Man shoots neighbor
A villager who was aiming to shoot wild monkeys encroaching on his garden shot his neighbor instead, police said yesterday. The neighbor suffered slight injuries. The 72-year-old licensed shotgun holder was so fed up with the pesky monkeys that he fired at them in as they sat in bushes behind his house in southern Johor on Wednesday, district police chief Zahaliman Jamin said. But he ended up hitting his 57-year-old neighbor, who was walking around in the bushes, Zahaliman said. "It was accidental," he said. "The monkeys disturbed the family and stole some food. The old man was so angry, so he took his shotgun."
Captain says crew is safe
The Filipino captain of a Japanese tanker seized by pirates off Somalia's coast has reconfirmed that the 23 crew members are safe, and the hijackers have made no ransom demands, a Philippine official said yesterday. Restituto Bulilan phoned Japanese company Dorval Kaiun K.K., the owner of the hijacked chemical tanker, on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said. "The captain of the kidnapped ship was able to contact the principal [the owners] in Japan to inform them that the crew is being treated well and that they are all safe," Conejos said. The Golden Nori was hijacked last Sunday off the Somali coast carrying 23 crew -- nine Filipinos, two South Koreans and 12 Myanmar citizens -- and loaded with a chemical shipment headed for Europe.
Web site apes regulator
China's battle against fake and substandard drugs has taken an unusual twist with the discovery of a Web site masquerading as that of the country's food and drug watchdog. The site was apparently set up to promote a diabetes medication, according to a report on government-run Web site china.com. While looking very similar to the State Food and Drug Administration's real site (www.sda.gov.cn), it has a totally different address -- and was still functioning on Thursday. "This site is definitely not for real," an official at the regulator was quoted as saying. "These lawbreakers have got some balls!" The fake site (www.tnb163.cn/sdfs/index.htm) can be accessed from another purporting to be from a research institute promoting the miracle benefits of a new diabetes drug.
German clears view to sea
A German retiree secretly cut down or shortened 122 trees in a publicly owned forest to give his holiday cottage a clear view of the Baltic Sea, police said on Thursday. The 70-year-old Hamburg resident told police he had felled 56 trees with a chainsaw and left only the bottom four yards of 66 others. "He told us he wanted to enjoy an unobstructed view of the Baltic," about 50m from his cottage, said Jan-Hendrik Wulff, a police spokesman. The man, whose actions caused an estimated 15,000 euros (US$22,000) of damage, may be charged with damaging property and breaking conservation laws, officials said.
Bratwurst recipe discovered
A hobby historian has discovered the oldest known recipe for German sausage. According to the 1432 guidelines, Thuringian sausage makers had to use only the purest, unspoiled meat or face a fine of 24 pfennigs -- a day's wages, a spokesman for the German Bratwurst Museum said on Wednesday. Medieval town markets in Germany had committees charged with monitoring the quality of produce. Historian Hubert Erzmann, 75, found the ancient recipe earlier this year while doing research in an archive in the town of Weimar, museum spokesman Thomas Maeuer said.