Russian gangster allegedly ordered murder of Lil Phat
Mani Chulpayev, a player in New York’s Russian mob who turned government witness in 1998, has been arrested for ordering a hit on 19-year-old Melvin Vernell III, better known as the rapper “Lil Phat.” Vernell was shot to death in Atlanta last year. “The alleged motive for the murder was drugs and other ‘business’ dealings in which the suspects were involved,” said the office of Atlanta district attorney, Paul Howard.
RIA Novosti, Russia’s official news-agency, has the full story, as well as a disturbing account of Chulpayev’s long history of law-breaking and the reach of Russian crime networks in the U.S.
Canadian documentary tracks down long-lost Green Beret in Vietnam
A famous Canadian documentary maker says he has found an American Green Beret who disappeared in Vietnam in 1968, according to a report in Canada’s Globe & Mail. John Hartley Robinson’s helicopter crashed on a rescue mission to Laos, and the soldier was declared missing-in-action, his name later inscribed on the Vietnam War Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C.
But now Michael Jorgensen, an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, offers proof in his new movie “Unclaimed” that Robertson is actually still living in Vietnam, having married and fathered a child with a local woman in a remote village. Jorgensen said the story was, at first, hard to believe, given that Robertson now suffers from dementia and goes by the name Dang Tan Ngoc. But a tearful reunion between the former soldier and his mother convinced the Canuck that Robertson and Dang Tan Ngoc were one and the same.
Ford to sell cars in slowly developing Myanmar
Ford Motor Company has announced it will sell cars in formerly embargoed Myanmar. Restrictive import taxes from Myanmar’s repressive military government and trade sanctions from the U.S. had formerly prevented American companies from operating in the southeast Asian country. An Agence France-Press report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn writes that most of the “rusting automobiles” in Yangon, the country’s capital, come from Japan or are ancient Western models from 50 years ago or more.
The U.S. lifted its trade embargoes on Myanmar after the military government allowed some democratic and economic reforms. “We are both excited and proud to support the US government’s call to invest in Myanmar and to be at the forefront of the positive change that is taking place here,” said a Ford executive in Asia.