Man breaks sheriff’s leg
A North Carolina man who authorities say has mixed-martial arts training is in jail after he broke the leg of a sheriff and hit emergency personnel. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports that 21-year-old Logan Pederson of Corapeake faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence and felony assault. Authorities said emergency personnel responded to a wreck in Gates County, about 240km northeast of Raleigh, on June 1. Investigators say when a paramedic attempted to treat Pederson, he hit her and also struck a firefighter with an elbow to the head. He also spit on officers. Authorities said that as Sheriff Ed Webb led Pederson in handcuffs to take an alcohol test, he put the sheriff in a wrestling hold and broke his leg. “Anything he could do to be hateful, he did it,” Webb said.
Einstein Letters on sale
The Einstein Letters, which include more than two dozen missives by Albert Einstein, were to go up for sale yesterday at the California-based auction house Profiles in History. Some were in English and others in German. Some were done in longhand, others on typewriters. Amassed over decades by a private collector, the letters represent one of the largest caches of Einstein’s personal writings ever offered for sale.More than that, they give a rare look into Einstein’s thoughts when he was not discussing complicated scientific theories with his peers, said Joseph Maddalena, founder of Profiles in History. “We all know about what he accomplished, how he changed the world with the theory of relativity,” Maddalena said. “But these letters show the other side of the story. How he advised his children, how he believed in God.” In one letter, Einstein urged one of his sons to get more serious about geometry. In another, he consoled a friend who recently discovered her husband’s infidelity. In still another to an uncle on his 70th birthday, Einstein recalled how the toy steam engine the uncle gave him years ago had prompted a lifelong interest in science. On the issue of God, Einstein dismissed the widely held belief that he was an atheist. “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one,” he wrote to a man who corresponded with him on the subject twice in the 1940s. “You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist... I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”
Unauthorized bio ban lifted
The Supreme Court on Wednesday removed a ban on unauthorized biographies, long a subject of fierce debate between writers and journalists on one side and music stars on the other. The decision was adopted unanimously by the justices. They deemed the ban unconstitutional “in line with the fundamental rights of freedom of thought and expression, artistic creation and scientific output,” Deputy Chief Justice Carmen Lucia Antunes Rocha said. The controversy erupted in 2007 when “O Rei” (the King) of Brazilian music, Roberto Carlos, won an order demanding the withdrawal from shelves of an unauthorized book about his life. He won the order citing an interpretation of the Civil Code, which stipulates that a person can prohibit the dissemination of writings or pictures of their life if they consider that this is a violation of their honor. However, in Wednesday’s decision, the court reinterpreted two articles of the Civil Code, resulting in the ban being lifted.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big