Two arrested in drugs bust
Two Malaysians were arrested and charged yesterday with importing heroin with a street value of more than A$50 million (US$53 million) — the country’s biggest haul in a decade. Customs officers working at Port Botany in Sydney were tipped off about a suspicious furniture shipment from Malaysia earlier this month and uncovered 42kg of the drug hidden inside. The Malaysians, aged 30 and 34, were seized in raids on Sydney addresses and face life behind bars if convicted. The successful raids followed the arrest of four people and the seizure of 239kg of methamphetamine earlier this month in the country’s biggest haul of its kind.
Police hunt acid attackers
Detectives are hunting two men who have been throwing acid on pedestrians in a sting of attacks that have sent shockwaves through the capital, police said yesterday. Kuala Lumpur has been plagued by attacks on at least 22 people since February, terrifying residents across the city and its suburbs. City police chief Zulkifli Abdullah said the pair, who ride a motorcycle, have targeted mostly women and children. “We are doing more patrols and we hope people are more alert,” Zulkifli said. “We will take very firm action against this irresponsible act.” In the latest attacks last weekend a woman with a one-year-old baby was splashed, while another was reportedly hospitalized with burns to her face.
Court lifts ban on ‘fatwas’
The Supreme Court yesterday lifted a ban on issuing Islamic religious edicts, or fatwas, but said extrajudicial punishments in the name of Islam were illegal, the attorney general said. The High Court banned fatwas in 2001 after a series of cases of Muslim women being beaten and caned, but the ruling was appealed by a group of Islamic preachers who argued fatwas were integral to Islamic practice. “Fatwas on religious matters may be given only by properly educated persons and may be accepted only voluntarily,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, quoting the Supreme Court ruling. “No punishment, including physical violence and or mental torture in any form, can be imposed or inflicted by anybody in pursuance of fatwas.”
‘Planking’ comes under fire
An Internet craze known as “planking” has come under fire from authorities after the arrest of a man for sprawling on a police car. Planking involves someone lying flat on their stomach in unusual and sometimes dangerous situations, with photographs of their exploits shared through social media sites. Facebook page Planking Australia currently has almost 10,000 fans and hundreds of photos of people lying on train tracks, escalators, fire hydrants, motorbikes and other objects. However, the craze has landed one 20-year-old in court in Queensland State after he was allegedly found “planking” on a police car on Wednesday. Planker Michael Brannon defended the so-called sport and accused police of overreacting. “Bloody ridiculous if you ask me, just a bit of harmless fun and they are wasting their time on this instead of catching [criminals],” he wrote on Facebook.
Drone attack kills five
A US drone fired two missiles into a vehicle in Pakistan’s tribal district of North Waziristan yesterday, killing at least five suspected militants, local security officials said. It was the third such attack reported on the Afghan border, which the US has dubbed the headquarters of al-Qaeda.