Body parts found
Chinese police found severed human limbs, an abdomen and a piece of human skin -- apparently from a man and woman slain just a few days ago -- in the border city of Shenzhen, a newspaper reported yesterday. The body parts, including a leg and part of an arm, were found Monday and Tuesday in a wastewater treatment plant, according to the Apple Daily in Hong Kong. Chinese police were still trying to identify the victims and find out who killed them, the newspaper said. A man who answered the phone at Shenzhen police and identified himself by the surname Liu told reporters that no one was available for comment.
The international terminal at Sydney airport was evacuated Wednesday after security was breached when a passenger tried to board a Qantas flight without a boarding pass, police said. Australian Federal Police said the man was stopped at the door of Qantas flight QF149 bound for Los Angeles when it was discovered he did not have a boarding pass. A police spokeswoman said the man was arrested and was being questioned.
Activists to be tried
Two pro-democracy dissidents who openly criticized the communist government on the Internet are set to go to trial in Vietnam, an international advocacy group said. Imprisoned academic Tran Khue and a former army colonel, Pham Que Duong, are expected to go on trial July 9 and 14, respectively, after being charged with "abuse of democratic rights with the aim of harming the interests of the State," Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. Khue, a professor of literature who started a group against corruption, has posted several critical articles on the Internet, including a piece on a controversial land border agreement with China.
Suspects caught with bombs
Three people have been arrested for possession of explosives and ammunition in a southern Philippine city, an army spokesman said yesterday. Lieutenant Colonel Felicisimo Budiongan said the suspects were arrested late Tuesday at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Davao City, 1,005km south of Manila. "The suspects were aboard a motorcycle when they were stopped by alert soldiers at a checkpoint in the village of Lumied," he said. "The three did not resist arrest." Thirty rocket grenades, four landmines and ammunition for an M-14 assault rifle were seized from the suspects, Budiongan said.
Russia, China make deal
Former Cold War rivals Russia and China will hold joint military exercises next year, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. The announcement came as navy ships from China and Malaysia prepared for joint search and rescue exercises off China's east coast over the weekend. The Chinese navy has in recent months held similar exercises with ships from Britain, France, India and Pakistan, part of Beijing's drive to use military contacts to raise its diplomatic profile. Xinhua said an agreement on the exercises with Russia was signed in Moscow by visiting Chinese General Guo Boxiong and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.
Eat your heart out, Hannibal
Six months after Germany's infamous cannibal Armin Meiwes was jailed for killing and eating another man,
one of the country's most controversial film directors is to make a film of his bizarre life. Rosa von Praunheim's film is to be entitled Your Heart in My Brain, and is expected to be shot later this year. A film foundation has given the director a 20,000 euro (US$24,600) grant. "It's controversial, but we think anything by von Praunheim is worth supporting," foundation spokeswoman Erna Kiefer said on Tuesday. Von Praunheim said his film would show Meiwes in his prison cell, talking to his victim's head. The head apparently asks Meiwes to eat him again.
Bush not liked by children
US President George W. Bush is disliked by more Hungarian secondary school children than former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, according to a poll published yesterday. Bush also
topped the list of most-liked foreigners with 8 percent of the vote, ahead of Pope John Paul with 6 percent. The survey of 34,000 students, aged 16-18, from 655 high schools showed Adolf Hitler was the most disliked foreign personality with 25 percent of the vote, followed by
Bush with 23 percent and bin Laden with 16 percent. Bush was even more unpopular than former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, the poll said.
Olympics spawn strikes
Hotel workers in Athens staged a 24-hour strike yesterday to demand Olympic bonuses for extra work during the upcoming Games. The Union of Greek Archeologists also held
its own day-long strike to press for Olympic payments
from the government, which
is trying to hold the line
on skyrocketing Olympic
costs -- projected to top
US$12 billion. Unlike the archeologists, the hotel workers' labor unions
must negotiate with private
hotel operators -- not the government, which is only giving bonuses to security forces. Public transportation workers have also scheduled a strike from 11am to 5pm today over Olympic bonuses.
■ Saudi Arabia
Bulldozer heist bombs
A Saudi man posing as a municipal worker used a bulldozer in an inept attempt to rob a bank's automatic teller machine but fled when the police arrived, a local daily reported on Tuesday. The Arab News said residents in Jeddah called the police after being woken by the noise of the bulldozer, but did not realize for some time that the man was trying to rob the bank. "It was disturbing. But it never crossed my mind we were watching a theft," witness Mohammed al-Assiri told
the daily. "With all that's happening this is the last thing we need." Saudi Arabia has been rocked by a wave of shooting and bomb attacks attributed to al-Qaeda in
the past year, in which up to
85 police and civilians have been killed.
■ United States
Son of Kirk Douglas dies
A son of actor Kirk Douglas has been found dead in New York after years of battling alcohol and drug addictions, police said. Eric Douglas, 46, was discovered by police
on Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment. There were no signs of foul play. In the past, Douglas had drug problems and a long
police record. He had been arrested for driving under the influence and disrupting a commercial airline flight. Eric was a half-brother to actor Michael Douglas.
Egyptian driver abducted
Unidentified Iraqi militants have kidnapped an Egyptian driver who was delivering gasoline to the US military, al Jazeera television reported yesterday. A videotape from the unnamed group, which said it represents the "legitimate Iraqi resistance," showed four armed men standing behind the seated hostage, Sayed Mohammed Sayed al-Arabawi. The gunmen kidnapped Arabawi because he was collaborating with the US forces but did not give any details about the group's demands. Several Iraqi militant groups have kidnapped foreigners in recent months.
■ United States
NY 'Post' scooped by Kerry
The New York Post trumpeted Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry's choice of running mate as a front-page exclusive on Tuesday. Trouble is, it named the wrong man. Before Tuesday's long-awaited announcement, the morning tabloid reported in an unbylined story that Kerry's pick was Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri. But around 9 am, hours after the late edition hit the streets, Kerry named Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. "Kerry's choice: Dem picks Gephardt as VP candidate," blared the banner headline in the Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and is openly supportive of Republican President Bush.
President Klestil dies
President Thomas Klestil died late on Tuesday aged 71 just two days before he was to leave office. Doctors had said earlier on Tuesday they could do nothing but hope and pray for Klestil's survival after his heart twice stopped beating on Monday, triggering multiple organ failure. Klestil was under sedation and on artificial respiration. He was due to step down tomorrow after two six-year terms and hand over his largely ceremonial post to Social Democrat Heinz Fischer.
Heritage site endangered
A Cologne cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, was placed on UNESCO's list of endangered World Heritage sites yesterday, its "visual integrity" threatened by skyscrapers being built on the opposite bank of the Rhine. The decision was announced by the UN cultural organization's World Heritage committee during its annual meeting in Suzhou, in eastern China. Francesco Bandarin, the director of UNESCO's World Heritage center, said: "I sincerely hope that Cologne will not lose an important component of its historical legacy." The cathedral is the city's only significant landmark to survive the World War II.
■ United Kingdom
Royal Mail bans favoritism
For years, postman Paul Kierby has delivered groceries and newspapers with the mail to older residents unable to make it to the village store in Singleton, northwest England. Recently, when Kierby was recovering from a shoulder injury, someone rang his employer, Royal Mail, to inquire about his health and praise his community spirit. The result: Royal Mail bosses have banned Kierby from delivering anything other than letters and parcels -- prompting an outcry. ``Ever since we moved here, this is what has gone on and it's helped a lot of people,'' said Norma Clark, 67, a retired teacher, who received her daily newspaper from Kierby.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after