Chinese fisherman arrested
The coast guard said yesterday it had arrested a Chinese boat captain in a possible fresh test for sometimes fraught maritime relations, just days after a South Korean officer was stabbed to death at sea. A coas guard vessel pursued the fisherman’s 130 tonne boat for more than six hours after it was spotted lowering ropes into the water about 4km off islands in Nagasaki, in the southwest of the country, the second arrest in the area in less than two months. The boat’s captain, Zhong Jinyin (鍾進音), 39, was taken to the coastguard’s Nagasaki office while investigators inspected the boat, which had 10 other crewmembers on board, a spokesman said. “We have asked the Japanese side to ensure the safety of the Chinese crew and the boat and ensure their legitimate rights and interests,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin (劉為民) told a regular daily press briefing.
Minister to visit Myanmar
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said he will visit Myanmar next week and coordinate closely with the US to encourage further reforms in the military-dominated country. Gemba met in Washington on Monday with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who made a landmark visit to Myanmar earlier this month. Gemba said he was encouraged by progress toward democracy and national reconciliation in Myanmar. He and Clinton agreed to deepen coordination so “this positive trend will be further solidified.”
Gun-wielding Santa arrested
A Santa spent several hours in custody after threatening a Christmas tree seller who set up shop next to his grotto in Bordeaux, an official said on Monday. The market employee, dressed as Father Christmas, threatened the vendor, who happened to be his nephew, with an unloaded gun at the market in Bordeaux after starting an altercation on Sunday. “It’s a family problem,” market spokesperson Florence Cambon said. The arrested Santa was released later in the day, but his pine-tree selling nephew has filed an official complaint. “From tomorrow we will have a new Father Christmas until Dec. 24,” Cambon said.
DHEA helps menopause
A hormone called DHEA, mostly secreted by the adrenal glands, might be able to help women who are going through menopause and could also give them better sex lives, a study found yesterday. Italian researchers writing in the journal of the International Menopause Society, Climacteric, said they had found the first robust evidence that low doses of DHEA can help sexual function and menopausal symptoms, suggesting it might one day become an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
‘Dragon’ marketing decried
The longtime partner of late Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson says he would not have approved of merchandise being linked to this week’s release of a Hollywood adaptation of his bestselling novel, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Eva Gabrielsson said on Monday that Larsson instead would have used the buzz around his work to call attention to violence and discrimination against women. Gabrielsson and Larsson were a couple for more than 30 years, but never married. Larsson did not leave a will, so his brother and father inherited the rights to his works when he died of a heart attack at age 50 in 2004.
Berenson travels to US
Lori Berenson, a New Yorker who spent 15 years in prison for aiding Marxist insurgents, boarded a plane late on Monday for her first trip back to the US since her 1995 arrest, officials said. Berenson, 42, the mother of a two-year-old boy, was paroled last year after serving 15 years of a 20-year sentence. A judge on Friday gave Berenson permission to travel abroad, but she was turned back at Lima airport by migration officials because she did not have a document from the Interior Ministry authorizing her to travel as a parolee. On Monday, assisted by two officials from the US embassy, she went to Peru’s migration office and was given a document allowing her to travel. She boarded a Continental Airlines flight, which took off for Newark, New Jersey. The judge said Berenson must return to Lima by Jan. 11.
Mourning for Kim decreed
The government has decreed three days of mourning for the death of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. An official statement read on Monday on state television also said the Communist government had ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at public buildings and military installations. The mourning period began yesterday and runs through tomorrow. The leftist governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua also expressed condolences for the death of the North Korean leader on Saturday.
Sperm donor warned
A San Francisco Bay-area man who gives away his sperm for free to childless couples is facing scrutiny from federal regulators who want him to halt the practice. Trent Arsenault of Fremont says he has fathered 14 children since he began donating sperm in 2006 and four more are on the way. The 36-year-old says he donates sperm out of a sense of service to help people who want to have children, but can’t afford conventional sperm banks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Arsenault he must stop because he doesn’t follow the agency’s strict rules for getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Arsenault says he gets tested regularly, but that following the FDA’s rules would make it impossible to keep offering his sperm for free.
Teen sentenced for killing
A teen who fatally shot a gay classmate in the back of the head in a computer lab nearly four years ago was sentenced on Monday to 21 years in state prison. Brandon McInerney, 17, dressed in a white T-shirt and blue pants, didn’t speak at the hearing, but his lawyer said his client was sorry for killing 15-year-old Larry King. McInerney will report to prison next month, after he turns 18. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and unlawful use of a firearm after jurors deadlocked during his trial as an adult on a first-degree murder charge.
Beauty queen dies at 28
Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by her compatriots, has died at age 28. Her family said Ekvall died on Saturday at a hospital in Houston. Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000 and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico. She went on to work as a model, actress and television news anchor. She also wrote a book, Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by photographer Roberto Mata.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies