Musharraf slams clerics
The Muslim world must correct Western misperceptions created by "semiliterate clerics" about Islam as a religion that fosters militant extremism, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf said yesterday. "We need to inform the world of the reality of Islam," Musharraf told a meeting of the World Islamic Economic Forum. "Semiliterate clerics who hold sway over the masses [have contributed] to the rise of extremism in the Muslim world as opposed to moderation," he said. "This is the unfortunate reality because this is the critical malaise which spawns terrorism."
Leaders slam sex article
Government leaders have rebuked a local newspaper for publishing a frank expose of sexual attitudes among the country's youth. The Weekend Mail gave detailed descriptions of favorite sex positions from its survey -- including "spooning, galloping and tea bag positions" -- in a three-page feature that delivered on its front-page promise: "You'll be shocked." "I received endless calls and SMS over the articles," Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak told a ruling-party meeting on Sunday. "The media going overboard in exploiting sex will only worsen our social problems," he was quoted by the New Straits Times.
Mine blast kills 17
At least 17 miners were killed and another 30 were trapped after a gas explosion in a coal mine in Xinzhou, Shanxi Province, on Sunday, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Initial indications showed that the gas accumulated and exploded after exhaust fans stopped working due to a power failure.
Courts sentenced Dutch, French and Chinese nationals from 20 years in prison to life yesterday for ties to an ecstasy factory capable of producing millions of illegal pills a year. Presiding judge Mulyanto told the Tangerang District Court that Frenchman Serge Areski Atloui and Nicolaas Garnick Josephus of Holland were given life behind bars for helping produce ingredients used to make the drug. Five Chinese men each received 20 years for producing methamphe-tamines, known locally as shabu-shabu, another judge said.
Police cadets arrested
Twenty-eight aspiring policemen have been arrested after around 18,000 of them went on a rampage following the police admission exam, an official said yesterday. "Cars were stopped, roads were blocked, vendors were looted and some of them abused and hooted the women," a police official in the northern city of Ghaziabad said. "We are investigating the reason why so many people went wild," he said. Newspaper reports said the mobs commandeered cars, buses and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws, sometimes forcing out the original passengers and smashing car windows. Several women were also molested.
Frenchman stabs girlfriend
A Frenchman was arrested in Thailand after he confessed to stabbing his Thai girlfriend to death in their Bangkok apartment during a drunken brawl, police said yesterday. Arthur Bordoni, 26, was detained on Sunday. Bordoni told police that he and his girlfriend, Rosarin Aswapanuwat, 21, got into an argument over her alleged affair with another man, prompting a fight that resulted in his stabbing her to death. After killing the woman, Bordoni telephoned his mother in France and asked her to contact the French embassy in Bangkok. He waited in his apartment, which he and his girlfriend had shared for several months, until police arrived.