Child abduction treaty passes
Parliament yesterday approved an international treaty on child abductions after decades of pressure from the US and other Western nations. The country is the only member of the G8 nations that has not ratified the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires nations to return snatched children to the countries where they usually reside. Hundreds of foreign parents have been left without any recourse after their estranged partners took their half-Japanese children back to the country. The upper house of parliament yesterday voted unanimously for the country to join the treaty, following a similar move by the lower house last month.
Imran Khan leaves hospital
Cricket-star-turned politician Imran Khan has been discharged from the hospital roughly two weeks after he sustained serious back injuries in a fall from a forklift at a campaign event. A spokesman for his party, Naeemul Haq, says Khan left the hospital yesterday and is at his home in Lahore. He says Khan can walk and will be staying at home for a while so doctors can monitor his progress. Khan fractured three vertebrae and a rib when he fell 4.5m on May 7.
Experts reject murder theory
Two US pathologists yesterday supported police findings that a US scientist found hanged last year in the city-state committed suicide and was not murdered as his family claims. Medical examiners David Fowler of Maryland and Valerie Rao of Florida testified as independent experts a day after the family of the late researcher Shane Todd walked out of a coroner’s inquest in Singapore. Fowler rejected a theory put forward by the family’s star witness, Missouri deputy medical examiner Edward Adelstein, who said Todd may have been killed by assassins working for two Asian high-tech firms involved in a secret project. Rao also cited “asphyxia due to hanging” as the cause of death and agreed that there were no injury marks indicating a struggle.
AV star calligraphy slammed
Calligraphy by Japanese adult video (AV) star Sola Aoi has sparked a culture war in the country, where she has a huge fan base, with purists dismissing the work as “unskilled” after it was reportedly auctioned for US$95,000. Eight Chinese characters the actress wrote with brush and ink at a theme park in Ningbo were sold earlier this month, the Liberation Daily newspaper said yesterday, without identifying the auction house or buyer. “The style of calligraphy is childish, unskilled,” said the newspaper, which is backed by Shanghai’s Communist Party branch.
‘Office bully’ sparks outcry
A company supervisor caught on video slapping a male intern is in trouble after the clip went viral on the Web and sparked a public outcry. Police confirmed that a complaint had been lodged against the supervisor. The 17-second Singapore office bully clip, first uploaded on the video-sharing Web site YouTube on Friday, showed the boss repeatedly slapping a younger man described by local media as a 29-year-old intern. A fellow intern who filmed the video said in a posting at an online forum that he had noticed the supervisor “constantly bullying” his co-worker soon after starting his internship. When he confronted the boss, the supervisor “said that my colleague apparently has an inferiority complex and apparently my supervisor is trying to ‘nurture’ him to get over it,” he said.