Wed, Jan 13, 2016 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

‘Affluenza’ mom bailed

The mother of a Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense for a deadly wreck is expected to leave jail soon after a judge on Monday sharply reduced her bond. Tonya Couch’s bond was lowered from US$1 million to US$75,000. Couch posted the bond and was due to be released yesterday morning “barring any unseen delays” after being fitted with a GPS monitor, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said in a tweet posted late on Monday. Couch is required to wear the electronic ankle monitor and remain at the home of her 29-year-old son, Steven McWilliams, except for appointments with her doctor and lawyer. “I want her at her son’s home, and that’s where I want her to stay,” said State District Judge Wayne Salvant, who also ordered Couch to pay nearly US$3,200 in restitution to the sheriff’s office for the cost of transporting her back to Texas from Los Angeles. The 48-year-old is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. Ethan, 18, killed four people in a 2013 crash and was facing allegations that he violated his probation.

UNITED STATES

Thief puts python in pants

A snake thief smuggled a python from a Portland, Oregon, pet store by stuffing it down his pants. Sergeant Greg Stewart said no arrests have been made in Friday last week’s theft, but Christin Bjugan, the owner of the A to Z pet store, said video surveillance has helped police identify a suspect and she expects to have the snake returned soon. “We know who did it,” she said on Monday. “We know where he lives, we know where he works, we know all about him and his girlfriend. We’re just waiting to get our snake back.” The video shows the suspect with a blue-haired woman, who appeared to be in on the theft. He handed her some keys before taking the snake from a tank and shuffling out of the store. Bjugan says it was “pretty gutsy” for the man to put the python down his pants and potentially a bad move because it was close to feeding day. On the other hand, she added, the snake does like warm, dark places.

MONACO

‘Pink Panther’ thief on trial

An alleged member of the infamous “Pink Panther” gang of jewel thieves went on trial on Monday, pleading guilty to holding up a jewelry shop in 2007. Nicolai Ivanovic, 42, of Montenegro is being tried without his presumed accomplice, Zoran Kostic, a compatriot who is in jail in France and considered a likely leader of the Pink Panther gang. The duo allegedly robbed the store in a high-end shopping gallery at gunpoint, making off with 32 Audemars Piguet luxury watches, as well as the watch of a soccer player who was caught up in the heist. The total haul was estimated to be worth more than 460,000 euros (US$500,000). They left in a stolen car that was found a month later not far from the principality in southeastern France. The two men were arrested in Paris nearly two years later, in May 2009. Investigators suspected them of involvement in jewelry store heists in Monaco and the two northern French towns of Le Touquet and Rouen, as well as in Germany and Switzerland. Ivanovic on Monday admitted to the heist in Monaco, saying the watches had been sold in Milan, Italy, for 200,000 euros. The Pink Panthers gained their nickname after a raid on a London branch of Graff Diamonds in 2003, in which two of them posed as wealthy customers, persuading staff to open the doors for them, before helping themselves to diamonds worth millions of dollars.

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