US actor Seagal meets ‘The Punisher’ Duterte, talks drug war

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte greets visiting American actor Steven Seagal, left, during his courtesy call at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila. (Malacanang Presidential photo / Reuters)
Updated 13 October 2017
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US actor Seagal meets ‘The Punisher’ Duterte, talks drug war

MANILA: US actor Steven Seagal, famous for playing action roles like a vice squad detective in “Above the Law,” met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte while on a location scouting trip in Manila.
Video footage released by government channel RTVM showed Seagal animatedly talking to Duterte.
Seagal, 65, was in the Philippines to look for a location for his upcoming movie which will be “about illegal drugs and other crimes,” a presidential palace statement said.
The statement said that Duterte told Seagal that “movies are a reflection of life” and “reiterated his strong stance against illegal drugs because it enslaves people to a form of synthetic chemical.”
Duterte has been involved in a deadly drug war since taking office last June, and on Wednesday ordered all drug operations be left to the drug enforcement agency, amid unprecedented scrutiny of police conduct in the brutal crackdown that has left thousands of Filipinos dead.
Earlier this week, Seagal said at a news conference in Manila that he didn’t think the Philippines was “a dangerous place.”
“It’s a place that’s up and coming with the new leadership,” the Philippine Star reported him as saying.
Duterte was nicknamed “The Punisher” due to his zero-tolerance of crime and drugs during the 22 years he was mayor of southern Davao City.
A former martial arts instructor, Seagal is famous for action hero roles in blockbuster movies in the 1990s, such as “Under Siege” and “Hard To Kill.”
He has also starred in a reality television series called “Steven Seagal: Lawman,” in which he carries out duties as a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana.


Python selfie puts Indian forest ranger in tight spot

Updated 18 June 2018
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Python selfie puts Indian forest ranger in tight spot

  • The Indian rock python is a non-venomous species, but it can quickly kill its prey by constricting blood flow

KOLKATA: An India forestry ranger found himself in a bind after a python briefly strangled him while he posed for pictures with the giant snake.
Wildlife officer Sanjay Dutta was called in Sunday by frantic villagers in West Bengal after they saw the 40-kilogramme (88-pound) python swallowing a goat alive.
Instead of placing it safely inside a bag, the ranger wrapped it around his neck and posed for pictures with stunned villagers.
But panic spread as the huge snake wound itself around Dutta’s neck, forcing him to struggle to free himself from its vice-like grip.
He escaped unscathed, but a little red-faced.
The Indian rock python is a non-venomous species, but it can quickly kill its prey by constricting blood flow and can grow up to 10 meters (33 feet) long.
West Bengal’s forest department has launched an official inquiry into the ranger’s conduct and flouting of safety protocols.
But Dutta said he only wanted to save the reptile from the villagers who were readying to club it to death with sticks.
“My first instinct was to rescue the snake. I carried it on my shoulders and held its mouth firmly,” Dutta told AFP.
“I was not scared for even a moment (when the python tightened its grip) because had I panicked, it could have been fatal.”
Dutta said he did not have a bag to carry the snake, which he transported to a safe location in his car and released into the wild.