VP convicted for fraud
Vice President Cristina Fernandez was on Tuesday convicted and sentenced to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from holding public office for a fraud scheme that embezzled US$1 billion through public works projects during her presidency. A three-judge panel found the Peronist leader guilty of fraud, but rejected a charge of running a criminal organization, for which the sentence could have been 12 years in prison. It was the first time a vice president has been convicted of a crime while in office. Fernandez lashed out at the verdict, describing herself as the victim of a “judicial mafia.”
PM likely to stay on
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was expected to remain leader of the eastern Caribbean island after snap general elections on Tuesday that the main opposition party and its supporters boycotted. Twenty-one of 32 seats in the House of Assembly were up for grabs, with several automatically going to Skerrit’s Dominica Labor Party, as the opposition parties did not submit candidates. The remaining nine members are chosen by the assembly or president and two other positions are ex-officio, held by the speaker and attorney general.
Police crackdown begins
Police on Tuesday moved en masse into poor urban areas to tackle criminal gangs “head on” after a decree by President Xiomara Castro to temporarily suspend certain rights. The 30-day lifting of constitutional guarantees that began on Tuesday allows police to make arrests without warrants in 89 districts of Tegucigalpa, the capital, and 73 districts of San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital. Castro last week declared the lifting of the constitutional rights due to what she called a “national emergency” over gang violence. “We are going to go head on against organized crime,” National Police Director Gustavo Sanchez said.
Khashoggi suit dismissed
A federal judge in Washington on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the fiance of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi against Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, citing President Joe Biden’s grant of immunity. District Judge John Bates suggested he was reluctant to throw out the lawsuit, but had no choice given the Biden administration’s decision. “Despite the court’s uneasiness, then, with both the circumstances of bin Salman’s appointment and the credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, the United States has informed the court that he is immune,” Bates wrote in the 25-page ruling.
Killer robot plan on hold
A plan to equip San Francisco police with killer robots was sent back to the drawing board on Tuesday after city council members said they were having second thoughts. City supervisors last week said officers would be allowed to deploy robots capable of delivering lethal force to deal with dangerous felons and life-threatening situations. Police had welcomed the plan, saying that it would be an option of last resort for tackling violent suspects like mass shooters or suicide bombers, without risk to officers’ lives. However, at a meeting of the board of supervisors on Tuesday that had been set to rubber-stamp the plan, officials said they now had reservations.
Pins hidden in her shoes, head forced down a toilet, kicked in the stomach: South Korean hairdresser Pyo Ye-rim suffered a litany of abuse from school bullies, but now she is speaking out. The 26-year-old is part of a phenomenon sweeping South Korea known as “Hakpok #MeToo,” where people who were bullied publicly name and shame the perpetrators of school violence — “hakpok” in Korean — decades after the alleged crimes. Made famous globally by Netflix’s gory revenge series The Glory, the movement has ensnared everyone from K-pop stars to baseball players and accusations — often anonymous — can be career-ending, with
One of Australia’s two active volcanoes on an island near Antarctica — known as Big Ben — has been spotted by satellite spewing lava. The lava flow on the uninhabited Heard Island, about 4,100km southwest of Perth and 1,500km north of Antarctica, is part of an ongoing eruption that was first noted more than a decade ago. The image was caught by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite on Thursday, and is a composite of an optical picture and an infrared image. The lava is seen flowing down the side of Big Ben from near the summit, known as Mawson Peak.
SYMBOLIC: The bill sponsored by a cross-party group of lawmakers was hailed as a ‘historic moment’ in the fight for marriage equality, but is unlikely to pass Lawmakers in South Korea have proposed the country’s first same-sex marriage bill, in a move hailed by civic groups as a defining moment in the fight for equality. The marriage equality bill, proposed by South Korean lawmaker Jang Hye-yeong of the minor opposition Justice Party and co-sponsored by 12 lawmakers across all the main parties, seeks to amend the country’s civil code to allow same-sex marriage. The bill is unlikely to pass, but forms part of a trio of bills expected to increase pressure on the government to expand the idea of family beyond traditional criteria. The two other bills relate to
TIME TO TALK: Among China’s grievances were economic and trade issues related to Taiwan, but both countries emphasized the need to maintain communication US Trade Representative Katherine Tai (戴琪) on Friday raised complaints about China’s state-led economic policies during a meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao (王文濤), who objected to US tariffs and trade policies, as well as issues related to Taiwan, their offices said. However, statements from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce emphasized the need for Washington and Beijing to maintain communication on trade. “Ambassador Tai highlighted the need to address the critical imbalances caused by China’s state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade policy,” the USTR said in a statement released after the