Policeman on trial
A policeman was on trial after being accused of beating up his girlfriend to stop her from following him into the police force because he could not stand her cutting her hair short, a news report said yesterday. Marine police constable Lau Chun-tat, 21, was accused of breaking his girlfriend Ho Mei-shan’s nose after she told him in May she had applied to join the force, the South China Morning Post reported. Lau was so upset that she had cut her hair that he bought her a wig and threatened her with a knife in an effort to stop her from enlisting, according to testimony at his trial on Monday in Hong Kong District Court.
Lightning kills man, horse
A man and his horse were killed by a bolt of lightning as a storm battered the far north, but more than 80 other riders with him on a mass equestrian event survived, news reports said. Two other men and two women with the group riding on a farm at Mahuta, near Dargaville, were taken to hospital and detained for observation with what were described as minor symptoms of electric shock, TV3 channel news reported. The dead rider — reported to be a 61-year-old Auckland businessman — was part of a group of 85 who were just 15 minutes into a scheduled week-long trek in Northland when the lightning struck during a downpour. A doctor, nurses and paramedic with the group failed to revive the man who died instantly.
Thief steals police car
Police are searching for a burglary suspect who escaped custody by stealing a police car despite being handcuffed. Police say the 29-year-old man had been detained yesterday on suspicion of breaking and entering. Two officers handcuffed him and left him in the back of the unmarked police car while they examined a bag outside. The suspect then climbed into the driver’s seat and drove away. Police say the keys had been left in the car. The vehicle was found an hour later but the suspect is still at large. An investigation is under way.
Rice pilferers to be jailed
President Gloria Arroyo vowed yesterday to jail anyone who pilfers state-subsidized rice as the Philippines scrambled to avoid the kind of riots over soaring food prices that have hit other countries. “Anyone caught stealing rice from the people must be thrown into jail,” Arroyo said after a Cabinet meeting to discuss the rapid rise in the price of rice, the country’s staple cereal. Rocketing global prices and moves by many rice exporting countries to limit supplies have created shortages around the world, sparking protests.
Man forgets rare violin
A retired shipping consultant said he lost an expensive 17th-century violin after forgetting it on a train. Rob Napier said he did not realize the instrument, made by master Venetian craftsman Matteo Goffriller in 1698, was still on the train’s luggage rack until it began pulling out of the station. “I think you can imagine the awful, kind of pit-in-your-stomach feeling,” Napier, 67, said in a telephone interview on Monday. “My first instinct was: Can I jump on top of the train? But that was obviously stupid.” Napier said he was on his way home to Bedwyn, some 115km west of London, on Jan. 29 after retrieving the violin from an expert who had valued it at about £200,000 (US$390,000).
Eleven arrested for murder