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Sony’s RCA parts ways with R. Kelly after abuse uproar – media reports

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 R. Kelly has parted ways with his Sony Music-owned RCA record label, Billboard magazine, Variety and the New York Times reported on Friday, and he no longer appears on the roster of artists on RCA’s website.

The reported split follows decades of allegations of sexual and physical abuse by the Grammy-winning singer, which were the subject of a new six-hour television documentary aired earlier this month. Kelly’s attorney has denied the allegations.

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RCA and Kelly’s representatives did not return calls for comment on Friday.

Variety, quoting an unidentified source, said Sony Music had decided to “dissolve its working relationship” with Kelly, but that no external announcement would be made.

Billboard reported that the musician and the record company had agreed to part ways, citing unidentified sources. It said Kelly’s catalogue would remain with RCA. His music is still available on digital retailers and streaming services.

RCA came under renewed pressure this month to drop Kelly, best-known for the hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” in the wake of a Lifetime documentary in which multiple women, including his ex-wife, made on-camera allegations of emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

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Campaigners from the #MuteRKelly pressure group delivered a petition signed by some 217,000 people to Sony headquarters in New York City earlier this week asking the record company to drop the musician.

Lady Gaga was among a number of artists who said they would no longer work with him and asked for previous collaborations to be removed from streaming services.

“Thank you @Sony and @RCARecords for your leadership in refusing to profit off the trauma of Black girls and women,” tweeted Times Up, a group campaigning against sexual harassment.

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Kelly, 52, released his last album in 2016. He tweeted earlier this month that a new album was on the way.

The latest accusations in the Lifetime documentary are similar to ones made against the singer over the past 25 years. In 2008, the singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago.

Separately on Friday, a former manager for the singer turned himself into authorities in Georgia, where he was wanted on a charge of making threats against one of the families that took part in the Lifetime documentary.

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Henry Mason was released on bond after surrendering to an arrest warrant issued in July 2018, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman in Henry County, Georgia.

According to local news website the Henry Herald, Mason is accused of threatening to kill Timothy Savage, the father of one of the young women featured in the documentary.

A representative for Mason could not be reached on Friday.

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Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine and Gina Cherelus; Editing by Bill Rigby


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Ocasio-Cortez: Democratic refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than Trump’s lawbreaking

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

She also retweeted 2020 presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, who responded to a story about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refusing to reevaluate her position on impeaching Trump in spite of the Ukraine story by saying, "What is Congress waiting for? This is crazy. Unless we take action now, we will see the end of American democracy."

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Torn by Brexit, Labour to vote on way out of the crisis

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Britain's main opposition Labour Party prepared to vote Monday on a new Brexit strategy that could unite its warring factions and avoid a potential drubbing in early polls.

Britain is hurtling toward its October 31 departure from the European Union without an exit agreement and facing the threat of border disruptions that the government admits could cause food shortages and spark civil unrest.

Yet the same disputes over ways out of the crisis that saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson's right-wing Conservatives lose their working majority -- and make a general election appear inevitable -- are also fraying Labour on the left.

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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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