Pussy Riot ‘hatred’ unproven
The Supreme Court has ordered a review of the guilty verdicts handed to two members of punk band Pussy Riot, three months before the pair are due to be released from prison, it said yesterday. The nation’s highest court reviewed the appeal by jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and ordered the Moscow court that jailed them in August last year to review its guilty verdicts. The two young women are serving two-year sentences in penal colonies after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Kremlin protest stunt in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The Supreme Court ruled that the “hatred” was never proven while their status as young mothers of underage children was ignored.
Skulls ‘for sale’ for US$200
A Philadelphia museum has the perfect holiday gift idea for the person who has a love of science and a dark sense of humor. A US$200 donation buys the preservation of one of 139 skulls dating back to the 19th century in a collection at the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Subtle vibrations from footsteps of museum patrons have caused the skulls to lose or crack their teeth, curator Anna Dhody said. The skulls were amassed by 19th-century Viennese scientist Josef Hyrtl to debunk the belief that the shape of a skull determines a person’s moral caliber and that different races are actually different species. “By collecting predominantly Caucasian skulls, he showed the vast degree of variation,” Dhody said. Donors can choose a specific skull to sponsor from a list on the museum’s Web site. In exchange, donors or their loved ones receive a photograph of the sponsored skull, a plaque, and their name shown next to the display for 12 months.
Aide arrested for child porn
Federal law enforcement officers on Wednesday searched the Washington home of a chief of staff for Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennnessee for child pornography. In a written statement, Alexander said that Ryan Loskarn, 35, had been placed on administrative leave without pay. “The courts will judge Mr Loskarn’s guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office,” Alexander said. The Justice Department said that Loskarn had been arrested on charges stemming from the possession and distribution of child pornography. Loskarn has worked for Alexander since January last year. Before that, he was a staff director and a communications director for the Senate Republican Conference.
Cop was illegal resident
A detective for Arizona’s state police force has resigned following the discovery that she was living in the country illegally after being brought to the country from Mexico by her family at a young age. Carmen Figueroa apparently was told by her family that she was born in the US, though she was actually born in Sinaloa, Mexico, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said on Wednesday. Figueroa, 42, resigned on Monday. Arizona law requires sworn police officers to be citizens, and Graves said the state police agency would have terminated her for fraud and misrepresentation for “not meeting the qualifications.” Figueroa was with the department for 10 years and became a criminal investigations detective in 2010. He said she “had an exemplary record.”