Paroled ‘good guy’ Simpson has no excuses
UNITED STATES: OJ Simpson shed tears of joy as he was granted parole by a panel in Nevada yesterday, having served almost nine years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery.
Simpson, 70, struggled to compose himself as the four-person panel delivered its verdict, before looking up to smile at his daughter Arnelle and friend Bruce Fromong, who both spoke to defend him. He will walk free possibly as soon as October.
Simpson told the hearing that he had lived ‘‘a conflict-free life’’, and said he deeply regretted the September 2007 incident when, believing that he was reclaiming stolen property, he led a group of armed men into a hotel room in Las Vegas - raging back into the headlines over a decade after he was sensationally acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend.
Fromong, the victim of the robbery, said he and Simpson had been friends for 27 years, and that he had made his peace with the fallen former American football star and actor.
He said it was one of Simpson’s associates who acted with violence during the robbery.
‘‘We all make mistakes. OJ made his. It’s time for him to go home to his family and his friends.’’
Simpson depicted himself as a model prisoner, having ‘‘done my times as well and as respectfully as anyone here. I have not complained for nine years’’, he said.
‘‘All I have done is tried to be helpful, to tell people in here to bide their time and not do anything to aggravate their situation.’’
He told the hearing in Lovelock, Nevada that he had always considered himself ‘‘a good guy’’.
‘‘If I had made a better judgment back then. none of this would have happened,’’ he said. ‘‘I am not making excuses. But I should never have allowed these alleged security guys to get involved.’’
Simpson told the panel he was planning to reunite with his two youngest children, Sydney and Justin, in Florida. ’’I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,’’ he joked.
– Telegraph Group
N Korea a no-show at talks
South Korea’s proposed military talks planned for yesterday, aimed at easing tension between the two Koreas, failed to happen after North Korea snubbed the call, in a setback for new President Moon Jae-in’s hopes for dialogue. The proposal came after the North said earlier this month it had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on it. Moon said the proposal for talks still stood, and he urged the North to respond. It is the first formal overture by South Korea since cross-border ties broke down early last year.
Linkin Park singer dies
Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, has been found dead at his home near Los Angeles, a week before the United States alt-rock band were due to to embark on a national tour. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said the death was being handled as an apparent suicide. Bennington, 41, had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, and spoke openly about his struggles to overcome his demons. He was a close friend of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who committed suicide in May.
President’s head too big
French President Emmanuel Macron’s official portrait is bigger than that of any president since the 1950s, according to France’s mayors, who are unhappy about having to buy new picture frames for it. The photograph of the president, who is accused by opponents of having an outsized ego, is taller than the standard format that has been issued since Charles de Gaulle took power in 1959. Romain Senoble, mayor of the village of Forges, near La Rochelle, alerted the country to the change after calculating that replacing the frames would cost councils €2.7 million (NZ$4.2m). Many French mayors have accused Macron of monarchical tendencies after he told councils that he was expecting them to cut their spending.