Gay marriage ruling set
The nation’s first same-sex weddings can take place this weekend, after the High Court yesterday decided to rule on the law allowing gay marriage in the capital on Dec. 12. The Australian Capital Territory Government, which administers Canberra, passed legislation in October that allows same-sex couples to wed in ceremonies equivalent to those heterosexual couples are entitled to under federal law. The federal government immediately applied to the court to quash the law. The first weddings are scheduled to take place in Canberra on Saturday, the first opportunity under the legal conditions.
Rover wreckage hits homes
Debris from the rocket carrying the country’s first moon rover plummeted to Earth in a village more than 1,000km from the launch site, crashing into two homes, a newspaper said yesterday. The incident occurred about nine minutes after the launch of the Chang’e-3 mission on Monday in Suining County in Hunan Province, which has been hit by space wreckage nearly 20 times, the Xiaoxiang Morning Post said. “Three of the roof beams have crashed down on our house and a big hole has been punched into our barn,” a local resident told the paper. A photograph showed a baffled-looking villager peering at the curved shape of what appeared to be a rocket nose-cone frin below a gaping hole in his roof. Authorities gave the residents 10,800 yuan and 5,200 yuan (US$1,800 and US$853) in compensation, the paper said.
US convict loses appeal
US expatriate Nancy Kissel, who is serving a life sentence for the “milkshake” murder of her Merrill Lynch banker husband, lost a bid to appeal against her conviction yesterday. Kissel, 49, has been in jail since 2005, when she was found guilty of murdering her husband after giving him a drug-laced milkshake and clubbing him to death with a metal ornament in their luxury home. She was convicted for a second time in 2011, following a retrial. The conviction was “neither unsafe nor unsatisfactory” and a significant amount of time had been given to the case, Court of Appeal Judge Wally Yeung said in rejecting Kissel’s appeal. Her defense team had argued that the prosecution made errors in its case, including stating that the murder happened when her husband, Robert Kissel, was on a bed, which they said contradicted testimony from a prosecution expert that the death was more likely to have happened on the floor. They also said the prosecution improperly led the jury to ignore that she was suffering from depression at the time.
Lee items up for auction
Bruce Lee (李小龍) fans who covet the original yellow jumpsuit that the martial arts legend wore onscreen will get a chance to bid for it at a local auction this week. The jumpsuit is part of a collection of 14 items, including clothing and props, going on the block tomorrow. Lee wore the black-striped suit in Game of Death. He died in 1973 before the movie was finished. An incomplete version was released that year, followed by a feature-length version in 1978 cobbled together with footage filmed posthumously. Lee’s death at 32 from an allergic reaction to painkillers came at the height of his fame. Spink auction house estimates the suit will fetch HK$250,000 to HK$300,000 (US$32,250 to US$38,700). It added that Lee gave the items to friend and former student Taky Kimura, who sold them to the collector. Spink said the collector decided to sell the items this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of Lee’s death.