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Judge rejects bid by Polanski’s 1977 rape victim to end case

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A Los Angeles judge on Friday rejected a request by the woman who was raped by director Roman Polanski 40 years ago to have the criminal case against him dismissed.

Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Polanski remained a fugitive from justice and that the court could not dismiss a case “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest.”

The ruling follows the first appearance in June in the case by Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old when Polanski sexually assaulted her in Los Angeles in 1977.

The director, who admitted raping Geimer, spent 42 days in pre-trial custody. He then fled the United States, fearing a plea bargain with prosecutors would be overruled and that he would get a lengthy prison term.

The “Chinatown” director, who turned 84 on Friday, has never returned and numerous attempts by his lawyers to strike a deal without him spending more time in prison have failed.

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“The defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply with court orders,” Gordon wrote.

Geimer went to Los Angeles Superior Court in June pleading for his case to be resolved, saying she had forgiven Polanski years ago and wanted the case put to rest “as an act of mercy to myself and my family.”

Geimer, who has three sons and now lives in Hawaii, said in June that Polanski had apologized to her years ago, but that she continued to remain a victim because of media attention each time there was a new development in the case.

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Gordon on Friday also rejected a request by Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, to unseal testimony about the 1977 plea deal. Braun had hoped to use the testimony to persuade European authorities to rescind the international arrest warrant against Polanski.

Two recent bids by the United States to extradite Polanski, from Switzerland and Poland, have failed.

Braun says Polanski wants to be able to travel freely and to visit the grave in the United States of his wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered in Los Angeles by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.

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Polanski’s career has flourished despite the notoriety of the rape case. In 2003, he won an Oscar for directing the Holocaust film “The Pianist” but did not travel to the United States to collect it.

Braun on Friday expressed frustration at the failure to resolve matters.

“This case is 40 years old, with an 84 year-old defendant and a 50 year-old victim requesting that the matter be resolved… It appears that a resolution of this case should be simple,” he said.

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(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by James Dalgleish and Mary Milliken)


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Legendary civil rights icon John Lewis unloads on Trump from the House floor: ‘I know racism when I see it’

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Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to condemn racist statements by President Donald Trump.

As chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was one of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington during with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

"I rise with a sense of righteous indignation to support this resolution," Lewis began.

"I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it," he explained. "And at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism."

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US withholds cash from UN Population Fund over China abortions

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The United States said Tuesday it will again withhold contributions to the UN Population Fund due to its work with China, which controls family size, as the agency accused Washington of jeopardizing women's health.

It marked the third straight year that the United States has refused to fund the UN body as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to combat abortion, a pivotal issue for his evangelical Christian base.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that "China's family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices," conditions that under US law require an end to funding, a State Department spokeswoman said.

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Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report

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On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.

"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."

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