Doc rules MJ’s death a homicide

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson’s death has been declared a homicide by Los Angeles coroners as they revealed the singer had a lethal cocktail of six different drugs in his body when he died. The county coroner’s office issued a brief statement ruling that the superstar’s death was unlawful.

The statement said that while ‘acute intoxication’ from the powerful anesthetic propofol was the primary cause of death, Jackson, 50, had also suffered from the effects of other powerful drugs in his system including lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine and ephedrine.

The coroner’s announcement will fuel speculation that authorities are likely to charge Jackson’s personal physician Conrad Murray in connection with the death. Cardiologist Murray was the last person to see Jackson alive. A lawyer for Murray issued a barbed statement to this announcement, saying the coroner’s release ‘contains nothing new.’

Murray administered propofol and other drugs to Jackson, at the star’s insistence, to treat his insomnia, but was worried Jackson had developed an addiction and ‘tried to wean Jackson off of the drug,’ the affidavit said.

The affidavit revealed that Murray confessed to investigators two days after the star died that he had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol nightly during the six weeks prior to the event. Murray told investigators he was not the first doctor to administer propofol to the King of Pop, who referred to the drug as his ‘milk,’ wrote LAPD detective Orlando Martinez.

Medical experts said the cocktail of drugs apparently given to Jackson was extremely dangerous and police would need to determine whether administering it was

tantamount to medical negligence.

Bollywood’s tribute

MUMBAI: Some of Bollywood’s biggest stars released a free musical tribute to Michael Jackson to mark what would have been the late US star’s 51st


The video, called Make It Large — A Tribute to Michael Jackson, features introductions from actors including Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and cricketer Yuvraj Singh. None of the stars charged for starring in the video, which fans can download from the website of Khan’s production company, Red Chillies Entertainment.

In it, Khan says of Jackson, “We’ve lost a part of our history; some of us have lost a part of our growing up.” Some people teach by their words, others by their lives. Thanks for being with us for ever.”

The song, written by leading film composer Vishal Dadlani, is sung by top Indian stars like Shankar, Shaan, KK and Shreya Ghoshal as dancers perform Jackson’s trademark steps in the background. — AFP



LOS ANGELES: Propofol, the drug blamed for killing Jackson, is a fast-acting hospital sedative, administered intravenously and used as a precursor for anaesthesia. The drug, made by the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, is also sold under the brand name of Diprivan.

The drug is administered either by intravenous drip or by injector ahead of anaesthesia or to keep the patient anaesthetised during an operation. “Propofol is a preferred sedative in the operating theatre because it is well tolerated and enables patients to recover swiftly and well,” said Francois Chast, head of the pharmacology department at Paris’s Hotel-Dieu Hospital.

Propofol is also used as a painkiller or anti-anxiety

drug in post-operative care. “An overdose of Propofol

can impede respiratory and cardiovascular function, leading to cardiac arrest,” said Chast. — AFP

15,000 to dance to Thriller

MEXICO CITY: Up to 15,000 people in Mexico are expected to take part in a potentially record breaking mass performance of Michael Jackson’s famed Thriller dance on the day he would have turned 51.

“We’re expecting between 12,000 and 15,000 participants,” said Javier Hidalgo, director of youth services in Mexico City.

That would be more than enough to beat a similar effort by fans in Barcelona to set a new world record for the number of people performing the famed dance that accompanied Jackson’s hit song.

Just 300 people have signed up for the attempt in the Spanish city, according to Mexico City’s Tourism Secretary Alejandro Rojas.

The world record, as certified by the Guinness Book of Records, was set on April 19 in the US by 242 dancers.

The event is being sponsored by Mexico City, but was originally the idea of a group of friends who organised the record attempt on the Internet social networking site, Facebook. — AFP