Police arrest 18 for spying
The government arrested 18 people, including an Iranian, a Lebanese and 16 Saudis, for spying, it said on Tuesday. Ministry of the Interior spokesman Mansour al-Turki said on state television the suspects were “involved with a spy network working for a foreign country.” Turki later told media he could not say who the 18 were suspected of spying for, pending further investigation. The spying arrests, the first in recent memory, follow a string of accusations by the government that an unnamed foreign country, widely understood to mean Iran, had instigated local protests. “They were gathering information about installations and vital areas in the country and providing intelligence agencies of that state with it,” al-Turki said.
Qaddafi associates arrested
Police arrested a cousin of late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, a former Libyan ambassador to Egypt and another ex-Libyan official on Tuesday, a source told media. The source said Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, 60, who had been a special Libyan envoy, ex-ambassador Ali Maria and Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, who headed a Libyan state fund under Qaddafi, had been detained. Interpol’s Web site says that Qaddaf al-Dam was wanted by Libyan authorities for counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and money laundering, while Mansour was wanted for corruption. Details on charges against Ali Maria were not available. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan welcomed the arrests and called for the immediate handover of the men. “They will face a fair trial here,” Zeidan told a news conference.
Fukushima power glitch fixed
Technicians have restored power to all cooling systems at the reactors of the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said yesterday after a blackout sparked a new crisis. Equipment in pools used to cool used fuel became fully operational from 12:12pm, about 30 hours after the blackout, TEPCO said. TEPCO stressed that the glitch was fixed before any lasting damage was caused, saying the temperatures of all the fuel pools were well below the safety limit of 65°C. The company said there was no major change in radioactivity levels at nearby spots.
Grenades hit state buildings
Assailants on Tuesday fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the headquarters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party and hurled two hand grenades at the Ministry of Justice’s parking lot, slightly wounding one person, officials said. Minister of the Interior Muammer Guler said no one was injured in the attack on the party headquarters, while the spouse of a justice ministry employee was treated for a slight injury in the second assault. Erdogan had left Turkey hours earlier for a visit to Denmark. The minister said a terrorist group was responsible for the attacks, but he declined to identify it.
Opposition leader bit by rat
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was bitten by a rat outside her home in Cape Town on Tuesday. The Democratic Alliance Party leader posted a picture of her bloody toe on Twitter after the incident. When a reader asked why she did not blame the African National Congress, she replied: “Damn, why didn’t I think of that!!” However, she lost her sense of humor when someone asked if the rat was black or white, replying: “Only in SA [South Africa]!! Just a matter of time b4 someone brought race into it.”
Beach shut after seal abuse
San Diego’s mayor has ordered a two-month nighttime shutdown of a beach after cameras set up to monitor a seal colony captured people kicking, punching and sitting on top of mother seals and their pups. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said in a statement on Tuesday that the La Jolla beach known as Children’s Pool will be closed between sunset and sunrise until May 15. The 24-hour “seal-cam” was introduced in January and equipped with night vision so researchers and the public could watch the seals give birth during pupping season. However, the camera captured people abusing and harassing the seals and driving them from their resting places.
‘Canadian Psycho’ collapses
A former porn actor accused of murdering and dismembering a Chinese man collapsed in court on Tuesday while evidence was presented against him, witnesses and his lawyer said. Luka Rocco Magnotta, 30, asked for a break in the preliminary hearing, during which a judge must decide if there is enough evidence for a trial, then stood up and collapsed. His lawyer, Luc Leclair, said that Magnotta was “not feeling well” and was not able to continue. Proceedings were adjourned until yesterday, when Magnotta was expected to return after resting, he added. The so-called “Canadian Psycho” has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges, including committing indignities to a body and harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Police have said the man, who had worked as a gay porn actor and sex worker, used an ice pick to stab his 33-year-old victim before carving up his body, sexually abusing the corpse, filming the act and posting it online. The media dubbed Magnotta the “Canadian Psycho.”
Miners rescued after quake
Nineteen miners were pulled alive and well from a copper mine yesterday after a small earthquake trapped them 600m below the surface late the previous night. It took seven hours to tunnel through collapsed rock to reach the miners, who were working at the Rudna copper mine when a small tremor trapped them there at 10:09pm on Tuesday. Two were treated for minor injuries, while the others, shaken up and covered with grime after a grueling night, were on their way home. Families of the miners, who gathered near the mine, cheered when the mine’s operator, KGHM, announced that all 19 were found alive and were slowly being taken out through a hole dug by the rescuers.
Man, 83, kills wife, self
An elderly man who shot and killed his 83-year-old wife in an eastern Pennsylvania hospice unit on Tuesday, and then committed suicide, had apparently decided he could not live without her, authorities said. Staff members heard gunshots on the fourth floor of Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown shortly after 1am. When they entered the room where the shots were fired, they found Mildred Osman dead in her bed, along with the body of 86-year-old Elwood Osman, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said. James Geiger, senior vice president of the hospital, was asked at a news conference if Mildred Osman’s shooting death appeared to be a “mercy killing.” “It’s a love story,” Geiger responded. “The elderly gentleman could not bear to see his wife suffering, and the family, I believe, have observed that he just could not envision living without her.”
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting