Five arrested over murder
A woman and her son have been arrested along with three other local suspects for the gun-for-hire murder of her Japanese husband, police said on Saturday. Hideo Niikura was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Dasmarinas, a town about 35km south of Manila on Dec. 29, a police statement said. His wife Merlinda Soria, 46, confessed she and an adult son by another man had plotted the killing, the statement said. The son and one of his friends paid a third man 100,000 pesos (US$2,500) to commit the murder, the statement said. Police said the four were detained in separate police raids in Dasmarinas on Friday, along with another male suspect also implicated in the conspiracy. Police seized two semi-automatic pistols from the alleged gunman and the woman’s son, it said. The statement said mother and son plotted to have her husband killed “over money matters and alleged physical abuses.”
Dodgy cocktail kills teenager
A teenager yesterday died in a Perth hospital from methanol poisoning after drinking a contaminated cocktail served him at a bar on the Indonesian island of Lombok. Liam Davies, 19, fell ill on New Year’s Day and was flown back home for treatment. “We would like to make people aware of the risks associated with consuming locally brewed drinks where you cannot be certain of the quality,” his family said in a statement. Davies is the latest holidaymaker to suffer the effects of methanol, a by-product in the distillation of alcoholic cocktails often sold to those visiting Bali and Lombok as Jungle Juice. An 18-year-old nurse holidaying in Bali last month went blind after drinking a local brew laced with methanol. In September 2011, Perth-based New Zealander Michael Denton died in Bali from suspected methanol poisoning.
HIN1 flu strain kills two
Two women have died from the H1N1 flu strain in Beijing in the past 10 days, state media said yesterday, the first reported deaths from the virus in the capital since 2010. A 65-year-old cancer patient died on Friday and a 22-year-old migrant worker died on Dec. 27, the Beijing Daily said on its Web site, citing the city’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu cases in Beijing are at their highest level in five years and the H1N1 strain has become the most dominant, the center’s director Deng Ying said. The rise in cases corresponds with weeks of record low temperatures in Beijing and across much of the nation.
Russian tycoon detained
Russian real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky has been detained accused of assault and illegal detention after an incident on a boat, authorities said on Saturday. Polonsky, 40, who was worth US$1.2 billion before the global financial crisis, was detained on Tuesday with two other Russians. Military police say they forced some crew to jump off a boat at knifepoint and one boatman was punched. Police spokesman Kheng Tito said the three Russians were still being held and a prosecutor and an investigating judge were working on the case. “The victims said that they were locked up in a toilet and cabin and forced to jump off to swim back to an island, which meant that if they could not make it, they would be drowned,” Kheng Tito said. Kheng Tito said the boatmen were ferrying Polonsky from an island back to a popular seaside town in Preah Sihanouk on the mainland, about 225 km southwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.