MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities issued arrest warrants for five security agents in connection with the torture of a young woman that was caught on video, Mexican federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
The Attorney General’s Office said the warrants target three Federal Police officers, two of whom were taken into custody the same day, and two soldiers who were to be served at a military prison where they were already being held. The third police officer had not yet been detained.
The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that the five are suspected of torture committed against the woman after she was detained Feb. 4, 2015, in Ajuchitlan del Progreso, in the troubled southern state of Guerrero.
The warrants came from a civil court judge in the city of Iguala.
The video circulated on social and traditional media in recent days and prompted both widespread condemnation and apologies from Mexico’s defense minister and national security commissioner.
The video shows a female soldier interrogating the woman, pulling her hair and putting the muzzle of a rifle against her head. Later, a female police officer suffocates the woman by putting a plastic bag over her head until she nearly passes out.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Police are investigating the arrest of an 18-year-old man at the door of his Baltimore home after video of the encounter appeared online.
The Baltimore Sun (http://bsun.md/1WCVZiV ) reported Monday that police are investigating the arrest of Tionne Jones on Saturday, which prosecutors determined was unwarranted.
The video, which was recorded by another teen, shows Jones telling a lieutenant who’s asking to speak to the owner to leave, noting he doesn’t have a warrant. The video then shows an officer pull Jones down the stairs and wrestle him to the ground.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith says the department’s executive team determined that charges against Jones weren’t appropriate. State’s Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Rochelle Ritchie says prosecutors agree.
Smith says police received complaints about people coming and going from the house and “possible drug activity.” No drug charges have been filed.
Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com
SYDNEY (AP) — Was the filmed apology over an international dog smuggling scandal supposed to look like a hostage video? Was the weirdly wooden delivery a deliberate protest by the unhappy actors? And does the Australian politician at the heart of the world’s most bizarre biosecurity case think he could have directed it better himself?
Well, yes — at least to the last question — Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Tuesday when asked about the widely panned videotaped apology from Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard, the latter of whom pleaded guilty in an Australian court to falsifying an immigration document when the couple brought their dogs to Australia last year.
“I don’t think he’ll get an Academy Award for his performance … he looked like he was auditioning for ‘The Godfather,'” Joyce told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio with a chuckle. “At the end of it, we’ve got a message that is going all around the world right now — it’s going off like a frog in a sock — telling people that if you come into this nation and you don’t obey our laws, you’re in trouble.”
“Going off like a frog in a sock,” by the way, is Australian slang for “going crazy.”
The “war on terrier” debacle has been going crazy since last year, when Joyce helped catapult the case into global headlines by accusing the couple of smuggling their Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into Australia while Depp was filming the fifth movie in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.
Joyce, who is now Australia’s deputy prime minister, prompted countless parodies by stating: “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.” He then ominously warned that the dogs would be euthanized if they didn’t flee the country within 72 hours — and flee they did, with just hours to spare.
On Monday, Heard pleaded guilty in a Queensland state court to falsifying her incoming passenger card by failing to disclose that she had the pooches with her, but avoided a prison sentence. During the hearing, her lawyer submitted the couple’s now infamous taped apology to the court.
In the decidedly low-budget clip, Depp and Heard sit stone-faced in front of the camera, delivering stilted lines about the importance of protecting Australia’s biodiversity by respecting the country’s strict quarantine laws. Bringing pets into Australia involves applying for a permit and quarantine on arrival of at least 10 days to prevent the spread of diseases such as rabies.
“Australia is a wonderful island,” Heard begins, “with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.”
“Australians are just as unique — both warm and direct,” a grim-looking Depp later chimes in. “When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.”
The clip quickly began trending on Twitter, with many — including comedian Ricky Gervais — comparing it to a hostage video. Others questioned whether the couple’s awkward delivery was a deliberate swipe at the Australian government.
Joyce sidestepped questions about the origins of the video on Monday, saying he didn’t know if the agriculture department had helped with the script. The department later confirmed it had “provided input concerning the offense and biosecurity messaging,” but said the video came about after Heard herself offered to publicly apologize for the incident.
The video’s production was part of negotiations between her defense team and the prosecution, the department said in a statement.
Still, Joyce acknowledged the couple was likely less than enthusiastic about the project.
“I don’t think it would have been something that they would have willingly wanted to do,” Joyce told reporters.
During an interview on Channel 7’s “Sunrise” on Tuesday, Joyce couldn’t contain his giggles as he watched the video again and rejected suggestions that he had written the script himself.
“As far as me directing that atrocious movie, no. Even I could have done a little bit better than that,” Joyce said with a laugh before mimicking what he would have been like as the director: “Do it again, Johnny, do it with gusto, mate! A bit of gusto, come on. Rise to the camera, old trout! Rise to the camera!”
YouTube link to Depp and Heard’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORpBAIB9j64
WATERLOO, Ontario (AP) — A video has gone viral of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showing off his geek side by nailing a reporter’s question about quantum computing.
Speaking Friday at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, where he was making a funding announcement, Trudeau dared reporters to ask him about how quantum computing works during a question period.
When a reporter obliged, Trudeau, a former teacher, gave a detailed and elaborate mini-lesson on the difference between normal and quantum computing, drawing laughter and applause from an audience of some of Canada’s smartest theoretical physicists.
“Regular computer bit is ether a one or a zero. On or off. A quantum state can be much more complex than that because, as we know, things can be both particle and waves at the same times and the uncertainty around quantum states allows us to encode more information into a much smaller computer.
“So that’s what’s exciting about quantum computing,” he said as the audience again burst into applause.
“Don’t get me going on this or we’ll be here all day. Trust me.”
Trudeau was welcomed to the institute by renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking via recorded video.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A woman seen being tortured by two soldiers and a federal police officer in a widely circulated video has been in prison for more than a year on weapons charges, two federal security officials said Friday.
The officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case said her case was ongoing and could be affected by Thursday’s release of the video.
In it, a female military police officer is seen interrogating the woman. She pulls the woman’s hair and puts the muzzle of a rifle against her head. Later, a blue-uniformed federal police officer puts the woman’s head inside a plastic bag until she almost passes out.
The video spurred public outrage for its graphic depiction of well-known investigative tactics.
It was announced Friday that Mexico’s defense secretary on Saturday would urge troops to respect human rights.
The female soldier and army captain shown in the video are being held in a military prison. The female federal police officer was located Friday and is being held in a federal police installation, one of the sources said. She had not been charged.
The army had confirmed the authenticity of the video and said Thursday that the incident occurred Feb. 5, 2015, in Ajuchitlan del Progreso in the southern state of Guerrero, where there has been a massive deployment of soldiers and federal police to combat drug cartels.
The attorney general’s office said Thursday it had opened a torture investigation.
Human rights defender Amnesty International said Thursday that the video illustrates the techniques used by security forces and should bolster arguments that the armed forces should not be handling public safety.
In the past, some suspects have been freed after it was proven they were tortured. Human rights organizations have also documented cases where innocent people were tortured into making confessions.