Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

DA quits amid sex scandal

A Pennsylvania district attorney (DA) accused of tipping off female drug dealers and giving them lenient treatment in exchange for sex, on Wednesday resigned after he was charged with dozens of crimes. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told at a courthouse news conference that Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins manipulated women for sexual favors, calling it a betrayal of the community. Higgins “thought he was above the law and that he could get away with affording special treatment in exchange for sexual favors,” Shapiro said. One woman performed oral sex on Higgins about a month after he told a state trooper not to charge her with drug delivery and another woman claims that after she performed oral sex on Higgins, he told her that her cousin could thank her for not getting arrested, court documents said.

UNITED STATES

Coach charged over abuse

A coach who ran a club affiliated with USA Water Polo has been charged with the sexual abuse of seven underage female players during one-on-one coaching sessions, prosecutors in California said on Wednesday, the latest instance of mentors of young athletes being accused of misconduct. Bahram Hojreh, 42, pleaded not guilty to charges including sexual battery, lewd acts upon a child and sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor, according to a filing this week in Orange County Superior Court. His attorney, Ricardo Nicol, said that Hojreh never had a blemish on his record after working with hundreds of children over two decades. The alleged crimes occurred between 2014 and January, the Orange County district attorney’s office said. Four of the girls were 15 or younger, prosecutors said. Hojreh is accused of touching the girls’ breasts and genitals, penetrating them with his fingers and coercing them to touch his genitals, officials said.

UNITED STATES

‘Zombie-like’ raccoons seen

Police in Youngstown, Ohio, have received more than a dozen calls in the past three weeks about raccoons acting strangely in the daytime, WKBN-TV reported. Photographer Robert Coggeshall said he was playing with his dogs outside his home last week when one such raccoon approached them. Coggeshall said the animal would stand on its hind legs, show its teeth and fall over backward. The raccoon that Coggeshall saw and 14 others police responded to were euthanized. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the animals were likely suffering from distemper, not rabies. The viral disease causes coughing, tremors and seizures and leads raccoons to lose their fear of humans. Authorities are asking residents to report raccoons behaving unusually to their local police.

BRAZIL

Jaguars dodge floodwater

Researches have found that jaguars, imperiled by hunters, ranchers and destruction of their habitat, have learned to survive at least one menace — flooding in the Amazon River basin. They take to the trees. Although they can be 2m long and weigh 90kg, the largest South American cats nimbly navigate treetops where they stay from April to July when the rainforest floor is under meters-deep water. “It shows that even as a large animal, the jaguar can withstand the flooding — feeding, breeding and raising its young in the treetops for three to four months,” said Emiliano Ramalho, the lead researcher for Project Lauarete, which is administered by the Instituto Mamiraua.

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