Aussies poll against Charles
Most people would support severing their country's constitutional ties with Britain if Prince Charles becomes king, according to survey results published in the Weekend Australian. Result showed 46 percent supported their country becoming a republic, while 34 percent wanted the British monarch to remain head of state. But if Charles -- the first in line for the throne -- replaces his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 80 in April, support for a republic would rise to 52 percent and opposition would slide to 29 percent, the poll said.
■ New Zealand
Injured climber rescued
An Australian mountaineer who fell 100m while climbing on New Zealand's tallest mountain has been plucked to safety by a helicopter, police said yesterday. The 24-year-old man was descending with two companions on Friday from 3,754m Aoraki Mount Cook when he fell, said police Senior Constable Brent Swanson. Fellow climbers summoned help for the man, who was unconscious and suffering head and chest injuries and a broken ankle, Swanson said.
Actress to sue magazine
An actress who sparked outrage by saying Indians should not expect brides to be virgins said on Friday she planned to sue Maxim magazine for publishing a photograph of her face above the body of a scantily dressed woman. Khushboo said the magazine had called her to apologize, which appeared in this month's inaugural Indian edition. The photograph showed a woman in a transparent bra and panties and was stamped with the message "100 percent fake." Khushboo said Maxim's publishers probably thought she was an easy target.
Skinny escapee nabbed
A man who squeezed his way out of jail three days ago after fasting and taking laxatives was caught yesterday while window-shopping in a Sydney mall. Robert Cole, 36, who was serving time for stealing and assault, was being treated in the Long Bay prison hospital when he broke out of jail on Tuesday night. The mentally ill prisoner shed up to 14kg and managed to slip his slimmed-down 56kg frame through the gap between his cell bars and the brickwork, Australian Associated Press reported (AAP). AAP quoted a top prison service official as saying Cole would be sent immediately to another jail where he would spend the coming winter in a maximum security cell.
Winter weather hits Tokyo
Japan's harshest winter in decades finally caught up to Tokyo yesterday to blanket the capital in its heaviest snowfall for five years, forcing flight cancellations and slowing trains. Although snow can fall in Tokyo once or twice a year, temperatures usually hover above freezing, making significant accumulations rare. As of 3pm, about 7cm of snow had fallen in the Otemachi area of central Tokyo. At Haneda Airport, 82 domestic flights were cancelled, NHK national television said. One runway at Narita International Airport east of Tokyo was closed for about an hour. Roads remained clear in central Tokyo, but some train lines reported delays, while others ran fewer trains.
Lee Kuan Yew wins apology
The Economist has apologized to former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) and has agreed to pay damages for statements in the London-based magazine's obituary on former president Devan Nair. Nair, the country's third president who served from 1981 to 1985, died of heart failure at the age of 82 in Canada on Dec. 7 last year. The apology was in response to a remark Nair had attributed to Lee. According to Nair, in 1981, when Workers' Party leader J.B. Jeyaretnam won a by-election, Lee said he would "make him crawl on his bended knees and beg for mercy."