London ‘slave’ identified
The nation’s top police official, Khalid Abu Bakar, yesterday said one of three women allegedly held as slaves in London for 30 years was a Malaysian who went missing in the 1960s. Citing information provided by British police, he confirmed the woman was Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, the Star newspaper said in a brief report on its Web site. Siti Aishah, who would now be 69, had left to study in Britain about 1968, but her family lost track of her soon after that, relatives said. “I will hug her and cry if she comes back home,” Siti Aishah’s eldest sister, Hasnah Abdul Wahab, 88, said when told of the police announcement. “I thank Allah he has realized my prayers to meet Siti Aishah before I die… We have been looking for her for a long, long time.”
Beijing destroys barbecues
Beijing is waging a war against air pollution and it is doing so one barbecue at a time. City authorities have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues collected over the past three months “to cut PM2.5” — the tiny particulate matter in the air that can enter deep into the lungs. Citizens online ridiculed the exercise, suggesting authorities should focus on bigger sources of pollution. “This action will help local residents, but to deal with the bigger air quality problem we need to have priorities and I think one of the major priorities should still be the motor vehicle emissions,” Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs director Ma Jun (馬軍) said.
A mass vaccination program has been launched in communities that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan to protect children against measles and polio, UNICEF and World Health Organization said yesterday. The campaign began this week with 30,000 children being vaccinated in Tacloban city, one of the places hardest hit on Nov. 8. The UN said the vaccination program would aim to reach 500,000 children across the disaster zone, which covers dozens of ruined towns mainly on Leyte and Samar islands.
High-rise suspect convicted
A Sydney man was found guilty yesterday of throwing his Canadian fiancee off the balcony of their high-rise apartment, ending a murder trial that captivated the nation. Simon Gittany was accused of hurling former ballerina Lisa Harnum from their 15th-floor home in a fit of rage in July 2011 after discovering she planned to leave him. The 40-year-old, supported in court by his new girlfriend, had maintained his innocence throughout the trial, saying Harnum, 30, had slipped and fallen after climbing over a railing and he had tried to save her. Justice Lucy McCallum said the lack of Harnum’s fingerprints on the glass barrier made this scenario implausible. Gittany will be sentenced in February.
Hot sauce must cool off
A California judge has given a dose of cold water to the hot sauce Sriracha, ruling on Tuesday that the factory that manufactures the condiment must partially shut down after neighbors complained of the spicy smells it was producing. Judge Robert O’Brien found in favor of the city of Irwindale, where Sriracha recently relocated, saying sauce maker Huy Fong Foods must stop any operations that could be causing the odors and make changes to mitigate them.
Watkins pleads guilty
Rock singer Ian Watkins, the former frontman of the band Lostprophets, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the attempted rape of a baby and a string of other child sex offenses. Watkins, whose band sold millions of albums around the world, plotted the abuse of two children with their own mothers in a series of text and Internet messages. The heavily tattooed 36-year-old made a last-minute change of plea before his trial started at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales, sparing the jury from seeing what the judge called “extremely graphic and distressing” video footage. He will be sentenced on Dec. 18.