Police polygamy a problem
The police force in Mumbai have so many two-timing officers that they have asked them to nominate which family should inherit their pension if they die in the line of duty, the Indian Express said yesterday. "It has been observed that settlement of dues gets delayed due to policemen having multiple families," the newspaper quoted a police department circular as saying. The police pension division estimates there are at least 144 policemen with two families in the city, out of a force of nearly 40,000. The legal family is usually in the village they come from, while the illegal one is in Mumbai.
■ South Korea
N Koreans rescued in boat
Two North Korean soldiers have been rescued by a patrol after drifting into the South's waters in a small boat, the Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday. The soldiers were found off the northeastern city of Sokcho late on Saturday and taken to a hospital, the agency said, citing a government source. The Unification Ministry could not confirm the report. Yonhap said authorities were planning to question the men once they recovered.
Ex-official loses other job
The sacked vice mayor of Beijing has also been dismissed from the city's Municipal People's Congress, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Liu Zhihua (劉志華), who was fired suddenly in June for unspecified corrupt acts, was dismissed as a deputy to the local legislature after the standing committee of the local people's congress "verified the facts of his wrongdoings, which have been found to be quite serious."
Doing business in mosques
Mosques should be places where people not only worship but also launch businesses and learn new skills, the government said yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the country's 10,000 mosques should "add a new dimension and image to their function" by helping local Muslim communities flourish financially, the national news agency Bernama reported. Entrepreneurs can cater to the everyday needs of people who come to mosques by opening restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, clinics, hair salons and clothing outlets in the area, Najib said.
Smuggled monkeys die
Police found three dozen macaque monkeys dead in the back of a truck, and arrested two men who admitted to drugging the animals and stuffing them into sacks in order to smuggle them, police said yesterday. Police stopped the truck at a checkpoint in northeastern Amnat Charoen Province. An inspection revealed the truck was carrying 65 monkeys, known as crab-eating macaques, of which 36 were dead.
Surgery for castrated man
A man who was attacked and castrated by a group of people with a grudge had successful seven-hour reattachment surgery, a news report said yesterday. The unidentified 28-year-old man was assaulted in an unidentified town about 200km from New Delhi, the Times of India reported. Despite taking nearly six hours to reach a hospital in New Delhi, doctors were able to reattach the severed organ because it was properly preserved in ice after the attack. "I am able to do all the things a normal person does, and I am very grateful to the doctors," the man was quoted as saying.
Kelantan heads porn list
Internet surfers from the fundamentalist Islamic state in Kelantan has topped the list of surfers who visited pornographic Web sites in the country, a newspaper reported yesterday. The Star daily's Sunday paper cited research from Google Trends as saying that Internet surfers in the city of Kota Baru in northeastern Kelantan and the town of Kuantan in neighboring Pahang had the highest number of porn surfers. Jas Laile Suzana Jaafar, a professor of psychology at Malayan University, said the development was a normal phenomenon. "If a teenager was the one who searched for it, it is normal because of puberty and he has to learn about sexuality to understand the changes they experience," Jas Laile said, according to the Star.
Rebels clash with army
Rebels fought back an army attack outside an eastern town, killing 100 soldiers and injuring an unknown number of others, a rebel spokesman said. Soldiers attacked a rebel position just outside the eastern town of Biltine early Saturday morning, and after three hours of fighting, rebels of the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development, known by the French acronym UFDD, repulsed them, said Ali Moussa Izzo, spokesman of the group.
Anti-corruption plan set
President Felipe Calderon's top anti-corruption official on Saturday announced a six-point plan to tackle the bribes, kickbacks and theft from government coffers that plague the country. Secretary German Martinez, of the Public Administration Department, said the plan will include anti-corruption education programs, better disclosure of government activities and a uniform system to revise spending in government departments. Martinez said he signed a measure that banned government officials from receiving official gifts worth more than US$50 in the run up to Christmas.
Islamic lawmakers freed
Two leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood left jail on Saturday, six months after they were detained during a wave of pro-reform demonstrations. But Essam el-Erian and Mohammed Morsi, leading members of the country's largest Islamic political organization, are not entirely free, according to an official from the prosecutor's office. Each is required to inform the authorities of his movement within Egypt and is prohibited from traveling abroad. Both are former lawmakers. The pair were among more than 500 members detained by authorities in May when several demonstrations were held in support of two reformist judges.
DNA test rocks sex scandal
The results of a DNA fatherhood test on Saturday favored a governing deputy at the heart of a week-long sex scandal, casting doubt on accusations against him and easing pressure on the government. Prosecutors are investigating allegations that Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper and his associate from junior coalition party Self-Defence recruited female workers in exchange for sex. Aneta Krawczyk, a former Self-Defence councillor and a key witness in the probe, had charged that Lepper aide and deputy Stanislaw Lyzwinski was the father of her three-year-old daughter. Lyzwinski denied the charges and prosecutors had said that the DNA results, while not decisive for the overall inquiry, would be an important test of the credibility of Krawczyk's accusations.
■ United Kingdom
Drunken pilot jailed
A drunken Australian airline pilot who tried to fly a packed plane to Dubai when he was seven times over the alcohol limit was sent to jail on Friday. John Cronly-Dillon, 51, was sentenced to four months by a judge who told him he had brought an unblemished 25-year career to a stupid and unfortunate end. The pilot, who worked for Emirates, had been on such a bender, Isleworth Crown Court in London heard, that his drink level sent monitors through the ceiling, even though he claimed at the time to have observed the ban on pilots consuming alcohol within 12 hours of a flight.
■ United States
Jeane Kirkpatrick dies at 80
Jeane Kirkpatrick, a political science professor whose support for Ronald Reagan conservatism catapulted her into the post of US ambassador to the UN, has died at 80. She was the first woman to hold the post. Initially a liberal Democrat, Kirkpatrick championed human rights, opposed Soviet Union communism and supported Israel. Kirkpatrick's son, Stuart, said she died on Thursday at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, where she was under hospice care. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton asked for a moment of silence for her at a meeting of the US delegation to the UN.
A journalist for Telesur, a channel majority owned by the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez, has been formally charged with rebellion and terrorism a month after being arrested as part of an investigation into several bombings, authorities said. The chief federal prosecutor's office said on Saturday that it had charged Freddy Munoz with participating in bomb attacks on the electrical grid in and around the Caribbean coastal cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena. Munoz, 36, was arrested on Nov. 20 arriving to Bogota's international airport from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Saddam's nephew escapes
Former President Saddam Hussein's nephew, accused of financing the Sunni insurgency against US forces, escaped from prison in the north of the country on Saturday with the help of a guard, Iraqi officials said. Ayman al-Sabawi, the son of Saddam's half brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, escaped from Badoush prison northwest of Mosul at 4pm, a senior police officer told reporters. Brigadier Mohammad al-Waqaa, the head of the Mosul police operation room, said the nightwatch commander had helped Sabawi to escape. It was unclear how they made their getaway. Sabawi's father was head of the Iraqi secret service in 1991 and head of the General Security Directorate from 1991 to 1996.
■ United States
Space shuttle blasts off
The space shuttle Discovery soared into the night sky on a complex International Space Station (ISS) construction mission after the first night launch in nearly four years. The shuttle blasted off late on Saturday in a cloud of white smoke and flame, reaching orbit about nine minutes later with seven astronauts aboard and a US$11 million truss segment to add to the ISS. "What you've seen this evening was the successful accomplishment of the most challenging, demanding technically state of the art difficulty thing that this nation, or any nation can do and today this team accomplish it successfully, it's an extraordinary event," Michael Griffin, head of NASA, told reporters.
■ United States
Gunman had grudge
A gunman who went on a deadly shooting spree last week in a downtown Chicago high-rise law office went to the building in search of an attorney because he felt cheated over an invention, authorities said. Joe Jackson, 59, made at least one other attempt on Friday to enter the offices of the intellectual property law firm Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer, but was turned away because he did not have an appointment, police officer Phil Cline said on Saturday. The next time he returned, Jackson had a revolver and knife hidden in a manila envelope, Cline said.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year