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Britain's Supreme Court has ruled that a pianist may publish a memoir detailing sexual abuse he suffered as a child, despite his ex-wife's privacy concerns.
 
The court on Wednesday sided with John Rhodes and lifted a lower court's injunction that had prevented his book from being published.

His ex-wife had argued that their 12-year-old son suffers from a number of health issues and could be caused serious harm by the publication. The Court of Appeal granted her request for a temporary injunction in October.

The 40-year-old Rhodes is an accomplished classical pianist who has spoken in the past of the impact childhood sexual abuse has had on his life.

Supported by his friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, outside the court, he called the ruling "a victory for freedom of speech."

He said that if the Supreme Court had allowed the injunction to stand, others could have used similar tactics to prevent publication.

"We do not ban books in this country," he said, adding that by telling his story of sexual abuse he encouraging other victims to "tell someone" rather than hide the truth.

He said his young son will not be reading the memoir, which is not intended for children.

Cumberbatch called the ruling a "very emotional moment" and a vindication of his friend's position.

Rhodes had also received support from writers Tom Stoppard, Colm Toibin, David Hard and Stephen Fry, who signed an earlier letter calling the injunction a "significant threat to freedom of expression."

They warned it could lead to future censorship on similar grounds.



Britain's High Court has awarded actress Sadie Frost, sports star Paul Gascoigne and a group of other claimants some 1.2 million pounds ($1.8 million) in damages after their phones were hacked by journalists seeking scoops for the Mirror Group Newspapers.

Frost received 260,250 pounds, while former soccer star Gascoigne won 188,250 in the lawsuit filed by eight victims.

Justice George Mann says the victims suffered a "serious infringement of privacy."

Trinity Mirror PLC said Thursday it would consider an appeal. It has apologized.

Britain's phone-hacking scandal erupted in 2011 with the revelation of eavesdropping by the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World. The furor led to the closure of that paper and the arrests of dozens of journalists.

Though authorities initially focused on Murdoch's papers, inquiries spread to other companies.


Swiss Bank UBS Pleading Guilty To Wire Fraud

  Business  -   POSTED: 2015/05/20 08:23

Swiss bank UBS says it is pleading guilty to wire fraud and is paying $545 million to settle U.S. cases of market manipulation.

The bank said Wednesday that under the deal with U.S. authorities it will be granted conditional immunity from prosecution in a Department of Justice probe on the manipulation of foreign exchange rates. UBS AG said it was the first to report to the DOJ potential misconduct by banks in forex markets.

It will however pay a $342 million fine to the Federal Reserve.

It will separately pay a $203 million fine to the DOJ for manipulating a key market interest rate called the London Interbank Offered Rate.

The bank said "the conduct of a small number of employees was unacceptable and we have taken appropriate disciplinary actions."



Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans demonstrated Tuesday that party endorsements count as they nominated five party-backed candidates for the state Supreme Court.

Democrats nominated both of their endorsees — Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court Judge David Wecht — and Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue, although she had not been endorsed because the party could not muster enough votes for a third endorsement.

Republicans picked Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Adams County Judge Mike George and Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey, all backed by the GOP state committee.

Dougherty waged an aggressive TV advertising campaign with $1.4 million raised mainly from labor organizations, lawyers and businesses. His brother is the business manager of the Philadelphia local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a generous supporter.

Wecht, who's based in Pittsburgh, trailed Dougherty in fundraising with $900,000 in contributions. He's a former Allegheny County judge and the son of pathologist Cyril Wecht, whose inquiries into the deaths of well-known figures such as Elvis Presley gained him national fame.


Boxing fans across the country and their lawyers are calling the hyped-up fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. a fraud and want their money back, and then some.

At least 32 U.S. lawsuits seeking class-action status allege Pacquiao should have disclosed a shoulder injury to fans before the fight, which Mayweather won in a unanimous decision after 12 rounds that most fans thought didn't live up to the hype.

Fight of the century? More like fraud of the century, the lawsuits contend.

"The fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow and lackluster," according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging racketeering, a claim usually reserved for organized crime.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Flights Beer Bar near Los Angeles International Airport in California said Pacquiao and his promoter's actions were "nothing but a cash-grab." The bar paid $2,600 to broadcast the fight.

The fighters are expected to earn more than $100 million each — Mayweather more than Pacquiao. HBO and Showtime broke records, raking in more than $400 million from 4.4 million people who paid to watch the pay-per-view broadcast.

Those viewers paid up to $100 each, and the lawsuits want that money back.

It isn't as easy as showing a receipt and demanding a refund. A federal panel of judges will likely first need to decide if the lawsuits from multiple states and Puerto Rico should be consolidated into one case. From there, a judge would have to decide whether to certify them as class action or not.

What's sought in each is the same: a jury trial and at least $5 million in damages, the threshold for federal class-action lawsuits.


The Illinois Supreme Court has heard oral arguments about whether to let a $10 billion class-action verdict against a major cigarette maker stand.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson and another Phillip Morris lawyer asked the court Tuesday to strike that verdict.

The verdict that Phillip Morris fraudulently marketed "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes as safer than others came in 2003. The state's high court subsequently threw it out. But an appellate court last year reinstated the 12-year-old verdict.

The core dispute is whether regulators allowed cigarette makers to label cigarettes "light" and "low-tar."

Phillip Morris attorneys argued they were given permission to label cigarettes that way. But a plaintiff attorney said regulators didn't OK that labeling practice and so Phillip Morris engaged in a "massive fraud" by do so.



The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a conservative group seeking to end an investigation into possible illegal coordination between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and independent groups.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said Wisconsin Club for Growth and its director, Eric O'Keefe, must resolve their claims in state courts.

No one has been charged as a result of the investigation which has sought documents and testimony about possible violation of state campaign finance laws.

The investigation is on hold while a separate legal challenge is pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The club and O'Keefe argued that the investigation was a violation of their First Amendment rights and an attempt to criminalize political speech.


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