- Software guru McAfee arrested in Guatemala for illegal entry
- Occupy Wall Street protester whose tweets were subpoenaed to plead guilty
- Philippines hopes for survivors as strongest typhoon kills 325
Posted: 05 Dec 2012 07:21 PM PST
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. software guru John McAfee, on the run from authorities in Belize seeking to question him in a murder probe, was arrested by Guatemalan police on Wednesday for illegally entering the country, that nation's interior minister said.
McAfee, who had been in hiding for three weeks, crossed into Guatemala with his girlfriend, Samantha, to evade authorities in Belize who wanted to question him as "a person of interest" about the killing of fellow American Gregory Faull.
"The (Guatemalan) police issued an arrest warrant for John McAfee and captured him for entering the country illegally," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said. McAfee was taken to a residence belonging to the immigration department guarded by a policeman.
On Tuesday, McAfee said he would seek political asylum in Guatemala, which has been embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute with Belize. There is no extradition treaty between the two countries, and there is no international arrest warrant out for McAfee.
McAfee says he fears Belizean authorities would kill him if he returned to Belize for questioning. Belize's prime minister has denied the claim, calling the 67-year-old paranoid and "bonkers."
McAfee has been living in the tiny Central American nation for about four years.
He was one of Silicon Valley's first entrepreneurs to build an Internet fortune. The former Lockheed systems consultant started McAfee Associates in the late 1980s. McAfee currently has no relationship with the company, which has been sold to Intel Corp
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 05 Dec 2012 06:29 PM PST
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Occupy Wall Street protester who has waged a legal battle to keep his tweets from falling into prosecutors' hands will plead guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct on Friday, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
The case against Malcolm Harris, 23, one of hundreds arrested during a mass march across the Brooklyn Bridge in October 2011, had drawn the attention of electronic privacy advocates who worry that it could limit the rights of Twitter users in the future.
Harris' attorney, Martin Stolar, said he has conferred with Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino and expects that Harris will be sentenced to time served when he pleads guilty.
The maximum penalty is 15 days in jail, though first-time offenders are rarely imprisoned.
The judge could not be reached for comment after regular business hours. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office said prosecutors have not agreed to any plea deal.
Stolar said he did not need prosecutors' approval because Harris is willing to plead guilty to the offense with which he is charged.
The Brooklyn Bridge protest occurred at the height of the Occupy movement, which drew thousands of activists in New York and across the country angry at what they called an unfair economic system.
Prosecutors filed a subpoena on Twitter seeking months of Harris' tweets before and after the march, claiming they could undermine his defence that police appeared to lead protesters onto the bridge's roadway before arresting them for obstructing traffic. The tweets are no longer available online.
Both Harris and Twitter are challenging the subpoena in court. But Sciarrino rejected their arguments in separate rulings earlier this year.
Twitter handed over the tweets in September after Sciarrino threatened it with civil contempt and hefty fines.
Harris will also have the right to appeal the subpoena ruling once his criminal case is resolved, Stolar said.
By pleading guilty, Harris likely would ensure that his tweets remain out of view, rather than becoming public as trial evidence. Stolar said Harris had some concern that the tweets could implicate other Occupy defendants.
"This is a way to preserve his right to appeal (the Twitter issue), which is more significant than going to trial on disorderly conduct," Stolar said.
The case addresses a broader legal question that courts have rarely, if ever, tried to answer: whether a Twitter user can fight a law enforcement request for their tweets.
Sciarrino has said that only Twitter can mount a legal challenge, as it is the company, and not the user, that owns the content. That runs counter to Twitter's own stance, which holds that users have a proprietary interest in their own tweets.
Several privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed an amicus brief in support of Twitter's appeal. The concern is that Sciarrino's holding could set a precedent putting the burden on social media companies to protect their users from criminal prosecution.
In ruling against Twitter in June, Sciarrino said there could be no expectation of privacy for users when they publicly post messages on the Internet.
(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Lisa Shumaker)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 05 Dec 2012 05:56 PM PST
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (Reuters) - Dozens of soldiers and rescue workers pulled out bodies from mud-drenched debris after the strongest typhoon this year killed at least 325 people in the southern Philippines, with hundreds still missing.
Hundreds of residents left homeless in Compostela Valley, the worst hit province decimated by flash flooding and destructive winds, were being evacuated by trucks to crowded shelters in town centres on Thursday.
Typhoon Bopha, with central winds of 115 kph (75 mph) and gusts of up to 145 kph (93 mph), was moving west-northwest of the central Philippines and was expected to be over the South China Sea on Friday.
Based on tallies from the national disaster agency, 325 people were killed and 379 were missing after Bopha triggered landslides and floods along the coast and in farming and mining towns inland in the southern Mindanao region.
The death toll could rise further, with local government officials reporting higher numbers of missing and dead.
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, often causing death and destruction. Almost exactly a year ago, Typhoon Washi killed 1,500 people in Mindanao.
Arturo "Arthur" Uy, governor of Compostela Valley, said latest estimates show 200 died and almost 600 remained missing in his province. Official tally by the disaster agency show 184 died and 356 missing in Compostela Valley.
Uy said search and rescue operations were continuing, particularly in far-flung areas in New Bataan town, where a three-year old child was plucked from under a crumpled house on Wednesday, more than 24 hours after the typhoon hit land. The child's mother and a sibling are missing.
"I believe we can rescue more people," Uy said.
"This is the first time a typhoon with signal number 3 crossed our province. We evacuated people from riverbanks and shorelines. But the floods and strong winds battered not just the riverbanks but also places where residents were supposed to be safe."
Uy said a village hall, health centre and covered court in New Bataan, where residents took shelter ahead of the typhoon, were completely washed away by floods and mud.
Hundreds of thousands of people remained in shelters in more than a dozen provinces in the southern Philippines, as officials appealed for food, water and clothing.
Some residents in Compostela Valley started repairing their houses, while housewives washed mud-drenched clothes and used fallen trees for cooking in makeshift stoves outside homes.
(Additional reporting by Rosemarie Francisco and Manny Mogato)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: World Updates |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|