World News Quick Take


Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 7


Macron leads Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron is expected to win the presidential election, according to an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll released on Tuesday — the latest of many surveys showing the 39-year-old as the leading candidate. The poll said that if the election were held on Sunday next week, Marine Le Pen would have the most votes in the first round, at 25 percent, compared with 24 percent for Macron and 18 percent for Francois Fillon. However, Macron would go on to resoundingly beat Le Pen in the two-way decider vote on May 7, with 62 percent for Macron compared with 38 percent for Le Pen. The Ipsos Sopra Steria survey said Macron would benefit in the second round from supporters of Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, whose risks elimination in the opening round and whose campaign has been flagging of late.


Horse takes to highway

That mustang in the rearview mirror turned out to be a real horse running on a Northern California highway — followed by a mule. Commuters east of San Francisco on Monday were stunned to see a white horse and a brown mule running across Interstate 680. Steve Burdo with Contra Costa County Animal Services says the animals broke through a fence about 2km away. The pair adhered to the vehicle code and used an on-ramp to get on the highway. Authorities shut down lanes shortly before 7:30am as motorists shot cellphone video and officers rounded up the four-legged fugitives. Burdo said that the horse, a gelding named Striker, appears to have led the breakout. He said Hank the mule was more of a follower.


Heroin found in dog box

Two men were arrested on drugs charges after heroin was found hidden in the false bottom of a dog crate containing a Labrador retriever that had been shipped from Puerto Rico to New York. Samuel Seabrooks, 35, of the Bronx, and Carlos Betancourt-Morales, 27, of Carmel, were arraigned on drug possession and conspiracy charges on Sunday, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Seabrook and Betancourt-Morales met at a Bronx IHOP restaurant on Friday night and traveled in separate vehicles to the American Airlines Priority Parcel Services at Kennedy Airport. The two men had a brief conversation before Betancourt-Morales entered the cargo building and signed for a delivery receipt for the dog crate, prosecutors said. He was stopped by police as he pushed the crate on a rolling cart toward the building’s exit. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities recovered 10 plastic wrapped packages containing more than 10kg of heroin with a street value of more than US$1 million. The packages were stamped with the Nike swoosh logo and a five-pointed star. The two New York men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


Acapulco loses cruises

The US cruise ship line Holland America said it has halted port calls at the troubled resort city of Acapulco and will sail to other destinations in the country “due to recent security concerns.” The news came as Acapulco hosts an annual tourism fair that officials hope will spark a rebound at the once-glamorous resort. The Seattle-based Holland America said on Monday that eight cruises that once stopped in Acapulco will instead go to other Mexican destinations this year and next year. Acapulco and areas inland in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero have been plagued by high levels of crime.


Chinese riot over death

Paris police yesterday said they had arrested 35 people after a demonstration by the capital’s Asian community over the killing of a Chinese man by a police officer turned violent. Police said that about 150 “members of the Asian community” gathered late on Monday outside a police station in the northeast of the capital. Three officers were slightly injured in the clashes and one police vehicle was damaged. The demonstrators were protesting against police violence after an officer shot dead a Chinese man on Sunday night. Officers were called to the man’s house after reports of a domestic dispute. The man attacked the officer with a knife “as soon as the door opened,” injuring him, police said. A police colleague then opened fire, killing the man, authorities said. A lawyer for the relatives of the dead man said the family “totally disputes this version of events.” According to the family, there was no domestic dispute and a neighbor called the police after hearing shouting. “Police forced open the door of the apartment, pushing him back,” the lawyer said. The man did not rush toward the officers, who “shot without warning,” the lawyer said. China has called on Paris to “guarantee the safety and legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens in France and to treat the reaction of Chinese people to this incident in a rational way,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) told a regular news briefing, adding that the government had filed an official complaint over the events. After learning of the incident, China immediately ordered its embassy in France to activate an emergency response mechanism.


Kim’s body in Malaysia

Minister of Health Subramaniam Sathasivam said the body of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is still in the country, dismissing reports that Kim Jong-nam’s remains were about to be flown out of the country as part of diplomatic negotiations. Conflicting reports in local media on Monday said either that Kim Jong-nam’s body was to be cremated and flown to Pyongyang, or that the body was about to be sent to Macau where his family is believed to be. Sathasivam said yesterday that the body was still in a Kuala Lumpur morgue pending negotiations with North Korea.


Train-truck crash kills two

A passenger train collided with an oil tanker truck in eastern Punjab before dawn yesterday, killing the driver and his assistant and injuring 10 others, officials said. The crash took place near the eastern city of Shaikhupura, engulfing several of the train’s cars in fire, according to Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique. A senior government official, Arqam Tariq, said the Karachi-bound train left Lahore late on Monday and collided with the truck, which was stuck on the tracks. Local television showed that at least five cars and the wrecked engine caught fire.


Extradition treaty shelved

The government has shelved a planned extradition treaty with China rather than allow the Senate to reject it over human rights concerns. Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said senior ministers yesterday decided not to proceed with the treaty after the Labor Party declared it would block it in the Senate. Bishop said she would renew negotiations with China and Labor to find a compromise that the Senate will accept.