Scouts told to surrender files
A California appellate court has upheld a Santa Barbara judge’s order saying the Boy Scouts of America must surrender decades of confidential files detailing alleged child sex abuse. A Scouts spokesman told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that the organization will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. A lawsuit alleges that a local Scouts official tried to keep a boy’s mother from reporting his 2007 abuse by a volunteer leader to police. The youth group denies the allegations. Lawyers for the former Scout who was sexually abused by a volunteer leader in 2007 say the files they seek will expose a culture of hidden sexual abuse.
Crash theft suspects arrested
Officials say two state police officers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing unspecified items from the scene of the plane crash that killed Mexican-American superstar Jenni Rivera. The Nuevo Leon state government said authorities found images of the scene on the smartphone of one of the officers, who is 23, while trying to determine now the media got photographs of the secured site, including images of body parts and personal documents.
Knife attacker injures 23
Police said 22 children and one adult have been injured in a knife attack outside a primary school in central China. A police officer said the attack in the village of Chengping, Henan Province, happened shortly before 8am yesterday as students were arriving for classes. The officer said the attacker, 36-year-old local villager Min Yingjun, is now in police custody. A county hospital administrator said the man first attacked an elderly woman, then students, before being subdued by security guards who have been posted across China following a spate of school attacks in recent years.
Officials crack down on cult
Authorities have launched a crackdown on a cult it said is calling for a “decisive battle” to slay the “Red Dragon” Communist Party, and which has been spreading doomsday rumors, state media said yesterday. In recent weeks, hundreds of members of the “Almighty God” group have clashed with police, sometimes outside government buildings, in central Henan, northern Shaanxi and southwestern Gansu provinces, according to popular microblogs. The group has “incited followers to launch a decisive battle with the ‘Big Red Dragon,’ to make the ‘Red Dragon’ extinct and to establish the reign of the kingdom of the ‘Almighty God,’” the Shaanxi Daily said on its Web site.
Ministry defends China role
Officials have defended China’s increased naval presence in the Indian Ocean and rejected claims that it is a threat to regional power India, the defense ministry said yesterday. The ministry quoted its top official, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who said that Colombo understood China’s growing interest in the region and insisted that their bilateral cooperation was purely commercial. “It is obvious that the safety and stability of the Indian Ocean is critical for China’s energy security, and its increasing interest and increasing naval presence in this region is quite understandable,” Rajapakse said. Rajapakse said that China was carrying out major infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Pakistan and at the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka.