Gunman kills eight in bar
A gunman opened fire in a bar on Friday night in Cali, killing eight people and wounding five in what police said appeared to have been a settling of scores between rival criminal gangs. Cali Police Commander Colonel Hoover Pinilla said those targeted were members of a criminal gang in the nation’s third-largest city who had clashed with a rival group several weeks ago. A local prosecution service employee who was in the bar at the time was among the dead, police said. A 20-year-old man carrying a pistol was arrested fleeing the scene, police said on Saturday.
Good deed haunts samaritan
A good deed has come back to haunt a formerly homeless man in New Jersey. James Brady found US$850 on a sidewalk in Hackensack last year and turned it in to police. Brady was awarded the money six months later after no one contacted police during the required waiting period. Now, the Record newspaper reports that Brady has been denied General Assistance and Medicaid benefits by the Hackensack Human Services Department through Dec. 31 because he failed to report the US$850 as income. The department’s director told the newspaper it is just following the rules. Brady was homeless when he found the money and was featured in media reports nationwide for turning it in.
Theater blasts kill director
A Paris theater’s technical director died of a heart attack on Friday after a malfunctioning power tool set off an explosion at the theater, investigators said on Saturday. Marcus Toledano, 41, died in hospital, police said, adding that his heart had stopped when rescue workers arrived on the scene. An initial investigation determined that a first blast near the stage shortly after 6pm was caused when the disc of a circular power saw broke away and ignited fireworks stored nearby for use in Toldeano’s musical about the French Revolution. He was among several people who rushed to the scene when a second explosion ensued, causing a wall to collapse. Several others were injured, five seriously, police said. The injured were mostly stage hands who were setting up for the 8:30pm showing of 1789, the Lovers of the Bastille at the Palais des Sports. Producer Albert Cohen said four employees who were hospitalized overnight were “out of danger” and would be discharged on Saturday.
Colombian gangster caught
Police arrested the fugitive leader of one of Colombia’s most violent gangs in Madrid, authorities said on Saturday. Drug enforcement officers seized Cipriam Manuel Palencia Gonzalez, 34 — alias “Visaje” — under an international arrest warrant for homicide, a police statement said. “Palencia Gonzalez is considered the main leader of Los Urabenos, a Colombian paramilitary organization, and responsible for ordering a plan to murder officers of the Colombian national police,” it said. He is accused of drug-smuggling, extortion and several killings, including ordering attacks that left one Colombian police officer dead and another seriously wounded. Los Urabenos are considered by Colombian authorities to be one of the most dangerous gangs in the country. Officers arrested Palencia Gonzalez in Madrid, where he was suspected to be organizing new drug-trafficking operations. He had escaped from jail in Colombia in 2009 and in September this year fled wounded from a police raid in which a policeman was killed and six members of the gang were arrested.
Bo supporter starts party
A supporter of disgraced politician Bo Xilai (薄熙來) says she has set up a new political party with about a dozen people and named the imprisoned former official its chairman. Wang Zheng (王錚), a Beijing lecturer, says the party was established on Wednesday. Wang refused to provide more details yesterday about the party’s membership. She says only that it had “more members than the number of people who attended the [Chinese] Communist Party’s [CCP] first congress after it was established.” Twelve deputies attended the CCP’s first congress in Shanghai in 1921. Bo, the former party boss in Chongqing, was convicted in September of embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power and sentenced to life in prison. His social policies earned him a limited popularity mostly among the region’s farmers and low-paid workers.
Workers, police clash
The Saudi Press Agency says clashes between mainly foreign workers and police in Riyadh have killed a Saudi and an unidentified worker and left 68 others injured. The agency said police arrested 561 rioters who had barricaded themselves in the narrow streets of a poor area of the capital on Saturday evening, from where they threw stones, threatened people with knives and damaged more than 100 cars and many stores. It described the rioters as “anonymous,” without saying why they were rioting. However, it quoted Riyadh police spokesman Brigadier General Nasser al-Qahtani as saying the rioters were mostly foreign workers who did not have valid work permits and were facing deportation. On Wednesday, police killed an Ethiopian migrant allegedly trying to flee arrest amid a government crackdown on illegal labor.