Threat closes schools
Police have arrested a former British School pupil in connection with a shooting threat that led to the closure of middle schools in Leiden. “We have been informed that a former student of the British School in the Netherlands has been arrested in connection to threats made against a Dutch school in Leiden,” a statement said. A Leiden police spokeswoman confirmed the arrest. The British School said that the pupil was expelled in October 2011 “after incidents regarding his behavior.” Armed police were deployed at middle schools yesterday after a tip-off by Swiss police that a threat had been made on US-based Web site 4chan.org, where the anonymous message was posted in English over the weekend.
Churchill most admired
Former British prime minister Winston Churchill on Saturday topped a poll of leaders most admired by chief executives. The survey of about 1,300 business leaders, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, saw former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher place seventh. Apple founder Steve Jobs placed second and Jack Welch, who led General Electric for 20 years, came in fifth. Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi was third, former South African president Nelson Mandela was fourth, former US presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton placed sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th respectively. Clinton shared the last spot with Napoleon Bonaparte.
Escaped pedophile caught
Police have captured a German man who escaped from jail in 2009 after being charged with being part of a prostitution and child pornography ring. Officials say 67-year-old Harry Walter Pfeil was arrested on Friday in Tlaxcala State. He is alleged to have been a business associate of Jean Succar Kuri in a Cancun-based sex ring that had branches in California. Quintana Roo state prosecutors said on Sunday that Pfeil paid US$4 million to five prison officials to help him escape while being held on pedophilia, rape and fraud charges.
Experts at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland have artificially inseminated giant panda Tian Tian (Sweetie, 甜甜) after she failed to mate with her partner, Yang Guang (Sunshine, 陽光), the zoo announced on Sunday. Despite Yang Guang showing “consistently encouraging behavior,” the zoo decided to step in overnight on Saturday as Tian Tian’s hormones showed she was approaching her 36-hour fertile period. The pandas were acquired from China in December 2011. The zoo will not know until mid-July if Tian Tian is pregnant.
Graft trial begins
Former defense minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos and another 18 people facing corruption charges linked to kickbacks from defense contracts went on trial yesterday in Athens. Tsochadzopoulos, along with his wife, daughter and another five suspects have spent a year in jail awaiting trial. His daughter, ex-wife and another three defendants did not attend the trial opening. Tsochadzopoulos, 73, was sentenced last month to eight years in prison after being convicted of filing false income declarations. He allegedly received bribes for two defense contracts and then funneled the money into property purchases. The other defendants allegedly either helped him set up the system or also received part of the money.