Airline fights flight fright
People scared of flying can now press a button on their iPhone to help them deal with their panic. Long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched an application for its Flying Without Fear course, which boasts a success rate of more than 98 percent. “Apps” are a source of information, games and other novelty ideas for users of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The airline said the app was designed to help people overcome fear. “Our first iPhone app will bring the benefits of our successful Flying Without Fear course to millions of people around the world,” Virgin president Richard Branson said in a statement. The airline developed the app with Mental Workout, a company developing software to help people resolve issues. Mental Workout said an estimated one in three adults is scared of flying. The app has an introduction by Branson, a video-based, in-flight explanation of a flight, frequently asked questions, relaxation exercises and a fear attack button for emergencies with breathing exercises.
Ex-Doosan CEO found dead
The ousted chairman of the country’s oldest conglomerate, the Doosan Group, was found dead in an apparent suicide, a news report said yesterday. Park Yong-oh was found dead at his Seoul home in what appeared to be a suicide, Yonhap news agency said, citing police. Police said they were trying to determine whether Park committed suicide. Doosan officials said they could not immediately confirm the report that Park killed himself. Park, 72, was chief executive of Doosan until a family feud prompted his ouster in 2005. His younger brother, Park Yong-sung, took over as chairman. In 2006, however, they and two other brothers were convicted of embezzling company funds and received suspended prison terms.
Surgery frustrates manhunt
The only suspect in the murder of a 22-year-old British woman more than two years ago is reported to have undergone plastic surgery, a news report said yesterday. Tatsuya Ichihashi, 30, is wanted in connection with the killing of Lindsay Ann Hawker, an English teacher who was found dead in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of his apartment near Tokyo in March 2007. Photos of Ichihashi have been plastered on walls in police and train stations, but police have failed to catch him. The Asahi Shimbun said Ichihashi visited a hospital in Osaka last month for cosmetic surgery. Police have examined photographs provided by the hospital and believe the patient was Ichihashi.
Abduction syndicate caught
Police have busted a drug syndicate that allegedly abducted people and forced them to swallow capsules packed with heroin to transport the narcotics abroad, an official said yesterday. Police Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano said two suspects were arrested on Monday while forcing a victim to take the capsules, each containing 11g of heroin, in a taxi outside Manila airport. The victim, Jayson Ordinario, 22, said “he was forced to swallow 34 tubes of heroin and that at the time of his rescue, he was about to board a plane to Macau to transport the substances,” Soriano said. The value of the seized heroin was more than US$64,000. Police found Ordinario after his parents reported him missing. Ordinario said he was about to attend mass in downtown Manila when he was seized by two men on Sunday.