Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INDIA

PM to undergo heart bypass

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to have heart bypass surgery today, his office said in a statement yesterday. The 76-year-old Singh will be “undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery,” the statement said, without giving details on his condition. The prime minister underwent a series of heart tests this week that according to Indian media reports revealed multiple arterial blockages. A hospital source said doctors were “at the moment looking at the removal of two blockages. The rest of the regime will be decided when the surgery is on.”

■SINGAPORE

Fetishist’s sentence upheld

A 14-year prison sentence was upheld against a 37-year-old Singaporean with an urge to sniff and suck the armpits of women he molested, a newspaper reported yesterday. Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong called Mohammed Ismail Arifin a “big risk to society — not only to the adults, but also the young girls” and upheld the prison term imposed in June by a district court on 10 charges, the Straits Times said. But Chan reduced Mohammed Ismail’s caning sentence to 12 strokes from 18 because, Chan said, he did no real violence to his victims. Mohammed Ismail, who was arrested a year ago, was convicted of molesting 23 girls and women ranging in age from nine into their 50s in the lifts and on staircase landings of housing estates and in their homes.

■MALAYSIA

Alleged rapist demands fee

A Malaysian taxi driver was accused of raping a customer several times, then demanding she pay her fare after he took her home, a news report said yesterday. The suspect was accused of picking up a 28-year-old clerk late on Tuesday and driving her to a secluded area in the central state of Selangor before handcuffing her and raping her several times, the New Straits Times daily said. Several hours later, the man drove the woman home, but demanded that she pay the fare on the meter. On the pretense of not having enough cash, the woman went into her home to get the money while the driver waited in his cab. She told her uncle what had happened, and he confronted the suspect, resulting in an exchange of blows and the cab driver speeding off, the report said.

■INDIA

Chats with pilots encouraged

Indian pilots have a new weapon to combat mid-flight fatigue: talking with their cabin crew. India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, has issued some guidelines after recent incidents of pilots dozing off and veering off their flight paths, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported yesterday. The orders instruct cabin crews of all domestic airlines to talk to pilots every half hour to keep them awake, and to keep speaker volume high so that pilots can hear air traffic controllers.

■CHINA

Holidaymakers crushed

A taxi driver and five men traveling home to their families in Hong Kong for the Lunar New Year died yesterday when their vehicle was crushed by a truck. The 41-year-old truck driver, who was reportedly on the wrong side of the road, failed an alcohol breath test after the accident near Hong Kong’s Lok Ma Chau border crossing with China at around 7:30am. The 54-year-old taxi driver and his passengers, five construction workers aged 30 to 47 who had been working in China, were confirmed dead at the scene after their vehicle was dragged for 50m beneath the truck.

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