Ukrainian prankster charged with assault after striking Brad Pitt

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The Ukrainian prankster who struck actor Brad Pitt in the face at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie “Maleficent” will be charged with battery and assault, officials said on Friday.

Vitalii Sediuk, a 25-year-old Ukrainian TV reporter infamous for pulling pranks on celebrities at events, will be charged with four counts that also include unlawful activity and interference at a theatrical event, Los Angeles City Attorney’s office spokesman Rob Wilson said.

Sediuk jumped across a fence and onto the red carpet at Wednesday’s “Maleficent” premiere in Hollywood, where Pitt had joined his partner Angelina Jolie, the film’s star, to sign autographs for fans.

Police said Sediuk struck Pitt in the face, and was arrested immediately. He is being held on $20,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Jail records.

Pitt was not seriously hurt and continued to sign autographs for fans after the incident, but was issued a restraining order against Sediuk.

Wilson said the city attorney’s office will also seek a stay away order for Sediuk from multiple entertainment industry events.

In previous exploits, Sediuk tried to climb under actress America Ferrera’s dress as she posed for photographers at the Cannes Film Festival, stormed the stage during singer Adele’s Grammy acceptance speech, and was slapped by Will Smith after kissing the actor at a Moscow premiere.

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Pennsylvania man accused of stealing human skin from hospital

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A Pennsylvania skin-graft salesman is facing charges that he stole $350,000 worth of human skin from a Philadelphia hospital over a period of nearly two years, police said on Friday.

Gary Dudek, 54, is accused of stealing sheets of lab-grown skin intended for use in skin-graft surgeries from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital between November 2011 and July 2013, a local police spokeswoman said.

The hospital said in a statement that it called the police after an audit revealed “illegal or improper behavior” from a vendor supplying the skin, which is artificially grown in a laboratory out of human skin cells.

Eugene Tinari, Dudek’s lawyer, said his client had done “nothing that amounts to criminality.” He called the charges draconian and said they were better dealt with in a civil rather than criminal case.

“There’s a fine line between misplacing, and errors, and stealing,” he said. “What would he want skin grafts for?” Tinari declined to go into further detail.

Dudek worked as a sales representative specializing in tissue regeneration for Organogenesis, a Massachusetts-based biotech firm that engineers skin tissue for use in grafting.

Skin grafts are typically used to treat disfigurements caused by severe burns, injuries or disease.

Organogenesis said in a statement that Dudek worked for the company from 2006 until 2013. It was not immediately clear under what circumstances he left the medical supplies company, which declined further comment.

Tinari said it was a “mutual parting of ways” following a dispute between Dudek and Organogenesis over the Mercy Philadelphia Hospital skin grafts. “Now Mercy Hospital has determined that they may be out some money so they’re going after my client,” Tinari said.

The motive for the alleged theft remained unclear, according to Officer Christine O’Brien, the police spokeswoman.

“This is the first incident we’ve had like this,” she said.

Dudek was arrested on Monday at his home in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, on charges of theft and record-tampering. He has been released on $10,000 bail. Neither Dudek nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

How average human wish.

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I wish I could make or earn so much money as my salary so that I can buy my dream home, car, go for vacation in my dream resort, never answer to my troublesome boss anymore, take my kids to the school of their dreams, get my family all they want, reachout to my friend who needs an extra cash to pay his/her bills, go to my church/place of worship to give in some donations, help orphanage homes/organisation. But, whenever is stop to remember this is just a mere wish and I wake-up to reality and thought of how blessed I am to be alive to see this precious moment. I recollect how many wealthy people are dead and regardless of the amount of wealth they have acquired in their live time, it can never be made an exchange for their lives. I paused, take a deep breath and thank God for the gift of life, which is greater than silver or gold and with live there is always a hope for a better tomorrow.

Brazilian anti-World Cup protests hit Sao Paulo and Rio

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Riot police in Brazil have fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro who marched against the cost of hosting the football World Cup.

Some demonstrators hurled stones while other burned tyres and blocked roads.

They say they are angry that billions of dollars are being spent on next month’s football tournament, rather than social projects and housing.

Protests also took place in many other cities, including the capital Brasilia.

Teachers and civil servants, among others, were also on strike across Brazil.

In Rio, aerial images showed hundreds of people marching in rush-hour traffic on a main thoroughfare. The city will host the final match of the World Cup on 13 July.

Protesters there and in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, clashed with police before beginning to disperse.

The number of people on the streets was much lower than during similar protests last year.

Some of those taking part, however, promised the demonstrations would get bigger and more frequent as the World Cup gets closer.

Last June, more than a million people took to the street over poor public services, corruption and the high cost of hosting the World Cup.

The tournament is due to kick off on 12 June.

The demonstrations began earlier in the day in Sao Paulo, with one of the biggest protests in the city’s Itaquera district near the Arena Corinthians stadium, which will host the tournament’s opening match.

Protesters there demanded housing, and not stadiums, be built in accordance with Fifa standards, in reference to world football’s governing body.

The government has tried to downplay the scale of Thursday’s unrest, arguing it was not related to the World Cup.

“From what I’ve seen, these are specific claims by workers. I’ve seen nothing that is related to the (World) Cup,” Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said.

“There’s no reason to panic ahead of receiving three million Brazilian tourists and 600,000 foreign tourists (for the tournament).”

The planned protests coincide with a range of strikes, including one by the police force in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco.

The army was deployed there to provide additional support after some robberies and looting, before the strike ended on its third day.

Local media reported that, in the last 24 hours alone, 234 people were arrested. Recife, the state capital, is due to host five matches during the World Cup.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association

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The Uruguayan, 27, has scored 30 Premier League goals for a team chasing their first title since 1990.
Suarez took 52% of the vote, with team-mate Steven Gerrard second and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure in third.
“Tireless endeavour allied to extraordinary imagination makes an irresistible combination,” FWA chairman Andy Dunn said.
“Add ingenious, impudent finishing and you have a footballer who truly quickens the pulse.”
Suarez, also named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association, will receive his award at a dinner in London on 15 May.
More than 300 journalists cast votes for the 10 nominees for the award, which was first won by Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews in 1948.
On Sunday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Suarez had been “outstanding in all my time here and obviously, in particular, this season”.
“To know that he’s happy is important, like it is with all of our players,” he added. “It’s very important that we have players here that are content, happy and focused on Liverpool.”
Suarez’s tally of 30 goals has come despite the fact that he missed the first six matches of the season as he completed a 10-match domestic ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a league match at Anfield in April 2013.
The former Ajax striker’s Liverpool future was in doubt last summer, as he indicated in May that “it would be difficult to say no” to Real Madrid, then told journalists in August that he wanted a move so that he could play in the Champions League.
However, he signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Liverpool in December.

Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has threatened to “sell” the hundreds of schoolgirls it abducted three weeks ago.

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Militant leader Abubakar Shekau sent a video obtained by the AFP news agency, in which he said for the first time that his group had taken the girls.

About 230 girls are still believed to be missing, prompting widespread criticism of the Nigerian government.

The Boko Haram insurgency has left thousands dead since 2009.

The girls were taken from their boarding school in Chibok, in the northern state of Borno, on the night of 14 April.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden”, has attacked numerous educational institutions in northern Nigeria.
In the video, Abubakar Shekau said the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married.

“God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,” he said.

However, BBC Hausa Service editor Mansur Liman points out that the Boko Haram leader did not state the number of girls abducted, nor where they were taken or are now.

Assurances from President Goodluck Jonathan have done little to convince Nigerians of the government’s commitment to freeing the girls, says our correspondent.

The Associated Press news agency says it is unclear whether the video was made before or after reports last week that some of the girls had been forced to marry their abductors, who paid a nominal bride price of $12 (£9).

Others are reported to have been taken across borders into Cameroon and Chad.

The girls were in their final year of school, most of them aged 16 to 18.