Murderous matriarch jailed
Notorious gangland matriarch Judy Moran was jailed for 26 years yesterday for orchestrating the execution-style murder of her brother-in-law as he drank coffee at a busy suburban cafe. The 66-year-old was locked up for the slaying of Des “Tuppence” Moran, who died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head in Melbourne in June 2009. The man who fired the seven shots that killed Moran, Geoffrey “Nutts” Armour, was also sentenced to 26 years. Des Moran, 61, was a brother of Judy Moran’s husband, Lewis Moran, a member of the so-called Carlton Crew, who was gunned down while enjoying a beer at a Melbourne club in 2004. Judy’s children Jason and Mark were also shot dead in the city’s gangland war, which claimed about 30 lives after it began in the 1990s and was dramatized in the hit Australian series Underbelly. After she was sentenced, Moran, who is in ailing health and uses a motorized wheelchair, proclaimed her innocence from the dock. “Sir, you are wrong. I am innocent,” yelled the grandmother, who was the getaway driver for Armour and stashed the gun, a wig and a jacket worn by him in a hidden safe.
Bonobos outsmart chimps
Belgian scientists were surprised by the results of an intelligence test that pitted bonobos against chimpanzees as part of a campaign to help publicize the African trade in bonobos as bushmeat. Bonobos, chimp-like apes who live in matriarchal family groups and frequently use sex to resolve social conflicts, defied expectations by beating chimpanzees in intelligence tests, because the chimps were too busy fighting among themselves for dominance. “Chimpanzees in the wild use sticks to fish for termites and bonobos in the wild don’t do that ... so we thought that the chimpanzees would be at an advantage,” biologist Jeroen Stevens said during a press conference. The brain test was part of a campaign by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp in Belgium to raise cash to tackle the problem of bonobos being captured and sold as bushmeat.
Fake cops steal gold
Police say robbers disguised as police officers stopped a car on a highway and forced the occupants to hand over almost 23kg of gold at gunpoint. Police spokesman Danut Dinu said three masked men forced the car to stop near the city of Pitesti on Tuesday. He says one robber threatened the driver and the passenger with a pistol, and they handed over 22.7kg of gold jewelry and spoons stashed in the car’s trunk. Dinu said the car was transporting the goods for a private company. Daily newspaper Evenimentul Zilei reported that the gold was worth US$1.42 million, without providing a source for the estimate.
Close, but no cigar (smoke)
Was it lit or was it cold? The status of a cigar in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mouth at an Austrian airport could decide whether or not he faces legal action. Smoking at airports is banned in Austria and an anti-smoking lobby said on Tuesday it plans to launch a suit against the former California governor for puffing on a stogie after arriving in June at Salzburg Airport, but officials suggest the affair will go up in smoke. Salzburg municipal legal expert Josef Goldberger told state broadcaster ORF that Arnie can ignore any requests from authorities to respond since the charge is not covered by treaties. Airport spokesman Alexander Klaus, meanwhile, said the cigar was out. “Burning cigars smoke and there were no puffs for Schwarzenegger,” he said.