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.