A court found a 21-year-old man guilty on Tuesday of the rape, mutilation and murder of a teenager in a case that shocked a nation with one of the world’s highest levels of sexual violence. The 17-year-old victim, Anene Booysen, was found at a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130km east of Cape Town, in February with wounds that included a slit from her stomach down to her genitals. Johannes Kana confessed to raping Booysen, but denied disemboweling her.
Couple given long terms
A Washington State couple accused of starving, beating and forcing their adopted daughter outside as punishment were sentenced on Tuesday to decades in prison for her death. Larry and Carri Williams were convicted on Sept. 9 of manslaughter in the death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia. Carri Williams was also found guilty of homicide by abuse. Hana Williams was found dead on May 12, 2011, in the backyard of the family home in Sedro-Woolley, about 100km north of Seattle. The autopsy said she died of hypothermia, with malnutrition and a stomach condition as contributing factors. Carri Williams was sentenced to just under 37 years, the top of the standard sentencing range, by Judge Susan Cook who said she probably deserved more time in prison, the Skagit Valley Herald reported. Her husband received a sentence of nearly 28 years. Both also were found guilty of assault of a child for punishing a boy they adopted in 2008 from Ethiopia at the same time as Hana.
Rough landing for test plane
A new, smaller version of NASA’s space shuttle is recuperating from a rough first landing. The Dream Chaser space plane is being designed by Sierra Nevada Corp. It is vying to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station in four or five more years. The Nevada-based company tested a full-scale model at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Saturday. A helicopter dropped the unmanned craft from 3,810m in a first free flight reminiscent of NASA’s drop tests of the shuttle prototype Enterprise in the 1970s. Everything worked well for the automated Dream Chaser model until the end, when the left landing gear deployed too late and the test vehicle skidded off the runway. Company space systems chief Mark Sirangelo on Tuesday said that damage was minor. He said the minute-long test flight was a success despite the ending.
Briton favors shorter talks
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant suggested a new tactic on Tuesday to stop diplomats at the world body from speaking for too long — turn off their microphone. During a recent visit with the Security Council to the African Union Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Lyall Grant was impressed by its procedures. “I, for one, would support implementing here the African Union Peace and Security Council practice of cutting off speakers who have exceeded their allotted time by turning off their microphones,” he told the Security Council. Speakers at UN meetings can be limited by the president using a gavel, but this is rare. In 1960, then-Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro took to the UN podium to blast US imperialism for about four hours. During Britain’s presidency of the council in June, Lyall Grant cut off several speakers, some of whom officially complained.