Men held for China bribes
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Tuesday charged three Chinese researchers at the New York University School of Medicine with conspiring to take bribes from a Chinese medical imaging company and a Chinese-sponsored research institute to share non-public information about their work. The trio had been working on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology research sponsored by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The defendants include Zhu Yudong (朱宇東), 44, of Scarsdale, New York, an associate professor in the school’s radiology department who was described by the authorities as “an accomplished researcher and innovator.” The other two are Yang Xing, 31, and Li Ye, also 31, who were described as research engineers at the school.
Murderer begs for her life
Jodi Arias, a woman who was found guilty of stabbing and shooting her boyfriend to death in 2008, on Tuesday pleaded with a jury to spare her life after she was convicted of premeditated murder. The 32-year-old, who had previously said she would prefer a death sentence to life in prison, listed the good things she could achieve behind bars. “I’ve made many public statements that I would prefer the death penalty to life in prison ... To me life in prison was the most unappealing outcome I could possibly think of. I thought I’d rather die ... but as I stand here now I can’t in good conscience ask you to sentence me to death,” she told the jury in Phoenix, Arizona. Arias was found guilty of murdering Travis Alexander, 30, in a frenzied attack in which he was stabbed 27 times, shot in the head and had his throat slit. A jury found her guilty two weeks ago and decided last week that she could face the death penalty because she had been “especially cruel.”
Gay teen faces felony charge
An 18-year-old girl in Miami is facing felony charges that she had sexual contact with her underage, 14-year-old girlfriend, leading gay rights advocates to say the teen is being unfairly targeted for a common high school romance because she is gay. Advocates say older high schoolers dating their younger counterparts is an innocuous, everyday occurrence that is not prosecuted and not a crime on par with predatory sex offenses. Kaitlyn Hunt played on the basketball team with her younger girlfriend and shared the same circle of friends, said Hunt’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith. The two had a consenting relationship that began soon after Kaitlyn Hunt turned 18. However, in February, she was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16. The day before she was arrested, police and the younger girl’s parents secretly recorded a phone conversation in which the two girls discussed kissing, said Kaitlyn Hunt’s father, Steve Hunt. “It’s horrible. For my daughter’s sexual preferences, she’s getting two felony charges,” he said.
Bieber monkey now German
Justin Bieber’s pet monkey, which was seized by customs in March, officially became national property on Tuesday after the Canadian pop sensation failed to claim the animal by a deadline, officials said. Mally, a capuchin monkey, is temporarily in an animal refuge in Munich. Munich Customs Authority spokesman Thomas Meister said Bieber “has not come forward” since the monkey was confiscated at the city’s airport when the teen was unable to present the necessary documents for importing a live animal.