the authority of the institution confirmed that the deceased committed suicide following depression occasioned by poor academic records.

Dara’s academic records obtained by a journalist who worked on the story for one of the National dailies indicated that she had five outstanding courses and 12 Special Electives.

Also the Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju confirmed the incident and promised that the institution would investigate and make its findings public. Olarewaju appealed to students not to contemplate committing suicide because of poor academic performance.

“We sympathize with the parents and guardian of the deceased known as Dara.” We just want our students and young ones to know that depression is not a thing they should encourage, no matter the situation or circumstance they find themselves. “ Some people in the past have passed through the same situation and circumstances and came out clean. “Now, suicide can never be an option and people, especially the young ones who believe that taking their own lives is an act of gallantry should know that it is not. “We want to appeal to students, particularly OAU students to take things easy. Any child that fails; that is why the university says you can rerun a course, you can resit a course.

“People out there also face challenges and when you are in school, failure or repetition of a course or particular subject is also part of the challenges students must face. “The university will get to the root of the incident and get back to the public,” Olarewaju said. Just before this case, there was another story from Edo state.

That was precisely at the Faculty of Arts, University of Benin, UNIBEN, main campus came the heartbreaking story that a final-year student jumped from the second floor of one of the hostels and died.

The deceased male student, whose identity is still unknown as at press time, committed suicide after failing his examinations, which made him suffer depression for failure to graduate. The next case is that of a girl that reportedly took her life following a break up of a relationship and this also happened at the University of Benin like the aforementioned the deceased was a three hundred level student.

The corpse of Miss Christabell Omoremime Buoro, aged 21, a 300-level student of the department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Benin (UNIBEN), was discovered in her hostel flat at Plot 4 Uwaifo lane, Newton street, Ekosodin area, behind the university fence, so reports the newspapers. Miss Christabell reportedly was discovered after she allegedly took some deadly substance to end her life. It was gathered that the undergraduate linked her suicide to her breakup with her boyfriend.

The media states that an empty sachet of Klin detergent was found in the spot where she took her life.

According to the source of the media information, “A small girl of that age will take her life all because of one boy. The policemen that came to evacuate the body were very angry after reading out loud the note she dropped.

“Thank God that she even dropped a note, if not the roommates would have been in hot soup, because investigation would have began from that point.”

As are with all cases of suicide, the police officers in this case situated at the Ugbowo police station have invited two person for questioning over the content of the letter.

It was rumoured that the deceased Christabel mixed the deadly insecticide, popularly called Sniper with Sprite drink, and reportedly left a suicide note where she stated that she was about taking her life because the guy she loved didn’t love her in return after her boyfriend broke up with her.

Sadly, the year 2020 has also seen another case of suicide by a youngster and in this developing story we were told that the girl stated that she was depressed and that she no longer find life attractive.

The Enugu State Police Command only at the weekend confirmed that a serving National Youth Service Corp member in Enugu State, Miss Bolufemi Princess Motunrayo, has committed suicide.

It was gathered that Miss Motunrayo, a Batch ‘C’ corps member serving in Girls Secondary School, Ibagwa-Aka, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State took her life on Friday, January 10, 2020, when she allegedly drank a substance suspected to be sniper.

The Corp member hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State and a graduate of Banking and Finance from Prince Abubakar Audu University formally called Kogi State University was reported to have taken two bottles of snipers.

One of the media reporters who worked on this emerging story said it was learnt that she had before committing suicide dropped a short note that read, “I did this because I see nothing worth living for in this world”.

Confirming the alleged suicide is the State Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, who described the incident as unfortunate.

Amaraizu, a Superintendent of Police in a text message to the Punch newspaper correspondent said, “The incident has to do with the taking of sniper insecticide by one Bolufemi Moturayo Yetunde, a female corper from Kogi State but, doing her service with Girls High School, Ibeagwa-Aka, Igboeze South L.G.A on 10/1/2020.

“She was later rushed to the hospital where the doctor confirmed her dead,” he said.

In the version written by The Guardian, one of the friends of this absolutely beautiful graduate and a serving member of the National Youth Service scheme (NYSC) raised alarm that there is need for a thorough investigation of what triggered the ‘suicide’ because in the thinking of this person, the girl who killed herslf allegedly was having a swell time and was not known to have any case of depression or loneliness.

From all these and many other stories of suicide and suspected suicides especially the cases of suicide by Students, there is a glaring evidence of a lacuna fundamentally in the administration of these tertiary institutions. These cases of students killing themselves due to frustrations attendant with their inability to successfully graduate could be tackled if these schools can set up functional mechanisms for looking into all cases related to inability or otherwise of their students to graduate. There has to be a system in place to seamlessly monitor and ensure that the process of writing and supervision of projects of students are transparent and open to such an extent that no single person should become the last hope of any strident from graduation. The schools should have a reporting mechanisms whereby cases relating to inability to pass these projects and graduate are looked into by dedicated members of staff who should play the role of arbitrators for the students. The school system in Nigeria is too commercially oriented to an extent that Students are put under intense pressure to raise money from all means possible to bribe lecturers marking their papers to enable them graduate and most of these students who can’t raise money to pay their ways are left with no option than to be sexually abused by some professionally incompetent lecturers. The University and tertiary institutions must be made to put on a human and humane face even as there has to be a system in place to give access to students to step up and dialogue with dedicated teachers who would offer counselling and also hear cases related to frustrations witnessed at any stage of their educational journeys. The school must be prepared to vote cash to cater for this sort of important human relationship Counseling mechanisms to stave off the rising cases of suicide. The school must not be all about profitability.

The Nigerian police and other relevant law enforcement agencies like NAFDAC must monitor the activities of traders who deal in chemical and drugs related products such as snipers with a view to ascertaining identities of buyers and the use to which these products would be put into. There is also the need for state governments and the Federal government to embark on deliberate but massive public enlightenment programmes to warn youngsters to choose life over death and to resolutely beat back all suicidal tendencies through the cocktails of effective means of communication and getting counseling service from toll free lines that should be publicized for all Nigerians to be conversant with.

For instance, the European Council on Human Rights has successfully repealed the death penalty because of the overwhelming rating of Right to life in Europe. In Article 2 of the European wide laws on human rights, it is legally provided that: “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. This right is one of the most important of the Convention since without the right to life it is impossible to enjoy the other rights. No one shall be condemned to death penalty or executed. The abolition of death penalty is consecrated by Article 1 of Protocol No. 6.”

The Nigerian Constitution in Section 33(1) provides that “Everyone has a right to life. ”

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria.

The post Nigerian Youths Should Choose Life, Not Death — Emmanuel Onwubiko appeared first on Information Nigeria.

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What about our feelings? Kin of murder victims lashes out at death penalty repeal

Tan Siew Lin, mother of Annie Kok Yin Cheng, holds back tears as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan Siew Lin, mother of Annie Kok Yin Cheng, holds back tears as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 — Several family members of murder victims have accused Putrajaya today of purportedly being insensitive towards their feelings with its move to abolish the capital punishment.

They claimed that justice will not be served as long as killers are allowed to walk free, while others may use loopholes in the system to avoid the gallows.

“We used to celebrate her birthday together on the sixth on June every year. Now she’s dead but the government is considering abolishing the death penalty.

“How is this fair? If he is let loose I will find him or ask someone to find him and shoot him dead,” said Tan Siew Lin, referring to her late teen daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng, who was murdered and raped in 2009.

“For us there is no closure as long as we know these criminals are out free or that there is a chance for them to escape the death penalty,” she added.

Tan said she tried handing over a memorandum with 97,000 signatures from those opposing the abolition of the death penalty to lawmakers last year. She claimed she was refused entry into the Parliament.

A guest must be accompanied by an MP to enter the Parliament.

“The government doesn’t understand our pain. If it abolishes it, we will make noise,” added Tan, whose daughter’s killer, Rabidin Satir, is currently awaiting trial on several charges of rape and theft.

Representatives and family members of murder victims who refuse to accept the abolishment of the death penalty pose for a group photo in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Representatives and family members of murder victims who refuse to accept the abolishment of the death penalty pose for a group photo in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Today, family members and representatives of the alleged murder victims — Datuk Kevin Morias, Datuk Sosilawati Lawita, Stephen Wong Jing Kui, Chee Gaik Yap, Annie, Muhammad Hafiz Indris, and Nurulhanim Idris — attended a meeting with a Parliamentary Select Committee here to plead against the repeal of the death penalty.

The family members said they all felt the committee has already made up their mind to abolish the death penalty, and the meeting was just a formality.

“They asked us, if the death penalty is imposed and the perpetrator is killed, will that bring your loved ones’ back to life and will it really make us happy?

“I feel this is a silly question,” said Mansur Ibrahim, representing the family of toddlers Hafiz and Nurulhanim.

Mansur said countries who have removed the death penalty are now bringing it back as there has been an uptick in crime, but did not provide any examples to back his claim.

Out of 195 members of United Nations, only 55 countries still retain the death penalty.

“Seems as though they’ve already set their minds to abolish the Act. We just met them as a formality,” said Alan Ong Yeow Fooi, representing Morais and Sosilawati.

Another lawyer, Tan Sri Robert Phang, claimed that Malaysia could be a haven for criminal activity if capital punishment is abolished. He also did not provide any proof to back his claim.

“If the public demands it, then a referendum should be made to not abolish the death penalty,” Phang said.

Tan Siew Lin (left) holds up news clippings of her daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan Siew Lin (left) holds up news clippings of her daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

At the meeting today, the select committee was represented by Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Zahrah Ibrahim, Datin Paduka Sri Zauyah Be, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Dr Farah Nini Dusuki.

The Pakatan Harapan government made a historic decision on December 2018 by voting in favour of a United Nations resolution for member states that still retains the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing this punishment.

Two months after being voted into power in May 2018, the government ordered in July that year a suspension of all pending death sentences. However, it has since demurred on total abolition of the capital punishment.

The Cabinet has been mulling three options: total abolition of the death penalty; or making the death penalty non-mandatory for crimes such as murder; or giving judges full discretion during sentencing for those convicted under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The abolition is expected to be tabled in the Parliament in March.

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Martha Levert death, obituary: Sean & Gerald Levert mother passed away

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Martha Levert death, obituary: Sean & Gerald Levert mother passed away

Martha Levert death: Sean & Gerald Levert mother passed away January 2, 2020.

Gerald’s daughter Carlysia Levert announced Martha Levert death in a statement on social media that read:

 Heaven gained another Angel this morning… Granny, I love you. I will miss you.

I thank God I got to talk to you a week ago… and I thank him for all of our memories that I will forever cherish… you get to be reunited with both of your sons my daddy and uncle Sean… and We gained another Angel!

#RIPGrandmaMartha please keep my family in your prayers

Martha Levert cause of death is not public at this time.

Martha Levert death, obituary: Sean & Gerald Levert mother death

Martha lost her oldest son Gerald on November 10, 2006 at the age of 40 in an accidental death from a fatal combination of several prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

2 years later, Martha’s younger son Sean Levert died at the age of 39 while he was in jail for child support from complications of Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body.

The family then filed a lawsuit against Cuyahoga County after finding out jail staff took his medication away from him and failed to give him a single pill during the six days he was there. He was also denied a doctor. No criminal charges were brought on the staff but Sean’s wife did receive a settlement of $4 million.

Martha shared her two sons, Gerald and Sean, with ex-husband Eddie Levert of The O’Jays. Their sons then went on to start their own group, LeVert, with group member Marc Gordon where they made hits like: “(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind” and “Casanova.”

Marc expressed his hurt on the passing of Martha and said that she was like his second mom.

A post shared by Carlysia Levert (@carlysialevert) on

Please say a prayer for her grieving family. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

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Twitter bans animated PNG files after online attackers targeted users with epilepsy

Twitter is banning animated PNG image files (APNGs) from its platform, after an attack on the Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter account sent out similar animated images that could potentially cause seizures in photosensitive people.

Twitter discovered a bug that allowed users to bypass its autoplay settings, and allow several animated images in a single tweet using the APNG file format.

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“We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter,” the company says in a tweet from the Twitter Accessibility handle. “APNGs were fun, but they don’t respect autoplay settings, so we’re removing the ability to add them to Tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy.”

Tweets with existing APNG images won’t be deleted from the platform, but only GIFs will be able to animate images moving forward. According to Yahoo, Twitter has further clarified that APNG files were not used to target the Epilepsy Foundation, but the bug meant such files could have been used to do so in the future had Twitter not moved to squash it.

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The attacks on the Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter handle occurred last month — National Epilepsy Awareness Month — with trolls using its hashtags and Twitter handle to post animated images with strobing light effects. It’s not clear how many people may have been affected by the attack, but the foundation said it’s cooperating with law enforcement officials and has filed criminal complaints against accounts believed to have been involved.

An animated image can be considered a deadly weapon, a Texas jury found in 2016, after a man sent a flashing GIF to journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who has epilepsy. The image did indeed cause Eichenwald to have a seizure.

Twitter said Monday it will “look into building a similar feature that’s better for you and your Twitter experience” in lieu of APNGs.

Source: The Verge

The post Twitter bans animated PNG files after online attackers targeted users with epilepsy appeared first on Vanguard News.

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‘We’re not saying people shouldn’t believe in God’ — star of ‘gay Jesus’ film reacts to backlash – TheCable Lifestyle

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Fábio Porchat, one of the main actors in ‘The First Temptation of Christ,’ says the controversial movie depicting Jesus Christ as “gay” was not to discourage people from believing in God.

The 45-minute special, made available by Netflix, an American streaming service, on December 3, has since generated backlashes from several quarters, with many condemning the movie.

Porchat, who is the co-founder of Porta dos Fundos, a Brazil-based YouTube comedy group, told  that the movie was generally misconstrued.

“It doesn’t incite violence, we’re not saying people shouldn’t believe in God,” he said.

“They [Netflix] haven’t said anything to us like, ‘Maybe we should stop making the special available.’ They support freedom of speech.”

He also wondered why Christians have aimed attacks at them for producing the movie even when the gay community, which was the most affected in the movie, has been relatively quiet.

“We play at insinuating that Jesus has a new friend, and probably this new friend is gay, but they have just been having fun and a very good time in the desert for 40 days,” he said.

“If anybody should be angry with us, it should be the gay community because a gay character turns out to be the Devil. But the gay community loves us!

“The show is almost a Christian fairy tale: Jesus faces off bravely with the Devil and then chooses to follow God, accepting to be his son, Jesus Christ.

“A lot of people, when they see the show, say: “Oh that’s what they were talking about? Ok, that’s O.K., they’re just having fun, no problem at all.

“For some Catholics here in Brazil, it’s O.K. if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs: That’s no problem. The problem is he’s gay. No, he can’t be gay. And that’s interesting because Jesus is everything. God is black and white and gay and straight. God is everything. It’s more homophobic to be insulted by a gay Jesus than to make Jesus special.”

The actor went on to dismiss rumours that Porta dos Fundos only do satires about Christianity, stating the group covers Islam and other aspects.

“People say that we don’t make fun of Islam,” said Porchat.

“We do, we’ve satirized terrorists, for example. But they are trying to incite other people to violence, which for Catholics is a very un-Catholic thing to do.”

, general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, had charged Christians to unsubscribe and delete their accounts on Netflix while nearly 2 million people , which calls for the special to be prohibited and pulled down from the streaming service.

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Teenager Set His Girlfriend Ablaze Over Infidelity; Says He Prefers Death To Imprisonment

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Victor Orji, 18, who allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Mariam Alabi, 24, opened up to Simon Utebor about what transpired and how he landed in police custody.

Victor Orji
Eighteen year old internet fraudster, Victor Orji

Read his full interview below:

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Victor Orji, I am 18 years old. I was born on July 9, 2001. I am from Benue State. My mother is from Enugu State while my father is from Benue State Olatagba Abadi Local Government. I attended Al-Barka Primary School and I moved to Oduduwa Junior High School and I moved down to Gbagada Senior Grammar School, Lagos. I completed my secondary education in 2016.

2. The lady you set ablaze, who is now deceased, was said to be your girlfriend, when did you start dating?

We had been dating since February 28, 2019. I met her through a friend.

3. What was she doing when both of you met and became friends?

She was a sex worker. I was aware of that. Initially, our intention was not to date each other. I only wanted to have sex with her and pay her off.

4. How did you get yourself into this situation?

It started on a Monday. I gave her some money to make her hair. She went to Badagry for the hairdo because I did not have enough on me. On a normal day, if she wanted to make her hair, she used to go to Lagos Island to get it done. She left around 7:15am and returned around 8:30pm.

I tried to find out why she came back at that time. I told her the following day (Tuesday) to take her bag and leave. She immediately took her bag and she left. She came back on Wednesday with a female friend. I wasn’t at home at that time. When I got back and saw her and her friend, Olamide, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to cause a scene while her friend was there. So, we settled our quarrel.

On Thursday, she said she wanted to see her sister who had just delivered a baby at Sango Ota in Ogun State. She also said she would use the opportunity to see her family. So, she left. But I wasn’t convinced she was going to see her family. So I called her mum and asked if she knew where her daughter was and her mother said no. But I told her what her daughter told me.

Her mum, unsure of what to say, gave flimsy excuses to cover up for her. I knew her mum always asked me to forgive her. I felt it was becoming the usual situation.

So, on Friday (of the same week), she returned in the night but before then, in the morning, I had called her. I had already blocked her number. I called to ask when she would return home but her phone was switched off. After calling her for about three hours without success, I blocked her line.

Then suddenly, she started calling me, but it indicated a private number. After calling several times, I picked up. She said, “Victor, I am at home now.”

At home, she said everything was fine. I told her her mother had said she did not know where she was. She responded by asking if her mother would know everywhere she went. Then I got angry again and told her to pack her bag and leave. She called someone; I suspected that the person said he was not around so there was no way she could go there that night. So, she begged me to forgive her and I left her alone but I was sure she called someone because I saw the name (Kunle).

I asked who Kunle was and she said it was one doctor that used to give her medicine. After her explanation, I forgave her and allowed her to stay but she slept in the sitting room and I slept in the bedroom. In the morning, I checked her phone after trying different passwords. I saw the number she called. I checked Snapchat and saw videos of her. She was in a hotel taking hard drugs and having fun. So I took the phone to the sitting room to confront her. I slapped her across the face and she woke up. She already knew what she did. She ran to the kitchen and locked the kitchen door.

I asked her why she closed the door and if I didn’t look like someone that could scold her. She didn’t respond. Then I went to the backyard and tried to come in through the door leading out. When I got in, she pointed a knife at me. I ran to the bedroom to pick up a mop. When she saw me with it, she threw the knife away and ran to the backyard where I kept my generator. There was a keg of petrol there; she brought out the petrol.

5. Are you saying she was the one who brought out the petrol?

Yes. She was saying, “Victor, if you want to kill me, kill me”. I was able to overpower her. I put the keg of petrol down and went inside to get a lighter. I snapped the lighter.

6. Are you denying that you doused her with petrol?

It not like I doused her with the fuel. She was with the fuel but in the process of trying to take the keg of petrol from her, the fire started. I was the one that picked up the lighter and used it.

7. Were you not aware of the implication of such an action?

When I was in school I read a lot about fire, gas and lot of that, I was not thinking properly at that moment.

I wasn’t even angry or happy. I don’t know what really happened.

8. Did you actually weigh the consequences of your action?

I wasn’t thinking. When she was on fire, I ran outside to pick up a fire extinguisher but I didn’t know it was beside me because I wasn’t thinking. I even opted for water but I once heard that water would worsen something like.

I ran to the bedroom to get a duvet which I used to cover her immediately to put out the fire. It wasn’t even up to a minute, let me just say it all happened in about 59 seconds because everything happened really fast.

9. What did you do after that?

I called her mother and told her I had burnt her daughter and she hung up. I was confused and began to shout for help. Instead, people tied me up.

10. Now that the law has caught up with you, how prepared are you to face the consequences?

I won’t lie, I am not prepared. If I had taken a second to think about it, I would not be in this mess. I am still young; I have dreams and goals to accomplish in my life.

Within the little time we spent together, I understood her. She did things that she was not proud of and I was the only one that understood that. She said she had a five-year-old child and had to go through a lot of things. She had to leave her father’s house and that led her into prostitution. She said some friends introduced her to prostitution. She also told me she was going to stop and that she needed someone to take care of her, so I promised to take care of her.

11. How old was she?

She told me she was going to be 24 years old on December 28, 2019.

12. That means she was about six years older than you?

When I was in school, I never had a girlfriend. And when I was looking for a girlfriend, I met her and felt she was more experienced in life and would be able to guide me. Also, I felt that because of the things she had gone through, she wouldn’t behave like other girls out there. I felt I wouldn’t have to worry that she was going to cheat on me, especially since she also had a child.

13. What were you doing for a living?

I was into Internet fraud. I had been doing since 2016.

14. How much did you make from fraud?

What I used to get was not so much. At times, I got $1,500, at times $1,000. I’m really good at saving. I don’t like going out. I might just stay at home for like three months and save.

15. How were you operating your ‘Yahoo’ business?

I always used Instagram. I would go to some pages and follow people. Once they accepted, I would send them a message. From there, relationship would develop. If I realised that the person was interested, other things would follow. I could make demands, etc. You can’t get anything from some people.

16. The law has already caught up with you. What do you have to say about this incident?

There’s always consequence for every action. This is the consequence of my own action.

17. Are you prepared to face the consequences?

I’m scared but I know that between going to jail and facing death, I prefer death.

18. You mean you prefer death to serving jail term?

Yes; I prefer death. I cannot go to jail for two months. If I go to jail, my life will be messed up.

19. So you prefer to be killed for killing your girlfriend?

Yes, because that’s what everybody is saying now. They are saying something like “I’m not supposed to be human – that I must be an animal to have killed someone”. I didn’t even do intentionally. But it has happened.

The post Teenager Set His Girlfriend Ablaze Over Infidelity; Says He Prefers Death To Imprisonment appeared first on Information Nigeria.

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First male birth control injection almost ready; it will be injected directly into the p3nis and last up to 13 years – Davina Diaries

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The Indian Council of Medical Research, a government-funded biomedical research agency, has successfully completed a clinical trial on an injectable male contraceptive, the Hindustan Times reported.

“The product is ready, with only regulatory approvals pending [from the government],” Dr. R.S. Sharma, a senior scientist with ICMR, told the local news outlet. “The trials are over, including extended, Phase 3 clinical trials for which 303 candidates were recruited with a 97.3% success rate and no reported side effects. The product can safely be called the world’s first male contraceptive.”

The birth control method, which lasts approximately 13 years, involves injecting a polymer, called styrene-maleic anhydride, into the vas deferens, effectively blocking sperm from leaving the testicles. The shot, preceded by a dose of local anaesthesia, is designed to supplant a traditional vasectomy.

Researchers in the US have developed a similar contraceptive, called Vasalgel, which has not yet been brought to market. A male birth control pill also exists, though researchers anticipate it’ll be about 10 years before the drug makes it to market. Also, drugs such as these can only prevent pregnancy and do not protect against STDs.

“The polymer was developed by Professor S.K. Guha from the Indian Institute of Technology in the 1970s. ICMR has been researching on it to turn it into a product for mass use since 1984, and the final product is ready after exhaustive trials,” said Sharma. Researchers call this reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance.

Drugs Controller General of India V.G. Somani said, because of pending regulatory approval, it “will still take about six to seven months … before the product can be manufactured,” they told Hindustan Times.

In the meantime, Vice asked several Indian men if they were open to the idea of a shot in the groin to prevent pregnancy. Many agreed that more options would be a boon for men and women, though many weren’t keen on needling their nether regions.

“When I think about this whole concept of contraception that you have to inject … it’s too graphic,” said 33-year-old Abhay. “Our [testicles] are like family jewels, so if I have to resort to using any kind of contraceptive, I’d rather go for a pill.”

Shreyes, 24, liked the idea of a male contraceptive because women are “already burdened enough,” but he thinks an injection may be too much for men, adding that he’d “rather not have sex at all” in that case.

“Men are not too used to making changes in their routine, so it has to be marketed in a way that doesn’t seem so intense or difficult,” he said.

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Lady beats her 13-year-old sister to death for bed wetting

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When a Lagos trader Mr. Emeka Omenka and his wife Ifeoma allowed their 13-year-old daughter Precious to visit her half-sister in Lekki, they never knew it was a decision they would regret the rest of their lives.

Precious, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 pupil died on October 25 at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Ebute Metta from complications of the beating she allegedly received from her older half-sister Nneka and her mother Seki Eko on October 14.

According to the death certificate issued at the hospital, the primary and secondary causes of death were Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Cardiopulmonary Collapse.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, AKI is a sudden episode of kidney failure or kidney damage that happens within a few hours or a few days and causes a build-up of waste products in the blood, making it hard for the kidneys to keep the right balance of fluid in the body.

Other causes of AKI, the foundation said, are decreased blood flow to the kidney caused by shock, clotting, bleeding or severe diarrhoea, severe allergic reaction, overuse of pain medicines used to reduce swelling or relieve pain from headaches, colds, flu, and other ailments.

The teenager went to Nneka’s house in Ikota, Lekki on October 12 on the latter’s request.

Omenka said his 13-year-old daughter was returned on October 16 looking weak with complaints of body pains. He said Precious gave details of how she was kicked in the stomach, chest and sides several times, adding that she was beaten with a mop stick and a cable as well. They tried to relieve the pains with analgesics and hot water massage.

“I am in pain,” he said. “My heart is broken. I do not even know where to start. I am finding it so difficult to understand how my older daughter and her mother beat up my girl so badly to the point that she died as a result of wounds she sustained. Nneka is my first daughter. I had her out of wedlock with one Seki Eko I was in a relationship with. She runs a beer parlour at Oluwole Market. But Nneka was trained by my wife Ifeoma who loved her like her own child.

“When I got married to my wife, it was difficult for her to conceive and so she brought up Nneka like her own child. So, when she came and said Precious should come to her place in Ikota, we did not have any reason to deny her request. Her husband lives in Dubai. She promised to send her to a private school to appreciate my wife for taking care of her.

“Precious went to her place on October 12. It was that weekend that it rained all through. Then, on October 14, which was a Monday, it also rained and Precious said she peed on the bed. That was her offence that made my daughter and her mother to descend on her like that.

“When they finished, they brought her back and dumped her at my place in Apapa Road, Ebute Metta. She was complaining of body pains and narrated what happened to her at her sister’s place in tears. I could not bear it and I wept as she was talking.

“My wife and I bought painkillers that we gave her. My wife was also using hot water and cloth to massage her body. We did not know that it was so bad. When we saw that she was not getting better despite the painkillers, we decided to take her to FMC because that’s where she was born.

“She was already stooling on her body and her mother was cleaning it. So, at the hospital, she was rushed to the emergency room after the doctors said she was short of blood. They did so many tests and scans and discovered that she was bleeding internally and that her bladder burst too.

“She was in the hospital some days and was booked for emergency surgery. I was busy running around to raise money to save my daughter’s life. I even borrowed from friends and family members so that she could be saved but at last we lost her.

“Nneka did not tell me what happened to my daughter and did not even come to the hospital until her relative from her mother’s side who works at the FMC called her to rebuke her. That was when she came and spent about N14,000 on my daughter’s drugs that day.

“I did not go to the police station then because I was busy running around for my daughter to be alright. But after she passed on…my kinsmen advised I report at the station. I went to Denton Police Station and Iponri but they told me it did not happen in their jurisdiction and that I should go to Lekki to report.

“I just sent a message to her husband and told him what she did. My wife has been inconsolable since then.

“I want justice for my daughter. I feel very disappointed that this happened to my family. I want human rights to come and government to investigate this case. Nneka is my daughter but Precious is also my daughter and she did not deserve to die like that,” he said.

The mother of the deceased told our correspondent she was still in shock over the incident, denying insinuations that Precious might have been ill.

She said: “My daughter was very healthy and even cooked for her younger ones that day before following Nneka. Nneka and her mother should explain what happened to my daughter. Nneka was brought to my house when she was 17 and we trained her in the university. I never did any wrong to her and then, she chose to pay me back this way?”

Our correspondent contacted Nneka for her reaction to the allegation and she said she would call back because where she was in a noisy place. After 90 minutes, our correspondent called again but she asked, “Who gave you the information? I cannot answer you if you do not say who gave you information. If you are recording me, I am recording you too and we all have our exhibits.”

Later, a woman, Tolu Fagbayila who said she was Nneka’s manager and public relations person called but declined to give her client’s side of the story.

She insisted on a physical meeting for a way forward.

Our correspondent told her a physical meeting was not necessary and that Nneka’s reaction could be sent through email, WhatsApp or SMS by the lawyer or anyone speaking on her behalf but that was not done.

Nneka reportedly told those around her the teenager died as a result of ruptured appendicitis, adding that the girl was ill before she took her to her house.

Efforts to reach her mother Seki Eko on her telephone number were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, a coalition of child advocates has signified interest in the matter following The Nation online report of the case.

Mr. Omenka told our correspondent that the advocates have contacted and interviewed him, adding that they also volunteered to take over the case and ensure justice.

Sources at the police station said an order to exhume the teenager’s body would be sought so that autopsy could be conducted.

Police spokesman Bala Elkana confirmed the case was reported at Ajiwe Division in Ajah, adding that the suspects have been arrested.

He said, “The father of the girl reported the incident at Ajah Police Station. He said he has since buried the girl. We have arrested the suspects and the case has been transferred to homicide section of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence (SCIID) Yaba.”

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