Michael Jackson ‘tickles’ his jury

By Laura Van De Pette
April 7, 2005

The son of Michael Jackson’s former housekeeper testified Monday that the pop star molested him during a tickling game in 1990. The 24-year-old witness was called to the stand as prosecutors in the current molestation case against Jackson began trying to show the jury that the singer has a habit of molesting boys. The witness said that over a span of several years, Jackson twice touched his groin over his clothes during tickling games at Jackson’s Los Angeles-area condominium. The appearance of the young man was allowed under a ruling last week by the judge that prosecutors may present evidence that Jackson molested or otherwise behaved inappropriately with five boys before the time period of the current allegations. Jackson is on trial on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003.

Play focuses on church molestation

“Doubt,” the first Broadway play by Oscar-winning writer John Patrick Shanley, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama Monday. Sanley’s play opened on Broadway just last week to critical acclaim after an off-Broadway run. It tells the story of a confrontation between a nun and a Roman Catholic priest at a Bronx parish; she suspects the priest of molesting a male student.

NJ is scene of largest anti-terrorism drill ever

The biggest anti-terrorism drill ever held in the United States got under way Monday with a mock biological attack in New Jersey and a simulated chemical-weapons explosion in Connecticut. Named TOPOFF 3, the $16 million, weeklong exercise is meant to find weak spots in the nation’s emergency planning. “I want to make it clear that we are going to push our plans and our systems to the very limit,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said. “So we expect failure because we’re actually going to be seeking to push to failure, and that is, in our judgment, the best way to get a ‘lessons learned’ from what we do here.” Although no real weapons or bio-agents are used, state and local officials responded as if it were the real thing, sending ambulances to hospitals and flooding the area with investigators and emergency workers in haz-mat suits.

Pageant winner found to be ‘not disabled enough’

Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been stripped of her title because pageant officials say she can stand – and point to a newspaper picture as proof. Janeal Lee, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter, was caught standing among her high school math students. “I’ve been made to feel as if I can’t represent the disabled citizens of Wisconsin because I’m not disabled enough,” Lee said Thursday. Candidates for the crown have to “mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters,” said Judy Hoit, Ms. Wheelchair America’s treasurer. “Otherwise you’ve got women who are in their wheelchairs all the time and they get offended if they see someone standing up. We can’t have title holders out there walking when they’re seen in the public.”

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Laura Van De Pette

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