Monday, December 31, 2012

JAPAN ( Detained 3 Chinese fishermen in Japan waters - They were fined 49,000 dollars )

Japan releases 3 Chinese caught illegally fishing

Three Chinese fishermen detained for illegal fishing in Japan’s waters were released Monday after promising to pay a 4.28 million yen ($49,700) fine, China’s state news agency Xinhua said, citing the consulate general in Fukuoka.

Xinhua said the detention of the three fishermen for unauthorised coral fishing within Japanese waters was “peacefully resolved” within 48 hours.
The detention comes as tensions simmer between China and Japan over ownership of disputed islands near Taiwan, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The dispute had sparked waves of anti-Japanese protests in Chinese cities this year.
Chinese fishermen tend to fish in waters far east of China to get away from depleted stocks at home.
The captain of the Chinese fishing boat that was among those detained had admitted to being in Japanese waters, Xinhua said on Sunday.
Japanese news agency Kyodo said separately on Monday that the captain was arrested on Saturday for fishing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone without permission, charges that he admitted to.

MEXICO ( 82 women killed in Juarez in 2012 ) Women's Rights group disagree

Office: 82 women slain in Juárez in 2012

By Juan Antonio Rodríguez \ El Paso Times

Juarez missing women
A poster about missing women in Juarez was sponsored by a Mexican government agency investigating crimes against women. (Jesus Alcazar / El Paso Times)
Up to 82 women have been slain in Juárez so far this year, and the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office in Juárez is linking 59 of these cases to organized crime.
The 23 other cases are labeled as genre crimes, because the victims were killed with knives, were beaten to death, or sexually assaulted, according to Silvia Nájera, a spokeswoman for the Crimes Against Women Special Unit in Juárez.
Chihuahua authorities attribute 59 slayings to organized crime, because the victims were shot to death, Nájera said.
But advocates for women's rights are in disagreement with the way those homicides are labeled.
"Those cases had not been thoroughly investigated by authorities," said Cecilia Espinosa, a member of Workshop for Women in Juárez. "Therefore, officials weren't able to determine the motive of the killings."
Instead of elaborating on those cases, officials label the victims as if they were at fault, Espinosa said.
Cases of women shot to death are turned over to the office as linked to organized crime, while the rest are handed for investigation to the Crimes Against Women Special Unit, said Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office.
Compared with the past two years, the tally of women slain by organized crime has decreased in 2012, Sandoval said.
Espinosa pointed out the vicious ways the women were killed.
On Sept. 3, Belinda Aidé Moncayo, 42, was killed with an ax, officials said. Her body was found in the Valle de Juárez rural area.

Five women have been killed in Juárez in September alone, officials said.

April was the deadliest month for women, with 18 victims reported, according to figures released by the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office.

Humberto Robles, with the May Our Daughters Come Back Home organization in Juárez, said the impunity of these killings contributes to worsening violence against women.

Authorities "take advantage of the so-called war against drugs cartels to link the victims to organized crime, instead of inquiring into the causes of those killings," Robles said. "It is good fishing in troubled waters, I guess."
Robles said that victims are labeled as prostitutes, the same way they were categorized in the 1990s, he said.

Robles said he doesn't believe the statistics provided by Chihuahua officials because those numbers conflict with figures released by Mexican national news media.

According to figures released by the Chihuahua Attorney General's Office, 98 women were slain in Juárez in 2008. The number of women killed increased in 2009, to 183, and the number in 2010 was 325, when the feud between drug cartels in Juárez peaked.

In 2011, 196 women were killed in Juárez, according to Chihuahua state figures.

A report released by Amnesty International in July indicates that the bodies of 13 young women were discovered in the Valle de Juárez rural area earlier this year.

In addition, 115 young girls remain missing in Juárez, according to the Amnesty International report. Those deaths have not been investigated appropriately and that leads to impunity, according to the report.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

WASHINGTON (Hillary Clinton in hospital for blood clot ) Breaking news

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday. Reines says Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants.
Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.
Reines says doctors will continue to assess Clinton's condition, "including other issues associated with her concussion."

Iran ( Small American plane breaks down in Iran - Lands in Iranian airport ) Iran helps with repairs

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A small American commercial plane left Iran Sunday after it was repaired following an emergency landing at an Iranian airport this month, state TV reported.
The plane was forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, told the TV station.
Rasoulinejad said three passengers left Iran for Arab countries in the Gulf, but the plane remained under repair in the airport. He said the plane took off from Iran Sunday upon arrival of needed spare parts and completion of repairs.

It was not clear why the announcement of the plane's landing was not made earlier.
Iran is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, which requires members to come to the aid of civilian aircraft when requested.
The service was provided though Iran and U.S. are at odds over Tehran's suspect nuclear program. The West believes it might be aimed at weapons development, a charge Iran denies.
A separate report by state TV said the Falcon-900 plane had one passenger and two crew members and was flying to Rotterdam in the Netherlands from Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates when it encountered mechanical difficulties.
It said a French team from Abu Dhabi repaired the plane at Ahvaz airport.
Every day some 500 foreign airplanes pass through Iranian airspace, including 30 American aircraft.

Mexico ( Juarez man tries to hide 74,900 dollars under doughnut box ) Gets busted at border

Juárez man arrested at border, agents seize grocery bag full of money

Money seized at border
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $74,900 that was in a car headed to Mexico on Tuesday at the Zaragoza Bridge. The cars driver was arrested for not declaring money over $10,000 as required by federal law. (Courtesy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
A Juárez man was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized a bag of cash hidden under a box of doughnuts in a car headed to Mexico, officials said Friday. Gerardo Nares Frias, 33, was arrested after $69,750 were found in a brown grocery bag, CBP officials said. Another $5,150 allegedly was found in Frias's pant's pocket and wallet. CBP officers seized the money and the car that Frias was driving because Frias allegedly did not declare the money. The seizure was made Tuesday by CBP officers checking Mexico-bound traffic at the Zaragoza Bridge. The seizure was part of more than $150,000 seized by CBP in four cases this week at the El Paso border. Drug proceeds are regularly shipped to Mexico is large
Daniel Borunda
quantities of cash. Federal law requires that travelers make a declaration when transporting more than $10,000 out of the country.

Iran ( 4 more prisoners hanged yesterday 12-29 ) 3 rapists and 1 drug dealer -Hard liners

Four prisoners were hanged in central Iran today- 11 executions since the Christmas Eve
Saturday 29 December 2012
[English] [فارسى]

Iran Human Rights, December 29: Four prisoners were hanged in the prison of Yazd (Central Iran) early this morning Saturday December 29.
According to the state run Iranian news agency Fars, three prisoners identified as "A.B.", "R.D." and "N.B." were convicted of rape in two different cases. The fourth prisoner identified as "M. A. A." was convicted of possession and trafficking of 980 grams of heroin and 38750 grams of opium. The executions were carried out early this morning in the central prison of Yazd.
Since the Christmas Eve (5 days ago) 11 people have been executed in Iran

NRA -Tucson police ( NRA Wants more Guns on the streets of Tucson to Kill people ) Mind your own business

2012-12-29T00:00:00Z2012-12-28T23:01:46ZNRA may fight gun buyback in TucsonDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily StarArizona Daily Star
December 29, 2012 12:00 am
A proposed gun buyback program in Tucson could place the city in a legal fight with the National Rifle Association.
Councilman Steve Kozachik is trying to raise $5,000 so Tucsonans may have a hassle-free way to dispose of unwanted firearms while making a little money in the process.
"With the success other cities have had with voluntary gun buybacks, I want to test the water to see how Tucson residents respond," Kozachik said. "The rules are simple: Bring in your gun on a totally voluntary basis, no questions asked, and you'll trade it for a Safeway $50 gift card."
Safeway has already agreed to donate $1,000, and Kozachik said he raised the other $4,000 from various private donors to purchase 100 firearms. Kozachik will work with the Tucson Police Department so the guns will be disposed of properly.

Mind your own business NRA (They want more guns in the wild wild west ) !

It's a good way to take guns nobody wants anymore out of circulation, he says.
However, an NRA lobbyist said Arizona law renders any gun buyback meaningless since the Police Department would be required to return or resell them.
Todd Rathner, a member of the NRA's national board of directors, said the law was changed earlier this year because police departments were destroying firearms.
Sen. Rick Murphy, R-Glendale, last session sponsored an amendment to an Arizona statute that deals with how government entities sell property. The amendment said if the property being sold is a firearm, a court shall order it to be sold to any authorized business.
During a Judiciary Committee hearing, Murphy said he was trying to plug loopholes in the original 2010 law, which required cities to sell off weapons they seized. There was no discussion at all during the hearing about gun buyback programs, not from Murphy nor from John Wentling, lobbyist for the Arizona Citizens Defense League, which advocated for the change.
Rathner said the change means police departments can't destroy guns.
"The police would have to take the guns and run them through the national database. If they are stolen, they are returned to the owner," said. "If they are not stolen, (TPD) is mandated by state law to sell them to the public."
TPD runs checks on every gun it receives to ensure they aren't stolen or have been used to commit a crime, spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke said. TPD holds several "destruction boards" throughout the year to dispose of things such as illicit drugs and guns. She said the same process would hold true for guns purchased through a buyback.
Hawke said TPD was researching to determine how this statute applies to TPD's practices regarding the disposal of firearms.
Any attempt to destroy a firearm would elicit a severe response from the NRA, Rathner said.
"If they destroy them, they will be in violation of state law," he said. "If they are in violation of state law, we will see them in a courtroom or we will change the law and have them sanctioned financially."
Rathner said the means the NRA chooses will depend on which one is most expeditious.
"If we can pass legislation faster, we'll pass a law that says we'll charge the city of Tucson and the Police Department some exorbitant amount of money for every firearm they destroy," he said. "We'll pursue it either through litigation or legislation."
City Attorney Mike Rankin said he believes the law would not apply to guns voluntarily surrended by their owners. The law is intended for guns that are seized by police.
Kozachik said he is confident Tucson police will abide by the law and dispose of the weapons properly, and doesn't understand why the NRA would oppose a voluntary program like the one he's proposing.
"This is geared to people who may have been given a weapon and have never felt comfortable having it around, or people who aren't trained in the safe use of the guns they own and simply want to get them out of their homes," Kozachik said.
"All of the gun-rights groups should absolutely embrace this idea. The NRA, Gun Owners of America and the others all say that only people who are trained and comfortable with weapons should own and use them," Kozachik said. "This program is intended to give people who don't fit that description a way to properly dispose of their weapons."
Once the money is collected, Kozachik said, he will work out with TPD the specific location for the event.
In a perfect scenario, Kozachik would like to hold the buyback around Jan. 8, to honor the anniversary of the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson.
If the program proves successful, Kozachik hopes another entity will continue the program.
"I am just trying to do a small one. … If it goes well, and the residents demonstrate that there's more of a demand for a program such as this, a nonprofit can pick up the mantle and do a bigger and better one later on," Kozachik said.
Ken Rineer, president of Gun Owners of Arizona, said he has reservations over losing guns committed during a crime, people unwittingly selling antique firearms and the legal issues regarding who is a licensed gun dealer when large numbers of weapons are purchased.
"I don't know if these issues can be laid to rest if they follow the no-question policy," Rineer said.
He said buybacks work well as symbolism or as a vehicle to pander for votes, but they have minor impacts in the real world.
"They're nice. They make people feel good. It makes council member Kozachik feel like he's doing something," Rineer said.
If Kozachik wants to get reelected he needs to remember that Arizonans of all political stripes support gun rights, Rineer said.
"I understand Kozachik is using this for political grandstanding for his election next year," Rineer said. "But council member Kozachik should know that even Democrats like guns in this city."
On StarNet: Read more about local and state government and political news at azstarnet.com/ news/local/govt-and-politics

LAPD (Gun buy back program - 2 Rocket launchers turned in ) See photo

2 Rocket Launchers Turned In During LAPD Gun Buyback (PHOTOS)

Categories: WTF
beck rocket launcher ted soqui.JPG
Ted Soqui for LA Weekly
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Yesterday's LAPD gun buyback was so successful that two-hour waits and gift-card shortages were reported.
The department says it picked up 75 assault weapons as part of its no-questions-asked effort that saw $100 dollar cards handed out for handguns and long guns and $200 for the kind of rifle used in the Newtown tragedy. The LAPD says 901 handguns, 698 rifles, 363 shotguns will also be destroyed.
Good stats. But this is the one that gut us saying WTF:

Cops picked up two -- count 'em two -- rocket launchers (!) (and not one, as other outlets are reporting), an LAPD official with close knowledge of the program told us. Holy hell why do people on our streets have military grade rocket launchers?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

PAKISTAN ( 21 policemen found dead- kidnapped by the Taliban )

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Twenty-one tribal policemen believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban were found shot dead in Pakistan's troubled northwest tribal region early Sunday, government officials said.
Officials found the bodies shortly after midnight in the Jabai area of Frontier Region Peshawar after being notified by one policeman who escaped, said Naveed Akbar Khan, a top political official in the area. Another policeman was found seriously wounded, said Khan.
The 23 policemen went missing before dawn Thursday when militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons attacked two posts in Frontier Region Peshawar. Two policemen were also killed in the attacks.
Mother finds out son is dead
Militants lined the policemen up on a cricket pitch late Saturday night and gunned them down, said another local official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion fell on the Pakistani Taliban, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government for the past few years. The tribal region is the main sanctuary for the Taliban in Pakistan.
On Saturday, an explosion ripped through a passenger bus at a terminal in the southern city of Karachi, killing six people and wounding 52 others, some of whom were in critical condition, said Seemi Jamali, a doctor at the hospital where the victims were being treated.
Police were trying to determine whether the blast, which reduced the bus to a charred skeleton, was caused by a bomb or a gas canister that exploded, said police spokesman Imran Shaukat. Many buses in Pakistan run on natural gas.
Karachi has a long history of political, ethnic and sectarian violence. It is also believed to be home to many Taliban militants who have fled U.S. drone attacks and Pakistani army operations in the country's northwest.

EL PASO ( Homeless man died of cold weather- Two teenage girls start coat drive for homeless

Homeless man's death inspires teenage sisters to start coat drive

With temperatures expected to drop over the next few days, two sisters are attempting to keep the less fortunate of El Paso warm this season through their SisterHoodies Coat Drive.
Eastwood High School senior Ariana Martell, 17, and freshman Diana Martell, 14, are donating more than 200 coats and jackets to the Rescue Mission of El Paso and the Reynolds Home for Homeless Women and Children.
Friday, the sisters distributed 245 coats, sweaters and hooded sweatshirts to homeless men, women and children at the shelters.
"This is the first year they have been involved with the Reynolds Home," said Dorothy Truax, director at the shelter. "And we appreciate what they are doing. The coats were not only given out to the
Alex Hinojosa
families here at the shelters but others who recently left and are in need."
The Martell sisters said they started the coat drive in 2011 after hearing about a homeless man who died of hypothermia.
"About a year ago, there was a homeless man that died behind the Bowl El Paso bowling alley," Ariana said. "And after speaking with the homeless man that used to be his friend, we found out that he died of hypothermia."
In November 2011, a 49-year-old homeless man was found dead behind Bowl El Paso on the East Side.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hypothermia is caused by staying in cold temperatures for long periods. The condition is defined by low body temperatures that can result in confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, shivering and death.
In an effort to prevent another hypothermia-related death, Ariana and Diana began distributing fliers around the Vista Hills Country Club neighborhood and asking their parents' co-workers to donate coats. The sisters received more than 100 coats, sweaters and hooded sweatshirts.

"We felt pretty bad after hearing about the man that died from hypothermia," Diana said. "So we wanted to do something that could prevent something like that from happening again."

This year, the Martell sisters decided to expand their outreach and asked the Eastwood National Honor Society to assist with the coat drive.

It resulted in an increased donation of coats.
The sisters said they hope the coat drive will continue to grow, and they have plans to expand it.

Ariana said she plans to continue the coat drive while she attends Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Diana said she will continue to spread the word about the coat drive while she's at Eastwood High and wants to encourage others to participate.

"During the winter it gets a lot colder and the coats will keep those in need really warm," Diana said.

"And I think that aside from being able to keep warm, they'll feel a little more loved because someone is thinking about them. I think it will lighten up their lives a little more."

Alex Hinojosa may be reached at ahinojosa@elpasotimes.com; 546-6137.

How to help
  • For more information or to donate coats to the SisterHoodies coat drive, email Diana and Ariana Martell at sisterhoodies.info@gmail.com.
  • Donations can be made year-round.

IRAN ( One woman and three men Hanged- Rapist and 3 drug dealers ) Iran human rights media

One Woman And Three Men Hanged In Western Iran- One Hanged Publicly

Monday 3 December 2012
[English] [فارسى]

Iran Human Rights, december 3: Four prisoners among them one woman, were hanged in Kermanshah (Western Iran) today Monday December 3.
According to the official site of the Iranian judiciary in Kermanshah, one female and two male prisoners were hanged in the prison of Kermanshah, while a foruth prisoner was hanged publicly in the Azadi (Freedom) Square of Kermanshah Monday noon. None of the prisoners were identified by name.
The three prisoners who were hanegd inside the prison were convicted of drug-related charges, while the prisoner who was hanged publicly was convicted of rape and kidnapping.
None of the above mentioned charges have been confirmed by independent sources.
Azadi (Freedom) Square of Kermanshah has been the site of several public executions in the past years.

Friday, December 28, 2012

SINGAPORE (Outrage- Woman gang-raped has died in Hospital ) Read story

SINGAPORE (AP) — A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her horrific ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection for women from sexual violence that impacts thousands of them every day.
She "passed away peacefully" with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side," said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. "The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss," he said in a statement.

He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India. "Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome."

PRESCOTT Az ( Cops in motorcycle gang beat up man- Put him in hospital ) State police investigate "wild hogs"

 PRESCOTT - State police have taken over an investigation into an alleged Prescott bar assault involving law enforcement officers who belong to a motorcycle club.
Prescott police turned over the investigation of Saturday night's incident involving members of the Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club to the Department of Public Safety once police officers from neighboring Prescott Valley were recognized among the bikers, Lt. Ken Morley said Thursday.
Officers from several agencies across the state who are members of the club also were at the bar and may be investigated, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.
Both Graves and Morley declined to release additional details of the incident, including any names, citing the ongoing investigation.

"We are very thorough, we will take our time and we will not comment until it is over," Graves said.
The results of the probe will be handed over to Prescott police and the Yavapai County Attorney for review. DPS would coordinate any potential arrests through the county attorney, Graves said.
Prescott police were called to a hospital Saturday night where a 23-year-old Glendale man told them he was punched several times by members of a motorcycle club while at a bar. He was released after treatment.
Police determined the club was the Iron Brotherhood, which bills itself as a club for active and retired law enforcement officers who ride Harley-Davidson or other large American-made motorcycles. The group's website says it has chapters in several states, including Arizona, and requires members to go through a try-out period before becoming full members, much like so-called "outlaw" motorcycle gangs.
The "Arizona Whisky Row" Chapter's Web page shows the club planned a Christmas party Saturday at a location to be determined. Prescott's bar district is also known as Whisky Row. An email was sent through the website seeking comment from members.
Prescott Valley police spokesman Sgt. Brandon Bonney said no officers are on leave.
The other agencies whose officers may be involved were not named by the DPS.

Iran ( 4 women stoned to death in November ) Being stoned to death is a form of punishment


Saturday 3 November 2012
[English] [فارسى] [français]


Iran Human Rights, November 2: According to a report published by the Melli-Mazhabi website, four women have been stoned to death during the past days in Iran. Security agents from the Iranian Judiciary reportedly transferred the bodies of the four women to the Tehran forensic medicine department. Reliable sources in contact with the Melli-Mazhabi website said the women had additional wounds on their bodies other than the one’s caused by stoning. The charges in the case files include ’engaging in immoral (sexual) relationship(s)’ and ’drug abuse’.
The sources that Iran Human Rights (IHR) has been in contact with say: "There is no doubt that the women have died as a result of stoning...and that the stoning has been carried out by the Iranian judiciary."
IHR has urged the United Nations to conduct an urgent investigation on the stoning of the four women. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR, said: "At the present moment there is no information about the identities of these women, but evidence suggests they were stoned to death by the Iranian authorities."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

CHINA and JAPAN ( Dispute over flying over islands - Gets Heated )

China 'highly vigilant' over Japanese fighters flying over disputed islands

China is “highly vigilant” about Japanese jet fighter flights over islands claimed by both countries and Japan must bear responsibility for any consequences, Chinese military and maritime officials said on Thursday.
The officials, speaking a day after a new Japanese prime minister took office, were responding to Japan sending jet fighters several times in the past two weeks to intercept Chinese patrol planes approaching airspace above the islands.
The situation in the volatile East China Sea region has severely strained relations between Beijing and Tokyo.

“We will decisively fulfill our tasks and missions while coordinating with relevant departments…so as to safeguard China’s maritime law enforcement activities and protect the country’s territorial integrity and maritime rights,” Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference.
Japan’s Defense Ministry has acknowledged scrambling F-15 jets on several occasions in recent weeks to intercept Chinese marine surveillance planes approaching the islands, called the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku by Japan.
It says a Chinese aircraft breached what it considers Japanese airspace for the first time on Dec 13.
The Japanese government administers the islands and purchased three of them from a private owner this past summer, sparking violent anti-Japanese protests across China.
New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised not to yield in the dispute over the islands and boost defense spending to counter Beijing’s growing military clout.
“The Japanese side is using military aircraft to interfere with planes on normal patrol in undisputed Chinese airspace,” said Shi Qingfeng, director general of the Administration Office of the State Oceanic Administration, the agency whose ships patrol disputed waters in the South and East China Seas.
“This is highly unreasonable conduct and the Japanese side is consciously trying to escalate the situation,” Shi said at a presentation for Chinese media and diplomats. “The Japanese side must assume responsibility for the consequences.”
China has been increasingly flexing its military and political influence in the western Pacific, forcefully asserting territorial claims while it builds up its military forces.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the South China Sea.
To China’s east, the island conflict with Japan has led to tense confrontations in the waters around the islands.
“China-Japan defense relations are an important and sensitive part of bilateral ties, and the Japanese side should face up to the difficulties and problems that currently exist,” Yang said.

JAPAN ( Judo gold medalist charged with rape- Masato Uchishiba )

Prosecutors urge 5-year sentence for former judo champion over rape charge

Prosecutors this week called for a 5-year jail sentence for retired double Olympic judo gold medalist Masato Uchishiba who is on trial for allegedly raping one of his teenage students in a hotel room.
The trial opened in September and a verdict is expected in early January.
Uchishiba, 34, who won the 66kg title at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has pleaded not guilty. He maintains he had consensual sex with the girl, who was drunk after a training camp party in Tokyo in September 2011.
Prosecutors say Uchishiba assaulted the girl, a member of the college judo team he coached, in a hotel room after she fell asleep at a karaoke parlor, intoxicated.
“When she became aware, she resisted but he turned up the volume of the television and covered her mouth with his hand,” prosecutors said.
The alleged victim is not being identified publicly because her exact age at the time has not been given.
Uchishiba, who is married, admits that sex took place, but denies it was forceful.
“She was unmistakably awake. What we did was by mutual consent. I absolutely did not assault her,” Uchishiba told the court in earlier testimony.
Uchishiba was hailed as a hero at home when he became the first Japanese to win a gold medal in any sport at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Japan’s judo medal haul of two was its lowest ever.
However, after the rape allegation was made last year, he was sacked by Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare where he had been coaching its women’s judo team since April 2010.

JAPAN ( Newborn girl found in bag near Highway ) Saitama

Newborn girl found in bag near highway in Saitama

Police said Tuesday that a newborn girl was found in a tote bag near a highway in Misato, Saitama Prefecture, on Monday. The infant is being treated in hospital.
According to police, a woman walking her dog spotted the vinyl bag among shrubbery by Route 298 at about 4:40 p.m., and notified police. TV Asahi reported that the infant was wrapped in a towel and still had her umbilical cord attached.
Police said they are looking for the person or persons responsible on a charge of abandoning the baby.
Japan Today

WASHINGTON (Protestors ask White House to classify Westboro church as hate group )

Petition urges White House to classify Westboro church as hate group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 475,000 people have signed petitions asking the White House to crack down on Westboro Baptist Church after the group, known for holding anti-gay demonstrations at funerals, threatened to picket in Newtown, Connecticut.
Newtown was the site of a school massacre on December 14 in which 20 young children and six adults were killed.
Five petitions posted on the White House website since the shootings have asked the government to name the church, based in Topeka, Kansas, as a hate group or end its tax-exempt status. The requests were among the most popular on the White House site on Thursday.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, has called the church "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America" because of the anti-gay signs its members have carried at hundreds of military funerals. The protests reflect their view that God is punishing America for tolerance of gays and lesbians.
The church has successfully defended its right to free speech in court. The church could not be immediately reached for comment.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on whether it would address the petitions.
The White House has a policy of responding to petitions that reach a threshold of 25,000 signatures but does not comment on certain law enforcement issues that are within the jurisdiction of federal agencies or courts, according to its website.
Obama last week asked Americans to pressure Congress to help tighten gun laws. He responded after several hundred thousand people signed a dozen petitions calling for tougher gun laws following the Newtown attack.
Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza used a military-style assault rifle to kill 20 elementary school children and seven adults, including his mother shot earlier at the family home, then he took his own life.
Obama has called for Congress to approve a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips, as well as measures to ensure background checks for gun purchases at gun shows.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Iran ( Mother of blogger who was killed -was attacked while at son's gravesite )

mother of dead blogger attacked while mourning son at his graveside
Posted: 14 December 2012
  • Sattar Beheshti died in “Cyber Police” detention facility

The mother of an Iranian blogger who died in custody last month was attacked by security forces as she mourned at her son’s graveside on Thursday (13 Dec), prompting Amnesty International to renew its call for a thorough and impartial investigation into the 35-year-old’s death.

Beheshti died in the “Cyber Police” detention facility on 3 November after being arrested on suspicion of "acting against the national security" because of his online activities on social networking sites. He was later buried on 7 November.

As the family and friends of Beheshti marked 40 days since his death – the end of the traditional mourning period for the deceased, eyewitnesses report that security forces attacked mourners, with one of them dragging Sattar Beheshti's mother on the ground by her hair.

The attack came amid ongoing harassment of the blogger’s family members and concerns about the independence of investigations into his death.

Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme Deputy Director Ann Harrison said:

“What is especially devastating for Sattar Beheshti’s family is that even though their traditional mourning period has come to an end, there are still many unanswered questions about how and why he died while in the custody of the Cyber Police.

“The Iranian authorities must ensure that the ongoing investigations into the incident – and all other deaths in custody – are thorough, impartial and in line with international human rights law and standards, leading to those responsible being brought to justice. Intimidation and attacks against Sattar Beheshti’s family must not be tolerated.”

On 27 November, Iran’s police chief, Brigadier General Esma'il Ahmadi-Moghaddam, accepted partial responsibility for Beheshti’s death in custody.

The head of Iran’s Cyber Police was subsequently removed from his position, but a member of the parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Commission later denied the removal had anything to do with the blogger’s death.

Family members have also been threatened with arrest if they speak to the media about the case. The family’s lawyer has expressed concern that the case – which is currently the subject of a criminal investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office – may not go to court.

Ann Harrison added:

“It is very troubling that Sattar Beheshti’s family members appear to be under pressure not to demand their right to justice over this fatal incident.

“In addition to bringing charges against anyone responsible for torture or for causing his death, without imposing the death penalty, the authorities must not block this – or any other’s family’s – right to access justice.”

Amnesty has repeatedly raised concerns about torture and other ill-treatment of detainees in Iran, including cases where deaths in custody appear to have resulted from such treatment.


Following his arrest on 30 October at his home in Robat Karim, Beheshti’s family had no further contact with him until 6 November when they received a telephone call telling them to collect his body from Kahrizak detention centre.

Before being transferred to the Cyber Police detention centre, Beheshti had been held for one night in Section 350 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. While there, he lodged a complaint with the Evin Prison authorities claiming that his interrogators had tortured him after his arrest.

Fellow prisoners at Evin Prison later wrote an open letter corroborating that allegation, saying they had seen torture marks on his body.

The Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and the Judiciary’s High Commission for Human Rights have both launched investigations into the incident.

But various judicial officials and parliamentarians have given contradictory explanations for the blogger’s death even before the investigations have been completed, raising serious concerns about their impartiality, independence and transparency.

MEXICO ( Hit man gets 54 dollars to kill- boys paid 500 pesos to kill in Juarez )

Nogales, Sonora, hit man is paid $54

Sonoran police revealed the price tag on a life over the weekend, and it was cheap.
A U.S. citizen living in Nogales, Sonora, was in a seafood restaurant just after midnight Sunday morning when a gunman came in and shot him. The accused killer later told police he was paid 700 pesos for the hit, according to Sonoran news reports.
That's about $54.
The victim, Jonathan Martin Morgan, was eating at Mariscos La Bocanita, about a mile south of the border. The gunman shot him six times, and Morgan died in an ambulance taking him across the border for treatment.
Morgan, 20, was an admitted drug smuggler, having been caught driving a pickup loaded with about 400 pounds of marijuana near Lochiel, Ariz., on April 9, 2011. He was awaiting sentencing in that case.
14 yr old gets 3 years in mexican prison for murder.

Police arrested Iván Aniceto Estrada López and accused him of the murder. In an interrogation, police told Sonoran reporters, the accused killer gave this version of events: A man known as Juan approached Estrada López outside a church about 10 p.m. He offered to pay him 700 pesos to kill a man.
Estrada López agreed, and Juan gave him a 9 mm pistol and took him to find Morgan. Juan pointed out Morgan at the restaurant and left, Estrada López told police.
Then Estrada López went inside, shot him six times and fled.
By the time police arrested him about an hour later, Estrada López had already spent 200 of the pesos on drugs, Radio XENY reported.
The price tag, while apparently low, was not the lowest seen in Mexico during the years of drug-war violence.
Officials of Mexico's social development ministry said in December 2010 that boys as young as 13 were being paid 500 pesos for a killing in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
Nogales, Sonora, experienced a wave of drug-war violence from 2008 through 2011, but it began easing in late 2011, with eruptions becoming more rare and less random.

MEXICO ( Sinaloa 9 killed on Christmas Eve- Shot with assault weapons ) Cartel wars

By Martin Duran Romero / Associated Press
CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) - A group of armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field as part of a war between Mexico's two most powerful cartels, officials said Wednesday.
"El Chapo " Guzman

Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez said the town of El Platanar de Los Ontiveros had become part of a dispute between the Sinaloa cartel controlled by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted man, and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva cartel who have allied themselves with the Zetas, a paramilitary organized-crime group founded by ex-members of the Mexican special forces. "Everything is linked to a dispute for territory and the buying and selling of drugs," he said. The prosecutor said the nine victims were eating Christmas dinner when gunmen entered the town on foot, surrounded them, and opened fire with assault rifles. They decapitated one victim with a machete and dumped the bodies on field, Higuera Gomez said. He said the army had set up a checkpoint nearby to hunt for drugs, but the killers had avoided it by entering the town on foot.
Beltran-leyva members
 Another cartel fight is raging to the south, along the border between the state of Jalisco and Michoacan. At least seven people have been killed in the area since Sunday. Officials in both states said Wednesday they could not confirm local media reports of more than a dozen new deaths in clashes in the area. Michoacan authorities did report the slaying of a mother and her three children in the capital, Morelia, which has been mostly spared the worst of the state's drug violence.
Prosecutors said 41-year-old Maria Elena Lopez Bautista and her 19-year-old daughter and 18- and 13-year-old sons appeared to have been tied hand and foot with wire and burned to death inside their home on Monday.Officials did not speculate on the motive for the crime, but the border with Jalisco has been hit by clashes between Michoacan's dominant Knights Templar cartel, and the New Generation cartel that operates in much of Jalisco.