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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Kansas man struck by lightning hours after buying lottery tickets


A Kansas man was struck by lightning hours after buying three Mega Millions lottery tickets on Thursday, proving in real life the old saying that a gambler is more likely to be struck down from the sky than win the jackpot. Bill Isles, 48, bought three tickets in the record $656 million lottery Thursday at a Wichita, Kansas grocery store. On the way to his car, Isles said he commented to a friend: "I've got a better chance of getting struck by lightning" than winning the lottery. Later at about 9:30 p.m., Isles was standing in the back yard of his Wichita duplex, when he saw a flash and heard a boom -- lightning. "It threw me to the ground quivering," Isles said in a telephone interview on Saturday. "It kind of scrambled my brain and gave me an irregular heartbeat." Isles, a volunteer weather spotter for the National Weather Service, had his portable ham radio with him because he was checking the skies for storm activity. He crawled on the ground to get the radio, which had been thrown from his hand. Isles had been talking to other spotters on the radio and called in about the lightning strike. One of the spotters, a local television station intern, called 911. Isles was taken by ambulance to a hospital and kept overnight for observation. Isles said doctors wanted to make sure his heartbeat was back to normal. He suffered no burns or other physical effects from the strike, which he said could have been worse because his yard has a power line pole and wires overhead. "But for the grace of God, I would have been dead," Isles said. "It was not a direct strike." Isles said he had someone buy him ten more tickets to the Mega Millions lottery on Friday night. While one of the three winning tickets was sold in Kansas, Isles was not a winner. Officials of the Mega Millions lottery, which had the largest prize in U.S. history, said that the odds of winning lottery were about 176 million to one. Americans have a much higher chance of being struck by lightning, at 775,000 to one over the course of a year, depending on the part of the country and the season, according to the National Weather Service. Isles, who is out of work after being laid off last June by a furniture store, said he did once win $2,000 in the lottery and will keep playing. "The next time I will use the radio while sitting in the car," he said

Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll murder trial

PHOTOGRAPHS of the spot where gangland figure Kevin “Gerbil” Carroll was shot dead were shown to a murder trial jury yesterday. The pictures – shown on day one of the trial – included an image of an Audi with smashed windows. The court was told the car was “subject to a significant degree of examination”. Carroll, 29, was shot in the car park of Asda in Robroyston, Glasgow, in January 2010. Ross Monaghan, 30, has been accused of Carroll’s murder. It is alleged that, while masked and acting with others, Monaghan repeatedly discharged loaded handguns at him, shooting him on the head and body. Monaghan is accused of – while acting with others – attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of a revolver, pistol and ammunition in undergrowth in Coatbridge and Airdrie. It is also claimed a car bearing false number plates was set on fire. Monaghan also faces a number of firearms charges. He denies all the charges against him at the High Court in Glasgow and has incriminated Mr X, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and seven others. The trial, before Lord Brailsford, continues.

Friday, 30 March 2012

popular Caribbean dancing style used by adults, known as 'daggering', is sexualising the dance floors of a much younger generation.

 

 Teenagers as young as 11 are modelling sex acts and rape, in the form of daggering, on the dance floor with their peers. Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz said: "there's not a lot separating that kind of behaviour from actual violent, coercive sex." Footage seen by Channel 4 News [see above] shows an under-18s club night in East London. As with all 'under-18s' club nights, everyone is between 11 and 16. Some of the children look much younger. The club is packed. The music: Caribbean dancehall. The dancing style: daggering. It is a style of dancing that any carnival regular will be used to. Aficionados will no doubt, have a more technical description of the style but it mainly involves women bending over and rubbing their backsides up against the men's crotches. During that August weekend in Notting Hill every adult gives it a go. But what's different about this night club is that every child is giving it a go. Spurred on by the DJ, the 'daggering' becomes more enthusiastic, some of it verging on violent. Boys and girls end up on top of each other on the floor simulating sex. Throughout the night someone employed by the club promoter (presumably an adult) is filming it all and uploading it on the club's website via YouTube.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sarasota murders: double murder was 'a crime of blunder'


But despite speculation over gangs and its crime-ridden neighbourhood of Newtown, the city's deputy chief of police has said the incident was a one-off – a tragic case of unfortunate circumstances. Captain Paul Sutton, from Sarasota Police Department, said until the deaths of the British tourists in April last year, there had been no murders in Sarasota in 2011. In total, last year there were seven murders in the city – which has a population of around 52,000 but including tourists and visitors is around 100,000 on a day-to-day basis – and those seven included Mr Kouzaris and Mr Cooper. "This incident is not typical of Sarasota," he said. "When it happened on April 16 of last year, we had had no murders in the entire city prior to these two young men losing their lives. "This appears to be a series of unfortunate events."

Japan has carried out its first executions in more than 18 months, hanging three death row inmates

 

Japan has carried out its first executions in more than 18 months, hanging three death row inmates on Thursday morning and angering campaigners who believed the country was moving towards abolition. Reports said the three men were hanged at prisons in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. They included Yasuaki Uwabe, who was convicted of killing five people at a train station in 1999. The executions are the first since July 2010; none of the 132 people on death row were executed in all of 2011, the first time a year had passed without executions for 19 years. Their executions came as a blow to campaigners, who only this week welcomed Japan's apparent de facto moratorium on capital punishment. Hideki Wakabayashi, executive director of Amnesty International Japan, accused the Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) government of reneging on an earlier promise to look seriously at its use of the death penalty. "We still need to have a national debate," Wakabayashi told the Guardian. "But while we are doing that there has to be a moratorium on executions. The DPJ is supposed to support human rights. The executions also run against the international movement against he death penalty. I don't know where Japan thinks it is going with this." There is speculation that the justice minister, Toshio Ogawa, has come under pressure from senior DPJ colleagues, including the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, to sign off on executions while the party attempts to sell a controversial consumption tax rise to the public, which remains overwhelmingly in favour of the death penalty. "Public support for Noda's cabinet is declining, so my personal feeling is that this was one of many steps aimed at boosting its approval ratings," Wakabayashi said. Earlier this week Amnesty International had singled out Japan for praise over the absence of executions in 2011, despite evidence that successive justice ministers had come under intense pressure to sign death warrants. In the announcement, Amnesty's Catherine Baber did not that "executions could resume at any time". "We continue to be concerned for the roughly 130 people on death row, including several prisoners with mental illnesses, and we call on the minister of justice not to resume executions but rather to work towards abolition." In September 2010 the then justice minister, Keiko Chiba, ordered a review of the death penalty. Her four immediate successors refused to approve executions, but Ogawa, who was appointed to the post in January, said the review had reached an impasse. "I don't really want to do it, but its is part of the justice minister's job description," he told journalists. "With 130 inmates on death row and public opinion 85% in favour of the death sentence, it would be inexcusable of me not to sign off on executions." In a damning 2009 report Amnesty accused the Japanese authorities of subjecting death row inmates to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment". Campaigners have also voiced concern over the safety of several convictions, including that of Masaru Okunishi, who has spent four decades on death row for the poisoning deaths of five women in 1961. Prisoners are not told when they will be executed until a few hours before they are led away to the gallows, and their relatives and lawyers are informed only after the execution has been carried out. In a report issued this week, Amnesty noted a rise in the number of executions worldwide in 2011 [PDF], mainly due to a significant increase in the Middle East. The US - the only G7 country to carry out executions last year - is one of 58 countries including Japan, China and Iran that retain capital punishment. More than 140 countries, including all EU members, have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Shawn Tyson guilty of murdering two Britons in Florida

 

An American teenager has been found guilty of the first degree murder of two British tourists in Florida. James Cooper, 25, from Warwickshire, and James Kouzaris, 24, from Northampton, were shot dead on a public housing estate in Newtown, Sarasota. The pair, who met at Sheffield University, were killed after drunkenly wandering into the estate in the early hours of 16 April 2011. The court heard Shawn Tyson, 17, killed them after trying to rob them. Tyson, who was tried as an adult despite being 16 at the time of the shooting, faces life in prison with no chance of parole. 'Shattered soul' The families of Mr Cooper and Mr Kouzaris were not in court but said in a statement they were satisfied with the verdict. They added: "It is a fact that we were given a life sentence when our sons were so brutally and needlessly taken from us. "Ours is a life sentence, with no chance of parole from a broken heart, and a shattered soul." Mr Kouzaris and Mr Cooper had been out drinking in downtown Sarasota before they were shot The families also criticised the Sarasota court system that freed Tyson after a judge warned he was a danger to the public. Hours before he shot the two Britons, Tyson was arrested for a separate shooting incident in which no-one was hurt. In the statement the families said: "The evil of the killer is one thing, but the fact is, he would not have been on the streets had instructions to keep him incarcerated been passed from one judge to another." Killer's boast When the mistake came to light the Mayor of Sarasota, Kelly Kirschener, vowed the city's prosecutors would never let anything similar happen again. During the trial jurors heard how Mr Kouzaris and Mr Cooper had been out drinking in downtown Sarasota before getting lost and wandering into the Newtown area in the early hours. The prosecution said they were confronted by Tyson who tried to rob them and then shot them when he realised they had very little money. The court heard Tyson had boasted to his friend Latrece Washington, who testified against him, that one of the men had begged for his life but he shot him anyway.

French judges seek arrest of Equatorial Guinea leader's son

 

Two French judges sought an international arrest warrant for the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema on money laundering charges, a judicial source said on Tuesday. The two judges, Roger Le Loire and Rene Grouman, consider there are grounds to suspect that Teodorin Obiang, who is agriculture minister in the small, oil-rich central African country, acquired real estate in France by fraudulent means. The warrant will not be released until a prosecutor has reviewed the request and decides whether to proceed. Teodorin is frequently seen enjoying an extravagant lifestyle abroad with multi-million dollar mansions, jets and yachts. Billboards in the capital Malabo seek to show him at work and in touch with the people, but diplomats and analysts cite his playboy lifestyle as a cause for concern. The French judges, who have been handling the case since 2010 on the basis of "concealment of embezzled public funds," suspect that the properties were purchased with public money from Equatorial Guinea. The judges had previously sought permission from the government of Equatorial Guinea to question Teodorin, but that request was rejected, Olivier Pardo, lawyer for the oil producing nation, told Reuters in Paris. "Unless one wishes to violate the sovereignty of the State of Equatorial Guinea and harm relations between France and Equatorial Guinea, it is absurd to want to launch an arrest warrant," he said. As part of the investigation, French police raided a building belonging to Equatorial Guinea in a wealthy area of Paris in February. After three days they removed art works and fine wines worth several million euros. The building was valued at about 150 million euros and investigators say it housed a nightclub and hairdressers, which suggested it was not being used as a diplomatic residence. Anti-corruption organisation Transparency International had filed the original legal complaint against Teodorin Obiang. On March 1, Teodorin filed for defamation against Daniel Lebegue, the president of the French arm of Transparency, denying he had embezzled funds. President Teodoro Obiang has ruled the former Spanish colony for more than three decades, making him the longest-serving African leader following the demise of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, with rights groups labelling his regime one of the world's most corrupt. The country produces about 240,000 barrels of oil per day. In January, Teodorin asked a U.S. court to dismiss attempts by the Obama administration to seize some $71 million worth of his assets, denying charges that they were obtained with allegedly corrupt funds taken from his country. He argued he had not violated U.S. or Equatorial Guinea law and called the corruption allegations "character assassination" against him and his country. Equatorial Guinea in October said it wanted to appoint Teodorin as its deputy permanent delegate at U.N. cultural agency UNESCO in Paris, a position that would give him diplomatic status in France. Until now the agency has not received any official documentation to proceed further with that request.

Six Mexicans in Britain to watch Manchester United Javier Hernandez and other stars jailed after launching burglary spree when money ran out

 

Six Mexican holidaymakers went on a crime spree across Britain after they ran out of money on a tour of Premier League football stadiums. The gang targeted homes in West Lancashire and were linked to break-ins in Strathclyde in Scotland and Cumbria in just six days. They are all now behind bars after their tourist trip in October, as part of their dream to watch their footballing heroes, including Manchester United’s Mexican striker Javier Hernandez at Old Trafford, led to organised crime. Apart from one married couple, none of the offenders knew each other before they met in a London nightclub. Several of them spent too much on alcohol during their stay, Preston Crown Court heard. They smashed open the front doors of properties and ransacked bedrooms for jewellery, cash and electrical equipment. Addresses in Carlisle, Lancaster, Morecambe, Bolton-le-Sands and Strathclyde were targeted while the owners were out. The gang was caught travelling south through Staffordshire after their getaway vehicle details were flagged up by a member of the public who witnessed one of the raids. Their haul was recovered, as were papers with lists of addresses and a satellite navigation system which mapped out their route. Juan Castillo Fernandez, 28, Cuauthemoc Fernandez Gomez, 30, and Manuel Garcia, 44, were all jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary. Jose Vargas Gomez, 51, Juan Molina, 24, and Cristina Obregon, 22, were each imprisoned for 14 months after they pleaded guilty to possessing criminal property. All six, who were living in Lewisham, London, will be deported after serving their sentences. Judge Anthony Russell QC, said: “In my view your continued presence in this country - whose hospitality you have abused - is contrary to the public interest.”

JetBlue plane in emergency landing after captain's apparent breakdown


The captain of a JetBlue plane screamed "They're going to take us down!" and rambled about al-Qaida as passengers pinned him to the floor while another pilot took charge to make an emergency landing. An off-duty airline captain who was a passenger on the flight entered the cockpit, locked the door and landed in Amarillo, Texas, the airline said in a statement. JetBlue Airways said the original pilot on flight 191 from New York's John F Kennedy international airport had been taken to hospital after suffering a "medical situation" on board. The captain had earlier stormed through his plane rambling about a bomb and threats from Iraq until passengers on the Las Vegas-bound flight tackled him just outside the cockpit, passengers said. He had seemed disoriented, jittery and constantly sipped water when he first marched through the cabin, then began to rant about threats linked to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan after crew members tried to calm him down. "They're going to take us down! They're taking us down! Say the Lord's prayer!" the captain screamed, according to passenger Tony Antolino. Josh Redick, who was sitting near the middle of the plane, said the captain seemed "irate" and was "spouting off about Afghanistan and souls and al-Qaida". Gabriel Schonzeit, who was sitting in the third row, told the Amarillo Globe-News: "He started screaming about al-Qaida and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down." "A group of us just jumped up instinctually and grabbed him and put him to the ground," Antolino said after arriving in Las Vegas later Tuesday. "Clearly he had an emotional or mental type of breakdown." Antolino, a security executive, said he and three others pinned down the captain as he ran for the cockpit door and sat on him for about 20 minutes until the plane landed at Rick Husband Amarillo international airport at 10am. Shane Helton, 39, who was seeing off his son at Amarillo airport, said: "They pulled one guy out on a stretcher and put him in an ambulance." The flight had left New York around 7am and was in the air for three and a half hours before landing in Texas. The passengers completed their journey to Las Vegas several hours later on another flight. The FBI was co-ordinating an investigation with the police, the FAA and the Transportation Safety Administration, said FBI spokeswoman Lydia Maese in Dallas. She declined to comment on arrests. Earlier this month an American Airlines flight attendant took over the public address system on a flight bound for Chicago and spoke for 15 minutes about 9/11 and the safety of their plane, saying: "I'm not responsible for this plane crashing," passengers said. She was wrestled into a seat while the plane was grounded at Dallas-Fort Worth international airport. The attendant was taken to hospital. In 2008 an Air Canada co-pilot was forcibly removed from a Toronto to London flight, restrained and sedated after having a mental breakdown. A flight attendant with flying experience helped the pilot make an emergency landing in Ireland. None of the 146 passengers and nine crew members on board were injured. In August 2010 JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater pulled the emergency chute on a flight from Pittsburgh after it landed at John F Kennedy international airport. He went on the public address system, swore at a passenger, grabbed a beer and slid down the tarmac. He was sentenced to probation, counselling and substance abuse treatment for attempted criminal mischief. An aviation expert remembered only two or three cases in 40 years where a pilot had become mentally incapacitated during a flight. John Cox, an aviation safety consultant and former airline pilot, said incidents in which pilots become mentally incapacitated during a flight were "pretty rare". He said he could only recall two or three other examples in the more than 40 years he has been following commercial aviation. Airlines and the FAA strongly encouraged pilots to assert themselves if they thought safety was being jeopardised, even if it meant contradicting a captain's orders, Cox said. Aviation safety experts had studied several cases where first officers deferred to more experienced captains with tragic results. In Tuesday's case the FAA is likely to review the unidentified captain's medical certificate, which must be renewed every six months to a year.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cannabis: Legal high

 

CANNABOOST plant food is one of the best selling products at the Hydroexpress hydroponics store in Stirchley, a working-class part of Birmingham. The small shop, its windows filled with graffiti-style posters, also sells fertilisers with names like “Nirvana” and “Bud Candy”, alongside strong lights and giant rolls of tin foil to line greenhouses. In one corner, a couple of juicy-looking tomato plants grow in a demonstration set-up. But the youth behind the counter guesses that his customers are “not all growing tomatoes”. Birmingham now has 58 hydroponics shops, up from 42 just a year ago. Whether aided by the latest plant-growing technology or not, cannabis production is soaring. According to the Association of Chief Police Officers, the number of cannabis factories detected each year increased from around 800 in 2004 to 7,000 in 2010. Birmingham is one of the most fertile areas; West Midlands Police, which set up a Cannabis Disposal Unit in 2010 to tackle the problem, dismantled more than 500 factories last year. Your correspondent visited one recently closed by police; the gardener was a cocaine-addicted woman growing a few plants in a spare room in the hope of earning a cut. Other set-ups have been found in tents in the bedrooms of high-rise council flats and in the lofts of terraced family houses. Many growers are simply feeding their own habits. As one officer on the West Midlands Police drugs team says, “It’s becoming the most popular cottage industry in the country.” In this section A big splash with little cash Falling flat Earning a hearing The worst job in the world Constituency of the world Mother tongue Money for old metal »Legal high A rock and a hard place The Notting Hill budget Reprints Related topics United Kingdom Birmingham, England Small growers are squeezing out both importers and the well-connected, often Vietnamese, gangs that once dominated domestic production. The big cannabis factories set up by the latter, with their telltale heat hazes, are fairly easy to spot. Smaller operations are often uncovered only when the electric lights start fires, or when local teenagers mount a burglary. The police and the courts can neither keep up with the surge in small-scale production, nor are they desperately keen to do so. Last month the government published new sentencing guidelines that advised judges to treat small cultivators less strictly. Attitudes to smokers are softening, too. The reclassification of cannabis in 2009, from class C to the more stringent class B, was oddly accompanied by a more liberal approach to policing consumption. Users caught on the street are rarely arrested; rather, they are issued “cannabis cautions” (a reprimand which doesn’t appear on a criminal record) or fined. In Brixton, a south London neighbourhood, an open-air cannabis market exists within ten minutes’ walk of the underground station. The dealers are frequently moved on but they soon regroup elsewhere. As one dealer admits, his competitors are a bigger hassle than the police. “They get to fightin’, over money and things,” he says in a deep Caribbean drawl. Violence is far more likely to get a dealer into legal trouble than business. Strangely, this lackadaisical approach is not encouraging people to take up the reefer habit. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the proportion of people who admit to having used cannabis in Britain has fallen more quickly than in any other European country over the past few years. Just 6.8% of adults told another survey that they used cannabis in 2010, down from 10.9% eight years earlier. The herb is now ubiquitous and effectively tolerated—and, perhaps as a result, not all that alluring.

Cat-Sized Rats Invade Florida

 

Cat-sized rats are causing trouble in the Florida keys. A pack of Gambian giant pouched rats have been breeding in the keys despite officials’ efforts to eradicate them. NBC Miami reports that Officials are worried about the vermin making it over to the mainland, saying that the hungry species could wipe out crops and upset the delicate ecological balance in Florida. Scort Hardin, the exotic species coordinator for Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said: “We thought we had them whipped as of 2009…. In the early part of 2011, a resident e-mailed me and said he saw one of the rats. We were skeptical but went back and talked to people and [saw] there were rats that we missed.” Hardin believes that there are less than two dozen giant rats roaming Grassy Key where they were trapped during multiple efforts last year. The Wildlife Conservation Commission will set out once again this July in an attempt to trap the Gambian giant pouched rats. Hardin told Keys Net: “I would not imagine there’s more than another couple of dozen at most. We’ve caught them all within a half-mile of each other… We think they have not moved far but they clearly reproduced.” MSNBC reports that the cat-sized rats were introduced to the island by a local rat breeder more than a decade ago. The rats have moved into the wild where they are now breeding and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Whitney Houston full autopsy report to offer more details

Whitney Houston’s full autopsy report may offer more clues about whether the singer suffered a heart attack before her drowning death, officials said Friday. The full report, which is expected to be released in a few weeks, may include test results and physical descriptions of the singer’s heart that will show whether she suffered a heart attack, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. The report is being compiled and Winter said he did not have access to its findings, which might show whether there were any obvious signs such as discoloration of her heart that would suggest Houston had a heart attack before slipping underwater in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11. Houston’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. The report also will include detailed toxicology results that will show how much cocaine and its byproducts were in Houston’s system when she died. Coroner’s officials said Thursday that the results showed the singer used cocaine shortly before her death, and there were indications of chronic use. Beverly Hills police detectives will use the full coroner’s report to complete their investigative file, which is not expected to be publicly released. The department has said there were no signs of foul play in connection with Houston’s death. Houston’s death on the eve of the Grammy Awards stunned the music industry and fans worldwide. The singer had battled addiction for years, but friends and family have said she appeared committed to making a comeback in the months before her death.

Pakistani Taliban training Frenchmen


Pakistani intelligence officials say dozens of French Muslims have been training with the Taliban in northwest Pakistan. The officials said on Saturday they were investigating whether Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent suspected of killing seven people in southern France, had been part of this group. Merah traveled to Pakistan in 2011 and said he trained with al-Qaida in Waziristan. He was killed in a gunfight with police Thursday in the French city of Toulouse. The officials said 85 Frenchmen have been training with the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal area for the past three years. Most have dual nationality with France and North African countries. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Sex is a multibillion-dollar industry in Spain, with colorfully lit brothels staffed mainly by poor immigrant women from Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe lining highways throughout the country

Pimps Arrested in Spain for 'Barcoding' Women

Police in Spain arrested 22 alleged pimps who purportedly tattooed women with bar codes as a sign of ownership and used violence to force them into prostitution.  Police are calling the gang the "bar code pimps." Officers freed one 19-year-old woman who had been beaten, held against her will and tattooed with a bar code and an amount of money — €2,000 ($2,650) — which investigators believe was the debt the gang wished to extort before releasing her. The woman had also been whipped, chained to a radiator and had her hair and eyebrows shaved off, according to an Interior Ministry statement.All those arrested were of Romanian nationality and had forced the women to hand over part of their earnings, the statement said. The women were tattooed on their wrists if they tried to escape, the statement said. Police also seized guns and ammunition. It was not immediately clear when the raids took place. Police seized €140,000 ($185,388) in cash, which had been hidden in a false ceiling, a large amount of gold jewelry and five vehicles, three of which were described as luxury cars. The gang was made up of two separate groups, referred to as "clans" in the statement, each dedicated to controlling prostitution along fixed stretches of a street in downtown Madrid. One of the alleged ringleaders who was identified only by the initials "I.T." is wanted by authorities in Romania for crimes linked to prostitution, the statement said. The women were controlled at all times to ensure "money was taken off them immediately," the statement said.   Sex is a multibillion-dollar industry in Spain, with colorfully lit brothels staffed mainly by poor immigrant women from Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe lining highways throughout the country. Prostitution falls in legal limbo: it is not regulated, although pimping is a crime. The northeastern city of Barcelona plans to introduce regional legislation in coming weeks banning prostitution on urban streets.

Serbian mafia 'put gangster in mincer and ate him for lunch'

Milan Jurisic

Gang that assassinated Serbian prime minister admits making 'face mask' out of member's skin

A GANGSTER who helped orchestrate the Serbian prime minister's assassination in 2003 was allegedly made into a stew and eaten by his associates after falling out with his gang leader.
 
Police believe Milan Jurisic (above) was beaten to death with a hammer, skinned and boned with a sharp knife and then put through a meat grinder at a flat in Madrid in 2009.
 
The Zemun clan, a notorious faction of the Serbian mafia that once had connections with the Serbian government, police and media, allegedly made a face mask from Jurisic's skin before turning him into stew and eating him for lunch.
 
It apparently took the gang five days to clean up what is being described as "the house of horrors".
 
Sretko Kalinic, nicknamed 'The Butcher' and known as the gang's hitman, confessed to the crimes when he was arrested in Croatia last year, according to the Daily Mail. Kalinic admitted that he "literally dismembered" Jurisic and then threw his remains into Madrid's Manzanares river.
 
This week, Spanish officers discovered documents at the scene of the crime supporting The Butcher's account. They also found 50 bones in the river and are currently awaiting identification from forensics.
 
Jurisic was one of 12 men found guilty of arranging the 2003 murder of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was killed by a sniper as he approached a government building in Belgrade.
 
Jurisic was on the run when he was murdered, having been convicted in his absence to 30 years' jail by the Belgrade Special Court for Organised Crime.

It is believed Jurisic had fallen out with the leader of the Zemun cklan, Luka Bojovic, either over money or a woman.
 
As the BBC reports, Bojovic himself was arrested in a restaurant in Valencia, Spain last month, wanted for more than 20 murders in Serbia, the Netherlands and Spain. He is also suspected of involvement in the 2003 assassination. · 




Machine-gun attack on Russian banker in London


Russian banker who was gunned down outside his home in London's Docklands in an assassination attempt had fled to Britain seeking safety because he feared he would be killed by rivals in his home country. German Gorbuntsov was shot several times, possibly with a sub-machine gun, as he entered an exclusive block of serviced flats near Canary Wharf. Last night the businessman was under armed guard in an unnamed London hospital where he was in a critical but stable condition. It was reported that he had been put in a medically induced coma and was receiving treatment for multiple gunshot wounds. Mr Gorbuntsov, 46, whose business interests are believed to include the Spartak Moscow ice hockey club, recently told his lawyer that he thought he had been under surveillance. However, he said he felt safe in London and did not want to move. Reports from Russia suggested the financier was about to be interviewed by the Russian authorities over the killing of another banker in which he had been both a suspect and a possible witness. Scotland Yard said the attack was being investigated by officers from Operation Trident, the unit set up to deal with gun crime in the capital. They are treating the attack as attempted murder. Reports claimed Mr Gorbuntsov was jailed for three years in the 1980s for armed robbery. During the 1990s he began his own business and eventually owned about 40 security companies. He also acquired shares in various banks. He was known at some point as a business partner of Alexei Frenkel, a banker who was convicted in 2008 of the murder of the deputy head of the Russian Central Bank, Andrei Kozlov. According to Russian media, Mr Gorbuntsov has been linked to a series of disputes and scandals, both as a victim and as a suspect. He moved to London in 2010, accusing his business partners of cheating him out of money, and in February this year Moldovan authorities put an international arrest warrant out for him for reneging on debt repayments. Mr Gorbuntsov himself claimed he had been a victim of a "raider" attack on his bank causing him to lose hundreds of millions of pounds. The Russian daily Kommersant said Mr Gorbuntsov was involved as both a witness and possibly also a suspect in the attempted killing of another banker, Alexander Antonov, in 2009. Three Chechens were convicted over the attempted murder, but the mastermind was never found. Mr Gorbuntsov and Mr Antonov had had a number of business disputes. The three men found guilty of the attempted assassination of Mr Antonov were also found guilty of the fatal shooting of Ruslan Yamadayev, a powerful Chechen clan leader, who was shot in his car in central Moscow. According to the Russian agency Rosbalt, Mr Gorbuntsov had recently told Russian law enforcement officials that he had information about who had ordered the two attacks, and that a team from Russia's Investigative Committee was due to have travelled to London recently to interview him, as Mr Gorbuntsov was scared to fly to Moscow. His family said that only a few people knew that he was in London.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Russian banker shooting: 'It looks like a contract hit'


A former Russian banker is in a critical condition in hospital after he was shot several times in east London. German Gorbuntsov was shot by a man armed with a sub-machine gun as he entered a block of flats in Byng Street, Isle of Dogs, on Tuesday. Aleksander Nekrassov, a former Kremlin advisor, told the BBC that Mr Gorbuntsov was a "key witness" in the case of a murder attempt on another Russian banker, Alexander Antonov, in Moscow in 2009. He said: "It looks like a contract hit to be honest because a sub-machine gun is not really a weapon that would be used by some amateur"

Painkiller warning as pack contains higher dose than label says


39,000 packs of co-codamol, which contains both paracetamol and codeine, contain higher dose tablets than is stated on the label, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said. Some of the 8mg/500mg packs actually contain 30mg/500mg tablets in the blister strips inside. The two can be told apart by markings on the side of the tablets. The 8mg/500mg tablet has the marking

on one side only. The 30mg/500mg tablet has CCD30 on one side and CP on the other. An overdose of co-codamol is serious and patients should not take more than one or two tablets every four to six hours and no more than four doses in 24-hours.

Mafia Bosses 'Turn Cannibal': Serbian Gangsters 'Ate Milan Jurisic In A Flat In Madrid' Say Police


A mafia traitor was beaten to death and then eaten by Serbian gangsters, police believe. Milan Jurisic, 37, was killed with a hammer by a gang of criminals from the Zemun Clan, a mafia group from Belgrade, in Madrid. His remains were then ground up with a meat grinder, cooked, and eaten, according to a confession by another Zemun Clan member, Sretko Kalinic, nicknamed "The Butcher". Later the gang reportedly threw the bones into the River Manzanares in the Spanish capital. This week, police found bones in the river and the apartment where the killing apparently took place in 2009. Jurisic is thought to have betrayed his fellow gang members by stealing money from them. He was on the run after being convicted in his absence of assassinating Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003. Kalinic confessed to the murder after he was arrested in the Croatian capital of Zagreb in 2010. Police believe the murder and subsequent cannibalism was led by Luka Bojovic, a Serbian gangster arrested in Valencia last month. Bojovic was also on the run after being accused of assassinating Djindjic. Inside Bojovic's apartment in Valencia police found documents backing up Kalinic's account of the killing. The murder is being investigated by magistrate Fernando Andreu at the National Court in Madrid.

Brian Regan: Brookside star to cocaine addict

 

Brian Regan found fame playing loveable rogue Terry Sullivan in the Liverpool soap opera Brookside. In the show's 1980s heyday, his character's antics were regularly watched by up to seven million viewers a week. But when Regan left the soap in 1997, his acting career petered out and he plunged into a life of drug dealing and addiction. Now he is behind bars, serving a five-year jail sentence for lying to police over his role in the murder of Iranian doorman Bahman Faraji and selling drugs. Regan's jail sentence can now be reported following the conviction of Jason Gabbana, 29, for ordering Faraji's murder. Details emerged in court of the actor's descent into drugs and supplying members of Liverpool's criminal underworld. During the trial, Regan told Liverpool Crown Court how he started taking cocaine at weekends at the end of his Brookside career. It was through his use of cocaine he became involved with Edward Heffey, convicted of murdering Mr Faraji with a sawn-off shotgun in a quiet Liverpool street. Simon O'Brien, who played Damon Grant in Brookside, said Regan's involvement with drugs was a "slow burn". Snorting cocaine "It is a very difficult place when you're acting, particularly on something as high-profile as a soap, because fame and infamy attract each other," he said. "Actors and gangsters, for some reason, almost get off on each other. It's a really strange mutual attraction because I think the hard man gives the actor a kind of security out in public and the actor gives the gangster kudos. "The two worlds often get intertwined and when that happens, inevitably drugs become involved. So it was kind of a slow thing from what I remember, it was a slow burn." Regan was charged with Mr Faraji's murder and was cleared - but he was convicted of giving a false alibi to police about where he was on the night in February 2011. Actor and presenter Simon O'Brien said actors and gangsters get off on each other" During the trial, he told Liverpool Crown Court he supplied Heffey with cocaine "about three or four times a day". When Heffey asked him for a lift on the night of the killing, he said he thought he was taking him to collect a debt so he could pay for the drugs. In fact, once they arrived in Aigburth in Regan's Ford Escort, Heffey got out, walked round the corner and shot Mr Faraji in the face with a sawn-off shotgun. Regan told the court he knew nothing about the incident - because he was waiting in the car, snorting a line of cocaine. He said he then "drove away normally" from the scene and took Heffey home. Regan was cleared of murder at his trial which ended in January. 'Lose control' However, when he was first interviewed by police he lied about driving Heffey to the pub, but CCTV evidence put him at the scene and he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Mr O'Brien, 46, who was friends with Regan in their Brookside days, said getting involved in drugs was a tragedy that is "not uncommon" in the entertainment industry. "Brian is just one example of what happens when you're in the limelight and everything is flying and you lose control," he said. "You feel you're invincible when you're at the top of the game and you're not. "Sadly, if anyone wants to know what happens if you get involved in taking cocaine, this is an example of someone who was at the top of the tree and because of cocaine, he ends up behind bars."

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Arrests over child prostitution network selling girls as young as 11

 

The suspects were held this morning as part of a child exploitation investigation into the cases of 24 girls aged between 11 and 16 in Oxford. The men - aged between 21 and 37 - are now being questioned on suspicion of a string of offences including causing the prostitution of young girls, trafficking, grooming and rape. They are being held in custody at an undisclosed police station. The alleged offending is believed to span more than a six-year period. Detective Superintendent Rob Mason, of Thames Valley Police, said: ''We believe we have uncovered an organised crime group who have been running a business of selling young girls for sex.

France siege gunman 'is dead'

 

The man suspected of killing seven people in al-Qaida-linked attacks in France is dead, the French interior minister said today. The suspect died after jumping from his apartment window after police stormed his apartment following a 32 hour standoff.  Claude Gueant says the suspect, who claims links to al-Qa'ida, jumped after police entered the apartment and found him holed up in the bathroom. Police and the suspect exchanged fire before Mohamed Merah died.  Gueant says two policemen were injured.

Missing M’sian girl took lift into Thailand from stranger

 

Thai immigration police investigations have indicated that a 14-year-old Malaysian girl and her five Rohingya friends had taken a lift from a stranger in Malaysia near the Malaysia-Thai border before entering Thailand illegally. The six have since been rescued by the Thai police. Deputy Commander of Immigration Bureau Investigation Centre Pol Col Chartchai Lamsaeng said Wednesday, the six took the ride on a Malaysian-registered van offered by a Malaysian man near the border on March 8. The five Rohingyas comprised four boys and a girl, aged between 14 and 16. The six were friends and know each other. "They were given drinks by the man and fell asleep shortly," Chartchai, who led the investigation into the case, told Bernama here. He said, they could only remember passing through Hat Yai, Petchaburi or Nakhon Phatom and ended up at Hua Lamphong in the capital. "We are surprised how they could pass through the border checkpoint without any travel document," he said, adding it was unclear whether the teenagers intended to enter Thailand when they took the van ride. "The man even took them to a mosque in Hua Lamphong. However, it was not clear what happened to the man after that as the teenagers made their way to the Hua Lamphong Train Station." Chartchai said, some vendors near the railway station gave them money to buy train tickets to return to Malaysia. They were caught by the police at the station as they failed to produce valid travel documents and were sent to an immigration police office here, he added. The immigration police later contacted the Malaysian Embassy here. "Our investigations showed that all six were safe and not harmed or abused by the man," said Chartchai, adding that the immigration police would investigate the case under human trafficking law, which carried a penalty of between five and 10 years imprisonment. "We managed to get a sketch of the suspect based on information given by the teenagers. Thai and Malaysian police are working on this case," he said. He said the Thai authorities were trying to determine if an international crime syndicate was involved in this case. An initial news report from Malaysia stated the girl had told her mother during a telephone conversation on March 12, that she and the rest were abducted and taken into Thailand before they were rescued by the Thai authorities at the railway station on March 11.

TWO men who have been arrested by detectives investigating the murder of crime boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne are senior lieutenants of crime lord Christy Kinahan.


 The mobsters were picked up by armed gardai during a dawn raid at a property in the north inner city and are currently in custody at Store Street Garda Station. Sources do not believe that either is the gunman who actually killed Dunne in the gangland murder in a Cabra pub in April 2010 but they believe that the pair played a key role in organising the hit. The Herald can today reveal that gardai also planned to arrest the young criminal who they believe shot Dunne but he "has gone to ground." The north inner city gunman is a close associate of the two related men who are in garda custody today. Selling One of those arrested -- aged in his late 20s -- was mentioned by Spanish authorities in the four-page European Arrest Warrant they used to extradite 'Fat' Freddie Thompson to Spain last year. The warrant asserts explosive details about the criminal's role within the multi-million euro Christy Kinahan drugs organisation. This man, who comes from a flats complex in the city, was previously arrested by Spanish police as part of Operation Shovel -- the massive probe against Kinahan's organisation which revealed that his mob were selling shipments of drugs worth a staggering €1m every two months. The 'Fat' Freddie warrant alleges that the arrested criminal is a "member of this organisation in Ireland". The warrant claims that the criminal travelled to Malaga on May 7, 2010, to meet Christy Kinahan's son Daniel to discuss a major drugs shipment into Ireland. "Daniel was supposedly going to finance part of the shipment. A surveillance operation was launched in Malaga Airport and officers saw Ross Browning, another one of the persons under investigation, arrive at the airport," the warrant alleges. The Herald has previously revealed that Browning (28) was named in the warrant, which claims he was a driver for the Kinahan drugs organisation. Browning, from the north inner city, is a close associate of the men arrested yesterday. In January 2001, a 30-year-old, who is in custody today, was involved with Browning in the robbery of over £IR13,000 from a a Securicor van driver. Both men later received suspended sentences. Gardai believe the shocking murder of Dunne was sanctioned by Christy Kinahan who felt that the reckless behaviour of the gang boss was getting out of control. 'Dapper Don' Kinahan -- who is serving the last days of a jail sentence for money laundering in Belgium -- is regarded as the biggest drugs trafficker in the history of the Irish State.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Nation 'Addicted' To Statins...


Dear Reader,

In the UK alone, more than 7 million people are taking cholesterol-lowering statins. This is extremely worrying when you consider the damage these over-prescribed drugs can inflict, with side effects ranging from liver dysfunction and acute renal failure to fatigue and extreme muscle weakness (myopathy).

Slowly tearing us apart

Even more concerning are the side effects that crop up after long-term use, which are often not linked to statins. For example, one study monitored the symptoms of 40 asthma patients for a year. 20 of these patients started statins at the outset of the study, while the remaining 20 did not.

The results showed that those patients on statins used their rescue inhaler medications 72 per cent more often than they had at the start of the study, compared to a 9 per cent increase in those who were not taking statins. The researchers also reported that patients taking statins had to get up more frequently at night because of their asthma and also had worse symptoms during the day...

Worsening asthma symptoms is just the beginning. More recent research has linked statins with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Still, doctors are very quick to reach for their prescription pads and push these drugs. There appears to be an unofficial (but widely practiced) 'statins for all' approach... especially if you are aged 50 and over.

Luckily, some mainstreamers are slowly catching on to what we've been saying for nearly a decade. In 2011, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine drew attention to the fact that there is inadequate medical data available that proves the benefits of statins, and that many studies fail to acknowledge the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins.

The fact remains (and your doctor may still deny this) that in total, statins cause serious damage in about 4.4 per cent of those taking them, in comparison to the 2.7 per cent statin users benefiting from them... and it looks as if this message is finally getting through to medical authorities.

A case in point is simvastatin or Zocor. After being on the market for almost 3 decades and causing havoc and distress with its horrendous side effects, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally issued a warning about the use of this drug... saying that even the approved dosage can harm or even kill you!

Yep! Kill you!

All well and good

It's all fair and well and good that the FDA flagged this warning, but what's the point if doctors continue to prescribe these drugs left, right and centre?

Professor Sarah Harper, director of Oxford University's institute of population ageing, recently said that the UK's "love affair" with prescription medicine, shows how people choose to pop pills rather than follow a healthy lifestyle.

She cited the widespread use of statin drugs to 'help' protect against heart disease and lower cholesterol, instead of eating healthily, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and taking regular exercise.

By all means, I applaud Prof Harper for pushing the message that living a healthy life plays a big part in preventing disease, but why blame patients for being a bunch of pill poppers when doctors hand out drugs with reckless abandon... and recommend taking preventative drugs to ever younger age groups. So in fact, the white coats should be labelled as Big Pharma's drug pushers, because they're part of the problem... especially considering that so many people put their entire trust in their doctor and would never dream of questioning their advice. Most people take what they say as gospel.

Then there's the media, inundating Joe Public with inflammatory headlines like: 'Statins could help fight breast cancer' or 'Statins can prevent infections like pneumonia'... Not to mention their reporting on botch studies showing the 'unintended benefits' of statins, like their potential to prevent pneumonia, combat diabetes, reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer — all of these so-called benefits are of course not yet proven, and highly unlikely. Still, they reach the front pages!

So, yes we might have turned into a pill popping public, but it's the mainstream and the media that have created this monster all with the help and backing of the puppet master: Big Pharma. Because as you and I know all too well, it's all about the money. 

FEMALE pals of Murder Inc thugs John and Wayne Dundon are using SEX to recruit hitmen to execute gangster's moll April Collins.

The Irish Sun can reveal two women close to the depraved brothers have been sleeping with a string of young Limerick thugs in a bid to recruit them as killers.

The female mobsters, who we can't name for legal reasons, want their former friend murdered at all costs.

Last Friday, brutes Wayne, 33, and John, 29, were convicted of threatening to kill members of April's family, for which they face up to ten more years behind bars.

But now the blood-soaked savages fear April will testify against them for ordering at least FOUR gangland murders — including those of innocent victims Shane Geoghegan, 28, and Roy Collins, 35.

And a senior security source told the Irish Sun last night: "The Dundons are terrified April can now obliterate them for once and for all.

"She has first-hand knowledge of several murders and attempted murders.

"By the time she's finished testifying, the Dundons and their associates might never get out of prison again.

 

Eight years together ... Ger and April before she ditched him
Eight years together ... Ger and April before she ditched him
"That's why their female pals have been bedding a string of young fools around Limerick and recruiting them to kill April and stop her talking.

 

"These girls are obviously pretty good in bed because these young fools are prepared to do anything for them — as long as they get plenty of sex."

April, 24, who lived with Ger Dundon for eight years and was privy to Murder Inc's darkest secrets, has agreed to tell all she knows.

She's said to be a "dead woman walking" since deciding to do the unthinkable — turn State's witness against her ex's psycho siblings.

Last month, April helped to convict Murder Inc hitman Barry Doyle, 25, for the murder of innocent rugby player Shane Geoghegan in 2008.

She made the decision to become a supergrass after John and Wayne Dundon threatened to kill her and members of her family, including her ma, her gangster da and her brothers.

They made the chilling threats when they learnt she was having an affair with gang-rapist Thomas O'Neill, 24, after brother Ger, 25, was jailed for five years in February 2011.

April had dumped the father of her three children — and refused to bring their young kids to see their da in prison.

Her mother Alice, 48, and her younger sister also gave evidence of being threatened by the lardy mobsters.

During the trial, Alice said Wayne told her his bro John would "give some fool ten grand" to kill her son Jimmy.

She said Wayne then told her his face would be the last her gangster son Gareth, who'd also been a member of Murder Inc, would see — "because I'm going to kill him myself".

He also warned her: "You're digging your own grave; it's very easy to make people disappear." Mr Justice Paul Butler said the Special Criminal Court found April's evidence to be fully believable.

He said the court was also impressed by the "entirely credible and convincing" evidence of her mother Alice, and was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt Wayne had intimidated and made threats against her.

Although heavily pregnant with sicko O'Neill's twins and living under constant armed Garda protection, April is determined to help cops smash Murder Inc once and for all.

Despite her condition, Collins insisted on being present in court to see the three judges deliver their verdicts against the Dundons last Friday.

Two police officers were injured in a shoot-out in Toulouse on Wednesday with a gunman claiming links to al Qaeda


Two police officers were injured in a shoot-out in Toulouse on Wednesday with a gunman claiming links to al Qaeda and who is believed to responsible for the killing of four people at a Jewish school and three soldiers in southwest France. Interior Minister Claude Gueant said that the 24-year-old man had made several visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan and had said that he was acting out of revenge for France’s military involvement overseas. “He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al Qaeda,” Gueant told journalists at the scene of the siege. “He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions,” Gueant said. Heavily armed police in bullet-proof vests and helmets cordoned off the residential area where the raid was taking place, in a suburb a few kilometres from the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school where Monday’s shootings took place. Reuters witnesses at the scene heard several shots at about 04:40 a.m. British time. Gueant said that police were also talking to the brother of the gunman, who is a French citizen from Toulouse. Police sources told Reuters that a man had been arrested earlier on Wednesday at a separate location in connection with the killings. The gunman’s mother had also been brought to the scene of the siege in a northern suburb of Toulouse to help with negotiations, Gueant said. “Negotiations with the suspect are ongoing, gunfire has been exchanged,” the minister said. He said that France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy had been informed of the situation at 03:00 a.m. (02:00 a.m. British time), when the raid began. Authorities believe that the gunman in Monday’s school shooting is the same person responsible for killing three soldiers of North African origin in two shootings last week in Toulouse and the nearby town of Montauban. The same Colt 45 handgun was used in all three attacks and in each case the gunman arrived on a Yamaha scooter with his face hidden by a motorcycle helmet. The killings come just five weeks before the first round of France’s presidential elections in which immigration and Islam have been major themes as Sarkozy seeks to win over voters from far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Shoot-Out In Raid Sees Police Injured

 

French police are engaged in a siege with a man they are reportedly "confident" was responsible for the killings of seven people in the south west of the country. Two elite officers reportedly suffered minor injuries during a shoot-out with suspects in the ongoing pre-dawn raid in the Croix-Daurade district of the city of Toulouse. AFP news agency - which said up to six shots were heard in the raid - is reporting that police believe the gunman responsible for three attacks that killed three children, a rabbi and three soldiers is inside the target building. Four people were killed during the shootings at Ozar Hatorah school A source linked to the probe also told the news agency that a man claiming to be linked to al Qaeda was holed up in the building. The agency said the suspect being sought was 24 and had previously travelled to the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has been known to house al Qaeda safehouses. French news channel BFM TV said the suspects were linked to an Islamist group which it identified as Forsane Alizza. Sky News' Robert Nisbet, in Toulouse, said: "We know that someone is inside the building. It could one person, it could be more than one person. "I understand this is a relatively poor suburb of Toulouse. Obviously, there is an intense pressure on French police to solve this crime." The killings atOzar Hatorah Jewish school on Monday followed the shootings of four soldiers - three of them fatal - in two attacks over the previous eight days. All three of the soldiers killed were of North African descent. All of the attacks were apparently carried out by an assailant using the same gun and scooter. The victim's backgrounds had led to fears the killer was specifically targeting members of minority communities. Chief prosecutor in Paris, Francois Molins, who is monitoring the investigation in Toulouse, had warned there could well be more killings. "At this stage, everything is being done to identify, find and stop the perpetrator, of these three killings as fast as possible," he said. "In these exceptional circumstances, I think it is obvious that we are up against an extremely determined individual, who knows he's being hunted, who could strike again."

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Second arrest after man killed at Herbie Hide's home

 

A second person has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a man at the Norwich home of former boxing world heavyweight champion Herbie Hide. Tafadzwa Kahn, 25, of St Giles Street, Norwich, died from a stab wound at the house in Long Lane, Bawburgh, on Sunday morning. An 18-year-old man from the Norwich area was arrested on Tuesday. The first person arrested, a 16-year-old boy, remains in custody in Wymondham Police Investigation Centre. Detectives said the stabbing followed an argument at a party in the house. 'High visibility patrols' The property remains sealed while a forensic examination is carried out. Police said they would continue to provide high visibility reassurance patrols in the area. More than 100 people were at the party at the time of the stabbing. Police said earlier they were "fairly certain" Mr Hide was not on the premises at the time of the stabbing. Mr Hide told the BBC on Monday: "The reality of this right now is a man is dead. Imagine this - a lady was told her son has gone. Imagine that." A spokesman said a post-mortem examination found the cause of death was a stab wound to the body. Mr Hide and his family have relocated while investigations at the house continue. Mr Hide won the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) heavyweight title for the first time in 1994, beating American Michael Bentt, but lost it to another American, Riddick Bowe, the following year. He regained the title in 1997 and made two successful defences before losing to Vitali Klitschko in 1999.

Azhar Ahmed to stand trial over Facebook post about dead soldiers


Azhar Ahmed, 19, appeared at Dewsbury magistrates' court charged under the Communications Act 2003 with sending a message that was grossly offensive on March 8. In court a racially-aggravated public order charge was withdrawn, but Mr Ahmed, from Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, denied the new charge. Police and demonstrators outside Dewsbury Magistrates Court (Picture: PA) He has been bailed and is due to stand trial at Huddersfield magistrates' court on July 3. There was a large police presence outside court as 50 far-right protesters staged noisy demonstrations when he arrived and left. Mr Ahmed's court appearance came as the bodies of the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan on March 6 were repatriated to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Demonstrators shouted when Azhar Ahmed arrived and left court (Picture: PA) They died when their Warrior vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Lashkar Gah in the deadliest single attack on British forces since 2001. Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was killed alongside Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.

Harry Potter Star Jamie Waylett Jailed For Two Years For Violent Disorder In London Riots


Actor Jamie Waylett, who starred in the Harry Potter films, has been jailed for two years for being part of a violent mob during last summer's London riots. The 22-year-old, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe in six of the films, was found guilty of violent disorder by a jury at London's Wood Green Crown Court. The actor, who had already admitted swigging from a stolen bottle of Champagne during the rioting, was cleared of intending to destroy or damage property with a petrol bomb he was pictured holding. He already has a previous conviction for cannabis possession. Waylett of Hillfield Road, northwest London, was with a gang of at least four people who went into Chalk Farm on August 8, the third night of violence in the capital. He was captured on CCTV at various points during the evening, often with his hood over his head. Buildings on fire in Tottenham during the riots Judge Simon Carr sentenced the actor to two years for violent disorder and 12 months for handling stolen goods, to run concurrently. Jailing him, the judge said: "A considerable amount has been said about what happened over those few days. Anyone watching the footage in this case can only imagine the mayhem that took place on the streets. "You chose to go out on to the streets on what was the third day of the violence. "You were pictured on a number of occasions with a bottle full of petrol with a rag as a wick. "I accept entirely the jury's verdict that you did not throw or have any intention of throwing it, but merely being in possession of it would have been terrifying to anyone who saw you." Waylett will be eligible for parole after serving a year in jail. The star, who had a shaved head and a goatee beard, wore a white shirt with an open collar and a dark suit to hear the sentencing. He nodded to the public gallery as he was led down to the cells.

A GANG of “guns for hire” who spread lawless violence in a spate of gun and grenade attacks across Merseyside were today starting life behind bars.


Grenade gang

 

The five were the “go to” men for gangsters across the area as they carried out attacks on underworld rivals.

But their spree saw innocent people caught in the middle as indiscriminate shootings and grenade attacks escalated.

At the top of the tree sat Tony Downes and Kirk Bradley, a “thick as thieves” pair of career criminals from Huyton, and Gary Wilson, who used his ill-gotten gains to buy himself a plush seafront Southport home.

Bradley and Downes, both 26, never got their hands dirty – Downes was directing operations from his cell in HMP Liverpool and was said to be the group’s “chief executive” by a judge yesterday.

Instead their underlings, “trusted and active lieutenants” Craig Riley and Joseph Farrell, were given “jobs” to carry out and would farm some tasks out to younger crooks wanting to make a name for themselves.

On their instructions, the young thugs would be given guns or explosives and an address or a specific individual to target.

They threw grenades into a room where a woman babysitting her seven-year-old grandson was sleeping and shot people in the legs and stomach, leaving them with life-changing injuries.

Their “modus operandi” saw them use the same guns over and over again – two guns linked to the group were used in 16 different shootings – and carry out their attacks on scrambler bikes, ideal for a quick getaway.

Police slammed the gang as “parasites, the worst kind of mercenary” after bringing them to justice.

A covert police operation was launched to snare those linked to more than 20 incidents over two years.

As the net closed on them, officers took an arsenal of weapons off the streets.

At Woolwich Crown Court yesterday the “chapter” in the ongoing fight against gun crime was brought to a close by high court judge Mr Justice Henriques when he sentenced each of the gang to life imprisonment.

Only Farrell, Wilson and Riley were actually in the dock at Woolwich yesterday.

Downes and Bradley escaped from a prison van in Manchester last summer as they were being brought to court in Liverpool.

Their escape caused their trial, which was in its 11th week at the time, to collapse and a retrial at maximum-security Woolwich was ordered.

But the day after they were convicted in their absence, Downes was picked up after eight months of freedom.




Monday, 19 March 2012

Harry Potter star Jamie Waylett had petrol bomb and stolen Champagne in riots

 

Jamie Waylett, 22, who plays Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe in the hit film series, downed the bubbly after it was looted from a ransacked Sainsbury's store moments earlier, it was said. Waylett was caught on camera during the third day of last summer's civil disorder as violence erupted in Chalk Farm, north London, on August 8, Wood Green Crown Court heard. He was first spotted dashing across Chalk Farm Road at 10.45pm after a gang smashed in the front windows of a Sainsbury's supermarket, said prosecutor Rebekah Hummerstone. 'Moments later, he accepted a bottle of sparkling wine from a friend who is also seen on the footage carrying a number of bottles,' she added. Around 90 minutes later, Waylett was again spotted on the CCTV with his hood up and could be seen trying to cover the lower part of his face with a scarf, the court heard. His companions also had masked faces. 'He was picked up by CCTV two minutes later. He and other members of his group were carrying petrol bombs,' said Ms Hummerstone. Waylett, who is believed to be good friends with fellow Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, was arrested after a 'painstaking' review of Camden Council CCTV footage. In interview he told police he was 'fascinated' by the disorder, but denied taking part in violence. 'He agreed he had been handed a bottle of champagne to drink out of and at one point covered his face after spotting acquaintances,' said Ms Hummerstone. 'He also agreed he had been carrying a petrol bomb and said he was asked by other people to carry it. He had some trouble with them in the past and felt obliged to comply.' But he insisted that he had no intention of using the petrol bomb and had thrown it in a nearby rubbish bin, she added. 'The prosecution say he appears to have travelled to Camden from his home to join in and play his part in the civil disorder,' Ms Hummerstone said. 'His handling of the petrol bomb is sufficient of his intention that evening.' Dressed in dark suit and light blue shirt, and sporting a shaven head and goatee beard, Waylett, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the hearing. He appeared in six Harry Potter films before his character was written out in the final Deathly Hallows instalment. Waylett, of West Hampstead, north west London, denies having an article with intent to destroy or damage property - an offence under the Criminal Damage Act - and violent disorder.

Man held over party stabbing death

man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a fatal stabbing during a party at the home of a former world champion boxer. The man, from the Norwich area, was detained by officers investigating the knifing of Tafadzwa Kahn, 25, at the property belonging to Herbie Hide. Mr Khan, known as Taffy, was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering several stab wounds. The attack happened shortly after midnight at a private party in Long Lane in the village of Bawburgh on March 18. Mr Hide's property remains sealed while forensic investigators examine the scene. The detained man is being held at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre awaiting questioning. Family liaison officers are helping the family of Mr Khan, from St Giles Street, Norwich, police said. A Home Office post-mortem examination found that cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the body. Members of the local community who have any concerns are asked to contact local officers in the Costessey Safer Neighbourhood Team in the first instance.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Police plans to fire rubber bullets in London

 

Scotland Yard authorised the deployment of rubber bullets ready for use on the streets of London 22 times in the past two years, The Independent can reveal. The figure suggests the Metropolitan Police had considered ordering its officers to open fire during public disorder incidents far more frequently than previously thought. The Yard yesterday refused to say on what dates and during which situations it ordered some of the nearly 3,000 baton rounds it possesses to be distributed to firearms teams. It said the release of such information could endanger future policing operations. The revelation that the Met authorised the distribution of the non-lethal rounds on average almost once a month in 2010 and 2011 follows the disclosure earlier this week that senior officers wanted to fire rubber bullets at rioters in south London last summer – but firearms specialists could not reach the trouble spots in time. The Met has now promised to make "more agile use" of the weapons. Although they have been used in Northern Ireland for many years, baton rounds have never been fired on the British mainland. Even in the extreme circumstances of last August's riots their use would have been seen as a significant escalation in police tactics and a move away from Britain's consensual policing model. The figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrat peer Dee Doocey, are an indication of an increasingly muscular response to what police believe is the increased threat to officers and the public from gangs or individuals bent on violent disorder. But campaigners argue that the use of non-lethal firearms in crowd control has no place in policing on the British mainland. The Yard was criticised last year when it released a statement saying that baton rounds – referred to by police as attenuating energy projectiles (AEPs) – might be deployed if extreme disorder occurred during a protest in London against tuition fees. In a written answer to a question last month from Baroness Doocey, the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, confirmed on behalf of the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, that the force had "authorised the movement" of rubber bullets 22 times in 2010 and 2011. But he said details of the incidents would only be given under conditions of secrecy because, if made public, they could compromise future operations. Lady Doocey, a member of the Greater London Authority and the Metropolitan Police Authority until it was replaced with a new body in January, said the disclosure of the precise dates was in the public interest. She told The Independent: "I have long believed rubber bullets have no role in policing demonstrations in London. This secrecy over their potential use merely confirms that view. It is simply wrong for the Met to be silent when on so many occasions the use of rubber bullets was being considered." Rubber bullets are designed to offer a non-lethal alternative to conventional firearms and police argue modern AEPs pose less threat of serious injury. Between 2006 and October 2011, the Met Police bought 2,700 AEP rounds. It said it could not produce figures for baton round deployments in previous years, adding that it followed strict guidelines designed to protect life and prevent serious injury. Opinion about rubber bullets remains divided within police ranks. A Met Police review of last summer's riots revealed officers dealing with violence in Enfield and Brixton decided against deploying the weapons because they believed it would escalate the confrontation. During the rioting, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said he did not consider the deployment of rubber bullets in London to be sensible in "any way, shape or form".

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Taliban-linked Afghan man convicted on heroin charges, narco-terrorism


Federal officials say an Afghan man linked to the Taliban who was one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world has been convicted on charges of importing and distributing heroin and for narco-terrorism. Officials with the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration said Haji Bagcho was convicted Tuesday by a federal jury in Washington. They say he manufactured the drug in secret laboratories along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. 1 Comments Weigh InCorrections? Personal Post The officials say he sent heroin to more than 20 countries, including the United States, and proceeds from his heroin trafficking were then used to support high-level members of the Taliban to support their insurgency in Afghanistan. Bagcho was captured and brought to the U.S. in June 2009. His sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

Feds Arrest 20 In Heroin Bust On Long Island

 

Federal prosecutors say they've busted a ring responsible for much of the heroin distribution on Long Island. Among the suspects are a married couple, and a father and daughter. They also include a woman accused of selling heroin from the parking lot of her family's restaurant. The U.S. attorney's office says 20 people were arrested Tuesday on an indictment charging them with conspiracy to distribute heroin. Each would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years if convicted. Prosecutors say the ring was centralized in Queens. They say it had distribution networks in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and a storage facility in Brooklyn. In the last nine months, members allegedly distributed heroin worth nearly $3 million on the street. Investigators used wiretaps and drug purchases to gather evidence.

cocaine traffickers arrested, officials say


Authorities announced today that they have charged 22 people who they say were responsible for selling more than 5 kilograms, or more than 11 pounds, of cocaine per week in the Austin area during the past 10 months. “This is quite large,” Austin Assistant Police Chief Sean Mannix said during a morning press conference. “It’s not just taking a street dealer off the street. It’s a whole cell.” Mannix said the group includes member of Austin area street gangs who received their cocaine directly from members of a drug cartel, which he declined to name. Fifteen of the defendants are charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine.The rest of the defendants have been charged in state court. Last week, authorities executed a coordinated series of search and arrest warrants. Two defendants were already in custody.One remains at large, authorities said. U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman said that because of the amount of drugs involved, the federal defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted. At the press conference, officials praised the teamwork of the federal and state authorities, which include the FBI. Authorities declined to speculate on the affect the takedown would have on the local drug market. “We don’t fool ourselves into thinking that by taking these people off the streets” the drug problem in Austin will abate, Mannix said. Pitman identified Vivid Kahey, 34, as a leader in the cocaine distribution ring. Also charged in federal court were Austin residents Raymond Smith, 38; Rodney Ryan, 33; Kenyatta McClain, 36; Luis Gonzales, 43; Noe Lopez, 33; Mario Gonzalez; 40; Bianca Garza, 24; Daniel Olmos, 21; and Llasmin Orduno, 24. Also charged in federal court were Vicente Sanchez, 34, of Cedar Creek and Kevin Edwards, 41, of Manor.

The former chief reporter of the News of the World was arrested yesterday by police investigating the phone hacking scandal, on suspicion of intimidating a witness.

Neville Thurlbeck, 50, who was also news editor on the defunct Sunday tabloid, was detained by appointment at a central London police station by officers from Operation Weeting a day after his former editor, Rebekah Brooks, was arrested with five others on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. He was later released on bail. Yesterday's arrest came as James Murdoch used a letter to the House of Commons media select committee to distance himself once more from any wrongdoing inside News International (NI). He blamed two former trusted lieutenants, Colin Myler and Tom Crone, claiming there were "inconsistencies" in their evidence to MPs. Mr Thurlbeck has been a central figure in the unfolding phone-hacking saga since being named in the so-called "for Neville" email. This showed voicemail interception went beyond a single "rogue" reporter at the NOTW. He was arrested last year on suspicion of conspiring to hack phones and eavesdropping voicemail messages. During recent months, he has adopted a higher media profile, with broadcast appearances and the launch of a blog commenting on developments in the crisis enveloping NI. In a blog entry last week, Mr Thurlbeck revealed how Will Lewis, a key member of News Corp's Management and Standards Committee, which has been marshalling millions of internal NI emails to Scotland Yard, had hired a private security company to provide security at his home. Mr Thurlbeck published the name of the security company, noting that it had spent several hours at Mr Lewis's home, and gave the name of the street where the NI executive lives. In a subsequent blog, Mr Thurlbeck, who is suing his former employer for unfair dismissal, said his story had prompted approaches from lawyers and a public relations company representing Mr Lewis, asking for the removal of his posting. He claimed it was suggested to him that the details he had provided about the security company "somehow implied I had put [Mr Lewis's] home under surveillance. Bonkers!". He added: "I accepted their point that printing the name of his street was distressing to his family and took this down immediately as I have absolutely no wish to do this. Although I have not been asked to do so, I would like to apologise to Mrs Lewis for any distress." A spokesman for the Management and Standards Committee declined to comment last night on Mr Thurlbeck's arrest. Meanwhile Mr Murdoch has sought to influence the parliamentary report into phone hacking, which is expected to be published before the Easter recess, by telling the committee that he did not mislead them, that he never tried to hide wrongdoing at the NOTW, and that when he did ask questions about what was going on, he was given "false assurances" by senior executives at Wapping. In a personal letter to John Whittingdale, chair of the media select committee, the former executive chairman of NI initially takes responsibility "for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier". However, the limited apologetic tone of his seven page letter, in which he accepts that it "would have been better if I had asked more questions", also contains evidence of anger directed at former trusted lieutenants inside NI. He says he relied too much on people who assured him that investigations had been carried out and who claimed that further inquiries were unnecessary. The former NOTW editor, Colin Myler, and News Group Newspaper's former legal manager, Tom Crone, are named repeatedly and described as offering "inconsistencies" to Parliament, while Mr Murdoch says his own evidence "has always been consistent". The letter states: "The truth is that incomplete answers and what now appears to be false assurances were given to the questions that I asked." In summaries of earlier evidence to the committee, he says he was "never intimately involved with the workings of the NOTW"; and on key meetings that discussed how senior executives were dealing with the emerging hacking culture, he says: "I was given a narrower set of facts than I should have been given..." He also says that if "Messrs Crone and Myler" had given him the highly critical private opinion offered in 2008 by NI's leading counsel, Michael Silverleaf QC, which described "widespread wrongdoing", then he would have "acted differently". He ends his letter by repeating that he neither knew about, nor attempted to hide, wrongdoing, and tells MPs: "The evidence does not support any other conclusion." James Murdoch: What he wrote "I take my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier. However, I have not misled Parliament. I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing. I do not believe the evidence before you supports any other conclusion..." "It has been said I did not ask enough questions. However, the truth is that incomplete answers and what now appears to be false assurances were given to the questions that I asked."

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

James Murdoch pleads innocence ahead of committee report

James Murdoch has written to an influential parliamentary committee, investigating a phone hacking scandal at his company, to apologise and restate his innocence ahead of a potentially damaging report that could determine his future in Britain. The 39-year-old son of Rupert wrote to the committee to accept responsibility for failing to uncover the criminal behaviour, which has damaged the reputation of the News Corp media empire, British politicians and police. At stake is his role as chairman of British pay-TV group BSkyB and potentially his future at News Corp, where he had for years been marked out as the heir apparent to his father Rupert as chief executive.   "I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing," he said in the letter published by the committee on Wednesday. "Whilst I accept my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing sooner, I did not mislead parliament and the evidence does not support any other conclusion." Analysts and some shareholders believe Murdoch would struggle to remain at BSkyB if he is singled out for particular criticism as it could impact his ability to negotiate with the government and regulators on behalf of one of Britain's most powerful media firms. The all-party committee summoned James and his father Rupert to a hearing at the height of the scandal last July, for a three-hour often testy grilling that was watched live by millions on television in both Britain and the United States. Just four months later, the younger Murdoch had to return to answer further detailed questions over what he knew and when after two former colleagues publicly contradicted his evidence. News Corp's British newspaper arm News International had long argued that the hacking of voicemails to generate stories was the work of a single rogue reporter and private investigator who had already gone to jail for the crime. But as more people came forward to accuse the company of hacking their phones, that defence crumbled and attention turned to those at the top of the company and it was asked why they had not pushed further to discover the truth. "Clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, I acknowledge that wrongdoing should have been uncovered earlier," Murdoch said in his letter. The parliamentary committee had originally planned to publish its report before Christmas but due to the sensitivity of the material it is having to write the document by committee and is now aiming for the Easter holiday in April.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rebekah Brooks and husband arrested in phone hacking inquiry

REBEKAH Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband are among six suspects arrested today by detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking at News International. The former News International chief executive and Charlie Brooks were arrested at their Oxfordshire home on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, sources said. Police are searching several addresses after dawn raids also took place in London, Hampshire and Hertfordshire, Scotland Yard said. Ms Brooks, a former editor of The Sun, had been on bail after being questioned by detectives last summer on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption. Today’s arrest comes after her lawyer, Stephen Parkinson, said evidence given by Sue Akers at the Leveson Inquiry had brought “much prejudicial material” into the public domain.

Gangster's Paradise Rapper Coolio Arrested In Las Vegas, Nevada


Another rapper gets added to the long list of emcees being arrested in Las Vegas, as Coolio was arrested this past weekend in Sin City. The ‘Gangster’s Paradise‘ emcee was stopped on the Las Vegas strip by local police for a routine check, when officers discovered that Coolio had two bench warrants out for his arrest that were the results of multiple traffic violations. The 48 year old, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was only a passenger in the vehicle offers pulled over just a few blocks east of the Las Vegas Strip at around 2:20 AM according to Officer Laura Meltzer. The two warrants out for Coolio were tied to failure to appear on an illegal stop and driving without a license summons issued back in June of 2010. Even more bizarre to the whole story was the fact that Coolio’s 22 year old son was locked up in the same jail for “allegedly busting into a Vegas apartment with a gun and forcing the tenant into the bathroom, while he and a female prostitute named Shantrice Wilkerson ransacked the place.” according to TMZ. Coolio was later released on a $5,850 court bail, and no official court date has been set. 

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