Putin dismisses army chief

Updated 10 November 2012
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Putin dismisses army chief

MOSCOW/MAKHACHKALA: Russia’s Putin fires chief of his defense staff, the Kremlin said on Friday, days after sacking his defense minister over a corruption and sleaze scandal.
Putin dismissed General Nikolai Makarov and replaced him with General Valery Gerasimov, the commander of Russia’s forces in the central military district who has seen active service in Chechnya.
Four killed
Police in the volatile province of Dagestan in southern Russia says three suspected militants and a soldier have been killed in two separate incidents.
Dagestan Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said that on Thursday police in the town of Khasavyurt stormed an apartment where suspected militants had holed up, killing two men and one woman.
In a separate incident in the town of Buinaksk, unidentified assailants ambushed a vehicle, killing a serviceman from a local military base and wounding a civilian contractor.
Dagestan has become the epicenter of an insurgency that has spread across the region after two separatist wars in Chechnya. Shootings, bombings and police security sweeps occur on a daily basis in the Caspian Sea region, which borders Chechnya to the east.
Police probe alleged theft of summit funds
Russia’s interior ministry has launched a probe into the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars earmarked for hosting a recent Pacific summit.
The ministry said Thursday it was looking into the allegations that more than 93 million rubles (about $ 3 million) of state funds had been stolen. It didn’t identify possible culprits.
Russian news reports said that police were searching the offices of the Ministry of Regional Development in Moscow and its branch in the Pacific port of Vladivostok as part of the investigation.
Russia had allocated $20 billion for hosting September’s APEC summit in the long-neglected city. Critics have said too much was spent to impress the visitors, especially given the area’s more acute needs, and some reports have alleged that part of the money was stolen.


Mother of ‘nut rage’ Korean Air heiress questioned

Updated 4 min 54 sec ago
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Mother of ‘nut rage’ Korean Air heiress questioned

SEOUL: The scandal engulfing the Korean Air dynasty widened Monday as 69-year-old matriarch Lee Myung-hee faced police questioning over allegations she assaulted employees including household staff and construction workers renovating her home.
Lee’s two daughters, who held management positions at South Korea’s top carrier, became viral sensations for their own temper tantrums which were dubbed the “nut rage” and “water rage” scandals online.
“I am sorry for causing trouble,” a bespectacled Lee said with her head lowered as she walked past throngs of journalists before entering a Seoul police office.
Lee is accused of assaulting drivers and housekeepers from her personal staff as well as construction workers renovating her home and building a Korean Air-affiliated hotel.
The alleged abuses range from cursing and screaming at employees to kicking, slapping and even throwing a pair of scissors at them.
A video that emerged last month showed a woman, reportedly Lee, shoving a female construction worker and throwing a pile of documents on the ground.
Only last week, Lee’s daughter Cho Hyun-ah was summoned before immigration authorities over allegations she hired 10 Filipino maids to work at her family home on false pretenses, by claiming they were working for Korean Air.
It is illegal in South Korea to hire foreigners as domestic helpers.
Cho Hyun-ah made global headlines in 2014 for kicking a cabin crew chief off a Korean Air plane in a fury over being served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl. She later served a short prison sentence.
Earlier this year, her younger sister Cho Hyun-min was accused of throwing a drink at an advertising agency manager’s face in a fit of rage during a business meeting.
Authorities have since launched a flurry of official probes into the family’s reported abuse of workers, as well as smuggling and immigration law violations.
Their father, Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, issued a public apology over the “immature” behavior of his offspring and removed his two daughters from their management roles.
But that has done little to placate employees. Hundreds of Korean Air workers have held weekly protests in Seoul demanding the ouster of the Cho clan from the country’s flag carrier — a rare act of defiance in the country that prizes loyalty among workers.
The current chairman’s late father founded the Hanjin Group — the South’s 14th-largest business group that runs logistics, transport and hotels businesses as well as Korean Air.