Sun, Apr 22, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take



Court absolves ex-president

A court on Friday absolved former president Francisco Flores of civil responsibility in a case in which he was accused of diverting more than US$15 million in earthquake relief funds donated by Taiwan. Investigators had found that US$10 million of the money, intended to help the victims of two powerful earthquakes in 2001, had in fact gone to Flores’ Nationalist Republican Alliance party, while the rest benefited him personally. However, the court ruled there was no basis for a civil judgement against him, because documents from Taiwan that were presented by the Public Ministry “were not authenticated. They did not fulfill the formalities of the law.” Defense lawyer Edgar Morales Joya said there was no proof against the former president. Flores governed from 1999 to 2004 and died in 2016 while under house arrest on accusations of embezzlement, illicit enrichment and other crimes. His death ended any possibility of a criminal conviction, but prosecutors pursued a civil case.


Six countries quit UNASUR

A South American bloc created a decade ago to counter US influence in the region has temporarily lost half its members after six countries suspended their memberships amid differences over who should lead the group. Chancellor Fernando Huanacuni on Friday said that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) due to differences over choosing the secretary-general of the group. “We have received a note from the six countries saying they will not participate in UNASUR meetings for a period of one year” until the leadership issue is resolved, Huanacuni said. The Paraguayan Ministry of Foreign Relations said in a statement that the six countries would remain outside UNASUR until they see “concrete results that guarantee its operation.”


Top court rejects Evans case

The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a mother and father who want to take their terminally ill toddler to Italy for treatment. The decision announced on Friday was another setback for the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans. They have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital over his care. The decision means an earlier Court of Appeal ruling is to stand. Justices in that court upheld a lower court’s conclusion that it would be pointless to fly the boy to Rome for treatment. Alfie is in a “semi-vegetative state” as the result of a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have been unable to definitively identify.


Swift stalker caught napping

Police said a stalker broke into Taylor Swift’s New York City townhouse and took a nap. Police said officers investigating a reported break-in on Friday found 22-year-old Roger Alvarado asleep in the pop star’s home in the Tribeca neighborhood. Alvarado, of Homestead, Florida, was arrested on charges of stalking, burglary, criminal mischief and trespassing. It was not clear whether he has an attorney who can speak for him. Alvarado was arrested at the same address on Feb. 13 on charges of breaking the front door with a shovel. Swift was not home during Friday’s break-in. The multi-platinum recording artist has dealt with stalkers on both coasts. Police said a Colorado man arrested on Saturday last week outside a Beverly Hills home owned by Swift had a knife, a rope and ammunition.

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