Teen allegedly killed mom
A teenager who allegedly killed his mother and chopped her body into pieces has told police he simply did not like her, and wanted to know more about dissection, reports have said. The 19-year-old allegedly dismembered his mother’s body in the bathroom of their apartment near Tokyo, cutting her into at least 15 pieces using kitchen knives, the Sankei Shimbun said on Saturday, citing unnamed police sources. The teenager then kept the body parts in the bathtub, which he filled with water, before starting to dump them piece by piece in plastic bags, the report said. He told police he “didn’t like her” and she was an “ordinary person,” the Sankei reported, quoting an unnamed investigator. He also said he was interested in the dissection of a human body, the Yomiuri Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun reported. The suspect, who has not been named as he is still a minor under Japanese law, was arrested on March 14 after a relative visited the apartment and found some of the body parts. The murder is believed to have been committed about two weeks previously.
Hailstorms kill 12
Hailstorms that hit Guangdong and Hunan provinces last week killed 12 people, injured hundreds more and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. Xinhua news agency says nine people were killed in Dongguan in Guangdong after a Wednesday hailstorm. It says 272 others were injured in the storm, which caused economic losses of 357 million yuan (US$57.5 million). Three other people died from hailstorms that began on Tuesday in Hunan, where 1,900 houses have collapsed, Xinhua said on Saturday.
Poachers kill rare rhinos
A gang of poachers killed a rare one-horned rhino at a wildlife park in the northeast, taking to 15 the number of such beasts slaughtered this year, an official said yesterday. Heavily armed poachers fired at the rhino late on Saturday inside Assam state’s Kaziranga National Park and its horn was gouged out, just a day after another was killed, a wildlife official said. “Two rhinos have been killed in two days and it is a matter of concern for all of us,” a park ranger said, requesting not to be named since the state government has gagged officials from speaking to the media. “Poachers used AK-47 and .303 rifles to shoot dead the rhino. We have recovered empty cartridges from the site of the incident,” the official said. Kaziranga has fought a sustained battle against rhino poachers who kill the animals for their horns, which fetch huge prices in some Asian countries.
Pope celebrates mass
Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square yesterday, encouraging people to be humble and young at heart, as tens of thousands joyfully waved olive branches and palm fronds. The square overflowed with about 250,000 pilgrims, tourists and Romans eager to join the new pope at the start of solemn Holy Week ceremonies, which lead up to Easter. Keeping with his spontaneous style, the first pope from Latin America broke away several times from the text of his prepared homily to encourage the faithful to lead simple lives. Palm Sunday recalls Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, but its Gospel also recounts how he was betrayed by one of his apostles and ultimately sentenced to death on a cross. Recalling the triumphant welcome into Jerusalem, Francis said Jesus “awakened so many hopes in the heart, above all among humble, simple, poor, forgotten people, those who don’t matter in the eyes of the world.”
The government said its troops fired into Syria yesterday and destroyed a machinegun position in the Golan Heights from where shots had been fired at its soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front. It was not immediately clear whether the government held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on military patrols in the occupied territory. Soldiers “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border,” the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page. Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria’s civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn return fire.
Two die skydiving in Florida
Two skydivers from Iceland, one an instructor and the other a student, were killed in a skydiving jump on Saturday in Florida, media reported. The two men were part of a group of 22 skydivers who jumped from a plane in Zephyrhills, about 50km northeast of Tampa, according to the Tampa Tribune newspaper. When only 20 of those who jumped returned, authorities launched a search and found the bodies of the two men a few hours later, media reports said. The two men were from Iceland, according to Skydive City, which planned the jump, the Tribune reported. Their identities were not released.