Beijing protests acquittal
The Chinese consulate in New York has voiced dismay over the acquittal of a US border officer accused of beating a Chinese tourist and said it would closely monitor the progress of her civil lawsuit. Homeland Security officer Robert Rhodes was found not guilty on Thursday of using excessive force against Zhao Yan, 38 who was touring Niagara Falls in July last year. Rhodes was accused of spraying Zhao with pepper spray, throwing her against a wall, kneeing her in the head and striking her head on the ground. Rhodes was charged with violating Zhao's civil rights. He told a court in upstate New York that he had followed proper procedures in subduing Zhao and denied beating her. Zhao is pursuing a US$10 million lawsuit against the US government.
Carcinogenic pigs found
Agriculture officials have seized 10,000 pigs after finding their feed was mixed with illegal drugs that can cause cancer, the government said yesterday. The agriculture ministry inspected 400 farms and some 200,000 pigs in Prachuab Khiri Khan Province and found that eight farms had used banned chemicals, according to a news release posted on its Web site. "Most of the animal feed was made with carbadox, which is a dysentery medication for pigs, but it can cause cancer in people who eat this pork," the release quoted Agriculture Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan as saying. Four farms were found to use carbadox -- which has been shown in some studies to cause cancer -- while four others employed antibiotics that are potential carcinogens, the release said.
Filipino eyed for murder
Police said they had arrested a Filipino maid in a murder investigation yesterday, a day after the dismembered parts of a woman were discovered in bags at the city-state's main shopping center and a park. On Friday afternoon, a woman's head and severed limbs were found in a sports bag near the entrance of a subway station at Orchard Road, home to luxury boutiques and large department stores. A few hours later, a female torso was found in a trolley bag on a path at one of the state's best-known parks. "Based on investigation, we believe that the victim is a 26-year-old Filipina domestic worker. Extensive groundwork and enquiries have established that the suspect is a fellow Filipina maid, believed to be known to the victim," the police said in a statement.
Civil servants get warning
Civil servants have been warned that ogling or hugging a colleague without first getting his or her consent will be treated as sexual harassment, a news report said yesterday. The new guidelines apply to the country's nearly 1 million public servants and also include a prohibition against lewd gestures, such as sticking out one's tongue, or lascivious phone text messages, the New Straits Times reported. But it's all right to shake hands or have a public discussion on sex, the newspaper said.
Floods kill five
Seasonal floods have killed at least five people in southern Vietnam's Mekong Delta where 28,000 people have been evacuated to higher ground, state-run media reported yesterday. Four people, three of them children, drowned in Dong Thap province where nearly 1,500 houses were submerged and another 136 homes collapsed, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said, quoting a report by the province's disaster management committee. Floodwaters from Cambodia pouring into the fertile southern delta, which produces around half of Vietnam's grain, have forced 5,600 families -- 28,000 people -- to higher ground in Dong Thap, the report said.