Police catch escaped convict
Police on Thursday recaptured a Dominican man convicted of kidnapping and murdering five young people of Chinese descent, two weeks after he escaped prison for a second time. National Police Director Jorge Miranda told local media that Gilberto Ventura Ceballos was found in Chiriqui Province bordering Costa Rica. Authorities had on Tuesday last week announced that Ventura Ceballos had escaped. The latest escape prompted the resignation of the security minister and the firing of the interior minister. Ventura Ceballos was in July 2018 sentenced along with a fellow Dominican accomplice to 50 years for the abduction and killing of the five university students about a decade ago. He acknowledged murdering them and burying them beneath the floor of a home in La Chorrera, authorities said. At least two were buried alive, investigators said.
Man fires gunshots into air
Police yesterday took a man into custody after he fired multiple gunshots into the air in central Bangkok, injuring no one less than a week after a soldier killed 29 people in a shooting rampage. The incident in the capital was related to a personal conflict, Metropolitan Police Bureau Chief Lieutenant General Pakkapong Pongpetra told reporters. The suspect surrendered and agreed to accompany police to their station, he said. The man reportedly fired 20 to 40 shots during the more than six-hour incident in a residential neighborhood with small shops, many selling sporting goods, next to Chulalongkorn University. Police had cleared the area around the building and media reported that a family member was brought in to try to convince him to surrender.
Bar caters to broken hearts
Bitter or heartbroken on Valentine’s Day? Then head to the BreakUp Bar in Hollywood, where classic movies about splits play on a huge projection screen, and you can pin your thoughts and mementos on the “Wall of Broken Relationships” while drowning your sorrows in crafted cocktails like “Ghosted” or “I Dealt With Your Parents for Years.” Bar owner Evan Charest said that he wanted to create a haven decorated with black roses for the single and heartbroken. “Pretty much it’s the antithesis of all pro-Valentine’s Day things,” he said. “We thought we would be a place for single people and, you know, people in relationships who just want to get over all the pressure and stress of the Valentine’s Day holidays.” Notes posted on the wall read: “Love sucks,” “Your mother is crazy” and “She took the dog.” Patron Ingrid Jackel, a cosmetics executive from France, said: “I’m kind of over the Valentine season and, yeah, I was interested in doing something a little different.”
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent