Sat, Apr 30, 2016 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Roof friend to plead guilty

A friend of the man accused of gunning down nine black parishioners during a Bible study in a South Carolina church is appearing before a judge to plead guilty to federal charges. Under a plea agreement signed by 21-year-old Joey Meek and federal prosecutors, Meek is to plead guilty to lying to authorities and failing to report a crime. He appears before US District Judge Richard Gergel on Friday in Charleston. Authorities allege Meek failed to tell investigators all he knew about Dylann Roof’s plans to shoot parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in June last year. The 22-year-old Roof is charged with hate crimes and other charges in federal court.

UNITED STATES

Rock formation defaced

Rangers at Utah’s Arches National Park were investigating large graffiti on Thursday that was carved so deeply into a famous red rock arch that it might be impossible to erase, officials said. The carvings discovered earlier this month measure about 1.2m across and 90cm high, park superintendent Kate Cannon said. The Arches rock formation, commonly known as Frame Arch, is off a popular hiking trail where visitors can look through it and view the park’s iconic, stand-alone Delicate Arch. Cannon said the graffiti was etched so deeply that it might have taken at least one hour for someone to carve. She said park workers can try to reduce the carving’s visibility by grinding down the rock around it, but that causes further damage to the surface. She said they could also try to fill in the etchings with some kind of material that blends in, but it is unclear if that would be a permanent or unnoticeable treatment.

UNITED STATES

Wandering sea lion dies

Washington state biologists are trying to determine what killed a sea lion that was captured and released after it was strangely found in the driveway of a cattle ranch about 80km from the ocean. The male California sea lion was released into Puget Sound on April 15 after it apparently swam and waddled its way to the ranch, the News Tribune reported. On Friday last week, the sea lion was found dead under a bridge in Olympia, ending its unusual journey from the ocean to a small creek and then to Puget Sound. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Dyanna Lambourn examined the sea lion on Sunday and found no immediate cause of death. Samples from the necropsy were sent out on Tuesday to test for possible causes. Rancher Ken Shively found his gate open and the 159kg animal in his driveway. He initially thought it was a deer or elk.

CANADA

Beehive heist probed

Thieves in Quebec have staged an unusual heist of something that is becoming increasingly rare in North America these days: bees. Beekeeper Jean-Marc Labonte lost more than 180 beehives worth US$160,000 earlier this week in what he says is a first for his family business. “It’s very, very uncommon in Quebec,” he said. Labonte said he suspects the theft to be the work of another beekeeper who “lost many bees” last winter and is trying to get more free. The heist, which is being investigated by police, allegedly took place on Monday in a locked apiary in the city of Victoriaville, 160km northeast of Montreal. “It sickens me because bees are very rare and increasingly expensive as their numbers decline across North America,” he said.

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