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WEYBRIDGE, England/LONDON (Reuters) - A Russian businessman helping Swiss prosecutors uncover a powerful fraud syndicate has died in unexplained circumstances near his mansion in Britain, in a chilling twist to a Russian mafia scandal that has strained Moscow's ties with the West.
Alexander Perepilichny, 44, sought refuge in Britain three years ago and had been helping a Swiss investigation into a Russian money-laundering scheme by providing evidence against corrupt officials, his colleagues and media reports said.
He has also provided evidence against those linked to the 2009 death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, a case that caused an international outcry and prompted the United States to push for a bill cracking down on Russian corruption.
Perepilichny, a Russian citizen, collapsed and died not far from his home on an upmarket, heavily protected estate in the county of Surrey, south of London, on November 10.
Her client, Michael Dunn, is no "vigilante" but did feel threatened and shot out of "self defense," the attorney said.
"There are no comparisons to the Trayvon Martin situation," said Robin Lemonidis, Dunn's attorney. "He is devastated and horrified by the death of the teen."
Dunn, 45, was denied bond Monday on a murder charge stemming from the weekend shooting in Jacksonville. The violence was sparked by a confrontation about loud music at a gas station, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
He heard threats from the teens, Dunn told police, he felt threatened and thought he saw a gun in the teens' car. He grabbed his gun and fired at least eight shots, authorities said.
SAN JOSE -- He's not even old enough for a learner's permit. But in the eyes of the law, his alleged crimes have made him a full-grown man with all of the consequences that bears.
Adonis Muldrow, just 15 years and five months old, will be tried as an adult on charges he was one of two people responsible for a Nov. 16 crime spree that killed a Campbell man and ambushed and wounded a San Jose police officer, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Muldrow, a San Jose resident currently being held in Juvenile Hall, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of murder with special circumstances, attempted murder of a peace officer, four counts of second-degree robbery, assault with a firearm on an officer and receiving a stolen vehicle. His alleged partner, 26-year-old Jonathan Dawson Wilbanks of San Jose, was arraigned last week but did not enter a plea to the same litany of offenses.
CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — A 20-year-old state beauty queen died in a gun battle between soldiers and the alleged gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with in a scene befitting the hit movie "Miss Bala," or "Miss Bullet," about Mexico's not uncommon ties between narcos and beautiful pageant contestants.
The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was found Saturday lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, the chief state prosecutor said Monday. It was unclear if she had used the weapon.
"She was with the gang of criminals, but we cannot say whether she participated in the shootout," state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera said. "That's what we're going to have to investigate."
The slender, 5-foot-7-inch brunette was voted the 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in a beauty pageant in February. In June, the model competed with other seven contestants for the more prestigious state beauty contest, Our Beauty Sinaloa, but didn't win. The Our Beauty state winners compete for the Miss Mexico title, whose holder represents the country in the international Miss Universe.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a day to address violence by raising public awareness and holding governments accountable. We should remember the 400-plus murders and disappearances of women since 1993 in the town of Juárez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Ciudad Juárez is representative of the kinds of settlements that grow out of globalizing political and economic interests. It is estimated that 42 million people a year traffic through Juárez and El Paso. This border city is subject to ecological damage, sexual exploitation, and terrorism by the Juárez Cartel. Mexican journalist, Sergio González Rodríguez notes in his new book The Femicide Machine (MIT Press 2012) that "systematic actions against women bear the signs of a campaign: They smack of turf war, of the land's rape and subjugation." Narco-trafficking and the growth of the Juárez Cartel have led to the creation of a second, illicit state that operates beyond the reach of the official government.
While the United States Federal Government has become involved in trying to curtail the drug wars in Mexico, it may come as no surprise that special attention has not been given to the women who are used as pawns in these turf wars. They perpetuate the silence we find in the United States around violence against women. The initial response to this growing violence by the Mexican authorities was denial. As the crimes escalated, the government could no longer deny that women were being tortured, murdered and disappearing systematically. The authorities resorted to an old strategy -- blame the victim. The women were tried and held accountable in the cartel-controlled media. They were accused of living unconventional lives, of being prostitutes and lesbians.