Off-duty soldiers nab robbers
When two men decided to rob a McDonald’s in eastern France they had not expected to come face-to-face with a table of hungry soldiers from an elite military force. The armed men burst into the fast food outlet in the commune of Ecole-Valentin late on Sunday, with one firing a warning shot while the other raided the till for cash. However, among the about 40 diners in the burger joint were 11 members of an elite branch of the French Armed Forces — particularly hardened soldiers who specialize in hostage situations. The off-duty soldiers waited for the end of the heist to intervene so as not to put other patrons in danger, Besancon public prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said on Monday. The first man, who was carrying about 2,000 euros (US$2,270), stumbled as he attempted to flee and was captured, while the other was shot in the abdomen by one of the elite forces and arrested. The two men are in hospital and are to appear before a judge on charges of armed robbery and violence, Roux-Morizot said.
Parrot key to murder
The ex-wife of a Michigan man believes a parrot is repeating something said just before his fatal shooting, but a prosecutor is downplaying whether it could be used in court. Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead on Monday said he “highly doubts there is any precedent” that what is repeated by a parrot can be used as evidence. Martin Duram was slain in Ensley Township in May last year. Then-wife Glenna Duram had a head wound, but survived. Ex-wife Christina Keller told WOOD-TV that Martin Duram’s parrot, Bud, has repeated “don’t [expletive] shoot” in Martin’s voice. Springstead said he has not heard it. The death remains under investigation.
Woman shot dead by police
A woman died on Monday after being shot by police when looters tried to pillage a warehouse, her family said, the latest unrest to hit the nation amid severe food shortages. Jenny Ortiz, 42, was hit by a stray bullet on Sunday night when police opened fire on looters trying to ransack a warehouse in the western city of San Cristobal, family spokesman Larry Mogollon Acevedo said. “This is an abuse of authority,” he said. Ortiz died on Monday morning at a San Cristobal Hospital after being shot multiple times in the head and face, prosecutors said. A 13-year-old boy who was passing by was also wounded. Officials said looters descended on the warehouses at the San Francisco Commercial Industrial Center overnight, in what Tachira State police chief Amador Torres called a “planned criminal act by armed groups that opened fire on police.” He said seven men and eight women were arrested, adding that food shortages had little to do with the incident.
Tropical storm makes landfall
Tropical Storm Colin made landfall early yesterday and was moving across northern Florida, unleashing thunderstorms and flooding, while Florida Governor Rick Scott activated the National Guard ahead of its landfall. The storm, which was 90km southwest of Jacksonville at 2am eastern time, barreled toward land at 37kph, the US National Hurricane Center in Miami said. A tropical storm warning was in effect for northern Florida into North Carolina yesterday morning. On its forecast path, Colin would churn across southeastern Georgia early yesterday and later in the day menace the North and South Carolina coasts.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable