Croc killed after eating boy
A show crocodile in an amusement park has been shot to death after it dragged a nine-year-old schoolboy into its pond and devoured him. Several youths had climbed over the fence at the Yintan resort in Beihai and were hitting animals with sticks and rocks when one croc took hold of the boy's clothes and pulled him into the water, the Beijing Morning Post said yesterday. A swarm of up to 11 crocodiles then ate the boy, the report said. The crocodiles are still being bred even though their performances at the park were halted several years ago, it said.
Abe: `We feel responsible'
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said Tokyo feels "responsible" for forcing women to work in brothels during World War II, Newsweek magazine has reported. Abe's remark appears to be an effort to deflect US criticism over comments he made last month that there was no proof the government or the military had forced the women, mostly Asian and many Korean, to serve soldiers in the brothels. "We feel responsible for having forced these women to go through that hardship and pain as comfort women under the circumstances at the time," Abe was quoted as saying in the interview.
Businessman faces verdict
Former property developer Joji Obara, charged with serial rape and killing two foreign women, including Briton Lucie Blackman in 2000, faces a court verdict tomorrow in a case experts call the worst sex crime in the country's history. Obara, 54, is charged with total of 10 cases of rape, including drugging, raping and killing Blackman, a 21-year-old former British Airways flight attendant who was working at a hostess bar in Tokyo when she disappeared seven years ago. Obara also faces the same charge in the death of an Australian woman in 1992, and has been indicted for drugging and raping eight other women. Obara has denied all the charges, while the prosecutors are demanding a life sentence.
Video, CD shops blown up
A homemade bomb blew up three video and music shops in a market in the northwest where hardliners believe the businesses are un-Islamic, police said yesterday. The blast happened late on Saturday in Swabi, about 100km northeast of Peshawar, the capital of the deeply conservative North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, they said. "It destroyed one shop and partially damaged two others, but there were no casualties as the market was closed," local police chief Fazal Elahi Badshah said. The blast occurred in the Gulzada Market which has some 80 shops of CDs, DVDs and tape recorders.
Tribe sets up blockades
A struggling tribe in the rural countryside has set up blockades in a desperate attempt to protect its ancestral land on Borneo from logging. The Penan tribe in Sarawak state have used tree branches and wooden poles to build the blockades in what they say is a bid to save forests from being completely wiped out. "If we do not defend our rights today, after logging ends our forests will be set to be destroyed by plantation schemes," the chairman of the Sarawak Penan Association, Ajang Kiew, said in a statement. Ajang said Sarawak had failed to recognize Penans' native rights over the land.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Arrest warrants to be issued
British detectives are set to issue arrest warrants for three Russians they suspect killed former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, the Mail on Sunday newspaper said. Police have told sources close to Litvinenko's widow Marina that they intend to charge the trio with murder and poisoning, the weekly said on its front page. Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitry Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko, all wealthy businessmen and ex-agents in the former Soviet KGB spying service, met Litvinenko three weeks before his agonizing death from radiation poisoning in London last year. They deny any wrongdoing.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Police probes card fraud
Police are investigating a global credit card scam, allegedly linked to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, which has conned thousands of motorists out of cash, the BBC reported on Saturday. BBC television said that the Sri Lankan government has claimed that its opponents, the Tamil Tigers, are behind the scam. Complaints are currently being investigated in Edinburgh, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol, Hull, Norwich, Peterborough and Bury St Edmunds, said the BBC, which added that 200 of Britain's 9,500 gas stations have been hit.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Women avoid sentence
Four women who forced two toddlers to fight as they were filmed savagely punching each other, have walked free from court. The mother of the children, Zara Olver, 21, admitted child cruelty and was given a one-year suspended sentence by Plymouth Crown Court on Friday. Judge Francis Gilbert also handed the same sentence to the children's 48-year-old grandmother and two aunts. The four women were filmed goading the youngsters to hit each other until they cried. A two-year-old boy was called a "wimp" for refusing to fight his three-year-old sister. At one point, one of the women encouraged the boy to hit his sister with a hairbrush.
Pope praised in letter
The Islamic community in Vigevano wrote a letter praising Pope Benedict XVI as he began a visit marred by a reported attack by Muslims on a Christian convert. The 80-year-old Pope began a 24-hour visit on Saturday to Vigevano, near Milan, with a mass in the Piazza Ducale. The visit was marred on Friday when a Moroccan man who had married a local Italian woman and converted to Christianity was beaten up by Muslims and needed treatment in hospital, media reports said. In a letter given to the city's bishop for the pope, the Muslim community told him they were committed to "a common path of under-standing and reciprocal respect."
■ SOUTH AFRICA
Police find kidnap victims
Police said on Saturday they had found 12 women and two children from Zimbabwe locked in a house north of Johannesburg, after their kidnapper was arrested and gave up their location. The man was caught trying to collect a ransom for a 17-year-old girl he kidnapped this week, police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said. He had offered the girl a ride to the Beit Bridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe but instead called her mother and demanded a ransom of 300 rand (US$43), which he later raised tenfold.
■ UNITED STATES
Grandma has plane trouble
A grandmother of five was flying her small plane when the engine quit in midair, and she was forced to make an emergency landing in a muddy field. Emma Hanner, 78, was flying her two-seater plane home to Denver from North Carolina when the propeller stopped suddenly west of St Louis, Missouri. As the plane hit the ground, one wheel dipped into an irrigation ditch and buckled underneath the plane. That bent the plane's nose down and spun it around, Hanner said, jolting her forward. A cut below her nose was her only injury.
■ UNITED STATES
Woman whistles up a storm
A woman from Japan was one of the winners at the International Whistlers Convention in Louisburg, North Carolina. Kimiko Wakiyama, 34, of Sakuragaoka, Japan, performed Fruhlingslieder. The other grand champion award winner was American Terry Rappold, 55, who performed Concerto in C-Minor Allegro by Vivaldi. There was also a Japanese winner in the grand champion teen category. Takuma Gima, 19, of Osaka, performed Turkish March. More than 40 adults participated in the contest at Louisburg College, said Allen de Hart, who founded the convention in 1970. Phyllis Heil and Tom Bryant of the US were named whistling entertainers of the year.
■ UNITED STATES
Man mistakenly freed
Officials mistakenly released a prisoner from a Kentucky facility after receiving a phony fax that ordered him freed, and it took them nearly two weeks to realize it. The fax contained grammatical errors, was not typed on letterhead and was sent from a local grocery store. The fax falsely claimed that the Kentucky Supreme Court "demanded" Timothy Rouse be released. Rouse, 19, is charged with beating an elderly man and was at the Kentucky Correctional & Psychiatric Center in La Grange for a mental evaluation. Lexington police arrested Rouse at his mother's home on Thursday evening.
■ UNITED STATES
Man drowns in moat
A man fleeing security guards drowned on Saturday after he leaped over a railing into a moat surrounding a casino, authorities said. Police said Anthony Swopes, 21, of Kansas City, fled while being questioned about his identification at the Isle of Capri casino in Kansas City, Missouri. Authorities were called around 12:30am, and firefighters recovered Swopes about 45 minutes later. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Moats are common fixtures at Missouri casinos. Casino gambling in the state initially was restricted to floating riverboats, but the state's constitution was amended to allow riverboat casinos to float within manmade moats.
Traffic control slammed
ExcelAire said faulty air traffic control was to blame for a middair collision between one of the US company's executive jets and a commercial airliner that killed 154 people in the country's deadliest air disaster. The Gol airlines Boeing 737 and an ExcelAire Legacy 600 jet clipped each other on Sept. 29 over the Amazon jungle. The Gol airlines jet crashed, killing all aboard, and the Legacy jet landed safely. In a report to federal police this month, ExcelAire said air traffic control transmissions "confirmed that both planes were freed by Air Traffic Control to fly at the same altitude and the same path, in opposite directions."
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies