Insurers turn to pets
Wealthy pet lovers are being offered insurance packages of US$50,000 for their dogs and cats if they outlive their owners, a news report said yesterday. Insurance company Sun Life Financial is advertising policies costing US$1,300 a year to cover the cost of pet care if owners are struck down by illnesses such as cancer or heart attacks. The policies are to pay for the pampered pet’s care in a “pet hotel” or with nominated relatives and will pay out up to around US$50,000, the South China Morning Post reported.
Drunk, naked star arrested
A pop star was arrested yesterday for public indecency after being found drunk and naked in a Tokyo park, police said. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, a member of hugely popular group SMAP, was arrested on the spot after neighbors complained a drunk man was making a fuss in the park, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police official said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules. The 34-year-old pop star, sitting on the grass, resisted arrest, saying “What’s wrong with being naked?” NHK reported. His clothes were bundled nearby.
‘Slumdog’ dad investigated
Police said yesterday they had not found any evidence so far to substantiate claims that the father of Slumdog Millionaire child actress Rubina Qureshi tried to sell her for adoption. “We have not registered a case against Rubina Qureshi’s father and are still continuing with investigations,” senior police officer Nisar Tamboli was quoted as saying by the domestic Press Trust of India news agency. Police opened an investigation into whether Rafiq Qureshi tried to sell his nine-year-old daughter after a report this weekend in a British tabloid newspaper.
Fourth potion victim dies
A fourth person died on Wednesday from the effects of a hallucinogenic potion he was forced to drink by witch hunters who roam the country and abduct their victims, hospital sources said. “Modou Kumba Bah reported to the Brikama Health Centre on 13th April from where he was referred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he died on Wednesday after suffering from stomach ache due to concoctions he used during his abduction period,” said a senior doctor at the hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity. Bah, a herdsman from the western village of Jambur, was buried the same day in his village. Amnesty International and anonymous police sources have said that as many as 1,000 people were snatched by “witch-hunters” assisted by security forces, who were allegedly carrying out orders from authorities.
Thirty die in robbery
Robbers killed at least 30 people as they attacked a van carrying cash in the southeastern state of Anambra, police said on Wednesday. About a dozen armed robbers in three vehicles opened fire on the van, which was traveling late on Monday from the town of Onitsha, and made away with a large amount of money, police said. “They also attacked three passenger buses at the same point killing about 30 people ... including three policemen, a soldier and three pregnant women,” Anambra state police spokesman Felix Agbo told reporters in the capital Akwa. The gang also wounded about 15 other people, shooting sporadically as they tried to escape, police said. Three of the robbers were killed in the incident. The nation is essentially a cash economy and organized heists are common in the commercial capital Lagos and other major cities.