Security for detainee raised
The government said on Monday it was taking steps to keep US consulate worker Raymond Davis, detained for shooting two Pakistanis, safe from harm. US officials have expressed fears about Davis’s safety as anti-US sentiment has flared in the wake of the shooting in Lahore last month. Surveillance cameras monitor the area where Davis has been locked in a cell isolated from other prisoners, prison sources said. A team of 36 unarmed guards, who officials say have been specially screened, are standing watch in shifts of eight. Outside the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, about 75 police officers, a team of provincial rangers and vehicles packed with elite forces stood watch.
Libyan deployment deferred
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Carlos Cao said yesterday the government has indefinitely deferred the deployment of workers to Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. In an emergency meeting, the officials also decided to prepare for a possible evacuation of Filipino workers, especially in regions of Libya like Benghazi, if the unrest there worsens. Foreign affairs department spokesman Ed Malaya says that diplomats have taken steps to locate and contact about 26,000 Filipino workers in Libya for possible evacuation.
Iranians nabbed for drugs
Police said yesterday they have dented a major drugs syndicate with the arrest of two Iranian women with more than 6.2kg of methamphetamine on Penang. Northern Penang state police chief Ayub Yaakob said the pair were arrested on Saturday at Penang International Airport after their suitcases were found containing drugs worth 1.55 million ringgit (US$511,000). “We became suspicious about the women as they had traveled to Malaysia three times in less than three months and they did not have any business dealings or any other reason to keep them coming back so frequently,” he said. “The two Iranian women, we believe, are part of one of the region’s biggest syndicates which is trying to use Malaysia as a transhipment point for its drug and it has been dealt a significant blow with this arrest.”
Gambling leads to death
A man in his 30s has died after a three-day gaming binge at an Internet cafe outside Beijing, during which he did not sleep and barely ate, the Beijing Times reported yesterday. The man, who was not identified, slipped into a coma this week in the cafe and was rushed to a nearby clinic, where he died shortly after, the paper said. He had spent more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) over the past month on Internet gaming, and had barely moved from his computer for a three-day period, the report said. Police confiscated several computers as part of their investigation but have ruled out murder and thus far have not detained the operators of the cafe.
Red Shirt leader arrested
The elderly leader of a faction of the anti-government “Red Shirt” protest movement was arrested yesterday and charged with insulting the monarchy, police said. Surachai Damwattananusorn, 69, was picked up at his home in Bangkok on lese majeste charges related to a speech he made on Dec. 8 last year, police said. He was remanded in custody for 12 days. Meanwhile, a court granted bail for seven Red Shirt leaders detained on terrorism charges after mass protests and riots ended in May last year.