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George Michael dead at 53: Sex, Drugs took Toll on troubled Singer-songwriter

He would smoke enormous amounts of marijuana - up to 25 joints a day at some points in his career

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FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 photo, George Michael sings during a concert to raise money for the AIDS charity Sidaction, in Paris, France. VOA
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London, December 26, 2016: Singer-songwriter George Michael, who was found dead on Sunday at his home in Oxfordshire, England, had once said that he had spent the past 20 years trying to sabotage his glittering career via a series of humiliating drug and sex scandals.

“But my career just seems to right itself like a plastic duck in a bath and, in some ways, I resent that,” he said.

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Michael, who wrote and performed pop classics including “Careless whisper”, “Praying for time” and “Faith”, said that he suffered from two afflictions -‘grief and self-abuse’, reports dailymail.co.uk.

He would smoke enormous amounts of marijuana – up to 25 joints a day at some points in his career. He also struggled with depression, following the death of his lover Anselmo Feleppa from an HIV-related illness in 1993, and of his mother, of cancer, in 1997.

His drug use included a dependency on sleeping pills and a dabble with designer drug GHB. In 2008, Michael was caught smoking crack cocaine in a public toilet.

Michael was in the habit of cruising for sex with strangers – an activity he declared he had started in his teens. He had told friend Piers Morgan that he had up to 500 sexual partners in seven years.

Eventually, his relationship with long-term lover Kenny Goss also collapsed. They had been together for 12 years and some believed that he missed their relationship to the very last.

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According to dailymail.co.uk, Goss remained close to Michael after the break up. Goss even flew to Austria to visit him in hospital when he contracted pneumonia in November 2011.

Earlier that year, he had decided he should stop making such a mess of his life, and move forward. The final straw had been his jailing, for a second drug-driving offence, in September 2011.

The singer, who had dropped out of public view after releasing his last album “Symphonica” in March 2014, was said to be smoking crack cocaine again.

In September this year, it was announced his 1990 album “Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1” was set to be reissued, accompanied by a film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom! ’90.

His last boyfriend Fadi Fawaz is a London-based hair stylist of Lebanese origin. They were last seen together in September last year, after which Michael was rarely seen in public, reports dailymail.co.uk.

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Michael sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning four decades. He was one of pop music’s reigning stars in the 1980s and 1990s and some of his popular singles includes “Wake me up before you go-go” with Wham!. Later he released a pop album in 1987 titled “Faith”.

He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for “I knew you were waiting (for me)”, a duet with Aretha Franklin, and “Faith” won the Grammy for Album of the Year. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)