Hollande’s bodyguards forget guns on Rio trip.


In a highly embarrassing Inspector Clouseau-style blunder, the presidential guards from the elite GSPR unit only realised the guns were absent upon arrival at Rio de Janeiro Airport.

They usually travel with a secured briefcase containing an array of firearms. But when they sought to present the weapons to customs officials, they were nowhere to be seen.

“They searched the (presidential) Airbus with a fine tooth comb, to no avail,” according to French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné. It later transpired the guns had been left at the Elysée Palace in Paris.

This meant that for the duration of the trip, the bodyguards’ only means of protecting the French president were their “bare hands”, Le Canard reported. “In police memory, it’s a first,” one elite officer was cited as saying.

The bodyguard in charge of the weapons was soon identified and fired from the unit because he reportedly tried to blame the neglect on somebody else.

Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said: “A bag of guns did indeed remain at the Elysée. It’s true it was left behind, it’s true it was considered a serious fault on the part of the officer in charge and so his division commander fired him upon his return,” she said.

But she denied the president’s entire protection unit was unarmed during the trip, saying the bodyguards carried “replacement guns”.

Ironically, before the incident, Mr Hollande’s bodyguards had complained to French media that he was making their life hell by wanting to remain at all costs a “normal” president close to the people, even if that meant compromising his own security.

They were unhappy with his snap decision to take the train to a recent Brussels summit and return to Paris by car, insisting on stopping at all traffic lights. His penchant for shaking hands and posing with well wishers had them in a cold sweat, it was reported.

“He hasn’t taken the measure of the weight of constraints of a head of state,” one told Le Parisien. “If he continues like that, we’re heading for a catastrophe.”


Hallan 14 decapitados en Veracruz


Catorce cuerpos fueron encontrados la noche de este lunes dentro de una camioneta en el municipio de Álamo, en el norte de Veracruz, informó la Procuraduría General de Justicia (PGJE) de ese estado.

Los cadáveres fueron encontrados a las 20:00 horas del lunes en las inmediaciones de la carretera federal Álamo-Potrero de Llano, a la altura del rancho Los Cuates, en los límites con el estado norteño de Tamaulipas.

Los cuerpos estaban en una camioneta Nissan blanca “tipo estaquita” con placas del estado de Tamaulipas. La información difundida por la PGJE no especifica quién los descubrió.

Las fuerzas del orden se trasladaron al lugar de los hechos y el levantamiento de los cuerpos terminó a las 07:00 horas (local) de este martes, según el comunicado.

Las fuerzas armadas aumentaron las labores de seguridad después del hallazgo, detalló la PGJE.

En septiembre de 2011, 35 cuerpos fueron abandonados en Boca del Río, Veracruz, en dos camionetas similares a la que describió la fiscalía en torno al nuevo hallazgo de cuerpos.

El 6 de octubre fueron hallados otros 32 cadáveres, pero en esa ocasión en la capital del estado, Veracruz.

En octubre de 2011, el gobierno federal junto con el de Veracruz lanzaron el Operativo Coordinado Veracruz Seguro que consiste en aumentar la presencia de las Fuerzas Armadas y de la Policía Federal “bajo un mando único federal”, según dijeron las autoridades.

El hallazgo de los 14 cuerpos ocurrió en el mismo tramo carretero donde el pasado 20 de abril sucedió un accidente entre un autobús de pasajeros y un tráiler y murieron 43 personas y otras 27 resultaron lesionadas.

UK diplomat’s convoy attacked in Libya


Britain’s ambassador to Libya was in a convoy of cars attacked in the eastern city of Benghazi, a British embassy spokeswoman has said.

The convoy was hit about 300m from the British consulate office in the city’s al-Rabha neighbourhood on Monday.

“A convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya was involved in a serious incident in Benghazi this afternoon,” the spokeswoman said.

“Two close protection officers were injured in the attack but all other staff are safe and uninjured.”

She said the injured officers were receiving medical treatment.

The diplomatic convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, local security officials said earlier on Monday.

The embassy spokeswoman earlier said that all staff were accounted for following the attack. “We are liaising closely with the Libyan authorities,” she said.

Leaflets found

Unis Sharif, Libya’s deputy interior minister, said the vehicle was carrying security personnel in a convoy for the head of the British diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Al Jazeera’s Omar al-Saleh, reporting from Tripoli, said that security sources in Benghazi had confirmed the attack, saying it had occurred shortly after the convoy left a restaurant not far from the British consulate.

“Police at the scene said they have found leaflets from a group that calls itself the Brigades of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman,” he said.

Abdel-Rahman is an Egyptian national who is currently serving a life sentence in the US.

A Reuters news agency reporter at the scene in Benghazi said police had cordoned off the area. A damaged but still intact car windscreen could be seen lying on the ground.

Security experts blamed an armed group for allegedly attacking the convoy with a rocket-propelled grenade.

According to the experts, the area around Benghazi is home to a number of groups who oppose any Western presence in Muslim countries.

Five days ago, an explosive device was dropped from a passing car outside the offices of the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The blast that followed slightly damaged the gate in front of the building.

On May 22, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the city, blasting a small hole in the building but causing no casualties.

Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising last year, which ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule. Since then, it has become a hot-spot for violence. Arms remain readily available and state security forces are struggling to assert their authority.

The violence comes as Libya prepares to elect a general national congress, with the vote set for July 7.




Obodo Kidnappers Demand $188,000 as Ransom

The family of abducted Italy-based Nigerian football star, Christian Obodo, has confirmed that his kidnappers are demanding about $188,000 (N28 million) for his release.

Obodo was kidnapped Friday by unidentified gunmen in Warri, Delta State. The spokesperson for the Obodo family, Kenneth Obodo, told ANSA news agency that the kidnappers are asking for a ransom of about $188,000 after the midfielder was abducted Saturday morning in Warri.

Obodo’s brother Kenneth, who plays for Pisa in Italy, said the family has been in touch with the kidnappers.

He added that Obodo is not in danger, but his family is concerned since they were only able to get $125,000 to free the player.

His abduction has been on lips in Italy following a statement posted on Udinese’s website that reported the player was taken away to an unknown destination by armed men on Saturday morning outside Warri, the main city in the Niger Delta which is an oil-rich area where foreign firms pump 2.4 million barrels of crude a day.

Obodo, 28, played last season for now relegated Lecce on loan from Udinese.

Confirming the incident in Asaba on Saturday, the Commissioner of Police in Delta, Mr Ikechukwu Aduba, said that the footballer was kidnapped on Friday night.

He, however, said that the police were not aware that the player was in the state.

Adubasaid that everyone knew the security situation in the country and the need for adequate protection but noted that Ogbodo did not let the police know that he was around.

“We provide security for foreigners in this country and in this state, particularly in Warri area. What will then stop us from providing security for our own people?

“But this young man came into the state without informing us. I was, therefore, embarrassed this morning when I heard of the incident,” he said.

Former Jeffs bodyguard wins lawsuit by default

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A former bodyguard and spokesman for imprisoned polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has won a multimillion-dollar judgment stemming from his lawsuit against church leaders.

William “Willie” Jessop, in his 5th District Court suit filed in February, claims leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ruined his business and harassed his family after he had a falling-out with Jeffs. He seeks more than $57 million in damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

The complaint names imprisoned sect leader Jeffs, his brother Lyle Jeffs, his brother-in-law John Wayman and two dozen other people or organizations who allegedly worked to arrange a burglary at Jessop’s Hildale-area excavation business and ranch. The suit also claims church leaders have harassed his family and kept them under 24-hour surveillance, and expelled his children from FLDS schools.

Monday’s ruling by Judge G. Rand Beacham found two of the defendants, Lyle Jeffs and Wayman, liable for some damages because they failed to respond to a court summons and therefore lost the case by default, The Spectrum of St. George reported.

Attorney Mark James, who represents Jessop and his R&W Excavation Inc. and Boulder Mountain Group Ranch companies, said the judgment allows him to pursue the collection from the two of nearly $30 million specifically addressed by the court.

He said he may try to force Lyle Jeffs and Wayman to testify about their assets. The judgment against the two awards $26 million to R&W Excavation, more than $1 million to Boulder Mountain Group Ranch and more than $2.4 to Jessop as an individual.

“There is a gap between having a judgment and having the money in hand. We have to collect,” James told The Spectrum.

Beacham’s judgment notes that a ruling on punitive damages will not be made until a hearing on the evidence can be held. No date for a new hearing has been set.

James said Warren Jeffs and other defendants named in the suit — an FLDS business entity named NewEra Manufacturing Inc. and numerous John Does who allegedly took part in acts against Jessop’s family under FLDS leaders’ direction — have not yet been served with a court summons.

“We’re trying to do this in an orderly fashion,” he said, adding he expects Warren Jeffs to be served in the near future.

Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison after being found guilty last year of child sexual assault.

The suit states Jessop had supported Warren Jeffs until he became convinced of claims that Jeffs was having affairs with other men’s wives, and had renounced his role as the faith’s prophet.

Jessop was expelled from the church and ordered to leave his home and family in 2011.

 According to the suit, that was because he had refused to file a false letter defending Jeffs against allegations he trafficked and married 12- and 13-year-old girls from an FLDS settlement in Canada.

Jessop says when he refused to say his expulsion from the church was the will of God, FLDS leaders raided his R&W Excavating and removed computers and other electronic devices.

“Records of job costing, site plans, scope of work descriptions, invoicing, receivables and payables were lost,” the suit states. “Virtually all information relating to R&W’s long-term and day-to-day operations was stolen, directly and foreseeably resulting in the shut-down and demise of R&W.”

Jessop said the business was also crippled by a mass employee exodus after FLDS leaders told workers they would be excommunicated from the church if they kept their jobs.

The church is based on the Utah-Arizona line.

Billionaire Security: Behind the scenes with Warren Buffett’s Bodyguard.

Warren Buffett’s bodyguard punched me in the head, and it hurt.

Warren Buffett and his bodyguard, Dan Clark
Warren Buffett and his bodyguard, Dan Clark

The bodyguard, Dan Clark, didn’t mean for it to hurt, he was just demonstrating a fighting move called the brachial stun. That’s a strike to the side of the neck using a chopping motion with the hands — but when Clark hit me with it in a slow speed demonstration, the sudden burst of force whipped my whole head to the right, crashing my teeth together so hard that I thought I would lose a filling.

That’s what Dan Clark is like — even his demonstrations are intense.

He’s the kind of guy who throws around phrases like the “muay Thai clench with a double knee strike,” and who, when he emails you to invite you to his training session, reminds you politely to bring a cup.

All of it — the gym, the training, and especially the punch — combine to send a clear message: Don’t mess with Buffett, or any of Clark’s other clients. And that’s kind of the point.

The gym we’re standing in is attached to the offices of his company, Clark International, in Omaha, Neb. Clark, with his square build and close cropped red hair, looks every inch the former Omaha police officer he once was.

But then he met Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the Oracle of Omaha, and in 1995 became Buffett’s go-to guy for personal security. When you see Buffett walking the floor at his annual investor conference, Clark is usually positioned just to Buffett’s side — keeping the crowd from surging too close to the elderly billionaire, and making sure the camera crews don’t trample anybody.

Such close proximity to an icon of American business inspired an entrepreneurial instinct in Clark, so he founded his own security company. Today, Clark International provides security services for high profile people including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and actor George Clooney, along with a list of others he declines to name.


We flew to Nebraska to spend some time with him this spring, during a two-day executive training session Clark had organized for dozens of full- and part-time security guards. Only a handful are full-time employees. The rest are contractors on call for big jobs that require more bodies on the ground.

The men — and one woman — clearly respect the man who’s training them, occasionally clobbering them, and who may just sign their next pay check. Two or three are veterans of the mixed martial arts fighting circuit. But even they call Clark “sir.”



Bodyguard Killed in Ambush

MANILA, Philippines – A board member in San Pablo, Laguna was wounded while his driver was killed in an ambush Wednesday evening, police said on Thursday.

Superintendent Romeo de Castro, chief of police, said board member Reynaldo dela Torre Paras, 55, was wounded, and his bodyguard-driver, Geovanni Legaspi Dumaraos was declared dead on arrival at the hospital after they were attacked along A. Bonifacio Street in Barangay VII-C in San Pablo City, Laguna at around 8:20 p.m.

But de Castro said one of two gunmen identified as Eugene Rocaldo Bacoto, 25, was also wounded after Paras managed to return fire at the suspects.

De Castro said that Paras, 55, came from Sta Cruz town and had stopped by a bakery on his way home in San Pablo City when they were attacked.

“(Paras) was standing in front of a bakery when he was attacked. I knew he used to buy bread from that bakeshop to take home to his wife,” De Castro said.

The two gunmen, he said, appeared to have been waiting for Paras as they had positioned themselves about five meters from the official when they opened

“We just couldn’t say yet if it was Paras or the bodyguard who shot Bacoto,” said De Castro, as the police were still waiting for results of ballistic tests.

Bacoto was arrested when police arrived at the scene, but the other gunman escaped.

Shortly after the attack,  the escaped gunman stole  a motorcycle nearby and used it to get away, abandoning the vehicle near the noundary between San Pablo City and the town of Alaminos, Laguna police director Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz said.

The man could have also been wounded as police found blood on the motorcycle, Cruz added.

Cruz said Paras had dropped by the provincial police headquarters in Sta Cruz Wednesday afternoon to report he had been getting threats.

“He said he had been receiving threats on his life,” Cruz said, declining to give more details as an   investigation was ongoing.

Bacoto, who remained in the hospital under heavy police guard, refused to name the mastermind of the  attack, according to De Castro.

Paras, who represents the third district of Laguna on the Provincial Board, heads the committee on peace and order. He was police officer before he entered politics.




Supreme Court Judge & Bodyguard Shot in Nepal

KATHMANDU — Gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Nepalese Supreme Court judge on Thursday in the capital Kathmandu, sparking fears of lawlessness amid a political vacuum in the Himalayan country.

Judge Rana Bahadur Bam, who was under investigation for corruption, was being driven from a temple early in the day when the gunmen pounced, shooting him six times and injuring two others in the car, doctors and police said.

“He and a security guard were returning from Bagalamukhi temple. A motorbike blocked their way and there was gunfire at 11:08 am,” said Kathmandu police spokesman Rabi Raj Shrestha.

“He succumbed to multiple bullet wounds in his armpit. We will interrogate the (judge’s) driver to find out more,” said Shrestha.

The shooting punctured an uneasy peace in the capital, days after Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, which had been considering the case for Bam’s impeachment, disbanded having failed to agree on a new constitution.

The killing came as thousands of police patrolled the streets while feuding political factions vie for power in the troubled Himalayan nation, which has no legislature and only a caretaker government ahead of elections in November.

“The Nepal government will find the criminal. I urge all Nepalis not to be filled with terror,” caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said after visiting the hospital where Bam was taken.

“A high-level meeting of security committee has been called,” Bhattarai told reporters outside the hospital. “We will provide extra security to all the high-level officials including judges.”

Bam, a Supreme Court justice for four years, was suspended from hearing cases after being accused of taking bribes in return for giving lenient sentences to criminals.

He was under investigation by the Judiciary Council and was due to retire in a year.

Nilama Pandey, a doctor at the Norvick Hospital where Bam was taken, said the 64-year-old had been shot six times and had been pronounced dead soon after being admitted.

“He had injuries on his chest. He died after bleeding profusely. Unfortunately, we could not save him,” Pandey told local television.

His bodyguard and a friend who was also in the car, Ram Giri, the father of popular Nepali comedian Deepak Raj Giri, were also shot but their lives are not in danger, Pandey added.

Bystanders told local television channels the gunshots rung out above the noise of traffic in the morning rush hour.

“We were working when we heard a huge noise. There were three of us and we rushed to the scene. Blood had splattered on the road. We didn’t see how the two gunmen arrived but they left on a motorbike,” one said.

A pamphlet from a previously unknown group calling itself the Nepal Vad Party was found at the scene, in the Lalitpur district, Shrestha added.

Security analyst Saroj Raj Adhikari told AFP the shooting came at a time of “confusion and uncertainty” in Nepal because of the country’s political crisis.

“The murder of the judge shows that no one is safe in the country,” he said. “If the current state continues, I think these groups are likely to commit more serious crimes,” he added.

Adhikari said criminal groups which emerged after the end of Nepal’s 1996-2006 civil war were finding it easier than ever to get hold of arms because of inadequate gun controls.

Shootings are still relatively rare in Kathmandu, however, although several public figures have recently been the target of gunmen with various motives and grievances.

In September last year, a Muslim community leader was shot dead in the centre of the capital, while five months earlier a Pakistani embassy official was shot in the hand and stomach but survived.