Mouse short-circuits city
A tiny mouse the size of a human toe cut electric power to more than 40 percent of Phnom Penh, officials said on Tuesday. The mouse managed to short-circuit a 40-megawatt power plant south of the city, said Chea Sun-hel, director of the power company's distribution department. "The mouse was as big as a human toe, but it created a big problem," he said. Phnom Penh's 1.3 million residents often suffer power cuts that the government blames on technical problems.
Zombie Jesus probed
Police are investigating allegations that a man published offensive caricatures of Jesus Christ on his Web site, reports and police said yesterday. The 21-year-old man started posting the cartoons in January -- the first one depicted Jesus as a zombie biting a boy's head, the Straits Times said in a report. He later published another three drawings, the report said. "I never thought anyone would complain to the police because the pictures were not insidious," the man was quoted as saying by the newspaper. His identity remains anonymous.
An elderly Cambodian man was in custody accused of hacking his brother to death with a hoe after he found out his daughter was pregnant and the girl blamed his nephew, police said yesterday. The police chief of Kirivong district in southern Takeo province said Chaeng Ken, 66, became enraged after discovering his 21-year-old deaf mute daughter was pregnant and the girl pointed to his nephew, Nget Sarom, 22, when he demanded to know who the father was. "He began to argue with his brother ... and blame him for the actions of his son," Sophoan said.
Amnesty shuns kidnapping
Amnesty International urged European states on Wednesday to stop being "partners in crime" with the US over the alleged kidnapping of terrorism suspects and their transfer to countries that use torture. In a report and a letter addressed to EU leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, the human rights groups backed accusations that the US Central lntelligence Agency ran secret transfer flights and that European countries were aware of it. "There is irrefutable evidence of European complicity in the unlawful practice of renditions," Amnesty said in the letter. "The European Council must therefore put a resolute stop to the attitude of see no evil, hear no evil that has prevailed so far," Amnesty said, referring to the EU summit.
■ United States
Fear of flying kills drivers
Americans' fear of flying after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks led to more than 1,500 road fatalities because millions of Americans made long journeys by road instead of by air, German researchers said on Tuesday. The study compared the perceived risk of being killed in a hijacking with the much greater risk of dying in a highway crash. For months after the suicide-hijacks, which cost about 3,000 lives in all, US road tolls were much higher because of the increase in traffic. The study assessed the effect at 1,595 road deaths in all. "That's six times as many as the passengers on the four planes who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001," said Professor Gerd Gigerenzer. The four Boeing airliners had had a total of 265 people on board. Gigerenzer heads the Max Planck Institute for Education Research in Berlin and the study was published in the journal Risk Analysis.
Patient gets left in the lift
A German hospital admitted on Tuesday that a patient had spent three days locked in a broken-down elevator when nobody noticed that the lift in the multi-story building was out of order. The man, 68, a wheelchair user who has a slight intellectual handicap, was being treated and checked at Charite hospital in central Berlin after his ordeal. He had been taken to the hospital by ambulance on Friday for an out-patient eye examination. After he was missed from the old people's home where he lives, police searched for him in vain. Charite spokeswoman Kerstin Endele said that when he was discovered Monday evening he was tired but conscious.
■ United Kingdom
Going nuts in the office
A British government worker has been fired and another demoted following allegations they were involved in serious misconduct, including leaping naked from filing cabinets and having sex in office lavatories. Newspaper reports said staff at the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in Newcastle in northeast England also took drugs at work, brawled in the reception area and carried out pranks such as vomiting in cups and leaving them for other people to find. "Action has been taken to strengthen RPA Newcastle with a senior manager drafted in to take charge while the investigation and series of disciplinary actions to resolve some instances of serious misconduct and behavioral problems there is concluded," the RPA said in a statement on Tuesday. An investigation into the alleged misconduct was launched on May 24.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative