Venezuelan Regime Kidnaps 2008 Friedman Prize Winner Yon Goicoechea

Pro-democracy leader Yon Goicoechea, winner of the 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, was arrested Monday in Venezuela. 

Goicoechea’s detention comes just prior to massive popular protests against the government that are planned for this Thursday. 

“Sticking to the pattern it has followed over the past few years as the crisis has deepened, the regime is doubling down on repression rather than adjusting to political or economic reality,” says Cato scholar Ian Vásquez. “His kidnapping shows just how insecure the regime has become and the importance of speaking truth to power.

Diosdado Cabello, the second most powerful person in the regime, publicly announced that the government had arrested Yon on the bogus claim that he was carrying explosives. In the video broadcast on national television, Cabello referred to the $500,000 Friedman Prize award that Yon received as evidence that Yon was some sort of foreign-employed agent bent on terrorism.

“That man was trained by the U.S. empire for years,” Cabello said, “It looks like his money ran out and he wants to come here to seek blood. They gave him the order there in the United States.”

This is an old trick of the Chavista regime—distract attention from the severe political, economic and social crisis that it has inflicted on the country. Venezuela’s so-called Socialism of the 21st Century has produced shortages of everything from food and water, to medicine and electricity. Hunger is becoming widespread, the rate of violence is among the worst in the world, and the regime has become extremely unpopular.

Nobody is sure exactly where Yon is being held or under what conditions (though we believe he is in a cell at the headquarters of the secret police in Caracas). The Venezuelan government stopped being democratic and respecting the rule of law years ago, but we nevertheless call on it to release Yon immediately and treat him with the basic rights to due process that should be afforded to any Venezuelan citizen.

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Chinese ‘Jack the Ripper’ serial killer caught

An alleged serial killer, who is accused of raping and murdering 11 female victims in northern China over more than a decade, has been captured by police, say local reports.

Gao Chengyong, called China’s “Jack the Ripper”, was detained at a grocery store he runs with his wife.

He admitted to the killings, which took place between 1988 and 2002, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The 52-year-old is a married father of two.

Police say Mr Gao targeted young women dressed in red and followed them home, where he would rape and kill them, often cutting their throat and mutilating their bodies.

His youngest alleged victim was eight years old.

In 2004, police had said the suspect they were looking for “has a sexual perversion and hates women”.

“He’s reclusive and unsociable, but patient.”

Police had then posted a reward of £22,900 ($30,000) for information leading to an arrest. It was the first time all the crimes had been linked.

However, no leads were found until China’s Criminal Investigation Bureau earlier this year re-launched an investigation into the case, using new technology to re-examine DNA.

Mr Gao was tracked down after his uncle was arrested for a minor crime, according to news outlet China Daily. He gave a DNA sample which police then linked to the crimes, determining they must have been committed by a relative.

Mr Gao’s first alleged killing took place in May 1988, the year his son was born.

The 23-year-old woman was found in the city of Baiyin with 26 stab wounds to her body.

Subsequent murders followed a similar pattern, with the killer often targeting young women who lived alone.

Mr Gao also cut off parts of his victim’s reproductive organs, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.

Women in Baiyin would not walk alone in the streets without being accompanied by male relatives or friends after the spate of attacks.

Mr Gao went on to work at a vocational school in Baiyin, and had two sons, both of whom attended university and found jobs.

There were no immediate explanations as to why the killings stopped in 2002.


Ghana Chocolate event (29 Aug 2016), 11 min video of parts with Yuzuru.

2:25 of video- 
Yuzu: Skate season is coming. I will be having more and more performances in front of everyone, so I really look forward to that.
And Tao-san, please try skating. Do try ice sports as well. (laughs)
[because she was talking about wanting to challenge sea sports]

MC: Now let’s try addressing one another not by family names but by your own names. So instead of saying ‘Hanyu-senshu’, please say 'Yuzuru-kun’.

[note: 'senshu’ means athlete and is a formal way of addressing a sports person.
’-kun’ is informal and a more endearing form of addressing a boy or young man.]

3 girls saying together: Yuzuru-kun, let’s enjoy today together.
Yuzu: Yes…. yes…. (laughter)

MC: How did you feel hearing that?
Yuzu: Nervous!  (laughter)
MC: Normally do you get called 'Yuzuru-kun’?
Yuzu: Not much. Fans might use that but usually it’s 'Hanyu-kun’ or 'Yuzu’ or 'Yuzuru’.
MC: So how was it hearing it from 3 girls so near you?
Yuzu: I could not look at their faces at all. (laughter)

MC: Well now it’s your turn, can you please look at their faces and address them by their names?  [**the MC is so mean, haha!**]

Yuzu: Yes. Airi-chan, Tao-chan, Suzu-chan, I will enjoy today.

MC: Hanyu-senshu, you seem so shy.
Yuzu: I used ’-chan’, but then at the end I said ‘-masu’….. haha…. Yes I was feeling embarrassed.
[note: when you address someone as ‘-chan’, it means a certain familiarity and you use the informal form of the verb at the end of the sentence instead of the polite -masu form. Yuzu is laughing at himself for being so awkward and having a funny mix in his sentence. ^^]

Yuzu: During the filming of the CM, there was a cut of eating (the chocolate). I was only required to eat a bit, but each time, I ate about half of it. There were more than 5 takes, so I ate about 2 to 3 bars at that time….. (laughs) It was really delicious…. The director also filmed me continuously eating the chocolate. (laughs)

One of the girls, Suzu-san, said she has been doing muscle training.
MC:  But muscle training and you seems the most mismatched….  Hanyu-senshu, you are reacting to this too. (he was nodding in agreement)

Yuzu: As an athlete, I think about various things regarding muscles. But looking at this body (Suzu’s), I’m thinking where are the muscles? (laughter)

Suzu: At my stomach. Muscles have started to form and I am aiming for a 6-pack. But maybe 6-pack will look awful on me, so now I am having family discussions about it. (laughter)

MC: (About women having 6-pack)  Hanyu-senshu, what do you think?

Yuzu: Hmm….. I think it can look good. Slender ladies look beautiful and there are many skaters who are like that. They all look good. Suzu-san also. I would surely like to see it. (laughter)

MC: We will look forward to a chance to see that! (laughter)

Suzu-san gestures towards her stomach, like splitting it up.

Yuzu:  Split into 6 parts…. If you can, eight parts might be good too. (laughter)

[**haha…. Yuzu is so naughty! Telling her to go for 8-pack! Look at how much he is laughing at his own suggestion! He is such a tease!!**]

MC: How about you, Hanyu-senshu? Recently what are things that get you excited?  [t/n. in Japanese, the word means “make your heart throb”]

Yuzu: Lately, I am working really hard at practice and so there is nothing but skating that I am excited about. I am looking ahead towards the competitions and working hard so that I can do good performances.

MC: When we watch you perform, we get very excited. For yourself, do you also get very excited when you do a good performance?

Yuzu: Mm….. I think I like the reaction. When I am skating, I am concentrating on myself, so I don’t really feel anything. But when I finish and the music stops, the reaction and cheers from everyone really make my heart race.

MC: Now please show the photo that “gets your heart throbbing".

Yuzu shows a photo of his earphones.

MC: What are these?
Yuzu: They are my earphones. When I have work to do, I bring them along with me. One, two, three… (counting the ones in the pic)…. eight. I bring eight with me.

MC: I’m thinking, are they really such a necessity?
Yuzu: Well….. I have wireless ones too. They each give different sound quality. At times when I am very particular about the sound, or times when I think I want to listen to this kind of music and this kind of sound quality, I get very excited with the earphones that I am obsessed about.

[**haha….. nothing very much new about what he loves.^^]

Translated by me;  video thanks to uploader.