Mobile - Law and Order Law and Order <![CDATA[Horror in Taiwan over siblings' abuse deaths]]> A Taiwanese couple have been indicted over the abuse and deaths of three of their children whose bodies they then buried in hidden locations, in a crime that has shocked the island.

The father, identified by his family name Lee, admitted to beating two sons - aged seven-years-old and 10 months - before they died, prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.

He was charged with causing injury leading to death while the children's mother was indicted for abandonment leading to death, both punishable by life imprisonment.

The cause of death of their six-month-old daughter was undetermined.

Lee, 37, denied abusing the baby, prosecutors said.

He and his partner surnamed Chen, 33, escaped murder charges as Lee claimed he "had no idea" his children would die, said Huang Yi-hua, a spokeswoman for the Yunlin prosecutor's office.

"Lee said he just wanted to teach the children a lesson when they were crying and screaming," she added.

But the case sparked an emotional public response, with some calling for the death penalty, which can be handed down for serious crimes in Taiwan.

Local media described the couple as "cold-blooded, horrifying parents".

"Even if they don't get sentenced to death by a judge, they will go to hell after they die," read one message left on the comment section on Apple Daily's website.

"They are animals, they should be shot dead," read another.

Prosecutors described Lee as unemployed and an alcoholic.

The children died between 2008 and 2013, when the couple were on the run for theft and fraud charges.  

They buried their seven-year-old son near a river in central Yunlin county where Lee is from, said prosecutors.

Lee's father has been indicted for helping to dispose of the body.

The remains of the six-month-old girl were buried in the backyard of Lee's father's home.

The 10-month old was buried in northern Taoyuan.

When authorities finally caught up with the fugitive couple last year and arrested them for theft and fraud, they tried to locate the older son and became suspicious when they could not.

The couple said he had been adopted, but their eldest daughter told police her brother had been beaten to death.

Now aged 12, she is currently in foster care with two younger siblings.

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:42:42 +0400 AFP
<![CDATA[Guilty pleas entered in sweeping Indian-art fraud probe]]> A New Mexico art gallery owner and a jewelry supplier have pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges in the sale of fake Native American jewelry that was manufactured in the Philippines, representing the first conviction in a sweeping international investigation.

Art gallery owner Nael Ali pleaded guilty Wednesday to misrepresenting fake Indian-produced goods in violation of the Indian Arts and Craft Act, The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque confirmed Wednesday. His conviction followed an earlier guilty plea by jewelry supplier Mohammad Manasra on less severe charges under the Indian Arts and Craft Act.

In October 2015, federal agents raided Indian art galleries in Albuquerque, Gallup, and Calistoga, California, to seize counterfeits and evidence.

Ali and Manasra have agreed to forfeit 5,268 pieces of jewelry, while acknowledging that Manasra passed off jewelry made in the Philippines as the work of Navajo and Zuni Pueblo artists, court documents indicate.

Sentencing hearings are still months away. Ali faces possible jail time of up to 18 months, according to court documents. An attorney for Manasra declined Wednesday to discuss the case. Ali’s attorney could not be reached immediately.

Joyce Begay-Foss, a Navajo weaver and education director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, said that cheap Indian art knockoffs are having an effect on the art business in New Mexico and throughout the country. She called the guilty pleas a step in the right direction. But she believes stiffer state and federal penalties along with border enforcement are needed to deter fraud.

“It is a step in the right direction. It is alerting people to be more cognizant when they buy Indian art, to be more aware of the provenance and the materials,” said Begay-Foss, who recently completed a guide on how to buy Navajo weavings that will be published by the U.S. Indian Arts and Crafts board.

Authorities have accused Ali, the owner of two Indian art galleries in the Old Town neighborhood of Albuquerque and another in Arizona, of attributing jewelry to specific Navajo and Zuni craftsman when it was actually made in the Philippines.

Four other people have been charged under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act in a separate indictment that traces Filipino-made jewelry to Indian-art galleries in Santa Fe and San Diego, with a trial scheduled next year.

The investigations spearheaded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have laid bare the breadth and sophistication of distribution networks for fake Indian-style art and crafts.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico has warned that Native American art markets are being destabilized by fakes, undermining a crucial source of income for tribal members.

He hopes to propel efforts to modernize the Indian Arts and Crafts Act to cope with sophisticated international jewelry rings that copy Native American designs and police online sales. The act makes it a crime to falsely market and sell art as Native American-made when it is not.

Former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, who participated previously in the prosecution of Ali and Manasra, has recommended several reforms, including requirements that imported jewelry carry a country of origin and legal changes to apply money laundering and wire fraud provisions to the investigation of Indian-art fraud.

“This type of case is important,” he said. “When you’re an artisan at an Indian Pueblo, you’re carrying through a tradition. You’re carrying through a culture that maybe you learned from your grandparents. When somebody is doing a knockoff at a tenth of the cost, you’re losing your livelihood and potentially your culture,” he said.

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:38:27 +0400 AP
<![CDATA[Thief in a suitcase robs bus baggage in Paris]]> It was a mystery that had police puzzled for a while: a rash of thefts reported by passengers who had taken the 75-minute bus trip between Paris and Beauvais airport.

An eagle-eyed driver has been credited with helping crack the case last week after he spotted a suspicious suitcase being loaded onto his bus as he prepared to drive from Paris to the airport, a hub for low-cost airlines.

Acting on his tip-off about a large brown bag that appeared to be moving on its own, police at Beauvais pounced on a Romanian man who picked up the suitcase and a smaller black rucksack as he arrived.

After arresting him, detectives found an accomplice hidden inside the case who, once alone in the baggage hold during the trip, would pull a strap to unzip himself and then begin his thieving.

"In the black bag we found two laptops, money and various objects of value," a police source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Both men, aged around 40, were from Romania and had criminal records for theft.

The man inside the suitcase received an eight-month prison sentence on Monday when he appeared in court, while the other man was given a one-year prison sentence because of his more serious criminal record, prosecutor Florent Boura said.

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:39:47 +0400 AFP
<![CDATA[Woman put toddlers in oven, turned it on]]> A warrant says an Atlanta woman put her two young sons in an oven and turned it on.

Local media reported Monday that the warrant charging Lamora Williams with murder in the deaths of 1-year-old son Ja’Karter Penn and 2-year-old Ke-Yaunte Penn says she put them in the oven sometime between midnight Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday.

A third boy, 3-year-old Jameel Penn Jr., was found unharmed.

Williams waived a court appearance Monday and was denied bail.

The father of all three children, Jameel Penn, says Williams called him by video chat Friday night to tell him his children were dead. Penn says he called police after seeing his sons on the floor.

Williams’ sister, Tabitha Hollingsworth, says Williams should be put on suicide watch in the Fulton County jail.

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:57:50 +0400 AP




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