A former US marine who ran off with a 12-year-old British girl denied on Thursday having had sex with her and said that he would not fight his extradition to Britain, a court official said. \nBy not opposing the extradition demand, Toby Studabaker could be sent to Britain within days, said the official, Klaus Michael Ullrich. \nThe 31-year-old Afghan war veteran told the Frankfurt district court that he did not have sex with Shevaun Pennington, with whom he had formed a relationship exchanging e-mails and telephone calls over the period of a year. \nUllrich said Studabaker, who has been charged with child abduction, had believed the girl was not a minor, although police have claimed that he was aware of her true age. \nDuring the hearing, the accused recounted the events of a five-day escapade with Shevaun which began after he met her in person for the first time in northwest England on Saturday. \nHe said they had flown together from the English city of Manchester to Paris and then travelled on to the northeast French city of Strasbourg. \nDuring that time they discovered in a newspaper that police were searching for them, Ullrich explained. \nStudabaker said he then took Shevaun to Stuttgart, where she took a return flight back to Britain, while he called the FBI in the US for advice on what to do next. \nAfter the FBI told him to contact US authorities in Germany, he was arrested in Frankfurt on Wednesday trying to get to the US consulate there. \nHowever a spokeswoman for state prosecutors in Frankfurt, Hildegard Becker-Toussaint, said earlier they had not established grounds to charge him with intent to sexually abuse the girl.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable