Jüri Ratas resigned as prime minister of Estonia and head of the Centre Party on Wednesday, amid allegations of corruption against his party.On Tuesday, the Estonian Public Prosecutor’s Office announced it suspected the Centre Party and five individuals, including its Secretary-General Mihhail Korb, were involved in “possible corruption” in relation to allegations of influence peddling and bribery over the Porto Franco property development project in Tallinn.Ratas said in a statement published on Facebook that while he had been told he was not personally implicated in the allegations and had never knowingly made any “malevolent or knowingly wrong” decisions during his time as PM, he was taking “political responsibility” and stepping aside. “The suspicions lodged by the Office of the Prosecutor General … do not yet mean that someone is definitely guilty, but they inevitably cast a serious shadow on all the parties involved,” Ratas wrote. “In such a situation, giving, through my resignation, a possibility to shed light on all circumstances and achieve clarity seems the only right thing to do.”According to local media, under the constitution, Ratas’ resignation will lead to the dissolution of the current government, with Ratas likely continuing to act as a caretaker prime minister until a new one is formed.
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed today and this weekend. Gloria Estefan to Guest Star on One Day at a Time RebootMusic legend Gloria Estefan, co-creator of the hit musical On Your Feet!, has been announced to appear on season three of Netflix’s reimagining of the classic sitcom One Day at a Time (for which Estefan composed the theme song). Estefan will play Mirtha, “baby sister and arch-nemesis” to Lydia, played by acting icon Rita Moreno. A season-three release date for the series will be announced at a later time.A Bronx Tale’s Richard H. Blake Sets Feinstein’s/54 Below Concert ReturnBroadway veteran Richard H. Blake has announced a return concert engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below! The star of A Bronx Tale will offer up his cabaret Music of My Life at the midtown hotspot on July 9 at 7:00pm. Music of My Life weaves together unbelievable stories and memorable songs from Blake’s life and career as he takes audiences on a journey from clumsy, accident-prone kid to Broadway leading man. The cabaret will feature direction by Joe Ricci and musical direction by Meg Zervoulis.Lillian Hellman’s Days to Come to Receive Rare Off-Broadway RevivalOff-Broadway’s Mint Theater Company has announced a staging of the rarely produced play Days to Come by Tony-nominated playwright Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes). Performances will begin on August 2 at the Beckett Theater at Theatre Row with an opening set for August 26. Days to Come is a family drama set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town which threatens to tear apart both town and family. J.R. Sullivan will direct a cast that includes Mary Bacon, Janie Brookshire, Larry Bull, Chris Henry Coffey, Dan Daily, Ted Deasy, Roderick Hill, Betsy Hogg, Kim Martin-Cotten, Geoffrey Allen Murphy and Evan Zes. Days to Come will play a limited engagement through September 30. View Comments Gloria Estefan(Photo: Ben Hider/Getty Images)
Judge Roby worries about ‘massive judicial burnout’ Judge Roby worries about ‘massive judicial burnout’ In the 19th Circuit, Chief Judge William Roby says resources “have been stretched paper thin” and he’s worried about “massive burnout” of his judges. “Our family judges are working in their offices from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. on many days, and are taking vast amounts of paperwork home at night and on weekends to complete.“These work habits, workloads, and type of stressful cases are an unhealthy combination for any person, especially people who are under tremendous stress from hearing extremely emotional cases,” Roby said.Because of lost support staff in the family division, “now our judges have to spend valuable court time doing clerical functions, both in and out of court, rather than productively hearing cases and making decisions. Pro se cases are continually delayed, because i’s have not been dotted and t’s haven’t been properly crossed” and, therefore, judges cannot go forward with the cases.“Pro se litigants are voicing their frustration on messages left for case managers and the trial court administrator.”Felony judges in four counties are swamped.“We will need to move some of our county judges into the circuit felony division just to help us keep our heads above water. This will result in evictions and other county civil cases having to sit on the back burner for a considerable length of time,” Roby said.Family court case mangers have been whittled down from seven to four.“The impact to children and families could reasonably be severe to the individuals involved. Children in dysfunctional family systems may be at risk of harm due to the significant lack of court resources to effectively identify, coordinate, and manage the related cases. Victims of domestic violence may not receive all the protections afforded under our laws due to insufficient staffing resources to be able to provide to the court the necessary criminal and domestic violence information at the time of disposition on final injunctions.”Losing a senior trial court law clerk and trial court law clerk has caused a huge workload, delays, and backlog of post-conviction cases.“Ultimately, the margin of error becomes larger with fewer trial court law clerks to perform increasing workloads. Such errors may result in re-hearing and re-trying cases at substantial costs,” Roby said. — Senior Editor Jan Pudlow December 15, 2008 Regular News
1 of 1 FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 file photo, singer/songwriter Paul McCartney performs on stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Former Beatle McCartney has told a British newspaper he believes he once saw God during a psychedelic trip. The 76-year-old music legend told The Sunday Times he was “humbled” by the experience. The music legend is promoting a new album and a fall tour, it was reported on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File) LONDON | Former Beatle Paul McCartney has told a British newspaper he believes he once saw God during a psychedelic trip.The 76-year-old star told The Sunday Times he was “humbled” by the experience.He said that “it was huge. A massive wall that I couldn’t see the top of, and I was at the bottom. And anybody else would say it’s just the drug, the hallucination, but we felt we had seen a higher thing.”The Beatles’ music was heavily influenced by psychedelic drugs in the band’s final years.McCartney also spoke of allowing himself to believe that his lost loved ones, including his late wife Linda, are “looking down” on him.The singer is promoting a new album and a tour. He remains one of music’s most popular concert acts.