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Deepika Padukone attends Cannes Film Festival jury dinner in sleeveless Louis Vuitton mini dress and boots: Pics, videos


Cannes Film Festival 2022: Actor Deepika Padukone arrived in Cannes yesterday to attend one of the most prestigious film festivals – the Cannes Film Festival – which kickstarts today as one of its jury members. The Gehraiyaan actor even shared a vlog video with her fans after landing in the French Riviera town and delighted her followers with some snippets. After landing, Deepika attended the special jury dinner with the other jury members, including Rebecca Hall, Vincent Lindon, Jasmine Trinca, Asghar Farhadi, Ladj Ly, Jeff Nichols and Joachim Trier. Deepika slipped into a sleeveless Louis Vuitton mini dress and high-heeled boots for the occasion – promising some exciting fashion moments to look forward to.

On Monday, May 16, Deepika Padukone attended the 75th Cannes Film Festival jury dinner at the Hotel Martinez looking as glam as ever. The star chose a Louis Vuitton ensemble for the occasion. She recently became the House Ambassador for the luxury fashion house. Pictures and videos of her get-up are going viral on social media. Scroll ahead to see Deepika’s photos. (Also Read: Deepika Padukone makes it to Cannes Film Festival Jury: A look at all her best red carpet appearances)

Deepika’s ensemble is a modified look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall collection. It features a sleeveless black mini dress featuring shimmering embellishments on the front in silver, gold, yellow, red and black shades. The actor wore the black dress over a sleeveless white mini-ensemble, creating a glamorous and minimal look fit for a dinner outing.

Deepika Padukone attends Cannes Film Festival jury dinner. (Reuters)

Deepika paired the ensemble with tan-brown boots and an embellished box shoulder bag in gold and black. She had donned the same high-heeled boots to attend Louis Vuitton 2023 Cruise Show at the Salk Institute in La Jolla in San Diego County.

In the end, Deepika went for centre-parted open tresses styled in soft waves, subtle smoky eye shadow, winged eyeliner, mascara on the lashes, glowing skin, glossy nude lip shade, blushed skin and on-fleek brows to complete the glam picks.

Earlier, Deepika had shared a vlog of herself arriving in Cannes, France. The video featured some highlight moments from her journey to the French Riviera town, including the star talking about her 11-hour flight and craving food.

Watch the video here:

Meanwhile, Deepika Padukone was last seen in Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan. She will be next seen in Shah Rukh Khan-led Pathan, Fighter with Hrithik Roshan, Project K with Prabhas and the Hindi remake of the Hollywood movie The Intern.

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Putin warns Finland, Sweden over NATO as Ukraine braces for eastern assault

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 16, 2022. Photo — Alexander NEMENOV / various sources / AFP
  • Despite the resources of its giant neighbour, Ukraine has managed to repel Russian forces for longer than many expected.
  • Six million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began, according to UN agencies.
  • The war meanwhile is taking its toll on the continent’s growth.

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Sweden and Finland joining NATO would be no threat to Russia but warned the Western alliance that moving troops or weapons into the Nordic neighbours would provoke a “response.”

With Moscow pressing its assault in eastern border regions of Ukraine nearly three months into its invasion, Helsinki and Stockholm are poised to give up decades of military non-alignment over fears they could be next.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson confirmed on Monday her country would apply to join NATO, a day after Finland – which shares a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia – said the same.

Putin, whose war has sparked global outrage, killing thousands, said the move poses “no direct threat for us, but the expansion of military infrastructure to these territories will certainly provoke our response.”

The Russian leader’s more moderate reaction marked a contrast with comments earlier Monday from deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, who called the expansion a “grave mistake with far-reaching consequences”.

The move is not a done deal in any case, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday confirming his country’s intention to block the applications, accusing Finland and Sweden of harbouring terror groups, including outlawed Kurdish militants.

Sweden and Finland have failed to respond positively to Turkey’s 33 extradition requests over the past five years, justice ministry sources told the official Anadolu news agency on Monday.

Any membership bid must be unanimously approved by NATO’s 30 nations.

But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced confidence Sunday that Sweden and Finland would join NATO despite Turkey’s opposition.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will meet Blinken in Washington on Wednesday, where Ankara’s objections are expected to figure high on the agenda.

Despite the resources of its giant neighbour, Ukraine has managed to repel Russian forces for longer than many expected, fortified by weapons and cash from Kyiv’s Western allies.

Ukraine’s defence ministry announced its troops had regained control of territory on the Russian border near the country’s second-largest city of Kharkiv, which has been under constant attack.

Since failing to take the capital Kyiv in the early weeks of the war, Moscow is focusing on Donbas, a region near the Russian border that is home to pro-Russian separatists.

Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich told local television Sunday that Russian troops were being redeployed to take Severodonetsk, the easternmost city still held by Ukraine.

Its occupation would grant the Kremlin de facto control of Lugansk, one of two regions – along with Donetsk – that comprise Donbas.

But Russia’s attempt to encircle the city of 100,000 has been repelled with heavy equipment losses, while Russian-occupied railway bridges were blown up, Ukrainian officials said.

Russia continued strikes on Lugansk, killing two people and wounding nine during shelling of a Severodonetsk hospital, the Ukrainian presidency said Monday.

A further 10 people were killed by Russian strikes on Severodonetsk, according to the local governor.

Police in neighbouring Donetsk said six civilians were killed and 12 wounded in Russian shelling over the past 24 hours.

Six million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began, and another eight million have been internally displaced, according to UN agencies.

But some are trying to wait it out.

In Lysychansk, on the other side of the river from Severodonetsk, a policeman tried in vain to evacuate Angelina Abakumova and her children.

“It is dangerous here now. Then it changes and it becomes dangerous over there. What is the point of going back and forth?” she told AFP, on her way back to her basement.

One of the war’s most symbolic battles has been the fight for Mariupol, the southern port that has largely fallen to Russian forces.

Russia said Monday it had reached a deal to evacuate wounded soldiers from the city’s Azovstal steel plant, where hundreds remain holed up in underground tunnels, although there was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine.

Meanwhile EU foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss a ban on Russian oil – proposed as part of an unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow but being blocked by Hungary over the economic cost.

“We are unhappy with the fact that the oil embargo is not there,” Ukraine’s top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba said afterwards.

“It’s clear who’s holding up the issue. But time is running out because every day Russia keeps making money and investing this money into the war.”

The war meanwhile is taking its toll on the continent’s growth. The European Commission sharply cut its eurozone forecast for 2022 to 2.7 percent, blaming skyrocketing energy prices.

Separately, French automaker Renault has handed over its Russian assets to Moscow, while US fast food giant McDonald’s announced it would be pulling out, citing the “humanitarian crisis caused by the war.”

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Rajkumar Santoshi reveals Madhuri Dixit shot a comedy scene despite the stress of raid at her dad’s house


Rajkumar Santoshi has revealed that Madhuri Dixit once shot for a comedy scene despite the stress of a raid at her father’s house. 

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‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ actors break down the big ‘Tarlos’ relationship decision


This article includes spoilers for “A Bright and Cloudless Morning,” Monday’s season finale of “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

After having survived numerous near-death experiences, paramedic T.K. Strand (Ronen Rubinstein) and police Officer Carlos Reyes (Rafael Silva) — the fan-favorite couple known affectionately as “Tarlos” — finally decided to get engaged in Monday’s season three finale of “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

In the episode, T.K. found Carlos updating his will, leading to a fight over T.K.’s refusal to plan his own estate. But after having nearly lost his father, Owen (Rob Lowe), in a building explosion, T.K. — who had unexpectedly lost his mother, Gwyn (Lisa Edelstein), earlier in the year — had a change of heart, waking Carlos up in the middle of the night to declare that he would leave everything to his “husband,” meaning Carlos, before he popped the question. 

“My life has been scarred with loss, and at times, it’s felt inescapable,” T.K. told Carlos. “But that’s the risk of love, right? For the first time in my life, the love that I feel is infinitely more powerful than the fear of losing it. … Every moment that we’re not married is a wasted moment. And baby, we only get so many.”

Rafael Silva and Ronen Rubinstein in “9-1-1: Lone Star.”Fox

T.K.’s impromptu proposal was one of many endings that Rubinstein and Silva said they discussed with co-creator and showrunner Tim Minear. This version was ultimately chosen to hark back to how T.K., a recovering addict, was introduced in the pilot, when his last failed marriage proposal led him to relapse and overdose on painkillers.

“I think what the finale symbolizes in many ways is closing the chapter on your past traumas, on your past demons,” Rubinstein said in a joint video interview with Silva. “With T.K., I think it’s the initial proposal that almost led to his death, and I think this is a new chapter for him and everything’s going to be OK, it seems like. And he’s actually found the man of his dreams and somebody that he wants to spend the rest of his life with.”

Rubinstein said he loved the idea of the proposal’s “being something that he just has to get off his chest.” 

“He literally wakes [Carlos] up at 3 in the morning,” Rubinstein added with a laugh. “And he’s like: ‘Marry me right now! I can’t wait any longer!’ It’s so romantic in many ways.”

Silva, who said he “was very happy” and that he “got super excited” when he read the final script last month, revealed that the proposal was shot with multiple cameras “rolling at the same time,” allowing him and Rubinstein to stay in the moment during every take. 

“The reactions that you’re getting are not layered in the sense where we’re cutting bits and creating this sort of performance,” he said. “You’re getting it live from both of us at the same time.”

He added: “When I first read the scene, I thought the scene was funny … which is perfect, especially in a proposal at 3 a.m. One is waking up; the other one’s coming to this realization of what this relationship is.” The “quirkiness in the scene,” he said, “went really well against this emotional stride” that they were making together as a couple.

As they began to rehearse the pivotal scene with director and executive producer Brad Buecker, Rubinstein and Silva — who both said they always knew that a “Tarlos” proposal was a matter of when, not if — revealed they both started crying during the initial read-through, before cameras were even rolling. Buecker “immediately felt the vibe, and he’s like: ‘All right, let’s cut rehearsal a little earlier. You guys go get ready, because the emotions are already there. … Let’s save it for the real thing.’ And it was like that every single take,” Rubinstein said. “I just remember it being so powerful and so epic and really beautiful, and the words did all the work for me.”

The engagement marked the culmination of a dramatic seasonlong arc for T.K. and Carlos. In an interview over the winter, Rubinstein teased that “a major bombshell” would be dropped in the season premiere, alluding to a shocking “Tarlos” breakup. It wasn’t until the third and fourth episodes, when T.K. found himself in another coma — this time after having nearly died of hypothermia in a deadly winter storm in Texas — that the two first responders discovered they were stronger together than apart.

Ronen Rubinstein and Gina Torres in "9-1-1: Lone Star."
Ronen Rubinstein and Gina Torres in “9-1-1: Lone Star.”Jack Zeman / Fox

“The reason they broke up was completely on T.K.’s foolishness and his past habits of blowing something up when it’s going too well,” Rubinstein said. The fact that T.K. is able to cheat death once more “makes them realize what’s truly important … and it’s fighting for this relationship and knowing that they were actually perfect,” he said. “I think waking up from that coma and seeing the only person he probably wanted to see when he woke up right there holding his hand and then hugging him, for T.K. at least, was all of the reasons to truly commit and to truly give his everything.”

Carlos, on the other hand, had effectively declared his lifelong commitment between seasons when he made T.K. a co-owner of their new apartment, despite having fronted all of the costs himself, Silva said. 

“That was Carlos’ version of the proposal. That was Carlos’ way of saying: ‘I kind of want to get married. … I kind of want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ And then T.K. said no,” Silva said, referring to T.K.’s refusal to accept the generous gesture. 

As soon as T.K. woke up from his coma, Silva added, “Carlos is struggling to even move his hand to grab T.K., because it’s like: ‘I was rejected by showing all of me. Is this what I really want? Is this what I think I deserve? Is this something that he thinks he wants, too?’ But in that moment, no words are needed. You just see the love between the two.”

Rubinstein said that given that T.K. and Carlos already live together, know each other’s families well and have created a tight bond with the other members of Station 126, he felt the engagement was always going to be a “natural progression” of their relationship.

Rubinstein said he thought the final scene of episode 13, which debuted April 11, in which Carlos realizes the best way to support T.K.’s sobriety is by calling his sponsor, was “crucial for T.K. to know, like: ‘OK, I knew this was the man of my dreams, but now he’s really proven it. That was the last thing he ever had to do. I would marry him right now.’ That storyline is so special, and I think it’s many people’s favorite episode, because we get to have real-life couple conversations — and it’s really difficult conversations, too.”

“I think breaking them up at the beginning of the season was really brilliant, because I always said the journey of them getting back together is more interesting than if things were just going very well and smoothly throughout the whole season,” Rubinstein added. “I remember Tim [Minear] always saying, ‘We have to earn this relationship, and we have to earn this proposal,’ and I honestly think we did. I think 42 episodes is enough.”

Following Monday’s announcement that “9-1-1: Lone Star” has been renewed for a fourth season, Rubinstein and Silva quipped that as much as they would love for the coming nuptials to go off without a hitch, they’ve already begun to brainstorm any number of things that could go wrong, given the “9-1-1” franchise’s reputation for outlandish emergencies.

“Someone’s going to choke, someone’s going to have a heart attack, an earthquake’s going to take place — all at the same time!” Silva said with a laugh. “I think it’s going to be special either way. I want Carlos to be the most Texan. I want him to wear a cowboy hat — like, all Tejano gear — to his wedding. I want to show the Mexican American culture … because America is beautiful and has many shades, and we need to show that on national television.”

Rubinstein said with a playful smile: “We would have a honeymoon, and I was like: ‘Listen, if production wants to send us to, let’s say, Hawaii, and there will be something that we have to deal with there, I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’ll deal with a rescue with Carlos and T.K. in Hawaii. I’ll deal with anything if we go to Hawaii.’ I’m just so, so excited that we know that there is a wedding and honeymoon on the horizon.”

While Rubinstein said he wants to continue exploring T.K.’s personal and professional relationships in subsequent seasons, Silva, whose character hasn’t had as much screen time in the first three seasons, said he wants to see where Carlos “comes from” and “how he is as a person.”

Rafael Silva in "9-1-1: Lone Star."
Rafael Silva in “9-1-1: Lone Star.”Jordin Althaus / Fox

“We’ve seen a good amount of how he’s come to be … and I think those characteristics are mistaken for personality traits, like ‘control freak,’ ‘super caring,’” Silva said. “I think that’s just the result of everything that he’s been through, and I think everything he’s been through is way more interesting than all of these coined personality traits, and I think it would be interesting exploring that.”

But at the end of the day, both actors understand the importance and shared responsibility of telling a prominent love story between two men when anti-LGBTQ legislation continues to be passed across the country — and around the world. 

“I think now more than ever, it’s beyond imperative to show this sort of relationship on network television. Television brings conversations into homes that might not be asking for such conversation,” Silva said.

With over 250 [anti-LGBTQ] bills trying to be passed, seeing this sort of relationship being portrayed right now and this sort of reality where two people can just sit in bed and commit themselves to each other for the rest of their lives, I think it just speaks to the commitment to the diversity of the show and what we want to see in real life, as well,” he continued. “We want to let viewers [know] that this love exists, it is legitimate, and it deserves to be on the screen.”

And when the time comes, Rubinstein and Silva said, they would both love to see T.K. and Carlos start a family together, because “you don’t know how powerful representation is until you see yourself” — and what’s possible — on television, said Silva, who is openly gay.

When you depict a relationship between two men “caring and loving each other and caring for this child,” you’re sending a message “that these are human beings who simply love each other, who deserve to love each other, that all of this prejudice against the LGBTQIA+ community is coming out of fear and ignorance and shall not be entertained and shall not be condoned,” Silva added.

The fact that T.K. and Carlos are getting married on one of network television’s most popular dramas, which has averaged over 4.8 million live viewers this season, is groundbreaking in and of itself, Rubinstein said. 

“To show them have a kid eventually would just break all the barriers, and so many people’s brains will explode for good and for bad,” he said. “People need to be uncomfortable, and people need to realize that this is real life, this is normal.

“I think this relationship is so important for opening people’s minds and eyes to what the real world is like and that we’re not some monsters,” said Rubinstein, who is openly bisexual. “We just want to be treated fairly and equally, to be loved and to be treated with respect and kindness, and that’s it. … So it’s about time that we start showing these kinds of storylines on such a massive network.”

The first three seasons of “9-1-1: Lone Star” are streaming on Hulu and Fox Now.

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Aishwarya Rai leaves for Cannes with Abhishek Bachchan, Aaradhya Bachchan; poses with fans for pics at airport. Watch


Aishwarya Rai was spotted at the Mumbai airport early Tuesday as she left for the Cannes Film Festival with husband Abhishek Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya Bachchan.  

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Opinion | Adding salary ranges to job listings stops people from wasting their time


I remember vividly my red-hot rage when I learned that a male colleague with the same job was making over $10,000 more than I was. It was early in my career, and our credentials were nearly identical: same law school graduation year, same fellowship and similar clerkships. Our qualifications differed in two ways: He’d worked at a law firm for a year, during which I represented domestic violence and human trafficking survivors. 

That pay difference was around 20 percent of my salary, and I was struggling under the weight of law school loans. Our employer was a government agency. It had never occurred to me to negotiate on salary; I assumed there was a set pay scale.

Laws requiring disclosure of salary ranges in job postings, like other pay transparency laws, reduce gender and race disparities.

New York City recently enacted a law that will make this experience much less likely for workers there: It requires employers to include a salary range in all listings for jobs wholly or partly in the city, including work in an office or in the field or remote work. The law’s effective date, initially planned for this past weekend, was postponed until November, a last-minute delay that shouldn’t thwart its ultimate implementation.

In passing this legislation, New York City is playing catch-up with Colorado, where a similar law took effect last year. At the time, there was concern about employers’ refusing to hire Colorado workers because of the law. But it looks instead like Colorado was a national leader. More states and cities should pass pay transparency laws requiring salary ranges in job postings, prohibiting setting pay based on prior history and protecting salary discussions among employees. 

Laws requiring disclosure of salary ranges in job postings, like other pay transparency laws, reduce gender and race disparities. Women still earn far less than men — 83 cents to the dollar in 2022 — and this gap is even worse for women of color: Black women made 58 cents on average, and Latina women 49 cents, for every dollar a non-Latino white man earned last year. Research has found that women are often less likely to negotiate for higher salaries and are viewed more negatively if they try. Some states require disclosure of pay ranges if applicants request or upon extension of job offers. While it’s a good first step, this approach still puts the onus on job applicants to ask (at their peril), thus allowing disparities to persist. 

Requiring salary ranges in job postings also reduces the information asymmetry between workers and employers, empowering workers in the hiring process. As Colorado lawyer David Seligman wrote in support of his state’s law, while employers know what salaries they pay, “workers rarely have access to this kind of information.” He added: “They apply for jobs without knowing for sure what companies may pay them or similarly situated workers. … This imbalance of information is an imbalance of power.” It prevents workers from knowing what they can reasonably expect. Workers in journalism, academia, museums and other fields have started salary transparency spreadsheets for their peers, but this problem requires a systemic approach rather than ad hoc DIY efforts by workers. 

Hiding the ball is also inefficient; it wastes everyone’s time if the salary is a nonstarter. How does coyness about pay benefit anyone, including the economy as a whole? So much time and effort are spent on writing applications, reviewing submissions, culling candidates and conducting interviews. It’s a poor use of company time and deeply unfair to applicants who spend time applying for jobs that may not meet their needs. 

In fact, there’s a strong argument that far more information should be required to be disclosed in job postings: whether a non-compete agreement or a forced arbitration provision will be required or whether a worker is considered exempt from overtime pay. Federal law doesn’t even require employers to formally notify workers of their rate of pay in writing even after they’ve been hired. A bill that would require written disclosure of workers’ pay rates within 15 days after hire was introduced in Congress just last week by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Bobby Scott, D-Va.; a small-business owner testified that a similar requirement in his home state, Minnesota, “became an easy form to complete each time I went through the hiring process.”

To be sure, employers have raised concerns about the laws in Colorado and New York City. The current system allows them to attract the broadest possible range of candidates while enjoying the maximum flexibility to pay what they wish. But this leads to inefficiencies and inequities, and it worsens the imbalance of power. 

In passing its law, Colorado displayed leadership on an important workers’ rights issue. Doing so required overcoming the hesitancy many legislators seem to feel. In years of working on state policy, I’ve found that in many instances legislators seem to fear innovating. They tend to ask, “Has this passed someplace else?” There’s sometimes reluctance to act without proof of concept from a bolder state or, better still, half a dozen. 

We’re stuck with the federalist system in a gun-proliferation, forced-birth kind of way. We should leverage it whenever possible to serve human and social justice goals.

But that’s not why people vote for their leaders. States can be, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, laboratories of experimentation — but toward positive ends. We’re stuck with the federalist system in a gun-proliferation, forced-birth kind of way. We should leverage it whenever possible to serve human and social justice goals. And leadership from states like Colorado helps break out of the common yet oxymoronic framing that pro-worker policies are products of coastal elites. That framing is both unhelpful and inaccurate: Throughout the country, there’s broad support for pro-worker policies, like raising the minimum wage, passing paid leave laws and supporting unions.

In fact, pay transparency isn’t the only worker issue Colorado has taken a leading role on. For example, it and Minnesota led the way in increasing criminal penalties for wage theft in 2019. California followed suit last year; meanwhile, a comparable proposal was included in the New York governor’s 2022 State of the State message, and a similar bill is under debate in Rhode Island this session. 

So here’s to more of this. More transparency about worker pay and more power to workers in the hiring process and beyond. And here’s also to hoping that young women, starting out in their careers, will no longer experience moments of red hot rage when they learn just how much colleagues are making.

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Neena Gupta in talks with filmmakers for her biopic, says she hasn’t thought about lead actor yet


After the success of her autobiography, Neena Gupta is likely to adapt her memoir into a biopic. Here’s what she thinks about it.

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Sex offender jailed in the 2009 case of a missing teen whose remains were ID’d


Authorities in South Carolina on Monday announced an arrest in the 13-year-old missing person case of teenager Brittanee Drexel, whose remains were discovered in the state in early May.

Raymond Douglas Moody, 62, of Georgetown, South Carolina, was booked on allegations of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in connection with the case, officials said at a press conference.

Moody, convicted in California of multiple sex crimes in 1983, was named in 2012 as a person of interest in the case of Rochester, New York, spring break traveler Brittanee Drexel, last seen in Myrtle Beach on April 25, 2009.

She was 17, and her case inspired national headlines, fantastic stories regarding her fate, and even a nonprofit dedicated to fighting child sex trafficking.

It wasn’t clear if Moody, booked into the Georgetown County Detention Center on May 4 with no bail set, has an attorney. Inmate records indicate he was also being held on an allegation of obstructing justice. The public defender for Georgetown County did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Without tipping their hand, authorities indicated their case is based on the same undisclosed evidence that led to Drexel’s remains in Georgetown County.

“Charges against Raymond Moody were made possible through investigating findings and evidence that led us to a possible site where Raymond Moody buried a deceased Brittany Drexel on or about April the 26th of 2009,” said county Sheriff Carter Weaver.

Detectives believe Drexel was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered on that day she was last seen alive at a coastal hotel, Weaver said.

“Brittanee lost her life in a tragic way at the hands of a horrible criminal who was walking our streets,” Susan Ferensic, the top agent at the FBI’s Columbia field office, said at the press conference.

Weaver said her remains were identified May 11 by the FBI’s Evidence Response Team, which used dental records. The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division subsequently confirmed that finding through DNA, the sheriff said.

Citing an area judge, NBC affiliate WMBF of Myrtle Beach reported that evidence led investigators to the Georgetown County site of Drexel’s body May 4 and that the remains were excavated May 7 about four feet below ground.

The allegations against Moody as well as the short time between Drexel’s last sighting, on hotel security video, and her demise the next day, would appear to contradict some of the headline-generating speculation surrounding her case over the years.

In 2016, Gerrick Munoz, an FBI agent testifying at a bond hearing for a teenager alleged to have been involved in a South Carolina robbery, said a jailhouse informant told authorities that that suspect had abducted Drexel, sexually assaulted her alongside others, killed her, and essentially fed her body to alligators, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.

The teen, ultimately sentenced to three years probation in the case connected to the robbery, steadfastly denied the story about Drexel, according to the Post and Courier.

The FBI, Munoz, and the attorney for the suspect in the robbery case did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Drexel’s missing person case is also part of the origin story of a nonprofit, Saved in America, that says it helps law enforcement track down missing and trafficked children.

Its San Diego-area founder, Joseph Travers, has said his organization has found inspiration in the story of Drexel’s remains being fed to alligators by what he believed to be a street gang.

Today, he said, he doesn’t regret being moved by a story that may end up being untrue. He maintains there are many missing teenagers being sexually trafficked by gang members. “That’s typically what happens to these girls,” Travers said.

He said he was happy that Drexel’s mother, Dawn, was able to achieve some closure. He said she has come to San Diego to help the group raise money, and it has named a scholarship for Drexel.

“I feel for Dawn,” Travers said. “She became a part of our family.”

At Monday’s press conference, father Chad Drexel thanked law enforcement for writing the case’s final chapter.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” he said. “We have a little more closure than what we wanted. Weighing this all out is tough on a dad, tough on a mother.”

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Proof that Tamannaah Bhatia has upped her fashion game

Take a look at pictures of actress Tamannaah Bhatia looking drop dead gorgeous in stunning looks

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N.Korea reports six more dead from ‘fever’ amid COVID outbreak

In this file photo taken on March 18, 2022 employees spray disinfectant and wipe surfaces as part of preventative measures against the Covid-19 coronavirus in Pyongyan. Photo— KIM Won Jin / AFP
  • Army has “urgently deployed its powerful forces to all pharmacies and began to supply medicines”.
  • Kim has so far strongly criticised healthcare officials for what he called a botched response to epidemic prevention.
  • North Korea has one of the world’s worst healthcare systems, with poorly-equipped hospitals.

SEOUL: North Korea on Tuesday reported six additional deaths from “fever,” days after announcing its first COVID case, and said it was ramping up the military distribution of medicines.

State media KCNA reported that the army had “urgently deployed its powerful forces to all pharmacies in Pyongyang City and began to supply medicines”.

The outlet additionally said the country’s “death toll stands at 56” as of Monday evening, with more than 1,483,060 cases of fever and at least 663,910 people receiving medical treatment.

The toll comes despite leader Kim Jong Un ordering nationwide lockdowns in a bid to slow the spread of disease through the unvaccinated population.

Kim has so far strongly criticised healthcare officials for what he called a botched response to epidemic prevention — specifically a failure to keep pharmacies open 24/7 to distribute medicine.

The Tuesday report by KCNA said that “urgent measures have been taken to immediately rectify the deviations in the supply of medicines,” including 24-hour operation of pharmacies in Pyongyang.

Since the country announced its first COVID case last Thursday, Kim has put himself front and centre of North Korea’s disease response, overseeing near-daily emergency Politburo meetings on the outbreak, which he has said is causing “great upheaval” in the country.

KCNA reported Tuesday that efforts were underway to inform the masses about “the stealth Omicron variant to make them deeply understand the scientific treatment methods and epidemic prevention rules.”

Some 11,000 officials, teachers and medical training students had meanwhile on Monday participated in “intensive medical examination of all inhabitants” to search out those with fever, KCNA said.

North Korea has one of the world’s worst healthcare systems, with poorly-equipped hospitals, few intensive care units, and no COVID-19 treatment drugs or mass testing ability, experts say.

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