Air China faces PETA protest
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged its supporters on Thursday to bombard Air China with e-mails urging it to stop transporting monkeys from Asia to laboratories in the US. PETA said Air China was one of only a few major air carriers that still transports primates from Asia “to their deaths in some of the cruelest laboratories in the United States.” Last year, 72 percent of the 18,000 primates imported into the US for lab experiments came from China, Justin Goodman of PETA’s laboratory investigations team said. Beijing-based Air China has been cited four times so far this year under US animal welfare laws over incidents in which lab-bound monkeys either ran away or suffered injuries resulting from hazardous enclosures, according to PETA.
Kitten travels 10,460km
A three-month-old kitten appears alert after traveling from Shanghai to Los Angeles in a freight container on a boat. The orange-and-white short-haired kitten traveled 10,460km without food or water and arrived on Wednesday, officials say. Los Angeles County animal control officers are cautiously watching his health. The kitten was retrieved from the container at a business where it was delivered. Animal control director Marcia Mayeda said the kitten ate and slept well at the Carson Animal Care Center. He woke up on Thursday alert and responsive. Mayeda said workers named him Ni Hao. The kitten is quarantined, which is standard procedure after entering the US from another country. When he recovers, gets his shots and is fixed, the shelter will look for foster and permanent homes.
Hotel workers acquitted
A jury on Thursday acquitted hotel workers Avinash Treebhowoon, 31, and Sandip Mooneea, 42, of the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey, the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic soccer boss Mickey Harte. McAreavey, 27, a school teacher from Northern Ireland’s County Tyrone, was strangled in January last year and her body dumped in the bathtub of her luxury hotel room. Treebhowoon initially confessed to the killing, but then claimed the confession had been beaten out of him while he was in police custody. The prosecution had argued McAreavey was strangled after she disturbed thieves stealing belongings from her room at the luxury hotel.
Serbian escapes from jail
A Serbian woman awaiting trial for jewel thefts as a suspected accomplice of an eastern European gang broke out of a high-security prison on Thursday, state-run Athens News Agency said. The 43-year-old woman escaped from Korydallos prison near Athens with the help of a man who entered the prison on the pretext of delivering supplies to inmates on paint duty. The man pulled a gun and knocked down a female guard who tried to stop him, the agency said. The woman was arrested in March in a suspected gang safehouse in a northern Athens suburb, shortly after two Serbian men aged 20 and 36 were caught following a shootout with police in the capital.
Man jailed for kidney sales
An Israeli man living in New York has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for buying kidneys illegally off Israelis and selling them for US$120,000 and more a time to US recipients. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, 61, located individuals in Israel willing to be paid for their kidneys, and arranged their travel and accommodation in the US, where hospitals were given a fake story making it appear the kidneys had been donated. “Rosenbaum admitted that he arranged for blood samples to be drawn from the potential recipients so that appropriate donors could be located,” a statement from the New Jersey attorney’s office said. In addition to the jail time, federal judge Anne Thompson sentenced Rosenbaum to three years of supervised release and a fine of US$5,000.