Thursday, 30 April 2015

Indonesia executions: Brazilian was 'unaware until end'


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  • From the sectionAsia
The body of Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who was executed earlier, arrives at a funeral home in Jakarta, Indonesia April 29, 2015
Rodrigo Gularte was killed by firing squad along with seven other people on Wednesday
A Brazilian man executed in Indonesia for drug smuggling did not know that he was going to die, says his priest.
Father Charlie Burrows has said that Rodrigo Gularte was hearing voices and did not understand that he was to be shot by firing squad until the end.
Gularte had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Seven foreigners and one Indonesian were executed on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic outcry.

Hearing voices

Father Charlie Burrows said he had tried to prepare Gularte for his execution but that the Brazilian had not realised what was happening to him until his final moments.
"With him, these voices were very real," Father Burrows told BBC Radio 4's PM programme. "He said 'No, I'm not going to be executed, I'm going to Brazil in a year's time.
"I thought he knew what was happening, but when they took him from the cells and the wardens handed him over to police, he turned to me and said 'Father, am I going to be executed?'"
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Hugo Bachega, BBC Brasil

A woman displays a photograph of executed Brazilian drug convict Rodrigo Gularte at the hospital morgue in Jakarta on April 29, 2015.
Gularte's cousin told the BBC that the Brazilian was "delusional"
One of Gularte's last requests was that he be buried in Brazil so that "if he was resuscitated" he would be close to his family, a Brazilian diplomat who met him told the BBC.
The diplomat said that this was further evidence of Gularte's poor mental health.
A cousin who visited him regularly in prison said that Gularte was delusional.
She said his favourite topics were "his past lives in Egypt and other surreal stories that never happened".
Gularte claimed that the water and food at the prison were contaminated and was constantly seen talking to walls and ghosts, the cousin said.
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Ricky Gunawan, Gularte's Indonesian lawyer, told the BBC that his execution was "outrageous".
"Indonesia has closed its eyes and ears and just wanted to execute him regardless of the plausible evidences we had to avoid the execution."
Brazil had asked the Indonesian government to spare Gularte on the grounds that he was severely mentally ill.

'Deep regret'

He was the second Brazilian to be executed for drug smuggling in Indonesia in four months.
Earlier, Brazil described the latest execution as "a serious event in the relations between the two countries".
Gularte, 42, was arrested in 2004 for trying to smuggle cocaine into Indonesia hidden in surfing gear.
Filipino protesters hold placards protesting the planned execution of Mary Jane Veloso in Makati, Philippines, 24 April 2015
Family, friends and foreign diplomats appealed for the death sentences to be overturned
Wednesday's executions have been heavily criticised by the international community.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "deep regret" over the incident.
In a statement, Mr Ban said the death penalty had "no place in the 21st Century" and urged Indonesia to spare all other death row prisoners.
Among those killed were two Australian men - Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australia, a key ally of Indonesia, has recalled its ambassador in protest.
Nigeria has also expressed "deep disappointment" at the execution of four of its nationals.
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In this file combo photographs, eight foreign death row prisoners in Indonesia await execution by firing squad in Nusakambangan prison island. Top row from left, Ghanaian Martin Anderson, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui. Bottom row Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerian Raheem Agbaje Salami, Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, and Nigerian Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise.
  • Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan
  • Ghanaian Martin Anderson
  • Indonesian Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin
  • Nigerians Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze and Martin Anderson (originally reported to be Ghanaian)
  • Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte
  • Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui and Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso were spared as they have ongoing appeals
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There were celebrations in the Philippines, however, after Filipina Mary Jane Veloso's execution was postponed at the last minute.
She has been allowed to testify in the case of the woman who she has accused of planting heroin in her luggage.
Maria Kristina Sergio at a press conference in Manila, Philippines (29 April 2015)
The woman Veloso accuses of planting drugs on her unexpectedly handed herself in on Tuesday
A French man, Serge Areski Atlaoui, also remains on death row. He has an outstanding legal complaint over his request for clemency.
Indonesia says it takes a hard line because of the country's own drugs problem - 33 Indonesians die every day as a result of drugs, according to Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency.
The country has some of the toughest drug laws in the world and ended a four-year moratorium on executions in 2013.

Leaders grilled by audience in Question Time special


Media captionDavid Cameron: "These were some proposals that were produced that I rejected"
David Cameron and Ed Miliband have faced tough questions from a Question Time audience over their economic plans in the final TV event of the campaign.
The PM said he had rejected £8bn in child benefit cuts the Lib Dems claimed the Tories had proposed in government.
Ed Miliband said Labour did not overspend when in power and that he would not lead a government if it involved a deal with the SNP.
Nick Clegg was grilled over tuition fees, trust and coalition deals.
Three other leaders also faced audience questions:
The Conservative leader was first in the firing line at Leeds Town Hall.
Mr Cameron said he did not want to cut child benefit or child tax credits if he won the election, but that it was possible to save more from the welfare budget.
Asked if this amounted to an "absolute guarantee," he said child tax credit "would not fall" and child benefit was "one of the most important benefits there is" and did not need to change.
Brandishing the note left in 2010 by outgoing Labour Treasury Secretary Liam Byrne, stating there was "no money left", Mr Cameron said: "It takes a long time to fix the mess that I was left."
"We are half way through a building job," the PM added.
Media captionMr Miliband was asked by audience members to accept that Labour had spent too much when in power
Media captionNick Clegg: "Alas I'm not pretending I'm going to be Prime Minister next Thursday"
Media captionDavid Cameron said he would fight to avoid making compromises in a "dark room with Nick Clegg or someone"
Asked if his vow to pass laws preventing tax rises was an admission he usually lied, Mr Cameron said he wanted to put the policy "beyond doubt".
He said he had not agreed to a head-to-head debate with Mr Miliband because: "This, giving you the chance to answer questions directly, this is more powerful than a televised debate."

'Darkened room'

Mr Cameron was then asked why people did not trust the Conservatives on the NHS, replying that improving the health service was "my life's work" but only possible with a strong economy.
He refused to speculate on what might happen in the event of a hung Parliament, saying he did not want to do a deal in a "darkened room with Nick Clegg", but said an in/out referendum on the EU would be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations.
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Analysis by Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

Nick Robinson
The Labour leader said nothing he has not said repeatedly before - explaining his view that the deficit resulted from the financial crash and not from over spending by the last Labour government. He gave no new hostages to fortune but it was, nevertheless, the toughest ride he's faced in this campaign.
With David Cameron looking confident the Tories and the Tory press will claim that this was the night the election turned.
But - and it is a big but - the prime minister's performance relied on either ignoring or dodging the hostile questioning he faced about welfare cuts, the bedroom tax, food banks and the morality of his policies.
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Ed Miliband faced tough questions, with one man accusing the Labour leader of lying and telling him it was "absolutely ludicrous" to suggest his party had not spent too much in government.
Mr Miliband said: "There was a global financial crisis, there was a high deficit. That deficit has not been cleared. It will be the mission of my government to cut the deficit every year and balance the books."
He dismissed Liam Byrne's letter as Mr Cameron's "regular prop".

SNP deal

Mr Miliband then rejected the PM's claim that the Conservatives would not cut child tax credits. The issue was "on the ballot paper" in light of Mr Cameron's earlier response, he suggested.
Media captionLabour leader Ed Miliband says he will not form a Labour government - if it means making a deal with the SNP
On the prospect of a post-election deal with the SNP, he said: "If the price of having a Labour government was a deal or a coalition with the Scottish National Party then it is not going to happen."
He also ruled out a "confidence and supply" arrangement, with his party trying to win SNP support on an issue-by-issue basis.
"I am not going to start bartering away my manifesto, whatever the outcome of the election," he added.
Mr Miliband refused to set an immigration target, telling one questioner: "I don't want to stand on this stage in five years time and explain why I have broken my promise."
As he walked off stage when his half-hour was up, the Labour leader briefly lost his footing - something that was seized on by his critics in the press.
Nick Clegg was immediately quizzed about the Lib Dems' U-turn on tuition fees.
He then faced pointed questions about why his party had not revealed an alleged Conservative proposal to cut child tax credits on Thursday earlier.
Mr Clegg said the Conservatives had "a very unfair plan to balance the books, which departs from what we've done in coalition and I think we are entitled to say: 'What are you going to do? Who are you going to hurt'".

'Plucky and brave'

The Lib Dem leader defended his decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives in 2010, after an angry former Lib Dem voter said he would have preferred a deal with Labour. Mr Clegg said it had been the "democratic" thing to do so and a "plucky and brave way to put country before party".
However, Mr Clegg said that this year he had been "much clearer" on the "red lines" he would insist upon in any coalition negotiations with Labour or the Conservatives, such as a requirement for education spending to increase by £5bn by 2020.
He indicated he would seek to form another coalition with the party that got the most seats in next Thursday's general election.
But Mr Clegg said he would only back an EU referendum if more powers were handed to Brussels, potentially putting him at odds with Mr Cameron.
At one stage an audience member asked if he had plans to find a new job when he became unemployed next week. "No I don't," the Lib Dem shot back.
Mr Clegg managed a quip at the expense his rivals, saying: "He (David Cameron) keeps talking about darkened rooms, as does Ed Miliband.
"If either of them still think they are going to win a majority they need to go and lie down in that darkened room."
An instant poll of Question Time viewers conducted by ICM for The Guardian found that 44% thought Mr Cameron had "done best", against 38% for Mr Miliband and 19% for Mr Clegg.
Responding to the Question Time show, Green Party Natalie Bennett - who was not invited to appear in a TV event - said each of the three leaders signed up to the "many facets of business-as-usual politics".
The event was "a clear example of why we urgently need a real alternative in British politics", she said, arguing that none of those appearing in the event offered "a genuine alternative to the failed policy of austerity".
"No-one was truly standing up the vicious rhetoric on immigration that has infected political debate in this country," she added.
* Subscribe to the BBC Election 2015 newsletter to get a round-up of the day's campaign news sent to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

Apple says tattoos can cause watch problems


Apple Watch on a tattooed wrist
Some users are reporting the stopwatch function working intermittently on tattooed wrists
Apple has said some of the functions on its new smartwatch may not work properly when it is worn over tattoos.
Darker-coloured artwork and even changes in darker coloured skin types can fool the light sensors on the back of the watch.
The problem is not exclusive to the Apple Watch, which performed well in independent tests.
But it does show the manufacturer has not solved the sensor problem.

Sensitive sensors

"Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can... impact heart rate sensor performance," Apple said on a support page on its website.
"The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."
Tattoo of an apple
Apple Watch does not like dark-coloured tattoos
The watch uses green LED lights combined with light-sensitive photodiode sensors to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist, which can then be used to calculate heart rate.
Other problems have been reported. Matt Siegel, a journalist for the Reuters news agency said that "the watch locks on tattooed skin and does not deliver the soft pings that alert a user to incoming messages".
"The heart rate readings were also significantly different on tattooed and untattooed wrists."
Videos posted to YouTube have shown users with wrist tattoos attempting to log a work out session, only for the watch to appear to intermittently pause the stopwatch when it failed to detect the wrist.

Common problem

The problem is not unique to the Apple Watch.
Several smartwatches and wearable fitness devices that use similar sensor technology have also been reported to struggle when worn on darker coloured skin. In these cases the amount of light reflected back from deeper-coloured pigmentation of the skin is less than the device is calibrated for.
The technology in Apple's watch does not appear to be of a low standard. It performed well in independent tests against leading heart rate monitors, according to Consumer Reports.
Samsung Gear 2
Sensors on the Samsung Gear 2 struggled with darker skin according to a CNET report
The repair site ifixit.com has taken apart the Apple Watch and reported that its heart rate monitor system is more advanced than most, offering potential functions that Apple is not currently promoting.
"Apple's heart rate monitor is actually a plethysmograph," it said.
"It looks and acts like a pulse oximeter, but Apple isn't claiming it can measure your blood oxygen level. Why? Beats us. Our best guesses involve FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] regulations."
It seems that the sensor and monitor functions of the Apple Watch are fairly advanced, but that the technology giant has yet to solve the known problems presented by darker-inked skin.
"We're not surprised the Apple Watch has run into problems with tattoos as it uses similar optical heart rate monitoring tech as the Fitbit Charge HR," Sophie Charara, contributing editor of wearable technology website Wareable, told the BBC.
"Apple now needs to offer users the option to disable the pin code security when the smart watch doesn't detect your wrist.
"The winning wearable tech in the next few years will be the devices that work with our bodies, not the ones that ignore them."

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