Woman slain and cooked
The remains of a young woman who disappeared over a week ago were on Monday discovered by the authorities, who said she is believed to have been slain, dismembered and cooked on a stove. Her ex-husband is suspected in what is being investigated as a femicide. Guerrero state prosecutors said in a statement that the woman left her home in the city of Taxco the morning of Jan. 13. She later said that she would pick up her children at her ex-husband’s home in the afternoon, but was not heard from again, they said. State security spokesman Roberto Alvarez confirmed later that the woman’s “dismembered” remains had been found inside pots atop a stove. “It is presumed that she was cooked,” he said. Alvarez said the divorced husband is the chief suspect.
Driver charged with rape
California prosecutors on Monday said that an Uber driver living in the country illegally had been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing young women. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said that Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez’s alleged victims are between 19 and 22 years old, and that three were intoxicated when they were assaulted. The 39-year-old Mexican faces 10 criminal charges, including forcible rape and first degree burglary. Dow said detectives are looking for potential witnesses and trying to determine if there are additional victims in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles. Alarcon-Nunez returned to the US illegally after a voluntary deportation from New Mexico in 2005, officials said.
Emergency boss to retire
The executive officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is planning to retire by the end of the year. Toby Clairmont on Monday said his decision had nothing to do with the alert that mistakenly warned the public of a missile headed to Hawaii on Jan. 13. He said he decided on retirement two years ago and no one asked him to step down. Clairmont said he was at home when a worker mistakenly sent the alert.
Neil Diamond quits touring
Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand in March. He was on a 50th anniversary tour. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered his “sincerest apologies” to those who planned to go to his shows and said he still plans to write, record and work on other projects “for a long time to come.” Diamond’s numerous hits include Sweet Caroline and Love on the Rocks. Diamond turns 77 today and is to get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy awards.
Montecito cleanup ongoing
Authorities hope to start allowing residents to return by the end of the month to a southern California community devastated by mudslides — if they can get most utilities restored by then. Officials on Sunday said that it would be a gradual process getting residents back into homes in Montecito, where at least 21 people were killed during flash floods on Jan. 9. A 17-year-old boy and two-year-old girl remain missing. The town’s narrow streets are clogged with bulldozers and utility trucks as crews remove mud and boulders, and rebuild drainage pipes and power lines. It could be next month before the natural gas service is restored, an official said.
ANC to decide if Zuma stays
The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday said it was considering whether to order President Jacob Zuma to step down as head of state. “We have not arrived at any decision that Zuma must go or Zuma must not go,” ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told the media after a four-day meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee. He denied local media reports that Zuma’s departure was imminent. Zuma, whose scandal-plagued tenure has hurt the popularity of Africa’s oldest liberation party and the nation’s economy, has come under increasing pressure to step down since being replaced as party leader in December Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa is widely expected to follow Zuma as head of state.
Ex-culture minister jailed
The Supreme Court of Korea yesterday jailed former minister of culture Cho Yoon-sun for two years for her role in drawing up a blacklist of 10,000 artists seen as critical of ousted president Park Geun-hye’s government. Cho had initially been acquitted in July last year and given only a suspended sentence on a minor related charge, prompting prosecutors to appeal. The court also extended the prison term of Park’s former chief of staff, Kim Ki-choon, from three years to four. Before becoming the culture minister in 2016, Cho was a policy adviser to Park, and the court said it was “reasonable” to believe she had collaborated in “attempts to stop state supports for certain artists.” Cho, who had been on bail, was immediately arrested in the courtroom.
Strong quake sparks panic
A strong quake yesterday rattled the nation, sparking panic in Jakarta and ripping roads apart in the countryside. Office workers rushed outside as buildings began swaying, while riders were thrown off their motorbikes by the force of the magnitude 6 rumble. Footage broadcast on local television showed trucks swaying violently from side to side at a port in Banten Province. Pictures posted on social media showed huge cracks splitting roads and minor damage to vehicles and buildings. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.
Energy official fired
The deputy head of the National Energy Administration has been dismissed on graft charges, the National Bureau of Corruption said yesterday. The probe of Wang Xiaolin (王曉林), a former longtime executive in the state-owned coal industry, adds to a string of senior officials who have been ensnared in President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) marathon crack down on corruption. Wang is suspected of “serious discipline violations,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said, using the official euphemism for corruption. It said the case was handed over to prosecutors, but gave no details of the accusations against him.
Endangered turtles hatch
More than 100 turtles have hatched on a beach before being released into the sea, authorities said yesterday, in a boost for the critically endangered creatures. A nest of Hawksbill sea turtle eggs was discovered in November on Sentosa. A barrier was erected to keep the nest safe from predators, and officials carried out regular checks, Sentosa Development Corp said. On Friday, 106 eggs hatched and, after officials carried out tests, the hatchlings were sent off scurrying down the beach and into the sea.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around