A former Buddhist monk in Tibet has been hospitalized after setting himself on fire, the latest in a series of apparent self-immolation protests against Chinese rule, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said. Tenzin Phuntsog, a former monk in his 40s, set himself on fire on Thursday, it said, citing exiled Tibetans in India whom it did not identify by name. The attempted self-immolation reportedly occurred near the Karma monastery in Tibet’s Chamdo region. A woman who answered the telephone at the propaganda office of the Communist Party in Chamdo denied the incident occurred. “Nobody self-immolated. Nothing like that happened in Chamdo,” said the woman who would not give her name. If confirmed, at least 12 monks, nuns, and former monks have set themselves on fire this year in what some see as acts of desperation in the face of tightening Chinese controls over Tibetan life and culture.
Police hopeful arrested
A man hoping to join the police was arrested for cheating after stuffing his vest under a wig so he could make the minimum height required for the post, the Mid Day tabloid said yesterday. Nilesh Ramlal Bari, 28, came up with the ruse after realizing that at 165cm, he was 3m too short to be a constable with the Mumbai police, the report said. Keen-eyed police suspected something amiss when he stepped up to be measured at a recruitment drive in the city on Thursday and the vest was discovered under the hairpiece. He was arrested for cheating and later released on bail.
Elvis Presley refused bail
A former Federal Police worker who changed his name to Elvis Presley was refused bail yesterday after more than 35,000 child pornography images were allegedly found at his Sydney home. Officers raided the house on Thursday and seized computer equipment and hard drives, allegedly uncovering 800 videos, as well as thousands of pictures of child abuse. Police said they also discovered Federal Police uniforms, batons and handcuffs. The 49-year-old changed his name by deed poll to Elvis Presley, but was charged under his old name, Michael Feuerstein, ABC radio reported. He faces three counts of possessing and disseminating child pornography, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing ammunition without a license.
Alimony set at US$157m
An heir to a property fortune has been ordered to pay his ex-wife more than US$150 million in one of the territory’s biggest divorce settlements, media reports said yesterday. High Court Justice John Saunders ruled that billionaire tycoon Samathur Li (李建勤) must pay Florence Tsang (曾昭穎), his wife of eight years, HK$1.22 billion (US$157 million), reports said. Saunders said the couple lived a “lifestyle which was best described as just below that of a US--dollar billionaire” and ruled that Tsang, a 38-year-old solicitor, should be kept in the comfort to which she had become accustomed. The settlement represented 20 percent of the couple’s assets, less than the 55 percent demanded by Tsang, according to the Hong Kong Standard daily, which said the ruling sealed “Hong Kong’s reputation as Asia’s divorce capital.” Tsang reacted with a “cheer and a broad smile” when she read the decision, the South China Morning Post reported.
Kidnappers issue demands