■ Hong Kong
Croc hunter to use cages
An exasperated crocodile hunter said yesterday he would use large cages to try to catch an elusive reptile that has been loose on the Hong Kong-China border for more than a fortnight. John Lever, who has spent three nights trying to catch the 1.2m crocodile by hand without success, said the funnel-shaped cages loaded with bait may be the key to capturing the creature. The Australian TV celebrity -- who was flown to Hong Kong by the territory's English-language newspaper the South China Morning Post -- has so far failed to corner the crocodile using his famous methods.
PM defends sinking of boat
Thailand's prime minister said yesterday that Indonesia was justified in sinking a Thai trawler caught fishing illegally in its waters, and appealed to his country's fishermen not to encroach on foreign territory. Indonesian navy patrol boats rounded up five Thai trawlers off the coast of Surabaya on Friday, and destroyed one with cannon fire after evacuating the crew. "It was to demonstrate that the Indonesians are serious and will not tolerate illegal fishing in their water any longer," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters. He said he is warning Thai fishermen against fishing illegally in the waters of neighboring nations.
Human cloning to be banned
Scientists who try to clone humans in Singapore could be jailed for a decade and fined up to S$100,000 (US$58,000) under newly proposed legislation, the Health Ministry said. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law early next year, would also require researchers to get Health Ministry approval before beginning research on human stem cells, according to a statement seen yesterday on the ministry's Web site. The legislation aims to prevent scientists from abusing the open attitude toward human stem-cell research in Singapore.
Suspected killer arrested
An introverted drifter arrested for 65 murders in China cycled from town to town stabbing entire families to death during a two-year campaign of killing, according to Chinese media reports yesterday. The man suspected of being one of the world's worst serial killers was reportedly a convicted rapist and robber whose time in prison and labor camps had turned him against society. The man, named by his parents as Yang Xinhai, 35, was identified as the main suspect through DNA tests on hair and other evidence he left behind at the scenes of the killings, according to the Beijing News.
`Death machine' unveiled
Controversial Australian euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke unveiled his latest suicide device yesterday, highlighting the ease with which it can be assembled using household items such as a jam or Vegemite jar. Nitschke said the device, dubbed "death machines" by Australian media, would cost about A$52 (US$37) to build using bottles or jars and carbon monoxide. He said just two or three breaths from what he calls the "CO Genie" -- CO is the chemical formula for carbon monoxide -- would result in death. "It's a simple device and they are getting simpler," Nitschke told a press conference. "We've got 200 people booked in for workshops across Australia where people want to come along and build this device," added Nitschke, who has challenged police and lawmakers for more than a decade with his liberal stance on euthanasia.