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Man found guilty of killing visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang

first_imgMacon County Sheriffs Office(CHICAGO) — Six days before the two-year anniversary of his arrest — as well as his 30th birthday — Brendt Christensen, a former teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, was found guilty of one count of kidnapping resulting in death and two counts of providing false statements to the FBI in the disappearance of Yingying Zhang.Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese visiting scholar and agriculture researcher at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was last seen entering a black Saturn Astra on June 9, 2017, only a few yards away from a bus stop outside the university’s PBS radio and television station. The FBI became involved after video of her getting into the vehicle surfaced and the case moved from a disappearance to a possible kidnapping. Within days, investigators tracked the Saturn Astra back to Christensen but Zhang’s body has not been found.Although Christensen had pleaded not guilty, his attorney said that Christensen kidnapped and killed Zhang in his opening statement earlier this month. The defense added that it took issues with “the way the government says the events occurred.”On Wednesday, Terra Bullis, Christensen’s former girlfriend who recorded his alleged admission of brutally killing Zhang, testified that he had seemed “proud” and “excited” when describing how he killed her.Bullis, who said she started dating Christensen in April 2017 after meeting on OkCupid, agreed to use a hidden audio device for the FBI on June 16, 2017. She said on the stand Wednesday that she’d recorded Christensen, 29, a total of nine times and that his alleged admission was recorded on June 29, 2017, as he and Bullis attended a vigil for Zhang.In that June 29 audio, which was played in court, Christensen is heard telling Bullis several times that Zhang was his 13th victim — adding that he had been killing since he was 19 years old. He went on to say in the recording that he’d decapitated Zhang to ensure she was deceased after assaulting her with a baseball bat.On that same audio recording, Christensen is also heard describing Zhang’s “valiant” efforts to fight back, saying it was “supernatural almost how [Zhang] just didn’t give up.”The defense did not dispute that Christensen’s voice was on the recording.During the cross-examination, defense attorney Robert Tucker noted that Christensen had been drinking at the time of this conversation. Bullis agreed, but said Christensen was not drunk at the time of his statements on tape.In the last clip heard from the June 29 audio, Christensen tells Bullis he would not tell her nor anyone else what he did with Zhang’s body.“No one will ever know where she is,” he is heard saying on the recording. “She’s gone forever.”During a police interrogation, video of which was also played in court, Christensen did not admit to investigators that it was his car seen on surveillance video of Zhang getting into a black Saturn Astra.Christensen, however, did admit in the police interview to picking up a young Asian female matching the description of Zhang.He told investigators he’d let her out in a “residential area” shortly after she got in his car. He struggled to explain where he allegedly dropped her off and could not provide a precise location to investigators.Christensen is expected to be sentenced in mid-July and could face the death penalty. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

ND ranks as “dream school”

first_imgMarch saw Notre Dame rising in another set of rankings, as the Princeton Review survey “College Hopes and Worries” listed the University as parents’ No. 4 “dream college” for their children, up from No. 9 in 2011. Notre Dame was ranked behind Stanford University, Princeton University and Harvard University. According to the Princeton Review’s website, “dream colleges” are schools that parents wish they were sending their children to if cost and admission were not contributing factors. A separate ranking listed the top ten dream colleges for students. Bob Mundy, director of admissions, said the ranking speaks to the positive perception of Notre Dame nationwide. “If you can step back and think about it as a parent might, I think it provides a nicely illustrative view of Notre Dame,” Mundy said. “Parents want great things for their children, and I think this is a statement that they see Notre Dame as a unique combination of education of the mind and heart.” While some other universities were chosen as dream colleges for both parents and students, Notre Dame did not make the student list. “There is definitely a difference between the student and parent perspectives,” Mundy said. “They’re looking for some of the same things, but not all, so naturally different factors come into play.” Mundy said he believes the ranking demonstrates this disparity in goals. “Parents really see college as a time to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually, and in this case, it means that they see Notre Dame as an ideal place for this.” University Spokesman Dennis Brown said the administration was pleased about the ranking. “We believe Notre Dame is among the nation’s best in providing an extraordinary undergraduate experience, and we’re pleased that parents who engaged in this survey have recognized as much,” Brown said. He said, however, the University does not allow such rankings to carry much weight. “While we recognize that the various college surveys and rankings serve a useful function for some prospective students and their parents, we have joined with others for 20 years in expressing our reservations about their various methodologies,” Brown said. Mundy said he believes rankings like this could potentially affect future applicant pools. “It might help more in the early stages of the application process,” he said. “If Notre Dame is on the parents’ radar and that helps get us on the student radar, that’s a good thing.” Parents’ influence over their children is an important component of academic recruiting, Mundy said. “Once we can get on students’ radar, we can pretty much do the rest,” he said.   Mundy said the rankings, though positive, would not affect University policy in the short or long term. “Rankings give a global view of our institution,” he said. “They don’t necessarily affect our internal policy. This is certainly a very positive affirmation for us, though.”last_img read more

Indebted to Darwin

first_imgBritain’s Food Standards Agency is concerned about diminishing fish stocks and is asking citizens to consume less, reported The Telegraph.  This can only mean one thing, thinks Ulf Dieckmann (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria): it’s come time to pay the piper.  Who is the piper, you ask?  Answer: Charles Darwin.Dr Dieckmann said: “It was thought that these changes would only occur over millennia.  But it is becoming clear that significant evolution can take place within 20 years if the forces driving it are strong – and in fisheries they have been.”     Dr Dieckmann said that evolution caused by over-fishing took a longer [sic] to recover from than it did to cause: if the Barents Sea was closed to fishermen, it would take 250 years for cod to return to spawning at 10 years old.    “This is a Darwinian debt that will have to be paid back by future generations,” he added.    Dr Dieckmann said evolution caused by commercial fisheries had played an overlooked part in the collapse of the Northern cod off Newfoundland in 1992, the most disastrous crash yet of a major commercial fish species.    He said that from 1985 a downward trend in the size of spawning cod was detectable off [sic] and should have led to “a more precautionary approach” in setting catch quotas.Greenpeace is involved in this campaign, too, the article says.  The row has provoked a backlash by fisherman who are blasting the “Madness of Greenpeace.”  Either Dr. Dieckmann was calling the fisherman blind and random, or the changes (actually a trend toward extinction, not evolution) were caused by their presumably intelligent and purposeful actions.  The concept of a “Darwinian debt” also seems fishy.  Does it apply only to humans?  Or do fish also have to pay Darwin for what they overconsume, and so on down the food chain?    Rotate the globe over to Croatia.  Scientists there are gearing up for the big Darwin Day celebrations a year from now.  In a letter to Nature,1 Jasmina Muzini (ornithologist at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) wrote that his country has felt left behind.  Not to worry: he and his colleagues have started to make sure Darwin gets a big ovation in 2009.Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man have at last been translated into Croatian, thanks to the work of the renowned science and theology translator Josip Balabanic.  Other European countries –including Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Sweden – had access to Darwin’s works in their mother tongue during his lifetime.  But it was not until this year that Croatian students of biology could read them in their own language.    Religious education was introduced in elementary schools during the early years of Croatian independence, and ethics and the major world religions are now studied in high school.  At the same time, the importance of evolution for modern biology and medicine is publicly acknowledged by science academies and societies – in the spirit of your Editorial ‘Spread the word’ (Nature 451, 108; doi:10.1038/451108b 2008).    Croatia aspires to join the group of countries in which education and science occupy prime positions in national strategies, and recognizing the influence of Darwin’s writings is an important step in that direction.  Celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth on 12 February next year, possibly at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, will have particular significance for Croatians.1.  Correspondence, Nature 451, 627 (7 February 2008) | doi:10.1038/451627c.You didn’t realize you owe a debt to Darwin.  Are you behind in your payments?  Better not go into default.  His collection agency is red in tooth and claw.    If people accelerate evolution, such that things happen in 20 years that they used to think required thousands of years, great; let’s accelerate evolution on fruit flies and see if we can get them to evolve into mammals.  On second thought….    The Croatian suck-up to Charlie is so obsequious, you’d think they be embarrassed, but no: they are proud of their shame.  Cub Scouts have Webelos, which stands for “We’ll be loyal scouts.”  The Croatians have announced a new order for young wannabees in the Darwin Party axis of evil: the Webelodos, which stands for “We’ll be loyal Darwinist operatives.”  The motto of the Webelodos is DODO! DODO! (translation: see 02/15/2006, 02/17/2006 and 02/24/2006).  OK; whatever.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

African adventure for electric car

first_imgThe Venturi electric vehicle taking off fromthe Nairobi headquarters of the UNEnvironment Programme.(Image: Venturi Automobiles) Xavier Chevrin with the Mission AfricaVenturi electric vehicle.(Images: Venturi Automobiles)MEDIA CONTACTS • Cecilia KinuthiaUNEP liaison officer for South Africa+27 12 354 8092Cadine PillayAn electric vehicle has begun an unassisted 5 000 kilometre-journey from Nairobi, Kenya to Johannesburg, South Africa – an expedition designed to showcase the endurance of battery-powered vehicles and promote green energy use.The driver, electric car campaigner Xavier Chevrin, left on 11 May after a send-off news conference at the Nairobi headquarters of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).“We want to break the clichés of electric-powered vehicles,” Chevrin said, “and show that they have a range of uses.”Without any backup, Chevrin will head south through Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, before finishing in Johannesburg in late June.It follows a 2010 journey by the adventurer, which saw him driving 13 400 kilometres from Shanghai to Paris in a similar van, in the process setting up a record for the longest journey ever made in an electric vehicle.The vehicle is a bright orange Citroen Berlingo powered by technology developed by French electric car specialist Venturi and is the first such vehicle to make a trans-Africa trip. Chevrin said the six-nation trip would show that electric cars could travel long distances, and were not only for use in the city.The Berlingo will recharge its batteries at electric sockets along the way. It carries three aptly-named Zebra nickel sodium chloride batteries – two more than standard Berlingos – each of which has a capacity of 23.5 kWh, giving the car a total of 70.5 kWh.As with the Shanghai-Paris trip, Chevrin will trust in encounters with local people to recharge his batteries. He plans to use these random meetings to engage with ordinary Africans, inviting them on board the vehicle and showing that clean technology is a vital part of the world’s future energy sources.“The successful completion of such a journey depends not only on incredible performances from a machine, but also the people you meet throughout the entire trip,” Chevrin said.“Without any backup or pre-planned stopovers, you have to rely on chance encounters, hoping to progress each day from one point to the next.”The challengesHowever, one of Chevrin’s big challenges will be limited access to electricity, and the possibility of frequent power cuts in rural Africa. The car has no backup generator, so should he run out of power he will be stranded, adding to the scale of the adventure.“Here in Africa is going to be the toughest so far because of the problems of power supply,” Chevrin said.The Berlingo can cover 500 km (300 miles) without recharge at a maximum speed of 110 km/h (68 mph). Recharging the batteries from scratch will take seven hours.The vehicle also features a raised suspension to cope with bumpy roads.This journey is one of the Venturi Global Challenges, a series of technological and human challenges with the aim of demonstrating the company’s leadership in the field of electric propulsion. Each challenge takes place on a different continent in extreme conditions.Another expedition is being planned to drive an electric-powered vehicle from the edge of Antarctica through the snowy wilderness to the South Pole.Mission to AfricaCalled Mission Africa, the journey is supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and is part of the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, a global initiative led by the organisation’s secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to urge all sectors of society to contribute to improving energy efficiency, doubling the amount of renewable energy produced, and enabling more people to access modern energy services.“We have been using combustion engines for over a century, but now it is a new revolution,” Chevrin said. “Within a few decades it will be logical for everyone to have an electric car as it fits with the philosophy of having to be careful how we use energy.”According to UNEP’s soon-to-released flagship report on the state of the environment, the Global Environment Outlook 5, the current fossil-fuel based transport system accounts for 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. This figure is expected to rise to almost one third in the coming decades.Zero emissions are kind to the environment Chevrin pointed out that the electric vehicle puts out zero emissions and is much cheaper to run than petrol-fuelled cars. The Shanghai-Paris trip cost less than US$200 (R1 700) in electricity, compared to the $4 000 (R33 600) it would have cost to use diesel, Chevrin said.“We want to prove that electricity is an alternative energy source that can be used for transportation,” he said.South Africa’s own locally-developed electric car, the Joule, was on display during the recent COP17 climate change conference held in Durban. The car was shown off at the Climate Change Response expo from 28 November to 9 December. The car’s developer Optimal Energy had three fully functioning prototype vehicles on display in three different exhibition halls.Although the company is currently experiencing difficulties in financing the Joule’s continued development and the project is now on hold, it is still determined to bring the electric car to the South African market. But for now, Optimal Energy’s new focus is on electric buses for public transport.last_img read more

Farmer leaders reject loan waiver

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Aligarh village clash leaves six injured

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Irving scores 27 points as Celtics edge Nuggets

first_imgBoston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, third from left, drives to the rim as, from left, Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, Celtics center Al Hereford, and Nuggets guard Gary Harris look on in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, in Denver. The Celtics won 111-110. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER — Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, Jaylen Brown hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining and the struggling Boston Celtics edged the Denver Nuggets 111-110 on Monday night.Denver had a chance to win in dramatic fashion at the end but Torrey Craig’s tip-in of Will Barton’s long attempt from 3-point range was too late.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Blue Eaglets soar in third week of NBTC 24 Irving finished 11 of 17 from the field to lead the Celtics to just their second win in seven games. Jayson Tatum added 20 points and Marcus Morris had 14 off the bench.Boston blew a 20-point lead and trailed heading into the final period. Then the Celtics couldn’t hold onto a six-point advantage in the final two minutes as the Nuggets tied the game at 108 with 43 seconds to go.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNikola Jokic had a double-double by the first minute of the second half for Denver, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Barton scored 19, Gary Harris 15 and Jamal Murray 14.Mason Plumlee had 16 points and eight rebounds before he left with a leg injury in the fourth. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Celtics: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday to open a three-game homestand.Nuggets: At the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, looking to end a 10-game losing streak at AT&T Center. The Celtics beat Denver for the second time this season, also prevailing 124-118 on Dec. 13.Boston made 10 of its first 16 shots from beyond the perimeter to go up 51-31 in the second quarter and led 56-45 at halftime. Irving led the way with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.The Nuggets climbed back on the strength of a 14-5 run to end the half and outscored Boston 37-24 in the third to go up 82-80.TIP-INSCeltics: G Terry Rozier played despite spraining his right ankle at Golden State on Saturday and scored eight points off the bench. The backup guard has played in every game this season. … Daniel Theis had 11 points and Al Horford scored 10.Nuggets: Jokic has recorded a double-double in 20 of his past 40 games. … F Wilson Chandler sat out with an illness. He’d been dealing with symptoms of a migraine since he left in the first half of Saturday’s win over Dallas. . F Kenneth Faried played for the first time in four games and had zero points and five rebounds in five minutes.UP NEXTADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Pet Passion

first_imgYusuf Pathan is a busy man. Not only is he attempting to demolish the opposition, but he also bought two grey parrots in Bangalore, each worth Rs 35,000,and two Amazon parrots for the same price. All four are trained to talk. The batsman who shows no mercy to bowlers is a soft touch when it comes to abandoned and injured animals. Six years ago, Pathan met Snehal Bhavsar of the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at her husband’s shop for pet foods. He has been associated with the NGO since then. Pathan has three horses, four cats, an imported goat and a couple of parrots at his home. He is getting a special shelter built for pets at his farm house in Nadial, 45 km from Ahmedabad. The 28-year-old is now waiting for a special certificate from the wildlife conservation department before taking the parrots home.last_img read more

Appeal Court rules against emergency petition to block stadium initiatives

Registration Now Open For Shawsheen Techs 19th Annual Youth FlagFootball Clinic

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