Couple names boy `Tsunami'
Grateful that the killer wave of Dec. 26 spared his life, a couple in southern India have named their baby boy Tsunami, it was reported on Monday. When the tsunami hit their beachfront home in Tamil Nadu state two weeks ago, Stalin and his wife Jesurani ran for safety carrying their two-month-old baby, the Asian Age news-paper reported. They lost the child in a stampede of people rushing to higher ground. The couple searched for their baby among hundreds of bodies along the shoreline before being told he had been rescued and left at the local church. Jesurani said neighbors told her that the baby was passed from one person to another as they ran to escape the waves.
Singer worried for orphans
Pop star Ricky Martin is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Foreign Minister Surakiat Sathirathai today to raise concerns for children orphaned by the Dec. 26 tsunami, officials said yesterday. Martin, who runs the Ricky Martin Foundation -- a charity for orphans, will also visit Phuket and other beach resorts in the country that bore the brunt of the tsunami disaster. "He is here to express his concerns about what happened, so the meeting with the prime minister and foreign minister will highlight that message," said a foreign ministry spokesman.
Baby's parents spurn deals
The family of a baby boy named China's 1.3 billionth citizen has turned down advertising deals from firms making everything from diapers to infant formula, state media said on Monday. Many companies contacted Zhang Yichi's parents, hoping the boy would act as an "image representative" for their products, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the Beijing Daily Messenger. The family turned down all the invitations, except the offer of insurance. "It's lucky to be China's 1.3 billionth citizen," the baby's father was quoted as saying. "But it's unnecessary to act as an image representative for so many products, since Zhang Yichi is too young and too many commercial activities will have negative impact on the boy's healthy growth."
Guide faulted in croc swim
A tour guide who invited foreign tourists to swim in crocodile-infested waters acted in a "grossly negligent" manner that led to the death of a German visitor, a coroner's report said yesterday. Isabel von Jordan, 23, drowned in October 2002 after being mauled by a 5m-long, 500kg crocodile while swimming with other tourists in Kakadu National Park. Von Jordan had been holidaying in northern Australia after surviving the terrorist bombings in Bali only days before the croc attack. Tour guide Glenn Robless, who told the group it was safe to swim, pleaded guilty in 2003 to a charge of making a dan-gerous omission that caused von Jordan's death. He was given a three-year suspended prison sentence.
Counterfeiting gang nabbed
Police believe they have crippled a major syndicate involved in producing counterfeit money with the arrest of eight South African nationals, police and a news report said yesterday. Two of the suspects had approached a businessman last week and persuaded him to part with more than 600,000 ringgit (US$157,895) after promising to double the amount using "money-making expertise," a police spokesman said.