PRETORIA, South Africa – The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius at his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events on the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go completely against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.
Instead, chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the “only reasonable explanation” for what happened in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year was that Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet door from around 3 yards away as they argued.
“She was standing behind the toilet door talking to you when you shot her,” Nel put to Pistorius right at the end of the first week of the athlete’s testimony.
“That’s not true,” replied Pistorius, one of numerous denials he issued to accusations that he was a liar through three days of rigorous cross-examination by the dogged prosecutor.
Later, Judge Thokozile Masipa tried to rein in the prosecutor, telling him: “Mind your language. We don’t call a witness a liar, not while he’s in the witness box.”
Stiletto heel killer gets life in prison
A Houston woman was sentenced to life in prison Friday for fatally stabbing her boyfriend with the 5 1/2 -inch stiletto heel of her shoe, striking him at least 25 times in the face and head.
Ana Trujillo was convicted of murder Tuesday by the same jury for killing 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson during an argument last June at his Houston condominium.
Defense attorneys argued that Trujillo, 45, was defending herself from an attack by Andersson, who was a University of Houston professor and researcher.
Detroit strikes deal on debt to 2 banks
Detroit can move ahead with a plan to settle a ruinous multimillion-dollar debt with two banks for $85 million, a judge said Friday as he also urged the bankrupt city and other creditors to reach more deals.
Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes signed off on the agreement to pay UBS and Bank of America.
The settlement is just a small portion of the city’s $18 billion in liabilities, which include $12 billion not secured by taxes or other revenue. Rhodes had denied earlier proposals for $220 million and $165 million as too generous.
Tremors in Ohio blamed on fracking
Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest.
While earlier studies had linked earthquakes in the same region to deep-injection wells used for disposal of wastewater from the natural gas-extraction technique, this marks the first time tremors in the region have been tied directly to fracking, Simmers said. The five seismic events in March couldn’t be easily felt by people.
Ukraine’s leader woos skeptical east
Ukraine’s prime minister went on a charm offensive Friday as he visited the country’s southeast, pledging to give regions more powers and to defend the rights of Russian speakers.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with regional officials who once opposed his new government in Kiev, but did not meet with protesters occupying government buildings in the cities of Donetsk or Luhansk.
Still, he left it unclear how his ideas differed from the demands of the protesters or from Russia’s advocacy of federalization for Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government has resisted federalization, saying that would lay the groundwork for the country’s breakup.
Russia has ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin warning European leaders of a risk to the gas supplies going to them through Ukraine. He has threatened that Russia could shut off energy shipments to Ukraine if it fails to pay its debts.
Those debts are a source of contention between the two nations, with the Russian estimate rising from $1.7 billion this month to over $35 billion Thursday.
Search for source of pings narrows
Authorities are confident that signals detected deep in the Indian Ocean are from the missing Malaysian jet’s black boxes, Australia’s prime minister said Friday, raising hopes they are close to solving one of aviation’s most perplexing mysteries.
Tony Abbott told reporters in Shanghai that crews hunting for Flight 370 have zeroed in on a more targeted area in their search for the source of the sounds.
“We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH370,” Abbott said.