Spies swoop on leftist party
National Intelligence Service (NIS) officers yesterday raided the homes and offices of a minor leftist party and arrested key members of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in Seoul. The raids sparked an angry reaction from the party, which accused President Park Geun-hye’s administration of starting a new “Yushin dictatorship” — a reference to the authoritarian rule of her late father Park Chung-hee. A spokesman at the prosecutors’ office said three UPP members faced charges of seeking to start a rebellion and supporting the enemy — North Korea — in breach of the strict National Security Law. UPP denied the charges and said the crackdown was aimed at fending off criticism over an alleged NIS attempt to rig last year’s presidential election results.
Two die in jet trainer crash
Two pilots were killed yesterday when an air force jet trainer crashed near the southwestern city of Gwangju, the defense ministry said. Investigations were under way to determine the cause of the crash of the T-50 aircraft, a spokesman said. It was the second crash in less than a year involving a T-50, the nation’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft jointly developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin. A T-50B aircraft crashed into a mountain in the northeast in last year, killing a pilot. Indonesia in 2011 ordered 16 T-50s and Seoul is pursuing other contracts from the Philippines and Iraq.
Boy’s eyes gouged out
A woman tricked a six-year-old boy into going into a field, and then gouged out his eyes, police in Linfen City in Shanxi Province said yesterday. The brutal ordeal happened on Saturday, the city’s police bureau said in a statement. State media said the boy was recovering in a hospital, but had lost his sight permanently. A police officer who only gave his surname, Liu, said he could not speculate on a motive because the investigation was continuing. Liu said the boy’s eyeballs were found at the scene, and that the corneas had not been removed. State media had previously raised the possibility that the boy’s corneas were taken for sale because of a donor shortage in the nation.
Building collapse kills 11
Adjacent three-story apartment buildings collapsed early yesterday, killing at least 11 people in the Gujarat state city of Vadodara, police said. Rescuers were working to pull out at least a dozen people trapped in the debris after the buildings fell, police officer Bhanu Pratap Parmar said. At least four people were injured and were in hospitals, rescue workers said. Most of the occupants of the 14 apartments in the first building were sleeping when it collapsed. The adjacent building was evacuated minutes before it collapsed.
Two cadets found guilty
Two former military cadets — Daniel McDonald, 21, and Dylan Deblaquiere, 20 — were found yesterday found guilty by a Canberra jury over a sex broadcasting scandal on Skype that triggered a major review of sexism and abuse in the defense force. McDonald was convicted of committing an act of indecency for his role, in which he filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and streamed it live via Skype to another room where Deblaquiere and four other male students were watching. The victim, now 20 and unable to be named for legal reasons, did not realize she was being filmed. They will be sentenced on Oct. 14.