American R&B singer Chris Brown on Friday thanked New Zealand women’s advocates for supporting his plan to perform in the country, despite a domestic violence conviction which could see him banned.
Brown’s 2009 conviction for assaulting his then-partner pop star Rihanna means he may be refused entry to New Zealand, even though tickets for a December 18 concert in Auckland went on sale this week.
In order to perform, Brown needs to apply for a special dispensation from immigration officials, which as of last week had not been granted.
But the Grammy winner has found support from an unlikely source — Maori women’s advocates who say Brown appears to have reformed and could send a powerful message against domestic violence.
A string of high-profile advocates, such as former Women’s Refuge chief Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, have backed Brown and offered to hold a traditional Maori welcome for him.
Former Maori Party chief Dame Tariana Turia said Maori youth could relate more to an anti-domestic violence message from 26-year-old Brown than one delivered by indigenous elders.
“Good, bad, ugly or otherwise, the truth of it is that young people are more likely to be in tune with Chris Brown than they are with one of us,” the 71-year-old said this week.
Brown acknowledged the “amazing” Maori women’s stance on Friday.
“Nothing more amazing than strong women,” he tweeted. “Thank you to Dame Tariana Turia and everyone who showed their support in NZ.”
Support for Brown in New Zealand is not unanimous, with government lawmaker Judith Collins saying last month: “We’ve got enough wife-beaters in this country, he should just bugger off.”
Brown’s also faces being banned from Australia because of his past, and he offered this week to raise awareness of domestic violence there if his “One Hell of a Nite” tour is allowed to go ahead.
‘Even bigger lunatics than we realized’: UN officials reportedly think Trump is planning ‘massive’ bombing campaign in Iran
As the Trump administration prepares to deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in a move critics warned will heighten the possibility of all-out war with Iran, United Nations officials reportedly believe the U.S. is also planning a major “aerial bombardment” of an Iranian nuclear facility.
United Nations officials are “assessing the United States’ plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran,” the Jerusalem Post reported Monday, citing anonymous diplomatic sources at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
Lock him up? Democrats are pushing prosecution for Trump — but those calls alarm some law enforcement vets
President Donald Trump -- whose rallies are still punctuated with "lock her up" chants" -- may face turnabout from his Democratic rivals.
Some Democratic candidates are openly threatening Trump with prosecution once he's out of office, and those taunts are alarming to some law enforcement veterans, reported Politico.
“Presidents aren’t supposed to suggest there be investigations or prosecutions of particular people, let alone their political rivals,” said Matt Axelrod, a former Justice Department senior official under Obama. “President Trump has flagrantly and repeatedly violated that norm, but that doesn’t mean the norm has been obliterated.”
WATCH: Alabama GOP official berates reporter about Sodom and Gomorrah after she questions his anti-LGBT rant
Republican Mobile County Treasurer Phil Benson defiantly told a reporter from a local news station to read the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah when she came to ask him about his recent anti-LGBT rant that he posted on Facebook.
The controversy surrounding Benson started when he reacted angrily to a story about a bakery getting sued for refusing to serve an LGBT wedding.
"Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy," Benson wrote on Facebook in response to the story.
Local news station NBC 15 sent out reporter Andrea Ramey to question him about his remarks, and he tried to insist that she read Chapter 19 of Genesis, which details the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah over their tolerance of homosexuality.