Maid forced to kowtow
A couple assaulted their Filipino maid and forced her to kowtow 100 times after she served an inadequately cooked meal, a court report said yesterday. Secretary Wan Sau-yee grabbed maid Julieta Binggas Selga by the hair and pushed her head to the floor, forcing her to bow down repeatedly. She also slapped her across the face and head three times. Following the incident in March, Wan, 37, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, said the report in the Standard newspaper. She appeared on Thursday in court with her husband, Henry Kwok, 42, who admitted one charge of common assault for hitting the maid on the head and neck with a rolled up newspaper later the same night. Their lawyer claimed Wan was angry when she discovered the maid had not thoroughly cooked a meal for her son. Kwok was fined US$650 and ordered to pay Selga US$390 in compensation. However, the magistrate deferred sentencing on Wan to allow for the preparation of probation and community service reports, warning her that she faced a much stiffer penalty.
Bean mystery stumps Brits
The British military is mystified after what was first announced as a major haul of opium poppy seeds amounted to nothing more than a hill of beans. British troops came across a bag of seeds — weighing 1.3 tonnes — during an operation near the provincial capital of southern Helmand last week, a British military spokesman said. The find was originally trumpeted as a big haul of opium poppy seeds. However tests on the seeds by the UN appeared to show they were in fact mung beans. Asked if the suspect kernels were in fact mung beans, Tekeste Tekie, UN Food and Agriculture Organization spokesman in Kabul, said: “There is no question, yes.” The British military spokesman would not confirm the mung bean mystery, saying the true nature of the suspect seeds had not yet been determined.
Airline staff get naked
Air New Zealand has come up with an imaginative way of encouraging passengers to pay attention to the pre-flight safety video — showing cabin crew in the nude. The video for domestic flights features staff covered in body paint mimicking their uniforms, their modesty concealed by careful camera angles and strategically placed seat belts and other equipment. “We wanted to find a way to deliver these important pre-flight messages to our domestic travelers in a way that was genuine, engaging and fun,” said Air New Zealand general manager for marketing, Steve Bayliss. The safety video follows a domestic advertising campaign using the same eye-catching stunt. Even chief executive Rob Fyfe had a brief cameo role as a baggage handler.
Would-be hit man jailed
A Chinese would-be hit man arrested in Hong Kong with a gun and bullets in a suspected plot to shoot pro-democracy champion Martin Lee (李柱銘) was yesterday jailed for 16 years. Huang Nanhua (黃南華), 50, was found guilty in Hong Kong’s High Court of possessing a pistol and five rounds of ammunition after being arrested in a routine police check on a taxi last August. He is believed to have been sent to Hong Kong with instructions to target 71-year-old Lee. A photograph and the home address of media tycoon Jimmy Lai were also found on him when he was arrested. Huang later told police he had been instructed to come to Hong Kong to “teach someone a lesson,” the court was told.