Artist under investigation
An artist under investigation for allegedly vandalizing roads saw more than 11,000 Internet users yesterday petitioning online for leniency. Police declined to identify the 25-year-old woman arrested, but said she faced a maximum three-year jail term and a fine of up to S$2,000 (US$1,500) if convicted. A police statement said the woman, dubbed “Sticker Lady” by the local media, is alleged to have painted “MY GRANDFATHER ROAD” on several streets last month. She is also alleged to have pasted captioned stickers on traffic lights, pavements and pedestrian crossings. The case has sparked uproar on the Internet, with many feeling the artist, identified as Samantha Lo in local media, was simply expressing creativity and should be treated with leniency.
Police hunt alleged killer
Police yesterday said they were hunting for a village strongman accused of beating to death an “untouchable” neighbor who broke strict caste-based rules by using a local handpump. Mohan Paswan, in his late 40s, was lynched in Parhuti village in Bihar State on Thursday last week when he disobeyed an order by a local thug not to use the pump during a heatwave. “Paswan was attacked and brutally thrashed by village strongman Pramod Singh and his henchmen for taking water,” local police official Saroj Kumar said. “Police have been trying hard to arrest the accused in the case, but they are absconding.”
Ex-defense chief charged
Former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) chief Peter Lim was charged with accepting sex for favors yesterday in the most serious corruption case involving senior government officials in almost 20 years. Lim “is accused of having corruptly obtained sexual gratification from two female vendors and one potential female vendor to the SCDF on 10 occasions between May 2010 and November 2011,” a spokesman for the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said. Lim, along with Central Narcotics Bureau director Ng Boon Gay, was replaced in February, with authorities saying the two men were being investigated by the bureau. The Straits Times’ Web site reported Lim, who is 51, appeared in court alone yesterday, but did not say if he entered a plea.
High-priced sex ring busted
Police have busted a high-end sex ring and arrested four people, including a former beauty queen, for pimping models, singers and actresses to wealthy clients, state media said yesterday. Police discovered the alleged ring after raiding a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City over the weekend and finding two women — who have confessed to working for the ring — with two clients, the Thanh Nien newspaper said. The women told police they worked for beauty queen Vo Thi My Xuan, 29, and could earn up to US$4,000 for each appointment, the report said, adding the ring included about 20 models, singers, actresses and students.
Prince Tomohito dies
Prince Tomohito, cousin of Emperor Akihito, died yesterday, a palace official said. He was 66. Tomohito, who openly admitted to an alcohol problem, had been suffering from cancer of the larynx. He had undergone cancer-related surgery a reported 16 times, most recently in March. Known as “the bearded prince,” Tomohito was one of the more outspoken members of the imperial family.
Ancient ‘vampires’ unearthed
Archeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires, the head of the history museum said on Tuesday. According to pagan beliefs, people who were considered bad during their lifetimes might turn into vampires after death unless stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden rod before being buried. “These two skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century,” national history museum chief Bozhidar Dimitrov said after the recent find in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.