Bandits attacked a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd factory near Sao Paulo late Sunday and held workers hostage while they robbed truckloads of smartphones, tablets and notebook computers that police valued at $36 million. The dramatic heist, carried out by armed robbers who carjacked a shuttle used by factory employees, took place overnight during nearly four hours in Campinas, an industrial hub in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo. A spokesman for the state's public security secretariat said the bandits made off with seven trucks laden with more than 40,000 Samsung products. A spokesman for Samsung in Sao Paulo confirmed the heist but said police estimates for the value of the stolen goods were too high.
Japan was bracing Tuesday for one of its worst storms in over a decade as typhoon Neoguri barreled towards the southern Okinawa island chain, with 55,000 people urged to evacuate as the weather agency issued its highest alert. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the alert for Okinawa's main island, home to around 1.2 million people, as well as the outlying Miyako islands. The Kadena Air Force Base, the biggest US Air Force base in the Pacific, located on Okinawa's main island, evacuated some of its aircraft as officers stressed that Neoguri may be deadly. Waves could reach as high as 14 metres (45 feet), a weather agency official said in a warning that was likely to revive memories of Japan's quake-tsunami disaster in 2011.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday he had signed legislation making New York the 23rd state to allow medical marijuana, calling his approach, which forbids smoking of the drug and includes strict limits, the "smartest" any state had taken so far. "This new law takes an important step toward bringing relief to patients living with extraordinary pain and illness," Cuomo told a news conference at the New York Academy of Medicine, flanked by lawmakers and 9-year-old Amanda Houser, who suffers from seizures. The legislation "gets us the best that medical marijuana has to offer in the most protected, controlled way possible,” the Democratic governor said. Medical marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia.
BAGHDAD (AP) — With political leaders deadlocked, Iraq's parliament squabbled Monday over when to hold its next session, potentially delaying the formation of a new government for weeks despite the threat from extremists who have seized control of a large chunk of the country and declared the establishment of an Islamic state.
By Isra'a al-Rubei'i and Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's new parliament postponed its next session for five weeks on Monday, extending the country's political paralysis in the face of a Sunni Islamist insurgency which claimed the life of an army general on the northwestern outskirts of Baghdad. Putting off the work of reaching consensus for five weeks is a slap in the face to efforts by Iraq's Shi'ite clergy, the United States, the United Nations and Iran, who have urged the swift formation of an inclusive government to hold the country together. With no signs that Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will abandon his bid for a third term, his Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish opponents warn there is a risk that Iraq will fragment along ethnic and sectarian lines. "Things are moving faster than the politicians can make decisions," a senior Shi'ite member of parliament told Reuters.