Tsunami survivor dies in fall
A British expatriate who escaped the killer tsunami while holidaying in Thailand was killed in a rock-climbing accident in Singapore three weeks later, news reports said yesterday. James Richard Creffield, 39, was climbing with friends at a quarry when he fell, suffering injuries to the back of his head and bleeding heavily, The Straits Times reported. He was taken to the National University Hospital after the fall on Saturday but died later. Creffield and his wife, Singaporean Geetha Creffield, spent the Christmas holidays in Krabi, Thailand, and were at the resort when the Dec. 26 tsunami hit.
■ Hong Kong
Nude colony planned
Nudists in Hong Kong are asking for permission to take over a deserted outlying island to open the territory's first naturist colony, a news report said yesterday. The nudists want to use one of the tiny deserted islands off the east coast of Hong Kong's rural New Territories to set up the colony to avoid upsetting residents. A holiday villa and areas for barbecues, swimming, hiking, yoga, boating and photography would be set up on the island, according to the South China Morning Post. The president of one nudist group, the Body Arts Association, Simon Cheung, told the newspaper: "Anyone who comes to the island has to strip off completely."
Death row show nixed
The justice ministry has pulled the plug on a project by the corrections department to broadcast the daily lives of inmates on death row, media reports said yesterday. Natthee Jitsawang of the Corrections Department recently proposed installing Web cams in the cells of 65 inmates currently on death row and broadcasting their somewhat dreary daily lives on the department's Web site as a means of deterring crime. Natthee said the Web site would stop short of broadcasting live executions. But the Justice Ministry on Monday scotched Natthee's death row reality show on the grounds that it would violate prisoners' rights.
Police probing Nazi claims
Police are investigating claims that an Australian retiree was a Hungarian Nazi soldier during World War II who murdered a Jewish man in Budapest in 1944, the government said Tuesday. Charles Zentai, who is 86 and lives in Perth, is already the subject of an investigation by Hungary's Foreign Ministry. Also, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks down suspected Holocaust war criminals, says it has extensive evidence against him. Australia's Federal Police, which evaluated details of the allegation last month, decided they warranted formal investigation, said Attorney General Philip Ruddock.
■ New Zealand
Runaway dad surrenders
A man who has been on the run for 10 days with his five-month-old baby daughter in a custody battle with her mother gave himself up to police yesterday. Stephen Jelicich, 39, who had defied a court order to return baby Caitlin to his estranged wife, surrendered to two plainclothes officers at Kumeu, near Auckland, but was not charged with any offence, the TV3 channel reported. Jelicich's ageing father told the channel he and his wife were looking after the baby, who was safe and well. Jelicich, who has told local media that he took the baby because he did not think his wife Diane, 40, was a fit parent, said earlier he wanted a new court hearing to rule who should look after Caitlin.