Imposes dress code: Kansas Lawmaker Dress Code

January 24, 2016 by  
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Imposes dress code: Kansas Lawmaker Dress Code, Three years ago, a Kansas lawmaker made a rule on attire that included specifics for women testifying before a state committee: no low-cut tops, no miniskirts.

This week, it made news and raised some hackles. But Republican state Sen. Mitch Holmes defended his choice.

Holmes wrote an 11-point guideline for the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, which he chairs. It details instructions for etiquette and rules for witnesses testifying on elections or ethics bills.

Rule number 2 reads: “Conferees should be dressed in professional attire. For ladies, low-cut necklines and miniskirts are inappropriate.” It offers no additional guidance on how long a skirt should be or what constitutes “low-cut” for women’s necklines.

Colleagues object

Some of his fellow lawmakers found the second line of the rule offensive.

The dress code is sexist and insulting because it singles out women, state Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat from Topeka, told CNN affiliate KWCH.

“I think my first thought was, ‘For crying out loud, what century is this?’” she said. “There was no suggestion that men needed any help deciding what to put on in the morning.”

“It’s hard enough to get people to come and testify as it is, and now we’re giving them a particular dress,” Democrat Rep. Barbara Ballard told the affiliate.

Holmes didn’t get much support from fellow Republican Rep. Peggy Mast. “An individual is an individual and I don’t judge what other people would choose to feel is appropriate,” Mast said.

Holmes: Applies to men, too

Holmes defended his rules, and said they apply to men as well.

“First off, there’s a misunderstanding that I have a rule that only applies to women. And that’s just not the case. The rule says all conferees should be addressed in professional attire,” Holmes told the affiliate.

Regardless of dress, he said, no one has been blocked from testifying. And he has never had to confront anyone so far about attire before the committee. He decided to add the rule after the wardrobe of a lobbyist piqued his ire.

“[She] had a low-cut that extended way down almost to the navel,” Holmes told KWCH.

He is thinking of adding some wording on what might not be appropriate attire for men.

Holmes said the rule has been around for three years, so he’s surprised it’s creating a stir now.

“A particular reporter, one known for not joining in the pledge of allegiance, decided to make an issue of the committee rules I use,” he said in a message to KWCH.

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Natalie Cole: Death Cause Revealed

January 9, 2016 by  
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Natalie Cole: Death Cause Revealed, Natalie Cole’s family revealed the Grammy-winning singer’s cause of death on Thursday, January 7, saying she passed away from heart failure induced by lung disease.

Cole died on Thursday, December 31, at age 65. The “Miss You Like Crazy” singer, the daughter of the legendary Nat “King” Cole, underwent a kidney transplant in 2009, after battling drug issues and ensuing hepatitis.

In a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, her family said: “[Cole] responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts world-wide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder.”

Cole detailed her struggle with substance abuse — include cocaine, heroin and alcohol — in her 2000 memoir Angel on My Shoulder. In 1983, the singer checked into rehab. Decades later, in 2008, she noted that her hepatitis C was brought about by her drug use.

Her family confirmed Cole’s death in a statement to Us Weekly last week, saying: “Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor.”

Many celebrities grieved for the “Unforgettable” singer and took to social media to remember her. “Sending prayers and condolences to all the loved ones of my friend #NatalieCole! She will be truly missed but her light will shine forever!” Patti LaBelle tweeted on January 1.

Another music legend, Tony Bennett, added on Instagram: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Natalie Cole, as I have cherished the long friendship I had with her, her father Nat, and the family over the years. Natalie was an exceptional jazz singer and it was an honor to have recorded and performed with her on several occasions. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.”

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$40M-fine for lapses: BMW Fined $40 Million

December 22, 2015 by  
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$40M-fine for lapses: BMW Fined $40 Million, BMW will be fined $40 million for failing to issue timely recalls of MINI models.
A hefty fine of $40 million will be handed to BMW after not issuing a timely recall of MINI Cooper vehicles that failed to pass crash tests.

The test failures included 2014 and 2015 models, and BMW did not issue a recall within five days of learning of them. The fine was announced today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a consent order, and they also claimed BMW failed to send them the accurate recall information.

The massive fine includes $10 million to be paid in cash, $10 million spent on steps to get into compliance, and another $20 million in fines must be paid if BMW does not comply or commits other safety violations.

Not exactly the Christmas present BMW was looking for this week.

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New deposition: Bill Cosby Janice Dickinson

November 3, 2015 by  
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New deposition: Bill Cosby Janice Dickinson, Bill Cosby and his former attorney can be deposed by model Janice Dickinson’s attorney in Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against the entertainer for denying that he sexually assaulted her.

On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debra K. Weintraub ordered the comedian and his former attorney Martin Singer to give their testimony no later than November 25, according to court papers obtained by PEOPLE.

However, the depositions will be restricted to evidence showing that Cosby’s denials of Dickinson’s rape claim were made maliciously. The judge also ruled that Singer and Cosby can assert attorney-client privilege and decline to answer certain questions.

Last year, Dickinson accused Cosby of raping her in 1982 after he allegedly flew her to his home in Lake Tahoe to discuss her working on The Cosby Show. Instead, she said, Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her.

Cosby has denied sexually assaulting Dickinson and the more than 50 women who have alleged they were victims of the former sitcom star.

Singer, who has vehemently defended Cosby and has accused some of the women of lying about their encounters with the comedian, has called Dickinson’s story “a fabricated lie.”

In May, Dickinson filed a lawsuit against Cosby for defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Janice Dickinson, like over three dozen other Cosby victims, recently publicly disclosed that she was drugged and raped by Bill Cosby,” Dickinson’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, wrote in the complaint. “In retaliation, Cosby, through an attorney, publicly branded her a liar and called her rape disclosure a lie with the intent and effect of revictimizing her and destroying the professional reputation she’s spent decades building.”

According to the complaint, Dickinson wanted to write about the rape in her 2002 memoir, No Lifeguard on Duty, but was barred from doing so by her publisher’s legal department.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Last month, Cosby replaced Singer in Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit and hired Christopher Tayback of Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Tayback, a former Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles and Assistant United States Attorney, is the son of actor Vic Tayback, who was a familiar television character actor in the 1960s and 70s.

Tayback also replaced Singer in the lawsuit filed by Judy Huth, a California woman who claims the comedian sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15.

Huth’s attorney, Gloria Allred, deposed Cosby last month, overcoming Singer’s attempt to block such a deposition. That deposition is sealed for at least 60 days, though it’s possible his testimony will be made public after Dec. 22, when a hearing on the matter will be held.

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$19B deal for SanDisk: Western Digital SanDisk

October 21, 2015 by  
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$19B deal for SanDisk: Western Digital SanDisk, Western Digital Corporation said on Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire the memory chip maker SanDisk Corporation in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $19 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, SanDisk investors would receive $86.50 a share in cash and stock for each share they hold, representing a 15 percent premium to SanDisk’s closing price on Tuesday.

“This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology,” Stephen D. Milligan, the Western Digital chief executive, said in a news release.

“The combined company will be ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities created by the rapidly evolving storage industry,” he added.

The acquisition is the latest in a flurry of deal making this year as suppliers of semiconductors and other computer components face greater pressure on pricing from device makers.

On Wednesday, Lam Research, a semiconductor equipment maker, announced that it had agreed to acquire KLA-Tencor in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $10.6 billion.

That followed an offer by Microsemi Corporation to acquire its fellow chip maker PMC-Sierra on Monday in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.4 billion. Microsemi has sought to derail a competing proposal from Skyworks Solutions, a rival chip maker and supplier to Apple.

Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips; Avago Technologies; and NXP Semiconductors have also made multibillion-dollar acquisitions this year.

Mr. Milligan, the Western Digital chief executive, will be chief executive of the combined company, which will be based in Irvine, Calif. Sanjay Mehrotra, the SanDisk president and chief executive, is expected to join Western Digital’s board of directors after the deal closes.

The transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016. It has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Founded in 1988, SanDisk, based in Milpitas, Calif., manufactures flash memory chips and other digital storage for personal computers, data centers and consumer electronics, including smartphones and tablets. The company posted revenue of $6.6 billion in 2014 and had about 8,700 employees.

“Joining forces with Western Digital will enable the combined company to offer the broadest portfolio of industry-leading, innovative storage solutions to customers across a wide range of markets and applications,” Mr. Mehrotra, the SanDisk president and chief executive, said in a news release.

Under the terms of the deal, Western Digital expects to pay $85.10 a share in cash and 0.0176 shares of its shares for each share of SanDisk. That price is contingent on the closing of a separate deal by the Chinese hardware manufacturer and vendor Unisplendour to take a 15 percent stake in Western Digital for $3.78 billion.

If the Unisplendour transaction hasn’t closed or is terminated, Western Digital will pay $67.50 in cash and 0.2387 shares of its stock for each share of SanDisk.

Western Digital said it expected to finance the deal though a combination of cash, debt and stock.

Founded in 1970, Western Digital, based in Irvine, manufactures hard drives and other digital storage devices. It posted revenue of $14.6 billion in 2014 and had about 76,000 employees.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Rothschild and the law firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Baker & McKenzie advised Western Digital, while Goldman Sachs and the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised SanDisk.

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Ex-beauty queen dies: Miss Austria Ena Kadic

October 21, 2015 by  
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Ex-beauty queen dies: Miss Austria Ena Kadic, Former Miss Austria beauty queen Ena Kadic has died after falling off the side of a mountain while jogging.

The 26-year-old often enjoyed jogging in her home town of Tirol, where the Bergisel mountain is situated.

Police have launched an investigation as to how Kadic would have fallen to her death on a path she regularly jogged on and knew so well.

Kadic was rushed to hospital after falling 30 metres, suffering serious head trauma and injuries to her lung as well as to her pelvis.

It is understood that she was able to call her brother, alerting him to her injuries, but then passed out moments later.

She was lifted by air ambulance to hospital at the nearby Innsbruck University clinic after the fall yesterday, but died this morning.

The beauty queen won Miss Austria – seeing off 17 other contestants – in 2013.

She then took part in the Miss World contest in Indonesia, however since then had withdrawn from public life.

Earlier this year she told Seitenblicke magazine: “The media, the events, the parties – that life did not make me so happy.”

Miss Austria Ena Kadic

Miss Austria Ena Kadic

Miss Austria Ena Kadic

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