Minister partially apologizes
A minister apologized on Friday for causing offense after remarking that men were now “scared to talk to women” amid an ongoing public debate about sexual harassment following several high-profile cases. “I’m scared to talk to a woman these days. I don’t even want to keep a female secretary. Who knows, I might end up in jail because of a complaint,” New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah told reporters. Speaking outside parliament, he added that he was not “blaming the girls. I’m blaming society itself.” After condemnation from women’s rights activists who accused him of trivializing a serious issue, he issued a partial apology for “hurting sentiments,” but said he had been misconstrued.
Suspected gunmen detained
Police have detained two men suspected of shooting and killing an activist who campaigned against religious charlatanism, black magic and superstitions. Inspector Rajendra Prabhudessai from Goa’s state capital of Panaji says the suspects, both from Mumbai, are suspected of firing four shots at Narendra Dabholkar as he was taking a morning walk on Aug. 20 in Pune. Police did not identify the suspects, but a witness described the motorcycle-borne assailants as being in their 20s. Prabhudessai said yesterday that police tracked down the suspects at the seaside state of Goa and arrested them on Friday afternoon before transferring them to Pune.
Rover enters moon’s orbit
The nation’s first lunar rover entered the moon’s orbit on Friday, state media reported, a key step toward the vessel’s planned landing later this month. The rover — known as Yutu, or Jade Rabbit — reached lunar orbit late on Friday, Xinhua news agency said, about 112 hours after it was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China. It is expected to touch down on the moon next week to explore its surface and search for natural resources. The Chang’e-3 mission — named for the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, with the rover vehicle named after her pet — will make the nation the third to land a rover on the moon, following the US and the former Soviet Union decades ago.
Speedboat gunmen kill five
Gunmen aboard a speedboat shot dead five members of a fishing crew in a mysterious attack in the seas of the southern Philippines, the coast guard said yesterday. The five were part of a fishing fleet off the troubled southern islands of Sulu when the gunmen attacked them on Friday, coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Jomark Angue said. Even as the five leapt overboard, the gunmen riddled them with bullets, then sped off. Only three of the bodies were recovered, he said. The attackers were suspected to be pirates Angue added. However, it was unclear why they would attack the fishing boat crew. Law-enforcement sources said the attack might be part of an extortion attempt by armed groups operating in Sulu, an impoverished, heavily-forested group of islands. Among the armed groups in Jolo are Muslim separatists who staged a bloody three-week siege in the southern city of Zamboanga in September. The Abu Sayyaf, a group known for the worst terror attacks in the nation’s history, including bombings, kidnappings and banditry, are also active in Sulu along with other outlaw bands.
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