Reality program goes wrong
A 22-year-old man was seriously ill in hospital after taking part in a competition linked to a reality TV program that went wrong, reports said yesterday. Anjar Khan took part in the stunt on Sunday, in which participants were asked to get into a water tank and hold their breath underwater for as long as possible at a shopping mall in Indore, the Hindustan Times reported. Khan stayed in the tank for between three and five minutes before organizers realized something was wrong and he was pulled out of the water. Police were interviewing organizers of the stunt, which was a local take on the US show Fear Factor.
Tasmanian devils precocious
The iconic Tasmanian devils have started having sex at a younger age since the advent of a deadly disease, which threatens to wipe out the species, researchers said yesterday. Data collected before and after the cancer-causing disease appeared showed a 16-fold increase in early sexual behavior, research published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences showed. Scientists fear the disease, which causes facial tumors, could lead to the marsupial carnivore’s extinction within 20 to 25 years, even with the increased reproduction rate. “We have found that devils are compensating for the disease by breeding early,” said zoologist Menna Jones of the University of Tasmania.
Police recruit hacker
A teenager who confessed to a central role in a global cyber-crime ring that caused millions of dollars in losses walked free from court yesterday with police wanting to secure his skills. Owen Thor Walker, 18, was discharged without conviction after earlier admitting six cyber-crime charges. Both the prosecution and defense lawyers told the High Court in Hamilton, south of Auckland, that police were interested in using Walker’s skills on the right side of the law. Judge Judith Potter ordered Walker to pay NZ$14,526 (US$11,000) as his share of damage. Walker’s software allowed access to user names and passwords, as well as credit card details, and was used by other criminals to commit crimes.
Drug traffickers busted
Authorities arrested 329 drug traffickers last month in a crackdown following warnings by the UN that opium production was soaring again, state media reported yesterday. In 192 cases last month, authorities also seized more than 119kg of opium and heroin, the New Light of Myanmar said. Other drugs including 2.39kg of marijuana and 16,082 stimulant tablets were also seized, the paper said. Authorities have declared the country will be drug-free by 2014.
HIV-positive man sentenced
An HIV-positive man was sentenced to a year-long jail term for keeping quiet about carrying the AIDS virus when having oral sex with a teenager, news reports said on yesterday. Chan Mun Chiong, 43, subsequently followed the boy who went to a security officer for help last September. The 16-year-old youth escaped infection. The former chef is the first HIV-infected person in the country to be punished for engaging in sexual activity without first telling his partner of the risk of catching the infection, the Straits Times said. Chan performed oral sex on the boy in the men’s toilet at a shopping center, the report said.
Four Kurdish rebels killed