Radio host gunned down
Gunmen shot dead a radio broadcaster on Mindanao in the second such murder in a week, police said yesterday. The killing of Michael Diaz Milo, host of a daily radio show and a program director of DXFM radio, further worsened the nations’s standing as one of the most dangerous places for journalists. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks the Philippines as the third-worst in its “impunity index” of countries that fail to fight violence against the press. Milo, 34, was riding his motorcycle late on Friday in the coastal city of Tandag when men following him, also on a motorbike, shot him in the head, a police report said.
S Korean paraglider dies
A South Korean paraglider plunged to his death in Pokhara on Saturday after his emergency parachute failed to open, local officials said yesterday. An aviation official said the 41-year-old, who has not been named, was an experienced paraglider who had made previous trips to Pokhara. “He died yesterday while paragliding solo, when his emergency parachute failed and sent him hurling to the ground,” said Pratap Babu Tiwari, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal in Pokhara.
Police barred from ‘selfies’
Policemen taking part in relief operations after Typhoon Haiyan have been banned from posting “selfies” taken in the disaster zone, a police official said yesterday. “I think that’s [selfies] being insensitive. People there are suffering from the effects of the typhoon, losing home and loved ones, yet here they are posing for pictures as if it is something enjoyable,” police community relations head Lina Sarmiento said.
Academics condemn new law
A controversial new state secrets law passed on Friday was condemned on Saturday as “the largest ever threat to democracy in postwar Japan” by a group of academics, Kyodo news agency said. A group of 31 academics, including Nobel Prize winners Toshihide Maskawa and Hideki Shirakawa, accused the government of threatening “the fundamental human rights and pacifist principles” established by the country’s constitution. The statement condemned the coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party of behaving in a way that was “reminiscent of the prewar government that wrested away freedom of thought and freedom of the press” by pushing the law through both legislative chambers. The law allows government ministers to designate as a state secret information related to defense, diplomacy, counterintelligence and counterterrorism.
New officials named
The ruling party yesterday named as senior vice president a man once dubbed a “sinister” defender of the Islamist revolution that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power. Former interior and defense minister Bakri Hassan Saleh was named first vice president and Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman as second vice president, senior party official Rabbie Abdelatti Ebaid said. Saleh was presidential affairs minister in the Cabinet that Bashir dismissed last week after the most serious split in years within his ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Abdel Rahman had been the NCP’s political secretary. Ebaid said final composition of the new Cabinet would be declared within 24 hours.
South Pole race redefined
Organizers of an Antarctic charity race involving Prince Harry said on Saturday they are suspending its competitive element because of harsh conditions, but plan to continue the journey to the South Pole. Harry, 29, is a member of one of three teams involving injured soldiers that set off last week on the 320km Walking with the Wounded South Pole Challenge. Expedition director Ed Parker said the teams were experiencing “a higher degree of stress” than expected and will no longer race one another, but travel and camp together. He said the teams would now be driven for part of the route and then finish the final 112km to the pole on foot, likely within a week.