Borderline Madness: Women try to board flight with 100 live animals in luggage

Two women were arrested in Bangkok this week after attempting to board a flight with 100 live animals in their luggage. The smugglers had packed live, endangered creatures including two armadillos, two porcupines, 50 chameleons, 35 turtles and 20 snakes, said the chief of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s Wildlife Inspection Office. “Animal trafficking is usually detected at the Thai-Myanmar borders and domestic airports to a certain extent,” Sathon Konggoen told Agence France Presse. He confirmed that the animal smugglers had been set to travel to Chennai, India. “This kind of case has happened many times because the animals have expensive price tags in India,” he added.One of … Continue reading Borderline Madness: Women try to board flight with 100 live animals in luggage

Francis Bacon portrait of Lucian Freud sells for £43 million

A Francis Bacon painting of Lucian Freud has sold for a record-breaking £43.4 million at auction.‘Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud’ by Francis Bacon The work, Study For Portrait Of Lucian Freud, had not been seen in public for almost 60 years and was owned by the same person – described by Sotheby’s as a “distinguished European collector” for four decades. It was originally estimated to make £35 million before it went under the hammer at the auction house, The artwork was painted by Bacon in 1964 and based on a photograph of his contemporary and great friend Freud, taken in the same … Continue reading Francis Bacon portrait of Lucian Freud sells for £43 million

Brazil bank CEO resigns over sexual harassment claims

The head of Brazilian state-run bank Caixa Economica Federal resigned Wednesday amid a sexual harassment investigation against him. The website Metrópoles reported Tuesday that prosecutors were investigating accusations by at least five staffers against Pedro Guimarães, who is a close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro. The case is sealed, according to Brazilian media. “I have to step away at this moment so I don’t weaken the collection of achievements that don’t belong to me personally” at Caixa, Guimarães said in a statement, adding he had Bolsonaro’s support at “every hour” he held the job. Caixa is a key bank for Brazil since … Continue reading Brazil bank CEO resigns over sexual harassment claims

UK pledges an extra £1bn in military support to Ukraine

The UK will provide an additional £1 billion in military aid for Ukraine, a near-doubling in its support for the fight against the Russian invasion. The new funding takes the military aid given to Kyiv to £2.3bn – and the UK has also spent £1.5bn in humanitarian and economic support for Ukraine. Boris Johnson said British spending was “transforming Ukraine’s defences”. The pledge came after President Zelensky urged Nato leaders to do more to help Ukraine’s war effort. Mr Zelensky told Nato leaders the monthly cost of defence for Ukraine was around $5bn (£4.12bn). The UK is second only to … Continue reading UK pledges an extra £1bn in military support to Ukraine

Australian police under searchlight over growing cases of gender violence

A landmark trial of a specialist domestic violence police station has been recommended by a coroner after two murders that shocked Australia. Hannah Clarke, and her children, and Doreen Langham were burned to death by their ex-partners in Queensland. Magistrate Jane Bentley this week found authorities missed or ignored signs that both women would be killed. The trial was among several recommendations she made to improve responses to domestic violence. Magistrate Bentley said the new model police station should have specialist police officers, support workers, a child safety officer and a lawyer to provide legal advice to police and victims. … Continue reading Australian police under searchlight over growing cases of gender violence

Update: Suspected truck driver of Texas migrant death is charged

The suspected driver of a truck found abandoned in Texas with dozens of bodies inside has been charged with migrant smuggling resulting in death. Homero Zamorano was found posing as a migrant in a bush near the lorry in San Antonio and arrested by police. Some 53 people died in the tragedy, many of heatstroke and dehydration, after being shut inside the truck in blistering heat without any water. It is the deadliest human trafficking incident in US history. According to a top Mexican immigration official, the suspected driver, Mr Zamorano – who is from Texas, had “tried to pass … Continue reading Update: Suspected truck driver of Texas migrant death is charged

Palace review of how Meghan bullying claims were handled stays private

The findings of an investigation into the handling of allegations of bullying made against the Duchess of Sussex will remain private, says a senior Buckingham Palace source. The review, launched in March 2021, examined the response to claims about bullying of staff – but any changes to policy will not be made public. The palace source said those taking part needed to have “confidentiality”. The duchess had strongly denied the allegations. Buckingham Palace’s inquiry has resulted in changes to “policies and procedures” which would be known to “all members of staff, all members of the Royal Family”, said the royal … Continue reading Palace review of how Meghan bullying claims were handled stays private

R. Kelly given 30 years in jail for sex abuse

US singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his celebrity status to sexually abuse children and women. The R&B artist, 55, was convicted last September in New York of racketeering and sex trafficking crimes. He had faced years of allegations and the judge on Wednesday said he had an “indifference to human suffering”. Lawyers for the singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, say he will appeal. Ahead of his sentencing, a handful of women took the stand to confront Kelly. A woman identified only as Angela called the singer a Pied Piper … Continue reading R. Kelly given 30 years in jail for sex abuse

US to ramp up military presence across Europe

The US will increase its military presence across Europe as Nato agreed a “fundamental shift” in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A permanent army headquarters will be created in Poland, while new US warships will go to Spain, fighter jets to the UK and ground troops to Romania. Mr Biden said Nato was “needed now more than it has ever been”. The alliance is having its biggest overhaul since the Cold War, Nato head Jens Stoltenberg said. The new plan in response to Russia’s invasion will mean more than 300,000 troops at high readiness next year, up from … Continue reading US to ramp up military presence across Europe

Japan swelters in its worst heatwave ever recorded

Japan is sweltering under the hottest day yet of its worst heatwave since records began in 1875. The blistering heat has drawn official warnings of a looming power shortage, and led to calls for people to conserve energy where possible. But the government is still advising people to use air conditioning to avoid heatstroke as cases of hospitalization rise with the heat. Weather officials warn the heat is likely to continue in the coming days. Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial … Continue reading Japan swelters in its worst heatwave ever recorded

Philippines to swear in new leader as Duterte leaves

Ferdinand Marcos Jr will be sworn in as the Philippines’ next president on Thursday, succeeding the outgoing leader Rodrigo Duterte. Mr Marcos Jr – nicknamed Bong Bong – won 60% of the vote over rival Leni Robredo in a highly-watched election. His win marks a stunning comeback for the Marcos political dynasty, which was ousted after a popular revolt in 1986. The daughter of the incumbent president, Sara Duterte, will be sworn in as vice-president. Mr Marcos Jr will take his oath of office at midday local time (0400GMT) at the National Museum in Manila. Hundreds of local and foreign … Continue reading Philippines to swear in new leader as Duterte leaves

Salvadoran president vows tougher war on gangs after police killed

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador pledged on Tuesday that his government will “intensify” already tough efforts to combat gangs after three police officers were gunned down earlier in the day. Bukele declared a state of emergency in March in an effort to rein in a spike in homicides, suspending some constitutional protections such as free assembly. “What is coming to (gang members) is much greater, and they are going to pay dearly for having taken the lives of these three heroes,” Bukele told a rare news conference. He said the officers who were killed had been “ambushed” by members … Continue reading Salvadoran president vows tougher war on gangs after police killed