Suspected rapist arrested
Authorities say they have arrested a 23-year-old lifeguard accused of raping seven people since April. Police said in a statement late on Friday that Jermaine Bowen was already out on bail on previous abduction and rape charges when he was arrested. It is unclear if he has an attorney. Police said he was arrested on Wednesday in the northwest parish of St James.
Columbus statue taken down
Workers in Buenos Aires took down a controversial statue of Christopher Columbus for restoration on Saturday. The engineer in charge of the operation, Juan Arriegue, says the 38 tonne, 6m-high statue of the Italian explorer was lifted using cranes and will be stored beneath its pedestal behind the Government House. Arriegue told the newspaper La Nacion that the statue “will not be moved to another location, we are only going to submit it to a restoration process.” The statue has become a political flashpoint between the leftist government of President Cristina Fernandez and conservative Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri. Fernandez’s government sought to have the statue moved and replaced by a statue of guerrilla leader Juana Azurduy donated by Bolivia. However, both the country’s Italian community and officials in Buenos Aires said the statue belonged to the city, not the federal government. A court issued an injunction temporarily blocking its transfer to another location.
Beaver causes outage
Officials have finally identified the culprit behind a 20-hour Internet and cellphone outage last week in northern New Mexico — an eager beaver. CenturyLink spokesman David Gonzales said on Friday that a beaver chewed through the fiber line. He says the evidence was discovered by contractors who worked to repair the outage. Officials say more than 1,800 Internet users were affected by the blackout. The number of cellphone users without service during that time is still unknown.
AMPAS invites Prince
Pop veteran Prince and singer-actress Jennifer Lopez are among the artists that have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the body that runs the Oscars announced on Friday. Lucy Liu, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and British actress Emily Mortimer were also among 276 new members invited to join the film industry’s most prestigious club, as was veteran French actress Emmanuelle Riva. Directors invited include Benh Zeitlin, who made last year’s Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Todd Phillips, of the blockbuster Hangover movies, the last of which came out last month. “These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Hawk Koch, head of the Academy, which has about 6,000 members who vote annually for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood’s awards season. “Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide. I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy.” The new members, in categories including everything from cinematographers and producers to make-up artists and publicists, “have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures,” the Academy said. The new members will be welcomed into the Beverly Hills-based Academy at an invitation-only reception in September.