Wife ladles away tiger
A woman in Perak state rescued her husband from a tiger attack by clubbing the beast on its head with a large wooden soup ladle and chasing it away, police said yesterday. The tiger pounced on Tambun Gediu while he was hunting squirrels on Saturday near his home in a jungle settlement of the Jahai tribe, a police official said. Tambun’s 55-year-old wife, Han Besau, rushed out when she heard his screams and struck the tiger on its head with a kitchen ladle, causing it to flee immediately, the official said. Tambun was receiving treatment at a hospital for lacerations on his face and legs. He told reporters that he first tried to escape by climbing a tree, but the tiger dragged him down. “I was terrified and I used all my strength to punch the animal in the face, but it would not budge,” the New Straits Times newspaper quoted him as saying. “It would have clawed me to death if my wife had not arrived.”
Ozawa might be suspended
Executives of the ruling Democratic Party proposed suspending the party membership of powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa, who has been indicted for a funding scandal, an official said yesterday, risking a split in the party. Ozawa’s scandal-tainted image, along with the Democratic Party’s flip-flops over costly campaign promises and diplomatic missteps, has helped slice support for Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government to below 20 percent, the lowest since he took office in June.
Valentine’s Day okay
The top Islamic body softened its hardline stance toward Valentine’s Day yesterday, dropping fears over outbreaks of “free sex” and dismissing it instead as a harmless fad. In recent years it has become customary for the council to issue a fatwa condemning Valentine’s Day as a threat to Islamic values. It was equally customary for residents to ignore the clerics and send their loved ones Valentine’s Day cards, chocolates and flowers.
Forums under clampdown
The government has called for a reduction in the number of international conferences and forums held in the country, apparently out of fear the proliferating meetings are squandering public funds. Officials have been asked to restrict the number of international meetings they host and stop holding events with no “substance,” the finance and foreign ministries said. Conferences with the same or similar themes must not be held at the same time or even at short intervals, the ministries said in a joint statement over the weekend. State media reports yesterday suggested the new restrictions took aim at the spiraling costs of some gatherings. Organizers should also refrain from inviting Chinese Communist Party officials or government leaders to their events, the statement said, without giving a reason for the new rules.
Pakistani singer detained
Popular Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has been detained at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport carrying US$124,000, a much larger amount than is permissible under local law. The Press Trust of India news agency said Rahat and his 18-member troupe were detained at the airport on Sunday before they could fly to the United Arab Emirates. A Pakistani diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Khan’s detention yesterday and said Pakistani High Commission officials had taken up the matter with authorities in New Delhi.