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Singapore slashes jail term for showbiz pastor

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The head of a wealthy Singaporean Christian church who spent $35m in congregation funds on a failed bid to promote his wife’s music career, had his jail term slashed on appeal on Friday.

The case, which involved raunchy music videos featuring celebrities like rapper Wyclef Jean alongside the wife of City Harvest Church’s leader Kong Hee, originally saw the senior pastor handed an eight year jail term.

But Singapore’s High Court halved the 52-year-old’s 2015 sentence for misusing around Sg$50m ($35.6m) in church funds in the failed attempt to turn his wife Sun Ho, also a pastor, into a global pop star.

The case was described by state prosecutors as the largest misappropriation of charity funds in Singapore’s legal history.

Prosecutors had argued that Kong should be jailed 11-12 years, but the high court on Friday sentenced him to three years and six months jail.

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Five other leaders at the glitzy megachurch, which used pop music to attract members and boost donations, also saw their original prison sentences reduced by the court ruling.

A district court in 2015 convicted all six church leaders of fraud for diverting Sg$24m from the church building fund to help Sun, a Mandarin pop singer, break into the global English-language market.

They were also found guilty of misappropriating another Sg$26m to cover their tracks with a complex web of sham financial transactions.

Sun moved to Los Angeles in 2009 where she starred in several racy videos, including China Wine, which was widely viewed – and ridiculed – on YouTube.

Appeals court judge Chao Hick Tin said the prison terms were cut as the six had acted in what they felt were the best interests of the church.

“The project was endorsed by the body of CHC,” the judge said.

Tiny Singapore is one of the world’s most affluent nations. Despite being a largely Buddhist and Taoist society, the city-state is home to well-funded Christian groups.

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UCL Quarterfinal Draw: Man United Rewarded with Barca after PSG comeback

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Manchester United have been drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Tottenham will play Manchester City.

Last season’s finalists Liverpool will play Porto as Ajax will be up against Juventus in the other ties.

The semi-final draw was also made and Manchester United will meet Liverpool if both win their last-eight ties.

The quarter-final first legs take place on 9 April and 10 April. The semi-finals start on 30 April and 1 May.

The Champions League final takes place on 1 June at Madrid’s 68,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano, home of Atletico Madrid.

Quarter – Finals

Ajax vs Juventus (April 10 at Johan Cruijff Arena, April 16 at Allianz Stadium

Liverpool vs Porto (April 9 at Anfield, April 17 at  Estadio do Dragao

Tottenham vs Manchester City (April 9 at Spurs Stadium, April 17 at Ethiad)

Barcelona vs Manchester United (April 10 at Old Trafford, April 16 at Nuo Camp)

Semi – Finals

Tottenham/Manchester City vs Ajax/Juventus

Barcelona/Manchester vs Liverpool/Porto

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Brazil: Unknown gunmen killed teenage students.

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Police has condemned the incident that took place at a school in south east Brazil, killing at least seven students and one employee,



The reason of the attack is yet to be known as as investigation is still ongoing. However, the two gunmen who started the shooting later killed themselves.

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São Paulo state governor João Doria,  expressed dismay after visiting the school, stating ”it is the saddest thing I’ve seen in my entire life. The teenagers who were brutally murdered”.

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