Devils made him do it
A man who cut off his own penis swears that four devils made him do it. A police official in the Ang Snoul district of Kandal province said Teang Ny, 32, insisted that he had no choice but to amputate. "He told us that he went out to get coffee and realized that he'd forgotten his hat. When he returned home, he saw four large men, wearing nothing
but red sarongs and red turbans," the officer said. Teang Ny told police that the men claimed to be guardians of hell and ordered him to cut off his penis, telling him that he if didn't cut it off, they would. He told police that he offered to cut off his leg but the devils said that wouldn't work so he took a vegetable knife and did the deed. He told police that he recalled the devils scrambling for the severed penis before he passed out. He is now recovering -- but police said they have no plans to search for the devils.
Finger breaker fingered
Beijing police have arrested a man who broke his own finger in order to stage fake accidents at restaurants
and get the owners to pay compensation, state media reported yesterday. Chen Shengquan, supported by two accomplices, pulled off the trick once at a restaurant, pretending to stumble and going to a nearby hospital for treatment, the Beijing Today newspaper said. The restaurant ended up giving him 1,500 yuan (US$180)
in compensation for the "injury." Encouraged by that apparent success, Chen soon ripped off the cast to stage another accident, this time at a McDonald's outlet, it said. This time he was not so lucky, as he was taken
to the same hospital and treated by the same doctor, leading to the unraveling of the fraud.
Moon orbiter set for 2006
China has moved up the launch of a moon-orbiting satellite by one year to 2006, adding momentum to the space program that got a massive boost from October's successful manned flight. The lunar mission, originally scheduled for 2007, will place a two-tonne satellite into orbit around
the moon for at least a year, Xinhua News Agency said Friday. The satellite would take three-dimensional images of the moon's surface, it said.
Child abusers released
A seven-year sentence against a Swiss couple accused of abusing children in the city of Bombay has been halved by an Indian court. The couple had agreed to pay compensation of about US$2,240 to each of the six children they were accused of abusing before being released, the Indian Express reported. A lower court in Bombay had sentenced Wilhelm Albin Marty, 61, and his wife, Loshiar Lili Marie Marty, 58, to seven years' rigorous imprisonment in December 2000. The higher court's decision has prompted protests from activists and NGOs.
■ South Korea
Vigil organizers face arrest
Prosecutors sought arrest warrants yesterday for four organizers of candlelight vigils that have drawn tens
of thousands to downtown Seoul nightly to protest the unprecedented impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.
Police consider the peaceful daily rallies illegal, but have not tried to disperse them, fearing possible violent clashes that would escalate political uncertainty in
the wake of the March 12 impeachment.
■ United States
Cruise, Cruz break up
Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz have ended their three-year relationship. The couple, who spent long periods apart while filming, "broke up at the end of January and it's amicable," said Lee Anne DeVette, Cruise's sister and publicist. Robert Garlock, Cruz's spokesman, told People magazine that neither star is dating anyone else and the two "remain good friends." Cruise, 41, starred in last year's The Last Samurai and appears alongside Jamie Foxx in the upcoming thriller Collateral. Cruise and Cruz met on the set of the 2001 film Vanilla Sky.