Terrorist on the run
One of the top members of the radical Jemaah Islamiah network escaped from a cell at Philippine national police headquarters on Monday with two other prisoners, police chief Hermogenes Ebdane said. "They could have escaped in the wee hours of the morning," Ebdane told a news conference. Al-Ghozi has admitted to being a member of Jemaah Islamiah and has also been indicted for a December 2000 bombing on a Manila suburban train, one of a series of near-simultaneous explosions in the city that day in which 22 people were killed.
Man jalied for poaching
A man who killed and skinned a giant panda and sold the fur for 200 yuan (US$24) has been jailed for 14 years, state press reported Monday. Yang Shicheng, a farmer from Baoxing county in southwest Chongqing municipality, shot the panda cub in a mountainous area of Sichuan province in October 1999, the Xinhua news agency said. He later sold the fur to a man named Gao Hongyou. Gao subsequently sold it to Gou Chengxue for 2,000 yuan (US$243) and he was caught by police when trying to sell it at an even higher price in Chongqing in November 2002.
Bikini-waxing record falls
An Australian beautician yesterday claimed a place in the Guinness Book of World Records after bikini-waxing 130 people in just four hours. The previous record-holder took more than three minutes per waxing, but Perth beauty therapist Lareesa Guttery ripped through the volunteers in less than two minutes apiece. "At one point we actually ran out," Guttery told Australia's AAP news agency. "We had to go out into the mall and persuade people to come in and get waxed ... I think I could do 200 if we can get the volunteers," she said.
Claims sully police's image
Bribery and kidnap claims by Thailand's best-known "massage parlor" tycoon have eroded the Thai public's already jaded view of the country's police, according to poll results published yesterday. The saga of Chuwit Kamolvisit, who owns six of Bangkok's ritziest up-scale "massage parlors," has dominated the front pages of the country's newspapers since he went public with his claim that he paid 12 million baht (US$286,000) per month in bribes to the police. Chuwit claimed top police and government leaders were among his customers.
Temple angers residents
Residents of Hindu pilgrimage town in southern India are irked over captive-elephant dung from a local temple polluting their water sources, a report said yesterday. The temple's growing herd of 62 captive elephants produces a whopping 10 tons of dung every day in Kerala's Guruvayur town, and the temple has no proper way of disposing of it, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. Quoting a local resident, the report said often the elephants' dung sits for four days before it is removed and dumped near water sources. "Recently the temple insured its elephants for a hefty sum. But what about us?" the resident asked.
Hit-and-run suspect beaten
A motorist who allegedly hit and killed a 3-year-old boy was pulled from his car and beaten by a group of men who saw the crash, sheriff's officials said. Honorio Martinez, 37, was charged with felony driving without a license that resulted in a death, Palm Beach County sheriff's officials said. The boy, Armant Williams, darted into traffic late Saturday and was struck by Martinez' car on a rural West Palm Beach road, sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said. More than a dozen men, friends of the boy's father, saw the crash and stopped the car about a half-block away, Miller said. The men dragged Martinez, 37, out of the driver's seat and punched him several times, Miller said.