Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MALAYSIA

Transvestites detained

Officials detained 16 transvestites for taking part in a beauty pageant, the New Sunday Times said yesterday. The participants were held as they contested the “Miss Universe Asia 2008” title at a resort hotel in the northeastern state of Kelantan, which is ruled by the Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS), the paper said. The PAS wants to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state under Islamic rule, and has made headlines for ordering fines for women wearing skimpy clothes and stricter enforcement of laws on separate male and female lines in shops. Mohamad Abdul Aziz, chief assistant director of enforcement in the state, told the paper that 16 people aged between 20 and 30 were detained. Some were dressed in Malay traditional outfits and others in evening gowns, the paper said. Mohamad said another group of 50 transvestites who were preparing to join the competition managed to escape arrest, while about 300 people were present at the hotel to watch the event.

■INDIA

Scientists granted bail

Two Czech scientists arrested for allegedly stealing rare butterflies and insects in order to sell them on the Internet were granted bail on Saturday, an official said on Saturday. Emil Kucera, 52, and Petr Svacha, 51, were arrested last month at a hotel in Darjeeling. Officials said they were caught with more than 50 species of butterflies and rare insects captured in a national park. Forest officer Utpal Nag said authorities have a strong case against the visiting scientists. The pair, who deny the charges, have received support from the international scientific community and a petition with more than 500 signatures demanding their release has been presented to the prime minister.

■GERMANY

Pedophile sentenced to jail

A 49-year-old HIV-positive musician who molested boys in Cambodia was jailed on Friday for six-and-a-half years, with the court ruling that he must be detained afterwards until he was no longer a risk. Judge Stefan Becker said in Kiel that the accused was perverted, incorrigible and unwilling to accept behavioral therapy. “He can’t alter the fact that he is a pedophile, but if he had wanted, he could have changed the way he copes with his pedophilia,” Becker said. An eight-year-old Cambodian boy had credibly testified about the sex acts with boys. The victim was only six at the time. The man is already serving a sentence for using a forged Danish passport to travel to Cambodia. His German passport had been taken away from him because of earlier offenses.

■NEW ZEALAND

Storm kills three at sea

Three people died in rough seas when one of the worst storms to hit the country in a decade blasted the North Island, news reports said. Two fishermen died as their commercial boat was blown onto rocks in the Bay of Plenty yesterday morning. A helicopter winched two others off the boat. The body of James Moore, a rafting guide who fell from his canoe in 7m sea swells, was found washed up onto an island. Police said Moore disappeared about 500m from shore as he and three others took to the sea after a race they were to compete in was canceled. The other three made it back to land. Winds gusting to 165km an hour lashed the North Island, leaving 60,000 homes without electricity and blocking highways with landslides and floodwaters. The MetService had warned the country to prepare for “no ordinary storm.”

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