Shark attacks navy diver
A Navy diver suffered serious injuries to his hand and thigh after fighting off a shark yesterday in Sydney Harbour — the first attack there in nine years. Paul Degelder, 31, was swimming on the surface of the water with a police diver just off a Navy base when the shark attacked, Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Nigel Coates said. Degelder punched the shark a couple times and it swam off, Coates said. There was no immediate information on the type of shark involved. Degelder was in stable condition after surgery. The attack happened during an underwater trial of new naval defense technologies.
Tourist arrested after fight
A French tourist has been arrested for stripping his Malaysian girlfriend of her clothes and locking her out of his hotel room after an argument, a report said yesterday. The New Straits Times said the 46-year-old woman was found naked and cowering in a corner of the corridor by hotel staff, who covered her with a blanket and brought her clothes. The 49-year-old tourist was arrested in Kuala Terengganu in the early hours of Monday. He faces charges of criminal intimidation and “outraging the modesty” of the woman, the paper said.
Man charged with stabbing
An air-conditioning worker has been charged with the murder of a Thai businesswoman whose body was discovered bound and stabbed in a city office three years ago, a report said yesterday. So Kam-tong, 25, did not enter a plea when he appeared before a magistrate on Tuesday charged with the murder of jewel trader Charitar Kamolnoranath, the Standard newspaper reported. Kamolnoranath was found in a tax office on an air-conditioning unit on the 33rd floor of the office 12 days after she disappeared in 2005. So has been remanded in custody pending psychiatric reports after the court was told he had a history of self-harm and had refused to speak to police or his lawyer.
Tommy Suharto cleared
A court yesterday rejected a civil corruption case against the youngest son of former dictator Suharto involving the alleged misuse of US$400 million in state funds. The Central Jakarta district court cleared Hutomo Mandala Putra, popularly known as Tommy Suharto, of government allegations that he illegally sold assets to avoid paying debts to the state. “The panel of judges reject all accusations filed by the plaintiff [the Indonesian government] against all defendants,” judge Reno Lestowo told the court. The government had alleged that Tommy Suharto had illegally sold assets from troubled car importer PT Timor to five of his companies at a discount to avoid paying off state loans.
Drought threatens forests
The country’s worst drought in decades has affected 118 million mu (7.9 million hectares) of forests and pastures and threatened reforestation projects, the State Forestry Administration said. The drought has hampered growth of trees and shrubs in 15 provinces, including Gansu, Shanxi and Hebei, an official at the state agency said yesterday at a briefing in Beijing. The country had planned to add a record 80 million mu of new forests this year. Depleted soil moisture has increased the cost of irrigating saplings in many areas.
Merkel Barbie on display
Toy company Mattel Inc debuted the Chancellor Angela Merkel Barbie doll last week at an international toy fair in the southern city of Nuremberg. It sports Merkel’s signature strawberry-blond bob, an elegant black pantsuit and low-heeled shoes. Merkel attended the fair’s opening yesterday and Wegener said she approved of her miniature doppelganger — even though Barbie’s familiar face and figure do not exactly replicate her real-life appearance.