Victim, killer roommates
A woman hospitalized in a Sao Paulo suburb with gunshot wounds inflicted by a man who killed her daughter and husband woke up to find herself next to her assailant. “This is soap opera material,” the news Web site G1 quoted police inspector Luiz Roberto Bilo in the town of Mogi das Cruzes as saying. The murder was recorded by security cameras aboard a bus. Outside the vehicle, security guard Jose Cosme Barros was gunned down. His wife and their five-year-old daughter tried to escape by getting aboard, but were also hit by the shooter. Barros and his daughter were fatally shot, while the wife, 28-year-old Naircleide Duarte, was rushed to a local hospital in serious condition. A few hours later, the assailant, identified as 27-year-old Lucas Ribeiro do Nascimento, was shot during a brawl outside a nightclub and ended up hospitalized in the same facility and room as Duarte.
Heroin dealer appeals term
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to pay legal fees for a drug dealer appealing his doubled jail term, imposed for selling heroin to a man who died of an overdose. Listening to arguments, the top court’s nine justices debated whether the heroin that Marcus Burrage sold was the cause of death for Joshua Banka, who took it with a cocktail of other drugs. A 1986 federal law imposes heavier penalties for drug traffickers and dealers if the person who uses the drugs dies. Burrage, who is serving two concurrent 20-year sentences in the Midwestern state of Iowa, is appealing the second conviction, for distributing heroin causing death. His lawyer, Angela Campbell, argued the dose of heroin was “not the primary cause of death” for Banka, and she asked for the second sentence to be overturned.
Pirates’ hostages released
The Department of State on Tuesday announced the release of two Americans kidnapped by pirates off southern Nigeria last month. “We welcome the release of the two US citizens who were kidnapped from the Retriever,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Pirates stormed an oil supply vessel off southern Nigeria and kidnapped two US crew members.
Hawaii gay union bill passed
The state Senate passed a bill on Tuesday legalizing gay marriage, putting Hawaii a signature away from becoming a same-sex wedding destination. Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie, who called lawmakers to a special session for the bill and has vocally supported gay marriage, said in a statement he would sign the measure in a special ceremony yesterday. It will allow thousands of gay couples living in Hawaii and even more tourists to marry in the state starting on Dec. 2.
Bacon work fetches record
Francis Bacon’s painting Three Studies of Lucian Freud became the most expensive work of art ever sold when it fetched US$142.4 million in one of the biggest auctions in history, at which Christie’s sold more than US$691 million worth of art. Bacon’s 1969 triptych, never before offered at auction and which carried a pre-sale estimate of about US$85 million, easily eclipsed the US$119.9 million price of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, achieved in May last year at Sotheby’s. The auction of 69 works of post-war and contemporary art took in almost US$691.6 million including commission, far above the estimated US$480 million to US$670 million.