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News Briefs

Published:Thursday | July 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Sexual Harassment Bill tabled

Gender Minister Olivia Grange on Tuesday tabled the Sexual Harassment Bill, which is to be referred to a joint select committee shortly.

Grange said the bill is intended “to protect women and men whose quality of life is affected by intimidating, hostile, or offensive environments caused by unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and crude sexual behaviours”.

The bill includes proposals for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other places.

According to the minister, the bill proposes to “ensure an environment free of sexual harassment as well as mechanisms to deal with the very serious crime”.



Woman linked to J’can scammers sentenced

BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP):

A federal judge in North Dakota has sentenced a Rhode Island woman to four years in prison for funnelling lottery scam money between the United States and Jamaica.

Twenty-nine-year-old Melinda Bulgin, of Providence, received a sentence yesterday that was 10 years less than prosecutors had sought.

US District Judge Daniel Hovland said Bulgin’s role in the scam was not on the level of others who received lesser sentences than the 14 years requested by prosecutors. Assistant US Attorney Jonathan O’Konek called Bulgin’s sentence “unreasonable” and “not a just punishment”.

The government has two weeks to appeal.

A jury last September convicted Bulgin of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering in a scam that authorities say bilked more than 100 mostly elderly Americans out of more than US$6 million. The scam involved 31 defendants, including 14 Jamaican nationals, most of whom accepted plea deals with the government.



Indian businessman battling extradition in Antigua


An India-born businessman facing extradition to his homeland has filed an appeal against a High Court ruling denying him permission to bring in an expert to challenge the validity of the extradition request from New Delhi

Mehul Choksi’s attorney is contending that the Caribbean island does not have any arrangement with India to facilitate such extraditions.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has already said the citizenship of the billionaire diamond trader would be revoked only after he exhausts all his legal options.

Choksi, who is wanted in India for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank, gained citizenship of the Caribbean island under the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme that allowed for foreign investors to make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of Antigua and Barbuda in return for granting citizenship.



US court rules Amazon can be sued over defective product


A US federal appeals court has ruled that Amazon can be sued over a defective product sold by one of its third-party vendors.

A Pennsylvania woman sued after a retractable dog leash she bought online snapped and hit her four years ago, leaving her permanently blind in one eye.

In a 2-1 decision released last week, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said Amazon can be classified as a seller in part because it doesn’t allow customers to communicate directly with third-party vendors.

The court also said a 1990s federal law governing the publishing of third-party content doesn’t shield Amazon from liability.

The dissenting judge called it an “uncharted area of law” and noted that numerous rulings in other states have barred consumers from suing Amazon for liability.