Two jailed for cybersex den
Two Swedish men have been jailed for life for running a cybersex den in which naked women performed acts for clients watching over the Internet, a court official said yesterday. A court found Bo Stefan Sederholm, 31, and Emil Andreas Solemo, 35, guilty of human trafficking on Tuesday and sentenced both to life terms, court clerk Nelison Salcedo said. “Disrespect for Philippine women and violations of our laws deserve the strongest condemnations from this court,” Salcedo quoted regional trial court judge Jeoffre Acebido as saying in his ruling.
Minister launches offensive
The government has announced a major crackdown on criminal gangs using social networking sites such as Facebook to enlist teenage recruits as “street fighters,” reports said yesterday. Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein said the government was launching the offensive after a proliferation of online recruitment pages in recent months, the Star daily reported. “The ministries, including the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, the [multimedia] commission and the police will be brought in to tackle the issue,” he was quoted as telling the paper. “They all have their own expertise and it is just a matter of coordinating them to achieve the goal.” He said authorities would treat all types of organized crime with the same gravity as terrorism, the paper reported.
High-speed rail trials begin
Trial runs began yesterday on a highly anticipated high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, one month before the link is scheduled to go into commercial service, state media reported. The high-speed line will halve the journey time to less than five hours, the Shanghai government-run news portal EastDay.com reported, adding the first train left at 8:45am yesterday. The trains will run at speeds up to 300kph depending on the time of day and they will not carry passengers during the trial period, the state-run China News Agency reported. The new trains will not run at the originally planned top speed of 350kph in order to make journeys safer and more affordable, Rail Minister Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖) said last month.
Death sentence overturned
The Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence for convicted Australian heroin smuggler Scott Anthony Rush, giving him life imprisonment instead, a defense lawyer said yesterday. The decision on 25-year-old Rush, after a final legal appeal to the courts, was a rare one as drug smugglers normally get capital punishment under Indonesian law. “Our next move is to seek ways so that [Rush] can serve the rest of his sentence in Australia,” lawyer Frans Hendra Winata said. Rush was caught in his teens in 2005 with heroin draped around his body in an airport on Bali.
Court jails 84 border guards
A special military court has jailed 84 border guards, bringing the total incarcerated for their role in a bloody 2009 mutiny to more than 2,000, a military spokesman said yesterday. Scores of senior military officers were killed in the 33-hour uprising that began when soldiers at the Bangladeshi Rifles headquarters in Dhaka went on a killing spree. The mutiny swiftly spread across the country, with thousands of guards taking up arms against their commanding officers in the worst military rebellion in the country’s history.