‘Pink Panther’ gang busted
Police on Friday said they had arrested five alleged members of the so-called “Pink Panther” gang of jewel thieves in Barcelona. A special operations unit from the Catalan police was waiting when the thieves, one armed with a pistol, tried to rob a jewelery store on the city’s famous Passeig de Gracia avenue, a police statement said. The operation was part of a larger investigation with different crime units in Spain and with the collaboration of the Serbian and German police, the statement said. Police were able to recover the jewelery the gang was trying to steal.
Rights leader warrant lifted
A judge lifted an arrest warrant on Friday for the 87-year-old president of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group in a highly politicized embezzlement case. The investigating magistrate had ordered Hebe de Bonafini’s arrest on Thursday, but hundreds of supporters massed outside the group’s offices to prevent police from removing her. The judge agreed on Friday to allow her to be questioned without being jailed. A date was not set. De Bonafini had twice refused to submit to questioning in a case involving the alleged diversion of nearly US$14 million in public funds earmarked for a low-incoming housing project registered under the Mothers’ name.
Man charged in knife attack
A 19-year-old man on Friday was charged with the murder of a 64-year-old US woman in a knife attack that wounded five others in Central London on Wednesday, London Metropolitan Police said. The man, Zakaria Bulham, was also charged with five counts of attempted murder in relation to the individuals injured in the attack, police said. Bulham, a Norwegian man of Somalian origin, began attacking people on Wednesday evening in Russell Square, a park near the site of a 2005 suicide bombing. He was arrested on the same day. At the time, police said there was no evidence the attack was terrorism-related.
Stiglitz quits committee
Nobel Prize-winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz has resigned from a committee of international experts named to help reform Panama’s financial services sector after the Panama Papers scandal, the government said on Friday. Stiglitz and respected Swiss criminal law professor Mark Pieth quit the committee over “internal differences,” said a statement from the government, without giving further details. The Panama Papers scandal erupted in April, when media outlets around the world published details on dodgy offshore financial dealings gleaned from millions of leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Filipina arrested for IS links
Authorities have arrested a Filipina accused of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) and planning to launch an attack in the state, news agency KUNA reported on Friday. The woman, born in 1984, entered the country in June as a housekeeper and has been in contact with the Islamic State’s affiliate in Libya, the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement published by KUNA. Security forces monitored one of the e-mail accounts run by the woman and found messages in which she had contacted the Libyan militant group and had been using “a fake name and nickname to evade monitoring,” the ministry said.
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
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
BEYOND CULTURE: The US State Department was expected to announce that the Chinese government-funded institutes would have to register as foreign missions US President Donald Trump’s administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, the latest escalation of tensions with Beijing. The US Department of State was expected to announce as soon as yesterday that Confucius Institutes in the US — many of which are based on college campuses — would have to register as “foreign missions,” according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The designation would amount to a conclusion that the institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by