Prince denies abusing wife
The prince of Kelantan state has denied abusing his estranged teenage US-Indonesian model wife and threatened to sue her for making the allegation, his lawyer said. Prince Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry on Thursday lodged a police report in Kuala Lumpur denying that he had raped and tortured his 17-year-old wife, his lawyer told the state Bernama news agency. “A police report has been lodged ... we will be contemplating legal action with regard to the false allegation,” said the attorney, Haaziq Pillay. Manohara Odelia Pinot last week told reporters she was treated like a sex slave after her marriage last year to Tengku Fahkry. She escaped the prince’s guards at a Singapore hotel and returned to her family in Indonesia with tales of abuse, rape and torture at the hands of the 31-year-old prince.
PRC ‘whitewash’ suspected
International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday accused China of attempting to “whitewash” its rights record at the UN after rejecting 70 recommendations to stop abuses in the country. The recommendations were made by UN member states at the Human Rights Council during a periodic review of China. All countries are reviewed every four years as part of the universal system. China rejected the recommendations, saying there was no censorship or torture in the country. Human rights groups say they have documented evidence countering these claims. “The Chinese government has tried to whitewash its human rights record in the hope that the UN will just look the other way,” said Juliette de Rivero of HRW in Geneva. China was making a “mockery” of the council, she said.
Chanel film ad withdrawn
A poster advertising the new film Coco Before Chanel has been withdrawn from newspapers in the territory after complaints that it contravenes anti-smoking laws, news reports said yesterday. The poster shows actress Audrey Tautou starring as the young Coco Chanel wearing silk pyjamas and posing provocatively with a cigarette in her hand. However, in versions printed in the South China Morning Post yesterday it appeared with the cigarette air-brushed out, the actress’ hand appearing to dangle in a strange position. Lark Film Distribution, the company responsible for the promotion of the film, said it had decided to remove the image from newspaper advertisements and replace it with the air-brushed version after the possible contravention was pointed out to them.
Tycoon suspect in murder
A local fishing magnate is a key suspect in a murder after the body of a woman stuffed in a metal box was retrieved from the bottom of Manila Bay, police said on Thursday. Ruby Rose Jimenez disappeared on March 14, 2007, after a bitter custody dispute with her estranged husband for their two children. Last week police arrested one of seven suspects who has since agreed to turn state witness in the killing, Manila police commander Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales said. He said police would ask state prosecutors to file murder charges against seven people, including Lope Jimenez, owner of Manila-based Buena Suerte Jimenez Fishing and Trading Co, and his brother Manuel Jimenez. The woman is the daughter-in-law of Manuel Jimenez. His son won a court battle to win custody of their two children then aged seven years and four months.
Killing a ‘crime of love’
The behavior of a woman who has admitted to killing a prominent French banker during a sado-masochist session corresponds to a “crime of love,” a psychiatrist told a Geneva court on Thursday. Edouard Stern, 50, scion of one of France’s wealthiest families and whose influential circle of friends included President Nicolas Sarkozy, was found dead in March 2005 wearing a latex suit, with two bullet holes in the head and two in the torso. His lover, Cecile Brossard, has admitted to the killing at Stern’s Geneva penthouse apartment, but her defense pleads that it was a “crime of passion” and not murder, as alleged by the prosecutors. “The behavior of Cecile Brossard at the moment of the killing corresponds to a crime of love,” said Swiss psychiatrist Yves Gasser. “The symptoms are clear during the moment of the act: they correspond completely to what psychiatric literature describes as a crime of love,” Gasser said. Brossard’s defense team has argued that she was a pushed into committing a crime of passion by Stern, whom they alleged was an unscrupulous manipulator and sexual predator.
Teen ‘informer’ found dead
Palestinian police said a 15-year-old boy was found hanged in a barn and that his relatives confessed to killing him for collaborating with Israel. Palestinian police spokesman Adnan Damiri said the boy’s father, uncle and cousin confessed to the slaying over suspicions the boy collaborated with the Israeli army. Damiri said authorities are searching for other possible motives. Damiri said the boy’s body was found on Wednesday in the village of Hajah, near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya. Police said on Thursday the boy was unlikely recruited as an informer, citing his age.
Hitchhikers set for long wait
Travelers hoping to hitch a lift may be in for a long wait, as a study shows that three-quarters of Britons would not consider picking up a hitchhiker. The poll of 15,000 motorists, conducted by the Automobile Association (AA), showed that only 23 percent of men and 7 percent of women would consider offering a stranger a lift, but that the likelihood of a driver offering a seat increased with age. Only 9 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said that they would stop for a hitchhiker, compared with 11 percent of 25 to 35-year-olds and 21 percent of 45 to 65-year-olds. The poll shows that hitchers have the highest chance of getting a lift in Scotland and southwest England, where 21 percent of respondents said they would offer a free seat, while only 14 percent of those questioned in the northwest and northeast said that they would consider stopping.
Arrest in ‘body in bin’ case
Police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a Surrey woman whose body was found dumped in a rubbish bin last week. The unnamed 33-year-old man was held at Gatwick airport on Wednesday on suspicion of murdering the woman, identified as Melanie Wallner. Police said that it was unclear when she died. “We have received varying accounts from Melanie’s family, friends and neighbors about her recent history,” said Detective Chief Inspector Maria Woodall. Police had earlier said they were looking for the woman’s husband, Peter Wallner, 33, who moved out of the house where the body was found about three weeks ago. A post mortem had been “inconclusive as to probable cause of death,” they said, but signs of a serious head injury were found.
Teens accused in strangling
Two New York City teenagers have been arrested on charges of robbing and strangling a man as he slept in his car. Queens prosecutors say 17-year-old Chris Levy and 16-year-old Cory Azor were charged on Wednesday with second-degree murder in David Kao’s killing. Prosecutors say the two got into Kao’s double-parked car early on Saturday as he slept, and punched and strangled him. Kao worked for the World Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper. A third person, 17-year-old Keron Wilthshire, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, the SUV. Levy and Azor are being held without bail; Wilthshire is being held on US$75,000 bail.
Sex change for Chastity
Chastity Bono, the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, is having a sex change to become a man. Publicist Howard Bragman says his client “has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity” and began the sex-change process earlier this year. Bragman said Bono is proud of the decision and hopes “that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue.” The 40-year-old writer, activist and reality-TV star came out as gay 20 years ago, Bragman said.
Home built but no monkeys
The Los Angeles Zoo may have the US’ only monkey lair approved by a feng shui expert. There’s only one problem: No monkeys. The city spent US$7.4 million building an enclosure designed to look like a Chinese village, albeit one with Canary Island palm trees and artificial trees, after China promised to lend the zoo a trio of rare golden snub-nosed monkeys. But now the Chinese government has taken the monkeys off the table, leaving zoo officials searching for suitable stand-in simians to take the place of the golden monkeys, known for their blue-faces and blond-hair. “Within 60 days, some lucky monkey will have a home there,” City Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes the zoo, said on Thursday. Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs said negotiations with Chinese officials broke down several weeks ago, but he did not know why.
Sauce spat leads to prison
A man has been sentenced in Kansas City, Missouri, to 33 years in prison for killing a man during a melee that erupted when someone threw a bottle of hot sauce. The Kansas City Star reports that 29-year-old Jarvis Williams was sentenced on Thursday for second-degree murder, three counts of assault and four counts of armed criminal action. Prosecutors claim he fired more than 20 rounds from an assault rifle into a car in October 2005, killing 22-year-old Gary Scott and wounding three others. Prosecutors said the victim had thrown a bottle of hot sauce at a woman’s car, angering Williams.
Presidential guard shot
A corporal in the Presidential Guard died on Wednesday in one of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s official residences after being shot by another guard during a quarrel, the G1 news Web site reported. The incident happened at the Granja do Torto in Brasilia, a weekend retreat for Lula, who usually lives about 15km away in the Alvorada Palace. The two guards argued during their working hours, said General Goncalves Dias, the head of security for the Brazilian presidency. The soldier responsible for the killing was arrested.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big