Man kills four, self after family argument in Philippines

Updated 01 January 2014
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Man kills four, self after family argument in Philippines

MANILA: A gun enthusiast held hostage three members of his family and their maid for 10 hours before killing them and committing suicide in the eastern Philippines, police said Wednesday.
Witnesses said Anthony Zepeda had argued with family members in their home in the town of Pili in Camarines Sur province on Tuesday, police said.
The confrontation later culminated in Zepeda taking hostage his father, brother, sister-in-law and the maid, provincial police chief Superintendent Romero Bausa said.
Bausa said police negotiators had tried to end the crisis peacefully, but Zepeda instead shot his captives and later committed suicide.
“The cadaver of the suspect was also found at the ground floor. He has a bullet wound in the head and there’s an indication that he shot himself,” Bausa said.
The nature of the argument that prompted the hostage taking remained unknown, but initial investigation showed that Zepeda had a history of drug abuse, police said.
Bausa said Zepeda was also a known gun enthusiast as was his father.
“The assumption was... that he was fully armed,” he said, explaining why police did not immediately assault the suspect’s home.
The killings underscored the need for stricter gun controls in the Philippines, where a thriving weapons black market makes it easy for anyone to buy unlicensed firearms.
In January last year, a drugs-crazed gunman armed with a semi-automatic weapon killed eight people in a shooting rampage in a town just south of Manila.
The killings had sparked a government drive against illegal firearms, although months later police said there remained a staggering more than half a million unlicensed guns in the hands of civilians in the country.


Thousands of protesters try to storm Georgia parliament

Updated 16 min 14 sec ago
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Thousands of protesters try to storm Georgia parliament

  • Tens of thousands rallied in Tbilisi, demanding speaker Irakli Kobakhidze step down after a Russian lawmaker addressed the country’s parliament from the speaker’s seat
  • The Russian MP’s presence in Georgia’s parliament prompted outrage in the ex-Soviet nation which in 2008 fought and lost a brief but bloody war with Moscow

TBILISI: Thousands of protesters attempted Thursday to storm the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi, furious that a Russian lawmaker addressed the assembly from the speaker’s seat during an international event.
Demanding that the parliamentary speaker resign, about 10,000 protesters broke riot police cordons to enter the parliament courtyard, an AFP reporter witnessed. Police pushed them back, but several protesters continued trying to enter the building.
Earlier, tens of thousands rallied in central Tbilisi, demanding speaker Irakli Kobakhidze step down after a Russian lawmaker controversially addressed the country’s parliament from the speaker’s seat.
Russian Communist lawmaker Sergei Gavrilov was speaking during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), a forum of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox countries.
The Russian MP’s presence in fiercely pro-Western Georgia’s parliament prompted outrage in the ex-Soviet nation which in 2008 fought and lost a brief but bloody war with Moscow over breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
A group of Georgian opposition lawmakers demanded the Russian delegation leave the parliament’s plenary chamber.
Many protesters held Georgian and EU flags and placards that read “Russia is an occupier.”
“This is a spontaneous protest by ordinary Georgians, it has not been organized by any political party,” an MP from opposition European Georgia party, Giga Bokeria, told AFP at the rally.
Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili — widely believed to be calling the shots in Georgia as the leader of his ruling Georgian Dream party — said in a statement that he “fully shares the sincere outrage of the Georgian citizens.”
He added that he told the speaker to suspend the session.
“It is unacceptable that a representative of the occupier country chairs a forum in the Georgian parliament,” Ivanishvili said.