BASE jumper rescued
Emergency workers rappelled down a cliff yesterday to rescue a BASE jumper trapped on a ledge 100m from the ground after his parachute became entangled on the cliff, a rescue service spokeswoman said. The man jumped off the cliff at Christmas Creek southwest of Brisbane but his chute apparently became snagged one-third of the way down the 150m high drop. He was rescued unhurt by State Emergency Service staff said the spokeswoman."He has no injuries so it's a lovely happy ending," she said. BASE jumping involves parachutists leaping off stationary objects such as buildings, bridges and cliffs.
Anti-PM protesters freed
Forty people who were arrested in Bangkok after illegally holding a demonstration on government premises have been released, police said yesterday. A few thousand supporters of media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul rallied in downtown Lumpini Park on Friday after which hundreds then broke into the grounds of Government House, calling on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to resign. The 40 protesters, who were arrested on Saturday morning after ignoring police requests to leave, were freed unconditionally later that day, a police spokesman said. Thaksin in his weekly radio address on Saturday vowed to prosecute the protesters, saying they broke the law.
■ North Korea
US aid worker honored
Pyongyang has awarded a posthumous medal to an American aid worker to honor his relief work in North Korea the Yonhap news agency reported yesterday. The award was bestowed on Ellsworth Culver, former head of US-based aid agency Mercy Corps, at a ceremony in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, according to Yonhap. The award is unusual given the relations between North Korea and theUS, which technically have been at war since the 1950-1953 Korean War. The two nations are currently locked in a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Culver, who died at the age of 78 in August last year, travelled to North Korea as Mercy Corps chief about 20 times to deliver medical and food supplies.
Militant suspect nabbed
Police arrested four suspected militants, three with links to an alleged Malaysian terror chief blamed for a series of bloody bombings in Indonesia since 2002, media reports said yesterday. National Police spokesman Brigadier General Anton Bachrul Alam said he could not yet comment on the case because the arrests had not been confirmed by the police anti-terror squad. The Jakarta Post newspaper said three suspected militants arrested on Friday in the town of Semarang in central Java had ties with Noordin Top, believed to be a senior member of the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. Another suspect was detained in nearby Klaten district, the report said.
Rebels free activists
Communist rebels, disguised as army soldiers, raided a provincial jail and freed nine leftist activists, officials said yesterday. The guerrillas swooped on the jail in Batangas City, south of Manila, late on Saturday. Jail warden Lutgardo Catanauan said the five guards at the facility were disarmed and hog-tied by the rebels, who also took an undetermined number of firearms from the armory. He said at least one other inmate was able to escape during the attack.
Passage to India blocked
Egypt and France were locked in legal wrangling on Saturday over a decommissioned aircraft carrier containing asbestos, leaving the French warship stranded off the Egyptian coast for the third day running. Egypt said it could not allow the Clemenceau -- whose final destination is an Indian scrapyard -- to enter the Suez canal without the documents requested under the Basel convention banning the export of toxic waste. But the French defence ministry said it provided all necessary documents and stressed that the Clemenceau did not fall under the Basel convention.