Sunday Territorian 1 Mar 2015
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14 WORLD SUNDAY MARCH 1 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Assassin bullets kill critic of Putin BORIS Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down yesterday near the Kremlin, just a day before a planned protest against the Government. The death of Mr Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, ignited a fury among opposition figures who assailed the Kremlin for creating an atmosphere of intolerance of any dissent and called the killing an assassination. Mr Putin quickly offered his condolences and called the murder a provocation. Mr Nemtsov was working on a report presenting evidence that he believed proved Russias direct involvement in the separatist rebellion that has raged in eastern Ukraine since last April. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of backing the rebels with troops and sophisticated weapons. Moscow denies the accusations. Mr Putin ordered Russias top law enforcement chiefs to personally oversee the probe of Mr Nemtsovs killing. Putin noted that this cruel murder has all the makings of a contract hit and is extremely provocative, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. President Barack Obama called on Russias government to perform a prompt, impartial and transparent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Mr Nemtsov committed his life to a more democratic Russia. Mr Nemtsov assailed the Governments inefficiency, rampant corruption and the Kremlins Ukraine policy, which has strained relations between Russia and the West to a degree unseen since Cold War times. In an interview with the Sobesednik newspaper, Mr Nemtsov said earlier this month that his 86-year-old mother was afraid that Mr Putin could have him killed for his opposition activities. Asked if he had such fears himself, he responded by saying: If I were afraid I wouldnt have led an opposition party. Speaking on radio just a few hours before his death, he harshly criticised Mr Putin for plunging Russia into crisis by his mad, aggressive and deadly policy of war against Ukraine. Mr Nemtsovs lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said the pol itician had received threats on social networks. The Russian Interior Ministry said Mr Nemtsov was killed by four shots in the back from a passing car as he was walking over a bridge just outside the Kremlin shortly after midnight. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Alexeyeva said Mr Nemtsov was walking with a female acquaintance when a vehicle drove up and unidentified assailants shot him dead. The woman was not hurt. Russias human rights com missioner, Yelena Panfilova, said it wasnt just a shot in Nemtsovs back, it was a shot in the back of Russia. US Senator John McCain said: Boris is dead because of the environment of impunity that Vladimir Putin has created in Russia, where individuals are routinely persecuted and attacked for their beliefs, including by the Russian government, and no one is ever held responsible. Man kills seven in shooting rampage A MAN who authorities say may have been unhinged by the death of his ailing mother went on a house-to-house shooting rampage in a small town in the state of Missouri, killing seven people before taking his own life. Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, carried out the killings with a .45-caliber handgun Thursday night or early Friday at four homes in Tyrone, the nostoplight town where he lived, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Aldridges body was later found before dawn Friday in a running pickup truck on the middle of a highway in a neighbouring county. No suicide note was found, authorities said. The patrol said four of the dead two couples were cousins of Aldridges, ranging in age from 47 to 52. The names of three other victims and a person who was wounded but expected to survive were being withheld until relatives could be notified. All the victims were adults and were gunned down within a few kilometres of one another. Authorities said the motive remained unclear. But as the investigation unfolded, they found Aldridges 74-year-old mother dead, apparently of natural causes, at the home she shared with her son, officials said. She had been under a doctors care and appeared to have been dead at least 24 hours, Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker said. Mr Whittaker speculated that the son came home and found her deceased and then for whatever reason went on a rampage and started killing people. This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of these senseless acts and their families, Governor Jay Nixon said. Russian police investigators walk by the body of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, covered by plastic, on Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge near St Basil cathedral in central Moscow Picture: AFP Police nab Knights Templar cartel leader after months-long stakeout SERVANDO La Tuta Gomez, a former school teacher who became one of Mexicos most wanted drug lords as head of the Knights Templar cartel, has been captured. Mexican federal police nabbed him as he tried to sneak out of a house. Gomez was arrested at a house in Morelia, the capital of the western state of Michoacan, along with eight bodyguards and associates toting a grenade launcher, three grenades, a machine pistol and assault rifles, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejan dro Rubido said. Gomez and his accomplices were arrested without a shot fired. The arrests took place , after a months-long intelligence stakeout in which his associates were identified when they gathered on his birthday, February 6. The 49-year-old Gomez led the Knights Templar, a quasireligious criminal group that once exercised what Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong called absolute control over Michoacan. The cartel orchestrated politics, controlled commerce, dictated rules and preached a code of ethics around devotion to God and family, even as it murdered and plundered. The gang lost power when the federal government took over the state to try to restore order in 2014 after vigilante groups rose up against the car tel. But Gomez evaded capture for more than a year, while other Knights Templar leaders were captured or killed. Mexicos Government had offered a $2 million reward for his capture, and he was wanted in the US for conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine. Turn the volume down ABOUT 1.1 billion young people are listening to music at volumes that endanger their hearing and can have other negative effects, the World Health Organisation warns. Nearly half of teenagers and young adults are exposed to unsafe sound levels on headphones, while about 40 per cent put their hearing at risk at clubs, bars and sports events where recreational noise is excessive, WHO said. The UN health agency called on youths to listen to loud music on their headphones for less than one hour a day. Nightclubs typically play music at 100 decibels, which is the equivalent of hearing a jackhammer at short distance and is safe for only 15 minutes. It was a shot in the back of Russia World mourns as Mr Spock beamed up VETERAN actor Leonard Nimoy, who delighted sci-fi fans worldwide with his iconic turn as the pointy-eared halfhuman, half-Vulcan Mr Spock in the Star Trek television series and films, has died aged 83. Nimoy (pictured), who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died at his home in Los Angeles, his fam ily and agent said. A private memorial service is being planned. T r i b u t e s poured in from castmates, ac tors, fans and US President Barack Obama. I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humour, his talent, and his capacity to love, said William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the groundbreaking Star Trek television series, which debuted in the 1960s. George Takei, who played Mr Sulu on the sci-fi show, tweeted: Rest in peace with the stars, my dear friend. President Obama said simply: I loved Spock. Born in Boston on March 26, 1931 to Jewish immigrant parents, Nimoy left for Hollywood at the age of 18, winning numerous small parts in 1950s TV series. In 1966, he was cast in his greatest role as everlogical Spock, the science officer aboard the USS Enterprise.