Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Dozens appear in court

Dozens of people arrested in a human trafficking crackdown, including a senior general, yesterday appeared in court, days after the police officer in charge of the investigation tendered his resignation saying he feared for his life. The nation has long been a major hub for human trafficking and people smuggling, with rights groups accusing officials of turning a blind eye to the grim trade — and even complicity in it. The nation’s military junta launched a belated crackdown in May, a move that uncovered death camps on the border with Malaysia and led to dozens of arrests, but also saw thousands of migrants abandoned on land and at sea by gang masters, eventually forcing a region-wide response. In court yesterday, a panel of seven judges detailed the charges against the group of suspects, some of whom spoke Rohingya and Malay dialects as well as Thai.


Ball-busting artist detained

Authorities on Monday detained a political performance artist best known for nailing his scrotum to Red Square after he torched the doors to the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB. Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to the wooden doors of the sprawling FSB building in downtown Moscow about 1am, his lawyer Olga Chavdar told reporters from the Moscow police station where he was being held. Video footage posted online shows flames leaping to the top of the doorway as Pavlensky stands in front of it holding a gasoline canister, before a policeman comes running up.


Crucial vote to be held

The center-right minority government yesterday was due to face a crucial parliamentary vote with a left-wing alliance set to topple it after barely 10 days in power. The vote comes amid European fears about the prospect of a left-wing coalition taking power in a country still recovering after receiving a 78 billion euro (US$83.84 billion) bailout in exchange for strict austerity measures, and with investors concerned over the political crisis. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, whose center-right coalition won the most votes in last month’s elections, but lost the absolute majority it had enjoyed since 2011, said the rival bloc’s policies would “ruin Portugal” in remarks on the eve of the vote.


‘Shrimp boy’ trial opens

A prime defendant in a San Francisco racketeering case ordered the killing of a rival before taking over his organization in Chinatown and engaging in money laundering and trafficking in guns and drugs, a prosecutor alleged during his opening statement on Monday at the high-profile trial. The 2006 slaying of Allen Leung (梁毅) was a “cold-blooded, gangland-style hit” ordered by defendant Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow (周國祥), federal prosecutor Waqar Hasib said. Defense attorney Tony Serra said in his opening statement that Chow did not participate in any killings or other criminal activity detailed in the investigation that led to the conviction of former California state senator Leland Yee (余胤良) on a racketeering charge. Chow pleaded guilty to racketeering in 2000 amid accusations that included heroin and cocaine trafficking, attempted murder and robbery, according to an FBI affidavit in Chow’s current case. However, Serra said Chow, who is to testify in his own defense, reformed and was looking forward to a lucrative book deal about his life.

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