World news wrapup: 12 September 2019

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Former pharmacist pleads guilty to upskirting, bathroom recording charges; pharmacist convicted over circumcising boy without parental consent; Fred’s is no more

Portland, Oregon: Former pharmacist Johnny Tuck Chee Chan has pleaded guilty to 20 counts of first-degree invasion of personal privacy, after he used hidden cameras to record images of co-workers at a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.

According to Oregon Live, the case involved 78 victims, some of whom were minors.

Mr Chan was arrested in 2018 after it was alleged that he recorded colleagues at the pharmacy, in toilets which were not open to the public. It was alleged that Mr Chan took a number of recordings of some of the female victims, and that he altered some of the video imagery so that he could watch it in slow motion.

He also “upskirted” several female co-workers who had been seated at their desks, taking video imagery without their knowledge.

After his job at Kaiser was terminated following the allegations, he took a job at a Banana Republic Factory Store in Portland where he continued to film co-workers in the bathroom.

Mr Chan has reportedly agreed to a 12-year sentence for the crimes, though a sentencing hearing will take place in October.


London, UK: A 70-year-old pharmacist who had a boy circumcised without his parents’ consent has walked free after being convicted of unlawful wounding.

Martina Obi-Uzom, of the Lighthouse Pharmacy in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was entrusted with the 11-month-old boy’s care for a weekend in September 2017.

According to the Standard, Ms Obi-Uzom and a male acquaintance took the boy to London to see a Jewish mohel to have the boy circumcised according to her particular Christian beliefs. She posed as his mother while the man posed as the boy’s father.

She signed a parental consent form which the mohel accepted and the boy was circumcised, despite his real mother’s opposition to the procedure. When his mother found out, she alerted police.

Ms Obi-Uzom was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £1500 (AUD$2698) costs and a £140 (AUD$252) victim surcharge.

She now reportedly faces losing her pharmacy business.


Dallas, Texas: The Fred’s, Inc chain has filed for voluntary relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court, the group said in a statement.

The company will wind down its entire operation and has commenced liquidation sales at all retail locations. These are expected to close over the 60 days from September 9, 2019.

The company expects to continue fulfilling pharmacy prescriptions at most of its pharmacy locations, while it continues to pursue the sale of its pharmacies as part of the court supervised proceedings.

“Despite our team’s best efforts, we were not able to avoid this outcome,” said Joe Anto, Chief Executive Officer at Fred’s. 

“I want to thank all of our employees for their hard work and continued support of the Company as we wind-down our operations.”

Fred’s has filed customary motions with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking a variety of “first-day” relief for the filing entities, including authorisation to continue paying employee wages and salaries and continue providing employee benefits without interruption, and certain other customary relief.


Dublin, Ireland: A pharmacist has received accolades after he saved the life of a woman who presented to the pharmacy experiencing anaphylactic shock.

According to The Irish Sun, Emmett McCann was on duty at the McCabes Pharmacy in Northwood, Dublin when a woman who was “really struggling to breathe” came in.

“It was quite a stressful and scary situation,” Mr McCann told the Sun.

“I could see the rash on her neck so I knew she had an allergy. I thought I’d have to do CPR on her. I gave her a shout of adrenaline and it didn’t really do anything.

“Then I gave her a second and it seemed to work until the ambulance arrived.

“I then heard that she required two more in the ambulance but from what I’ve heard she seems to be good now, thank God,” said Mr McCann, who also has training as a doctor.

The woman’s daughter used social media to thank Mr McCann for saving her mother’s life.

“Four adrenaline shots, resus and a hair’s breath (sic) from life support,” she wrote.

“Whoever you are Emmett and hospital staff I will forever be grateful. If anyone knows of this guy I’d love to thank him.”

Mr McCann used the opportunity to encourage people with allergies to carry an EpiPen and be ready to use it.

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