Girl faces failed murder rap
A 14-year-old girl was yesterday charged with attempted murder after she allegedly poisoned two other children, reportedly with chocolate brownies tainted with a household substance. Queensland state police said the girl had been charged after allegedly giving two boys, aged 12 and 13, food poisoned with a substance “generally found in the home” in the Brisbane suburb of Richlands on Sunday. “Police will allege the girl attempted to poison two other children,” they said in a statement. “She has been charged with one count each of attempted murder and administering poison with attempt to harm as well as two counts of acts intended to maim.” The police would not confirm a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp that the girl had given the two boys tainted brownies.
Navy says ‘drug capo’ seized
The country’s navy says it has captured a key regional leader of the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel. Sunday’s communique from the navy identifies him as Carlos Carmona Caballero and it blames him for a series of violent incidents in Veracruz state, though it does not specify them. It says he was caught in a car on Friday with four other men who were also detained. The Zetas have been involved in much of the country’s drug war bloodshed in their battles with the country’s other main drug organization, the Sinaloa Cartel.
Student shooting questioned
Classmates and friends are questioning why a police officer fatally shot a University of South Alabama freshman who was naked and had been banging on a window at police headquarters. Campus officials did not give any indication that Gil Collar, 18, had a weapon when he was shot. A university spokesman said he was fatally wounded early on Saturday after an officer heard a bang on a window and went outside to investigate. A statement issued by university spokesman Keith Ayers said Collar, who wrestled in high school before enrolling at South Alabama, assumed a “fighting stance” and chased an officer before being shot. The officer tried to retreat numerous times to defuse the situation before opening fire, the school said, but sophomore Tyler Kendrick said campus authorities have not provided any satisfying answers about why Collar was killed. “Really, it just upsets me that there’s no other way to apprehend an unarmed student rather than shooting him. I don’t understand that,” Kendrick said. Student Joshua Frye said it seemed the officer could have used something other than a firearm to stop Collar. “What I feel is that a cop has more than a gun,” he said.
Maine hosts bizarre contest
A Finnish couple has added to their victories by taking first place in the North American Wife Carrying Championship at Maine’s Sunday River ski resort. Taisto Miettinen and Kristina Haapanen traveled from Helsinki, Finland for Saturday’s contest. The Sun Journal reports that the couple finished with a time of 52.58 seconds on a course that includes hurdles, sand traps and a water hole. The winners receive the woman’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. For Miettinen and Haapanen, that meant a check for US$530. They shared their beer winnings with the second- and third-place finishers — Jesse Wall and Christine Arsenault of South Paris and David and Lacey Castro of Lewiston.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big