Top News Stories –
South Carolina policeman charged after black man shot dead –
A white South Carolina police officer has been charged with murder after video emerged of him shooting a black man, running away from him. State investigators arrested North Charleston police officer Michael Slager on Tuesday after viewing the mobile phone video of the shooting. Authorities say victim Walter Lamer Scott was shot after the officer had already targeted him with a stun gun. #WalterScott is top trending hashtag Worldwide and UK (See Top Twitter Trends) [BBC]
The Interview: Activist ‘sends DVDs into N Korea by balloon’ –
A South Korean activist says he has flown thousands of copies of controversial Sony film The Interview over the North Korean border. Sony initially pulled the film after a hacking attack and threats to attack cinemas which were screening it.Lee Min-bok said he had carried out the launches at night four times since January, most recently on Saturday. Mr Lee, a defector from the North, said he had tied the DVDs to balloons along with bundles of US dollars and leaflets criticising Mr Kim’s regime. He told AFP news agency: “I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on Saturday, near the western part of the border.” [BBC]
Narendra Modi: Bus tours to India PM’s Vadnagar tea stall –
A private tour operator in India plans to lay on daily bus trips to the town where PM Narendra Modi was born and worked at his father’s tea stall.
The day-long tour of Vadnagar in western Gujarat state has run once a week since starting in February and has proved a big draw with visitors.
The operator expects tens of thousands to sign up for the tour this summer. Mr Modi was Gujarat chief minister for more than a decade before his landslide general election win last year. The tour of the BJP leader’s birthplace includes visits to the street where he once lived, his former school, the railway station where he sold tea and a local lake where, according to reports, he once “caught a baby crocodile” [BBC]
Hatton Garden raiders plunder jewels worth up to £200m from safety deposit boxes –
Jewels worth tens of millions of pounds were stolen during a raid on hundreds of safety deposit boxes in Hatton Garden, London’s most exclusive jewellery district. Burglars are believed to have used heavy cutting equipment to cut through the roof before abeiling down a lift shaft to access the vault over the Easter weekend. They disabled the alarm system, leaving them four days to plunder around 300 boxes in the vault over the Bank Holiday. Former Flying Squad chief Roy Ramm said he “would not be surprised” if the stolen gems were worth £200 million, although he said the figure would probably never be declared in full. (See List of the Day) [Daily Telegraph]
Apple releases Mac app to store photos in iCloud –
Apple has released a new photo storage app for Macs, which can automatically store full-resolution images online. The iCloud Photo Library syncs photos across devices while managing storage. Users can opt to keep original high-res photos in the cloud with lower-res version on a Mac, PC or iOS device. But critics highlight recent online photo security breaches and say Apple’s storage fees are much higher than some of its competitors.
The iCloud Photo Library app responds to how much storage is left on each device. It automatically downgrades the resolution of images held on a device as its storage space starts to run out – starting with the oldest images first – while ensuring they are still of suitable quality to be viewed full-screen. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
List of the day –
Eight of the world’s biggest heists during last 50 years –
List from International Business Times
Antwerp Diamond Heist
The Antwerp Diamond Centre raid is one of the largest diamond heists in history. More than $100 million worth of gold, diamonds and jewellery were stolen. Leonardo Notarbartolo was the leader of the gang, known as ‘La Scuola di Torino,’ who orchestrated the heist on 15 and 16 February, 2003. Notarbartolo posed as an Italian diamond merchant when he rented an office in the diamond centre two years before the robbery. He had 24-hour access to the building and his own safe deposit box located within the vault. Thieves plundered 123 out of the 160 security boxes.The diamonds were never recovered. Notarbartolo was sentenced to 10 years in jail and has since been released on parole. In an interview with Wired magazine he said a diamond merchant hired them for the heist as part of an insurance fraud and claimed they stole approximately €18 million ($20 million) worth of loot.
Knightsbridge Security Deposit
The Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery was one of the largest bank robberies in history. It was led by Valerio Viccei to fund his playboy lifestyle. Him and his accomplice entered the centre pretending to want to rent one of the safety deposit boxes then threatened the manager and security guards with handguns. They then broke open the safe deposit boxes and made up off with loot worth £60m. Viccei was later arrested when he returned to the UK to pick up his favourite Ferrari. He was sentenced to 22 years on the Isle of Wight before being deported to Italy to serve the rest of his sentence. He was shot dead in 2000 during a day release from prison when gunfire broke out between him and police. Two autobiographies were published on his life entitled Too Fast to Live (1992) and Live by the Gun, Die by the Gun, (2004).
Millennium Dome Raid
The Millennium Dome raid was foiled on 7 November 2000 by police who had the gang members under surveillance for previous armoured robberies. The six men were caught trying to ram-raid the De Beers diamond exhibition and make off with the Millennium Star – a 203 carat diamond worth £200m and the rest of the diamond collection. They even had a speed boat at the ready. If the heist had succeeded it would have been the biggest robbery in history at the time. All the suspects except Terry Milman who died of cancer before the trial were jailed between four and 18 years on charges of conspiracy to steal and conspiring to rob. The suspects were Lee Wenham, Raymond Beston, William Cockram, Aldo Ciarrocchi, Robert Adams and Kevin Meredith.
Tonbridge Securitas Raid
The Tonbridge securitas depot raid was the largest cash robbery in Britain that happened in 2006. Colin Dixon, the manager of depot and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint and locked in money cages while the robbers made off with £53m. The six gang members were sentenced to a total of 156 years of imprisonment. Around 100 police officers assisted the inquirty and within two weeks recovered equipment and £21m in cash.
French Bank Vault Tunnelers
In 2010 Paris robbers, ‘The Termites’, tunnelled underground to reach a Credit Lyonnais branch on the city’s Avenue de L’Opera, near The Louvre, and plundered 200 vaults – known as France’s ‘crime of the century’. A security guard was tied up and was warned he would be shot if he moved. By the time he managed to break free the thieves had gone and made off with an estimated £22m in cash and jewellery. The bank had been closed for construction work. The thieves had also used pickaxes and a flame thrower to break through the thick walls to the vaults.
Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum
Two thieves dressed as Boston police officers entered the museum in Boston and stole 13 pieces of art while the rest of the city celebrated St Patrick’s Day. The $500m stolen artworks included a Rembrandt, Manet and Degas. Interestingly empty frames still hang in the place where the paintings were once located to pay homage to the missing artworks in the hope they will be returned one day.
Great Train Robbery
The Great Train Robbery in 1963 involved British criminal Ronnie Biggs who died last December. Him and 14 other members of the gang stole £2.3m (equivalent to £40m today), from a post office train from Glasgow to London on 8 August, 1963. The bulk of the money was never recovered but they left evidence leading to their arrests after they hid at Leatherslade Farm. The train driver Jack Mills was struck over the head during the robbery, which ultimately ended his career. The ringleaders were jailed for 30 years. Biggs managed to escape from Wandsworth Prison in 1965 and spent time abroad. In 2001 he returned to the UK due to ill health and was sent back to prison. He was released on compassionate ground in 2009 after catching pneumonia.
Brazil’s Banco Central – 2005
Brazilian robbers tunnelled into Banco Central in 2005 and stole £36m ($65m) that became known as the country’s biggest bank heist. The thieves dug a 656ft tunnel into the bank from a nearby farmhouse in Fortaleza despite neighbours noticing van loads of building materials being hauled away on a daily basis. The robbery took place over the weekend but it was not until Monday the theft was discovered because the bank was closed.
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- Armed conflicts and attacks
- A gunfight erupts between Afghan solders and U.S. soldiers working for NATO‘s Resolute Support Mission leaving 1 Afghan and 1 U.S. soldier dead, and 3 Afghan and 2 U.S. soldiers wounded. (Reuters)
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- At the Dragon Aromatics chemical plant in Fujian in southeast China, a fourth tank of about 1,500 tonnes of liquid hydrocarbon catches fire and explodes. More than 14,000 residents have been evacuated. (BBC)
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