Boy jailed for killing friend
A boy believed to be the country’s second youngest killer was jailed for 20 months yesterday for fatally shooting his 11-year-old friend, reports said. The boy, who cannot be named, was aged 12 when he shot his friend with a semi--automatic rifle at a farm in North Island in July last year, Gisborne High Court was told. Now 14, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter after an earlier charge of murder was downgraded. His father, whose name was also suppressed, received a two-year jail term after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice by telling his son to lie about the crime, the Waikato Times newspaper reported.
Suicide attack targets official
A suicide attack targeted the convoy of the top elected official in the southern province of Baluchistan yesterday, killing one person but leaving the chief minister unhurt, police said. The bomber detonated alongside the motorcade of Nawab Aslam Raisani in Quetta, the capital of a province where violence connected to a separatist insurgency and Taliban violence has surged this year. “It was a suicide bombing. The convoy of the chief minister was damaged,” Quetta administration official Nasim Lehri told Samaa TV.
Truth Commission ruled out
The Supreme Court declared yesterday that a “Truth Commission” created to investigate alleged corruption by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was unconstitutional. The ruling was a setback to the efforts of President Benigno Aquino, who took office in June, to bring his predecessor and rival to account for alleged massive graft and election cheating during her more than nine years in power. Supreme Court spokeswoman Gleo Guerra told reporters that the majority of the judges ruled against the commission” because the constitution did not allow government bodies to be set up to probe just one group of people.
No greetings at airports
Visitors may get smiles from airport immigration officials, but they shouldn’t expect to hear “Merry Christmas.” Immigration Bureau chief Ronaldo Ledesma said officers at passport counters are banned from offering Christmas greetings because they may be misconstrued as soliciting gifts or cash. Instead, he said officials should give a warm smile, and efficient service. Ledesma’s bureau has been criticized as a beehive of corruption, and he has promised to clean it up.
Trainee to sue Quantas
A flight attendant who was on her second training trip when an engine exploded last month said yesterday she would take legal action, claiming she was fired for complaining about counseling. Jessie Holgersson, 25, said her contract was terminated after she objected to waiting more than 24 hours for psychological debriefing following the Nov. 5 engine blowout on a Boeing 747 near Singapore. It was a terrifying and stressful experience, she said. “Basically I was looking out my window and I saw flame coming out from the engine,” she told ABC radio. “Afterwards we were told that it was a fairly normal occurrence and these things can happen and you know, not to worry about it too much, but at that stage, when you’re on your second flight ever and you see flame out your window, it’s a little bit disturbing to say the least.” Qantas confirmed that Holgersson’s lawyers had filed a case with a workplace tribunal.