‘El Loco’ gets 35 years
A Colombian described as one of history’s biggest cocaine dealers was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Monday by a Manhattan judge, who called the scope of his crimes “staggering.” Known as “El Loco,” Daniel Barrera Barrera, 48, was sentenced by Judge Gregory Woods, who rejected a defense lawyer’s request for leniency on the grounds that his client tried to cooperate, urged others to surrender and had rescued victims of kidnappings. The sentence included a US$10 million forfeiture and a US$10 million fine. “The scope of the offenses here is staggering,” Woods said as he imposed a sentence requested by the US government. “He is dangerous ... Too short a sentence would provide him the opportunity to commit additional crimes.” The judge said evidence demonstrated that Barrera, who once regularly carried an automatic weapon, used to threaten or kill individuals who owed his drug organization money or who posed a threat to his business. Prosecutors said he shipped cocaine from Colombia to the US as part of a massive drug-dealing operation that sent drugs to four continents and utilized a submersible vehicle to transport drugs.
Bomber made IS pledge
The Syrian who blew himself up wounding 15 people had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group on a video found on his smartphone, Bavarian Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann said on Monday. On searching the bomber’s room, Nuremberg police found diesel, hydrochloric acid, alcohol, batteries, paint thinner and pebbles — the same materials used in the bomb — and computer images and video clips linked to the militant group, they said. “A provisional translation by an interpreter shows that he expressly announces, in the name of Allah, and testifying his allegiance to [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ... an act of revenge against the Germans because they’re getting in the way of Islam,” Herrmann told a news conference. “I think that after this video there’s no doubt that the attack was a terrorist attack with an Islamist background.” The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to Amaq, a news agency that supports the group. Nuremberg Police Chief Roman Fertinger said the influence of the Islamic State could be seen on the bomber’s computer. “There was also a laptop that showed pictures and film sequences that glorify violence and are unequivocally linked to Islamic State,” Fertinger told a news conference. The attack on Sunday, outside a music festival in Ansbach, a town of 40,000 people southwest of Nuremberg that has a US Army base, was the fourth act of violence by men of Middle Eastern or Asian origin against German civilians in a week.
Priest killed in church attack
A priest was killed yesterday when men armed with knives seized hostages at a church near the northern city of Rouen, a police source said. Police said they killed two hostage-takers in the attack in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, 125km north of Paris. A priest was killed and another hostage was “between life and death,” the ministry of the interior said. The motivations for the hostage-taking were not clear, but the Paris prosecutor’s office said the case had been handed to anti-terrorism judges for investigation. The incident came as the nation remained on high alert nearly two weeks after Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel plowed a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 84 people and injuring more than 300.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic