Two indicted over murder of Lankan in US

Ventress told detectives he planned to rob the Pick-N-Shop store on Major Drive when he killed its owner, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case. Recordings also captured two masked men entering the store together. One, whom police have identified as Ventress, pointed a firearm at Kuruppu while the second man, whom police have identified as Johnson, stood in the background “pointing something that was under a white towel, “which gives police the impression the second suspect was also armed.”Ventress fired twice, the document states, and both ran away without taking anything from the store.The police-provided portion of the video showed Kuruppu trying to bat away the robber’s pistol as Kuruppu activated an alarm. Police said Kuruppu then grabbed a BB gun with which to defend himself, but the robber shot him in the chest. Both men are being held at the Jefferson County jail on $2 million bonds each. Two men in Beaumont, US have been indicted on capital murder charges in the April 29 fatal shooting of a convenience store owner from Sri Lanka, Beaumont Enterprise reported.John David Johnson, also known as Sean, and Chandler Kyle Ventress, both 19, are accused in the death of Mettha Kuruppu, 52. Officers responding to the crime scene shortly after midnight April 29 found Kuruppu lying in a pool of his own blood behind the counter where he’d been tallying the day’s receipts, according to the affidavit.Video surveillance recordings show that, after being shot, Kuruppu walked around a little before he got “woozy” and fell over where officers found him. Kuruppu, a native of Sri Lanka, bought the store two years ago.If convicted, both men could face the death penalty because they were committing an armed robbery, an aggravated felony, when the murder occurred. read more

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia Security Council

It was hailed by UN Chief António Guterres at the time as an example of “a wind blowing in the direction of peace”, and relations have consistently improved since then. As part of the agreement, Ethiopia pushed for the Security Council to lift the sanctions, which concerned arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions focusing on certain groups and individuals.The Eritrean Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Amanuel Giorgio, hailed the lifting of the sanctions as marking the end of a difficult period for Eritrea and the region: “On this historic day I am humbled to congratulate the people of Eritrea, who have endured persistent existent pressure…Eritrea as a nation is committed to work with all its neighbours. The peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and the tripartite agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, mark the beginning of a new dawn,” he said, adding that “it is the time to redouble efforts and work closely with neighbours to build a region at peace with itself.”The United Kingdom was the penholder (the country which chaired the drafting process) of the resolution to lift sanctions, and the UK’s Ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, said that the resolution recognizes improvements in regional peace and security: “Not only is it a very important step for the countries in the region, I think it sends a helpful wider signal to the international community that, if the right steps are taken, that sanctions can be lifted.”Speaking on behalf of Ethiopia, Taye Atske Selassie Made, Permanent Representative of his country to the UN, welcomed “unreservedly” the adoption of the resolution which, he said, his country fully supports.“We are supporting this resolution today at a time when a major and historic development is unfolding in the Horn of Africa”, he said. “The breakthrough arising from the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea is already producing unprecedented and far-reaching positive consequences and is significantly changing the political landscape of the Horn of Africa and beyond.”The Security Council meeting also reaffirmed the arms embargo on Somalia, and requested that the UN Secretary-General conduct a technical assessment of the embargo in force against the country. read more