Drug lord off ‘Forbes’ list
The nation’s top drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has dropped off Forbes magazine’s billionaires’ list after four years on it. Guzman first made the list in 2009 with a fortune listed at about US$1 billion and stayed on it through last year. Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, the nation’s most powerful international drug trafficking network and has been in hiding since escaping from a prison in a laundry cart in 2001. Forbes senior wealth editor Luisa Kroll said in a statement that the decision to drop Guzman was based on suspicions that “an increasing chunk of money is going to protect him and his family.”
Priest burns Benedict photo
A local priest set fire to a photo of former pope Benedict XVI during Sunday Mass in protest against his abdication, telling a shocked congregation that the former pontiff had abandoned his flock. “It was wonderful,” Reverend Andrea Maggi from Santo Stefano Protomartire church in the small northern village of Castel Vittorio told La Repubblica daily. He compared Benedict, who resigned as pope on Thursday, to Captain Francesco Schettino, who is accused of abandoning the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the Italian coast. Mayor Gian Stefano Orengo told local radio the action prompted half of the congregation to walk out.
Fake cardinal ejected
A man dressed up in fake ecclesiastical robes was escorted out of a meeting of cardinals by Swiss Guards on Monday after trying to sneak into the closed-door Vatican meeting. The man, whose real name is Ralph Napierski, had told reporters that his name was “Basilius” and that he was a member of the “Italian Orthodox Church,” which does not exist. Before he was discovered, the “bishop” told reporters that Catholic bishops had “made a mistake by moving priests” who were accused of pedophilia around different parishes. Napierski claims on his blog that he is a founder of the Corpus Dei Catholic order. He also says he invented “a system to enable persons to control computers with the power of thoughts” and promotes something called “Jesus Yoga.”
Imam funded terrorism
The imam of a Miami mosque was found guilty on Monday of funneling thousands of US dollars to the Pakistani Taliban, the US Justice Department said. After a two-month trial, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 77, originally from Pakistan, was convicted on several counts of conspiring to support and providing material support to foreign terrorist groups for murders, maimings and kidnappings. Khan could face up to 15 years in prison for each of the charges when he is sentenced on May 30.
‘Batman’ catches suspect
A man dressed as Batman walked into a police station in the middle of the night on Thursday and told officers: “I’ve caught this one for you!” as he handed them a crime suspect. Wearing the full costume of the shadowy comic book hero, including a cape, he then “promptly vanished into the night to fight crime and the fear of crime in Bradford,” police in West Yorkshire said. The force has released a CCTV photograph of the “caped crusader,” who is of stocky build, arriving at the police station with his captive. The force said the 27-year-old crime suspect had been wanted in connection with a string of crimes and has now been charged with handling stolen goods and fraud-related offenses.