Thursday, April 1, 2010

Afghan President Accuses UN of Election Fraud
Fraud had been widespread, Mr Karzai conceded, but he blamed foreigners for it, saying the UN was its focal point. Mr Karzai singled out Peter Galbraith, the then deputy head of the UN mission, who he said had organised the fraud.

He accused Mr Galbraith of feeding details to the international media in an attempt to blacken his name. Mr Galbraith called the claim incredible.

"There was fraud in the presidential and provincial election, with no doubt there was massive fraud," Mr Karzai said.

Daimler Admits Worldwide Bribery

German carmaker Daimler has pleaded guilty to corruption in the US and will pay $185m to settle the case. The charges relate to US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into the company's global sales practices.

Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, admitted to paying tens of millions of dollars of brides to foreign government officials in at least 22 countries.

Some of the firm's subsidiaries were said to have made the payments between 1998 and 2008.

Missing Girl Case Shocks Mexico

A four-year-old girl whose disappearance last month generated much publicity in Mexico City has been found dead in her own bedroom.

Prosecutors say the girl, Paulette Gebara Farah, died from suffocation. They say the investigation is continuing but her mother is being treated as a suspect in the case.

Since Paulette was reported missing on 22 March, posters and flyers of her had appeared across the capital, while news of the case spread over the internet. Paulette, who had difficulty in walking and talking, was reported missing from her family's flat in Huixquilucan, an upmarket suburb of Mexico City, on 22 March.

Her family and their friends launched an appeal for help in finding her. Posters appeared in the capital of the blonde, blue-eyed girl. The story appeared in the Mexican media and news of her disappearance also spread over social networking sites and message boards.

On Wednesday, as police attempted to recreate events on the night she disappeared, Paulette's body was found. It had been stuffed inside a black plastic bag and wedged between the mattress and the bed frame.

Prosecutor Alberto Babaz said that Paulette's mother, Lisette Farah, was being regarded as a suspect. When asked why police had not found Paulette's body sooner, Mr Babaz said that they had been concentrating search efforts outside the home.

Police Accused Of Using Taser On 10-Year-Old

Two Martinsville, Indiana police officers have been suspended with pay after being accused of using a Taser to subdue a 10-year-old boy, Indianapolis TV station WRTV reported. The officers responded Tuesday evening to Tender Teddies Day Care on reports of a 10-year-old who was out of control, the mayor's office and the Martinsville Police Department said in a statement.

The officers, trying to prevent the child from hurting other children, staff members and himself, slapped the boy and then used a Taser to subdue him, city and police officials said. On Thursday, Police Chief Jon Davis said he believed Capt. William Jennings and Officer Darren Johnson could have avoided using a stun gun on the 94-pound boy.

Davis said Jennings slapped the boy in the face and Johnson used a hand-held stun gun to shock the boy on the upper arm. Davis said the boy cried after being shocked on Tuesday but is now fine. The department said when the officers arrived, the boy was out of control, hitting, kicking, cursing and refusing to listen to them.

"My first gut feeling was, 'Why couldn't two officers have subdued the child?'" Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard said. Officials said police had been called to the day care before about the same child. Davis said the department's use of stun guns will be reviewed.

"We need to look at it a lot closer, because it's not really made for 10-year-olds," he said.

Both officers were placed on paid administrative suspension. Deckard said he expects more disciplinary actions against the officers when the Martinsville Board of Works meets on Monday.

"We want to get to the bottom of this. We will not tolerate unnecessary or unusual treatment of any suspect regardless of age," he said. "I'm concerned in this case about the safety of the child as well as the interest of the officers."

Investigators said officers are equipped with in-car cameras and lapel cameras. They are checking to see if there is video of the incident. The day care's owner, Heath Lancaster, did not want to comment on the case, saying only that it was in the hands of police and the Department of Child Services.

Neighbor Kenneth Frazier said he believes the boy needs help.

"I don't think that should have happened. I'm sure they could have detained him some other way," he said. "They take big grown ups down without tasing them … why a 10-year-old?"

Man Climbs Through Drive-Thru For Filet-O-Fish

Police said an impatient customer slapped a drive-thru worker at a New Jersey McDonald's because he was tired of waiting for his Filet-O-Fish sandwich. The man paid for the sandwich at the first window at the restaurant on Route 1 in South Brunswick early Sunday.

Surveillance video obtained by WNBC-TV in New York shows the man climbed out the back window of a vehicle and into the pickup window.

Police said the man told an employee he would be waiting for him, slapped him in the face and walked out of the store with the sandwich.

Report: Boy, 10, Killed In Disney Bus Accident

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 10-year-old boy was killed Thursday afternoon after he was struck by a bus near Fort Wilderness on Walt Disney World property, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Disney had no immediate comment about the accident on the company's sprawling property, the report said.

Music Group EMI In Dire Straits

Struggling music group EMI faces being taken over by its bankers after failing to clinch a deal to sell the North American distribution rights for its artists to Universal Music Group or Sony Music.

EMI, which has the Beatles, Coldplay, Lily Allen and Pink Floyd on its books, had hoped to raise around 200 million pounds ($304 million) by offering its rivals a five-year licensing contract.

A source close to both sets of talks, who requested anonymity because the discussions were private, said Thursday that they fell apart after a failure to agree on price. EMI declined to comment.

The collapse of talks leaves EMI battling to raise 120 million pounds by mid-June to meet its commitments on loans from U.S. bank Citigroup. Another source familiar with discussions said that Terra Firma will talk to investors about raising the necessary funding.

If funds can't be raised from investors and the loan goes into default, Citigroup could seize EMI and cause it to be sold or broken up.

EMI has been struggling to stay afloat since it was bought by private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners for 4.2 billion pounds on the eve of the credit crunch in 2007, saddling the company with debt.

Several big-name acts, including Radiohead and the Rolling Stones, quit the label amid the cutbacks and restructuring that followed.

Rabbit On Easter Menu At Ariz. Restaurant

The owners of a Valley restaurant are defending their decision to serve a rabbit-focused menu for Easter Sunday, Phoenix TV station KPHO reported.

Jay and Christine Wisniewski, who operate Caffe Boa and Boa Bistro, and Chef Payton Curry issued an e-mail to address questions that were recently raised about their menu choice.

"The rabbits we serve in our restaurant are not domesticated bunnies," they said in a statement. "They are all-natural, free-range rabbits raised in humane conditions at Nicky Farms, a ranch known far and wide in the culinary world for its premium wild game."

The statement said Curry "selected rabbit as his Easter feature simply because it has come into season. We place a great deal of care in crafting our menus to reflect the seasonal offerings of the world around us, and such is true about our Easter menu which features the offerings of spring," the statement said.

It pointed out "rabbit is healthier than chicken" and "the rabbit being served is no different than chicken, duck, lamb pork or cow that is currently on our menu and any other restaurants' menu you might come across."

While some people may find serving rabbit offensive, "it is our goal to provide a unique culinary experience that provides diners the opportunity to experience delicacies that may not be available anywhere else in Arizona," Curry and the Wisniewskis said.

They added they have received "endless requests from restaurant guests to feature rabbit on our menu, and we are simply heeding the call."

AP; Univision; Telemundo; WRTV-TV, Indianapolis; WNBC-TV, New York; Orlando Sentinel; The Wall Street Journal; KPHO-TV, Phoenix.

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