Politician killed in Kashmir
Police said suspected rebels had shot dead a member of a pro-India political party in Kashmir. Police said Bashir Ahmed was shot in the head at close range in Srinagar yesterday. He was a shopkeeper and member of the ruling National Conference. Police said the gunmen escaped. The shooting was the second strike by suspected rebels in the past two weeks. On Dec. 11, Kashmiri Law Minister Ali Mohammed Sagar survived a militant attack, but his security guard was killed.
Abandoned dollar wins big
A woman has won the right to pocket the A$100,000 (US$101,000) she won on a slot machine, after a casino agreed to pay her the money she won with another gambler’s abandoned dollar.
Cecilia Cubillo used a A$1 credit someone else had left in a poker machine to hit the jackpot 18 months ago. However, joy turned to disappointment when Adelaide Casino said it was unable to honor the prize because it was against regulations set by the gambling watchdog to pay wins on abandoned money. The regulation is aimed at encouraging gamblers to take breaks without losing their seat at their machine of choice. However, the approach by the Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner appears to have softened since then.
Bali tattoo likely gave HIV
Health authorities have said a patient diagnosed with HIV likely caught the virus while having a tattoo done in Bali, Indonesia. They recommended that people who had recently been tattooed on the island, known for its white, sandy beaches, partying and nightlife, should consider being tested for HIV and other blood-borne viruses. Authorities did not reveal any details of the patient concerned. The Department of Health highlighted the risk not only of tattoos, but also of body piercing. Indonesian officials said last year that the number of known HIV/AIDS cases in Bali was soaring, with one in four prostitutes reported to be HIV-positive and the number of infections jumping almost 19 percent from the year before.
Twenty-seven rebels killed
Authorities say troops have killed 27 Kurdish rebels in a helicopter and warplane-backed offensive in the southeast. The office of the governor for Sirnak Province — which borders Iraq — said in a statement issued late on Friday that the rebels were killed in a five-day long offensive in a mountainous region. It said five other rebels were captured alive. Pro-Kurdish news agency Firat confirmed clashes in the area, but made no mention of any rebel deaths. It was the second major offensive against the rebels this week. On Wednesday, officials said 21 were killed in nearby Diyarbakir Province.
AFP photographer released
The state-run news agency says authorities have released an Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer, along with 12 other people who were detained as part of an investigation into a group prosecutors accused of having links to Kurdish rebels. However, Anadolu Agency said that a court early yesterday ordered 35 other suspects formally arrested pending trial over their alleged involvement in the Union of Kurdistan Communities — which authorities say is an offshoot of the PKK rebel group. AFP photographer Mustafa Ozer was among 48 suspects, including a number of other journalists, detained in police raids.
Obamas thank troops