■ Hong Kong
Eat up or pay up
Restaurants have come up with a novel way to cut down on waste from food leftovers -- threatening to fine diners who don't eat up. A number of restaurants in the territory alert customers that they will charge them between HK$5 and HK$20 (US$0.64 and US$2.50) if they leave any food on their plates, the South China Morning Post reported. It said a handful of restaurants serving do-it-yourself hotpots, sushi and buffets had set up the system. However, a restaurant industry group said the move was merely put in place to warn customers and that few eateries, if any, had actually fined anyone.
Amnesty resolution passed
The upper house of parliament has passed a resolution calling for an amnesty for Afghans accused of war crimes during a quarter-century of fighting, an official said. President Hamid Karzai must now decide whether it should be made into a law, Kadamali Nekpai, chief of the upper house's press department, said on Tuesday. The lower house passed the resolution, which the UN and rights activists have condemned, on Jan. 31. Although lawmakers describe it as a resolution rather than a bill, they also say it would be made law if the president approves it.
Polls to be held 2010
New elections will be held in 2010, military Commander Frank Bainimarama, who led the South Pacific nation's fourth coup in 20 years, said on Tuesday. Bainimarama said he had laid out a "road map" to democracy which included plans for a full constitutional review, a census of Fiji's 900,000 people and an examination of electoral boundaries in the next two years. "Under this roadmap, Fiji will be ready for a general election and a full restoration of parliamentary democracy in 2010," he said.
Boating accident kills 23
At least 19 children and four school teachers drowned in a boating accident at a wildlife park lake on Tuesday, civilian and naval officials said. "A total of 23 people drowned when their wooden rowboats sank and among those killed were four [school] teachers," Mohammed Haneesh, a local administrator, said amending earlier casualty figures. He added that the school children who were killed in the accident were below 11 years of age. The final toll was still unclear. The accident happened at a lake at the Thattekade Bird Sanctuary, 55km east of the port city of Kochi at the state's most popular state-run park.
Woman allegedly kills sons
A woman who was enraged when her husband announced plans to marry a second wife allegedly killed both her young sons, newspaper reports said on Tuesday. The 30-year-old woman was alleged to have strangled her sons -- Muhammad Aliff Haqimi, 5, and 17-month-old Muhammad Aliff Hazmi -- with an iron cord while they were asleep, the Malay-language Utusan Malaysia reported. District Police chief Mohamad Hatta Moh Zain, of Barat Daya in northern Penang State, said the woman had earlier sent a text message to her husband warning him to come home by 11:30pm on Monday. She then called him and threatened to kill both their children if he did not come home, Hatta said. Her husband returned at 11:45pm to find his wife asleep with the boys, and went to bed. Hatta said the husband only found out that his sons were dead when the police arrived at his home to arrest his wife.
■ United States
James Brown to be buried
The children of James Brown and his former partner have decided on where the soul singer should be buried nearly two months after he died, a lawyer said on Tuesday. The agreement is part of a legal battle over control of the estate and assets of the singer, who died on Christmas day. It is complicated by a dispute over whether his former partner Tomi Rae Hynie Brown was legally married to him. "The children and the wife, my client Tomi Rae Brown, have come to an agreement and they have decided that he will be buried in a decent place but it's going to be kept confidential," attorney Robert Rosen said in Charleston, South Carolina.
■ United States
O.J. Simpson loses ruling
A California judge on Tuesday ruled that disgraced football star O.J. Simpson must hand over royalties from past movie and television work to one of the families of his alleged 1994 murder victims. Santa Monica Superior Court judge Gerald Rosenberg said the family of murder victim Ron Goldman was entitled to residuals Simpson earned for movies such as The Naked Gun. However, Rosenberg said the Goldmans are not entitled to money Simpson makes from such work in the future.
■ United Kingdom
Hedgehog killing stopped
A controversial project which has killed hundreds of hedgehogs preying on rare birds in the Hebrides has been abandoned after new evidence showed they could be safely taken off the islands alive. The conservation agency Scottish Natural Heritage voted unanimously on Tuesday to set up a new trial to capture and relocate the hedgehogs on the mainland, suspending a four-year-long culling program on the Uists in the Outer Hebrides. The agency said it accepted a recent study by Bristol University, endorsed last month by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which found that relocation could be safer, kinder and cheaper.
Wanted gangster killed
Police shot dead one of the nation's most wanted gangsters on Tuesday, a man they said "killed as a hobby" and is held responsible for 18 murders including a US missionary and her daughter. Police said Simon Matheri Ikere, 30, was shot dead in the house of his estranged wife Felista Wanjiru in Athi River, 25km southeast of the capital. More than 100 police officers from the special anti-crime unit took part in the operation to catch and kill Matheri, Nairobi police commander Njue Njagi told reporters.
Jail sentences increased
The government moved on Tuesday to tighten jail sentences for abusers of minors to up to 30 years. The law, approved by the Senate on Tuesday after passing through the lower house last year, will lengthen prison terms and end the classing of sexual exploitation of children as a minor offense where convicts often get early release. Priests, offenders charged with abusing underage family members and public sector employees like teachers or doctors who used their position to access children will automatically be given a double sentence, meaning up to 30 years. Clergy convicted of abuse of minors will be defrocked.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around