Norway killer found “insane” may escape jail

Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was insane when he killed 77 people in a bomb and shooting rampage in Norway, and should be sent to a psychiatric ward instead of a prison, prosecutors said on Tuesday. A psychiatrist evaluation ordered by an Oslo court found that the self-styled anti Muslim resistance fighter was psychotic during the attacks, which means he’s not mentally fit to be sentenced to prison, prosecutors said.

The report, written by two psychiatrists who spent a total of 36 hours talking to Breivik, will be reviewed by a panel of forensic psychiatrists before the court makes a ruling on whether Breivik is legally insane. Their conclusions contrasted with earlier comments by the head of that board, who had said it was unlikely that he would be declared legally insane because the attacks were so carefully planned and executed. The conclusions of the forensic experts is that Anders Behring Breivik was insane,” prosecutor Svein Holden said, adding Breivik was in a state of psychosis during the attacks.

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Hu raises poverty line by 92% before regime changes

China has more than trebled the number of “poor” people by raising the poverty line by 92%. The move has both economic and political dimensions as it comes less than a year before the national congress of the Communist Party of China meets to pick new leaders to replace the Hu Jintao regime. The move will be keenly watched in India, where members of the Planning Commission have been engaged in a public and judicial row over the definition of poverty.

The new poverty line will raise the number of people Beijing officially terms “poor” from 26.88 million in 2010 to 100 million, and make them eligible for government subsidies and support. The new threshold for measuring poverty has been raised 92% from the prevalent yardstick fixed in 2009 to $362 in terms of the annual net income of farmers and other rural poor. It will enhance Hu’s bargaining power during the crucial talks at the 18th National Congress of the party. Former president Jiang Zemin had skillfully used his negotiating skills to remain the head of the central military commission even after he handed over the baton to Hu nine years back.

“Eradicating poverty, improving people’s livelihoods, and prosperity for all is the fundamental requirement of socialism,” Hu said at a national poverty-alleviation meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. “By 2020, our general target is to ensure the nation’s impoverished will no longer need to worry about food and clothing. Their access to compulsory education, basic medical care, and housing will also be ensured.” Premier Wen Jiabao said the newly identified poor will be given access to poverty reduction programs.

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