The captain of a South Korean ferry that sank last year, killing 304 people, was found guilty of homicide by an appeals court on Tuesday and sentenced to life in prison, overturning an earlier conviction for negligence. Prosecutors who had originally sought a homicide conviction for ferry captain Lee Joon-seok appealed against a decision by a lower court in November that found him guilty of negligence and sentenced him to 36 years jail. Defence lawyers for Lee had also lodged an appeal against the severity of that earlier sentence but their appeal was rejected by the Gwangju High Court, which upheld the prosecutors' demand and imposed the harsher verdict and sentence. The Gwangju High Court also overturned a homicide conviction against the chief engineer of the ferry Sewol, finding him guilty instead of negligence. His sentence of 30 years in jail was reduced to 10 years. Video footage of the crew abandoning the Sewol after instructing passengers to remain in their cabins … [Read more...] about S.Korea court finds ferry captain guilty of homicide for 304 deaths
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US spy master Keith Alexander courted hackers at an infamous Def Con gathering rife with software tricksters wary of police and ferociously protective of privacy. National Security Agency (NSA) director Alexander on Friday was the latest, and perhaps the most controversial, federal official to attend the annual hacker conference in Las Vegas to recruit warriors for battles being fought on the Internet. "I am absolutely impressed with some of the stuff going on here," Alexander said during a keynote presentation to a packed auditorium. "In this room is the talent our nation needs to secure cyber space." His Def Con visit came after he was quoted by the New York Times as saying that between 2009 and 2011 there was a 17-fold increase in cyber attacks on critical US infrastructure such as power grids and mobile phone networks. Along with being boss of the NSA, Alexander is an Army general and head of US Cyber Command created to defend against Internet-based attacks. "My concern is … [Read more...] about US spy master courts top hackers at Def Con
Dong Nai fines two mining firms Two mining enterprises in the southern province of Dong Nai have been fined VND10 million (US$476) for not fulfilling their commitments to redress environmental damage caused by their activities. According to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the violating companies are the Bien Hoa Building Materials Production and Construction Co., Ltd and Hoa An Company. Hoang Van Thong, Chief Inspector from the department, said the companies, which have been licensed to exploit stone at the Hoa An Quarry in the province's Bien Hoa City, had not planted trees as required, and failed to repair the local road after exploiting minerals at the area. The companies have been asked to restore the area's environment and transport all the stones they exploited. Local authorities have said they will close the quarry late December. Former CEOs jailed for deforestation Eight former officials were sentenced to between ten months' probation and … [Read more...] about Social Highlights for November 29
All cosmetic surgery centers in country under inspection Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen in coordination with related agencies sent a document to municipal and provincial administrators in the country to conduct thorough inspections on all plastic surgery centers. Inspections should focus on skills, treatment methodologies, surgery procedures, rights and responsibilities of client and cosmetic surgeons, and operation license as per the country's law. Inspectors must issue proper penalties on centers which offer illegal cosmetic surgery services to earn profits. The Department of Health in Hanoi has publicized list of 33 beauty parlors and three hospitals that are licensed legally to offer cosmetic surgery services. However, the department noticed that beauty parlors can only provide simple cosmetic surgery services such as 'double eyelid' surgery or eyebrow tattoo, while complicated surgeries such as abdominal liposuction and breast lift surgery must be performed in … [Read more...] about Social Highlights for October 26
Mr. Ha Huu Tuong's decision to sue several soy sauce producers for VND30 billion has made him something of a celebrity, but whether his suit gets to court remains to be seen as the issue is more complicated than it seems. Mr. Bui Hoang Danh, Tribunal President of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court, says Mr. Tuong's petition is not eligible for three reasons: There is no concrete list of named defendants, Mr. Tuong has failed to provide any proof that he is acting on behalf of consumers generally, and he has not lodged the 5% deposit. Only if Mr. Tuong can meet the three conditions will his lawsuit be considered. Lawyer Phan Trung Hoai has given his opinion on the case and says consumers definitely have the right to sue a producer whose products cause harm. However, he and fellow lawyer Bui Quang Nghiem, vice chairman of the HCMC Lawyers' Association, stress that, in such a case, the consumer has to prove that he has continuously used the product in question for 5-10 years with … [Read more...] about Soy Sauce Producers to Appear in Court?