Scottish mom wins appeal
A Scottish schoolgirl who sparked an international custody fight by running away to Pakistan must return to her mother in Britain, a court in Pakistan ruled yesterday. Lahore High Court ordered that Molly Campbell, 12, should be handed over to officials at the British High Commission in Islamabad within a week by her Pakistani father. Police launched a hunt for the girl after she fled her mother's home in Scotland to be with her Pakistani father. Witnesses said the girl burst into tears when they heard that the court had upheld an appeal by her mother.
Quake flattens buildings
A strong earthquake in the north of the country destroyed houses and flattened buildings in several villages yesterday, officials said, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. The 6.1-magnitude tremor struck at 10:32am north of the Maluku islands, the US Geological Survey said. It was centered 70km beneath the sea and 216km northeast of Ternate, the capital of North Maluku province. Houses, a mosque, a school and government buildings were destroyed in the villages on Morotai island. "So far, reports received from Hapo village said the houses were ruined," said Helmy Agus Riadi of the regional Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.
Tigers dislike music
Forget the hoes and wheelbarrows -- lug around a radio instead. A Malaysian wildlife official is advising farmers to carry radios with loud volume as this may scare off tigers, a news report said yesterday. The advice from Wan Azali Wan Ali, the Wildlife Department director in northern Kelantan state, came after a tiger attempted to maul a woman who was returning home from her rubber plantation on Sunday. The tiger fled after Mek Jah picked up a stick and banged it on the ground while reciting prayers.
Bono meets Abe
Rock star and anti-poverty activist Bono urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday to keep his nation's pledge to boost aid to Africa and other parts of the developing world. Bono met with Abe while on a U2 tour. Tokyo vowed before and during last year's G-8 summit in Scotland to spend billions of dollars more on aid development assistance. Bono praised government aid for lifting many Asian countries from poverty and said "there is a lot we can learn from Japan in applying to the rest of the developing world." The rock star said he won a pledge from Abe to continue the country's efforts to help the developing world, despite budgetary constraints in Tokyo.
Maid falls from apartment
An Indonesian maid has died after falling from her Singapore employer's apartment, police said yesterday. They declined to identify the victim, who was in her twenties. The Straits Times newspaper identified the maid as Ira Tritanti, 23, who had been on the job just two weeks. It said she fell from her employer's sixth-floor apartment. A few T-shirts and a pole used for hanging clothes were found near her body. New York-based Human Rights Watch said at least 147 maids had died from workplace accidents or suicides between 1999 and last year, mostly by jumping or falling from high-rise residential buildings.
Policeman grabs reindeer
It took the long arm of the law to restore order when a renegade reindeer sprinted along a highway outside the town of Kautokeino, nearly causing a series of traffic accidents. The long arm belonged to Acting Sheriff Klemet Klemetsen, who reached through the window of his police cruiser and grabbed the fleeing animal by the skin of the neck while driving alongside it. "That was a new experience for me," the 50-year-old officer told reporters on Tuesday. "It isn't normal procedure for a police officer to grab a reindeer through his car window. I've never heard of it before," he said. "Maybe this is something for the Guinness record book?" he asked.