Father choked to death in Thailand ‘sacrificed life to save family’

Devastated wife of British father, 34, choked to death in Thai noise row says he ‘sacrificed his life’ to save both her and their toddler son

  • Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, complained about noise in the hotel in Phuket, Thailand 
  • He was allegedly choked to death by Roger Bullman, 53, in the fight Wednesday
  • Martial arts expert Bullman went after Bajaj ‘when he stabbed him with a knife’
  • Mr Bajai’s wife Bandhna, 34, said her husband told her to leave and save their son
  • She ‘hid under a tree’ with two-year-old Veer and called reception to ask for help 

The wife of a Briton killed in a confrontation with a Norwegian martial artist has described him as ‘my hero.’

Bandhna Kaur Bajaj, 34, said her husband Amitpal screamed for her to take their two-year-old son Veer to safety as he was choked to death.

Mrs Bajaj said the alleged killer Roger Bullman, 53, barged into their hotel room at the resort of Karon in Phuket, Thailand after a row over noise.

She said: ‘He just started charging at my husband. And we wanted to make an exit but he just came running, hitting my husband.

Bandhna Kaur Bajaj, 34, has said her husband Amitpal, pictured together, is her ‘hero’ after he ‘sacrificed his life’ to save her and their two-year-old son Veer. Mr Bajai was choked to death in Thailand on Wednesday morning

‘My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away.

‘As the man was kicking, punching and just, beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son. He said, “Please just go, go, save Veer”.

She said as she took their young child, she saw her husband fall to the ground.

Mrs Bajai said: ‘I knew that my life was in danger and my baby’s life was in danger. So I hid under a tree.

‘I called the reception, and I asked the reception to please make sure someone attends to my husband. I said “Please give him some medical help, I’m very scared, I’ve escaped.” I could still hear him screaming. I didn’t want to be attacked.’

Police found her husband had been choked to death and arrested Bullman.

She added: ‘My husband sacrificed his life to save my son’s life and mine. He will always be our hero.’

Norwegian Roger Bullman, 53, (right) in custody on Wednesday morning, has been charged with ‘causing harm resulting in death’ and was bailed

Mr Bajaj, from Southall, London and his wife were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. Mr and Mrs Bajaj met when they were 18 at a friend’s wedding.

Police said hotel security visited the room of Bullman, but his uproarious balcony singing is said to have grown louder.

Mr Bajaj then allegedly grabbed a steak knife from his room and decided to confront Bullman at 4am on Wednesday.

But Bullman, who was allegedly drunk, refused to lower his noise and continued yelling and singing. They started quarrelling before the row turned into a fight.

The suspect told police that Mr Bajaj first stabbed him in his left shoulder before he used his martial arts skills to grip the British man in a choke-hold and continued choking him to death as Mrs Bajaj looked on. 

Mr Baja, pictured, died at around 4am on Wednesday. His wife said she hid under a tree with their son and could hear her husband screaming from inside the hotel room

Bullman was arrested at Karon police station. He told the police that he acted instinctively and was not intentionally trying to kill him.

Police Major Ekkachai Siri, of the Phuket Tourist Police, said that the Norwegian has been charged for ‘causing harm resulting in death’.

The police chief said: ‘Mr Bullman was drunk and causing so much noise that hotel security came to warn Mr Bullman twice.

‘Mr Bajaj carried a steak knife into Mr Bullman’s room. They started fighting and Mr Bajaj stabbed Mr Bullman in left shoulder.

‘Bullman has been released on bail by the Phuket Provincial Court. He now must remain in Thailand until the charge against (him) has been heard in court.’

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Hong Kong police use tear gas to try to disperse protests

(Reuters) – Hong Kong police used tear gas on Saturday to try to disperse anti-government protests on the eastern side of the Kowloon peninsula, across the harbor from Hong Kong island.

The protesters marched in the gritty Kwun Tong industrial district of the Chinese-ruled city. It was the first use of tear gas in about 10 days amid protests that have persisted for nearly three months.

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Amazon rainforest fires: Is anyone putting out the Amazon fires? Are they being put out?

European leaders on Friday threatened to tear up a trade deal with South America as a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest intensified. Brazil has been forced to declare a state of emergency over the raging fires, with more than 74,000 declared so far in 2019 alone – a massive 83 percent increase on the whole of 2018. The Amazon Rainforest is typically in its dry season in August – but it’s not the sweltering heat that has caused these fires.

READ MORE ABOUT THE FIRES WITH EXPRESS.CO.UK’S LIVE BLOG: Anti-Bolsonaro protests reach fever pitch as ARMY drafted in

Fires are often started to clear out the land for cattle farming or ranching – a practical which, while illegal, is supposedly endorsed by the President.

In contrast, Jair Bolsonaro has publicly lashed out at non-governmental organisations (NGOs), blaming them for setting the fires in retaliation to funding cuts.

He later denied ever accusing NGOs for the blazes, when asked if he had evidence for his sensationalised claims.

Protests have now broken out across the globe over Bolsonaro’s role in the unfolding environmental crisis. 

As well as failing to crackdown on illegal cattle ranching, the President has also failed to do much to stem the raging infernos.

Bolsonaro had previously said he would send in just 40 firefighters to tackle the blaze. 

But as the EU and other world leaders piled on their condemnation, his administration have launched a major charm offensive.

Bolsonaro has now pledged to mobilise the army to help combat the blazes. 

What we know about Amazon fires so far

  • Thousands of acres have been burned and destroyed by the numerous wildfires sweeping Brazil
  • Shocking maps show the true extent of the blaze, which have coated more than half of Brazil in smoke
  • San Paolo turned dark and stormy today when thick smoke from the fires descended on the busy city
  • Since Thursday, 9,500 wildfires have been detected
  • According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data showed an 83 percent increase in fires this year

Bolivia has proved more hands-on during the escalating crisis. 

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales contracted a Boeing 747 “Supertanker” – capable of flying with 115,000 litres of water – to help extinguish the fires.

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro expressed concern about the fires devastating Brazil and Bolivia and offered aid to help extinguish them.

Venezuela’s Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs said: ”Venezuela expresses its deep concern about the gigantic and terrible fires that devastate the Amazon region in the territory of several South American countries, with very serious impacts on the population, ecosystems and biological diversity of the are.”

But will this be enough to sae the Amazon?

READ MORE

Amazon fires MAPPED: Shocking images as wildfires ravage rainforest – PICTURES

Amazon rainforest fire: Rainfall in the Amazon? Latest rainfall maps – FORECAST

Amazon rainforest fire: Can remote tribe survive inferno? – ANALYSIS

The Amazon Rainforest generates more than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen and is home to some 3million plants and animal species, and 10 percent of the world’s known biodiversity.

Referred to as “the lungs of the planet”, the Amazon is crucial to life on Earth.

Now, however, the size and sheer of the rainforest has been reduced dramatically.

And in a 48-hour period, leading up to Thursday, there were more than 2,500 active fires in the Brazilian rainforest – where you could even see the smoke from space.

Satellite images show fires in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Para and Mato Grosso.

It’s not just the deforestation that is problematic, however.

The World Meteorological Organisation, the United Nation’s weather arm, tweeted: “Fires release pollutants including particulate matter & toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides  and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere.”

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My baby made a strange whimpering noise – then died in my arms five days later – The Sun

A HEARTBROKEN mum has revealed her baby daughter died in her arms, just five days after she made a strange "whimpering sound".

Mum-of-two Nicole Dugmore, 27, got just six days with Caitlin Charlotte Sullivan, before she made the difficult decision to turn off her life support.

Born in April 2017, Caitlin was Nicole's first child with partner Richard Sullivan, 34, a production operative.

After a night in hospital, the pair returned to their Birmingham home with big sister Janey, then eight, Nicole's child from a previous relationship, who helped give Caitlin her first bath.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Nicole said: "Janey was so excited. We washed Caitlin’s hair, then I settled her down in her crib. We were enjoying every moment."

While Caitlin slept, her parents watched her proudly. There was no cause for concern, until the day-old tot made a small whimpering sound.

She didn't seem distressed, but Nicole mentioned it to the community midwife when she visited soon after.

The midwife said Caitlin looked pale and took her temperature – which gave a low reading – then advised Nicole to take her daughter back to Good Hope Hospital.

Nicole said: "There, a midwife took Caitlin from me, telling me she was very cold. Dread swept over me. Within minutes, everything went wrong."

One minute we were at home giving Caitlin her first bath – the next, she was fighting for her life

Nearly an hour later, Richard and Nicole were taken to see their baby. She had been put on a life support machine.

Nicole said: "I broke down when I saw her. I felt so helpless and afraid.

"One minute we were at home giving Caitlin her first bath – the next, she was fighting for her life."

Doctors warned the parents Caitlin was in a critical condition.

Nicole said: "I still thought Caitlin would be alright. We’d bring her home again, I was sure."

Caitlin was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and her parents stayed by her side throughout.

Nicole said: "I couldn’t leave her. Janey stayed with her dad but called me constantly, asking for news.

"I didn’t know what to say to her. I didn’t know what was going on."

As the days went on, and Caitlin showed no signs of improvement, Nicole brought Janey to meet the sister she'd only had a few hours to get to know.

Nicole said: "The hospital made Janey a folder full of pictures and explanations of Caitlin’s machines, which gave her an understanding of what was going on.

"I warned her, before we entered the intensive care ward together, Caitlin was very, very poorly.

"She took a deep breath, told me she’d be OK and rushed to her little sister’s side, giving her the most gentle kiss."

Caitlin was going to die. She was in terrible pain – so we decided to turn off her life support and put her out of her struggle

While Caitlin fought for life, her family cherished every moment they had with her.

Caitlin squeezed Richard’s finger. She opened her eyes and gazed at Nicole.

Nicole said: "We weren’t allowed to hold Caitlin, so for her to make contact with me was huge."

Meanwhile, friends and family kept texting to ask for news, thinking the family were settling in at home.

The parents set up a Facebook page called Pray for Cait, to keep everyone updated.

Nicole said: "Doctors performed countless tests and Caitlin had round-the-clock care.

"Like us, the medical team didn’t leave her side. Caitlin fought so hard, but then her bowel started to fail.

"A doctor warned us there was nothing more that could be done."

Caitlin’s organs were failing and it was looking unlikely she’d survive the night.

Richard and Nicole had to have an impossible conversation.

At home that night, life felt surreal. We had balloons and cards all over the house, congratulating us on our baby. But we had no baby

Nicole said: "Caitlin was going to die.

"She was in terrible pain and, as we loved her with all our hearts, we decided to turn off her life support and put her out of her struggle.

"I’d have done anything to have one more minute with my baby, but not in those circumstances. I had to do what was right for her, not me."

A doctor unhooked the machines and put Caitlin in her mum’s arms, the first time Nicole had been allowed to hold her since they’d arrived back in hospital.

Nicole said: "I asked Caitlin to wait for me, wherever she was going, because I’d be with her one day.

"Caitlin took her last breath, just as Richard and I told her we loved her."

After six days of life, she was gone.

CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE: THE FACTS

Congenital heart disease is a term for a range of birth defects which affect the way the heart works.

Signs something's wrong include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swelling of the legs, tummy or around the eyes
  • Extreme tiredness/fatigue
  • A blue tinge to the skin
  • Tiredness and rapid breathing when your baby is feeding

Nicole said: "At home that night, life felt surreal. We had balloons and cards all over the house, congratulating us on our baby. But we had no baby."

Four weeks later, Nicole had the difficult task of preparing baby Caitlin for her funeral.

She said: "Caitlin’s colour was lemon, because she was bright, like the sun.

"I dressed her in a lemon-coloured dress and tucked her lemon-coloured blanket up around her.

"She had deteriorated so much, she didn’t look like Caitlin anymore.

"But I don’t regret the decision to make sure Caitlin was OK in her coffin.

"I felt I owed it to her to make sure she looked lovely before she went off on her final journey."

Richard and Nicole grieved in different ways, and started to grow apart.

Five months after Caitlin's death, they agreed to break up.

But they remain friends and meet up to mark their daughter's birthday every year.

They also changed the name of Caitlin’s Facebook page to Live for Cait – and continue to post updates.

I felt haunted by memories of Caitlin dying in my arms and lying in a coffin

In December 2017, Nicole and Janey moved to Somerset for a fresh start.

Nicole said: "I felt haunted by memories of Caitlin dying in my arms and lying in a coffin.

"My GP diagnosed me with PTSD and arranged a counsellor. Therapy was so helpful.

"I learned how PTSD causes traumatic memories to stay lodged at the forefront of the brain.

"I also learned how to focus on positive memories of Caitlin and I emerged as a new, stronger woman because of her."

A post-mortem, done before Caitlin's funeral, revealed her heart was enlarged and couldn't function properly.

It couldn’t pump blood around her body, which led to multiple organ failure. Her condition was so rare, it doesn’t have a name.

There was nothing anyone could have done differently. 

Nicole said: "Caitlin had an extra big heart because she had an extreme amount of love to give.

"We try and capture the love she gave us and keep it with us in all we do.

 

"Caitlin’s legacy is happiness. We want people to know it’s OK to feel happy again after tragedy.

"In Caitlin’s memory, I’m training to be a paramedic. I want to save lives and save people from grief.

"I want to make Caitlin proud. If I can’t live with Caitlin, I must live for her."

Earlier this week, we spoke to a mum who revealed her daughters found their sister, 21, dead in the bath – and said "I’m still haunted by their screams".

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Homers by Crawford, Narváez help Mariners past Blue Jays 7-4

SEATTLE – Omar Narváez and J.P. Crawford homered, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Friday night for their fifth win in six games.

Narváez led off the second inning with his 18th homer and Crawford did the same leading off the fifth, belting his sixth of the year.

Seattle took the lead for good in the sixth, scoring three times with just one hit as Toronto’s bullpen struggled to throw strikes. Toronto used five relievers and issued seven walks in four innings of relief.

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager continued his hot August at the plate with doubles in consecutive at-bats along with a pair of walks. Seager started the day hitting .323 with eight homers and 18 RBIs this month.

Teoscar Hernandez had two hits and two RBIs and Bo Bichette collected three hits, but the Blue Jays were stymied by Seattle’s bullpen.

Five Mariners relievers combined to allow four hits and an unearned run. Matt Wisler (3-2) got the victory and Matt Magill worked the ninth for his third save.

Seattle’s bottom of the sixth took 30 minutes. It featured three runs, three Toronto pitchers, two run-scoring wild pitches and just one hit. Nine batters came to the plate and only a sliding catch by Hernandez in centre field kept the damage from being any worse.

Sam Gaviglio (4-2) recorded just two outs. He walked three and was charged with three runs.

Seattle rookie Justus Sheffield struggled early in his first major league start. Sheffield allowed a pair of runs in the first inning as Toronto sent eight batters to the plate and left the bases loaded. Sheffield rebounded and allowed one run and three hits the rest of his outing, but his high pitch count ended his night after just four innings.

TUESDAY SHOWDOWN

Manager Scott Servais said left-hander Yusei Kikuchi will move back into the rotation on Tuesday night when the Mariners host the New York Yankees. His opponent on the mound: fellow Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in a matchup that is sure to draw plenty of attention back home in Japan.

Kikuchi was skipped this turn in the rotation in order for Sheffield to start. Kikuchi threw a two-hitter in his last start.

With Kikuchi returning to the rotation and the additions of Sheffield and Felix Hernandez, the Mariners will move lefty Wade LeBlanc to the bullpen.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Clay Buchholz is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list to start Sunday’s series finale. Buchholz has not pitched for Toronto since early May due to a muscle strain in his upper back.

Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger has been slowed down by a sore back that popped up during his rehab assignment. Servais was unsure the severity but was hopeful Haniger would be able to resume playing soon. … OF Braden Bishop (spleen) will be transferred to Triple-A Tacoma to continue his rehab assignment this weekend. … RHP Chasen Bradford underwent Tommy John surgery last week.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Toronto is expected to use an opener followed by RHP Brock Stewart (2-0, 7.43 ERA). Stewart allowed three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last outing.

Mariners: Hernandez (1-4, 6.52 ERA) will be activated off the 60-day injured list to make his first start since May 11. Hernandez initially suffered a lat strain and had several setbacks in his recovery. He’s expected to throw somewhere around 70 to 80 pitches.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Chinese ship inches closer to Vietnam coastline amid South China Sea tensions

HANOI (Reuters) – A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam’s coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China’s actions in the disputed waterways.

The Haiyang Dizhi 8 vessel first entered Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) early last month where it began a weeks-long seismic survey, triggering a tense standoff between military and coastguard vessels from Vietnam and China.

The Chinese vessel continued to survey Vietnam’s EEZ on Saturday under escort from at least four ships and was around 102 kilometers (63 miles) southeast of Vietnam’s Phu Quy island and 185 kilometers (115 miles) from the beaches of the southern city of Phan Thiet, according to data from Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessel movements.

The Chinese vessel group was followed by at least two Vietnamese naval vessels, according to the data.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

A country’s EEZ typically extends up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers or 230 miles) from its coastline, according to an international UN treaty. That country has sovereign rights to exploit any natural resources within that area, according to the agreement.

Vietnam and China have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters and a busy shipping lane in the South China Sea.

China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” marks a vast, U-shaped, expanse of the South China Sea that it claims, including large swathes of Vietnam’s continental shelf where it has awarded oil concessions.

On Friday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart expressed their concern about China’s activities in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Earlier in the week, the United States said it was deeply concerned about China’s interference in oil and gas activities in waters claimed by Vietnam, and that the deployment of the vessels was “an escalation by Beijing in its efforts to intimidate other claimants out of developing resources in the South China Sea”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in response to the U.S. statement, said Washington was “sowing division and had ulterior motives”.

“The aim is to bring chaos to the situation in the South China Sea and damage regional peace and stability. China is resolutely opposed to this,” Geng told a daily news briefing on Friday.

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'Grey's Anatomy': Why Sara Ramirez Has Zero Regrets About Leaving the Show

Sara Ramirez may not regret leaving Grey’s Anatomy when she did, but there may yet be a chance she could return before the series ends.

Notice we said “chance.” We’re not making any promises here. If NCIS can bring Cote de Pablo back from the “dead,” nothing seems impossible. But nothing is guaranteed either. And even if Ramirez doesn’t come back, somebody else who previously left the show might. 

Where Sara Ramirez stands on a return

One reason Ramirez could return is that her prior commitment, Madam Secretary, is off the table. Cinemablend reported that Ramirez will not be coming back as a series regular on that show because the timeline will jump two years for its final 10 episodes. Ramirez could make a guest appearance there too, but that would be all.

That would seemingly open the door to her coming back to Callie. However, Ramirez herself has given mixed signals on that possibility, sometimes in the same interview. In 2017, when EW asked her if she made the right decision in leaving, she said, “Absolutely.” But that didn’t necessarily mean she was saying never. 

“When (creator) Shonda [Rhimes] and I last spoke, we agreed to keep the conversations going, and she knows I’m open to keeping those conversations going,” she said. 

Why Ramirez left ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Ramirez, who had been with Grey’s since Season 2, departed at the end of the Season 12 finale. Her character Callie had moved to New York to be with then-girlfriend Penny (Samantha Sloyan). Ramirez and Rhimes made it clear the parting was amicable, unlike some others on the show. 

She said at the time:

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC but for now I’m taking some welcome time off. Shonda’s been so incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my love to Ellen (Pompeo), the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

Her departure didn’t shock everyone, given her longevity, but she had been a key component to the appeal of the show. Callie and Arizona, played by Jessica Capshaw, were well-loved by viewers, and their wedding had been one of the first same-sex unions in prime time.

Capshaw herself departed in season 14, making a return by Callie all the more logistically difficult. 

Who else could come back? 

If Ramirez doesn’t work out, there are a few other possibilities. Showrunner Krista Vernoff told TV Line. “I’m trying to get someone back. There’s someone I’m hoping will make an appearance this year, [but] it’s a real maybe. I’m trying.”

That description would seem to apply to Ramirez, but another strong possibility is Kate Walsh’s Addison. She was on the show from 2005 to 2012 and even had her own spinoff in Private Practice. Vernoff has called Season 16 one of family and fun, and Addison could fit either of those. 

On the other hand, “family and fun” would not necessarily apply to Katherine Heigl’s Izzie Stevens. Heigl won an Emmy for her work on the show, but she departed under acrimonious circumstances. Heigl herself has said her return might be distracting, but then again she would qualify as the “real maybe” that Vernoff mentioned.

Heigl is slated to appear in the Netflix series Firefly Lane, with another medical series veteran, Sarah Chalke of Scrubs

Grey’s run has been extended to at least 17 seasons. It’s now the longest-running medical drama of all time, and the third longest-running live-action scripted show that is still airing, after Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and NCIS

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Vincent Gallo Buys Trump Tower Condo at Heavy Discount in All Cash Deal

Vincent Gallo, one of Hollywood’s more enigmatic and eccentric if semi-retired ducks, a 2003 Palme de’Or nominee (“The Brown Bunny”) who hasn’t been seen on the silver screen in more than five years, has paid just under $1.5 million — in cash — for a one-bedroom and 1.5-bathroom condominium on a high floor of New York City’s Trump Tower. Gallo, a savvy real estate and architecture aficionado who makes no secret of his support for the building’s president owner, Donald Trump, told the New York Post he “could smell a slowdown in the market” and, without even touring the apartment personally, made a “lowball” offer with “no conditions and no contingencies” for the almost 1,100 sq. ft. unit that had languished on the market for more than three years with asking prices as unrealistically high as $3.4 million. Gallo, who ran away to New York as a teenager, recounted his awe of the building as it was built, a glistening phoenix that rose out of the blight of 1970s New York. He went to say he thinks Trump Tower is “the best building in New York,” which will no doubt please the resident president, and that this “was the best real estate deal” he’s made in a long time.

The front door opens efficiently if inelegantly directly into a 30-foot-long combination living/dining room stripped of almost all architectural detailing with basic parquet floors and two humongous floor-to-ceiling windows that provide up-close views of the surrounding towers and an inarguably spectacular, bird’s eye view down Fifth Avenue toward and beyond the Empire State Building. A short corridor with an itty-bitty coat closet and a convenient, nice-to-have powder room leads to a compact kitchen that does not benefit from a single window. With the same, cloud-walker views as the living room, the master bedroom includes two closets, one of them a walk-in almost as big as the kitchen, and a sizable bathroom with a bidet but without a window. The unit was listed with Leonel Piraino and Rafael Salas of Brown Harris Stevens.

While pets are forbidden, residents of the gold-trimmed black-glass high-rise pay hefty fees — Gallo’s unit traded with monthly common charges of nearly $1,900 plus almost $2,200 in monthly taxes — that provide them with a discreet lobby apart from the glitzy, triple-height atrium where Donald Trump announced his candidacy in 2015. There are full-time doormen, valet and concierge services and, because some rich people can’t be bothered to push a button or two, elevator operators.

Well known for his penchant for architecturally significant homes, the iconoclast filmmaker, musician, artist and dedicated provocateur is no stranger to property gossip columns. He once owned maverick architect John Lautner’s exotic Wolff Residence that’s snuggled dramatically into a steep hillside above the Sunset Strip; In 2005 he paid $2 million for David Geffen’s former duplex condo at the illustrious Sierra Towers complex in West Hollywood that he lucratively flipped the following year for $3 million to Cher, who in turn sold it in 2013 for $5.25 million to billionaire Vitasoy heiress Karen Lo; And, last year Gallo surmised Tucson, Ariz., was a good real estate bet and splashed out $3.25 million for a thrillingly cantilevered, Rick Joy-designed ultra-contemporary masterpiece with cinematic desert and city lights views.

Popular on Variety

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Hilary Duff to Reprise Lizzie McGuire on Disney+’s Sequel Series

Hilary also shared the exciting news on her Instagram account, writing, ‘SURPRISE!!! I’ve been trying to contain this excitement for a loooong time while this has been in the works!’

AceShowbiz -Everyone, Lizzie McGuire is back! Disney announced during its D23 Expo convention on Friday, August 23, that it would be rebooting “Lizzie McGuire“, one of the most popular shows on Disney Channel. As if that isn’t exciting enough, original star Hilary Duff is also set to star on the sequel, reprising the titular character.

The new “Lizzie McGuire” series will air on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. The new series reportedly will revolve around 30-year-old millennial Lizzie who is navigating life in New York City. Original series creator Terri Minsky is attached as showrunner on the series.

“The good news is, just like me and everybody who loved Lizzie and has grown up with her, Lizzie’s also grown up,” Duff said about the revived show while on stage. Of her character, the actress explained, “She’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget, which is super exciting. She has her dream job. She has kind of the perfect life right now.”

“She’s working as an apprentice to a fancy New York City decorator,” she continued teasing. “She has her dream guy, who owns a cool SoHo restaurant. She has her dream apartment in Brooklyn. And she’s getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday.”

Despite her being matured, fans would still see the animated alter ego of Lizzie’s inner thoughts on the new show. “She is still dealing with that 13-year-old no-holds-barred animated Lizzie that’s constantly babbling in her adult Lizzie head,” Duff said. “So she has to deal with that. But I think that’s what’s going to make it really special.”

Hilary also shared the exciting news on her Instagram account. “SURPRISE!!! I’ve been trying to contain this excitement for a loooong time while this has been in the works!” she wrote in the caption alongside a clip of the original show. “I am beyond excited to be home again, back with my girl…and into her 30’s.”

Airing from 2001-2004, the original “Lizzie McGuire” followed 13-year-old Lizzie, who dreamt of being popular in school, and featured her animated alter ego that represents her true feelings. The series was also adapted into a movie, titled “The Lizzie McGuire Movie”, back in 2003.

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Dwight Howard Eyes a Chance at Redemption With the Lakers

Dwight Howard, once one of the most dominant players in the N.B.A., is poised to get yet another shot to resurrect his troubled career, this time in a return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Howard, a 33-year-old center who spent a contentious season with the Lakers in 2012-13, has agreed to a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies, and he is expected to sign a non-guaranteed deal with Los Angeles after the buyout is official and he clears waivers, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly. Howard’s plans were first reported by The Athletic.

Once the signing is official, the Lakers will be Howard’s sixth team in five years.

The Lakers were in sudden need of help in the frontcourt after DeMarcus Cousins, who signed with the team in free agency this summer, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee this month. The injury will most likely keep him out for the season.

Howard will be part of a motley crew of past-their prime veteran castoffs whose sole job is to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis bring a 17th championship to the Lakers. But Howard’s fit with the team is perhaps more doubtful than any of the other pieces, given his difficult previous season there and what has become of him since.

In the early years of Howard’s career, his hulking physique, athleticism and jovial personality cemented him as a star. Taken as the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Orlando Magic in 2004, he became known for his exceptional rebounding and won three straight defensive player of the year awards. In Orlando, he reminded many observers of another former Magic center: Shaquille O’Neal.

But the lofty expectations of Howard’s prime quickly came crashing down, as injuries and an increasing preference in the league for big men who can shoot reduced his on-court value. Additionally, there was a perception, fair or not, that he didn’t take the game seriously enough.

Howard joined the Lakers in 2012 as part of a four-team trade. He played through a back injury and had a good season statistically (17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds, which led the league). But the Lakers were swept out of the first round of the playoffs, and Howard and Kobe Bryant, the franchise superstar, never clicked.

“I tried teaching Dwight,” Bryant later told USA Today. “I tried showing him.” He added that he thought Howard had the wrong idea about what it took to win a championship.

Howard left for a fresh start in Houston, where he played three seasons. From there, he bounced from Atlanta to Charlotte, and last year, to the Washington Wizards, where he missed most of the season with a variety of back and hamstring injuries before he was traded to the Grizzlies.

In a July interview with The Athletic, Howard said he was ready to do whatever was necessary to win. “I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am.”



Sopan Deb is a culture reporter, writing about the intersection of politics and culture, among other topics. He covered Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign for CBS News, and his work has appeared on NBC, Al Jazeera America and elsewhere. @sopandeb

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