Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 11, 2020   -One of Brazil's biggest crime bosses has gone on the run after being briefly freed from prison the previous day. André Oliveira Macedo, also known as André do Rap, was released from a high-security prison on Saturday - but this decision was revoked just hours later.

He has been missing since.

Macedo is a senior member of the São Paulo-based First Command of the Capital (PCC) gang, which holds power in jails across Brazil and Paraguay and smuggles tonnes of cocaine into Europe.

His release was the result of a controversial order by Judge Marco Aurélio Mello, one of 11 justices on Brazil's Supreme Court.

Judge Mello granted Macedo's release from the São Paulo prison on the grounds that the amount of time he had spent in detention awaiting trial had exceeded the legal maximum. He was arrested in September 2019 and had been detained since.

After his release, Macedo was ordered to go into house arrest.

The order to release him was controversial. São Paulo state governor Joao Doria called it "an unacceptable condescension to criminals".

Within a few hours, High Court president Luiz Fux had suspended the decision and ordered Macedo to be re-arrested and returned to prison immediately.

However, by this time he was already gone - with some local reports suggesting he fled the country.

PARIS (AP) — A Congolese activist was fined 2,000 euros ($2,320) on Wednesday for trying to take a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum in a protest against colonial-era injustice that he streamed online. A Paris court convicted Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and two other activists of attempted theft, but the sentence stopped far short of what they potentially faced for their actions at the Quai Branly Museum: 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros in fines. Activists and defense lawyers viewed the case as a trial about how former empires should atone for past crimes. Diyabanza’s museum action took place in June, amid global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

LONDON (AP) — Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. He was 95. His family confirmed Wednesday that Kretzmer died after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease at the London home he shared with his second wife, Sybil Sever. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change. The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conchata Ferrell, who became known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on TV’s “Two and a Half Men” after a long career as a character actor on stage and in movies, including “Mystic Pizza” and ”Network,” has died. She was 77. Ferrell died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles following cardiac arrest, according to publicist Cynthia Snyder. Ferrell soldiered through more than a decade on “Two and a Half Men,” playing opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer until Sheen was fired from the sitcom for erratic behavior that included publicly insulting producer Chuck Lorre.