Sun, Mar 24, 2019 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Former priest teaching kids

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of molesting two young brothers in New Jersey is now teaching English to children in a resort town. NBC News on Friday quoted Hadmels DeFrias as saying that he is no longer a threat and does not “see the children with those eyes anymore.” DeFrias, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, was accused of fondling the boys, who were both younger than 14, in 2001 and 2002. He pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact in 2004. DeFrias told NBC News that officials with the Colegio del Caribe school in Punta Cana know of his past. They did not respond to calls for comment from NBC. The 47-year-old said that he does not “feel the attraction” to children anymore, but added: “I’m not telling you that maybe someday it won’t be there.”

MEXICO

Islas Marias inmates found

As they closed down the last island penal colony in the hemisphere after more than a century, authorities faced a conundrum: They had lost track of 16 inmates registered at the Islas Marias prison. Most were later located at other prisons on the mainland, prison system head Francisco Garduno said on Friday. They had apparently been transferred from the penal colony, but not struck from its rolls. However, Garduno said that two inmates were never found and are presumed to have escaped in a 2013 prison riot that killed six people. It was unclear if the inmates tried to get to the mainland — historically, most who tried drowned in the attempt — or headed into the hills of the main island. Even some prison employees do not want to leave the main island 110km off the coast of Nayarit state. Garduno said 117 of the 411 employees want to continue working on the island, which is scheduled to become a nature reserve and cultural center.

PANAMA

Martinelli faces long term

Former president Ricardo Martinelli faces up to 21 years in jail for spying on political foes, reporters and business leaders while in power, prosecutors said on Friday. Martinelli created and directed “an organized state apparatus” for domestic espionage when in office from 2009 to 2014, prosecutor Ricaurte Gonzalez said. The then-president targeted about 150 individuals with illegal communications tapping — done with no court order, he said. Those critical of Martinelli seemed to have drawn his closest scrutiny, becoming targets for his wiretaps, he added. However, attorney Carlos Carrillo of Martinelli’s legal team said that it was impossible to link Martinelli to the offenses of which he has been accused.

RUSSIA

Boyko meets with Medvedev

A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss gas supplies. Yuri Boyko, a rare openly pro-Russian candidate, trails far behind a comedian, a former prime minister and the incumbent president in opinion polls ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election on March 31. Boyko on Friday spoke with Medvedev in the meeting, which was televised live on Ukrainian TV. Boyko said that he would like Ukraine to resume gas purchases from Russia, which should lower the skyrocketing utility bills for Ukrainians. The very visit is rare for Ukrainian politicians these days, as any connections to Russia are largely regarded as toxic because of the government’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and its ongoing support for separatists in a deadly conflict in Ukraine’s east.

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