Mayor fired over school rape
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has dismissed the mayor of the southern city of Taraz after a 12-year-old student was raped in a school latrine earlier this month, prompting public outrage over officials’ negligence and poor education funding. The incident highlighted “systemic shortcomings” in the municipal government’s work, Tokayev said on Twitter late on Thursday, announcing his order to fire Kairat Dosayev, who had run the city of 360,000 since April. Police have detained a 38-year-old man who appeared on the school’s closed-circuit TV cameras and has been identified by the victim, but was apparently ignored by staff as he loitered at the school in broad daylight. Meanwhile, commentators criticized authorities for failing to ensure the school’s safety and to equip it with modern, indoor toilets — 30 percent of schools in the nation still use outdoor latrines.
Millane murderer convicted
A man was yesterday found guilty of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane last year after a jury rejected his defense that her death was accidental. Millane disappeared on the eve of her 22nd birthday in December last year, a few days after arriving in Auckland while on a year-long, around-the-world vacation after graduating from university. The 27-year-old accused, whose identity is suppressed by a court order, had pleaded not guilty to her murder. The court heard Millane and the killer met on the evening of her death through dating app Tinder. The defendant did not dispute that Millane died in his home and that he disposed of her body in rugged bushland outside Auckland, where it was found a week later. His defense team claimed that Millane died after encouraging him to choke her during consensual sex, then he disposed of the body and cleaned up the scene because he panicked. Prosecutors said that after Millane’s death, he took pictures of her, searched online for sites to dispose of the corpse, watched pornography and arranged another Tinder date for the following night.
Authorities arrest journalist
State media yesterday said that a journalist has been arrested for “anti-state” activities. The official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said that Pham Chi Dung was on Thursday arrested for “producing, possessing and spreading anti-state information and documents.” Dung, 53, is a former army officer and Vietnamese Communist Party member. He had frequently conducted serious and unlawful activities that hurt social security and stability, VNA said. Voice of America Vietnamese published an article by Dung last week in which he criticized the EU for signing a free-trade agreement with Hanoi, despite its poor human rights record and urged the bloc to reconsider before ratifying it.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘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
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete