■ Hong Kong
Gucci lover grounded
Armed police removed a woman from a Cathay Pacific flight after she refused to stow her Gucci handbag under the seat in front of her or in the cabin overhead, the Apple Daily reported on Monday. The flight to Tokyo was delayed for about an hour as the woman contested the cabin crew's instructions to put her luxury handbag on the floor or in the compartment above her seat, a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said. Other passengers clapped when the woman with the bag was finally escorted off the airplane, the daily said.
Rare turtles to be tracked
Twelve previously captive marine turtles on the endangered species list were released into the South China Sea yesterday fitted with satellite tracking devices for a study of their migratory patterns, scientists said. Researchers are interested in studying "their open sea migratory behavior and their dive behavior to see if they are able to travel on their own, and use their navigational cues to travel and migrate," said C.H. Diong, an associate professor of zoology at Nanyang Technological University.
DPJ, China to hold dialogue
Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), agreed on Monday with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi (王毅) that the first meeting of an institution for regular dialogue between the Chinese Communist Party and the DPJ will be held in early December in Tokyo, Japanese party lawmakers said. Wang Jiarui (王家瑞), head of the Central Committee's international department, will lead the Chinese delegation, while acting president Naoto Kan will represent the DPJ team.
Ambush kills ISAF troops
Two soldiers with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed and one was missing after an ambush in southern Afghanistan yesterday, the force said. Insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades ambushed a patrol in Helmand Province, it said in statement. "Two ISAF soldiers were killed in this attack, one wounded and one remains unaccounted for," it said. The attack came a day after the NATO contingent took over command of foreign security forces in southern Afghanistan from a US-led coalition that overthrew the Taliban in 2001.
Paek visits city state
The foreign minister of North Korea, Paek Nam-sun, held talks yesterday with his Singaporean counterpart George Yeo as part of a four-day trip to the city state. Paek met with his Singaporean counterpart at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a source said. The North Korean embassy said the two ministers would hold discussions on "bilateral cooperation." A statement issued on Monday by Singapore's ministry of foreign affairs said Paek would meet top leaders including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍), Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟) and President S.R. Nathan.
Maid fails to ID accused
An Indian maid accusing her former employer of raping her repeatedly in 2004 was unable to identify him in High Court, but recognized the man in a photograph taken by police two years ago, news reports said yesterday. The alleged rapist, Sudarsanan Margasagayam, previously had a thick moustache. The 48-year-old man is now clean-shaven and wears spectacles with thick black plastic frames. The 32-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu told the court on Monday that he raped her on the first night and four other evenings during the week she spent at his flat, the Straits Times said. Sudarsanan threatened to strangle her and throw her out of his third-floor flat if she resisted him, the woman said. Sudarsanan denied the rape charges.