Plane grounded by threat
A Korean Air passenger jet made an emergency landing at a Canadian military airbase after a call center in the US received a threat by telephone late on Tuesday, the airline said. Korean Air flight 72, which was en route to South Korean capital Seoul, diverted to the Comox base on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, soon after takeoff from Vancouver, the airline said in a statement released yesterday in Seoul.
Mom runs across desert
A 51-year-old mother said yesterday she felt “fantastic,” but tired, after becoming the first woman to run across the Simpson Desert, enduring searing temperatures on the 660km journey. Intensive care nurse Jane Trumper had attempted the run last year, only to be stopped at 352km by bushfires. Trumper said the relentless desert heat had been difficult on the run, which began at the geographical center of the country in the Northern Territory, detoured through South Australia and ended in Birdsville, southwest Queensland. “It was 45 degrees [Celsius] on the first day and I really had doubts about whether I would absolutely get this thing done,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Extortionists bomb bus
Suspected extortionists bombed a bus in the south yesterday, killing two passengers and wounding five others, the military said. The military initially reported 10 dead, but regional commander Lieutenant Colonel Benjie Hao later revised the death toll. The bomb went off on the bus as it pulled into a terminal in Carmen town in North Cotabato province, said another military officer, Colonel Leopoldo Galon. He said that extortion gangs linked to Muslim rebels have been suspected in previous attacks targeting bus companies in the region.
Killer gets life sentence
A court yesterday upheld the life sentence for a man who raped and killed a young British teacher and buried her battered body in a sand-filled bathtub in his apartment. The Tokyo High Court rejected the appeal by Tatsuya Ichihashi, who claimed his life sentence for the 2007 murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker was too harsh. Ichihashi, 32, admitted raping Hawker, but said he killed the 22-year-old accidentally. His appeal had sought a reduction in the life sentence. Prosecutors argued that the killing by Ichihashi — who spent more than two-and-a-half years on the run and underwent plastic surgery to evade capture — was premeditated and the life term was justified. As Judge Yoshinobu Iida said that Ichihashi’s claim that Hawker’s death was accidental was not credible.
Rebels to be integrated
Soldiers arrived yesterday at camps where thousands of former communist rebels have lived for more than five years as the ex-fighters prepared to join the army in a key step in the nation’s peace process. The government’s chief monitor for the former rebels, Balananda Sharma, said army soldiers arrived at all seven main camps and eight satellite camps spread across the country. The former rebel fighters have been living in the camps since 2006, when the Maoists abandoned their 10-year armed revolt and joined a peace process. Most of the former fighters will now be integrated into the army, a key part of a peace process that has been delayed because of disagreements among the major political parties.
Senate approves Lamothe