Lula to remain in jail
The president of an appeals court whose judges issued contradictory rulings on Sunday on whether former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should be freed ordered late in the day that he remain jailed. The duty judge on the Fourth Federal Regional Tribunal started off the day by ordering that Lula be released on Sunday morning. That set off a series of back-and-forth during the day as one judge refused to follow that order and another contradicted it. The court’s president, Judge Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores Lenz, ruled that Lula should remain in jail. Two analysts said the order should settle the matter — at least for the moment. The defense can always appeal to a higher court. Lula began serving a 12-year sentence for corruption in April.
Train derailment kills 24
Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag yesterday said that 24 people were killed in the derailment of a passenger train in the northwest. Akdag said that heavy rain had caused the ground under the rails to collapse, causing Sunday’s crash. The train was heading to Istanbul from Edirne, on the border with Greece, with 362 passengers and six crew members on board. Five of its six cars derailed. Minister of Health Ahmet Demircan said 318 were injured, with 124 still being treated in hospitals. Judicial and administrative investigations have been launched.
Official fined over call
Minister for Transport Phil Twyford yesterday said he would pay a small fine for violating aviation rules by making a cellphone call from a plane. The Civil Aviation Authority fined Twyford NZ$500 (US$340) for breaching rules to prevent electromagnetic interference with aircraft instruments. The agency said that because Twyford ended his call before takeoff, it did not pose a significant risk to the safety of the flight. Twyford had earlier stepped down from his role overseeing aviation safety after making the call to a staffer in May.
Hundreds pose nude
About 500 Australians yesterday shivered in the nude for US photographer Spencer Tunick, braving the winter chill on a Melbourne supermarket rooftop for his latest mass nude shots. The participants, chosen from 12,000 eager applicants, posed standing and lying down on concrete, covered only in transparent red fabric, with the temperature hovering at about 7oC in the wind. Participants did not have their gear off for too long. “I worked quickly in order to keep them not from freezing and I think I got some beautiful artworks,” Tunick told reporters.
Anti-graft prosecutor fired
President Klaus Iohannis has fired the nation’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor over misconduct and incompetence accusations by the Ministry of Justice. Iohannis’ office announced yesterday that National Anti-Corruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi was dismissed to implement a ruling by the nation’s top court, which had ordered it over the accusations of incompetence. In a February report, Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader had accused Kovesi of being authoritarian and claimed that prosecutors under her command had falsified evidence and acquitted an inordinate number of defendants. Kovesi, who has been widely praised for prosecuting senior officials, refuted his accusations.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable