Thursday, July 25, 2024

Wrongly jailed for 18 years, man gets $1.4 mn


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Washington: A US man who spent 18 years in jail after being wrongly charged of killing six people has received $1.4 million in compensation, Xinhua reported.

Anthony Graves received the money Thursday during a private meeting with Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

Graves was convicted of helping Robert Earl Carter kill a grandmother and five children in 1992. The two men were sentenced to death for the killings.

However, Carter, who tied Graves to the case, admitted before his lethal injection in 1998 that Graves did not play a role in the killings.

Graves said he’s grateful for the compensation, but said that the money “doesn’t even come close” to making up for the time he spent in prison.

Graves spent two years waiting for the trial for the 1992 slayings, a dozen years on death row until an appeals court threw out his conviction, and four more years awaiting retrial that prosecutors decided they couldn’t justify, according to media reports.

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisianna, ordered a new trial for Graves in 2006. (IANS)

580 knives seized in Costa Rican prison

San Jose: A total of 580 knives, many homemade, as well as drugs, liquor and cash were seized Thursday by Costa Rican authorities at the La Reforma prison, the country’s main such facility.

In all, police seized more than $6,000 in cash from the prisoners, 68 litres of liquor, 10 cell phones and 800 grams of drugs such as crack and marijuana, Justice Vice Minister Fernando Ferrero told reporters.

According to Ferrero, the operation came within the framework of the measures being taken to strengthen prison security after an escape attempt May 11 in which one guard and two prisoners died.

Thursday’s raid at La Reforma, which is located about 20 km northwest of San Jose, was participated in by some 1,000 agents or officials from different jurisdictions and lasted several hours. (IANS)

300 new species found in Philippines

Manila: Around 300 new species of flora and fauna have been discovered in the Philippines by an expedition of foreign and national scientists, the Prensa Latina news agency reports.

Specialists from the California Academy of Sciences and the University of Philippines studied the Luzon island for 42 days and discovered the new species in reefs, tropical forests and within the deep sea.

The species found include insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians, fish, coral, sea urchins and plants.

The Philippine Biodiversity Expedition 2011, which culminated in June, was the first to do a comprehensive survey of all aquatic and terrestrial genres in the country.

After completing the international mission, botanists, entomologists and marine biologists helped to establish a biodiversity assessment of the country in order to contribute to future conservation decisions and policies. (IANS)

Old-fashioned wallet to be history by 2015

London: If claims by an electronic payments company are to be believed, then wallets will become obsolete in four years and will be taken over by digital currency.

“We believe that by 2015 digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the US – from your local corner store to Walmart,” the Telegraph quoted Scott Thompson, president of California-based company PayPal as saying.

“We will no longer need to carry a wallet,” he added.

Apparently, the company profits from customers switching from physical money to payments online and over mobile phone.

Thompson also explained: “consumers are increasingly giving up traditional payment methods,” including cash, cheques and even debit cards.

His company has launched a publicity campaign in which five people in San Francisco will attempt to pay for all their purchases with digital currency, in spite of many shops still not accepting it.

PayPal also expects to process 3 billion dollars or 1.9 billion pounds worth of payments over mobile phones this year. (ANI)

Rest in peace in unusual Taiwan campground

Lu YILAN: For those in search of an unusual camping experience this summer, a Taiwan cemetery offers a nice view, great feng shui and a natural chill.

Sakura Cemetery Park, a 45-hectare graveyard in Yilan County in Taiwan’s northeast, has become one of the country’s most popular campsites, allowing campers to pitch their tents in a parking lot right beside the tombs.

Opened two years ago, the cemetery is selling underground spaces for more than 7,000 deceased — and offering 15 campsites free to up to 10 families as part of a special event.

Visitors said they were attracted to the park-like grounds by the unusual idea and the beautiful view. The cemetery is located 750 meters above sea level and overlooks the scenic Yilan Plain.

”This is quite novel,” said Ni Wen-chen, a 40-year-old civil servant there with a co-worker.

”I heard this is a park-styled cemetery with beautiful scenery, so we are here to see if we can camp.”

The Mortuary Services Office said that since the cemetery opened for camping on June 25, roughly 100 people have already stayed there. Most weekends in July are booked up.

A camping event for 100 families will be hosted on July 16, with a concert planned for the same day.

Yilan County Magistrate Lin Tsong-shyan said he hoped that the camping events would help promote the idea of park-styled cemeteries.

Most Taiwan cemeteries are crowded with tombs and have little space to walk. Few people visit aside from the annual tomb-sweeping day because they also have a solemn image. (PTI)




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