‘Driving threatens virgins’
A rights activist says a report given to a high-level advisory group claims that women in the kingdom would have options for premarital sex if allowed to drive. The ultra-conservative stance suggests increasing pressure on Saudi King Abdullah to retain the kingdom’s male-only driving rules. Rights activist Waleed Abu Alkhair said on Saturday that the document by a well-known academic was sent to the all-male Shura Council, which advises the monarchy. The report by Kamal Subhi says that allowing women to drive would threaten the country’s traditions of virgin brides, the activist said.
Drugs boy released
A 14-year-old Australian boy has been released after serving two months in a detention center for buying drugs while vacationing with his family in Bali. The teenager wore a mask to hide his face from photographers as he walked out of the immigration detention center yesterday with his parents. The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, has promised to enter a drug rehabilitation program after returning home to Morrisset Park, just north of Sydney.
Piranha sellers arrested
Police said they have arrested five people for selling carnivorous piranhas, raising fears over what could happen if the fish got into local waterways. At least 62 live piranha fingerlings were seized from the group after a sting operation where a fisheries officer posed as a buyer late on Thursday, senior superintendent Jude Santos said. “We immediately turned them over to the Bureau of Fisheries and their expert determined they were piranhas ... I think they have killed them by now,” Santos said. The fish, known for their sharp teeth, an appetite for meat and their ability to strip flesh from a carcass, were being sold to collectors of exotic fish to be placed in aquariums, the police chief said. However, if they got into local waterways, they could breed quickly and pose a threat to local fish — and even humans, Santos said.
Chinese fishermen detained
Naval authorities detained six Chinese fishermen for alleged poaching in the country’s territorial waters, police said yesterday. The fishermen’s vessel was intercepted on Thursday off the coastal town of Balabac in Palawan, a western island facing the South China Sea where both countries have overlapping territorial claims. “Recovered from their possession and control were 11 sea turtles, fish nets and other paraphernalia,” national police spokesman chief superintendent Agrimero Cruz said. He said the six have been detained and their boat confiscated while charges against them were being prepared.
12 charged with murder
Police have charged 12 people, including a fugitive reputed gangster, over the daytime murder of a Mumbai crime reporter almost six months ago. Jyotirmoy Dey had been working as investigations editor for MiD Day newspaper when he was gunned down on June 11 in a Mumbai suburb by motorcycle-riding assailants. Police believe that reputed gang leader and fugitive Chhota Rajan ordered the hit in retaliation for several negative stories and that he allegedly paid the attackers 500,000 rupees (US$9,700). The indictment filed on Saturday in a Maharashtra state court names Rajan along with 11 other people, including the alleged gunmen and those suspected of providing cash, cellphone SIM cards and the revolver used in the killing.