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Couple charged in suitcase murder

Written By kom limapulan on Jumat, 15 Agustus 2014 | 23.46

Heather Mack being assessed in police hospital in Bali, where she has been arrested with her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer over murder of suitcase victim Sheila von Wiese-Mack.

Charged with murder ... a police officer escorts Heather Mack, 19, (left) in Nusa Dua after her mother's battered body was found in a suitcase at an exclusive hotel in Bali. Picture: Sonny Tumbelaka Source: AFP

INDONESIAN police charged an American couple with murder Friday after the body of the woman's 62-year-old mother was found stuffed in a suitcase on the resort island of Bali.

Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, both from Chicago, were arrested Wednesday in Bali's Kuta area, a day after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found inside the trunk of a taxi parked in front of the St Regis Bali Resort.

The charges are based on witnesses and crime scene evidence, said Bali deputy police chief Brigadier General Gusti Ngurah Raharja Subyakta.



'Killed by robbers' ... Tommy Schaefer, left, is brought to the police station for questioning in relation to the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack in Bali. Picture: Firdia Lisnawati Source: AP

Police said the couple hired the taxi and then placed the suitcase inside the trunk. They told the taxi driver that they were going to check out of the hotel and would return. After they didn't show up, hotel security guards who found blood spots on the suitcase suggested the driver take the taxi to the police station, where officers opened the suitcase and discovered the body.

The couple told investigators that von Wiese-Mack was killed by robbers while they managed to escape, according to the police chief for Bali's provincial capital of Denpasar, Colonel Djoko Hari Utomo.

Col Utomo said that contradicted testimonies by the taxi driver and hotel employees.

Signs of violence ... Heather Mack, 19, was arrested in Bali a day after the body of her mother Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found inside the trunk of a taxi. Picture: Sonny Tumbelaka Source: AFP

Von Wiese-Mack, also from Chicago, and her daughter arrived at the St Regis on Saturday, while Mr Schaefer checked in on Monday, police said.

CCTV footage shows that the victim had an argument with Mr Schaefer on Monday in the hotel's lobby.

Von Wiese-Mack's body was being autopsied at a hospital in Denpasar, Bali. Head of Forensics Ida Bagus Putu Alit said there were signs of violence on the body indicating the victim fought before she died.

"We found scars on both forearms and the broken left-hand fingernail," Mr Alit said following an external examination. "That indicated a resistance in a fight."

During initial questioning Wednesday, Ms Mack acknowledged her mother died, but refused to disclose how, according to Haposan Sihombing, an Indonesian lawyer assigned by police to accompany the couple.

Mr Sihombing said that Ms Mack and her mother arrived in Bali on August 4, and stayed first at Simanyak Hotel before moving to St Regis on August 9.

"When asked why they left the hotel and moved to Kuta, she did not respond," Mr Sihombing said. "She even told police that three masked men entered their room, making her mother angry and that she asked them out, otherwise she would call the police."

Police sources also told News Corp Australia that Heather Mack was today taken to the obstetrics and gynaecology section of the police hospital for tests after telling police she is pregnant.

It is not known who the father is.

Heather Mack, 19, with Sheila von Weise-Mack. Picture: NBC Source: Supplied

Sheila von Wiese-Mack's battered body was found in a suitcase. Picture: Sonny Tumbelaka Source: AFP

Ms Mack signed investigating documents and a letter of lawyer's assignment after Wednesday's questioning while Mr Schaefer refused, saying he wants to wait for his lawyer to arrive from America, Mr Sihombing said.

"In principle, they did not respond to many questions," Mr Sihombing said. "They were not cooperative."

Authorities in an upscale Chicago suburb, meanwhile, examined records of 86 incidents in which police were called to the family's house in Oak Park where von Wiese-Mack lived with her daughter. Friends have also started talking to local reporters, alleging that the mother-daughter relationship was sometimes contentious.

The calls started in 2004 and lasted through June 2013, according to village of Oak Park spokesman David Powers, who also said the family moved out about a year ago. The bulk of the calls were missing-person reports, and others included domestic problems and theft.

Contradictory stories ... Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer. Picture: Instagram Source: Supplied

Mr Powers didn't have details about the calls, but said none resulted in arrests. He added there were a number of emergency calls made from the residence in which the caller hung up, and, as is standard procedure, the police department sent a squad car to investigate.

Von Wiese-Mack was the widow of highly regarded jazz and classical composer James L Mack of Oak Park, Illinois, who died in 2006 at age 76.

In 2012, von Wiese-Mack joined a century-old Chicago book club called the Caxton Club. She had varied interests including Asian literature and Wagnerian opera, according to a May 2013 profile of her in the club's publication Caxtonian.

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Jobless go where the money is

The Social Services Minister on new plans to reform welfare and handouts.

Welfare recipient a day moving to find work . the job relocation cash bonus scheme advocated by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Assistant Member for Employment, Luke Hartsuyker. Source: News Limited

LONG term welfare recipients are proving they are willing to pack their bags and move for a job opportunity.

The federal government has already handed out more than $220,000 in cash bonuses to Australians who have been on the dole for more than 12 months and are now moving to big cities or regional areas to take up jobs.

Tony Abbott's workplace relocation bonus, which pays jobseekers $6,000 to move to regional areas for employment, or $3,000 to take up a job in a metropolitan area, came into effect on July 1.

FIND A JOB: Cash rewards for the unemployed

WORK FOR DOLE: Government to revie and expand scheme

In the past six weeks, 47 Australians who were previously in the dole queue have moved away from their homes for a job — meaning the scheme already has a take up rate of one person a day.

About two thirds of these previously unemployed Australians are moving to regional areas, with most people taking on jobs in the retail, construction, manufacturing, accommodation and food services industries.

Early data from the relocation program shows unemployed Australians are moving away from New South Wales and Victoria to Western Australia.

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said he was "encouraged by the positive response to date" and urged all unemployed Australians, particularly young jobseekers to take advantage of the bonus.

"The reality is that some areas will always have more jobs than others," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Staying in a town where there are no prospects of a job and being stuck on welfare is a recipe for despair," he said.

"Staying in a town where there are no prospects of a job and being stuck on welfare is a recipe for despair" ... Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker. Picture: Amos Aikman Source: News Limited

Job-seekers who participate in the scheme can qualify for an additional $3,000 if they are moving with dependent children.

But tough penalties apply for candidates who leave, or are fired from, their new jobs before six months.

Those workers would likely find themselves ineligible to receive welfare payments for up to 12 weeks.

Similar penalties are slapped on those workers who say they are taking up a job but are yet to start their employment.

So far, 11 of the jobseekers who have received the government's incentive payments are yet to start their new jobs.

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Police name cop who shot teen

A fifth night of protests passed without violence in Ferguson, Mo., after SWAT teams stepped down and the highway patrol took over security of the area.

THE police chief in the St. Louis suburb where an officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager has identified the officer as Darren Wilson.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson made the announcement after initially declining to the release the name, saying the officer had received numerous death threats. The officer has been on administrative leave since the shooting Saturday of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose death has sparked several days of clashes with furious protesters.

But on Thursday, county police in riot gear and armoured tanks gave way to state troopers walking side-by-side with thousands of peaceful protesters. The dramatic shift came after Governor Jay Nixon assigned oversight of the protests to the state Highway Patrol, stripping that authority from the St. Louis County Police Department.

"All they did was look at us and shoot tear gas," Pedro Smith, who has participated in the nightly protests, said on Thursday. "This is totally different. Now we're being treated with respect."

Peaceful gathering ... a large crowd listens during a vigil for Michael Brown in Detroit. Source: AP

The more tolerant response came as President Barack Obama spoke publicly for the first time about Saturday's fatal shooting — and the subsequent violence that shocked the nation and threatened to tear apart Ferguson, a town of 21,000 that is nearly 70 per cent black and patrolled by a nearly all-white police force.

Mr Obama said there was "no excuse" for violence either against the police or by officers against peaceful protesters.

Tensions boiled over after a candlelight vigil on Sunday night, as looters smashed and burned businesses in the neighbourhood, where police have repeatedly fired tear gas and smoke bombs.

Police have said Brown was shot after an officer encountered him and another man on the street. They say one of the men pushed the officer into his squad car, then physically assaulted him in the vehicle and struggled with the officer over the officer's weapon. At least one shot was fired inside the car before the struggle spilled onto the street, where Brown was shot multiple times, according to police.

Solidarity ... Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was appointed by the governor to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson, walks among demonstrators. Source: AFP

But a much different story has been told by Dorian Johnson, who says he was walking down the street with Brown when he was shot. He has said the officer ordered them out of the street, then grabbed his friend's neck and tried to pull him into the car before brandishing his weapon and firing. He says Brown started to run and the officer pursued him, firing multiple times.

Nixon's promise to ease the deep racial tensions was swiftly put to the test as demonstrators gathered again on Thursday evening. But the latest protests had a light, almost jubilant atmosphere among the racially mixed crowd, more akin to a parade or block party.

The streets were filled with music, free food and even laughter. When darkness fell — the point at which previous protests have grown tense — no uniformed officers were in sight outside the burnt-out QuikTrip convenience store that had become a flashpoint for stand-offs between police and protesters.

After several days of protests and unrest in Ferguson Missouri in response to the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, President Obama commented on the situation saying it was time for everyone to take a step back in order to assess the situation.

"You can feel it. You can see it," protester Cleo Willis said of the change. "Now it's up to us to ride that feeling."

Nixon appointed Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is black, to lead the police effort. Johnson, who grew up near Ferguson and commands a region that includes St. Louis County, marched alongside protesters Thursday, joined by other high-ranking brass from the Highway Patrol as well as the county department. The marchers also had a police escort.

"We're here to serve and protect," Johnson said. "We're not here to instil fear."

Residents in Ferguson have complained about the police response that began soon after Brown's shooting with the use of dogs for crowd control — a tactic that for some evoked civil-rights protests from a half-century ago. The county police had taken over the investigation of Brown's shooting and security at the request of Ferguson.

Nixon vowed that "Ferguson will not be defined as a community that was torn apart by violence but will be known as a community that pulled together to overcome it." The governor was joined at a news conference by the white mayor of St. Louis and the region's four state representatives and the county executive, all of whom are black.

Attorney General Eric Holder has said federal investigators have interviewed witnesses to the shooting.

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Chess deaths haunt tournament

Chess deaths ... a major chess tournament has been rocked by the deaths of two participants. Source: News Limited

A MAJOR international chess tournament in northern Norway ended on a grim note, with one player dying in the middle of a game and another found dead in a hotel room, organisers said.

Kurt Meier, a 67-year-old member of the Seychelles team, collapsed and died during the final round game against Rwanda on Thursday of the two-week Chess Olympiad in Tromsoe, tournament spokesman Jarle Heitmann said on Friday.

Another player, from Uzbekistan, was found dead in a hotel room later on Thursday, Heitmann said.

He said both died of natural causes, while Tromsoe police said on Twitter there was "no crime" suspected in either case.

Heitmann said there was a brief moment of panic as emergency workers rushed to attend to the Seychelles player, as some participants apparently mistook their defibrillator for a gun and fled toward the exits.

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Earth-bound asteroid ‘can be stopped’

Coming our way ... An asteroid, not pictured, is heading towards Earth but scientists think they have discovered how to stop it. Source: Supplied

SCIENTISTS believe they are closer to working out how to stop an asteroid that could potentially wipe out Earth in 2880.

A paper published in the journal Nature by researchers at the University of Tennessee has found that blowing up the space rock, like in the movie Armageddon, could cause several collisions with the earth with devastating consequences.

They believe that the way to avoid calamity is to make changes to the surface of the asteroid in order to break it up in outer space.

The chances of the asteroid, 1950 DA, hitting Earth on 16 March 2880 is just one in 300. While the chances are small, for example, you have more chance of being shot dead in the US, scientists are not taking any risks with this one.

"Following the February 2013 asteroid impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia, there is renewed interest in figuring out how to deal with the potential hazard of an asteroid impact," Dr Ben Rozitis, a postdoctoral researcher, told the journal Nature. "Understanding what holds these asteroids together can inform strategies to guard against future impacts."

The 1950 DA asteroid has a diameter of one kilometre and is travelling at a speed of 14 kilometres per second. It would hit Earth at a speed of 61,000 kilometres per hour.

The force of a collision would be like 44,800 megatonnes of TNT exploding and result in tsunamis and a huge change to Earth's climate.

Scientists say 1950 DA is rotating so quickly it is defying gravity and they have been puzzled as to why surface rocks aren't breaking apart from the asteroid.

"If just gravity were holding this rubble pile together, as is generally assumed, it would fly apart. Therefore, interparticle cohesive forces must be holding it together," Dr Rozitis said.

During the meteor explosion in February 2013 an estimated 1500 people were injured, with the collision releasing more than 30 times the explosive energy of the Hiroshima bomb.

It ripped through the atmosphere at 19 kilometres per second and was equivalent to between 500,000 and 600,000 tonnes of TNT.

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Man finds wife dead after labour

Dead on table ... A husband reportedly found his wife dead in hospital after giving birth to their child. Source: Supplied

A MAN is suing a hospital after he found his dead wife on an operating take after giving birth and a cleaner sitting nearby smoking a cigarette and eating a coconut.

Liu Hsiung, 29, was told his wife Zhang Chun, 27, had suffered complications during labour at the Xiangtan Maternal and Child Health Hospital in southern China, Xaluan reports. The baby survived.

"I kept being told she was in the operating theatre, but it looked at if it was closed and no one was there," he said.

Mr Liu forced his way into the hospital room to find his wife dead on an operating table and a cleaner sitting nearby.

"I was going out of my mind outside wondering what had happened, yet they had gone home and my dead wife was left on a table in front of a guy eating his lunch," he said. "When I got into the room it was too late she was already dead and none of the surgical or medical team were anywhere to be seen."

The hospital has responded to the incident saying Mr Liu and his wife refused an emergency Caesarean and that Chun died from an amniotic fluid embolism. An amniotic fluid embolism is where amniotic fluid, foetal cells or hair enter the mother's blood stream. It can trigger an allergic reaction and cause the heart and lungs to collapse.

Mr Liu doesn't believe the hospital's story however.

"The reason they kept me away for so long was to give themselves time to cook up their story and get rid of incriminating evidence," he said. "But I want to see all the papers, all the medical records and all the statements."

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‘I’m sorry,’ says pop-up ad inventor

'I'm sorry' ... Ethan Zuckerman around the time he invented the pop-up ad at Tripod.com. Source: News Corp Australia

AFTER clogging computer screens with webcam girls and male enhancements for two decades, the inventor of the pop-up has finally apologised.

Ethan Zuckerman, the head of the Centre for Civic Media at MIT, developed the code for the first pop-up in the mid-90s while working as a programmer at web hosting service Tripod.com.

But in an apologetic essay at the Atlantic , the computer whiz insists he had no idea of the horrors the function would inflict.

"At the end of the day, the business model that got us funded was advertising," Zuckerman explained. "The model that got us acquired was analysing users' personal homepages so we could better target ads to them. Along the way, we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser's toolkit: the pop-up ad.

"It was a way to associate an ad with a user's page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page's content. Specifically, we came up with it when a major car company freaked out that they'd bought a banner ad on a page that celebrated anal sex. I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it."

A few weeks later Geocities used the code to introduce pop-ups, the coder said, and the internet's ad-based business model was born.

"I'm sorry. Our intentions were good."

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Elvis’s granddaughter ‘engaged’

Engaged ... Riley Keough and her boyfriend Ben Smith-Petersen are reportedly set to wed. Source: Supplied

ELVIS Presley's granddaughter, Riley Keough, and her boyfriend are reportedly engaged.

The actor's boyfriend, Ben Smith-Petersen, posted an image of the pair on his Facebook page with the caption "so this happened", showing Keough, 25, posing with an engagement ring.

Movie set ... Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, left, posted this picture of her with her Mad Max: Fury Road co-stars Riley Keough (right) and Zoe Kravitz (centre) in Namibia, Africa. Source: Supplied

Smith-Petersen, a stuntman, met Keough while filming Mad Max: Fury Road. He has also worked on other films including, The Hunger Games and The Great Gatsby.

The pair went public with their romance in January this year.

Keough had previously dated Magic Mike star Alex Pettyfer and was linked to Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson.

She is the daughter of Elvis's only daughter, Lisa-Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough.

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Teen heart-throb starts religion

Spiritual awakening ... Andrew Keegan in 10 Things I hate About You. Source: Supplied

HE starred alongside Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You but now 90s heart-throb Andrew Keegan has started his own religion.

The 35-year-old former teen heart-throb has launched a Venice Beach, California-based spiritual movement called Full Circle.

The movement claims, per a statement on their official website, to be the "home of a conscious social movement, we provide an experimental environment designed to creatively expand consciousness through visual and performing arts, movement classes, workshops, forums and healing therapies."

As Keegan explained to Vice, the organisation is about synchronicity and timing. "Whatever, the past, some other time," explained Keegan. "It's a circle; in the centre is now. That's what it's about."

Keegan says he had a revelation after being attacked by gang members in Venice Beach on March 11, 2011 — the same day the tsunami hit Japan. The timing of those events would later reveal its power and significance in how "synchronicity" helped him discover his true calling.

"I had a moment where I was looking at a street lamp and it exploded," he explained. "That was a weird coincidence. At a ceremony, a heart-shaped rose quartz crystal was on the altar, and synchronistically, this whole thing happened. It's a long story, but basically the crystal jumped off the altar and skipped on camera. That was weird."

Keegan explains that these were some of the incidents that led him to conclude that "the mission is to take the war out of our story, which is essentially peace, but activated peace."

The Full Circle's movement is described as the "highest spiritualism founded on universal knowledge," a trusted member of the community named Third Eye said.

Although Keegan's newly founded religion may sound like a cult, he maintains it's nothing of the sort. All members reportedly have a say in what happens, despite Keegan being at the helm.

"I very much speak what comes through [while] in the collective," Keegan said. "We create a resonance of balance and equality of the crew. When you feel those chakras aligned, there's guided messing coming in. If there is something of spiritual ego within that, it must not exist."

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Russian military vehicles ‘destroyed’

The convoy of Russian trucks that Moscow says is carrying humanitarian aid has arrived at Ukraine's border. Ukrainian border police are awaiting the necessary paperwork to begin inspecting them. (Photo: Getty Images)

Fears of invasion ... a Russian military haulage truck transporting a self-propelled howitzer, around 30km from the Russian-Ukrainian border, on August 15, 2014. Picture: Sergei Venyavsky Source: AFP

UKRAINIAN artillery has destroyed part of a Russian armoured column that crossed overnight into Ukraine, according to the presidential website.

RTE News reports military spokesman Andriy Lysenko saying: "Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists."

The news is also said to have been delivered to British prime minister David Cameron by Ukraine president Petro Poroschenko. The British government has summoned the Russian ambassador to repond to the reports of the incursion under the cover of darkness.


Trojan horses? ... the Russian aid convoy that sparked fears of subversive assistance to the pro-Russian rebels. Picture: Pavel Golovkin Source: AP

Russia earlier accused Ukraine of attempting to disrupt a humanitarian aid mission to eastern Ukraine, after inspecting cargo contained in 280 trucks at a border point inside Russia.

Ukraine suspects the convoy could be a pretext for a Russian military invasion or further support for the pro-Russian rebels it has been fighting since April.

Reporters in the area say they have seen armoured personnel carriers crossing the border with Ukraine, not far from the convoy of trucks claiming to carry aid supplies.

A column of 23 armoured personnel carriers with Russian military plates crossed through a gap in barbed wire fence into Ukrainian territory, according to the Guardian .

Reports of renewed fighting in Ukraine knocked the stock market lower Friday. Major indexes headed higher at the start of trading, then sank following news that Ukrainian soldiers attacked a Russian military convoy.

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