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#1 11-09-2018 04:50:55

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Date d'inscription: 17-07-2018
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energy giant Gazprom decided on Mon

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by Liu Li ugg boots chestnut ireland , Liang Menglong


NEW YORK, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A man in a Spider-Man costume, who was arrested last year on accusation of punching a woman in Times Square following an argument over a tip, was found not guilty of assault. He was just fined for ""inappropriate"" behaviors by a court in New York City.


The costumed Spider-Man was Philip Williams, 36. He was cleared for release in June without more serious assault charge which carried a possible jail term.


Though the dust surrounding the case settled, the outcome of Williams' trial, however, raised concerns over the problems caused by dozens of costumed figures around Times Square, known as ""the Crossroads of the World"", which attracts over 39 million visitors annually.


The Spider-Man case and disturbances in Times Square are not a first time occurrence. Two years ago, a street performer dressed as a video game character Super Mario was accused of groping a woman. Last fall, New York Police arrested a man dressed as Elmo, a Muppet character on the children's television show Sesame Street, for shouting inappropriate words. Even more recently, a 22-year- old man wearing a Spider-Man costume, allegedly harassed a woman during photo shooting in Broadway Street near Times Square.


New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said recently at a meeting on the City's Midtown conditions of the Times Square Alliance that ""This (the costumed characters in Times Square) is a cancer on Times Square that has to be excised soon.""


New York City Councilman Andy King also drafted a bill that would create a licensing system that includes background checks for the costumed characters, according to local media report.


An informal count by the Times Square Alliance, a non-profit organization, found one day in June 76 costumed characters such as Hello Kitty, Micky Mouse, the Statue of Liberty, or other American famous figures around the area, a major commercial intersection and a neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan.


In a walk of the area stretching from West 42nd to West 47th streets, a visitor can see people sell comedy tickets, men distribute alleged ""free"" hip-hop CDs, as well as the growing number of costumed entertainers who pose for pictures with tourists in a hope of getting tips.


Williams, who was just one of them who lives on the tips from the out-of-towner tourists, claimed that he punched the woman, a mom of two kids, in self-defense after the woman threw up ice onto his face during their unhappy argument over a tip.


""The problem is people are being taken advantage of by some of the entertainers in Times Square ...but there is no regulation,"" said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Squares Alliance, in a phone interview.


He said regulations can better protect street performers who are there legitimate to solicit business in a professional manner.


""But many of them surround tourists (to solicit a tip) and make them feel uncomfortable in Time Square,"" he noted.


The Alliance lobbies city officials to require licenses for costumed entertainers, though there is a risk to keep a balance between license requirements and performers' rights on the street.


The Alliance urges City Council to pass a bill that will give a ""facelift"" to Times Square, as approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square each day. The bill will remove performers that are not licensed to be there.


""I, personally, agree with a licensing scheme or background checks because I am a citizen,"" said a 20-year-old Hunter College student from Texas who dressed as Elmo but didn't want to identify herself by name.


""However, it's unnecessary because tourists love us and most of us are not troublemakers, but making this for a living,"" she said, adding that ""I even think they need to question those figures who are naked here, not us in hot costumes. Naked characters are not good for kids.""


""If I don't have class, I will bear this costume for 12 hours a day,"" she said and pointed the head of Elmo. ""It's so hard to breath in it.""


The costumed performers usually wave hands to tourists, especially to the kids to solicit or even panhandle for a tip from their parents in exchange for a photo. When the performers demand payment, this sometimes is interpreted as a harassment.


""We usually tell people we would like some 'donation' before their snapping,"" said a man wearing as a Spider-Man who identified himself only as Carle. ""Sometimes, they feel like they are in Disney and just leave after snapping. I am sad about this, but I will let them leave.""


Tompkins admitted that a major problem is that people who come here from all over the world don't understand the culture, like the tipping culture.


In a Western country, people automatically tip for the better service as a customary practice. In the United States, some businesses even impose mandatory gratuity on customer's bill which is deemed as a ""service charge"". However, in most Asian countries, tipping is acceptable but never expected at all.


""It's annoying those people 'include' you to take picture with them,"" said Hongsheng Fan, a Chinese tourist in his 40s, who managed to walk around the crowd of costumed characters in Times Square. ""It's also ridiculous to give them money for nothing they have done.""


Kimberly Mara, a photographer from Vancouver, Canada, quite understood people's feelings about the costumed characters, especially those from Asia.


""I had been in Beijing last year. People there are friendly but more conservative,"" said Mara after her daughter posed for a photograph with two Statues of Liberty and one Spider-Man. ""They definitely will feel uncomfortable if their daughter wears a skirt and is held by a stranger in furry at Times Square.""

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MOSCOW, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Russia's energy giant Gazprom decided on Monday to introduce prepayment reg



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