Military officers dismissed
A military tribunal dismissed 12 army and navy officers from service yesterday for a failed mutiny in 2003, part of a deal that allows them to escape doing further jail time. Brigadier-General Nathaniel Legaspi said the officers had pleaded guilty to a lesser offence of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. The sentence has to be confirmed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The officers will remain in custody until then. The 12 were among 29 leaders of a mutiny when soldiers took control of a service apartment block in the center of Manila's Makati financial district for several hours.
Arm breaker machine pulled
A game maker said yesterday it would withdraw arm-wrestling machines from arcades after three players broke their arms. Players would choose a strength level from 10 characters, ranging from a maid to a professional wrestler, and face off with an artificial arm on the other side of the table. Atlus, an arcade game maker, said it will remove all 155 machines of the game. "We had done careful simulations on the possibility of injuries before putting it on sale, but unexpected accidents can happen with game machines when people are too excited or fail to follow instructions," a company spokeswoman said.
UN voices judge concerns
The UN yesterday urged Phnom Penh not to transfer a key judge away from the country's genocide trials amid concerns his departure could delay efforts to try former Khmer Rouge leaders. You Bunleng, one of the court's investigating judges, was appointed head of the nation's Appeal Court last week, forcing him to quit the UN-backed tribunal intended to prosecute atrocities. He had been seen as crucial to determining which suspects will go to trial. The UN "invited the Cambodian authorities to consider keeping Judge You Bunleng in his current function," said a statement from the world body's tribunal spokesman Peter Foster. "The United Nations is now awaiting a response from the Cambodian authorities."
Used chopsticks re-sold
A Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without using any form of disinfectant, a newspaper said yesterday, the latest in a string of food and product safety scares. Officials raided the factory and seized about half a million pairs of recycled disposable bamboo chopsticks and a packaging machine, the Beijing News said. The owner, identified only by his surname Wu, said he had made an average of about 1,000 yuan (US$130) a day. Wu, who had no license to sell the goods, said he sold 100,000 pairs a day when business was good.
Con artist revealed
A man earned US$2.6 million in payoffs in a scam in which he masqueraded as a senior official, the government said on Tuesday. The man, surnamed Huang, was arrested for fraud, the official Chinacourt Web site said. To pose as a secretary of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Huang rented a courtyard house as an office. Huang hired retired soldiers as guards and had fake photos of him with top leaders. In January, Huang told a man surnamed Han that a hotel was to be sold and convinced him to pay US$1.3 million for shares. Han later found out Huang was not an official and contacted the police.