And in the Rest of the World: People in the news

Jan 14, 2017 11.00AM |

THIS week it’s all about ordinary people – and one President – getting into trouble.  Here’s what happened around the world:

1. Sandra Weir

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Image a screenshot from Google maps.

Sandra Weir, 41, has been a drug addict since her 20s and is willing to do just anything for it. She became close to her elderly neighbour, Mrs Marie Logie, and acted as an unofficial carer. That wasn’t her actual intention. To fund her drug habits, Weir had been stealing significant amounts of cash from the 82-year-old. On Jan 5, 2016, Mrs Logie was found dead in the living room of her first floor flat in Leven. The victim had been attacked with a rolling pin, leaving multiple fractures on her skull and 31 other injuries on the head and neck. Judge Michael O’Grady described the way Mrs Logie was killed as “breathtakingly wicked” and “nothing can diminish the callous and cruel and utterly heartless nature of this crime”. Weir was sentenced to jail for a minimum of 21 years.

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2. President Yahya Jammeh

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Image a screenshot from Google maps.

After 22 long years of ruling the country, President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia is finally defeated. The results of the election poll last month showed that Mr Adama Barrow won the election with 43.3 per cent votes compared to Mr Jammeh who only had 39.6 per cent votes in total. Mr Barrow insists that he will become president on Jan 19 once Mr Jammeh’s term expires but the latter refuses to accept the fact that he lost. Mr Jammeh said he wants to remain in the office until the Supreme Court annuls the poll. He added that the poll was marred by irregularities and demanded a new one. Nigerian MPs have voted to give Mr Jammeh asylum if he accepts the defeat and gives up his power. Nigeria’s House of Representatives agreed that Mr Buhari should offer Mr Jammeh a “safe haven” in Nigeria instead of sending troops to remove him from power, which could lead to Gambians fleeing to neighbouring states. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will be visiting Mr Jammeh on Friday (Jan 13) to make this deal.


3. Robert Xie

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Image a screenshot from Google maps.

Robert Xie, 53, has been found guilty of killing five family members back in 2009 in Sydney. The five were his brother-in-law Min Lin, Mr Lin’s wife Lily, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, and Mrs Lin’s sister Irene. The New South Wales Supreme court heard that Xie killed the five using a hammer-like weapon at around 2 am in the family’s home. The reason he did it? It was out of jealousy. Xie resented Mr Lin for he was constantly perceived as the better businessman within the extended family. Two years later,  Xie was charged with murder after the police forensics found blood stains in his garage, with four out five DNAs that matched the victims.

in the second trial, the judge took into consideration of going with the majority verdict of 11 to one when the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. A jury in a separate trial last year failed to reach a verdict while two other trials were aborted due to legal reasons. Xie did not give any evidence at all of his trials and was supported by his wife.


4. Yang

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Image a screenshot from Google maps.

A 92-year-old woman known as Yang was kept in a 10-sq-metre cell which resembles a pigsty for the longest time. It was first reported by papers in the southern Guangxi region and later went viral as Chinese social media users brought it online. Local social media user “Pretty Nan Gualan” posted a video of Yang sitting by a cage door on Miaopai. Ever since the video was uploaded on Jan 6, it has a total of 1.8 million views. Angry netizens brought this video to popular microblog Sina Weibo to voice their outrage. People used the hashtag #92YearOldKeptInPigsty to create attention and even called the people who kept Yang in there, her son and daughter-in-law, “beasts” and “scum”. On Jan 10, Southern Morning Post uploaded a picture of Yang’s condition who looked malnourished. She’s currently treated at a local hospital.


5. Petra Laszlo

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Image a screenshot from Google maps.

Camerawoman Petra Laszlo was filming refugees in Sept 2015 as they fled through a police cordon near the Hungary-Serbia border. She was caught on film kicking two people including a young girl as they were trying to flee as well as tripping a man who was carrying his child. Laszlo has been sentenced to three years probation for disorderly conduct. Judge Illes Nanasi rejected her defence lawyer’s argument who said that she was just trying to protect herself. But Laszlo has said that she would appeal. She made an appearance at the Szeged District Court hearing via video link and occasionally broke down. Since the day that the incident happened, she has been receiving death threats and subjected to the “hate campaign”. Right-wing TV channel N1TV also fired her after the footage of her conducting the acts went viral.



Compiled by Iffah Nadhirah Osman

Featured image Earth by Flickr user Kevin GillCC BY-SA 2.0

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