US sailor sentenced to life
A court yesterday convicted a US sailor of killing a Japanese woman during a robbery near Tokyo and sentenced him to life in prison, a court official said. William Reese, 22, was convicted of robbing and fatally beating the 56-year-old woman near the US Navy base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, on Jan. 3. The Yokohama District Court sentenced Reese to life in prison, according to court official Atsushi Yajima.
Briton offered plea bargain
A British businessman charged with murdering two people in Singapore has been offered a plea bargain allowing him to escape death by hanging, his lawyer said yesterday. Michael McCrea, a 48-year-old former financial adviser, fled to Australia with his Singaporean girlfriend, Audrey Ong, after allegedly killing his Singaporean chauffeur and the driver's Chinese girlfriend four years ago. The fugitive couple was caught in 2002 by Australian police. The plea bargain offered by the court would result in McCrea facing a maximum 10-year jail sentence on each of the charges, plus possible fines.
Security officials meet
Sixteen defense ministers or their deputies and 11 chiefs of staff from some of the world's most powerful countries gathered in Singapore yesterday for the Fifth Asia Security Summit. Among the heavyweights scheduled to speak during the three-day summit were US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his counterparts from India and Japan. On the agenda were presentations on the dynamics between the US military and Asia's emerging security architecture and discussions on India and China and global security.
Lightning, rains kill 53
The death toll from lightning strikes and powerful storms rose to 53 yesterday as annual summer monsoon rains tore through India ahead of schedule, authorities said. Seventeen more deaths were reported since late Thursday night in three states on top of the 36 people who died earlier in the week. Lightning killed three people while three others died overnight after gusting winds wrecked homes at Allahabad, in northern Uttar Pradesh, police said in the state capital Lucknow. Thirty-two of the deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh since May 18 when the monsoon hit India's Andaman archipelago and then swirled up the west coast states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Sodomy suspect charged
A German national was arrested in New Delhi on charges of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy, a news report said yesterday. The 40-year-old man was allegedly caught sodomizing the boy on Thursday at his home in the Samaipur Badli area of northern Delhi, the Times of India reported. Police said the man was working as a volunteer in a nearby hospital and had taken the victim, the son of a patient, to his house. The neighbors broke into the house upon hearing the boy's cries and roughed up the man before handing him over to the police, the paper said.
Land mine kills 12 soldiers
Twelve paramilitary troops were killed in a land mine attack as they returned after defusing bombs in eastern India, where Maoist rebels have a strong presence, police said on Thursday. The explosion occurred when bomb disposal squad officials were returning after defusing 16 bombs at a school in West Singbhum district in eastern Jharkhand State. Their vehicle was blown to pieces, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted police officials as saying. Police said that guerrillas had planted the land mine to target officials who take refuge in the school when on extended patrol.