Marseille crackdown vowed
Authorities vowed action to fight rampant street crime in Marseille on Tuesday after the latest in a string of deadly gang shootings. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and five ministers rushed to Marseille after news of Monday’s killing, which saw a 25-year-old suspected drug dealer riddled with bullets. “The government has committed with determination to reducing the violence, delinquency and crime in Marseille,” Ayrault said after visiting a hospital where a nurse was wounded in a knife attack on Sunday. Interior Minister Manuel Valls promised more support for police fighting a wave of gun and drug crime in the city. Monday’s killing was the 13th gang-related murder this year in the city and followed two other brutal attacks this month.
Murder prompts strike
A strike to protest at the killing of an anti-superstition activist shut businesses in Pune yesterday as police said they had made no progress in the case. Narendra Dabholkar, who campaigned for a law to eradicate superstition, was shot on Tuesday by two gunmen on motorbikes as he was taking his morning walk in Pune. Ninety percent of the city’s businesses and shops were closed yesterday by a protest strike called by local political parties and social organizations, a police officer said.
Convictions over floods
A court yesterday convicted four former local officials of negligence during floods last year that killed more than 170 people, sentencing three of them to serve time. Flash flooding of a mountain river killed scores in their sleep in the pre-dawn hours on July 7 last year after officials issued no flood warning, in the worst such disaster of the post-Soviet era. The Abinsk Regional Court sentenced the former head of Krymsk district to six years in a colony settlemen, the former Krymsk mayor to three-and-a-half years and local emergency situations official to four-and-a-half years. The former head of the neighboring village of Nizhnebakanskaya, which was also affected, received a suspended sentence of three-and-a-half years.
Suspect’s injuries detailed
The surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect had been shot through the face and had a fractured skull, wounds to his lower extremities and bone injuries on his left hand when he was caught hiding in a boat, according to the surgeon who treated him. The most severe injury was from a bullet that appeared to enter through the left inside of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mouth and exit the lower section of his face on the left side, Stephen Odom said during a legal proceeding at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center three days after capture. A transcript of the testimony was unsealed on Monday in US District Court in Boston, Massachusetts. Tsarnaev was wounded during a confrontation with police a day after authorities released photographs of him and his older brother, Tamerlan, as suspects in the bombing.
Theft suspect arrested
Police have arrested a suspected member of the infamous Pink Panther gang of international jewel thieves in Montpellier, police sources said yesterday. The suspect, a citizen of Montenegro aged about 40, was detained at his home in the city on Monday, despite trying to flee out of a window when police arrived, one source said. He was wanted in several countries, including under two international arrest warrants issued by Switzerland.
Arsonist grieved over son
A California professor who set fires at his late son’s school, a school administrator’s home and a nearby park said he was so overwhelmed with grief after his 14-year-old son killed himself that he wrote and did things he would not normally do. Wiping away tears, 49-year-old Rainer Reinscheid pleaded with a Superior Court judge on Tuesday for a lenient sentence for the arsons. He also apologized repeatedly to school officials, students, his family, his employer and the prosecutor in the year-old case. Reinscheid told the court that the irrational thoughts that drove his behavior in the weeks after his son committed suicide have disappeared. “I lost my son, and then I lost myself,” Reinscheid told the court. “Now, I am asking you, your honor, and many other people, to forgive me and show mercy.”
Gunman kills two
A man opened fire in a restaurant in a small town in the southwest on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring five before taking his own life, police said. Heidelberg police said a meeting of property owners was taking place in the restaurant in the town of Dossenheim, and there had reportedly been an argument shortly before the shooting. Police were alerted at 7pm and there were about 20 people in the restaurant at the time of the shooting. Police said the man had been excluded from the meeting, but returned with a gun and shot dead two men before turning the weapon on himself.
School sees gunbattle
A man with an assault rifle and other weapons exchanged gunfire with officers on Tuesday at an elementary school in Decatur, Georgia, before surrendering, a police chief said, with dramatic overhead TV footage capturing the young students racing out of the building, being escorted by teachers and police to safety. No one was injured. The suspect, Michael Brandon Hill, 20, fired at least a half-dozen shots from the rifle from inside McNair at officers who were swarming the campus outside, the chief said. Officers returned fire when the man was alone and they had a clear shot, DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said.
Ancient beads from meteor
The earliest iron artifacts ever found — funeral beads strung around bodies in a 5,000-year-old Egyptian cemetery — were made from a meteorite, archeologists said on Monday. High-tech scanning of the beads, discovered by British archeologists in the Lower Egypt village of el-Gerzeh in 1911, shows the metal came from a rock in outer space, they said. The nine small beads come from two burial sites dated to around 3,200 BC, where they were found in necklaces, along with exotic terrestrial minerals, such as lapis lazuli, agate and gold.
‘Canadiens uniform’ rejected
Toronto transit workers on Tuesday rejected a proposed new uniform, saying it looks too much like the jersey of a longtime hockey rival, the Montreal Canadiens. Sketches of the uniforms with the similar red, white and blue colors of the Canadiens circulated in the local media, prompting the city’s transit union to take a stand. “The colors are unsuitable,” union spokesman Bill Reno said. “Our members, especially those who were born and raised in Toronto and are hockey fans, object to wearing Montreal Canadiens colors. Toronto is a hockey city like Montreal and this is a longtime hockey rivalry that is rearing its head again.”
Bus crash kills at least 18
A car and a packed church bus returning from an outing collided and plunged into a river in West Java, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than a dozen others, police said yesterday. The bus, carrying about 60 people from a church in northern Jakarta, was returning from a trip to the hilly resort town of Puncak when its brakes apparently malfunctioned, local traffic police chief Captain Muhammad Chaniago said. He said the bus hit a small car and crashed through a wall, before both vehicles fell into the river in Cisarua.
Dog saves cat’s life
Traditional animal rivalries were set aside when a dog’s blood was used to save the life of a poisoned cat in a rare inter-species transfusion, reports said yesterday. Cat owner Kim Edwards was frantic on Friday last week when her ginger tom Rory went limp after eating rat poison, rushing to her local veterinary clinic in Tauranga for help. Vet Kate Heller said the feeble feline was fading fast and needed an immediate transfusion to survive, so she decided to take a gamble and use dog blood to try to save the animal. Edwards called up her friend Michelle Whitmore, who volunteered her labrador Macy. Edwards said the cat appeared to have come through its ordeal unscathed. “Rory is back to normal and we don’t have a cat that barks or fetches the paper,” she said.
Nuclear reactor shuts down
A reactor at one of the nation’s largest nuclear plants shut down yesterday. The reactor, one of six at the Yeonggwang complex, shut down at 2:44pm, a spokesman for Korea Hydro and Power Co said. “The cause of the stoppage is as yet unknown and investigations are under way,” the spokesman said.