Man lived with corpse
A man who police say lived for several months in a Detroit-area trailer home with a woman’s corpse has been sentenced to probation in the case. Dennis McCauley was arrested in spring last year after a court officer serving an eviction notice at the home in Redford Township stumbled upon the body of 72-year-old Ann Marquis sitting on a sofa. Autopsy results indicate she died of natural causes. McCauley faced a number of charges, including mutilation of a corpse, larceny, uttering and publishing, identity theft and concealing a person’s death. The 64-year-old pleaded no contest last month to uttering and publishing, and mutilation of a corpse. The other charges were dismissed, and McCauley was spared jail time in favor of a punishment consisting of probation and community service.
Business profits tightened
President Nicolas Maduro exercised new emergency powers for the first time on Thursday, signing decrees limiting business profit margins and tightening regulation of imports. He acted as part of a so-called “economic war” against a crisis for which he blames the opposition “bourgeoisie” and imperialism. Under new powers granted to Maduro on Tuesday, the two new laws aim to control prices and profits in the business sector and closely monitor imports and exports, and hard currency that comes in from oil sales, the country’s main source of revenue. Maduro’s government says the business sector has been chalking up profit margins of up to 1,000 percent on imported goods. The center-right opposition has called a rally for today to protest the emergency powers granted to Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late populist president Hugo Chavez. The opposition says the new powers are a tool granted to the government for electoral gain ahead of municipal elections on Dec. 8.
Farmers end blockade
Irate farmers ended a Paris road blockade that left one dead on Thursday with the promise of a ministerial meeting over a disputed subsidy, but with no guarantee of a change in policy. Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll announced high-level talks with grain farmers, who have called for his resignation after grants previously earmarked for them were given to livestock farmers instead. Many of the protesters held up placards calling for Le Foll’s resignation while others read: “We are being mowed down like wheat.” The minister had insisted earlier there was no question of going back on the reallocation of subsidies. Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier had called for the “immediate lifting” of the blockade, which was blamed for a crash that killed a car driver, and organizers of the protests followed suit, ordering farmers to free up the roads.