Mother drugs baby with milk
A woman has admitted giving her three-month-old baby cannabis — through her breast milk, it was reported yesterday. The 29-year-old, from the North Island town of Wanganui, was sentenced to six months’ supervision after pleading guilty to administering the drug to her baby, the Wanganui Chronicle said. Police, who arrested the woman following a search of her house for drugs, said her actions amounted to child abuse. However, University of Auckland law professor Warren Brookbanks said it was unlikely the case would have succeeded had the woman denied the charge.
Historic tank returned
A tank used by the country in its 1920 war against the Red Army was returned from Afghanistan, where it was serving as a decoration at the defense ministry. Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said Friday the French-made FT-17 tank has “historic and sentimental value” for Poland. According to historians, it probably was captured by the Bolsheviks during the war, and later sent to Kabul as a gift. It was spotted at the Ministry of Defense in Kabul by an Afghan employee of the embassy, according to Piotr Lukasiewicz, the ambassador to Kabul. After maintenance, it will be displayed at the Polish Armed Forces Museum, Siemoniak said. Europe has only three such tanks, the museum says.
Rebels rescue toddler
No one knows how long little Bushr al-Tawashi wandered alone in the rubble of his home in the capital before rebel fighters found the toddler and handed him over to another family to look after. Now, the two-year-old is back with his parents — who believed he had been killed. In their chaotic haste to escape fighting between government troops and rebels, Bushr’s parents had assumed the boy was picked up by other members of their extended family who were staying with them when clashes broke out last summer in the Damascus suburb of al-Kaboun. Heavy fighting prevented the parents from going back to search for Bushr once they arrived at a refugee camp and realized he was missing, said Stella Constantinou, a Cypriot lawyer. Believing he did not survive the shelling, the boy’s grief-stricken father, Machhour al-Tawashi, and his wife, Arin al-Dakkar, arrived in Cyprus on Aug. 6 along with their two other sons, ages four and six, in search of asylum. Word the boy was safe eventually reached the parents. The Cypriot Foreign Ministry expedited the process of reuniting the boy with his family after his parents provided proof he was their child. Bushr’s father then traveled to Beirut, where he was reunited with the boy at the Cypriot embassy. He brought Bushr back to the island on Thursday.
Ex-Nazis’ sentences upheld
A military court of appeal in Rome on Friday upheld the life sentences passed on three ex-Nazis for the killing of hundreds of civilians during World War II. The three were among nine former soldiers, mostly in their nineties and tried in their absence, who were given life sentences in July last year for the killings in villages in northern Italy in 1944. Of the nine three have since died and three others were acquitted by the appeal court on Friday. The men were part of the Hermann Goering division which had tried to break the back of the Italian resistance and indiscriminately slaughtered civilians, including 140 in the Modena region alone. The sentences were also for massacres carried out in other parts of the Emilia Romagna region and near Arezzo in Tuscany.
First black MP laid to rest
Hundreds of people gathered in Hamilton, Ontario, to pay their respects to Canada’s first black member of parliament, who died last week at the age of 90. Lincoln Alexander became a member of parliament in 1968 and served as Ontario’s lieutenant-governor from 1985 to 1991. Born in Toronto to West Indian immigrants, Alexander was a wireless operator with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, before he attended law school. The rare provincial state funeral was held in Alexander’s hometown of Hamilton. Michael Forrest, president of the National African Canadian Association, said Alexander’s accomplishments paved the way for many.
Canadian dies after shooting
A French Canadian man, who officials believe had ties to organized crime, died on Friday from injuries sustained two weeks ago during a shooting, police said. Guyana police spokesman Ivelaw Whittaker said Jean-Claude Le Blanc “succumbed to his injuries” after being shot on Oct. 15 in the restaurant of the Guyana Motor Racing Sports Club. The Montreal resident fell into a coma just hours after giving police a statement about the shooting. Investigators said Le Blanc was gunned down at the restaurant around the same time as the fatal shooting of suspected Guyanese drug kingpin Ricardo Rodrigues in what appears to have been a drug deal gone bad.
Man votes using dog’s name
An official with a New Brunswick political party is raising questions about the integrity of the opposition’s leadership race in his province after he was able to vote using his dog’s name. Jean-Paul Soucy said on Friday that he registered his dog Pitou, or “puppy” in English, to vote online for one of the three candidates vying for the top Liberal job at yesterday’s leadership convention in New Brunswick. The executive director of the province’s Conservative party says he wanted to test the Liberal voting system, but could not use his own name because he is a member of another party. Soucy says he was surprised when a voting package arrived in the mail for his dog. He declined to say who he voted for.
Police capture kidnap gang
Officials in the north say they have captured four members of a kidnapping gang who confessed to involvement in 43 killings. The security spokesman for the northern state of Nuevo Leon says the men worked for the Zetas cartel. Spokesman Jorge Domene says the gang kidnapped and killed members of rival gangs, and also carried out kidnappings for ransom. Domene said the four carried out many of their crimes on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey.
Kingpin’s daughter arrested
A woman who identified herself as a daughter of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has denied charges of trying to enter the US with false documents, officials said on Friday. Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, 31, was arrested on Oct. 12 in San Ysidro in southern California, on the border with the Mexican city of Tijuana, according to a document filed by prosecutors. Guzman Salazar, whose drug lord father’s nickname means “Shorty,” was charged on six counts on Thursday before judge Jan Adler in a US district court in San Diego, prosecutors’ spokeswoman Debra Hartman said.