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The Pied piper and Grammy-winning entertainer R Kelly has spent the last two years in federal facilities in Illinois and New York awaiting trial since his arrest in July 2019. 

Well opening arguments started today in New York and the trial is expected to last between six and eight weeks. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Melendez told a jury of seven men and five women in Brooklyn federal court that Kelly used “lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse” to dominate his victims, and often filmed their sexual encounters.

Melendez said Kelly, 54, would require victims to get his permission before doing virtually anything, including going to the bathroom, and blackmail them by threatening to release self-incriminating letters he forced them to write if they fled.

“This case is about a predator,” Melendez said in her opening statement. “This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot.”

If found guilty it could mean decades more in prison and even if he is acquitted, he still faces sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota, where he has also pleaded not guilty.

Source: Yahoo

 

Booster Shots Have An Available Date

The highly contagious delta variant now accounts for more than 98.8% of U.S. cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and so today The Biden administration revealed plans to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots this fall for Americans who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, eight months after they become fully vaccinated.

Eligible Americans can receive a third shot beginning Sept. 20, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is expected in the coming weeks, according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services and other administration medical experts. 

The initial doses will go to those who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccine rollout, including health care providers, nursing home residents and other seniors. The administration plans to also begin delivering booster shots directly to residents of long-term facilities, according to the statement. 

Source: USA Today

 

Baltimore County schools to require proof of vaccination for all employees 

Baltimore County Public Schools on Tuesday announced that all school system employees will be required to provide proof of completing their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

Those who have not been vaccinated or who opt out of sharing their vaccine records with BCPS will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing

The district said the decision to require proof of vaccination or weekly testing was made with guidance from Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland medical experts as well as Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch.

BCPS Superintendent Darryl Williams said in a statement. “We are creating this requirement to protect the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff during this continuing pandemic, “The move is aligned with our commitment to provide in-person instruction throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Vaccination remains the most effective means of preventing COVID-19 transmission. I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated.”

Source: WBAL

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